Archive for August, 2011

Recipe: remember the ham salad?

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

As you've already seen – I made my ham salad not long ago (a couple posts down from here) and of course, as always, there is never any waste when that is made. Just like ham salad – I made bologna salad – you can use it for so many things. Stuffing pita breads, making sammies or hoagies, served as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., stuff into tomatoes, etc.

So easy to make – and of course – it doesn't last long around here.

I purchased a whole bologna at the market (which I shared with someone else so they could make this as well) and we enjoyed bologna salad!

Just like making the ham salad, cut bologna into chunks and mince in the food processor.

Mince an onion as well and add sweet pickle relish – salad dressing or mayo to desired consistency and enjoy with bread and butter pickles!

At this time of the year, when there is so much to do for the holiday and so much baking – it's nice to have something like this that you can make a quick lunch, dinner or a snack with.

Recipe: Pork, Yams, Potato Dressing –

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

From 11/2010 –

The Sunday before Thanksgiving is a day I make sure I make a nice dinner for us because the rest of the week, with all the preparations being done, I will be cheating in the kitchen until the big meal on Thanksgiving.

I spend this time of the year really scrubbing everything in the house in preparation for the upcoming holidays. It's been like that in my family forever – everything has to be cleaned. But then again – I am cleaning every day of the year anyway – and I can thank my "Antiseptic Annie" mom for making me OCG! LOL –

Most of my family is anyway – I swear it.

I have very few things to pick up at the grocery store before Thanksgiving. I absolutely HATE shopping with crowds of idiots that do not know what they are doing and have no patience or manners. The roads are loaded with demolition derby drivers. Everyone is parked in handicapped parking – even those that are not handicapped; and parking lots are jammed with people, kids lagging behind, and the demolition derby drivers are driving faster than Nascar drivers! And if you think that is bad – give these same people shopping carts and turn them loose in the stores and it is total hell!

NEVER and I mean NEVER take a purse/handbag in the stores shopping! NEVER! Invest in one of those little purses you can hang on your neck and it holds your money, credit cards, license, and cell phone. Clip your keys to it using those clips that mountain climbers use.

My frozen turkey is in the refrigerator – thawing.

I'll start my baking Tuesday night. Wednesday I still take my babies to school and pick them up – and once I get home from there – I am in total hibernation until Saturday! No – I do not do the Black Friday routine. I do not appreciate pushing, shoving, ignorance, road rage, and drunks on the road. I have enough to take care of at home to keep me busy.

If I need to get any milk or eggs or fresh produce – I can do it Saturday or Sunday. Until then I'll have it all.

Our "last supper" is usually on the Sunday before. Then I cheat until Thanksgiving.

Skillet-Fried Pork Steaks, Steamed Yams, Potato Dressing, Applesauce and Creamed-Style Corn – with fruited gelatin for dessert with whipped cream on top.

First I drained a can of fruit cocktail, reserving the juice while I boiled my water. I measured the reserved juice into a measuring cup and it was about 3/4 cup – added cold water to make 1 cup and counted that as 1 cup of the cold water needed. I used 2 boxes of gelatin so I needed 2 cups of boiling water and 2 cups cold "liquid".

Heat my heavy skillet, then add my olive oil and heat that. While that was heating, I washed my pork steaks and patted them dry. Added to hot oil and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder.

I placed my Louisiana yams in my steamer basket over boiling water until tender.

Meanwhile, I made my Potato Dressing

I began my potato dressing by melting butter in my sauce pan in milk with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and parsley. Since this was a "last minute" idea – I cheated and used instant potato flakes instead of cooked and mashed potatoes; combined and removed from heat.

Using my wok-shaped skillet, I melted butter and added chopped onion; sauteed until tender.

While the onions were softening, I diced a couple slices of seeded rye bread; added to onion saute; mix well; add to cooked potatoes.

Transferred to small pie plate covered with foil and placed in a 350* F. oven for 15 minutes – just enough to heat through.

Added milk to my canned creamed corn – heated through adding a bit of Kosher salt and pepper.

Stripped my sweet potatoes from their skins with a fork, added a tub of applesauce and my meal was complete.

Stirred my drained fruit into my strawberry-flavored gelatin that was partially set. Served with whipped cream.

Recipe: before Thanksgiving – Ham Salad – from 11/2010

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Before Thanksgiving it is so hectic for me. All the scrubbing and cleaning, windows, curtains and all, plus the menu planning, who's who, etc. and I just need more time to get everything done. And it always comes together for me.

The Sunday before seems to be the last day of making a big meal for us to enjoy until the big "stuffing" day.

On this day I made a pork steak dinner – just look under Pork, Yams, Potato Dressing – it's there.

Then it's "cheater" meals until Thursday.

The Monday before Thanksgiving I pick up the last of what I need – and in my travels I purchased a 3-pound canned ham. Great for sandwiches – and ham salad. That is always popular around here. Always rinse off well and pat dry with paper towels.

What I like about it – it's easy to make and you can add as much as you want of anything you want in it – and it's a great sammie-stuffer, or can be used as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., or use to stuff tomatoes, celery, pita breads; you can turn it into a sub/hoagie by adding lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc., or you can serve it on lettuce leaves for a nice salad. There is so much you can do with a salad like this.

Here's my minced ham, minced onion, sweet pickle relish –

Once mixed – I can eat this with a spoon and I'd be in heaven!

Ham Salad

Deli/cooked ham (leftovers are good for this)
Sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles
Onion and/or celery
Mayo or salad dressing

Mince your ham in your food processor; occasional lumps are okay – they taste good! Add enough sweet pickle relish, minced onion and/or celery, and mayo/dressing to make it the right consistency.

Will last in the refrigerator for 3 days, covered. Unfortunately – mine NEVER lasts that long!

Served on a nice deli rye with pickles and olives – Yep – I can do this quite often!

I hope you try it! Make it for yourself, your family, or for your next party as a spread.

Recipe: OMG! How did I ever cook anything???

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Here I go – I’m on a roll……time to dust off the soap box!

I’m at it again!

BILLY MAYS HERE………….

Okay – we know he is gone to that great TV advertising station in the sky somewhere. But I can honestly say – I really hated that man. After he passed – I felt bad about disliking him so much. Too loud for me.

But he has left us with his “legacy” of LOUD commercials You know what I am talking about – you’re watching a movie or your favorite program and the sounds seems to get lower and lower – so you have to crank up the volume to hear it comfortably. And then it happens – the damn commercials will blast you right out of your seat! Why? Supposedly, if the general public leaves the room to get a snack for themselves, they can still hear the commercial. The commercials are so loud that the people on the next street can hear them! And we don’t get ONE commercial like we did in the first days of commercials – we get anywhere from 18 to 37 of them every few minutes. And then some nitwit comes up with INFOMERCIALS. One solid half hour of just what you don’t care to hear or see. And where there is one – there are HOURS of them.

Being a cable subscriber (and recently one of our local stations went cable as well – grrrrr) I have the luxury of watching reruns until the cows come home – and then there are the infomercials. The only thing worth watching these days other than the Price is Right, is FOX News. Yeah – I know – you don’t have to say it.

(And to think that my mom enjoys Jerry Springer! Oh the shame she has brought upon us with that!)

Try to pick the lesser of two evils – Back to the Future for the 47th time this week, which is basically a 2-hour movie that has been cut to approximately 20 minutes because the remaining time is dedicated to commercials which they cannot jam in there fast enough and even cut a second or two off of each of those as well, and then there are infomercials. And if you don’t watch the infomercials, they have the Billy Mays out there pushing something that we certainly can(not) live with out.

I’m Italian – I make and cook pasta. Been doing it all my life – since I was a little girl. Ditto with my mom. And my gram. And my great-gram, as so on and so on and Scoobie-doobie-doo.

You fill a large pot with cold water; cover and bring to a rolling boil. Add your salt, wait for the water to return to a rolling boil, add your pasta, cook al dente; drain, etc.

Now – it’s not the way to do it??? Let’s see – we have the Pasta Pronto, the Pasta Boat, the Fasta Pasta – all guaranteed to be the “best” and only way to cook your pasta without the hassle. What hassle? Is it me? Excuse me. You already know how I feel about microwaves. Microwave cooking changes the molecular structure of foods and causes cancer, etc. So why would anyone in their right mind, want to ruin pasta by cooking it in the microwave? Oh my ancestors are turning in their graves over that one!

What got me started on all this? A commercial for some sort of a stirring gizmo with three silicone legs on it (yes – add silicone to the foods as well) that “stirs” the foods for you so that you do not have to. It’s your “third” hand in the kitchen. It is supposed to move around the pan on it’s own (Twilight Zone-ish) and prevent all your foods, soups, stews, gravies, etc. from sticking to the pan. And of course – it takes batteries. What does the heat do to the batteries to emit whatever into your food? And while watching the demonstration – it sure didn’t move around the pan! Sorry – I’ll stick to stirring with my wooden spoons. My foods don’t stick because I stir. It’s part of cooking.

While I’m on the “microwave” thing – there is a 2-tier microwave steamer which they sell for $9.95 – “for healthy foods in minutes” – what part of microwave cooking is not safe don’t they get?

I’m a popcorn lover – and for ONLY $89.98 you can make your own kettle corn – geez – I’ve been using a large kettle for making mine!  Give me $29.98 and I'll make your kettle corn too!  (can't blame me for trying to make an honest buck!)

I also love a good hotdog! God knows how much I love hotdogs! And as a Camp Fire Girl leader – I had the “pleasure” of working at the Bills (Buffalo Bills) stadium for the football games. “Stadium dogs” are usually done by placing the hotdogs in water and bringing to a simmer before serving. But according to the TV-mercials – for only $49.95 you can own a hotdog rotisserie griller for the “perfect stadium dog” – or for $24.95 you can have a hotdog toaster that makes perfect hotdogs every time – or for $49.95 you can own a hotdog roller that makes perfect hotdogs every time. Many “famous” places boil or steam their dogs before placing on the grill. I like mine done that way or just grilled. I toast my rolls right along side of the hotdogs. I must be doing something wrong. LOL!

Eggs. Never in my life did I think that separating, cooking, peeling, or cutting eggs was such a chore. I boil my eggs perfectly on the stove top. To peel – I just tap them on the counter and give them a gentle roll – never a problem. Cutting is a cinch. And I still separate eggs the way my great gram did – crack the egg and empty the contents into your fingers, catching the yolk, while the whites go into a bowl. Place the yolks in a separate bowl. Works for me. So why would I need an egg extractor for $9.95, or an egg cracker and separator for $14.95, etc.

I peel my own potatoes – using a knife – for over 50 years. Big deal. But now they say you need potato peeling gloves ($9.95) or a “miracle” peeler that peels in any direction ($9.95). Or you can buy a “Rotato” ($24.95) – the perfect peeler. I don’t get it. Not at all. I peel in any direction I dang-well please – no gloves – no blood and guts – no problem.

Salads – something else that I’ve made all my life. Years ago I bought a salad spinner – it’s okay – I used it a couple times. Now there is a salad blaster ($11.95) and a salad blaster bowl ($9.95) guaranteed – NO MORE SOGGY SALADS. ???? I wash my lettuce and greens and place in a colander to drain. Works just fine. And I don’t serve soggy salads!

And then there is the “grate plate” – a plate that grates. I won’t even get started on that gizmo!

And every kitchen needs a Batter Pro – the “revolutionary” way to batter all your foods in less than 10 seconds. Let’s see now – battering foods is not anything close to marinating them. I don’t “soak” my foods in the batter – it’s dip and go. Yeah – and in less than 10 seconds! I just saved $14.95.

Moving right along – the brownie pan for perfect “sliced” brownies. HUH??? Slicing is done with a knife, blade or cutter of some sort. That brownie pan is a square-shaped muffin tin – that’s it. I never knew that “slicing” brownies was such a disaster to handle! But I guess cleaning all the spilled batter all over the top of the brownie pan isn’t a disaster at all – (cough). Use your muffin tin – it's the same thing.

And what’s this “butter dispenser” for $14.95? Sorry – I‘m a fifties girl – dispense this.

And don’t forget the gravy warmer ($24.95) – don’t even get me started on that! Or it’s cousin – the mini-buffet server. OMG! It’s MINI all right! Could it be any smaller? Save the $69.95.

This one – I really love it. I live right here in the Chicken Wing Capital of the World. Everyone here eats chicken wings. Lip-smackin’, finger-lickin goodness. Always served with a ton of napkins. And for $7.95 you can own a Snak Daddy – and serve chicken wings without the mess. HELLOOOOO – it’s not the SERVING of the wings that is messy – it’s the EATING!

And there are tons more items like this out there. And a sucker born every minute.

Granted there are some things that may be worth it –

And in closing – before I step off my soap box –

How about the FRIDGE LOCKER! And it’s only $19.95. What is it for? To keep the kids out (I am against that! I never hold back food from anyone!) or to help the dieter? (Like someone on a diet couldn’t grab chips and junk food out of the cupboard!)

(stepping down………)

Oh – and one note about ordering from the TV ads – buy one right now and we will double your order – you'll get a second (piece of crap) at no additional cost. Just pay separate shipping charges –

I placed an order for Buxton cell phone/purse thingies that you can wear around your neck that hold your cell, keys, money, credit cards. Great for shopping. and they were onloy $8.95 each – so I ordered 4 of them – I asked how much it would be with shipping – it was well over $65.00 – each purse being shipped separately. They are so small that all 4 of them should ship U.S. Snail Mail for less than $2.00! Needless to say – I canceled the order and waited till they were available in the stores. And I should mention this – although they were so "cheap" – when you place an order they try so hard to sell you an "upgraded" version made with "better leather" (still from the cow's azz!) for ONLY $24.95 each! – and they really tried to push them on me! Aren't you glad I shared that with you??

Recipe: Making a quick sauce in 10 minutes or less –

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It’s Thursday!

Yep – it’s pasta day and I have no time for much today – but I still have to cook.

Place the pasta pot on the stove with cold water in it and bring to a rolling boil; add salt and wait for the water to return to a full boil; drop in 1 pound spaghetti and cook al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a can of diced tomatoes with sweet onions; season with just a bit of Kosher salt (very little – because I am adding olives that are highly salted), cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic, parsley and basil; bring to a simmer to desired thickness; add green pimiento-stuffed olives. Heat through.

Drain spaghetti. Mine was tossed with the tomato-onion sauce with olives; while the rest was drained, placed in a hot pot of oil and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic and parsley. I had to have tomatoes – others wanted spaghetti in oil. Just a light sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano to top it off.

Crusty Italian bread to complete a very easy to prepare meal!

Recipe: A day to spend in the kitchen –

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

From February 2011 –

 

Making just one of my CHEESE SALADS –

It's storming outside – many places are closed – unfortunately, my babies had to go to school today. If this storm would have just started sooner they would be home right now. So I am just watching the weather and shoveling every 2 hours.

It took me quite a while to get into the city this morning. The roads were terrible and any driving over 10 mph meant donuts all over the road. When I got to their house I had to park in a parking lot at the end of their street – or I would not get in and out of their drive or their street. And no plows were in sight.

So I am worried sick about them in school today and having to take the bus home.

The snows let up a bit – looking out my front window

I don't know if you can see that fence across the street – but the thruway is just beyond that –

so I turned to the refrigerator and pulled out some goodies to make a few things today.

I've got cabbage and carrots, and since I stopped at the market after I put the babies on the bus – and I got a package of chicken thighs and cole slaw sounds good for tomorrow's meal.

And I've got cauliflower and I've got tons of bricks of various cheeses, a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, onions, black olives – so it sounds like one of my jarred salads will also be good for tomorrow.

I sliced some carrot very thin; sliced a sweet onion thin and cut the slices in half; drained a 6-ounce can of black olives (pitted); cleaned my cauliflower and cooked about 2 cups of florets in boiling water until crisp-tender and drained and cooled; and tossed all in a large mixing bowl. Added chopped red bell pepper and chopped green bell pepper – usually a medium pepper of each is fine and I bought the largest peppers I could because I needed a bit for a sauce I want to make to night. The extra chopped pepper is in the fridge waiting for tonight's goodies.

Next I cut my cheese – a little more than 1-pound of cheese for this salad. You can see that the extra-sharp yellow Cheddar was cut into squares; the mozzarella was cut into fingers; and the baby Swiss was cut into triangles.

Next I made my "dressing" which was a bit more than 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, and a pinch of chili powder. No vinegar is used. Yes, you can add vinegar – but for this one I did not want any – gives it a unique taste.  Some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Whisk well and pour over, mixing lightly, but well enough to coat.

NOTE: This is not the type of salad where you want extra dressing. It's a make-a-day-ahead salad that you need to tip and turn in the refrigerator every so many hours. You don't want dressing sitting in the bottom of the jar – it won't taste right.

I transferred it all to a glass gallon container and placed in the fridge.

I'll tip and turn throughout the day today and tomorrow, etc. until it is gone. Believe me – when I make this – it NEVER lasts very long.

This is a great side, and goes well served in lettuce cups as well.

Recipe: Chicken, Roasted Veggies, Cream Sauce, Cole Slaw, Cheese Salad

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

From February 2011 –

I don’t think it could be any colder than it is today and yet it is going to get worse. I’m tired of shoveling and I thought it was too cold to snow – but of course – I should not have even thought of that. I should know better. My driveway is calling me now – but it will just have to wait until later.

Yesterday the roads were atrocious and I had to drive into the city to watch the babies, get them ready for school and take them to the bus stop and then pick them up after school. The morning commute was a nightmare – took me 3 times longer to get there and had to park in a parking lot and walk the rest of the way to get to their house. No city plows.

After school was better – arctic cold – but the roads were in better shape and the snow subsided. So I drove through the drive thru at BK and got 3 hot chocolates before I picked them up from the bus. Believe me – they were really appreciated! I know I needed it because their bus was late and I freeze in the car waiting for them.

On my way home in the morning – even with it storming, I stopped at the market and picked up a package of chicken thighs to make for today’s dinner. Once I got home and shoveled again – I got to start making dinner for today. I have an abundance of various block cheeses and we absolutely love cheese salads. You can see that recipe and the pictures at my post – A day to spend in the kitchen –

This morning I decided to make my coleslaw for today. Using a simple hand grater I shredded my cabbage and carrot and grated a bit of sweet onion to add to it. For the dressing – (eye balling it all)

In a small bowl, combine:
About 2 T. sugar
2 – 3 T. white vinegar – whisk to dissolve

Whisk in:
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
A drizzle of vegetable oil (about 2 T.)
About 1/3 cup mayo (salad dressing is fine – but I had mayo opened already in the fridge)

Whisk well, pour over cabbage mixture, mix well; cover and refrigerate until dinner time.

As far as the cabbage mix –
3 – 4 heaping cups cabbage, shredded
½ large carrot, shredded
A few tablespoons grated onion

I didn’t want to make too much.

Moving on to the “chicken department” – which I will post another continuing saga with Tyson at the end –

You just have to love buying packages of Tyson chicken thighs – I swear it. You never know just how much of what is tucked under the perfect looking thighs. I know I cut off more than a pound of fat and excess skin from them – and I only purchased eight of them. You grab a thigh out of the package and there is enough skin on them to wrap around them twice! But I trimmed them of excess skin and fat, thoroughly washed in cold water with salt – twice, and rinsed well; pat dry.

Placed in my roasting pan and drizzled with olive oil, turning to coat. Seasoning:

Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
Parsley
Garlic
Just a bit of onion powder

I seasoned the inside first, turned and seasoned the skin side; covered with foil and roasted at 350* F. for about 1 3/4 hours or so until done.

Meanwhile, I prepared my veggies for roasting:

Russet potatoes, cut into chunks (** see AFTER my Tyson “report”)
Cauliflower, cut into florets
Carrots, cut into chunks
Cooking onions, cut into wedges

Just toss with olive oil and season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, and parsley – transfer to baking dish and cover with foil – placed on the top rack about an hour into cooking the chicken and the veggies were done in 45 – 50 minutes.

Instead of making pan gravy, I decided to make a cream sauce –
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup whole milk
About ½ cup sour cream

Heat through without boiling.

Chicken thighs, roasted veggies, cream sauce, cheese salad and coleslaw:

Made a delicious hot meal for us today!

And now for the continuing saga – Tyson chicken –
I’ve been cooking chicken for decades – I know my chicken. Granted, chickens were better years ago – let’s face it – what wasn’t? Well last week I purchased a Tyson Roasting chicken. Looked good. It wasn’t frozen (just a note here.) I remove it from the bag, drain all the yucky liquids out of it, cut off it’s ass – yeah, you know me – asses off first! Then I proceeded to rip out all the fat and innards they didn’t clean out, cut off all the excess fat and skin and clean in cold salted water – TWICE. Rinse well, pat dry, and place in my roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season, shove a cleaned carrot stick and celery stalk with the leaves in the cavity, tie the legs, pour in some chicken broth, cover, and into a 350* F. oven. Looks good. Smells good. I wanted to use the carcass to make homemade soup.

Mind you – my chickens, just like my turkeys – fall apart. Always tender, juicy and good.

I basted several times. And when I removed it from the oven – I had met up with an armored chicken from the Twilight Zone. A sharp knife would not penetrate the skin. It was rock hard.

???????????????

Something is wrong – really, really wrong here. So I pull out my weapons of mass destruction (heavy duty knives) and I start to SAW this bird apart. Sure didn’t get too far with it. The sound of sawing the skin was scary alone.

Needless to say – it was a meatless – or should I say – chicken-less meal that day. A real disappointment.

No we didn’t starve – I have meat in the fridge and some turkey leftover from a previous meal that I was able to quickly cook for us to eat.

But as far as that chicken goes – I don’t know where the hell it came from! The thighs I made today were good – but that bird – scary thought of what it would have done to us if we ingested it. Although I don’t think we would have been able to bite into it. Never in my life did I ever encounter anything like that! Even the turkey cooked for Christmas in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was more tender than this thing.

**And – now to start on the Jolly Green Giant and his ho-ho-ho valley of veggies. I purchased a 10 pound bag of Russets – and I have only found 3 potatoes so far in the bag that were not rotten inside. They look good on the outside – and I was going to make baked potatoes the other day when I bought the bag (on Thursday) but something told me to cut them open and check them out. Yucky brown!

Oh well – is it just me or do you have problems with lousy produce as well?

And I won’t even ASK if anyone has ever encountered a chicken that could not be cooked and cut!

Recipe: Goodbye Campbell’s Soups

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen
 
(as I step onto my soapbox -)

Just how many of you that are reading this have purchased Campbell’s Condensed Soups, Condensed Cream Soups, etc.?

We’ve all enjoyed a good hot bowl of soup at one time or another in our lives, and many of us have used their soups in making many of our family favorites – sauces, meatloaf, gravies, side dishes, casseroles, open-face sammies (anyone remember SOUPERBURGERS?), etc.

While I was going to school, many kids even brought that soup in their thermos for lunch with a sandwich. It was a good lunch too. They had a good product. Let me repeat myself one more time – They HAD a good product.

I’ve purchased come of their creamed soups and tomato soups occasionally for meatloaf, quick sauces, etc. And there were large cans of Chicken Noodle on sale, so I grabbed a can. With it being winter I thought it would be nice to heat up a can quickly after being outside and cleaning the snow with these bitter temps.

Was I ever fooled! When our wind chill was down to 18 below zero and I had to shovel and chop ice, I came in and warmed up the can of soup. Expecting to taste the soup they made years ago. To my surprise – it was sheer grease and no flavor at all. I ate a few spoons of it and had to toss the rest of it. I had that grease taste in my mouth for days – nothing would take it away. And there was absolutely no flavor at all. I know that everything today is supposed to be made with less sodium – but that soup was bad. And I was not going to pour a box of salt in it – it would most likely have not made a difference – and what’s the grease?

I sent an email to the company about it – of course I got an automated response that someone would get back to me in 24 to 48 hours. And guess what? No one has. Most likely they won’t. Maybe they can’t handle emails like that. And they must be getting tons of them.

I did notice when I used a can of tomato soup for meatloaf that it gave my meatloaf a different taste. And I made a quick cream sauce last week to go with chicken thighs and even that had an odd taste to it.

So it looks like I won’t be using their products anymore. I have a few cans of tomato soup and cream of chicken in the pantry – it’s a toss up – trash them or take them to the food pantry. I give to the food pantry regularly – but it’s always good foods that are in date (so many pantries hand out the foods that have expired long ago) and I don’t have to worry about anyone getting sick on them. It’s the taste of the product that has me wondering.

I thought (and shame on me for thinking) that Campbell’s was advertising that they don’t use MGS in their soups. For those of you that are following my blog you know that I posted a write-up on MSG and all the names that it is hidden under –

http://www.oldfashionedhomecooking.net/2010/03/how-much-do-you-know-about-what-you-are_16.html

I just grabbed a can of their cream of chicken soup and right off the bat – here’s three names that MSG is hiding behind:

Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Yeast extract

Maybe Campbell’s thinks we are all stupid or something.

Yes – I realize that it is very hard to get away from MSG today. It’s in so many foods and results from so many food processes that it’s really difficult. Even our favorite fast food restaurants are loading us with it.

And you’ve just got to love the Chinese restaurants – they say no MSG in their foods – but they sit on the huge drums while prepping their foods. Big bold black letters – MSG! LOL…….. Maybe that is why I am allergic to Chinese food?

But as far as Campbell’s goes – I like soup, and I want good flavor in my soup. Also – I don’t expect to suffer from grease-throat for several days because my innards have been coated with whatever they put in their soup. It was really sickening.

So it’s goodbye to Campbell’s –

And BEWARE – watch out for store brand soups (and foods as well). Campbell’s also makes their soups under private labels. Years ago, Tops brand (Tops Markets) was selling Tops Margarine (when it was a good margarine and not a lousy spread) under the Tops name but it was made by Mrs. Filbert’s. Wegman’s has their own chickens and when they no longer produce eggs they are sold to Campbell’s to make their soups.

Stick to homemade – you can’t beat it!

Do you think I will hear from Campbell’s? If they haven’t responded in a week, they aren’t going to.

Recipe: Cabbage Soup

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen
You cannot say that this is not soup weather!

I wonder if winter will ever go away and the snow will ever melt. I know that I still have that giant mountain of snow out front that will most likely still be here through the summer. It's rock solid ice right now.

With nagging snows that keep you shoveling several times a day – sometimes you need to make something that is good and hot to warm the tummy.

With my insane schedule – it's a wonder I get anything accomplished these days.

Last week I make a Cabbage Soup – something I could make in 1 1/2 hours between "shifts". It was a last minute decision, so on my way home in the morning I stopped and grabbed a package of polish sausage and a head of cabbage.

I think I can break a world record for putting this soup together. Run in the door and hang up my coat, empty the bag and wash my hands. Grab the big soup pot and fill it with cold water and place over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut my sausage and add to pan. Dice onions, carrots, celery; add to pan. Season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, and chicken bouillon. Wash my cabbage and cut to add later. Peel my potatoes, cut into chunks and place in cold water and I was done in less than 15 minutes!

I brought my soup to a simmer and there is really no skimming with this. An hour or so later I added my diced potatoes and then I added my cabbage. Once the taters and cabbage were tender – it was done.

One big pot was good for two days – plenty of homemade bread for soppin' and a real tummy-warmer in this weather.

Recipe: A meal in less than 30 minutes – from May 2010

|August 25, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen