Archive for October, 2011

Recipe: How pumpkin pies are made –

|October 29, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

How pumpkin pies are made –

(don't ask)
and while I'm at it – I hope you don't mind if I MOON you!

Recipe: oh that famous 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe……..

|October 29, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Several years ago a chef came up with a very simple recipe for peanut butter cookies:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine, mixing well, drop or shape into balls and bake in moderate oven until done (depending on size).

Easily doubles or triples with no problem.

And of course – the tweaking started:

Some added 1 teaspoon vanilla, while others wanted to add a pinch of salt – with or without the vanilla. Not to mention those that use brown sugar or granulated and brown sugar combined.

Which brings me to this:

There are the “blossomers” who like to add the chocolate kiss. But don’t forget the “upside-down blossomers” that want to insert the chocolate kiss upside-down into the cookie.

Of course, there are the “surprise fillers” that place a chocolate kiss or a chocolate wafer into the center of the cookie before baking. Try filling with a Rolo candy, Milk Dud, or other chocolate covered whatever; even chocolate (or regular) marshmallows.

We also have the “candy crazy” that enjoy adding M&M’s to their dough, or peanut M&M’s, or Butterfinger bits, toffee bits, Skittles – whatever satisfies your sweet tooth.

Don’t forget about the “nuts about nuts” that use the crunchy peanut butter, or roll the cookies in chopped nuts of choice before baking, or add a favorite nut to the center for a nice nutty surprise.

Remember the “chippers and chunkers” that add semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon or butterscotch morsels or chunks to the mix.

Then there are the “true PB lovers” that shape the dough around a mini Reese’s cup.

Even the “rollers” like to shape and roll the cookies in chocolate jimmies, chopped nuts, coconut, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs or any cereal, graham cracker crumbs, or even sugar before baking.

The “healthy alternatives” will add raisins or other dried fruit, oatmeal or even flax seed! Some will use honey.

And there are the “icers” that need to cool the cookies before plunging into a vat of melted chocolate of choice, or drizzling with a chocolate, vanilla, caramel or butterscotch icing or ganache.

Oh what a simple 3-ingredient recipe can turn into!  And the possibilities are endless!

Recipe: Fries with some zing!

|October 23, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I wasn't raised on hot and spicy foods so I am not a really big fan of them.  But occasionally, I like some ZING to something.

After opening and closing the fridge a dozen times, wanting to have something to pick on (you know how that goes – nothing seems to look good at the time) I decided instead to head to the potato basket.  (I know – a far cry from the fridge!)

I scrubbed and sliced some new potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.  I was in the mood for fries.  And who said they had to be cut into fingers anyway?

I tossed them in olive oil and placed on my baking sheet – once again – too lazy too pull out the deep fryer.  By the time the fat got hot enough to cook anything in my oven fries would be done.

Baked at 350 – 375* F., turning half-way through cooking time.  I like them with that nice golden color and a bit "crusty".

Meanwhile, I wanted a different flavor and a bit of zing so I combined about 1/4 cup Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and a few grinds of fresh large ground black pepper (once again I eye-balled everything).  Once they were done I sprinkled with my mixture – both sides, then I sprinkled some fresh grated Cheddar over the tops and placed in the oven for a minute – just long enough to slightly melt the cheese (I prefer my cheese on my taters and not my baking sheet.)

Served with a mixture of ketchup with some prepared mustard for a quick dipping sauce.

Yeah I know – but it was good and satisfied my craving.  And I didn't miss any of my movie!

Jalepeno monterey would haver been good on this as well!


Happy munchin'!!!



Recipe: Broccoli Soup in a jiffy

|October 14, 2011|read comments (2)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

No I have not gotten rid of the "bug" yet – and I probably will have it the rest of my life or as long as I hang around my babies.  Their entire school is contaminated – I swear it – and it's going 'round and 'round.

So it's the quickest way to make broccoli soup for me right now!

In my soup pot:

2 qts. cold water

1/2 diced onion

2 large carrots – cut any old way today

9 chicken bouillon cubes

cracked black pepper


just a bit of Kosher salt

Just bring to a simmer and allow to simmer until carrots are crisp-tender.  I don't want them mushy. 

Then add:

1 bag (16 oz.) frozen broccoli cuts

Heat until hot and then pour in the milk; and as I have said before – just heat through – do not boil milk.

No – I did not puree it.  That is not how I wanted my soup.

Add some crackers and a quick an easy broccoli soup for all!


Recipe: It’s pomegranate season –

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

And I absolutely love pomegranates!

I also make my own Pomegranate Syrup (Grenadine)

2 large pomegranates, seeded, about 2 cups seeds
1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine seeds and sugar in a non-aluminum saucepan; stir to mix, crushing well, until you have a wet mass. Cover and let stand 12 to 24 hours. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Strain out seeds, pressing down to extract juice. Pour into a hot sterilized jar. Cover with a piece of cloth or a clean towel until cooled. Cap tightly and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe: Make your own Chorizo!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

If you need some chorizo for a recipe and don't have any on hand – you can make it in no time at all –


1 lb. ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. crushed red pepper
1 ½ t. cinnamon
1 ¼ t. salt
1 t. coriander
2 t. oregano

Will keep in fridge up to 3 days; freezes well for one month.

Recipe: Homemade herbed croutons

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You know how I am when it comes to making things homemade. This is a good recipe that can be made ahead and used for the holidays as well as a quick and easy way to make stuffing/dressing to go with chops, chicken, steaks, etc.

In my house – we love dressing. And I make it all year = not just at Thanksgiving.

These croutons will keep for 2 months, REFRIGERATED. Moisten each 8 cups with 1 cup broth before using.

1 lb. white or wheat bread, sliced, and cubed**
1/2 c. salad oil
1 t. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced separately
2 T. parsley flakes
2 T. onion flakes, crushed
1 t. sage
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350* F. Into a large bowl, combine bread cubes, salad oil, salt and 1 minced garlic clove. Arrange bread cubes onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, until light golden brown and crunchy. Mix together remaining minced garlic clove, parsley and onion flakes, sage, thyme and black pepper; mix in bread cubes. Cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, before transferring bread cubes into airtight containers and refrigerating.

**I've used a combination of breads and rolls including white, sour dough, French, Italian, grain, rye, etc. as well as any homemade breads that I make.

Recipe: Roasted Chicken = Chicken Soup

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's been a rough couple weeks – and with no time for anything and I've not shared dinners and baking with you. Shame on me!

It's the fall of the year – I've been busy replenishing the pantry and making fresh spice mixes and baking mixes, etc., stocking up on canned goods slowly for the winter months which are fast approaching, writing more recipes that I've come up with (which I will share when I get them perfected to where I want) and I'm crocheting blankets and bedspreads – which I am always doing anyway. With this summer being so hot, I did no crocheting or knitting. But I enjoy making blankets and bedspreads and giving them to others. And I need to finish up several so I can start new ones.

It's a beautiful fall day today – and I roasted a chicken. Cut off the butt, cleaned out all the yuck and gave it a nice salt bath – drizzled with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley, onion powder, garlic, paprika, and I placed fresh celery (with the leaves) and a carrot inside the cavity after seasoning that as well. Covered, 350* F. and done in 2 hours, turning him over to brown his back. I uncovered him for some time to brown his front too.

I whipped up a quickie gravy.

Served with Louisiana yams which I boiled in their skin (until tender), peeled and topped with pats of butter, seasoned with salt and pepper and peas in butter with salt and pepper. Biscuits finished off the meal for us.

While the chicken was just about done, I peeled my carrots, washed my celery and celery leaves, and quartered an onion. Added 4 chicken bouillon cubes. Once the bird was done, I immediately stripped the skin off him while steaming hot, removed the meat to a serving platter and placed the skin, back, and wings in the soup pot. Added cold water and my bowl of veggies – soups on the stove now.

Then I will strain that and transfer the clear broth to a clean pot, add my veggies and noodles, some of the cooked, diced chicken and make a pot of soup. I'll adjust my seasonings then. I'll have soup for tomorrow to enjoy with homemade bread for soppin'!

Recipe: Poached fish and court bouillon

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Poaching is a gentle cooking method, perfect for seafood, as it gives fish lots of moisture without masking its delicate flavor. Using a fish poacher makes poaching easier, as the rack allows you to pull the fish out of the hot liquid in one beautiful piece, while the poacher's shape allows you to use a minimum of liquid.

Making the court bouillon:

The traditional poaching liquid for fish, court bouillon is a broth made from simmering aromatic vegetables and herbs in water or stock, with the addition of lemon juice, vinegar or white wine.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
1 stalk celery, sliced 1/2" thick
4 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 T coarse salt
10 whole peppercorns
1 cup white wine or 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 quarts water, vegetable or chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Strain and cool. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Can be frozen up to 3 months.

Poaching the fish:

Use any firm-fleshed fish. Wipe the poacher rack with a little cooking oil to prevent the fish from sticking. Clean the fish. Leave head and tail on if desired. (See How to Clean and Fillet a Fish for more information on this step.)

Place the fish on the rack and set the rack in the bottom of the poacher. Ladle enough cooled court bouillon over fish to completely cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook the fish gently until done, 8 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness by making a small knife cut in the middle of the fish, parallel to the backbone. The flesh should pull away from the bone and no longer be translucent. When done, remove fish from poacher, allowing liquid to drain off. Remove the skin by cutting through it at the base of the head and peel down to the tail. Turn fish onto a serving platter and peel the skin off that side. Fish is now ready to serve. Horseradish Relish makes a wonderful compliment.

Recipe: A nice slice of top round and a crockpot! And bean salad!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A couple weeks ago there was a beef sale at the market – buy one, get one (of equal or lesser amount) free. Usually I don’t bother much with those “sales” because the price per pound has been increased immensely and they pump them with so much water.

But I stopped to take “peek” at their thick-sliced top round steaks. They had 2 beautiful ones there – each averaging $9.00 so I bought them, brought them home and froze them. Paying $9.00 for both – okay.

Yesterday I took one out of the freezer to thaw it for today. By 4:30 this morning (remember – I have to be at the babies house so mom can catch her ride to the terminal – she’s a school bus aide) I had the steak rinsed, patted dry, in the crockpot with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder. I sliced up a beautiful onion – one of those that would be perfect for a large bloomin’ onion – turned the crockpot on HIGH and ran out the door.

When I got home after 9:00 I turned the steak over – it was about half cooked. Fine by me.

So I made a basic 3-Bean Salad:

1 can (15 oz.) yellow wax beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) green beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


1/3 cup sugar, in
1/3 cup vinegar (I used white today – cider is okay to use as well)

Stirring in:
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley

¼ cup olive oil – mix well.

Pour over beans; mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

By 11:30 I was peeling my potatoes to make mashed potatoes and starting my gravy. I tried to turn the steak and it just fell apart! Excellent!

One bowl of really good gravy!! Mmmmmm…..!

Really a no-fuss meal – filling – and the steak was fork-tender and just melted in our mouths.

Add a slice of French bread – I’m a happy camper!

We had our big meal at noon-time – and the left over meat and gravy will make nice “pulled beef’ and gravy open-faced sammies with steak fries for dinner! (with a much easier clean-up!)