Archive for the 'Dinner' Category

Recipe: Simple – One pot!

|October 24, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen


Well it's been a heluva 2 weeks!


First the starter went on the car – 2 days before my mechanic was scheduled for surgery and he could not fit me in.  He won't be back to work for a couple weeks – now what?


Okay – no car for a week – I'm going bonkers!


Ahhhhh – Tommy to the rescue.  God bless Tommy.


Tommy is my neighbor who takes care of the outside yard work for me, crawls up on the roof and cleans out my gutters for me and showed up at my house with a friend of his who is a mechanic, took my starter out, drove down the road to the parts store and put a new starter in – all in 1/2 hour!


God bless them both.  The car starts.


Well – don't I get a bug now?  Too sick to leave the house – so another 5 days pass.


Guess what??   I ventured out yesterday to a totally dead battery that would not hold a charge.  The charge got me to a car fixer-upper down the road – one terminal was only running on 10% – new battery time.  grrrrrrrrrrrrr


Okay – what else was going to happen?


I ventured out because of 3 unauthorized purchases made on my bank card and I had to go to the back to get money (like at this point I have any left!) because when I called the bank to file a complaint – they shut off my card immediately.


Oh well – new card in 5 to 7 BUSINESS days – ditto with the money taken from my account.


I don't use checks, I pay my bills on line and I use my card for everything not having to worry about carrying cash.  The ATM at the corner is from my bank so there are no ATM charges – I love it.


Now??  This.


So with all that goes on – I do still get hungry and I was not in the mood to cook.  So I grabbed some kielbasa links out of the fridge, diagonally cut, scrubbed and wedged taters, cleaned and cut carrots and steamed them.  Simple.


Dot with butter when done, sprinkle with salt and pepper – a bit of parsley for "the look" as well.


No fuss, no mess, and I still have to make it to the bank today.


Just another fun day here!

Recipe: It’s Ash Wednesday – already

|February 22, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's hard to believe that it is already Ash Wednesday.  It seems like this new year is going to fly by quite fast!  It's a no-meat day – actually – it's a day of fasting.  Then it's the Wednesday and Friday no meat days.  At least that is how it has been in my family.

It's still tax season – and yes, I do taxes – although I have cut it way down and I only do a few close friends now.  I don't want the headaches and I don't want to do taxes past April 15th.  I did taxes for so many years – and I am ready to retire from it completely – except for a handful of close friends.

I'm still trying to use up as much yarn as possible to get rid of it.  And it's that time of the year when my babies' school has their Chinese auction and theme baskets.

Princess is in 7th grade now and they no longer expect the 7th and 8th graders to participate.  Instead they use them the night of the auction to run around the gynmasium delivering the baskets that parents have won.  Some of those "baskets" weigh a ton!  I have seen some pretty large laundry baskets overflowing with goodies!

They even auction off a bike, Sabres jerseys, Buffalo Bills items, etc. and they do make a bundle on it each year.

Last year the kids classes both did "baking" baskets.  Well I wrote and donated a baking book which really was quite popular!  Everyone wanted it.  I did email copies to those that wanted it – and I am thinking of sending out to my members if they want it.

This year the little guy's class theme is MOVIE NIGHT.  So I am presently working on a Movie Munchies cookbook.  And I have decided that I will also make a movie basket of goodies, add another cookbook to it, and have him donate that as well to the school.  It will make him feel extra special. 

That sent me "dumpster diving" at WalMart.  You know – those wire bins they toss movies in for $5 each.  I'm going with classics – I found 20 Alfred Hitchcock movies in one DVD case, and 25 John Wayne movies in another case, and 200 classic cartoons (from the good ol' days) in another case.  I want to go back to pick up several more DVD's and possibly a DVD player as well as popcorn, popcorn salt, etc.  If the DVD players are a bit too pricy – then it's going to be a popcorn machine.  We'll see.  But I need to get it all together within the next week or so!

No pics – but some goodies I have made –

I made a scalloped cabbage dish to go with pork steaks – really easy and good!

Just chop your cabbage into 1-inch peices and par-boil for about 10 minutes; drain well.  Toss in your casserole with some medium/thick white sauce and a bit of ground black pepper.  I also added steamed sliced carrots.  Really perked up the flavor.  Topped with some plain bread crumbs and dotted with butter – 350* F. to heat through.  Additional white sauce drizzle over the pork steaks which I just skillet fried in olive oil, seasoned with the basics – Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, parsley.

Quite easy to make – and a hit!

 

Since I had cabbage left over, a few days later I made some lazy cabbage rolls.  Couldn't make regular cabbage rolls because I had cut up the head of cabbage in such a way I couldn't.  but where there is a will there's a way –

While I was cooking my ground beef in the skillet (the basic seasonings and in olive oil), I was chopping and par-boiling my cabbage.  Before my meat was cooked, I added some grated onion and finely minced red bell pepper – not alot – just enough.   I also cheated because I had leftover rice from the night before from a different meal and I used that.  I drained my meat mixture and cabbage, added the rice and tossed in tomato soup (partially diluted) and transferred to my casserole.  Once again – 350* F. until heated through.  Fresh hot rye rolls and a salad of greens topped it off.

It's been such a mild winter but it's been a comfort food one as well.

I hope you give the recipes a try – just eyeball it all – you'll do just fine!

Stay warm!

 

 

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: Boneless round steak

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

Me and my frozen meat!

It seems that I am always in a hurry these days. No time for this, putting off that, scurrying around because of this and that. And not remembering to take something out of the freezer when I have to.

I had a boneless round steak in the freezer so I just rinsed it under cold water and placed it in the crockpot. I drizzled a bit of olive oil over it, seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, fresh minced parsley and diced onions. Placed on HIGH and let it cook. After 3 hours, I topped with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can water and let it cook for another hour or so until it was fork tender.

Whipped up some mashed potatoes, steamed some fresh carrots and made a simple side salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cukes and homemade dressing.

Recipe: Baked Fish, Tater Wedges, Slaw, My Bistro Tart

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Of course, it's Friday. A no meat day in our home. We still carry out this tradition.

It's also damp and cold – a perfect day to put the oven on – and – it's healthier to bake fish than to always have it deep-fried.

I've made my coleslaw early today –

Creamy Coleslaw

2 pounds of cabbage
2 large carrots
Minced red and green bell pepper for color and presentation (not quite half of each)
1 small onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup milk – I use whole milk in all my cooking and baking
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled is fine)

Shred cabbage and carrots with a grater or food processor.
Finely chop onion, or process in food processor. Combine cabbage, carrots, belln pepper and onion in a LARGE bowl.

Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture and stir well. Refrigerate 2 hours, over night is even better, stir before serving.

My "fish butter" is made and in the refrigerator ready to go:

4 teaspoons butter (not margarine)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
A grind of black pepper from the pepper grinder

And the lemon is cut into slices; covered and in the refrigerator.

I've also made my coating for my fish and it's in a shallow dish covered with plastic wrap until I'm ready to bake the fish which is basically homemade bread crumbs combined with My Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning:

1/2 cup fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup dried lemon peel (you know I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced onion (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced garlic (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried parsley leaves (I make my own)

Stir all the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

All I need to do for the fish is to rinse it off (I wash everything!) and pat dry, dredge in a flour mixture of flour, some Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then press into coating and place on lightly oiled baking sheet – 350* F. 10 to 15 minutes (depending ont he thickenss of the fish).

I'll scrub my taters and leave the peels on and cut into wedges. I'll toss them in a bowl with melted butter, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley, a bit of dried basil. Place skin-side down on lightly oiled baking sheet – and since these take longer I'll have them on at least 45 minutes or more before the fish goes in the oven.

My "bistro apple tart" sounds good as well –

I just roll my crust out and place on a large baking sheet; place my cut apples (using My Apple Spice Mix – posted in my blog here) in the center and pull the edges up, folding over about 2 inches coming up the apples. Center apples are not covered. Bake at 350* F. until a beautiful light golden brown and the apples are tender.

I use a double crust recipe (I don't like thin crusts) and if you want you can place the tart on parchment paper to make it easy to remove from the baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Try serving with warmed caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream; top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

And don't be afraid to add craisins, raisins, or nuts to your apple filling.

I've got rye bread which I'll slice thick and heat in the oven while the fish is baking. It's much better than toasting the bread – takes longer – but it's really good with a good bread – try it!

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

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

Recipe: Sometimes I am my own worse enemy!

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

You know – there are days and then there are days.

Well today was one of those days.

I know that Thanksgiving isnot that far off – but I have been craving turkey for the past month! I love turkey and I always have a couple in the freezer for my turkey cravings. So this morning I pulled the last of the turkeys (now I can stock up on them again – time to watch for the sales) out of the chest freezer and stuck ol' Tom in a sink of cold water.

Changing the cold water every 15 minutes and wrestling with his body parts took me from 8 this morning till almost 1 this afternoon when I finally got his butt in the oven! Well – not his butt – that got hacked off as soon as I could do it. No butts in my house – turkey or chicken – off with the butts immediately! Several of my friends would kill for the butts – not in my house – those things are disgusting!

Those damn wires they use for holding the legs in position! Cripe – thank heaven I have a kitchen pliers for the job. Everyone should have a good set of pliers in there utensil drawer just for this type of job. FINALLY I got him thawed completely (my hands are frozen from it) and gave him a nice bath in the sink. Cut off some of the neck fat, pulled out his innards – saved the neck and tossed the rest. Got him well "powdered" (don't you use powder after a bath???) with salt, pepper, fresh parsley and fresh garlic – inside and out. A touch of oil in the pan and into the oven he went. Washed and seasoned the neck the same way and laid it on top. Covered him with foil and in he went at 350* F. I let him cook for a good 2 hours before I turned him over and put the neck on his back. Covered again and bake in the oven. It's now 4:30 and I removed the foil to brown him. Then I will turn him over and brown him some more.

I can't wait to enjoy the neck! I've got to make the gravy, the potatoes are boiling for mashed potatoes, buttered corn and my stove top dressing – homemade. I broke my homemade bread (homemade bread makes the best stuffing/dressing) in-between wrestling with Tom while trying to thaw him.

Cooked my veggies in my stainless steel bowl (one of those big ones – great for making stuffing!), added my bread and broth and transferred to a baking dish. Popped in the oven a while ago to heat through.

I figure dinner will be on the table and ready to enjoy by 5:30. Not bad for what I went through.

After dinner I'll strip the turkey down to the bones and place the bones and skin, and the wings in the stock pot with onions, carrots, celery and seasonings to make a large pot of stock. It won't take too long because the turkey is a cooked product. Then I'll strain it and ladle into quart jars so that I have stock in the freezer. Place the jars in the refrigerator overnight, cap them tomorrow and place in the freezer. From the looks of it – this is a tender turkey and I will get a really good stock from it. I'll save some and make a pot of soup for tomorrow with veggies and macaroni. Served with turkey panini on Italian bread and I've got another excellent meal.

I know I will have leftover turkey – some I will portion and freeze to have with BBQ sauce. Some I will freeze in gravy for another meal or open-faced sammmies.

As far as the stuffing/dressing goes – we will devour that between today and tomorrow. I love dressing. I don't make stuffing. Too great of a chance of bacteria setting in – besides – it tastes so much better when it is not in the bird. I make dressing quite often. It goes great with turkey, chicken or pork. For the life of me, I don't understand why people only make it once a year for Thanksgiving. And why do they use those boxed stuffing mixes? YUCKY! Do you really need all the MSG?

Waste not, want not.

Save all the heels from your bread and those last couple slices, save your rolls, etc. and place in a bread bag in the freezer. When you get enough – make dressing. White bread, rye bread, wheat bread – it all goes so well together. Including potato bread and egg bread. Even seeded rolls! Sweet breads should be saved in a separate bread bag in the freezer for making bread puddings. Betcha never thought of that one.

Well it's time for me to finish my dinner so I can start my soup.

And of course – I'll have my "turkey coma" later – and I have worked hard for it – I deserve it!

Recipe: Ready for more Halloween recipes?

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Halloween Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is a smashing success, especially if you're hosting a monster bash at your house.

Medium sized pumpkin (4 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chestnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 4-ounce can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice

DECORATION:
Black olives
Steamed carrot
Whole cloves
Fresh parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut lid from pumpkin and scoop out pumpkin seeds and excess membrane with a scraping tool. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, chopped green pepper, chopped celery, chopped onion, and chestnuts. Cook over medium heat until ground beef is browned. Add next seven ingredients to skillet. Mix well and place mixture into pumpkin cavity. Place lid on pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Just before serving, embellish pumpkin by placing (with toothpicks) black olives to make eyes, a steamed carrot to make a nose, and whole cloves to make a mouth. Use fresh parsley leaves to make hair around like opening. To serve, scoop out part of the baked pumpkin, along with the meat mixture, onto each plate.

If desired, serve with a loaf of warm crusty French or Italian bread.

Yield: 6 Servings

Dinner in a Pumpkin #2

1 medium pumpkin
2 lbs. ground beef, cooked
1 chopped onion
3 sliced carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can sliced mushroom, drained
1 tablespoons garlic salt
1 celery stalk, sliced
2-3 potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Bring all ingredients (except pumpkin) to a boil in a pot. Boil 10 minutes. Place pumpkin in sturdy baking pan. Fill pumpkin with hot mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, for approximately 45 minutes, until pumpkin is tender and brown.

Halloween Snack Mix

6 cups caramel corn
2 cups cashews or Pecans
1-1/2 cups candy corn
1/3 cup raisins

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.
* Great for a Halloween Party or to package in individual goodie
bags for a school party or bake sale.

Do you think I wouldn’t post a recipe for Caramel Corn?

1-1/2 cups popcorn, not popped for 2 batches
OR 2/3 cup for 1 batch
1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed**
1/2 cup light corn syrup**
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250* F degrees. Pop popcorn and set aside (a large roast pan works well, allowing for room to stir).

Bring margarine or butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. During this period, do not stir AT ALL.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Mix and pour over popcorn. Put into the oven at 250* F, checking and stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

** Add chopped peanuts, if you want.

Halloween Cookie Pizza

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)
ORANGE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease 12-inch round pizza pan; set aside.

Beat brown sugar and shortening in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add egg, water and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to sugar mixture, beating on low speed until well blended. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Spread batter into prepared pan to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Sprinkle marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans over top. Return to oven. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely.

Drizzle CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE over top. Drizzle ORANGE DRIZZLE over chocolate. Let stand about 1 hour until drizzles set. Cut into wedges. 16 servings.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
Combine 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter flavor shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. I melt mine in a double boiler over hot water.

ORANGE DRIZZLE: Combine 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 3 drops yellow food color and 2 drops red food color in small bowl; stir until well blended.

* Cookie pizza can be baked in 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 375* F. 15 to 18 minutes or until set.

What is Halloween without Candy Apples?

6 red apples – I like Mac Intosh for these
6 wooden lollypop sticks
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 splash vanilla extract
Food coloring of choice

Wash and dry apples. Remove stems and insert stick pushing halfway into apple.

In deep, heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and water; place over medium heat, stirring, until mixture boils and sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring until you reach the soft crack stage.

Remove from heat, add extract and food coloring and stir only enough to mix. Place pan over boiling water to keep from thickening while you dip apples, winding in a circular motion until thoroughly covered with syrup. Place on buttered pan to allow to cool and harden.

Of course you will need dips and assorted finger foods:

Dracula Dip

2 cups sour cream
1 packet of dry tomato-vegetable soup mix

Combine dry soup mix and sour cream into a bowl. Stir until soup mix is moist. Refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Halloween Snack Mix

1/2 cup blood drops (red hots)
1/2 cup cats eyes (blanched almonds) or (gumdrops)
1/2 cup cats claws (sunflower seeds)
1 cup chicken toenails (candy corn)
1 cup colored flies (M & M's)
1 cup butterfly wings (corn chips)
1 cup ants (raisins)
1 cup earthworms (cheese curls)
1 cup cobwebs (Triscuits) or (Golden Grahams)
1 cup snakes eyes (peanuts)
1 cup bats bones (shoestring potatoes)

Mix together in a large bowl. Serve with several pints of blood (cherry punch).

Halloween Punch

Serving: 24 servings

12 oz orange juice concentrate, frozen
12 oz grape juice, white
2 liter 7-Up
1 pint sherbet, lemon or lime
Green food coloring

Mix together orange juice, white grape juice, 7-Up, lemon or lime sherbet, and several drops of green food coloring.

If desired, serve with large, buoyant, and well-washed plastic spiders on the top!

(For adult party: add rum or vodka to taste, optional)

*Get a plastic witch’s cauldron and put a piece of dry ice in it. Pour the brew over the ice and watch the kids’ eyes with delight! (caution should be taken when using dry ice – you should not touch it)

*Take a rubber face mask; cover the eyes, nostrils and mouth with duct tape to seal all openings. Fill a large bowl with ice or have a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal, to cushion the mask. Place the mask in the bowl/sheet, pour water into the mask. Place in freezer for several hours until frozen solid. When you’re ready to serve your punch, take mask out of freezer and dip quickly into hot water to make the ice separate from the mask. Place the piece of ice face-up into the punch bowl. It will look like a face floating in the punch!

Buy some new latex gloves (without powder). Wash two out and fill with water. Fasten the arms closed with a twist-tie or rubber band. Freeze it. When frozen solid, carefully cut away the glove and place one hand on each side of the “ice face” in the punch before serving. Make sure you place the hands downward.

Eyeballs

½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar**
2 teaspoons vanilla**
10-12 oz. white chocolate

Cream together the first four ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place balls on waxed paper for 30 minutes, and refrigerate.

When the balls are cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Partially dip ball into melted white chocolate; leaving an open area on top of ball where you insert a chocolate chip upside down to make the iris, let harden. You may need to reheat the chocolate until all balls are done.

Place eyeballs in little cupcake liners.

“Mud” Sodas

4 cups chilled chocolate milk
4 cups chilled rootbeer
1 pint chocolate ice cream

In glass combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup rootbeer, and top with a scoop of ice cream. Make 8 drinks

Spiderweb Munch

This crispy snack is topped with a layer of chocolate and then decorated with a thin
piping of peanut butter. A candy spider on top would complete the image for a creepy
Halloween treat!

2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups toasted rice cereal

Heat morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from heat. Add sugar; stir vigorously until smooth.

Place cereal in large bowl. Add 1 cup melted chocolate mixture; stir until evenly coated. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Using small metal spatula, shape into 10-inch circle with slightly raised 1-inch-wide border. Pour remaining chocolate mixture in center of circle; spread to border.

FOR SPIDERWEB:
Place remaining peanut butter in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe concentric circles on top of chocolate. Using wooden pick or tip of sharp knife, pull tip through peanut butter from center to border. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into wedges.

Recipe: Lazy Eggplant Lasagna

|June 25, 2011|read comments (6)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

We've all heard about Lazy Pierogie – so why not try Lazy Eggplant Lasagna?

This didn't take long to make at all – it's so hot and humid that I took a jar of my homemade meat sauce out of the freezer the day before to thaw so that I could use it and not need to have a pot of sauce simmering on the stove! 

 This is a smaller eggplant than I would normally use because I made a smaller lasagna than normal. – – 

 

First, I combined my whole-milk ricotta with my chopped spinach.  You can wilt fresh spinach – but I chose to use frozen, cook and drain well and chop.  I used barely half the box – saved the remainder for another meal.  Allow to cool before adding to the cheese.  Seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use) and mixed well.  Cover and refrigerate.

 

 

Wash and peel your eggplant.  Normally I would slice my eggplant – but this time I diced it instead.  I wasn't using lasagna noodles so why go for the slices?

 

Dip in beaten egg and dredge in seasoned bread crumbs – dry bread crumbs, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use).

 

Well – you know the routine – heat your skillet, add your olive oil, heat your oil, and THEN add your breaded eggplant.  Fry until tender/light golden.

Meanwhile, I placed my pot of water on the stove to boil to cook my macaroni.  While waiting, I transferred the cooked eggplant to a dish to cool for just a bit, sliced my brick of mozzarella (which could easily have been grated – I sliced by choice) and I spooned about a half a quart of my sauce into a bowl.

Once again – you know the routine – pot of water comes to a rolling boil, add your salt and wait for the water to return to a full rolling boil, add your macaroni and cook al dente.  Drain well and do not rinse.

I used a few handfuls of medium shells, rotini, and cut ziti – a great way to use up macaroni!  And since they all cook at the same time – it was easy.  Once thoroughly drained, I stirred the cooked macaroni into my bowl of sauce and coated well.

 

I placed a couple spoons of sauce into my baking dish and topped with half my macaroni; spread my ricotta/spinach mixture over the top.

 

Then top this with cooked and partially cooled eggplant.  At this point you can sprinkle with grated mozzarella if you want.  I didn't do it this time.  Top with remaining macaroni, added a bit more sauce to the top of that and spread sliced mozzarella around the top.

 

Even though it was so hot and humid – I still preheated my oven to 350* F. and placed the lasagna in for 20 minutes – because this is not a big casserole dish.  A larger dish would take longer.

 

Enjoyed with a nice salad of greens and some onion bread.

If you didn't read my post about Chinese Meatballs then you missed my onion bread recipe – it's right up there with garlic bread – if not better:

Combine softened butter, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine), a bit of Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of onion powder, and fresh grated onion.  Slather on thick-sliced Italian or French bread.  Placed on a baking tray (can be done in the broiler or toaster oven as well) and in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes while the lasagna was heating through.

Mangia!!!

and so simple – did not take long at all to make!

I hope you try this one!