Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Johnny Cakes

Beat 1 egg white to stiff peak stage. Set aside. Beat together the egg yolk, 2 cups buttermilk and 2 Tblsp oil. Mix ½ cup sifted flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tblsp sugar and 1 ½ cups cornmeal. Blend the wet and dry ingredients; fold in egg white. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake on hot griddle or skillet until browned on both sides. Serve with butter and syrup or jam.

Dinner: Borscht
Chicken Philly

Borscht: In a large pot, stir together 1 pound cooked beets, 5 cups beef stock or broth, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 2 shredded carrots and 1 tsp dill weed. Simmer for 40 minutes. Process in blender until smooth and chill. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Chicken Philly: Marinate 1 chicken breast for two hours in 2 Tblps each oil, lime juice and Blasamic vinegar. Cut into thin strips and sauté with julienned green pepper and onion. Toast Hoagie buns and place a layer of the chicken-vegetable mixture. Cover with shredded Monterrey jack cheese, drizzle with ranch dressing and serve warm.

Lunch: Ginger Snaps
Hot Apple Cider

Ginger Snaps: Sift together 4 cups flour, 2 tsp each baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, mace and ginger. Set aside. Cream 1 ½ cup shortening with 2 cups sugar. Beat in 2 eggs and add ½ cup molasses. If you want a soft cookie, put the mixer away now. With a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture until stiff dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t overbake and burn on the bottom. Makes 5 dozen and they freeze well.

Hot Cider: In a large saucepan or stovetop style coffee pot, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar with 2 quarts apple juice, 1 tsp whole cloves and one 3-inch stick cinnamon. Simmer 30 minutes.

Supper: Sweet & Sour Pork

Slice pork steaks into thin strips. Brown in hot oil with 2 shredded carrots, ¼ cup finely chopped celery and ½ cup each onion strips and chopped green pepper. Sprinkle with 1 clove minced garlic and 2 Tblsp Tamari. Cover and simmer until pork is tender – about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make sauce: Drain one 20 ounce can pineapple chunks reserving syrup. Combine syrup with ¼ cup each brown sugar and cider vinegar. Add to pork, along with the pineapple. (Optional: add 1 small can sliced water chestnuts.) Mix 2 Tblp corn starch with a small amount of water and stir into mixture, cook until thickened. Serve over plain rice.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Buckwheat Cakes
Bacon & Eggs

Cakes: Sift together 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 4 Tblsp sugar, ½ tsp salt. In another bowl, beat together 2 eggs, ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 ¾ cup milk and ¼ cup oil. Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients. Bake on a medium hot griddle or skillet until lightly browned on both sides. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Cook bacon and eggs to taste and serve.

Dinner: Cream of Chicken Soup
Lettuce Salad

Soup: Saute 1 small onion, finely chopped, in 1 stick melted butter. Add 1 cup chopped chicken breast and brown. Stir in ¼ cup flour and stir until thick and smooth. Whisk this mixture into 4 cups hot chicken stock or broth. Simmer 20 minutes, stir occasionally. Stir in 2 cups heavy cream and heat until thick and heated through, but do not boil.

Lunch: White Chocolate Pound Cake

Melt 6 ounces white chocolate in top of double boiler. Place one 18 ounce white cake mix, 1 stick melted butter, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla, melted chocolate and 3 large eggs in mixing bowl. Beat, scraping sides of bowl as necessary for 3 minutes, until batter is thick and smooth. Divide batter into 3 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until cake springs back when touched. Serve slices with fruit sauce, if desired. Freezes well.

Supper: Cranberry Salad
Crock Pot Venison Ragout

Cranberry Salad: Grind one package of cranberries with 2 cored apples. Stir in 1 cup sugar and let stand overnight. Dissolve one 3 oz package raspberry gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Stir into chilled fruits and mix well. Chill until set.

Ragout: Cut 4 pounds venison into cubes. Marinate cubes in 1 cup wine vinegar mixed with 1 Tblsp peppercorns and 6 crushed juniper berries in fridge for 5 hours or overnight. Chop 5 slices bacon and fry to crisp. Saute 1 medium onion in bacon fat until limp and nicely browned. Drain the marinate from the venison and brown in the bacon fat. In crock pot, place the browned venison, bacon, onion, 6 cups beef stock or broth, one 16 oz jar pearl onions, 2 Tblsp brown sugar and 2 Tblsp red currant jelly. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Thicken with 2 Tblsp corn starch mixed with ¼ cup water, if desired. Serve over noodles.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Rice Porridge

Peel, core and dice 1 large, sweet apple. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup each uncooked white rice and water to a boil. Add one 3-inch cinnamon stick, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Add 4 cups milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chopped apple, ¼ cup brown sugar and ½ cup raisins. Cover and simmer 45 minutes. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Remove cinnamon stick and add 1 tsp vanilla. Serve warm with cream and honey.

Dinner: Potato Soup
Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Potato Soup: Crisp cook 4 slices bacon. Cool and crumble. Saute 1 chopped onion in the bacon fat. Peel and quarter 6 medium potatoes. Cook potatoes in 2 cups boiling chicken stock or broth until soft. Pour off all but 1 cup of the liquid. Mash potatoes coarsely. Stir in 2 cups milk, the crumbled bacon and onion. Heat through, but do not boil.

Tuna Salad: Drain oil or water from 1 can tuna. Stir in 2 Tblsp mayonnaise, 2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped and 1 Tblsp sweet relish. Make sandwiches on marble or wheat bread.

Lunch: Almond Rusks

Cream together 1 cup shortening and 1 ½ cups sugar. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 cup buttermilk. Sift together 4 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt and 1 ½ tsp cardamom. Stir in 1 cup finely chopped almonds. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients about 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into 3 small, greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and carefully cut each loaf into 12 slices. Place on cookies sheets an dbake at 200 for 1-3 minutes on each side, until toasted. Serve with coffee, warm milk or hot cocoa for dipping.

Supper: Home Style Short Ribs with Potatoes & Carrots (Crock pot method)

Brown 3-4 pounds beef short ribs in skillet. Place 4 scrubbed or peeled potatoes, 4 peeled and quartered carrots and 1 large sliced onion in crock pot. Place browned ribs on top of vegetables. Combine 2 Tblsp cider vinegar, 1 Tblsp sugar, 2 Tblsp horseradish, 1 Tblsp prepared mustard, 2 Tblsp ketchup, 1 tsp each salt and pepper and 2 cups beef stock or broth. Pour over ribs and vegetables. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove ribs and vegetables and use pan drippings to make gravy. (Bring to a boil, stir in ¼ cup water mixed with 2 Tblsp corn starch. Reduce heat and whisk until thickened.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Fried Mush

Remove corn meal mush from yesterday from the loaf pan and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Fry slices in hot oil or bacon fat until browned on both sides and heated through. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Dinner: Cream of Mushroom Soup
Lettuce Salad

Mushroom Soup: Melt 1 stick butter in a saucepan. Saute ½ cup finely chopped onion and 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms until soft. Stir in 3 Tblsp flour. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 ½ cups milk and 1 ½ cups cream.

Lunch: Peach Cake

Reserving juice, drain and puree one 29 ounce can peaches. Place one 18 oz plain yellow cake mix, peach puree, 1 stick melted butter, 4 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat 3-4 minutes, scraping sides of bowl until batter is thick and smooth. Pour batter into three 9-inch greased and floured round pans. Bake at 350 30 minutes. Cake is done if it springs back when lightly pressed. Cool 10 minutes in pans and turn out onto rack. Poke holes in warm cakes with wooden skewer. Pour ½ cup reserved peach juice into holes. When completely cooled, spread sweetened whipped cream between layers and on top.

Supper: Pea Salad
Cheesy Chicken

Pea Salad: Mix two 16 oz packages frozen peas with 1 finely chopped onion and 1 cup salad dressing. Garnish with crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of finely chopped tomato.

Cheesy Chicken: Cut 1 pound boneless chicken breast into cubes and stir-fry in skillet until cooked. Stir in 2 cups stock or broth, bring to a boil. Stir in 2 cups elbow macaroni, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Stir in ½ pound cubed Velveeta cheese, 1 can Rotel tomatoes and 1 can chopped green chilies. Cook until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup sour cream.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Corn Meal Mush
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Combine 1 cup corn meal with 1 cup cold water. Slowly pour cornmeal/water mixture into boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with cream and sliced banana. Pour leftover mush into a greased loaf pan and chill.

Dinner: Tastee Burgers
Overnight Salad

Salad: Mix together one 15 oz. can drained chunk pineapple, 1 can drained mandarin oranges, 2 cups miniature marshmallows, ½ cup coconut and ¾ cup sour cream. Chill 6 hours or overnight.

Tastee Burgers: Brown 1 ½ pound ground beef with 1 small finely chopped onion. In a 1 cup measuring cup, stir together ½ cup ketchup, 2 Tblsp prepared mustard, 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tblsp cream style horseradish and 1 tsp salt. Add to browned beef. Add 1 cup warm water and simmer 25 minutes. Serve on toasted buns with a good assortment of pickles on the side.

Lunch: Nachos
Chilled Soda Pop

For each serving, place a layer of tortilla chips on a plate. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Add dollops of refried beans, a few slices of jalopeno and sprinkle on some leftover tastee burger. Pour salsa over all and another layer of grated cheese. Microwave on high or place in a 400 degree oven until cheese melts.

Supper: Turkey Pie
To use up your Thanksgiving leftovers

In a greased casserole, place a layer of cut up turkey. Cover with 1 large can of veg-all. Pour ½ cup turkey gravy over. Cover with a thin layer of stuffing. Pour ½ cup gravy over. Cover with mashed potatoes and place in 350 oven until heated through. About 45 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Traditional Eggs Benedict
Orange Juice

For each serving, split and toast an English muffin, lightly fry two large slices Canadian bacon and poach two eggs. Make Hollandaise Sauce: in a saucepan, whisk 2 egg yolks with 3 Tblsp lemon juice. On very low heat, add ½ cup butter, a Tblsp at a time, whisking until added piece is melted. Continue whisking until sauce is thick. Place toasted English muffin halves on warm plate, top each with a Canadian bacon slice and a poached egg. Pour Hollandaise sauce over and serve.

Dinner: Frogeye Salad

Frogeye Salad: Whisk together 2 egg yolks, ½ cup sugar. 1 Tblsp flour, a cup of pineapple juice (drained from 2 cans of crushed pineapple). Cook until thick. Meanwhile, cook ½ cup acini de pepe in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. Meanwhile, mix together 2 cans crushed pineapple (8 oz), one 11 oz can Mandarin oranges (drained) and one cup heavy cream, whipped. Chill.

Rachels: For each sandwich, butter one side of two slices of marble bread. On the unbuttered side of one slice, spread 2 Tblsp saurkraut, a drizzle of thousand island dressing, one thin slice of turkey breast and a slice of Swiss cheese. Top with other slice bread, buttered side out. Grill on griddle or skillet until cheese melts.

Lunch: Leftover Pie

Supper: Smoked Turkey and Bean Soup
Leftover Corn Bread Salad

Quick soak 1 pound navy or great northern beans: cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Let stand one hour. (Directions for quick soak are usually on the package.) Chop 1 medium onion and 2 cups leftover smoked turkey. Saute the onion in a little butter and add 2 cloves minced garlic. Drain the beans and add the pan juices you saved yesterday from the smoked turkey. Add water if necessary to cover the beans and add the chopped turkey and vegetables. Simmer 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Menu

Breakfast: On your own; Nelli’s busy.

Dinner: Cornbread Salad
Turkeys – one smoked, one fresh
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Relish Tray
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie

Place the fresh turkey in a roasting pan, slather with oil. Place 2 quartered lemons and 2 cloves garlic in the cavity of the bird. Make sure you remove the giblet package. Cover and roast at 325 for 20 minutes per pound. Remove cover last 30 – 45 minutes. Reserve pan juices for gravy. Discard lemons and garlic and carve. For gravy, bring pan juices to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. In a cup, mix ½ cup water with 3 Tblsp corn starch. Whisk into boiling juices until it thickens.

Place the smoked turkey in a roaster and cover the bottom of the roaster with with water. Roast at 325 for 20 minutes per pound. Reserve pan juices for another use. Carve.

Cornbread Salad: Make one 16 oz. package corn bread mix as directed on package. Cool and crumble into a bowl. Set aside. Fry 10 strips bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Set aside. Whisk together 1 package Ranch Dressing mix with 1 ½ cups each sour cream and mayonnaise. Spread half the crumbled corn bread into a 9 x 13 pan. Top with one 15 oz. can drained pinto beans. Sprinkle with 2 chopped tomatoes, ½ cup each chopped green pepper and green onions, 1 cup shredded cheese, half the crumbled bacon, 1 can drained corn and half the dressing mix. Repeat the layers, cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Wash and peel 6-8 potatoes. Drop into boiling salted water and cook until potatoes are soft. Drain. Add ½ cup milk, ½ stick butter, and ¼ cup sour cream. Cover and let stand until butter melts and milk and cream are slightly warmed. Whip.

Cranberry Sauce: Bring 1 cup each water and sugar to boil. Add one bag cranberries, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to glass bowl and chill.

Stuffing: sauté 1 cup chopped onion and ½ cup chopped celery in butter. Stir into 3 cups bread cubes. Bring 2 cups chicken or turkey stock to boil and add ½ tsp sage. Stir into bread cube-vegetable mixture. Spread in a 9 x 13 pan and cook in 325 oven 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie: Beat together 2 cups cooked pumpkin (or sweet potatoes or butternut squash), 2 eggs, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp cloves and 1 can evaporated milk (OR 1 2/3 cup half & half). Pour into 9-inch pie shell and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before slicing. Serve with sweetened whipped cream: beat 2 cups heavy cream with 3 Tblsp sugar until stiff. Keep chilled.

Relish Tray: On a serving platter, arrange sweet gherkins, dill pickles, black olives, green olives, pickled beets and red hot candy pickles.

Lunch: If you’re hungry at lunchtime, have another piece of pie.

Supper: Self assembled Turkey sandwiches.
Potato chips
Cold beer

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wednesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Spinach Nest
For each serving, poach two eggs. In a skillet, sauté ½ cup chopped spinach (thawed) in butter. Sprinkle with a little minced onion, if desired. When spinach is limp, place on warmed plate and gather it into a nest. Dollop with a little butter and place eggs on top.

Dinner: Apple Salad

Apple Salad: Core and cube 3 unpeeled sweet apples. Toss with 1 sliced banana. Stir in 1 can drained fruit cocktail and ½ cup finely chopped walnuts. Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 2 Tblsp sugar. Fold into fruit mixture. Serve chilled.

Reubens: Butter one side of two slices of rye bread. On the unbuttered side of one slice, spread 2 Tblsp sauerkraut and drizzle with thousand island dressing. Lay a slice of deli corned beef and a slice of Swiss cheese. Top with other bread slice, buttered side out. Grill on griddle or in skillet until bread is toasted and cheese is melted

Lunch: Buttermilk Brownies
Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar and ½ tsp salt. Set aside. Bring to a boil 1 stick butter, 1 cup water, ¼ cup cocoa and ½ cup shortening. Pour over flour mixture and mix well. Add ½ cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1tsp soda and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour into greased 11 by 16 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 400. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar OR frost with chocolate frosting: mix 2 cups sifted powdered sugar with 2 Tblsp cocoa, 2 Tblsp softened butter and enough milk to whip into spreading consistency.

Supper: Leftover Carnita stacks
Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice: Melt ½ stick butter in saucepan. Add ½ finely chopped onion, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 clove roasted minced garlic and 1 cup uncooked rice. Cook and stir until rice is milky and opaque. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock and bring to boil Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is done.
Reheat Carnita meat (from Monday).
On a warmed plate, layer as follows; spread a circle of refried beans, a serving of Spanish rice, carnita meat, shredded cheese, salsa and a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Sausage Braid

In a skillet, brown a 12 ounce package of sausage with ½ cup each chopped onion and green pepper. Stir in 1 clove minced garlic and 4 oz cubed cream cheese. Cook until cheese is melted and incorporated. Open a tube of crescent rolls and unroll onto a greased baking sheet, but do not separate them. Spoon sausage mixture down the middle of the dough. Cut the dough on either side of the sausage into 1-inch strips. Fold the strips over onto the sausage, alternating sides so it looks like a braid. Bake at 350 foe 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese: Butter one side of two slices of bread. Place slices of cheese (Provolone, Swiss, mild cheddar, American or any combination thereof) on the unbuttered side of one slice. Sprinkle with a pinch of oregano. Top with other slice, buttered side out and toast in skillet or on griddle until nicely browned and cheese is melted.

Tomato Soup: Peel and cut in half 12 Roma tomatoes and place them in a single layer in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 cloves minced garlic, ¼ cup minced onion, salt and pepper to taste. Roast, uncovered in 375 oven 20-30 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. Process in blender until smooth and pasty. Pour into saucepan. Add ½ cup each heavy cream and chicken stock or broth and heat through.

Lunch: Hot Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing
Root Beer Floats

Wings: Split 3 pounds wings at each joint and reserve tips for making stock. Bake in 400 oven 25-30 minutes until crispy. Meanwhile, melt ½ cup butter in a saucepan. Stir in ½ cup Louisiana Hot Sauce. Pour over wings and serve.

Dressing: Blend 2 cups mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream, ½ cup minced onion, 1 clove roasted garlic, 2 Tblsp each sugar and cider vinegar. Blend intil smooth. Pour into bowl and stir in 4-6 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

Floats: The easiest way to ruin a good root beer float is by using inferior ice cream and cheap root beer. Use the good stuff, not the store brands, unless that’s what you prefer.

Supper: Stroganoff over Noodles
Mashed Potatoes

Noodles: Mix 1 cup flour with three eggs, working into a stiff dough. Knead until smooth, cover with damp cloth and let rest a few minutes. Roll out very thin and cut into noodles OR to use pasta maker; run 2-3 Tblsp dough at a time through the kneading bars 3 times at each setting down to #5. Dust both sides with flour and run through noodle cutter. Lay out on a clean dish towel and set aside. About 20 minutes before serving time, begin to cook noodles in 8 cups boiling salted water 12-15 minutes. Drain and drizzle with a little oil.
Stroganoff: Cut a large sirloin steak into thin 2- 2 ½ inch strips. Toss with tenderizer and let stand a few minutes. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and toss with 1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet. Set aside. Coarsely chop 1 onion and fresh mushrooms to measure 1 ½ cups. Melt 1 stick butter in a large skillet. Cook and stir meat strips, onions and mushrooms in butter over medium low heat until meat is browned, onion is limp and mushrooms are soft. Stir 1 cup beef stock into meat strips/mushroom mixture and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and stir in 1 pint sour cream. Heat through but do not boil. Serve hot over noodles and potatoes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Granola
Stir together 1 cup rolled oats and ½ cup each chopped almonds and pecans and ½ cup flaked coconut. Set aside. In a saucepan, melt 2 sticks butter. Add 1 cup honey and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Whisk to blend well. Pour butter/honey mixture over dry mixture and stir well. Spread evenly over two baking sheets and bake at 325 for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and break up the granola over large bowl. Stir in ½ cup each dried cherries, dried cranberries and raisins. Store in tightly covered glass container. Serve in bowls with half & half, milk and or cream.

Dinner: Carnitas (This recipe is a rerun – but I have pictures now.)
WARNING: If you try this, you will never again be satisfied with powdered taco mix and ground beef.

Carnitas: Place one 4-5 pound pork loin roast in 9 x 13 pan. Pour 1 pint salsa verde over it and sprinkle with 1 large chopped onion and 2 finely chopped jalopenos. Cover with aluminum foil and roast at 300 for 4 ½ hours. Shred the roast with 2 forks and return to pan. Heat through and serve with flour tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese, salsa, etc.

Lunch: Dorothy’s Banana Bread
Cream together ½ cup softened butter with 1 cup sugar. Beat in 1 egg. Dissolve ½ tsp soda in ¼ cup milk. Stir 1 cup mashed banana into milk/soda mixture and beat this into the creamed butter and sugar. Sift, then measure 2 cups flour. Sift again with 1 tsp baking powder. Stir the flour into the wet ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Supper: Crescent Chicken
Mashed potatoes

Combine ½ cup each bread crumbs and Panko. Set aside. Beat together 4 oz. softened cream cheese and 2 Tblsp butter. Stir in 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken. Open a tube of crescent rolls and wrap each crescent around about ¼ cup chicken mixture. Dip each roll in melted butter and roll in the crumbs. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Make white sauce; Melt 2 Tblsp butter in sauce pan and whisk in 2 Tblsp flour. Stir in 1 cup each milk and chicken stock or broth and whisk until smooth and thick. Serve on the side in gravy boat with chicken crescents and mashed potatoes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Breakfast Pepper Rings
Buttermilk Bicuits

Pepper rings: For each serving - Trim stem and blossom ends of a green pepper and reserve for another use. Cut the pepper in halfcrosswise and cook in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Place in shallow greased casserole. Break and egg into each ring, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 1 Tblsp milk over each and cover with Panko or plain bread crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Biscuits: Place 2 cups sifted flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp soda into a bowl. Add 1/3 cup oil and 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir into dough. Turn out and knead until smooth. Roll out to ¾ inch thickness and cut into large rounds. (Nelli uses a tuna can). Bake on greased baking sheet 10-12 minutes at 400.

Dinner: Chicken & Rice
Lettuce Salad

Melt ½ stick butter in 8 x8 pan. Sprinkle 1 cup uncooked slow-cooking rice over btoom of pan. Place 1 cut up chicken pieces and 4 carrots peeled and sliced over rice. Sprinkle 1 envelope onion soup mix over chicken. Mix 1 can mushroom soup with 1 can water and pour over all. Bake, covered, in 325 oven for about 2 hours.

Lunch: Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Mix 1 ½ Tblsp corn starch with 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir in 1 ½ cups sour cream, 3 egg yolks and 1 ½ cups raisins. Cook over medium heat until thick. Pour into baked pie shell. Make meringue: Beat 3 egg whites and ¼ tsp cream of tartar until frothy. One at a time, beat in 6 Tblsp sugar and continue beating until glossy. Beat in ½ tsp vanilla. Heap meringue over hot filling and bake about 10 minutes at 400. Chill before cutting.

Supper: Ham Loaf
Cheesey Potatoes

Loaf: With your hands, mix 1 ¼ pound ground ham, ½ pound each ground beef and ground pork, 2 eggs, 1 cup tomato juice, 4 Tblsp minced onion, 1 cup bread crumbs and ½ tsp pepper. Shape into loaf and place in casserole. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make sauce: dissolve 1 cup brown sugar in ½ cup each cider vinegar and water. Add 2 tsp dry mustard. Pour sauce over loaf after it has baked for 1 hour. Bake 30 minutes more.

Potatoes: Melt 1 stick butter with 1 can cream soup, whisking until smooth. Stir in 1 cup sour cream. In a greased casserole, place a layer of frozen hash brown potatoes, sprinkle with minced onion and shredded cheese. Pour half the sauce over. Repeat layers, ending with potatoes. Bake at 350 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Crustless Quiche
Texas Toast
Quiche: Beat together until smooth: 10 eggs, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 cup each finely diced ham, green pepper and onion. Pour into greased casserole and bake at 350 until set - about 30-45 minutes.

Toast: Spread butter on both sides of thick Texas style bread and brown on hot griddle. Serve with honey.

Dinner: Roast Beef Hoagies
Cheesey Carrots & Cabbage

Roast Beef: Place a sirloin tip roast in crock pot. Mix 2 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix with 2 cups water and pour over roast. Cook on low 8 hours. Shred the beef and return to cooker. Add one 16 oz. jar mild pepper rings and heat through. Serve on Hoagie buns.

Cheesey Carrots & Cabbage: Simmer 4 cups sliced carrots just until tender. Simmer 1 medium head chopped cabbage with 1 chopped onion until tender. Combine vegetables with 1/4 cup butter and place in 9 x 13 pan. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 20-30 minutes.

Lunch: Harvest Dream Cake
Cream together 3/4 cup butter flavored shortening and 1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar. Stir in 2 1/2 cups sifted flour, 3 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cloves and 3/4 cup milk. Beat well. Beat in 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely and frost with 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar beaten with 2 Tblsp softened butter, 3 Tblsp orange juice and enough milk to make it spreadable.

Supper: Chicken Enchiladas
Enchiladas: Cook 1 cup chopped onion and 2/3 cup chopped green pepper in 2 Tblsp butter until tender. Stir the onions and peppers into 2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (or turkey) and add 1 can green chilies. Set aside. Melt 3 Tblsp butter. Blend in 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth and cook until thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Stir 1/2 cup of this sauce into the chicken mixture. Fill 12 tortillas each with 1/4 cup chicken and arrange in a 9 x 13 pan. Pour sauce over, sprinkle with 1 cup jack cheese and bake uncovered in a 350 oven about 25 minutes. Serve with salsa, rice, refritos, guacamole.

Guacamole: Peel, pit and mash 3 ripe avocados. With an electric beater, mix in 1 finely chopped Roma tomato, 2 Tblsp onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped jalopeno. Chill until serving time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Huevos Ranchero

Slather one side of a flour tortilla with butter. Spread the other side with refried beans. Toast on hot griddle or skillet until tortilla is crisp and beans are warm. In another skillet, cook two eggs sunny side up (or any style you choose). Place eggs on tortilla and pour warm salsa over all. Sprinkle with cheese.

Dinner: Lasagna
French Bread

Lasagna: Make meat sauce: brown 1 pound each good ground beef and sausage. Stir in 1 28 oz can each crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Add 2 tsp oregano, ½ tsp basil, 2 cloves minced roasted garlic, ¼ tsp thyme and simmer 1 hour. Spread half the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cover with three cooked lasagna noodles and spread ricotta cheese over the noodles. Repeat layers ending with sauce. Cover and cook in 350 oven
45 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cook until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Lunch: Hershey Pie

In top of double boiler, melt 8 Hershey bars. Whip the melted candy bars into 12 ounce container of whipped topping. (Reserve 1 cup topping to top pie). Pour into 9-inch baked pie crust. Chill and spread with reserved topping. Sprinkle with grated chocolate if desired.

Supper: Liver & Onions
Mashed Potatoes

Cut in half and thickly slice 2 medium onions. Fry in bacon fat until limp. Set aside. Mix 1 cup flour with 1 tsp garlic salt and 2 Tblsp paprika. Place liver in a bowl and rinse well with warm (not hot) water. Coat liver with flour mixture and brown in hot bacon fat. Spread the cooked onions over the liver, cover with lid and place in 350 oven 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursdays Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Egg-in-a-Frame
Broiled Grapefruit

Egg-in-a-Frame: Use a biscuit cutter to make a hole in a slice of Texas toast or thick cut French bread slice. Butter both sides of both the circle and the frame. Heat a heavy skillet to medium hot. Place both pieces of bread into the skillet, put a pea-sized piece of butter into the frame and break an egg into it. Cook until egg is done as desired (over easy, medium or hard. If cooking scrambled, whisk with a fork before pouring into the frame.) Serve hot with the toasted circle on the side.

Broiled grapefruit: Cut grapefruit in half and cut around each section to loosen. Sprinkle with 1 Tblsp brown sugar and a dot of butter. Place on a baking sheet under preheated broiler and broil about 5 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY. Rind will look browned and topping will be melted when done. Serve warm.

Dinner:Potato Soup

Dinner: Potato Soup:
Potato Soup: Peel and cut 3-4 potatoes into wedges. Cook 15-20 minutes in boiling water until soft. Grate when coool enough to handle. Meanwhile, scald 1 quart milk with 3 thick slices of onion. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp celery salt and 1 tsp dried parsley. Whisk until smooth, stir into milk-potato mixture. Serve hot.

Lunch: Sour Cream Coffe Cake
Make filling of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup shopped nuts and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Grease a Bundt pan and preheat oven to 350. Cream together 3/4 cup softened butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla until smooth. Mix in 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp soda and 1 1/2 cup sour cream. Spread half of batter in Bundt pan. Sprinkle with half the filling. Pour remaining batter and sprinkle with filling. Bake 60 minutes until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove. Serve warm.

Supper: Gringa Style Stuffed Poblanos
Yellow Rice
Refried Beans

Guacamole: Peel, pit and mash 3 ripe avocados. With an electric beater, mix in 1 finely chopped Roma tomato, 2 Tblsp onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped jalopeno. Chill until serving time.

Stuffed Poblanos: Marinate 2 chicken breasts in 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 clove mashed roasted garlic for 2 hours. Grill or broil until juices run clear. Slice into thin strips. Mix chicken with 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 Tblsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 cup chredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Roast 5-6 Poblano peppers under preheated broiler until all sides are blackened. Immediately place peppers in a Dutch oven, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Scrape the blackened skin from each pepper, remove stem and cut a slit down one side. Stuff peppers with the chicken mixture, place in casserole and heat through. Sprinkle with more Jack cheese and serve hot, with the usual sour cream, guac, salsa and extra cheese.

Yellow Rice: Melt 2 Tblsp butter in a sauce pan. Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1 cup long-cooking rice. Cook and stir until rice looks milky. Stir in 1 Tblsp cumin and 1 tsp turmeric and 2 cups chicken stock or broth. COver and cook 25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is done.

Refried Beans; Open can. Place beans in pan. Heat through.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Casserole we started last night.
Let it come to room remperature and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve with sour cream and Parmesan Cheese.

Dinner: Sour Kraut Salad
Salmon Patties

Salad: In a saucepan, boil together 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Drain 1 jar of good sour kraut and stir in 2 Tblsp finely chopped green pepper. Pour hot syrup over and chill. Stir before serving.

Salmon Patties: Thoroughly mix one can salmon with 2 cups cracker crumbs, 1 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cup milk and pepper to taste. Melt butter in a heavy skillet and drop salmon mixture by ice cream scoops and fry until nicely browned on each side. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with a good assortment of pickles and condiments.

Lunch: Apple Crisp

Peel, core and slice 5-6 apples and place in lightly greased 9 x 13 glass pan. (OR 4-5 apples in an 8 x 8 pan) Cut together 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake 1 hour at 350. Serve warm with ice cream or heavy cream.

Supper: Potato & Pork Chop Scallop
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Peel and slice 6 medium potatoes. Put half of them in the bottom of a greased casserole and add a few slices of onion. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and 1 1/2 Tbslp flour. Dot with 1 1/2 Tblsp butter. Repeat with remaining potatoes, adding onion, seasonings, flour and butter. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk with 1 can cream of chicken soup until smooth. Pour over potatoes. Arrange 6 pork chops on top. Cover and bake at 350 1 1/2 hour. Uncover and bake another 1/2 hour.

Brussels Sprouts: Arrange thoroughly washed Brussels Sprouts in one layer on a baking sheet or in casserole. Drizzle lightly with oil and sprinkle with a little minced garlic. Roast at 350 20-30 minutes until tender.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Traditional
Two eggs over easy (or any style)
Four slices bacon, fried crisp
Hash Browns
Wheat Toast with jam

Dinner: Seafood Gumbo
French Bread

Gumbo: Start with roux: In a Dutch oven, cook and stir 1/3 cup oil with 1/3 cup flour until is turns a light reddish brown. Add 1 large chopped onion, 1 large chopped green pepper and 6 cloves minced garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken stock or broth, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp each red and black pepper and 2 bay leaves. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped okra, fresh or frozen, one pound fresh or frozen shrimp, 6-8 ounces crab meat. Simmer until shrimp turns pink and okra is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve over rice.

French Bread: Mix 2 tblsp butter flavored shortening with 1 tsp salt and and 2 tblsp sugar in large bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over; stir until shortening is melted. Add 1 cup cold water. Stir in 2 tbslp (1 package) yeast. Add 2 ½ cups sifted flour and mix until no longer lumpy. Stir in enough remaining flour, 3-5 sifted cups to make a smooth dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise until double – 1 ½ hours or so. Punch down and shape into two long loaves. Make a few diagonal slashes in each loaf. Let rise 1 hour. Bake at 350˚ for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until loaves sound hollow when thumped. Extra loaf can be frozen for future use OR use for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Supper: Chicken Phillie
Oven Fries

I know this originated in the city, but we can adapt.
Chicken Phillie: Marinate boneless chicken breast 2 hours in 2 Tblsp each lime juice, honey and oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and ¼ tsp onion powder. Grill over hot coals or broil until juices run clear. Slice into thin strips. In a heavy skillet, cook 1 each coarsely sliced onion and green pepper. Meanwhile, butter the inside of hoagie buns and toast on griddle. To build the sandwich, place a layer of chicken strips, add cooked onion/pepper mixture and sprinkle with Monterrey Jack cheese. Broil briefly, to melt cheese.

Oven Fries: Scrub and cut 4 medium potatoes into wedges. Toss with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Roast in 425 oven for 20 minutes or until wedges are soft. Serve with spicy ketchup: Mix 1 Tblsp Louisiana Hot Sauce with ½ cup ketchup.

For tomorrow’s breakfast: Tear up ½ loaf of French bread into bite-sized pieces and spread in a greased casserole. Sprinkle with chopped onion and green pepper, browned sausage and ½ cup shredded cheese. Beat 12 eggs with 1 ½ cup milk. Pour eggs over all. Let stand in refrigerator overnight.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Curried Egg Bake
Cardamom Muffins

Egg Bake: Hard boil 6 eggs. Cut in half and scoop out yolks. Mash and mix the yolks with 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp minced onion and enough half & half to moisten into a nice paste. Stuff into the whites and place in casserole. Make sauce: Melt 1 stick butter and stir in ¼ cup flour and 4 tsp curry powder. Add salt & pepper to taste and whisk until smooth. Add 3 cups half & half and whisk until smooth and thick. Pour over eggs and bake uncovered 30 minutes.

Muffins: Sift together 1 ½ cups flour, ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ Tblsp baking powder, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp cardamom. In a separate bowl, whisk together ¾ cup milk, 2 eggs and ¼ cup oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until moistened. Fill 12 cupcake papers 2/3 full and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.

Dinner: Orange Salad
Macaroni Bake

Orange Salad: Dissolve two boxes orange Jell-O in 1 cup hot water. Add 2 cups cold water, one 8 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed), 1 can crushed pineapple and 1 or 2 cans mandarin oranges. Mix well and chill until set. Topping: Beat together until smooth: one 8 oz package softened cream cheese with ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup sugar. Spread over salad when it is set.

Macaroni Bake: Cook 2 cups elbow macaroni according to package directions. Add 1 package dried beef, chopped, OR 1 cup finely diced ham, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, ¼ cup chopped onion. 1 can green chilies, 1 ½ cup milk, 1 clove roasted minced garlic, 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir to combine all ingredients. Pour into casserole and bake 45 minutes at 350.

Lunch: Green Tomato Pie (With the last green tomatoes of the year)

Slice unpeeled green tomatoes to measure 6 cups. Pour boiling water over to cover and let stand 3 minutes. Drain. Combine 1 cup sugar, 3 Tblsp flour, ¼ tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon, and a pinch each of cloves and mace. Sprinkle the bottom crust with a few Tblsp flour. Place one layer of sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with sugar mixture, dot with butter. Repeat layers ending with butter. Cover with top crust. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes and then at 375 for 40 minutes.

Supper: Mexican Style Pot Roast (Crock Pot – long cooking time)
Layer in crock pot: 1 can black beans, 1 16 oz package frozen corn, onion wedges and top with the roast. Combine 1 cup salsa, ½ cup water, 2 Tblsp tapioca, 1 Tblsp chili powder. Pour over roast. Cook on low for 9-10 hours. Serve with hot rice and tortilla chips.