Monday, December 31, 2007

Today's Blue Plate Specials

Codfish Balls
Creamed Carrots
Fried Apples & Onions

Soak salt cod in water in the refrigerator for 48 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. (We used two 12 ounce packages). Cover the salt cod with fresh water and simmer 15 minutes. Drain well and cool.
Peel and cook 2 pounds of potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Mash and let cool. (Do not add any butter or milk).
When cod and potatoes are cool, stir in 2 eggs and ½ tsp pepper. Shape into balls of about 1 rounded tsp each (I used my Pampered Chef cookie scoop). Fry in hot oil until browned on all sides. This made about 3 dozen balls.

Carrots: Peel and thinly slice 3 pounds of carrots. Simmer in 1 cup chicken stock or broth until tender. In a small bowl, blend ¼ cup heavy (or sour) cream, 2 Tblsp melted butter and 2 Tblsp flour into a thin paste. Stir paste into partially drained carrots and serve hot.

Fried Apples & Onions: Peel and slice 3 Granny Smith apples. Coarsely slice one large onion. Fry together in a heavy skillet in bacon fat until all is soft. Sprinkle 2 Tblsp brown sugar over all. Cover and simmer a few more minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: On your own today – Nelli is out shoveling snow.

Dinner: Minestrone
French Bread

Minestrone: In a large pot, saute 1 large chopped onion in 2 Tblsp olive oil until onion is tender. Stir in 1 small can diced tomato with juice, 2 cups cubed zuchinni, 3 diced potatoes, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tblsp basil and two 14 oz cans vegetable stock. Cover and simmer over low heat about 45 minutes, until all vegetables are done. Add ½ cup elbow macaroni or any small pasta you like. Cook 15 minutes until pasta is done. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

French Bread: In a large bowl, mix 2 Tblsp butter flavor shortening with 1 tsp salt and 1 Tblsp sugar. Pour in 1 cup boiling water, stir until shortening is melted. Add 1 cup cold water and 1 package yeast. Stir in 2 ½ cups sifted flour until smooth. Add 2 ½ to 3 cups more sifted flour; just enough to make a soft dough. Knead 5 minutes. Cover and let rise until double; about 1 hour. Punch down and shape into two long loaves. Place on greased baking sheet, cover and let rise until double; about 40 minutes. Bake at 350 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when thumped. Immediately slather with butter if you want a soft crust.

Lunch: Chocolate Pound Cake

In large bowl beat together 1 ½ cup softened butter with 3 cups sugar until creamy. Add 2 tsp vanilla. One at a time, beat in 5 eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups sifted flour, 1 cup cocoa, ½ tsp each baking powder and salt. Alternately add dry ingredients and 1 ¼ cup buttermilk to creamed egg/sugar mixture. Mix until well blended. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt or tube pan. Bake 60-75 minutes at 325. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Supper: Pan-fried catfish
Tartar Sauce
Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes: Peel and thinly slice 4 -5 potatoes. In a saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter and whisk in ½ cup flour. Cook and stir until smooth and bubbly, Stir in 1 ½ cups half & half. Cook and stir until thickened. In a greased 8 x 8 pan, place a layer of potatoes, sprinkle with 1/8 cup finely minced onion. Pour half the sauce over. Repeat layers, ending with potatoes. Dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes.

Catfish: Coat catfish filets on both sides with cornmeal and fry in hot oil or bacon drippings until nicely browned, turning once.

Tartar Sauce: Mix ¼ cup each catsup and mayonnaise. Stir in 2 Tblsp sweet relish. Chill.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wednesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Cinnamon Waffles

In a large bowl, beat 2 egg yolks well. Beat in 2 tsp sugar and ¼ cup oil. Set aside. Combine 1 1/3 cup flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. In another bowl, combine ½ cup milk and ¾ cup applesauce. Alternately add flour mixture and wet ingredients to the egg yolk mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Bake in waffle iron until browned. Serve with whipped butter and syrup.

Dinner: Oyster Stew (Very seasonal here where Nelli lives.)

Melt 1 stick butter in a large pot. Add 1 coarsely chopped onion and cook until tender. Add 1 pint fresh oysters with their liquid and cook until edges curl. Add 2 cans evaporated milk and 2 ½ cups whole milk. Heat through. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers.

Lunch: Orange Surprise

Choose 4 large oranges with bright, thick blemish free skins. Cut in half and scoop out fruit to make “bowls.” (Reserve fruit for another use.) You may need to slice off rounded ends so the “bowls” won’t roll around at serving time. Freeze overnight. Place a generous scoop of rainbow sherbet in each “bowl” and return to freezer for at least two hours. Just before serving time, beat 2 egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar until frothy. Add ½ cup sugar one Tblsp at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Continue beating until a firm, smooth meringue is achieved. Make a pretty dollop on top of each orange/sherbet bowl and bake at 425 2 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and bake 3-5 minutes more until meringue is set and browned. Serve immediately.

Supper: Meat Loaf
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Celery Casserole

Meat Loaf: In a large bowl, place 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef ½ pound bulk sausage, ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup ketchup, 1 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce, 1 cup plain bread crumbs and 1 egg. Squish it all together with your hands until well mixed. Place in loaf pan and cover with ketchup. Bake 1 to 1 ½ hour at 350.

Celery Casserole: Crush 36 (one roll) of Ritz crackers to fine crumbs. Set aside. Cook 3 cups diced celery in a small amount of water for 10 minutes. Add 1 can cream of chicken soup, one 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, and about half of the crushed crackers. Mix and place in greased casserole. Melt one stick butter and pour half of it over the celery in the casserole. Mix the remaining butter with the remaining cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over celery. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes: Peel, quarter and boil 4-6 white potatoes 20 minutes or until soft. Drain. Add 4 oz cubed cream cheese, softened and ½ stick butter. Cover for a few minutes. Beat with electric mixture until fluffy. Add milk if necessary.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Oven French Toast

Melt ½ cup butter and spread in the bottom of a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan. Combine ½ cup sugar with ½ tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture over butter. In a separate bowl, beat 4 eggs with ½ cup orange juice. Dip 3 slices thick bread slices in batter, soaking each slice well. Place on sugar in jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Remove each slice from pan and serve sugared side up.

Dinner: Beef Salad Sandwich
Beer Cheese Soup

Beef Salad: Finely grind leftover brisket or roast beef to measure 2 cups. Add 3 finely chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 Tblsp sweet relish, 1 tsp prepared mustard, 2 Tblsp mayonnaise or salad dressing and ¼ cup finely chopped celery. Mix well and serve on wheat bread.

Beer Cheese Soup: Melt ½ cup butter in saucepan. Whisk in ½ cup flour, ½ tsp dry mustard and salt & pepper to taste. Stir in 1 cup milk, ½ cup chicken stock or broth and ½ cup beer. Heat til bubbly and thickened. Stir in 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Heat and stir until cheese is melted. Serve in bowl with a sprinkle of paprika.

Lunch: Pate & Crackers

Fry 6-8 slices bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Crumble and set aside. In same skillet, sauté ½ pound drained and rinsed chicken livers and ½ cup finely chopped onion until livers are thoroughly cooked. Place livers and pan juices in blender or food processor. Add 1 tsp Tamari, ½ tsp dry mustard and 1 Tblsp brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and stir in bacon crumbles. Serve with fresh crackers and apple slices, if desired.

Supper: Honey Chops
Beefed up Rice

Chops: In a skillet, brown 4-6 boneless pork chops. Combine 2 Tblsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tblsp honey and 1 ½ tsp cornstarch. Stir this mixture into ½ cup orange juice. Pour over chops in skillet. Cover and place in 350 oven for 30-45 minutes. During last 15 minutes, distribute 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced, over chops.

Rice: Saute ¼ cup each finely chopped onion, green pepper and red pepper and 1 clove monced garlic in ¼ cup butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in 1 cup white rice and cook and stir until rice is milky. Stir in 2 cups hot beef stock or broth, 1 tsp oregano and ½ tsp cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve hot.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Monda'ys Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Creamed Eggs on Toast

Hard Boil 2 eggs per serving. Peel eggs and chop by rubbing through a French fry cutter. Make a white sauce: melt 4 Tbsp butter and whisk in 4 Tbsp flour, stir and cook until smooth. Stir in 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream. Cook, stirring constantly until thick. Stir in the chopped eggs. Serve hot over thick slices of toast.

Dinner: Hobo Dinner

For each serving: make ¼ pound lean beef patty, scrub and quarter 1 potato; peel and slice one carrot. Place beef patty on a 12-inch square of foil. Top with 3 slices onion, the potatoes and carrots. Enclose in foil and bake in oven at 350 for one hour. (Can also be done over hot coals on a grill.)

Lunch: Cream Puff

In a saucepan, boil 1 cup water with 1 cup butter. Stir in 1 cup flour. One at a time, beat in 4 eggs. Spread dough in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
Filling: Thoroughly mix 3 cups milk with 1 pkg instant pudding (flavor of choice) and one 8 oz package softened cream cheese. Spread over baked cream puff. If desired, top with whipped cream and serve.

Supper: Pork Chop Supper
Brown 4 pork chops in skillet on both sides. Add 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges, 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced; and 1 medium onion, quartered. Whisk together 1 can cream of mushroom soup with ¼ cup water and pour over meat and vegetables in skillet. Cover and simmer 45 minutes to one hour until vegetables are tender.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Chile Rellenos Casserole
Roast 6-8 whole green chilies: place them on a baking sheet and broil on all sides until outer skin blackens. Put the hot chilies in a pot and cover tightly. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Scrape burnt skins off and slit each chile down one side and pull off stem. Stuff each chile with slices of Monterey jack cheese and place in a greased 8 x 8 dish. In a mixing bowl, beat together 6 eggs and 1 cup milk. Pour over chilies and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve with clusters of chilled grapes on the side.

Dinner: Cranberry Salad
Tomato Soup (from the can)
Tuna Pockets

Salad: Grind 1 package cranberries and stir in 2 cups sugar. Set aside. Combine 1 cup fruit juice with 2 envelopes plain gelatin. Let stand 10 minutes. Add 1 cup hot water and ½ cup fruit juice to the gelatin. Stir until it thickens and then stir into cranberries. Add 2 medium apples, chopped. Chill until set.

Tuna Pockets: Mix one 9 ½ oz can drained tuna with one 8 oz container soft style chive & onion cream cheese. Cut two 9-inch pie crusts in half. Spread tuna mixture onto pie crust, fold over and seal edges. Cut slit in top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, mix and warm up the soup according to directions.

Lunch: Candy Bars

Bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup corn syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 ½ cup chunky peanut butter, stirring until creamy. Stir in 6 cups Special K cereal. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan. In double boiler, melt 1 cup each chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Spread over bars in pan.

Supper: Reuben Casserole
Tossed Salad with bottled dressing
Bread & Butter

Spread ½ can of corned beef hash in the bottom of a greased casserole. Spread 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese. In a saucepan, whisk together ½ stick butter and 1 can cream of onion soup until smooth. Remove from heat and add 1 cup Thousand Island dressing. Pour over hash and cheese in casserole. Spread with ½ jar of drained sauerkraut. Sprinkle ¼ tsp caraway seed. Top with remaining corned beef hash.

Thursday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Easy Skillet

Cut up and cook 4 slices bacon in a skillet. Remove and drain. To the skillet, add 1 package hash brown potatoes, 1 Tblsp chopped onion, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook and stir over medium low heat until potatoes are done. Stir in the bacon. Break 4 eggs over potatoes and cook over low heat, stirring until eggs are set. OR for sunny side up, break eggs over potatoes, cover and cook on low heat until eggs are set as desired. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated cheese. Serve hot.

Dinner: Vietnamese Beef Stew
Egg Rolls with dipping sauces

Vietnamese Beef Stew: Marinate 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat in a mixture of ½ tsp each Oriental five-spice powder, curry powder, red pepper, 2 tsp salt, 2 Tblsp oyster sauce and 1 small can tomato paste. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Heat 2 Tblsp oil in Dutch oven and fry 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 medium coarsely chopped onion until browned. Add stew meat and cook until meat is browned. Meanwhile, peel 5 carrots and cut into 1-inch lengths. Pour 5 cups water into stew meat mixture and add carrots. Simmer at least 1 hour or until meat is cooked to desired tenderness. Serve over thin cut noodles with Hoisin Sauce. (Oyster sauce and Hoisin sauce can be found in the Oriental section at the grocery store. Five-spice powder is in the spice section.)

Egg Rolls: Brown 1 pound ground beef, pork or pork sausage. Drain. Add 2 cups shredded cabbage, ¼ cup bean sprouts, ½ cup shredded carrots and 3 finely chopped green onions. Cook until cabbage is limp. Stir in 2 Tblsp oyster sauce. Using large square egg roll wrappers, place about 2 Tblsp filling in the center of each one. Fold in bottom corner, then both sides and then fold down the top. A corn starch/water mixture can be applied on the edge of the top corner for “glue.” Fry in deep, hot oil on both sides until nicely browned.

Dipping sauces: Store bought sweet & sour, plain Tamari, or mustard sauce.

Lunch: Frosted Pumpkin Bars

Beat together 1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar and 2 cups pumpkin. Beat in 4 eggs. In a separate bowl, mix 2 sups sifted flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Pour into greased jelly roll pan and bake 30 minutes at 350. Cool and frost. Frosting: Beat together 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, 8 oz softened cream cheese, ½ cup softened butter and 2 ½ tsp vanilla.

Supper: Brisket in Beer
Mashed Potatoes
Pickled Slaw

To finish the brisket: Remove from refrigerator and slice the meat. Return to cooking liquid in pan. Return to oven and heat through. Serve the cooking liquid, thickened if desired, on the side.

To finish the slaw, stir and serve.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday's blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Grits Casserole
Cook 1 ½ cups grits in 6 cups water according to package directions. Stir in 2 tsp salt, ¼ cup butter, 2 cups shredded cheese, 3 beaten eggs and Tabasco sauce to taste. Pour into greased casserole (or individual bowls) and bake 1 hour at 250.

Dinner: Ragout
Onion Pie

Ragout: Line the bottom of a heavy skillet with uncooked bacon strips. Slice 1 pound round steak into thin strips. Tenderize if necessary. Cover the bacon with the steak strips. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a layer of 3 carrots, sliced paper thin and 1 medium onion sliced into rings. Cover tightly and cook on lowest rack in oven at 350 for 2 ½ hours.

Onion Pie: Mix 1 ½ cups plain bread crumbs with 5 Tblsp melted butter. Press into pie plate. Saute 3 cups sliced onion in 5 Tblsp melted butter until limp. Pour onions into pie crust. Whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, and salt & pepper to taste. Pour over onions. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated cheese and ½ cup plain breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Lunch: Buttermilk Doughnuts
Sift 3 ½ cups flour. Measure 1 ½ cup sifted flour into mixing bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 2 eggs and ¾ cup buttermilk. Beat until smooth. Work in remaining flour to a soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and roll out ½ inch thick. Cut with floured doughnut cutter, reserving “holes.” Fry in hot oil 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Sprinkle with plain sugar, powdered sugar or frost with a thin powdered sugar glaze.

Church Night Supper: One –Dish Casserole
Warmed bread

In a large heavy skillet, brown 2 pounds lean hamburger with ½ cup each chopped celery and onion. Drain, if necessary. Stir in 2 cans undiluted vegetable beef soup. Arrange frozen tater tots over top. Bake 1 to 1 ½ hr at 350. Make sure tater tots are browned and cooked through before serving.

There are a couple things on the menu for tomorrow that need to be started tonight: Brisket in Beer and Pickled Slaw

Brisket in Beer: Brown one 4-5 pound fresh brisket on all sides in a small amount of oil or bacon drippings. Place in roasting pan and sprinkle one envelope onion soup mix over meat. Slice one onion into rings and spread over meat. Combine 1 cup bottled chili sauce with ½ cup water and pour over. Cover and roast at 350 for 40 minutes per pound, basting occasionally. 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, pour one can beer over, cover and finish roasting. Refrigerate overnight.

Slaw: Shred 1 head cabbage and toss with ½ cup each finely chopped onion and green pepper. Sprinkle 1 cup sugar over all and DO NOT STIR. Dressing: Mix and bring to a boil ¼ cup oil, 1 cup cider vinegar, ¼ tsp celery seed and 1 tsp dry mustard. Pour over vegetables and sugar but DO NOT STIR. Refrigerate overnight.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Fruit Soup
Texas Toast

Soup: Coarsely chop one 8 oz package mixed, dried fruit. Pour cold water over and soak for 1 hour. Add ½ cup raisins and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Mix 1 Tblsp corn starch with ¼ cup cold water and stir into fruit mixture, stir until thickened.

Texas Toast: Butter both sides of thick Texas toast bread and fry in skillet on both sides until brown. Serve warm.

Dinner: Corn Chowder
Deviled Ham Sandwich

Corn Chowder: In a Dutch oven, fry six slices diced bacon with 1 small chopped onion and ½ cup chopped celery until bacon is crisp and vegetables are soft. Add 2 cups Southern style frozen hash browns and enough water to barely cover. Simmer 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. Add 1 quart corn, ¾ cup milk and ¾ cup heavy cream and salt & pepper to taste. Heat through, but do not boil.
Deviled Ham: Finely grate or grind cooked ham to measure 2 cups. Add 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped, 2 Tblsp minced onion, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 2 Tblsp sweet relish and 2 Tblsp mayonnaise. Mix well and serve on bread of choice.

Lunch: Date Pudding
Beat 3 eggs until light and fluffy. Beat 1 cup sugar into eggs. Stir in ¼ cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 ½ cups chopped dates. Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan and bake 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Supper: Goulash
Saurkraut Salad

Salad: Drain one 32 ounce jar sauerkraut. Stir in 1 tsp celery seed. Boil 1 cup sugar with 1 cup cider vinegar. Pour over kraut and chill.

Goulash: In a large skillet, brown 1 ½ pounds hamburger with 1 small finely chopped onion and 2 stalks chopped celery. Stir in 2 cloves minced roasted garlic, 1 Tblsp chili powder, one 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, one 6 oz can tomato paste. Add 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until macaroni is done, 10-15 minutes. Add tomato juice if it seems to be getting dry.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday's Blue Plate Specials

Breakfast: Breakfast Bowl

For each serving, lightly grease an oven proof bowl. In another bowl, toss 1 cubed bread slice or roll with 2 Tblsp each finely chopped onion, green pepper, meat* and shredded cheese. Place in the greased bowl. Whisk together two eggs and 3 Tblsp milk. Pour over bread mixture, cover and let stand overnight. In the morning, bring to room temperature and bake, covered at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove cover and cook 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Serve hot with fresh orange slices on the side.
* You can use just about any meat you want in this: Nelli suggests any of the following: crumbled bacon, diced ham, shredded roast beef, leftover taco meat or tastee burger, corned beef, Spam, smoked turkey, shredded chicken and so on…

Dinner: Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Egg Salad Sandwich

Soup: In a medium sauce pan, stir together one can each cream of chicken and chicken noodle soup. Whisk in 1 soup can water and 1 soup can milk.

Egg Salad: Finely chop 6 hard boiled eggs by rubbing them through a French fry cutter. Stir in ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tblsp each finely chopped onion and sweet relish. Serve on rye or wheat bread.

Lunch: Jell-O Cake
Bake one white cake mix in a 9 x 13 pan according to package directions. While cake is still warm, poke holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let cool. Mix 1 small package gelatin of any flavor with 1 cup boiling water until dissolved. Stir in ½ cup cold water. Pour over cake. Chill until gelatin is set. Cover with whipped cream and serve.

Supper: Skillet Barbecue Chicken
Baked Potatoes
Beets in Sour Cream

Chicken: Mix 1 can Coca Cola with 1 cup barbecue sauce. Place one cut up chicken or boneless breasts and thighs in an electric skillet. Pour sauce over, cover tightly and cook at 300 for one hour, turning once or twice.

Baked Potato: Scrub 1 medium to large potato per serving. Bake in 350 oven 1- 1 ¼ hour until soft. For a crispy skin, bake unwrapped. For a soft skin, wrap in foil. Serve with butter, sour cream and chopped green onion.

Beets: Scrub and boil 5 medium beets until soft. Cool slightly and slip the skins off. Cut into Julienne strips. In a saucepan, Whisk together 2 Tblsp each butter and flour until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tblsp vinegar, 1 Tblsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp dill weed and ½ tsp pepper. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Stir in beets and heat through. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup sour cream and 3 Tblsp heavy cream. Stir cream into beets. Serve warm.