ar_wahan: (Default)
This recipe is from a book so old (1976) that it probably was before this weird stuff called "yogurt" was widely available... it calls for sour cream. I in fact used sour cream when I thawed the base and served it recently, but now I wish I'd used plain yogurt. Greek yogurt would be even more appropriate, I imagine!

Cucumber Soup
Serves 4=6

Saute in large skillet:
3 cups sliced cucumbers
1/2 onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter

Add to the skillet and simmer 10 minutes:

1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of dried dill weed.

Puree in blender (I used food processor, something else that didn't exist back then) and chill.

Freeze, if desired, at this point.  (I did, and it worked just fine.)

Stir in:

1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt, as noted above)
1 cucumber, seeded and grated.

Serve cold.

ar_wahan: (Default)
Even if you are expecting a reply to an urgent business email, DO NOT go upstairs to  your office to check it while browning ground beef for tacos.

True, Spouse likes his ground beef "well done," and it didn't actually burn . . . but the cats did not appreciate having the smoke detectors go off!
ar_wahan: (Default)
I have had other adventures, some of them very nice, in the last few weeks. I'll try to post about them here, but not all at once.

So here's the first:


When I first met my future husband (1978), he talked about how his friend Molly made incredible bread. Then his sister Mary made incredible bread. He hinted I should ask them their secrets. (I had never tried to bake bread, FYI.) So I tried it myself, with generally lamentable results. The bread would smell wonderful, look great, but end up lop-sided, and with a still-damp interior. I quit.

In about 1995 or so, bread machines came on the market. I helped a friend and his wife move. He remembered that I'd talked about getting a bread machine, so he gave me one as a thank you gift.,

I was all grateful and excited. But while the results were better than my earlier efforts, the bread was now overly browned on the outside, and the bread-machine paddle was stuck in the "ass" off the oddly-shaped loaf. Not exactly a presentation piece. I quit,.

I did use the machine a few times to make pizza dough, with success.

Then, this past holiday, Samurai came home. She didn't know what to give her relatives, and I knew she was a better baker than I, so I suggested baking something. She tried the bread machine just to make dough, and made great cinnamon rolls! Even SIL S, the crabby one, raved about them later.

So about a week ago, I decided to make whole wheat bread, using the machine just for the dough, and to bake the loaves in the oven.


In the process, I learned (trying figure out how to turn a "2 lb. machine loaf" into 2 9x5 pan, or 1/12 lb. machine loaves into 2 8x5 pans) that I am one of MANY people who are finding a new use for that bread machine that has been unused for years. Not for BAKING, but for the first knead and rise.

One useful site:
ar_wahan: (holiday)
Made it this afternoon for an open house I went to this evening. EVERYONE wanted the recipe. But YOU ALL will get it first!

It is from the December 2011-January 2012 issue of Simple & Delicious magazine.

Salmon Mousse Tartlets

Makes 15 appetizers [WRONG! There is a typo somewhere in the published recipe. It made enough for 30 tartlet shells! Fortunately I had an extra package, piped the filling into those shells, and they were GONE.]

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 pouch (6 oz.) boneless, skinless pink salmon (this confused me at first; it refers to the Bumblebee and other brands of cooked salmon in pouches that are found with the canned tuna, etc. in your grocery store. They cost nothing like the salmon in the fish department. They were on sale, too!).
1 pkg. (1.9 oz) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells (this refers to, perhaps among other brands, the Athens brand "mini fillo shells" -- 15 per box , and yes, 1.9 oz --  which are probably with the frozen pie crusts and puff pastry packages in the freezer case at your store. Out here, anyway, "Athens mini fillo shells" were available, and on sale, too!). They are PREBAKED.
Fresh dill sprigs, optional (I could not find them, but you will see that I improvised).

Beat cream cheese, seafood seasoning and lemon juice until smooth in a large bowl. Beat in salmon. Spoon or pipe into tart shells; garnish with dill if desired. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until serving.


When I did this, I tasted it, and it seemed bland. So I sprinkled in some dried dill weed from a jar in my herb/spice collection. Didn't measure it.

As it sat in the refrigerator, for maybe ONLY 20 minutes, because I was running late and needed to get to this shindig, the flavors melded, and it was not bland at all. It was very good.
ar_wahan: (narcissuspuss)

Some of you will cheer because of this. I am just sad.

This evening, inspired by [ profile] capriciouslass, I finally attempted to import my LJ entries to Dreamwidth. It did not take nearly as long as I'd thought! My next challenge is to REMEMBER to post from there, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)

I am ar_wahan there, too.

Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :-)

Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- three dozen pumpkin, two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)

I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.

I am beat. Will make dinner and feed horses now . . . (horses fed).

I meant to crosspost this from DW, but it didn't work, and of course that's probably because of security measures LJ has taken in light of the recent DDOS attacks. So this is a cut-and-paste with edit tweaks to refer to "there" rather than "here," change the subject line, etc.

ar_wahan: (Default)
Some of you will cheer because of this. I am just sad.

This evening, I imported my LJ entries to Dreamwidth and hope to REMEMBER to post from here, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)

Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :)

Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- mostly pumpkin, but two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)

I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.

I am beat. Will make dinner and feed horses now . . .

So let's see if this short test post works!
ar_wahan: (Japan trip?)
As I was taking a shower, I suddenly had what may or may not be a revelation about the mysterious red, sweet, refreshing tidbits we were served in Japan. I had originally thought they were umeboshi (picked plums), but those are salty.

I think they were pickled crab apples!!
ar_wahan: (Default)
Haven't tried this one yet. Again from latest Simple & Delicious

Pistachio Baked Salmon

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

Serves 6

6 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
1 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. pepper

Place salmon in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over salmon Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I read an article about these women and their cookbook and "system" about a week ago, and ordered the book. It just came on Saturday. The authors avoid foods that are processed (although they do use canned foods), and have a grocery list that contains every ingredient used in the cookbook, so once you stock up, you are good to go. They also have a free online newsletter that provides new recipes. And, what really sold me on the book, is that the index includes ingredients. So if, say, you have a can of artichoke hearts and are looking for a way to use them (as I was), it will show you every recipe in the cookbook that uses canned artichoke hearts.

Take a look:
ar_wahan: (Default)
Or it was, according to cookbook author Mark Bittman. (This is a followup to my last post, for the confused among you.) In the first edition of How to Cook Everything, he writes:

"Flour, once an inconsistent product, is now so fine that sifting is usually unnecessary. Nor is it necessary whem mixing flour with other dry ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or baking powder, although it's worth whisking those ingredients together with a fork or whisk just to eliminate any lumps that might exist. When you do need to sift -- to put a layer of flour on the bottom of the pan, or in delicate recipes such as Angel Food Cake, put the flour through an old-fashioned sifter, or simply pass thorugh a not-too-fine sieve."

Yay! Two different siftings in my mother's old recipe have just been eliminated! (Sifting with my sifter can give me a hand cramp, plus the sifter is hard to clean. A little flour always remains between two of the mesh layers, even when I poke at it with a toothpick!)
ar_wahan: (Default)
Last week it snowed lightly every day, and the dark skies and white flakes made me want to bake cookies. I pulled out a recipe from my childhood, "Dutch Refrigerator Cookies." I kind of remember making it originally from a cut-out tiny square from a magazine taped onto a 3x5 card. My mother found it in something she was reading, anyway!  Years later, I copied the recipe by hand onto a 3x5 card so I'd have it when I went away to college. I also dimly remember there were some windmill-shaped cookies, prepackaged (so not the store's own bakery) -- Archway cookies, perhaps? -- that had a similar taste.

I just Googled "Dutch Refrigerator Cookies" and found an almost identical version; the only difference was that it also used1/2 teaspoon vanilla. My recipe does not, unless I neglected to include vanilla when I copied it from my mother's recipe card in 1973 or 74!

It also did not say one had to sift the flour! (I was wondering if that step(s) was/were really necessary. Could the instructions in my version be a carryover from an earlier time, when flour may not have been as finely ground?

I made the dough earlier this week. I panicked at one point, thinking I didn't have walnuts, and decided that finely chopped almonds would be just as good -- perhaps even better! (I think the version I found on line simply called for "nuts.") I did end up with exactly the right amount of walnuts, though, so I will try the almonds another time.

Still Googling (now finding "Dutch Icebox Cookies," which dates them even more), I also saw that you could freeze the dough. Handy!

Anyway, vanilla omission or no, they were delicious. So here you are:

1 cup shortening (I used two sticks of Promise)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cream shortening, sugars. Add egg and beat well. Sift dry ingredients, stir into creamed mixture. Add nuts. Shape in rolls about 2 1/2 inches across. Wrap in waxed paper; chill thoroughly.

Slice very thin, 1/8" or less.

Bake 1" apart on lightly greased sheet at 375 degrees F. 5 to 7 minutes or until delicately browned.

Makes 5-6 dozen.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well . . . I had to bake them 8 minutes, and they only made about 4 dozen cookies. Some of them were a bit thicker than others, though, so that may be why they required extra time and didn't make 5 dozen. But ... I even used a ruler to measure 1/8"!.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I decided to try to turn an unadopted orphan from my bean-soup-in-a-jar UU craft sale project into chili tonight. Last week, inspired by a post from [ profile] comingin2day , I wanted to make chiles rellenos. When I got to the store, the arrangement of non-bell-peppers was very confusing. I thought I was buying mild yellow chili  peppers (they didn't have mild green chili peppers). It turns out they were quite hot! I discovered this when I cut one open. So the next day I bought canned whole mild chili peppers and made the dish then.

Well. . . tonight I need to spice up the (pretty bland) soup mix to make it into a chili. I took two of the remaining hot yellow chili peppers and chopped them up fine. then I washed my hands and puttered around doing other things while they started simmering with the bean mix.

I came up here to check LJ and happened to touch the corner of one eye with my finger.

YOWZAA! It burns, it burns!!

OK, I'll go wash my hands again now. And again. And again.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I didn't make this one, but the Rumi Club (a group of Muslim grad students at UMass -- and a striking group, indeed!), showed up at the end of our UU service yesterday to offer us Noah's Pudding, a traditional dish from Turkey and other parts of the Middle East that is served to guests and friends on the 10th of Muharram in the Islamic Calendar. It celebrates the landing of Noah's ark. Noah had made this pudding the day before out of the little food left on the ark.

"Sharing Noah's pudding is a symbolic representation of the unity and essential relationship of humans to one another and to their Creator."

1 cup wheat
1 cup white beans
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup raisins (I think they used golden raisins)
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup peanuts
12 dried apricots
5 1/2 cups sugar water (enough to cover)

toppings: ground walnuts, cinnamon

Soak wheat, white beans, garbanzo beans and almonds in water overnight. Boil the above, remove the outer shell or skin.

Soak the raisins in boiling water until they soften.

Put all ingredients above in a large pot and boil. Add the peanuts and almonds (peeled and cut in half) at this point.

Chop the apricots into small pieces; add to the water along with sugar.

Boil for 10-15 minutes.

Makes 30 servings for you and your neighbors.

A seemingly odd combination, but very tasty! I'm not sure what they meant by "wheat" -- wheat germ? Seemed like it from the consistency. If anyone knows better, please correct me!
ar_wahan: (Default)

I didn't use roma tomatoes as "bottoms." People liked these a lot, some of them not even realizing until first bite that they were eating yellow squash and zucchini rounds instead of round crackers! The pesto by itself, not spread on a round, also made a nice dip with the veggie tray's carrot and celery sticks.

For all three of these recipes, a food processor came in handy!
ar_wahan: (Default)
Another recipe from yesterday. It was surprisingly hard to find stuffed mushrooms that didn't involve some sort of cheese! People liked these, too, but unless I have specifically to cook for a vegan, I have other stuffed mushroom recipes I prefer. (Oh, and I did *not* include the optional dried cranberries or pecans.)

Still, for those vegan friends who may not be aware of this site:
ar_wahan: (Default)
Subject line is stolen from the title of a vegetarian cookbook written by Leslie Cerier, who lives in town and whose daughter played with Samurai for many years on soccer teams:

I made three vegan dishes yesterday for the UU new member dinner. People liked all of them, but the hit was from Leslie's cookbook, with omnivores and the one vegan all wanting the recipe. I made it to be a "savory topper for toasted bread" (like an appetizer), but it ended up as a side dish. Leslie, the author, also notes that it can go on top of pasta. (I doubled the recipe that follows, and thought I'd end up with too much left over. Nope!)

Carrots with Wild Mushrooms and Basil
Yields 4-6 servings

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup dried shitake mushroom caps
3 cups coarsely chopped portabella mushrooms
2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onions
7 gloves garlic, thickly sliced
4 1/3 tablespoons fresh basil, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley

[NOTES: I already had SLICED dried shitake mushroom caps from an Asian food store, purchased last week when I wanted to make soup. I used packages of pre-sliced "baby bella" mushrooms, much cheaper than the big ones (even without being on sale! And they were ...). Since the whole caps or larger portabellas would end up sliced anyway, I figured it wouldn't matter. I also used half the garlic.]

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place dried mushrooms in small bowl and cover with water. Let stand 20 minutes or until softened. Remove and slice. Discard the soaking water, or save for soup stock or to water plants. *
3. Transfer the sliced porcini and shitake to a covered crock or baking dish, along with the portabella mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, basil, oil, and salt. Toss well.
4. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
5. Add the parsley to the vegetables, stir and serve

Leslie notes "For a change . . . . Soak the dried porcini and shitake mushrooms in wine or stock instead of water."

* I saved the soaking water because it smelled heavenly! I have a lot of cut-up vegetable from another appetizer tray left over, and will see what I can do between the water and the vegetables. Maybe cook some udon or other noodles in the water and make a stir fry . . . and thicken the stir fry with a little more of the water and corn starch or something.
ar_wahan: (Default)
And if that sounds all warm and cozy and lovely, well . . . I'm not the kitchen goddess type. At all. But I am the "I said I'll do something, so I'll do it" type. (Yes, I'm a stubborn Celt.)


Two dozen very large mini M&M cookies (yes, I cheated and used one of my cookie-mix-in-jar leftover jars).

Three mini lemon-poppyseed loaves and six lemon-poppyseed muffins

Two apple-walnut mini loaves and one dozen apple-walnut muffins

Two dozen chocolate muffins

This took some time because loaves and muffins made out of the same mix require two different temperatures and timings. But I pulled it off.

Sat down just long enough to go to the co-op because (duh!) I didn't have quite enough flour.

Then sat down to print out signs of various sorts for the room at Town Hall tomorrow where we'll be trying to get people to take these things home and give donations.

Take home lesson for me: Be less ambitious in your baking!
ar_wahan: (Default)
 I learned something new at yesterday's Sunday service.  Alison, our minister, talked to the children (and adults) about a movement that's been going on for a few years (she just learned of herself). She passed out cards and little bars of Fair Trade organic chocolate for the children to give to homeowners when they go trick-or-treating. It's an educational campaign to raise awareness of the fact that many farms that supply cocoa to major chocolate manufacturers use forced child labor. The cards encourage the people who'll give out candy to children Oct. 31 to buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate and cocoa products next Halloween (and year-round).

The web site is www.

The kits (cards and mini candy bars to distribute) have been sold out, but you can find the miniature bars AND (*pings[ profile] rowangolightly*) links to areas on that have other types of chocolate products.

(One of the kids who sampled the candy bar Alison had given her said she didn't like it. Well, of course not -- it was the more bitter dark chocolate, more to the liking of an adult They do have milk chocolate, gift boxes with assorted chocolates, etc.) The web site also has many other Fair Trade products.

We rarely get trick-or-treaters at our door here -- most kids are driven by their parents to the center of town, where the houses are in reasonable walking distance of each other -- but I thought it was a great idea.

ar_wahan: (cooking)
I can't claim credit for the name of the recipe I made for the homeless shelter guests yesterday. It was created by Catherine Yoder, of New Paris, Indiana, and published in Taste of Home Quick Cooking's magazine, and later in its 2009 Annual Recipes cookbook, which puts all the recipes of the year in one place. She wrote, "My kids and husband don't like some veggies, so I sneak them into this recipe."

I've been told the homeless guests (and the two UUs who took the pans over to them and served them) really liked it.

Prep time: 25 min. Bake time: 55 min + standing

Yields: 10-12 servings (I tripled this for the shelter guests, making one pan meatless)

2 pounds ground beef

1 package (16 oz) frozen California-blend vegetables  (Here Ar_wahan inserts a note. My store showed CA-blend as one combo, but the photo in the cookbook clearly showed carrots in the mix, which the CA-blend did not include. I used an Italian-blend which included broccoli, cauliflower and carrots sliced in long strips.  It worked just fine. I had tried a 1/2 batch of this recipe in February, just to make sure it worked.)

2 eggs

3 cups (24 oz) 2% cottage cheese

2 jars (26 oz. each) spaghetti sauce

12 no-cook lasagna noodles

2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Meanwhile, cook vegetables according to package directions; drain. Finely chop vegetables; place in bowl. Stir in eggs and cottage cheese; set aside.

Drain beef; stir in spaghetti sauce. Spread 2 cups meat mixture into a greased 13-in x 9-in x 2 in baking dish. Top with four noodles. Spread half of the vegetable mixture to edge of noodles.Layer with 2 cups meat mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with four noodles, remaining vegetable mixture and 2 cups meat mixture. Layer with remaining noodles, meat mixture and mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 375 degrees F. for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I spent a considerable sum buying the "Q-towers" and clips so we could put a Yakima rack system on Samurai's Saturn. It was her Christmas present. The boxes have been sitting in the living room by her "spot" since then. I intended to install them today and use the 48" bars that had originally been on my Corolla (but which were too short for the wider Prius). The idea was that she could use the cargo box we bought in August to cart her goods to Suffolk (on my Prius) to cart things back and forth herself in the future, as well as carry her ski gear. AND, to be able to transport our two kayaks herself (especially when she and Mai are on the Cape with us this June) without hijacking my car. In theory, she'd just have to transfer the J-bars from my car to her rack system.


Wherein I get annoyed with myself for not doing my homework )

Last night I made a recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. I'd ordered two copies at the same time I'd ordered the small rice cooker for Samurai, had everything shipped to her to save on shipping charges('cuz I'm cheap that way), and asked her to bring the second copy home with her during spring break. There are some very interesting recipes in there! It includes "small meal" recipes, which means you aren't just cooking the rice, but vegetables and meat or other proteins at the same time. Kind of like a casserole or one-pot stovetop meal, only steamed instead of baked. And then there are other recipes for the use of the above-the-rice steamer basket.

Today was a lovely spring-like day. We could walk around without our coats, it being in the low 50s. (Of course, in a few months, we'll be thinking that is chilly!) Samurai and I went to the UU service, which was unusual -- "Jazz Theology: The Creative Pulse." Alison made some fascinating analogies between jazz and Unitarian Universalism, and all the music was jazz.

We went to the Route 9 Diner for a late breakfast, brainstormed places she might check out this week to see if she can get an application in for a summer job now (and came up with the same place at the same time, which she said meant we were reading the other's mind again; in this case, I think it's just because I know her interests). I shared [ profile] starseeking 's comment about her not getting the RA position -- that something bigger and more suitable for her was waiting -- and she appreciated that. She is already planning to do some training with PFLAG in Boston to be someone schools or other places could call to get youth to come in and speak about their experiences, and was wondering if she could get a paid job doing filing or something for them this semester. She's also going to talk to a law professor who taught an undergrad course last semester who thought very highly of her, and who might have some connections.
After we came home, I basically sat around reading because my blood glucose had dropped and I felt shaky (was waiting for the treatment to kick in). She kindly did some "spring cleaning" on my laptop, removing a bunch of "temp" files and also doing something to prevent some never-used programs from loading when Windows XP starts up (such as Kodak Easyshare, which I never use). This thing would take forever to load, and now it springs into action! Arigato, Samurai!

It was just too nice to stay in, so once glucose was up, I went out and started picking up some of the smaller sticks that are littering our front yard from the December ice storm and subsequent winter winds and ice. It looks a little better now. (There is still some snow on the ground.) I don't know what we're going to do with all the larger branches. The main parts we can use for firewood, but not the parts with twigs. The tree guy who came twice after the storm to do work said he could come back to take down the dangerously damaged pine in the spring, and bring his chipper with him to get rid of everything. Or, I could get a brush burning permit and start burning some of it. I see several of our neighbors burning brush now.

It's been a low-key weekend here, which is good. I've been deligent with my physical therapy exercises, and can feel the difference. Spouse played the guitar a bit this afternoon (I could hear him playing inside the house when I was outside picking up sticks). He finally did the dishes (his job) and is now taking a little nap. I think I'll brown some ground beef for spaghetti, then take a quick shower before continuing the rest of dinner prep (I'm not doing the shower first because I don't want the cooking smell to get in my hair!).

That's about it. *pokes you if you've dozed off*


ar_wahan: (Default)

December 2016

2526272829 3031


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 07:24 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios