The recipe thread (revisited) - Printable Version
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The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-11-2011 10:09 PM
At the old forum, we had a recipe thread. Since that one is gone, so gone, I am going to revitalize it here.
(I've been asked by Sailfindragon to moderate at SailfinSims now too, and Pooki and a few of the others there have a recipe thread as well, check it out with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google ID if you're not registered...or just register and chat there too, they're nice people. Thank goodness for sweet-natured communities with good people, I have barely had to lift a finger here or there for anything but spam-block lol, if website moderation was always so easy...well, lol, it's typically not, but you guys are gems lol.)
Oh, by the by, I'm expecting again. Lol. My older one is 5, she's a doll, and now #2 is on the way, and I'm still a week or 2 shy of 4 months, but I've started nesting a little. I especially have been feeling this urge to dig up recipes and cook and cook and cook. The cleaning frenzy hasn't begun yet...though I've been eyeballing some of the nice aromatherapy-infused Mrs. Meyers and Bigelow and such at the store lol...But BAKING, baking sounds fantastic.
And the weather is changing. It's gotten a little brisk at night. The kind of temperatures that make me want to brew up some coffee (I don't drink it, really, but I love the smell) and bake up some bread and something with apples and spices and maybe even do something tart and sweet like a cherry or cranberry muffin.
Mmm...sorry got sidetracked.
I'm going to start us off with my banana bread recipe, my mom picked it up as a zucchini bread recipe from one of those big church fundraiser cookbooks or something like it, swapped in the bananas instead of a large grated zucchini, and that was that. I took it a step further (my variation), I like my banana bread dense and sweet and moist, not loose and tender like a cake recipe. I like to cut off a slab, add a little butter and maybe a pinch of sugar, and have it work as a MEAL.
1 c. veg. oil
3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3 overripe bananas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
(1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans if you like them)
Mash bananas. Mix wet and dry goods. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 325° F.
Variation: Add another banana and an extra 1 tsp vanilla for a sweeter, usually more moist bread. You may have to increase baking time by a few minutes this way, but this is my preferred method.
Anyways, I've rambled enough. It's been a long, stressful week, and I'm unwinding by scoping out food blogs and skimming cookbooks. I'm going to be combining a bunch of classic family recipes into a little cookbook for friends and family, too, and I need to get hooked up with my younger cousin who is trying to learn to cook basics to impress her boyfriend, who is a pretty solid hand in the kitchen. She laughed and said she made him pancakes the other day and to avoid having to eat these burned, lumpy things she had made, he "accidentally" dropped his plate. We've all been there, I told her, some more recently than others and she laughed. I have some pretty foolproof recipes, though, things I had trouble screwing up even the FIRST time I made them and I USUALLY screw SOMETHING up the first time lol. If I can make it once, I've got it down, but the first time can often have...interesting results.
I digress again.
Have fun, eat well, and post good food recipes here. I'm snoopy and curious.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Regina - 09-12-2011 12:56 AM
Ooh, congratulations on the little one! :flowers1:
I was thinking about bringing back the recipe thread but hadn't got beyond the thinking process so I'm glad you did this. I have a couple of things off the top of my head to add.
I know many people have problems eating gluten, and I wanted to experiment with this anyway, so I'm going to see your banana bread (absolutely adore banana bread, even have two bananas frozen to make some after the weather cools down) and raise you some oatmeal and summer squash. One of my daughters had a birthday last month so I experimented with little muffins in the toaster oven and when those were a success baked a cake.
Use the same recipe Spacerox posted but instead of wheat flour use 100% oatmeal flour. If you can't get oatmeal flour, just run some oatmeal through a food processor until it's finely chopped. Oatmeal may be less expensive than oatmeal flour, I just buy Scottish cut oatmeal at about 60 cents a pound and store the extra in the freezer to keep it away from bugs.
For problems handling sugar, we substitute honey and stevia for the sweetener, but use only about 1/4 cup honey (honey will also make the bread moister) plus about 1/3 cup stevia. Finally, stevia is available on store shelves here in reasonable sized packages here. Both honey and stevia are a bit expensive but since we don't eat sweets much a little goes a long way.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with zucchini. On the one hand, it's super easy to grow, and because it grows so easily it's also a pain in the rear, as in there's just way too much of it available in the summer. After I looked up the nutrient values of zucchini I decided the only thing it is good for is for replacing non-nutrient flour because its calorie content is pretty close to its nutrient content which is pretty close to zero. If I can use something that has nutrients in it instead of something that doesn't, I'm going to. So I compared the nutrition in crook-neck and scallop squashes (which aren't quite as prolific as zucchini, but close enough) and decided I had to experiment with those for quick breads too. Yes, those tasty and nutritious summer squash work for making quick breads, PLUS have a good amount of potassium and vitamin C! I want next to try taking my squashy oatmeal breads to the savory side and see what I come up with.
We all love chocolate here, so we usually add cocoa to the squash bread and in this case add another tablespoon of honey.
Another of our favorite quick bread alternatives: use pumpkin for the fruit.
Now for a sort of recipe, although this really doesn't have any measurements because it's just something I throw in a pan sometimes when we need something in a real hurry, and of course the meat to veggie ratio is going to depend on a person's preference.
Pre-cooked smoked sausages, sliced 1/2" thick
Crook-neck squash and/or scallop squash
Garlic (fresh really is best but I do cheat and use dry granulated)
Salt and pepper as desired
Slice the squash about 1/8" thick.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan on slightly above medium heat, and once the pan is hot add the butter (butter burns easily so it's the last thing I add before the squash)
As soon as the butter melts, add the squash and sprinkle with granulated garlic to taste, add some salt and pepper if you like. While the squash is cooking (cook it without a lid, otherwise it's a wet mess, and stir it fairly frequently to make sure the stuff on the top gets to the bottom), slice the sausages, then once sliced stir into the squash. The squash will all be translucent when it's finished cooking.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-12-2011 01:59 AM
Another trick I recently learned was dehydrated buttermilk. I haven't gotten to try it yet, but got a hearty recommendation.
The brand, specifically, was SACO.
I never manage to use all of my buttermilk and all of the tricks involving intentionally souring milk with vinegar or lemon juice has never had quite the right flavor or consistency for me as a substitution. I looked up some product commentary on a few food blogs and everyone who has tried the powdered stuff seems to swear by it.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Sookielee - 09-12-2011 08:06 AM
Ooh a little one, congrats again.
Thanks for bringing back this thread. I so loved it at the old forum. Nights that I could not think of something to cook for dinner, I could go to that thread and get ideas. I don't have any to share right now, but hopefully once we get moved I will be able to. I am really looking forward to trying that Banana Bread, it is one of my all time favorite foods.
That sausage and squash sounds yummy, but hubby hates squash
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-12-2011 11:39 AM
I've been spending lots of time lately poring through my cookbooks and copying recipes (or my variations of them) down into my own personal cookbook. I'm compiling all of our favorites into one place because I'm tired of doing the recipe scramble when looking for that one thing we've done 9000 times just to recall if it's a teaspoon or a tablespoon of something lol.
Plus, it's something cheap and fun to give my cousins and in-laws for Christmas lol. I'm making cookbooks and sewing purses, Happy Homemade Holidays lol.
Now to think of something for my brother. I know what he SAID he wanted, but I don't know that he actually meant it, but I may make it for him anyways as a joke. (He said he wanted a Captain America shield throw pillow so that he would win all pillow fights by default. He's a big kid trapped in the body of a 25 year old lol.)
Speaking of sausage and holidays, I shared this recipe at SailfinSims. It's my mother-in-law's standby holiday breakfast, something she whisks together the night before and then sticks in the oven first thing in the morning, before the turkey or roast goes in.
6 slices of bread, torn or cut into small pieces
2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
1 package sliced Lil Smokies, smoked cocktail sausages (or substitute 1 lb ground sausage, browned)
Salt and pepper
(The Casserole Queens suggest, in a very similar recipe, adding 1-2 Tbsp. spicy mustard as well.)
Mix ingredients well, pour into greased 13x9 pan and seal with foil. For best results, refrigerate overnight to allow the dish to combine.
Preheat oven to 325° F, bake for 50 minutes with the foil on. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.
We do this from time to time just because. It's supposed to sit in the fridge about 6-8 hours to blend to get a good porridge quality to the bread, but if you want to do eggs for breakfast, I've had solid results with just an hour or 2. You can use any kind of bread you like. Store bought, homemade, sourdough, wheat, white, potato, whatever lol. It's a flexible recipe. She typically does store bought white bread, but we have used those bakery leftover "stuffing mix" bags as well and just used the equivalent amount (I think it's about 2 cups of shredded bread) but that DEFINITELY needs to soak then lol, those stuffing mix bags are usually a bit dry/stale. She uses Lil Smokies from Hillshire Farms because they're pre-cooked and she can just chop them up and toss them in. We typically do ground sausage at home, I prefer the taste.
You can use Egg White Substitute if you like, low fat-cheese, whatever you like. Some people do ham instead of sausage. You can add veggies, you can do cooked bacon--a bacon, spinach, and diced tomato with Swiss or Mozzarella version might be really good lol. If you do add veggies, you may have to increase the cook time slightly, depending on how much moisture is in the veggies you choose.
It's also a great "I just want to sit and have some no-fuss me time tomorrow" family breakfast or brunch, it takes about 20 minutes to throw together if you have to brown the sausage and then you just pop it in the oven the next morning and go read, have a cup of coffee, or watch the morning news.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Regina - 09-12-2011 02:53 PM
Quote:That sausage and squash sounds yummy, but hubby hates squash
Oh, that's too bad! Does he dislike all squash equally? I like just about all squash, but for different reasons. Winter squashes are meaty and sweet. My mom said she hated winter squash pretty much all her life until she started doing her own cooking. Then she realized what she hated was the brown sugar and marshmallows everyone she knew cooked them with, so when we had winter squash it was always baked plain with a little salt and butter. I also don't like it with brown sugar and marshmallows, but I love it with a little butter and salt and that's how I managed to turn everyone in our house into winter squash lovers too. As far as summer squash goes, I really don't care much for zucchini because the only thing I can taste is the squash under-tones. Scallop and crookneck, on the other hand, both have flavors that over-power that. Even just blanched, a slice of scallop squash has a distinct mild nutty and buttery flavor. The crook-necks have it too just not quite as strong as the scallop. My husband's grandma got me hooked on crook-neck squash. She'd slice it then bake it in the oven then add a little butter, salt, and pepper to it. It was the flavor that got me, not the texture, though, because baked it was watery. One of my kids, I'm thinking it was Syera, absolutely hated Grandma's summer squash, but it's not easy cooking enough of it when it's fried--a huge skillet full will be wiped out in a single meal.
I found pretty much the same thing with most vegetables. Through the years if one of my kids didn't like a particular vegetable, I figured out a different way to cook it and suddenly it was one of their favorite things on the planet.
How many people don't like spinach? I love it just about any way I can get it, but I have one devout spinach hater and this spinach dish is her creation, which she loves. She'll fix a huge kettle of this for dinner and it's gone at the end of the meal.
This is the size for our family of four:
At least a pound-and-a-half of frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained.
One large onion, thinly sliced or diced
A half to full cup of grated cheese
Two or three tablespoons of sour cream
A tablespoon of olive oil
A pinch of cardamom
(Because of the cheese you may not need salt.)
(A note about cardamom: Thanks to a Swedish cookie recipe I discovered cardamom some years back. It is one of the more expensive spices but a little goes a long way.)
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized kettle then saute the onions. If you're using fresh garlic, add this toward the end of the onion sauteing. Add the spinach and seasonings, then mix well, then stir in the grated cheese and sour cream, at this point stirring long enough to heat the spinach through. Warning: If this is over-heated it will get slimy.
Ooh, Saco does powdered buttermilk? I'll have to see if I can locate that anywhere. I love buttermilk and can drink it by the quart but since it's pretty high in sugar I don't buy it, then when I would like to use some in something I don't have any. I frequently buy Saco cocoa. It puts Hershey and Nestle to shame so I can imagine their powdered buttermilk would also be good. Thanks for the tip! :D
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - BBDOG - 09-12-2011 03:04 PM
congratulations on your bun in the oven (pregnancy):-)and looking forward to seeing some more recipes from 4 thousand miles away.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-15-2011 03:26 PM
This is a super-simple recipe for salad dressing, it's a rich and thick, just a touch sweet and tangy dressing that goes a good way. I cut the fat with reduced fat mayo instead of full-fat. I don't remember which blog I got it from, but I added a little bit of parmesan and black pepper to my dressing and I like it that way. The stuff with the * is additions I made, so try it with or without and you can add your own variations, too. Oh, yea, I also typically cut the sugar in mine by about half...it's tasty the original way, but I prefer mine with just a hint of sweetness to it.
Jimmy's Salad Dressing (and Salad)
I picked this salad/dressing recipe up from a food blog, I love it, it's simple and tastes great.
I added a little bit of a twist to it (the *pepper, parm, and croutons), but it's really so simple you can't go wrong.
1/2 cup Best Foods (called Hellman's if you're NOT from the American West coast lol) whole mayonnaise (though, I use the low-fat mayo, it still tastes fine and cuts a few calories)
1 garlic clove pressed
3 tbsp. sugar (I use about 1.5 tbsp myself, but you can always do a tiny taste and see if you want to add more before you finish mixing.)
1 tsp. lemon juice
*a few twists of the pepper grinder, just enough to get a good speckling
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, spun-dry and cut up
2 sliced hard boiled eggs and crisp bacon for topping (you can skip this part if you don't have it on hand or you are making it in a hurry, it is still delicious)
*Garlic Herb Croutons
Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then combine with the lettuce. You'll have to toss them well in a sealed bag or bowl as the dressing is very thick. Plate and top. The blog writer said she named this recipe after her brother who hated vegetables but would eat so much of this salad that their mom often made extra. I don't know about that so much, but I do know my daughter LOVES this salad and frequently asks for seconds.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Regina - 09-15-2011 11:18 PM
Ooh, that sounds good! I'm not big on the taste of sweet salad dressings, but a little hint of sweetness sometimes is a good thing. :D
I was thinking of something earlier and didn't get it posted. I have stuff that every summer I have to eat, even if it's just once, because they're made with stuff that's in-season, often fresh from the garden (like the aforementioned squash), and so good!
This one was inspired by a dish of my grandma's that she called "bacon beans". This wasn't like my other grandma's where she put bacon rind in the beans, oh no, this grandma used the actual bacon. I took her recipe, though, and went a little different with it because at the time I didn't have bacon but I did have turkey ham. Sometimes I use pork ham for it, just whatever I have on hand at the time. During the summer we tend to eat a little more salty meats because when it feels like you've lost a gallon of water in the hundred-degree temperatures, that salt and potassium the meat provides is a good thing. You probably won't need to add any salt.
(You can probably tell I'm not into measuring unless it's something that has to be baked.)
One onion, diced
Enough ham for your meal, diced
Enough fresh green beans, snapped, for the meal
Enough butter to saute the onion and ham--if you're using turkey ham this will add some really good flavor that's otherwise lacking
A dash or two of hickory smoke flavoring--because they just don't smoke meats like they used to and without it the dish is flat
Saute the onion and ham in the butter until the onion is translucent. Add the green beans and cover everything with water. Add a lid and bring to a boil and once it starts boiling turn it down to a low boil. Cook for an hour or so then add the smoke flavoring.
Another of my summer-time favorites makes many people question my sanity but man are these are so good I'll suffer the consequences of eating bread so I can have one or two in the summer. You really need good-flavored tomatoes for this because otherwise the tomatoes are tasteless. Please, don't let the ick factor throw you off because this is one of the best sandwiches in the world.
Two slices of bread (or one large slice cut in half)
Onion, sliced (sweet onion is best, if not sweet slice the onion thinly)
Put peanut butter on one piece of bread and mayo on the other. On the peanut butter side, lay the onion (the onion must go on the peanut butter or the flavors are all off), then on top of that the tomato and on top of the tomato the mayo side of the other slice.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-16-2011 12:05 AM
Lol, I love peanut butter and savory things. I occasionally do a thin layer of peanut butter in a hummus and veggie pita sandwich and my favorite hamburger (one I actually haven't had in a long time) is a Sticky Burger, a burger from a bar around town that is done up with bacon and pepper jack and peanut butter and season salt and your veggies.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Ghost - 09-16-2011 10:04 AM
Oh, that reminds me of when I was a kid and we would go get hamburgers or hot dogs at a place where you add your own toppings from the topping bar. The ice cream toppings were there, too. So one day I discovered peanuts and onions on a hot dog were pretty good. On a hamburger they were even better because you could add more of them without having them fall off while you ate it.
But it has to be real peanuts for me. Peanut butter just isn't quite the same, even if it's crunchy.
I also like adding potato chips as toppings. (Or even better, the Route 11 brand veggie chip mix. )
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Spacerox - 09-16-2011 11:07 AM
Another thing I haven't had in AGES that I loved was Hero House Mushroom Steak Heroes...(a place in town where i lived for a few years) these big greasy delicious mushroom steak subs with melted cheese and gravy and mushrooms, just dripping and gooey...and then I'd stack cool ranch Doritos inside lol.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Sookielee - 09-16-2011 11:13 AM
Ok, you guys have some weird taste buds from this old lady's point of view.
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Regina - 09-16-2011 01:08 PM
It's really not weird at all when you think about it. Taste buds give our minds adventures several times a day and since people tend to enjoy adventuring, exploring different flavors can fulfill that desire without much risk. One of my daughters loves peanut butter on ham, and it sort of makes sense. Have you ever eaten something cooked in peanut oil, or found a stir-fry recipe that calls for peanuts? I don't use peanut oil because it's a bit over-powering for me but I do love peanuts in stir-fry. My dad was, in my view, one of the world's biggest food adventurers so from him I learned to never be afraid to try new foods. Now granted, Daddy had a few things he really didn't like, as in he much preferred salad dressing over mayo on sandwiches, he couldn't stand soft-cooked eggs, and he liked his meat cooked until it was brown in the center. I either learned or inherited some of his preferences because I can't eat soft-yolked eggs and I also like meat cooked until it's brown, not pink. I know for sure the egg thing with me is physical (they won't go down) but the meat thing might be a learned behavior. Most people who really enjoy it rare or medium think that if it's cooked brown it has to be dry and nasty but it doesn't. My parents raised most of the meat we ate which meant we got to eat things like t-bone steak so I learned to cook it thoroughly brown yet very moist and tender.
My husband is the one who will put chips in what I consider weird places when he can. He'd crumble potato chips into sandwiches and stuff like that. He also loves bean sandwiches, where he makes a sandwich out of cooked beans and ketchup as a condiment. He doesn't eat it often but ever once in a while has to indulge. When we got married he put ketchup on just about everything. I grew up using ketchup on a few things where it really accentuated the flavor like hamburgers and fries, scrambled eggs, Navy beans, as a dip for grilled cheese sandwiches, meat loaf, then pretty much everything else I used it on was to try to mask some awfulness, like my mom's stew and the pot pie she made which was not a pot pie at all and quite disgusting, and liver. (Don't get me wrong, my mom was a good cook but there were a few things she made that were just awful.) So here he comes putting ketchup on just about everything I cooked, whether it was something I thought should have ketchup or not, so I figured he really hated my cooking. He actually didn't hate my cooking, in fact quite liked it, he was just so used to putting ketchup on pretty much everything his mom cooked for the same reason I used it on my mom's stew and stuff, that it was a habit. I always had a lot of issues when it came to my cooking because my mom gave up on me ever learning how by the time I was sixteen. So when he started putting ketchup on everything it was like an insult. Anyway, I introduced a bunch of new flavors and foods to him and he did eventually decide food could be worth eating without a blanket of ketchup on it.
I know for sure some of our likes are acquired tastes, as in if you eat something long enough you get used to it. I have a few foods like that, where I wasn't real keen on them at first, but then after I ate them a few times learned to really appreciate them. The peanut butter, onion, and tomato sandwich wasn't one of those, though. I loved that from the first taste. :wub:
RE: The recipe thread (revisited) - Ghost - 09-17-2011 10:32 AM
I became more willing to try new stuff when we read a story about a girl and her mother who had been given some cans with labels in Japanese that they couldn't read. It was some kind of meat that they really liked. They found it in the store and bought quite a lot of it, and it became one of their favorite meals. Finally one day the cashier translated the label for them and they were eating squid. The last sentence was "By that time my mother and I had both eaten several pounds of fried squid." The teacher asked us how we thought that girl felt. Most of the class said that they thought she was feeling nauseous, but I rather thought that she was kicking herself for not having tried it earlier.
(I don't know if canned calamari is any good, but I have discovered that I do like fried calamari myself.)
But I know I have weird tastes. I tell people that my braunshweiger, cheese, and raw spinach sandwich was invented while I was pregnant, but it was actually invented long before that. I was on a budget, and that was what was left in the house. I liked it, so I kept making it even when there were other things I could make sandwiches with.