Category Archives: Heritage Cooking

THERE’S ONLY ONE THING TO DO WHEN THE TEMP HITS MINUS ZERO!

COMFORT FOOD! And that’s what I did as soon as the house was warm enough to get out of bed and get dressed.  First it was breakfast, and I baked …

WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS

WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS

MY UNTIL NOW SECRET RECIPE:

2 Cups Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour

2 TBL Unrefined Sugar

3 TSP Baking Powder

1 TSP Salt

1/2 Cup Shorting (or 1 stick Unsalted Butter at room temperature)

3/4 Cup 2% Milk

Combine  flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a bowl. Add the shorting or soft butter to the dry ingredients and work into fine crumbs using a grandmother’s fork.

Add the milk and work into a soft dough.

Place a piece of parchment paper on the table and sprinkle with flour. Put the dough on the table and knead 10 to 20 times. Save your hands by wearing vinyl food prep gloves. Pull the parchment paper over dough to cover and press it to about 1/2 inch thick and cut with a 2-inch cookie cutter or water-glass and put the biscuits on an ungreased pan. I usually make eight biscuits so I have some leftover dough.

Pop into a 450 degree oven  and bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Now take the leftover dough and pat it down into a square about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon and roll into a tube. Cut into six pieces  and place each piece cut side down into a pocket of a muffin pan.  Now the biscuits are done, so take them out of the oven and put the Cinnabuns into the over. Bake about 12 minutes until they look like this …DSC09117

Now get yourself a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa and eat!

Now, that took hardly any time at all and you only have one bowl and a fork to wash. OK, you also have to roll the parchment paper up and drop it into the trash. No table to clean up either.

THEN FOR SUPPER … I made a chicken vegetable soup!

CHICKEN WITH EIGHT VEGGIES SOUP

CHICKEN WITH ELEVEN VEGGIES SOUP

OK, get a large pot and add four cups of water. Drop in four chicken bouillon cubes. If you have chicken broth in a can or carton skip the cubes and water and use four cups of it instead. Cut two skinless/boneless chicken breasts into cubs and drop into the broth. Turn up the heat to medium and start cooking the chicken. Now, get your veggies.  I used frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrot, peas, green beans and lima beans plus a package of frozen sliced okra, a bit of frozen onion, green/red pepper and celery.  (It’s called seasoning vegetables in the store’s freezer case and its all cut up and ready to drop in the pot. Keep it on hand in the freezer … you can use it for a gazillion different dishes.)  I also had some chopped spinach leftover from last night’s dinner so I added it, too. Then I topped it off with a can of diced tomatoes. That’s ten or eleven different veggies, so this soup is low cal and healthy for you. Season to taste … salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, crushed red pepper, dried mustard and nutmeg. But go easy on the salt, remember you used bouillon cubes or broth that has a lot of salt in it. Now simmer away on a low heat until you’re ready to eat.  Bet you it’s the best soup you’ve ever eaten on a cold winter night. But then, anything that’s warm is good on a cold winter night.

VOILA!

VOILA!

And I even had biscuits left over from breakfast.

 

 

TODAY THE BAKER RULED!

Roll out the pastry;

Add more nuts and chocolate chips again.

Fill up the center,

I may use some cream cheese, or but some cherries in now.

For we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute,

Baking in the kitchen

That the way to bring it

For we need a little Christmas.

Need a little Christmas.

Need a little Christmas NOW!


So, that’s how I spent my day … baking Christmas stollens, and rustic bread, too. You might say I was on a yeast rising, dough kneading high. And while I baked, I sang to Christmas songs. And murdered Jerry Herman’s lyrics along the way.

ChristmasTreatsSuper Chocolate-filled Delight and Orange Marmalade Coconut Surprise.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, whenever I sing Mlle. Renee prefers to sit in the backyard or pretend she’s playing football with the kids in the greenway next door. She did return regularly for doggie sniffs in the air at the kitchen door.

I had already baked three kinds of cookies last week, and today all I had to do was pack them in individual gift boxes. As an extra holiday touch I addressed each box with the recipient’s Elf name.elf name

Thank goodness, I didn’t have anyone named Pinky Monkey-Buns!

Since I started baking, I’ve been telling Renee that if I had a broken or leftover cookie I’d give it to her. And today was payoff time. Notice how patiently she waits sitting up with one paw on my knee. Renee is a good girl, and she didn’t lose a crumb of that snicker-doodle.Finally

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL,

SantameAnd to all a good night!

FALL DINNER … JUST LIKE MOM MADE!

Went to the stupidmarket yesterday and the first things that caught my eye were …

GRANNY SMITH APPLES

Naturally, the first thing I had to do was core, peel and slice one of them and make …

OLD FASHIONED APPLE TOAST

This was something my Mom always used to make when the first apples of fall began to show up in the produce aisles of the store. Since I always helped her make them, it became on of the first unwritten recipes I learned. Since I was only cooking for myself, I only peeled and cut one apple today. That yielded two apple toasts, one for dessert at dinner and one for breakfast tomorrow morning. Back when my Mom was cooking for five , we used to fill an entire cookie sheet with the goodies.

While Mom’s recipe was easy, my updated version is even simpler. Mom used to peel the apple using a paring knife and then remove the core by hand before slicing the apple. I cheated and used and apple corer to zip the center out and a potato peeler to remove the peel. Then I cut the apple in half and sliced each half into thin slices. Mom used to cut the apple into wedges.

I also used whole wheat bread which I spread with whipped cinnamon sugar butter. It comes all mixed together in a little tub in the store’s dairy aisle. Then the apple slices are spread across the buttered bread. Mom always used real sugar, but since I don’t need the extra sugar I sprinkled granulated Splenda over the apple slices along with a few sprinkles of cinnamon. I baked it in the toaster over at 350 until were juicy and the bread toasty.

For dinner, I braised a pork steak in a pan with chopped red and green pepper and onions and a shot of bourbon whiskey. I also did a baked potato and a half cob of corn. The whole dinner was fantastic and I even made a cup of pumpkin spice coffee to go with the apple toast. It was a heritage cooking dinner almost like old times when Mom used to make it. Only I had leftovers for another meal.

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