Childhood Food Memories

Yes, it is that time again – time to answer a few questions. Friday seems to be my food meme day, and as a foodie – I actually enjoy doing them as well as reading others. So if you do decide to take part, leave me a comment directing me to your blog so I can check out your answers. And if you have already done it prior to now, find the link to the post and leave a comment so I can see what you said.

This meme asks Food Bloggers what 5 Favorite Childhood Food Memories they remember most. Here are mine. I’d love to see yours.

Rum Rolls

I’ve tried, and I will keep trying until my dying day to duplicate the amazing flavor of the Rum Rolls from my favorite bakery. They were a super special treat as a child only purchased on the rarest of occasions. Now I look forward to going to mom’s for Easter and Christmas where I can guarantee that these tasty treats will be prominently displayed (and quickly consumed by me!). I am now the proud holder of dozens of recipes for rum rolls, yet still to this day, none taste like the ones from the bakery, and I cannot figure out what they do differently. There is quite obviously a secret ingredient.

Rice and Chicken Casserole

My mother absolutely loved to cook and often impressed us with her ability to create the most gourmet of meals. This meal was NOT gourmet yet one that we ate frequently, was hearty and tasted great. It was a simple recipe that even now I see made for families. I actually think that it came from the back of can of soup or something, but oh my gosh how I loved the smell of this cooking in the oven, my mouth watering while I watched my mother cook the side dishes.

Texas Sheet Cake

Anyone who has read this blog with any regularity, knows how much I am fond of my mother’s Texas Sheet Cake. To this day, she cannot remember where she got the recipe, but she used to make it often when I was little. It was also what I requested every single year for my birthday (and still do). It is the one childhood home baked item I still make myself for my own family. Our recipe is different from many out there. I have yet to share it, though I do have a Texas Sheet cake that is darn close on here. You can find it under the recipe archives.

Alphabet Soup

Seems like such a strange thing to remember from childhood, but it wasn’t often that we partook in foods that were not gourmet. So when Alphabet soup made an appearance at lunch, usually paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, we were always happy campers. Nowadays, when I see alphabet soup, I don’t long for it as much, but boy do I still love the smell (of course it smells like vegetable soup anyway).

Chocolate Molasses Lollipops

Oh my gosh. When I was young, my mother used to frequent Plaza Frotenac in Town and Country, Missouri. She always stopped by Karl Bissinger’s Gourmet Chocolate Shop and purchased what was then known as a Chocolate Molasses Lollipop. Now they are called Chocolate Caramel Lollipops and are still available. They are made of Blackstrap molasses hand pressed and then dipped in rich chocolate. These are the only reason I ever agreed to go to a shopping mall with my mother. I never raised a fuss, because I knew that one of these delicacies was sure to come my way. Interestingly I have never purchased one for my own children – I am thinking its about time! (not to mention mom has a craving right now!)

So those are my childhood memories of food, and while I could have kept going, the food meme only said FIVE. I’d love to see yours.

Facebook Blocking

So apparently it is a huge no-no on Facebook to add a large number of people to your facebook account all at once.

I signed on earlier tonight and was surprised to see that I had been “blocked” from adding people, etc. According to Facebook, they had sent me notifications about it, but trust me – they didn’t. Earlier, I added a whole email list of people that are on my twitter account. In between that, I also added the suggested friends and there didn’t seem to be any problems. So anyway, apparently I am on some sort of a block because now I can’t add anyone to my facebook page. SO if you would like to follow me, and get recipes that I don’t post on my blog – add me. The stuff is over on the left and you can click either of them. One is simply a page that you can “Like” in typical Facebook fashion, and the other is my actual Daily Dish recipes page on Facebook. You can add me as a friend.

I’m laughing because seriously, my friend list is only 384 people right now. Have they checked out others Facebook pages? Because many of my “friends” on Facebook have several thousand. Why aren’t they blocked from adding people?

I think I was reminded tonight why I love Twitter SO much more. The problem is, I love that on Facebook I can add a whole recipe that I don’t post on my blog – which is VERY hard to do on Twitter since I only get 140 characters. Ah, Facebook. I really wish you would get your act together. First all the layout changes, then the privacy issues, and now blocking issues. Seriously. Does it get any better?

Made From Scratch Sauce Recipes

No matter how you do your Freezer Cooking session, you are bound to wind up with a few days where you aren’t sure what to make. Why not create some sauces to freeze, and you can then just add them to some noodles, or rice, or even over some meat, and you have a meal in minutes.
Here are a bunch of my favorite sauce recipes.

Lemon Garlic Sauce

  • 1 tbsp margarine or butter
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley or other herbs
  • salt + pepper to taste

Melt margarine with garlic, remove from heat. Add flour and combine. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, working out lumps as you go. Add lemon juice and bring to just under the boil, or until the sauce thickens. Add herbs and season to taste.

White Sauce

  • 3/4 cup butter/ margarine or Canola oil
  • 3/4 cup flour (up to 1/2 whole wheat is fine)
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or beef bouillon granules or 6 bouillon cubes

Use a large heavy bottomed saucepan or stock pot, melt the butter or margarine over low heat. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth then cook until it begins to bubble. Do not let it brown! Gradually add the milk.

When the sauce is thickened (be patient a double batch will take 30 minutes) stir in the bouillon granules or cubes. Don’t make any more than 2 batches at once or the granules or cubes will not combine. Freezes well!

Spaghetti Sauce

makes 36 Cups

  • 6 pounds ground beef — browned and drained
  • 1 pound ground Italian Sausage — browned and drained
  • 4 onions — chopped
  • 6 cans mushrooms (or 2 pounds fresh, Saute) — drained
  • Italian seasoning
  • 7 jars spaghetti sauce (Approx. 180 ounces)
  • 3 cans tomato — diced
  • 1 cup chopped peppers
  • 1 can tomato paste — large can

Brown beef, onions, peppers, sausage and Italian seasoning (2 pounds at a time). Drain well. Put in stock pot, add mushrooms, sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, and remaining seasoning, simmer.

Meat Sauce

  • 5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup instant minced onion
  • 1/2 cup sweet pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 quarts tomato paste
  • 1 3/4 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper — optional
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Line four 8×8×2-inch baking pans with heat-resistant freezer wrap. Allow enough extra wrap to fold over top. Use one pan for each six servings or one-fourth of the recipe. Baking pans are not needed for food to be served without freezing.

Crumble beef; cook until lightly browned. Stir in onion and pepper flakes. Drain off excess fat. Stir remaining ingredients into meat mixture. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until flavors are blended.

Pour each part to be frozen into a baking pan. Pack food tightly to avoid air pockets. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Complete wrapping by pulling paper up over top of food. Put edges of wrap together and fold several times so paper lies directly on top of food. Fold ends of freezer wrap over the top and seal with freezer tape. Label with name of food, date of freezing, and last date the food should be used for best eating quality (about 4 months). Freeze immediately for 10 to 12 hours before removing packages from the pans.

To heat frozen sauce, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove freezer wrap. Place food in baking pan. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until mixture is bubbly at edges and center is hot.

Mushroom Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup canned mushrooms — sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Melt butter. Brown mushrooms lightly in melted butter. Stir in flour and salt. Add milk slowly. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Freezes great!

Vegetable Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup mixed vegetables — cooked

Melt butter. Stir in flour and salt. Add milk slowly. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in vegetables. Heat to serving temperature. Freezes well!

Easy Dill Dip Recipe

This recipe couldn’t be any easier, and it tastes great with chopped veggies, breads, crackers and chips!

Easy Dill Dip

2 cups of mayonnaise
2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon of dill weed
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste

In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream together, until well blended. Add the dill, salt and garlic powder to taste. Blend well. Tastes great chilled.

Easy Dill Dip Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of dill weed
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream together, until well blended.
  2. Add the dill, salt and garlic powder to taste.
  3. Blend well.
  4. Tastes great chilled. Can it get any easier?

 

 

Grab a Cheap Meal

With five kids in our home, you know the focus is on frugal – period. Yes, I do focus on healthy also, but for this one … the more frugal the better.

I bet you can imagine that the fact that there are five young mouths to feed at all meals, that the chances of a picky eater increases dramatically. Guess what? We have one! Actually occasionally we have two – and interestingly they are our two oldest.

Awhile back I figured out that I had to encourage one of the pickey’s to try some new and different things. If I didn’t, either I was going to gain 100lbs eating noodles every single night or I was going to be cooking different meals every night for everyone – so NOT happening. While I don’t mind the occasional Spaghetti, Mac ‘n Cheese or Ramen Noodle Soup meal, it is definitely not going to happen that often.

Enter – the Baked Potato. Yep, that’s right. That’s my cheap meal. Seems strange doesn’t it? Actually baked potatoes are an extremely frugal food. They can be topped with all sorts of things and if you substitute one meal with overflowing baked potatoes, you can save up to $25 per month.

Just an interesting spin on frugal foods, in my opinion.

What types of frugal foods do you eat?

S’More Sandwiches Recipe

When we went on our camping trip a few weeks ago, our friends showed us this awesome sandwich. We made it over the campfire, but I figured out how to make it in the oven at home. You could also do this over a firepit. Just be careful because it’s HOT! I’m always on the look-out for good camping recipes.

S’more Sandwiches Recipe

All ingredients are per person:

2 slices of Bread
Peanut Butter
Chocolate chips
marshmallows (mini heats faster and gets more coverage)

If you are making it at home, preheat your oven’s broiler. On one slice of bread, spread peanut butter on one side. Stick chocolate chips all over the peanut butter on the bread. (use as many as you like). Next, put the marshmallows on top of the chocolate layer. Take the last piece of bread and spread peanut butter on one side. Put the peanut butter side down on top of your marshmallows. Put sandwich on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for about a minute and a half, flip the sandwich over and broil for another minute or so. If you decide to do this over a campfire, wrap the sandwich in tinfoil and using a campfire sandwich maker (looks like the long sticks used to toast marshmallows but has a sandwich holder at the end – look at Walmart), toast both sides for about a minute to two minutes each. These are SOOOOOO good!

Edited to add: We made these at home a few times since the camping trip – and if you make them in a pan or on a griddle, you can butter the bread just like a grilled cheese sandwich and sprinkle powdered sugar on them. OMG! Sinfully delicious.

Summertime Banana Cake with Orange Icing Recipe

While we tend to make these and eat them anytime of year, they are the perfect summertime treat or dessert. My children love these and after you have made them you can freeze them. An easy dessert to pull out in time for unexpected company or extra kids.

Banana Cake with Orange Icing
Serves: 25 approx

1 lb. approx margarine or butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

6 eggs

2 cups (5 large) overripe bananas, mashed

4 cups flour

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Icing:

3 1/3 cups icing sugar

2 1/4 tsp margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup orange juice

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two large square cake tins and line with baking paper. Beat the margarine and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mxing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour, then half of the mashed bananas. Repeat with remaining halves. Pour the mixture into prepared tins. Bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time. Cake is baked when skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. When cold, spread with icing.

To Make the Icing:

Melt the margarine in the microwave. Add icing sugar, using the orange juice to form a slightly runny paste. Pour over cold cakes, letting the icing run down sides. Decorate with chopped nuts if desired.

Tip - Can be cut into individual servings after they’ve been iced and can be frozen. Reheat in microwave. The icing kind of melts to form a glaze not dissimilar to a microwave pudding!

Frozen Cherry Salad Recipe

Another delicious summertime recipe. This tastes great at a BBQ and is one of my most often requested dishes for such. The kids love it, adults love it and it goes fairly quickly. Make several batches at a time in a freezer cooking session and you’ll always have one on hand.

Frozen Cherry Salad

1 can pitted dark cherries

1 sm. can crushed pineapple

2 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1/2 c. sugar

1 carton sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 c. black walnuts

Drain fruits; bring juice to boil. Beat in cream cheese until it has dissolved. Add the other ingredients. Freeze; cut and serve.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home. Photo by Taste of Home.

Bologna Cake Appetizer Recipe

Step 8

Step 8

Don’t worry, it sounded gross to me too, but as long as you like bologna, you will like it. It is a total kid-friendly recipe and my kids were the ones who made it. They were having some friends over and wanted to prepare a few snacks, this one was actually the first one that was completely gone, so I guess it’s really THAT good to kids. I did like it, but in moderation. This recipe was in a box I retrieved out of my grandmother’s things I inherited. I have no idea if she ever made it, but we decided to give it a go.

OH, and our spring form pan was in use, so we tried it with a regular cake pan and it worked out just fine, it was just a bit trickier to get out of the mold. (photos below)

Side note: We tried this a second time with ranch dressing instead of the italian dressing and with turkey and ham instead of the bologna (trying to make it a tiny bit healthier).  I actually liked it better than the original bologna cake. I figured out its a great way to make sandwiches for a party or get together. Use a square pan and don’t “ice” the outside, but “ice” each layer in between where it calls for the italian dressing instead using a ranch/cream cheese mixture (or just cream cheese). It’s really good and can be sliced thin.

Bologna Cake Appetizer Recipe

2 loaves of cheap white Bread, crusts cut off
8 Tbs. of Italian Dressing
1/2 lb. sliced bologna (we used Oscar Mayer all beef)
3/4 lb. american cheese slices (we used Kraft)
2 containers of whipped cream cheese
Ketchup (if desired)
Garnishes: Parsley, Black Olives, etc. (if desired)

Step 1. It is helpful if you use a springform cake pan, because everything holds together nicely. We did not use one the first time and found it slightly complicated to remove the entire cake at the end.

Step 2. Begin by layering the bread slices in a double layer in the bottom of the spring form cake pan. Tear or cut up some of the bread to fill in any gaps.

Step 3. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the Italian dressing over the two layers of bread (this is where on the modified version we added the ranch/cream cheese mixture instead).

Step 4. Next, you need to a layer using all of the bologna over the dressing and bread. Continue layering the bread again and again sprinkle with 2 Tbs. of Italian dressing.

Step 5. Next create a cheese layer using all of it over that bread layer. Use the rest of the bread to cover the cheese layer and again sprinkle 2 Tbs. of Italian dressing over the bread. Press the entire thing gently down into the pan.

Step 6. Next you make the ‘frosting’. In a large bowl, mix the rest of the dressing (2 Tbs.) with the two containers of whipped cream cheese. Remove the metal spring form pan.

Step. 7. Using a spatula, ice the cake with the whipped cream cheese the same way you would ice a cake. Transfer the cake to a serving platter or large plate.

Step 8. If you have a cake decorating kit, use any remaining cream cheese to pipe around the cake. Fill a small baggie with ketchup, seal and snip off the end. Use the ketchup to decorate the cake, write a phrase on the top or just as a side.

This really isn’t bad, and I was actually pleased. The kids absolutely loved it and garnished with black olives and did not want to use ketchup. (photos below)

Use Your Slow Cooker More Often + 3 Crock Pot Recipes

With the warmer weather and high humidity (I’m in the midwest), using my stove top or oven is something I like to avoid at all costs. During this time of year we tend to grill a lot more, and also use the crock pot more often. A slow cooker needs less energy to run than an oven and won’t turn your kitchen hot while it cooks.

Not to mention the perk of enjoying a nice hot meal that didn’t take much to prepare.

The slow cooker also referred to as a Crock Pot is an awesome appliance to own. It can make preparing dinner, lunch or breakfast effortless. In fact, meat that is slowly cooked is far more tender than anything else you could do to it.

Depending on the size you get, storage can be an issue. We have seven family members and we own THREE slow cookers. Crazy, I know. Two are the largest we could find, and one is a smaller one (for side dishes or desserts). We have been known to have all three in use at once. I also use them when I freezer cook a lot because I can fit so much food inside and make it double time.

You can find a slow cooker that will more than likely meet your families needs at any retail store that sells kitchen items. Walmart and Target have the best deals, and the slow cookers work just as great as anywhere else. You don’t have to spend a lot to get one, and you can enjoy the ease of a crock pot all year long.

Here are three terrific slow cooker recipes for summer.

Crock Pot Shredded Beef on a Bun

1 3- to 4-pound beef brisket or roast (you can also do pork or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium onions, sliced
1 16-ounce jar barbecue sauce
Soft rolls or hamburger buns

Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste. You can use any seasoning you would like. Place the onions on the bottom of the crockpot and then layer the meat on top. Pour 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce over the top of the meat and stir gently to coat. Cover and cook for 9 to 10 hours on low. (you can do this overnight if you like or do it first thing in the morning). When it’s done, remove the cooked meat from the slow cooker and pour out the liquid, keeping the onions if you desire. Shred the meat with a fork. Put the meat back into the crock pot and mix the rest of the barbecue sauce in. Let it stay in the crock pot cooking for another half hour or so. Serve immediately.

Freezer Cooking: This can be frozen in portions once it has cooled and can be served at a later date. When ready to serve again, drop in a pot on the stove and allow to simmer on low until heated through. Stir often. You can also drop into a microwave safe container and heat that way.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

4 lbs. chicken breasts boneless and skinless
3 t. oregano leaves, crushed
1 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 T. butter
1/2 cup water
8 T. fresh lemon juice
8 cloves garlic minced
4 t. chicken bouillon
4 t. fresh parsley, chopped

Wash chicken thoroughly. Set out to dry on paper towels. In a bowl, combine the oregano, salt and pepper. Sprinkle on dry chicken, patting it in. In a skillet, melt the butter and fry the chicken breasts until they are browned. Remove chicken and place in crock pot.

Add the water, lemon juice, chicken bouillon, garlic and parsley to the skillet. Bring entire mixture to a boil, stirring often and scraping any browned bits of chicken off the bottom of the skillet. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. If you wish to cook on high, you can do so for about 3 hours. When the chicken is finished, baste the chicken with the juices in the crock pot and sprinkle parsley over the chicken. Cook for at least 15-30 minutes. Serve.

Slow Cooker Ranch Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs small red potato, quartered
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 (1/16 ounce) package buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

Place the potatoes in the crock pot. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients and then spoon over the potatoes. Stir the entire thing to blend well. Cover and cook on the low setting for 7 hours. Stir gently before serving. If you double or triple this recipe, it can be more than just a side dish, but a nice delicious main course. Goes great with a platter of fruit or fresh veggies.