Monday, November 29, 2010

Girl Scout-like Samoas Cookies

I Love these cookies! They are super sweet though so go easy with them. I am not too good at following my own advice. You can make your own shortbread cookies or buy them. For this time, I bought them. The one's I got were square but you can do any shape.

Samoa Cookies

1 box/batch shortbread cookies
6 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups toasted coconut
1 cup chocolate chips

place cookies in a sheet pan. I like them close together to avoid over-spills.
In 2 qt pot combine butter, sugar and corn syrup over med-low heat. Bring to boil stirring constantly and boil 3 min. Slowly pour in condensed milk and continue cooking on low until 220deg. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and toasted coconut. Spoon mixture on to cookies and cool. Melt chips (I used a lot less than 1 cup, it's your preference.) and drizzle/spread over cookies. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pop Can Glazed Roast Chicken

I saw this episode on America's test Kitchen. When I found tall pop cans (because we don't drink beer) for sale I grabbed some and gave the recipe a go. I've heard of people using gingerale but all I had was lemon/lime.

There were several extra steps as ATK usually has, but it turned out alright. I don't think, for me, that it was any better than a regular roast however and probably won't go to the trouble again.  I may use the same rub or return to the oven process but not the can. 

Basically they added  1 teas. baking powder to salt and pepper and used for a rub.  The baking powder helped to dry out the skin more.  Then it was roasted at 375 deg. for about 80 min.  then the oven was turned up to 500 deg. for an additional 25 min. to crisp up the skin.  Then a glaze was brushed on and returned for 5 min to set it.   To see the full recipe go to American's Test Kitchen.  You have to register to use the site and for free you can view the recipes from the current season.   Glazed Roast Chicken. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Biscuits from Grandma's book

I finally got around to Grandma's cook book. Sorry it has taken so long. I decided to just open it up and see where it fell. Baking Powder Biscuits and Shortcakes. I might assume this page was used a lot, it does have several smudges on it, of course the whole book has some sort of something soaked into the pages. It also contains a gem in the form of a clipped newspaper article. Well it might be a gem to someone. It's an article titled Chemical Prevents Alfalfa Bloating.  A fun little story about Poloxalene.   Looking on the back of the clipping an incomplete article notes a date for an upcoming MIA Conference at the Salt Palace.  1972.  Hmm,  I wonder if any of my sisters went. 

One thing of interest on this recipe and it is repeated throughout the book is a note about baking powder. "The amount of baking-powder indicated is correct when using either a tartrate or phosphate baking-powder. With an aluminum baking-powder use one-half the amount specified." I wonder if that is true today? I use aluminum baking powder because it's cheaper. I know it's not as good for you but I'm basically a cheap girl. It also contains Monocalcium Phosphate though so perhaps the basic formulation has changed. It's just not something I want to put the time into to figure out.

These biscuits were basic. Not flaky or layers or anything that made them stand out good. I will stick with my old recipe. It does have all the variations listed after for the various additions or what today would be more traditional scones. (Not Utah Scones)

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cupfuls flour
4 teaspoonfuls baking-powder
4 tablespoonfuls shortening
1 teaspoonful salt
2/3 cupful milk or water (about)

Cut shortening into sifted dry ingredients. Add liquid to make a soft dough. Roll lightly or pat into a sheet about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, cut into rounds and place on greased baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven of 450º F. for 12-15 mins.

The recipe goes on with variations for Cheese biscuits, Fruit or Nut Biscuits, Orange Biscuits, Peanut Butter Biscuits, Pin-Wheel Biscuits, Caramel or Butterscotch Biscuits, Drop Biscuits, Dumplings for Stews, Shortcake, and Fruit Shortcakes.

I chose to make the Pin-Wheel biscuits which had 2 tsp. melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon. Roll dough into a rectangular sheet 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll up from long side like jelly-roll. Cut in 3/4 inch slices, lay slices flat on greased pan. bake 20 min. at 450º F.

The Orange Biscuits variation is interesting. It says to dip sugar cubes in orange juice and place one on each biscuit before before baking and sprinkle with orange rind.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

When I made the Mint Ice Cream I told you I would share my Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute recipe.  Well, here it is.

1 c. instant non fat dry milk
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. boiling water
3 tbsp. melted butter
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator.
This is about equal to 1 (14 oz.) can. The longer it sits the smoother it will get as the powdered milk dissolves.

What to do with this SCM?    I will share that later.
Here's a preview.

Meanwhile you could try it with my Caramel Apple Dip.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Now I remember why I don't make Halloween costumes very often.    It takes too much time.

Age10 has been wanting to be a Snow Queen for years, ever since her friend was one some time back.  This year I finally undertook it.  Wrong year to do that, what with the church play I was in and helping to direct, the time that took and the time to make costumes for it etc. and the Primary program I was in charge of last week as well, things were just very busy and I had no time for extra stuff.   Anyway I loved making it for her. 

I had no pattern just went off of my vision, but I wasn't able to really make it work so well.  It still turned out ok though.  She ended up calling herself a Snow Princess instead.   It's Dark blue crush velvet with sparkly white 'satin' and snow flakes around the blue skirt.   White crush velvet cloak with hood.   It has a massive hem so she can wear it for years to come!

And here is my Age 6, Iron  Man, luckily he didn't mind not having home made and probably liked store bought better.  I didn't get him with his mask on though.  Age14 went as a ninja but I never got a picture, he was more last minute.  I wish I had gotten a picture of him and his friends though.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds

I'm a bit late with this post.  Most things are a bit late as of late.  Admittedly blogging is not my priority.

But I wanted to share our jack-o-lanterns from this Halloween and what came out of them.  The best I could do with the dark pictures was to up the contrast and thus the graininess.  Sorry, more and more obviously photography is not one of my priorities either,  I tried, really, I even took a photography class once way back with the old 35mm.  I think they were a bit easier than pushing menu and finding the right settings etc.   I went to a one evening class my super talented neighbor taught but it didn't  help me much.  I really need to get my dh to take my pictures, but he's never around when I need him.    Oh well.

Once you scrape out the insides of your pumpkins, separate the seeds from the other guts and rinse well.  Then boil in salt water for 10 minutes.  I don't have a ratio of salt:water I just pour in about a couple of tablespoons depending on how much water I have to boil - vs how much seeds etc.  Just give it a good amount of salt.  Somewhere around 3 Tbl salt to 6 cups water. 

Drain seeds in a colander, give a very quick rinse if you like then spread on a towel to dry.  I usually do all this the same night we carve and let them dry overnight.

 Mix1 teas. Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tbl. butter, and 1 teas salt.   Add seeds and toss to evenly coat.    Spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 225deg. for about 2 hours until thoroughly dry and crisp

It's a very tasty snack.
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