Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review of Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles


I remember being introduced to Stouffer's Frozen Foods as a teenager in the 1950s when my Uncle Pete went to work for them in Cleveland (the home base of the company).  Frozen foods were fairly new to us at the time and my parents found them to be very handy for quick dinners after working all day.

I found the Stouffer's meals delicious and, as a result, I have been a fan of them ever since. I have tried a large variety of frozen dinners over the years, but none as good as Stouffer's. 


Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles


My very favorite is Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles, a hearty combination of white meat chicken, egg noodles, mushrooms, celery, carrots and peas in a creamy sauce




Old-Fashioned Home-Cooked Escalloped Chicken Recipe


(c) Elf
An old-fashioned 'from-scratch' recipe for Escalloped Chicken comes from the Garden City Cookbook (Centennial Edition) published in 1979 by The Community Church

My in-laws lived in Garden City, Kansas and this cookbook was compiled by church members to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first church in Garden City and dedicated to all of the brave pioneers who in 1879 organized the First Congregational Church in town. First published in 1908 and revised and re-published in 1930, this cookbook is the 1979 edition.

The recipes contained in this Garden City Cookbook were favorites of current church members, many of which were passed down from generation to generation. 


Aunt Alta's Escalloped Chicken


INGREDIENTS:

1 can mushrooms
1 (4-5 lb.) stewing hen or large fryer
Salt
Celery Salt
Paprika
2 c. fine cracker crumbs
1 recipe of white sauce

WHITE SAUCE:

4 T. chicken fat or butter or oleo
3 heaping T. flour
Broth from chicken and juice from mushrooms
1 c. milk or cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Boil and then simmer hen until tender and done.  Take meat from the bone and cut in small pieces about ¾-inch long. 

Make medium white sauce.  Put layer of cracker crumbs in flat pan and then a layer of chicken and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt, red pepper and celery salt. Pour almost half the sauce over this and make another layer of each. Pour remaining sauce over this and sprinkle cracker crumbs on top and a little paprika. Bake 450◦ for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the depth of the pan.

*Author's Note: This 'from-scratch' Escalloped Chicken recipe does not call for noodles, but I imagine noodles could be added or even served on the side or spoon the dish over cooked  noodles.  If you choose to use cream instead of milk, you will find that the dish is very rich. Yum.

Additional Notes:


Source: Pixabay
This long-ago 'from-scratch recipe is a bit amusing to read, especially the parts about the 'chicken fat' and referring to the chicken as a 'stewing hen'. These are terms we don't use much today. Garden City, Kansas, back in the day, was primarily a farm-based small town in western Kansas, so I can imagine many of the 'stewing hens' were raised by the farmers for their own use. If you were to ask today's 'kids' about where chickens come from, they'd no doubt say “the grocery store” (unless they are farm kids). 


Summary


If you want to make your own homemade escalloped chicken, try this old-fashioned recipe in this article.  

Or try the one I found online on the Go, Go, Go Gourmet blog for a homemade recipe that duplicates the Stouffer's dish called Stouffers Copycat Escalloped Chicken and Noodles.

When you want the same as a quick, and delicious, dish, use Stouffer's  Escalloped Chicken and Noodles.

For quick, yet tasty, dishes with a wide variety of choices, give Stouffer's Frozen Meals a try.


Happy Eating












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Review & Recipe by (c) Wednesday Elf 3/23/2019





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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review of Hot Drink for the Holidays

Hot Holiday Punch Recipe Postcard
by mbgphoto 

Hot Drink for Cold Days

I love to entertain during the holiday season. When my guests come in from a cold winters evening a cup of hot holiday punch will make them feel warm and festive.

Over the years I have experimented with several combinations for hot drinks and have ended up using this one for the past ten years or so.  It has just the right blend of juices and spices and is great with or without alcohol added.  I always serve the alcohol on the side and let the guest decide how much to add or not.

Hot Holiday Punch

Ingredients


  • 1 Jar (48 oz) cranberry juice 
  • 1 can (46 ox) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • one orange cut into slices

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in large crockpot and heat.  I put a decanter of rum nearby for those who would like to add a bit of liquor.

At the beginning of this page I added a link to a recipe card for the punch that you can purchase on Zazzle.

Mugs for Hot Drinks

Here are some festive mugs I found on Zazzle.
The first one can be personalized with your name.

Watercolor Pine Tree Joyeux Noel Espresso Cup
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a festive holiday season!!




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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Soft Foods: Sweet Potatoes Reviewed

When Cooked Sweet Potatoes Are A Great Option For Soft Foods

Image by Llez
Continuing in my series of soft foods for those who are going through the process of getting dentures, today we review the options of the wonderfully nutritious sweet potato. 

I have a couple of ways that I serve the tuber root that is naturally sweet in my home. I will share both ways with you in this article. One is extremely simple while the other takes a little preparation; both are really good!

Before we get to a couple of ways to enjoy the sweet potato, I thought you might be interested in the nutritional values of the sweet potato. It is a good source of simple starches, complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamin A, several of the B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E. It contains the minerals of calcium, iron, potassium and a few others. Did you know that a sweet potato has more potassium than a banana? 

OK, so one of the simplest ways to serve sweet potatoes to your family is to use a can of the item shown below. 

I know the can says "yams" but they actually use sweet potatoes. Many people interchange the words yams and sweet potato incorrectly. They are not really the same thing but that is another topic for another day.

I will tell you these canned sweet potatoes are seasoned so deliciously that all I do is just heat them up. The syrup has cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar...no need for anything else! They are really tasty just as they are.

The darker the color of the pulp of the sweet potato ... the more beta-carotene (vitamin A) it has.

The Sweet Potato Recipe That My Daughters Love The Most

I've been fixing this Sweet Potato Casserole for about 36 years and my daughters just absolutely love it. I didn't make it for Thanksgiving one year and I was just about disowned by my oldest daughter. She now makes it for her family, too.

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz) cans of sweet potatoes
1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits, (undrained)
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Butter

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the sweet potatoes and discard the liquid. Drain the pineapple tidbits, saving the juice from the can. 

Melt the 4 tbsp of butter.

In a medium sized bowl mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the melted butter and brown sugar. Stir until it is combined well.

Stir in the pineapple juice until you have the desired consistency. Fold in the pineapple tidbits and the marshmallows.

Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and spoon in the potato mixture. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

You might not think that pineapple would be good with sweet potatoes but you would be incorrect. This is really a delicious addition to the typical sweet potatoes that have the melted marshmallows we are accustomed to. The pineapple adds a bit of tartness that works well with the sweetness from the brown sugar and marshmallows.

Whether you need soft foods in your diet or not, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice to include with your meals. In fact, the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) rated the sweet potato the most nutritious vegetable of all to eat.  



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Monday, August 8, 2016

Couscous Salad for Summer

My couscous summer raspberry salad
It has been a hot and sultry summer.  A heat wave enveloped us for weeks.  I like to eat. It is safe to say that I like to eat way too much. But in this heat nothing sounded good to me.  Today I have made something that has satisfied my summer craving. I'm not very talented in the kitchen so I am not typically one to share recipes. But I have to share this couscous salad with you. If I made this recipe successfully, I am confident you will do even better. Couscous, raspberries, and feta - a delicious way to beat the heat.


Couscous



I am not even 100% sure what couscous is. But years ago I had a friend who made a good amount of recipes that included hummus, couscous, and other foods that I might never heard of otherwise. She ate far more healthy than I ever have. 


nutritional information

Lately, I've missed some of those foods. Twice recently, while trying to address my cravings, I've purchased couscous in the deli section at the store. And twice I was very disappointed. Their idea of couscous was pouring huge amounts of vinaigrette over couscous and calling it done. Their version was far too much "dressing" for me. It was almost like sipping directly from the vinaigrette bottle. Yuck.

I bought some couscous and some feta and hoped I'd find a recipe that would satisfy my hunger.


Refreshing Raspberry and Feta Couscous Salad  


I found this Raspberry and Feta Couscous Salad recipe online.  It looked easy and delicious. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted it. But I didn't have pine nuts or mixed salad greens.  I thought I'd wing it and make my own version which is a risky proposition in my kitchen!

Fortunately, I had fresh raspberries on hand (for smoothies) as well as some raspberry vinaigrette.  I read the directions above for guidance then made my own version.  

If you need measurements and amounts, you'll want to follow the above recipe. But my version was as follows:
  • Prepare the couscous per instructions on the box.  When finished, fluff with a fork.  Add the smallest squirt of Raspberry Vinaigrette, stir gently, cover and refrigerate.
  • Place the following ingredients in a small bowl - cubed feta, thin slices of cucumber, a few fresh raspberries, a big pinch of very finely chopped onion, a big pinch of thinly sliced yellow pepper, a bit of coarsely chopped spinach. Cover and refrigerate.
  • After the couscous is chilled, add it to the other ingredients - Fluffing and mixing together gently
  • Add another small squirt of raspberry vinaigrette
In hindsight, the only thing I should have also added was mint from my balcony garden. Perhaps I'll make that tomorrow with couscous, watermelon, mint, blueberries, and feta... my version of this recipe.

I have found that I could purchase the same brand of couscous from Amazon at a substantial savings. When I purchased the couscous from the store, I thought it was a bit pricey and thought I'd have to make it as a rare treat. But with the cost savings on the bulk amount on Amazon (same brand) I think I'll have to add this to my regular meal rotation. At least for the remainder of this summer.





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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mark the Date: March 19th Zeppole Day!

For many of you who just read the title of this piece, you probably think I meant to write March 17th.  After all, that is the day the whole world turns Irish, but I assure you I meant March 19th!

After all the green beer and shenanigans that went on just two short days earlier, we find ourselves again celebrating another  Great Saint's Feast Day.

This one is St. Joseph's Day.  He traditionally was known as the Foster Father of Jesus Christ.  So from this auspicious beginning comes the Italian way of celebrating Father's Day.

Now St. Joseph's Day isn't celebrated like St. Patrick's, with parades and lots of drinking, but, as with any celebration, there is food!  You cannot celebrate anything without some special culinary delight!

The Italians have this lovely pastry called Zeppole di San Guiseppe.  If you have never tried one, I recommend that you make your way to the nearest Italian Bakery and ask for this lovely concoction. Traditionally it was only made for March 19th, but, as with anything that becomes successful, many bakeries now make this famous treat available at least a month in advance of St. Joseph's Day and some even make them all year round.

Here is my recipe for these delightful Zeppole, and I bet once you try them, you will be hooked forever.  You will have another reason to celebrate the month of March.  It will become the St. Patrick's, and St. Joseph's Day feasting.  By the time you are done with that, it will be great to return to the practices of Lent and do a little fasting....because you know that Easter is on the way.

To Make the Pastry:

1 cup of water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3  cups of cake flour
5 eggs
6 to 8 cups of good quality oil for frying

To Make the Cream Custard

3 1/4 cups of whole milk
Rind of one lemon
8 egg yolks
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 1/2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter cubed.
Brandied Cherries for decoration and taste.

Directions:

Pastry:  In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil.  Make sure the butter is in small cubes as it will melt better and combine with the water, salt and sugar mixture.  Add all the flour in one movement.  remove from heat and using a wooden spoon blend in the flour until it is all incorporated.  Put back on the heat and stir the mixture over medium, heat for about 5 minutes.  Do not let the mixture dry out.  Remove from heat and after allowing the mixture to cool completely put into a mixing bowl.  There you can begin to add one  egg at a time mixing well after each egg is introduced.

Place all of this mixture into a pastry bag with a star shaped tip (the tip should be at least 1/2 in diameter)  Cut squares of foil or parchment about 4 inches square.  If using foil you must spray oil on the foil before immersing in the deep fryer or frying pan.

Pipe out a circle of 3 1/2 inches around on each piece of foil or paper.  Fry the zeppole on each side for about 4 minutes, removing the paper or foil after flipping them over. Do only two or three at a time and drain them on paper towels.

Let them cool thoroughly.


Custard:  Place the milk and the lemon rind in the  pot, leave for 20 minutes and then bring the milk to a boil. Remove from heat.  Let the lemon rind steep in the milk of 10 minutes and then remove.  In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the mixture is fluffy.  Add the cornstarch and flour and whisk to combine.

Once the milk has been cooled it can be added to the egg mixture .  Return it to the heat and whisking constantly, cook for 2 minutes or more until it is thickened.  Add the cubed butter to the custard and mix well.  Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap .  Make sure the wrap is touching the top of the custard or it will develop a skin and we don't want that.  Cool thoroughly.  Place the custard into a pastry bag and pipe either on top of the pastry or the way I like it, in the middle of the pastry......


Traditionalists will fill the center of the Zeppole with the custard and place a brandied cherry on top and then dust it with icing sugar.  

Some Bakeries do it the way I like them best, they slice the Zeppole pastry in the middle, add the custard to the inside, add brandied cherries on top of the custard and then replace the top part of the pastry, dusting all with icing sugar.

By Lucas81 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



Traditional Zeppole, ready just for you!


Pictures: The top picture comes from my favorite bakery in Toronto, San Remo's (www.sanremobakery.com) and the picture at the bottom comes from Wikimedia.





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