The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Nine

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2018 and month nine of our challenge.  Wow!  We’re almost completely through a year in our cookbook challenge.

For this month I’ve decided to go with

quick bread recipes

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

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*Last post of 2017* {recipe included!}

As we wind down here in Two Thousand Seventeen I want to Thank all of you for following along and reading my posts throughout the past several years.  I am happy when I find that my posts touch others or help you in some small way (even if it is only a photo or recipe).

I want to share another recipe of mine, which I’ve recently perfected for us to enjoy, and hope that you may have an opportunity this upcoming weekend to try it for yourself.  Whether you are celebrating the beginning of a new year in the comfort of your own home or out in the bitter cold with loved ones as you share a tradition of watching something fall from the sky or rise up a pole I wish you good health, happiness, and much peace in the year to come.

Mary’s Chex Mix

Preheat oven to 265 degrees

Ingredients

4 cups rice chex & 4 cups corn chex (or use your favorite flavor combinations)

1 1/2 cups salted peanuts

1 1/2 cups pretzels (wheels or sticks)

1 stick unsalted butter (use a good quality butter if you are able to)

2 tsp lemon juice

7 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp season salt

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Directions

Place cereal, peanuts, and pretzels in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan/pot on your stove on low heat; add your other ingredients and whisk all together.  When it is warmed a bit you may wish to dip in a piece or two of cereal to taste the mixture and adjust the ingredients as you wish.

When heated through (not boiling) pour over your cereal mixture and mix well.

Bake for a total of 45 minutes (approx.) and stir every 15 minutes.  I baked at 265 degrees for the first 30 minutes and then lowered the temperature to 255 degrees for the last 15 minutes and all seemed to be absorbed well into the cereal.

WARNING!!!!

This is very addictive!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Eight

Yeah – December has arrived!  That means we are at month eight of our Cooking-Through Cookbook Challenge and you probably know already which category I’ve chosen; don’t you?!

December only means one food for devouring by children of all ages:

COOKIES!!!

When I dream of Christmas I always dream of cookies and I’m sure you do too.  We all have our holiday favorites which we’ve been enjoying for generations in our families but you may want to go outside of that box for this month and enjoy some other new cookie recipes which are in your chosen cookbook for this challenge you are participating in.  I have recently acquired a couple of vintage cookie cookbooks and have been drooling over them for months so I’m hoping to also include a few of those recipes for us this holiday season.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

Even Charlie Brown loves snack mix

When I found this among my Grandmother’s clipped recipes I was excited because I love Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for their holiday specials. Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away (ABC will have the Gang on Wednesday evening) and Christmas is right around the corner I thought it would be great to share this. I have looked on Amazon for the seasoning packets and they do still exist.  But I certainly prefer making food with fresh ingredients without the added preservatives.

I have been searching online to find the first version of this which was actually called ‘Party Mix’ and have found various versions of the recipe which has differences in the amounts of the ingredients (and bagel chips weren’t part of the first recipe which began in the early 1950’s).  I plan to try one of those this weekend.  There are so many versions on the internet from so many people; the possibilities are truly endless for this  ‘Party Mix.’ A search for ‘vintage cereal box 1950’s images’ is so interesting too.  I recall some of those cereal boxes from my childhood.  Do you have any memories to share regarding your family’s much loved version of this snack mix?

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chipper Goodness

I just had to make these cookies.  For some reason which I am associating with a friend, I kept saying Chocolate Chipper all week at various times and had those two words stuck in my brain.

 

I substituted unsalted butter for shortening, baked them at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes.  I found that chilling the dough between baking batches was a good thing and I added both milk chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Yummy!!

So addicted to cookies lately!

What are you baking these days?

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Seven

My most favorite time of the year has arrived.  When November 1st rolls around I know that the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas has come.  I enjoy the food and ambiance of this season better than any other time of year.

For November there couldn’t be any other category for our challenge than:

Pies and Pie Crusts

When you think of Thanksgiving you most certainly think of homemade-from-scratch pies alongside that yummy Turkey or Ham (or at least I do :0) ).  This month’s category gives you an opportunity to bake and share some pies when you celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  Pumpkin is always on the top of my list but there are many other pies out there that are just as scrumptious.  And nothing beats a homemade pie crust.  It is so simple to get together that you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve been buying those pre-made ones from the grocery store (the secret is ice cold water and other cold ingredients to get it just perfect when blended together).  Last Autumn I had shared a Pumpkin Pie recipe and story which can be found at this link, if you’re interested.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking and Baking!!

🙂

Crankin’ out the cookies!

I’ve been crazy for baking cookies lately and I’m very proud that I’ve been ambitious enough to try all new recipes!

This past weekend I pulled out my Grandmother’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and made two from there with my own twists added in.

I first baked the Peanut Butter Cookies which I’ve named Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies because I added milk chocolate chips to them for a bit of chocolate and they are very good.

Here is the recipe which I used for the Peanut Butter cookies:

Before I make anything I always sift/whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  I creamed the wet ingredients together with my stand mixer, added the flour mixture by hand and then 1 cup of Nestle Milk Chocolate Chips (my fave!).

I used a cookie scoop to measure them all the same and put some chips on the top of the cookies (like you would do with a Hershey Kiss for the Peanut Blossom cookies) and then pushed them down a bit.

I baked them at 350 degrees (not the 375 as listed in the recipe) for 12 minutes and then allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling racks.

As you can see the bottoms are nice and brown and they are great to eat!

My second recipe was the Drop Sugar Cookies.

First, I want to say that as I tasted one of these I had this overwhelming feeling stir through me of familiarity in taste.  I’m 99.9% positive that this was the same recipe which my Grandmother used for her annual Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies which I loved so much.  It was an amazing feeling!

After mixing the batter I chilled it in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes before I scooped them and tossed them around in sprinkles.

I baked them at 350 degrees too for 15 minutes instead of the recipe’s noted temperature of 375.  I allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes like I did with the other cookies.  Also it is very good to chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you make the first batch of drop sugar cookies and also to chill it between the batches as they are baking.

By rolling them around in the sprinkles before baking you can see how the cookies really have color throughout.  If I make them and roll in the sprinkles as I did today I will cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup versus the 3/4 cup in the recipe or I may keep the sugar the same and just add the sprinkles to the top of the scooped cookies.

I certainly have more great cookie recipes to add to my rotation and with Christmas right around the corner I can’t wait to bake them for friends!

 

From My Grandmother’s Recipe Box : Molasses Cookies

I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking in the past several weeks; however, not anything new from my Cooking-Through Cookbook choice for the year.

Last week I made a new recipe of Chocolate Chip cookies and my first-ever batch of Ginger cookies.  Both were from my one Allrecipes magazine and they were really good.

Today I decided to make my first-ever batch of Molasses cookies.  I’ve been wanting to bake Molasses cookies for a while now.  I found the recipe which belonged to my Grandmother and decided that was the one to make.  I used a mild-flavored brand of molasses called ‘Grandma’s Molasses’ and followed the recipe as written but without the cloves.  I didn’t take any photos while mixing the batter but I have photos below after chilling it.

 

I baked them for 10 minutes and allowed them to cool on the sheet for 3 minutes before moving them to the cooling rack.

My husband said that he likes the Ginger cookies better than these (and there was molasses in those cookies as well as ginger added to these cookies but the amounts were different for each cookie).  Maybe it’s the type of molasses used but I don’t care for the flavor of these so much either.  I don’t recall my Grandmother baking these and if she did I don’t remember eating them (I was a rather picky-eater as a child so Molasses wasn’t something I would have enjoyed at that time of my life).  I do want to try other Molasses cookie recipes though to see if I will like any of those better than these.

Try them and let me know what you think.

Update on 10/22/2017: After allowing the cookies to sit for a day I’ve discovered that the flavor is much better than it was yesterday and I do enjoy the cookies.

 🙂

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Six

I’m releasing this category a day early because I keep myself away from the computer and internet on Sundays, for the most part.  This gives you all an opportunity to jump right into the next month’s category, one day earlier! 🙂

When October begins for me it means that the cooler weather is about to set-in and comfort foods are my go-to recipes.

I thought what better category for October could there be other than:

Soups and Stews

My crockpots are often used for these types of Autumn and Winter foods.  They are perfect for those days when you are busy with other things and activities with your families and you can always make extras to freeze for other busy days.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Five

Welcome to month five of our cooking-through cookbook challenge.

I hope you’re having fun!

This time of year for us is when Autumn is beginning to come around and Fairs are in full swing.  Baking and comfort foods are about to take center stage in our kitchens.

So for September let us enjoy:

homemade-from-scratch cakes

This includes any frosting recipes that you may find in your book to go along with those homemade cakes you’re about to bake.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking & Baking!!

🙂

Homemade Chicken and Waffles

I recently shared a recipe about the homemade waffles which we made for our Chicken and Waffles dinner.

I don’t always think about sharing recipes of some of the foods which I’ve eaten for years but which are considered regional/ethnic foods of my rural area and family heritage.  Chicken and Waffles is one of them.  It’s actually a very simple meal to get together and truly a “from scratch” meal.  Don’t knock it until you try it!  You will find that it is very good over freshly made homemade waffles.  🙂

The ingredients list is quite short and we tend to make it after we’ve roasted a chicken in the oven and have leftovers.  Take some left over or recently cooked chicken, cut into smaller pieces, and some chicken broth (either homemade or canned) and put both in a medium size pot (you can made as much or as little as you want).  Get that heated and to a boil on your stove; now you need a thickening agent.  We take equal parts cold water and flour and whisk together in a bowl until it’s smooth.  Once you have that (start with 3/4 cup cold water and 3/4 cup flour; you can always make more) whisked together you will just whisk it slowly into your boiling chicken/broth mixture on the stove.  Add it gradually because you may not need all of it to get to the consistency that you desire; really it is your choice on how thick you want the chicken mixture to be.  I think when it coats a spoon nicely it is good.  I don’t like it to be too thick and chunky; but if you prefer that, go for it.  Once it is as thick as you want just keep it heated on the stove (don’t let it burn/stick to your pot), and stir it occasionally, while you make your waffles.  Add some salt and pepper to your chicken mixture if you desire or add it to your plate at the table; your choice.

That’s all there is to it.

Serve over your favorite waffles and enjoy!

 I just thought of ham, potatoes and green beans – have you heard of it?

What about Shoo-Fly pie? Have you heard of that one?!

Those are other Pennsylvania German/Pennsylvania Dutch recipes commonly made here.

Stay tuned…

Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge : Homemade Waffles

We needed Waffles for our Chicken and Waffles so I opened my Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook which I’m cooking-through and made their recipe for Easy Waffles.  We’ve made homemade waffles before and I wanted to try another recipe. These are quick to get together and we had 12 waffles made with all that batter.  What a great tasty waffle recipe! 😊

Enjoy!

 

 

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Four

We now have been cooking-through our books for three months and have enjoyed various recipes.  I have been enjoying this challenge especially since I’ve really been looking at certain sections of the book and reading various recipes which I’ve been overlooking for many years.  Even though I’m not making every recipe in my book I am actually concentrating on a particular section each month and determining which recipes to try.  I think that having a full month to actually look at certain recipes is a good thing for me.

For August I’m introducing something unique to my challenge:

*it’s a Wildcard month*

That means only one thing: you can make any recipes from the cookbook which you haven’t made so far during this challenge

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

Makin’ relish

I haven’t had much time to cook-through my recipe book lately to keep up with my cook-through challenge.  Summer has become a busy time for us.

Now it’s relish makin’ time.  Zucchini Relish to be exact.  This is so simple to make and the best tastin’ relish.  I’m using our own home grown zucchini and onions but I had to buy the peppers since ours aren’t ready yet.

I’ve been making this relish since 2015 from the Ball Blue Book.

 

The veggies are sitting in salt water for now.  In a couple of hours they will be ready to be cooked with the vinegar and spices for canning.

We are having a better year with our garden compared to 2016 and have been preserving many things.  We will be very busy when our tomatoes begin to ripen.  We have 6 Roma tomato plants and plan to can a lot of them.  We also have 4 others for eating and they are all growing quite well along with everything else.

I hope to find time soon to make some new recipes for the cook-through challenge.  As I said in the beginning we will make as many recipes from our books as time allows.  And summer isn’t allowing me much time for that!

 Happy summer!

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Three

I hope that you found the challenge of chicken and beef recipes exciting and made some yummy food last month!

For July lets dig through our books for some yummy

Appetizers and Beverages

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf

I enjoy various flavored rice and Rice Pilaf is one of them.

I have found a quick, easy and tasty way to make a homemade Rice Pilaf which tastes much like one of those packs found in the store.  I have the ingredients on hand and you probably do too.

Ingredients

long-grain rice (not quick cooking); I love Uncle Ben’s because it tastes great and cooks perfectly every time!

chicken bouillon cubes (or another flavor you enjoy)

Directions

Mix together the ingredients needed as stated on the box of the rice and for each cup of water add one bouillon cube to the pot

Cook your rice as stated on the box and your bouillon cubes will dissolve and flavor your rice

My husband doesn’t like white rice unflavored but he loves this one since I’ve begun making it this way.  It has great flavor and you can always add any other ingredients which you enjoy.  We both think this tastes like the packs of Rice Pilaf with flavorings that we were buying.

Enjoy!

Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge : My Homemade BBQ Sauce

To kick off month two I will share my homemade BBQ sauce recipe which was inspired by the BBQ sauce recipe listed in the Poultry section of the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook which I’m cooking-through.

Last week we had grilled chicken and I made this sauce so I have some photos to share.

A couple summers ago my husband was grilling chicken and asked me for some BBQ sauce to put on it near the end of the grilling time.  I looked in my fridge and found a bottle of some old out-dated sauce.  I had been seeing various recipes to make homemade sauce and while watching those cooking shows about BBQs in the South I wanted to try my hand at creating my own.  Some people love dry-rubs for meats and others love a sauce.  I like both as long as the food is tasty.  🙂  I pulled out my trusty BHG cookbook and another recipe or two which I had clipped from somewhere and compared recipes for homemade BBQ sauce.  I have created my signature BBQ sauce from the inspiration of BHG cookbook’s recipe and another recipe and since that day I haven’t bought BBQ sauce.  This doesn’t make a lot of sauce (approx 3/4 cup) and it is always perfect for chicken, burgers, deer chipped-steak or anything else tasty.  (You could double or triple the recipe as needed for your needs too)

In a small saucepan stir together the following:

Ingredients

1/2 cup ketchup

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp mustard

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder

1 tsp liquid smoke (I use Hickory liquid smoke)

Directions

Cook on the stove on a low to medium heat and stir as needed for 2-5 minutes.  Do not boil.

Now your sauce is ready for whatever you want to add some pizzazz to.

Enjoy!

 

 

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Two

Month One was fun with salads and salad dressings and I hope you are enjoying this opportunity to create some new foods for those you love.  I know that I have found some “keeper” recipes which I will add to my rotation of foods.

For Month Two the categories are:

any Chicken or Beef recipes

or make them meatless if you are vegetarian

I challenge you to look through your book for recipes which fall into the above category and make as many as you want too.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

Dreaming about cookies!

I recently acquired these two cookie books…

And all I’ve been able to do is dream about cookies.

I’ve been making more cookies lately (just the standards which I love so much) and I Love, Love, Love what Betty says in her Picture Cook Book about them:

I don’t have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar but I do like having cookies in an air-tight container on my kitchen counter (as I do now).

So I couldn’t help myself when I learned about Betty’s vintage cooky book.  I was drawn to it immediately and searched for one online; a used one, of course.

This Betty Crocker Cooky Book is from 1963 (First Edition First Printing) and it looks like new.  I don’t know if the price sticker on the front is from 1963 though.  The cover with all of the cookies just draws you to this book and there are many recipes inside.

This Woman’s Day Cookie Cook Book is from 1963, Third Printing.

It only cost 75 cents back when it was sold in ’63 which is such a bargain by today’s standards.

I’m guessing that many housewives in the 1960’s were very busy baking cookies once they retained one or both of these publications.  I can only imagine how magical Christmas must have been back in that time with so many cookies coming out of mom’s oven.  They can really make a home so warm and inviting especially when the smells are floating through the house as they are baking.  Ah…such great memories!!

What cookies do you enjoy making and keeping in your home?  Do you have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar full of cookies all of the time?  Please share some of your cookie memories with me.

Chocolate chip are my most-favorite cookies and I love using milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips versus the semi-sweet; and I must use butter in the recipe!  I’ve been addicted to the Nestle brand of chips because the chocolate content is better than Hershey’s (in my opinion the taste is so much better) and European chocolate is the best over anything because their number one ingredient is almost always chocolate (cocoa) versus sugar.  Do you look at the ingredients listed on your chocolate chips?  When you see sugar listed first you will find that the taste is just not as good as those which have the cocoa ingredients first.

(On a side-note, I love European chocolate over the American chocolate.  If you haven’t tried any European chocolate you’re missing out on something very extraordinary in taste and quality.  It seems like sugar has become the number one ingredient in all chocolate made in America anymore and the cocoa content is minimal.)

So many cookies…

so little time…