Monday, January 31, 2011

Ingredient Substitutions

Don't you just hate when you're going to make something for dinner and you're missing an ingredient?  Then it's a mad rush to the grocery store to pick up what you need and dinner is late.  Not anymore!  Here are some ingredient substitutions that may help:

If you don't have . . .
  • 1 cup self rising flour, use 1 cup all purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, use 2 tablespoons dried minced onion or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, use 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, use 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or red wine vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using) or 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, use 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream, use 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup
I'm always missing spices and seasonings too.  So here are some substitutes, but be sure to use only half of what the recipe calls for.  That way you can add more to suit your taste.

If you don't have. . .

  • Ground allspice, use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard, use 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Paprika, use just a "titch" (got this word from Brandi) of cayenne pepper
  • Ground cloves, use ground allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Chili powder, use a dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus equal measures of ground oregano and cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, use 2 to 3 drops of bottled hot pepper sauce
  • Ground cumin, use chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, use 3/4 teaspoon dried sage and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, use 1/2 teaspoon each of white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red pepper, paprika and ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried herbs

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brandi's Orzo Salad

Here's another one of our favorite "Brandi Recipes".

Brandi's Orzo Salad

8 oz. orzo , uncooked
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
small garlic clove
1/2 cup basil chopped (optional)
1/4 pound feta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Cherry tomatoes and sliced black olives (however many you would like)

Cook orzo according to package.  Rinse in colander to help cool pasta.  Saute pine nuts in 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil.  Drain on paper towel.  Press garlic, mix with basil.  Whisk vinegar and oil, salt and pepper.  Stir all remaining ingredients in with cooked orzo.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mexican Cassserole

Well, I'm in Charlotte, NC helping my son, Brian, take care of his four precious children.  His wife, Brandi, is in California visiting her mom.  Brandi's sister, Tiffany, is returning from her mission in Ithaca, NY.  She doesn't know Brandi is there.  What a great surprise!

Speaking of surprises, before Brandi left she made this Mexican Casserole for us to eat.   I'm not a real Mexican food lover, but I really enjoyed this casserole.  Brandi said she did use the mild ingredients just for me.  What a good daughter-in-law!  Thank you, Brandi.  I loved it.

Mexican Casserole
1 pound browned ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (15 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
1 (12 oz.) jar mild taco sauce

1 can black beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
8 oz. shredded cheese
1/2 bag large tortilla chips, crushed

In a big pot mix the first six ingredients.  Bring to a boil, turn down, simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add beans and corn to mixture.

In a 9 x 13 pan, layer:
1/2 crushed chips
1/2 meat mixture
1/2 cheese

Bake at 375 for 30 - 35 minutes until bubbly and hot.

NOTE:  This makes a TON!  Feeds about 10 people.  (I don't know, Brandi.  Brian, the 4 kids and I almost finished it off--it was that good!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pumpkin Loaf

Many, many years ago (probably about 20 years) my friend shared her pumpkin loaf recipe with me.  As I was looking through my old recipe cards, I came across it.  I decided to make it for my friend for Christmas.  It turned out so good I had to make one for my family as well. 

Pumpkin Loaf

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup solid pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
powdered sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened (I microwave for about 10 sec. if I forget to leave out to soften)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Using your mixer, beat the 3 eggs for 5 minutes.  Gradually beat in the 1 cup of sugar.  Then stir in (by hand) the pumpkin and lemon juice.  Put aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon,ginger, salt, and nutmeg.  Fold into pumpkin mixture lightly to keep it fluffy.

Spray a 15 by 10 inch pan with Baker's Joy or Pam and pour mixture into pan.  Move pan around to fit corners.  Sprinkle chopped nuts on top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (begins to pull away from edges).  Take a kitchen (hand) towel and lay on counter.  Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.  Turn cake on top of towel.  Beat the top with a knife or palm of your hand if needed to get loaf from pan.  Take end of towel and roll up carefully.  Set aside until completely cool.

When cool, unroll loaf and make filling by mixing all ingredients with a mixer until fluffy.  Spread the filling on top of loaf and reroll.  Put in refrigerator to chill.  Slice and serve

Friday, January 7, 2011

Terrific Grilled Turkey Burgers

Grilled, Turkey, Burgers
Do you need something quick and easy for supper tonight?  Here's the perfect solution--Terrific Grilled Turkey Burgers!  Quick, easy and DELICIOUS!

Terrific Grilled Turkey Burgers

2 pounds ground turkey
1 package dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg, beaten
8 hamburger buns
Cheese slices (optional)

In a bowl, mix the turkey, onion soup, pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, and egg.  Refrigerate this mixture for about 10 minutes (I didn't do this because I was in a hurry), then form into 8 patties.  Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.  Lightly oil (or spray with Pam) the grill grate.  Place patties on the grill and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, turning at least once, until well done.  Add cheese on top if you like.  Serve on buns.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Collard Greens

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.  In the south we eat collards on New Year's Day to bring us wealth.  I know this recipe is a little late, but put it away for 2012.  These collards are delicious!  My family members (except my husband) are not too fond of collards.  As a matter of fact, I usually make spinach (because it's green) to represent wealth in the New Year.  But this year I was determined to make collards. 

Many years ago my friend gave me this recipe saying they were the best collards she had ever eaten.  Well, my family agrees.  They are definitely the best!  Unfortunately, I halved the recipe because I was afraid no one would like them ("oh, ye of little faith"), and I should have doubled it because everyone wanted more.  Hey, maybe it's not too late.  I'm sure you'll still find fresh collard greens in the grocery store.  Collards may not really bring wealth, but this will give you a great recipe to bring to your family dinner table.

Collard Greens

1 large bunch of fresh collard greens
2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
6 oz. fat back or a ham hock
(My friend uses the ham hock.  I didn't have either so I put in some uncooked bacon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 quart water

Pull leaves of the collards from the stems and discard the stem.  Chop or tear the leaves.  Wash them thoroughly in cold water.  In a large saucepan combine all ingredients.  Boil slowly for 2 hours until tender.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

**These are best if cooked a day ahead, chilled and reheated.  I made mine in the morning and put them in the fridge to chill.  That evening, I just put them in the microwave to reheat and served.  Easy and convenient.