Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grandma's Buttermilk Pancakes with Peanut Butter Sauce

I found this recipe in mom's old green cookbook, The Encyclopedia of Cooking (copyright 1947).  Remember how, when we were kids, it was held together with that "green tape" dad used to get from Pressed Steel Tank Co.?  Well, several years ago, Greg had to put duct tape over the "green tape."  Sad to say, duct tape can't hold a candle to the green tape.....

But I digress.  Matthew LOVES these pancakes.  But my problem is I can't use up a full carton of buttermilk before it goes bad.  It just kills me to have to throw a half carton down the drain every few weeks.  So, now I'm using (gulp) buttermilk powder.  But it works.  And I'm OK with that.

I mix up about 8 packages of dry mix at a time.  Then, on Saturday or Sunday morning, its a breeze to put together. 

For each batch, you need:

1 cup flour (The old green book says to sift three times.  Right.  Like THAT'S gonna happen)
2 teaspoons baking powder (greenie says "double acting" but nowadays its all double acting)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons buttermilk powder, if you're not using regular buttermilk

Mix all that up.  Mix it well or the buttermilk powder gets cakey and hard to mix in later.  I mixed it up in baggies.  The one container of buttermilk powder gives you 8 batches. (Each batch will make 6-8 8-inch pancakes)

OK, now, if you're using the dreaded powder, simply mix up 1 cup water and 1 beaten egg.  Add that to your dry ingredients in a bowl, pour over a half stick of melted BUTTER (not that nasty margarine stuff), and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. 

If you're using real buttermilk, do the same, but omit water and substitute 1 cup buttermilk.

Sometimes, I find this a little on the "too thick" side, so I add a few tablespoons of regular milk.  Kinda depends on the humidity level that day. 

Now, just go away.  I mean it.  Don't touch it.  Don't stir it.  Don't even look at it for 20 minutes.  Go start the laundry.  Read the paper (does anyone get the newspaper anymore?).  Watch SpongeBob.  Keep changing channels 'til you find him.  SpongeBob is ALWAYS on.  Its an FCC regulation. 

This will let all those wonderful little bubbles form.  You need those bubbles.

Now, (and this is IMPORTANT), you must cook these on a preheated, well-seasoned, cast iron frying pan.  Preheat it during SpongeBob.  If you do not use cast iron, Grandma Koszuth will come back and haunt you, and you don't want that to happen.  Trust me.

I always use just a teeny weeny bit of butter for frying these up. 

This a 'lunch' sized plate,
lest you think I'm making pancakes that are larger than my head.

Sometimes, if I'm really creative, I make bears, aliens, etc. out of the batter.  Matthew loves them.  He ate them before I could take a picture of them.  Which is probably good.  I'm not that artistic.

Oh, and don't forget the peanut butter sauce! 

2 Tbls. creamy peanut butter
1 Tbl. real butter
1 Tbl. honey

These measurements are only estimates.  I never measure.  I just eyeball it to where I've used about twice as much PB to butter and honey.  Microwave on high in 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring between each one,  just to warm things up enough to combine them.  Don't boil!  This will keep in the 'fridge forever.  Just rewarm as you need it.

I like to use syrup AND peanut butter sauce together.  Killer. 

Try warmed PBS and chocolate syrup on ice cream sometime.  You can thank me later....

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Dump Cake

This is another really easy recipe that you can use for a holiday potluck or gathering.

Preheat oven to 350 (325 if using a glass dish).  Grease a 13 x 9.

In a large bowl, mix together:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated (NOT sweetened condensed) milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
   (or 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead)
1 16 oz. can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups of Judy's home made pumpkin, well drained)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Pour all of this into your prepared pan.

Sprinkle a dry yellow cake mix evenly over the top of this.
Melt 2 sticks of REAL butter (don't be tempted to cheat and use that horrid margarine junk -- I won't know, but the cake will).  As evenly as you can, pour over the top of the cake mix.

Bake for 1 hour.

What you end up with is this wonderful gooey pumpkin custard, topped with a crust that's not too over-the-top sweet. 

This MUST be served with whipped cream or cool whip, and its best slightly warm.

The first time I made this, it was too greasy.  I made it the exact same way the second time, and it wasn't greasy at all.  I can't account for the difference.

But its really easy and really good. 

Bon Apetit!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I make a rather unusual chili.  But people who have tried it really like it.  So, I'll share my recipe here.  I make it in the crockpot, so its super simple.

The spice mix for 1 batch is:
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper

I usually mix up a large batch in a jar.  Then, when I need it, I add 2 to 3 Tablespoons to my recipe.

You also need 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 ounce can black beans, undrained
1/2 cup very strong black coffee
2 Tablespoons Masa Harina (corn flour) or corn meal

Brown your ground beef in a skillet with the onions and garlic (can be done ahead and refrigerated or frozen)

Throw the beef mixture in the crock pot.  Add the spices, the tomato sauce, and the black beans.  Stir in the coffee (This is optional.  I don't drink coffee, so I rarely have any.  But its a good addition if you do.)

Cook on low 8 hours or so.  About a half hour before serving, stir in the masa or corn meal.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced raw onion.  I also serve this with Tostitos Scoops, and no one even dirties a spoon!



This was a double batch I made for Bunco, so I used my 6 quart slow cooker.  Its really an over achiever, and I almost burned this.  Usually I use my 3 quart for a regular-sized batch. 
Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Easy (Bake) Does It

Santa brought us an Easy Bake Oven last year for Christmas.  Matthew loves to help out in the kitchen (he's a real Koszuth!).  My gripe with the EBO is that the mixes for it cost a fortune, and they taste really crappy.  As far as cakes go, I think I've solved that problem. 

I took an entire regular cake mix, put it in my food processor, and added 1/3 cup of solid shortening (Crisco).  I whirled that around until it was like coarse meal.  This acts as the oil in a regularly-baked box mix.  Then, I packaged them up in 1/4 cup portions, using those wonderful little "snack size" ziplocks.

As long as I was getting the food processor dirty, I did chocolate, strawberry, yellow and "funfetti."  These will keep as long as regular cake mix will.  For Matthew this is about a year's supply.

Remember, before you can do any "light bulb cooking" you must preheat the stupid thing for AT LEAST 15 minutes.

Do that now.  I'll wait.

When the youngun is ready to bake, take 1 egg, and beat it up with a scant 1/4 cup of water.

This is enough to do 3 of the mixes.
Next, make HIM grease the pans, because you had a mean older sister who, when you baked as kids, would ONLY let you grease the pans, and never let you do anything fun.  Like run the mixer.  Or add the chocolate chips.  Not that you harbor any resentment or anything, and you've really gotten over it.  I mean, for God's sake, your (almost) 49 already! 

Where was I?
Oh, yeah,

He's greasing the pans.  Then, lightly flour them, like you would a regular cake.  (In order to save your freshly washed floors, you may want to do this part.)  I found this is critical to getting the cake out of the pan later.

Add a scant 2 tablespoons of the egg/water mixture to the mix in a bowl, and let him use his "Whiskey" to stir it all up.

Let him pour it into the prepared pan.  Make sure the pan is no more than half full, our you'll be cursing later.  Trust me.  The worst thing for an EBO is an over-filled pan.  Help him put it in the oven, and set the cute timer Santa brought last year for 15 minutes.  

Then, every 30 seconds, answer his question with,  "Not yet!  A few more minutes!"
Make him wash his dishes.
Rewash his dishes because he only got about half the crud off.
Throw your kitchen towel into the laundry because he dried them after he "washed" them.

Help remove the cake from the oven to avoid a trip to the ER with 3rd degree burns.  You don't want to answer all those questions from DFS either. 

Let them cool 2 minutes, then invert, remove from the pan and let cool completely.   Then frost.  Yes, we used canned frosting.  I'm OK with that. 
Please don't report me to the frosting police.

I'm not sure what we were celebrating.  But it was fun.  I guess we were celebrating the first cold, rainy, fall day that we were stuck inside, so had time to bake!

A picture really is worth a thousand words.


P.S.  The really nice thing about this?  There's not a whole entire cake sitting around  calling your name, making you eat it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mexican Corn Dip

Someone at my office made this for a potluck we recently had.  Its different, but I really liked it.  Super simple:

2 Cans "Mexicorn", drained
3 chopped scallions
1 1/2 cups grated pepperjack cheese
1 cup mayo
dash hot sauce

Mix it all up. Chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Roasted Veggie Dip

Another great, easy appetizer that allows you to use up all the junk in your produce drawer that you bought last week, when you decided you were going to starting eating healthier, but then forgot, and ate a cheeseburger instead.

Start by going through that produce drawer.  Keep going.  Deeper.  Deeper.  There's lots in there.  You would just have to throw them out next Saturday anyway.  This is a MUCH better use for them.

In my 'fridge I found zucchini, red peppers, carrots, a few stalks of leftover asperagus, some broccoli, onions and garlic.  You can use whatever you have, but I've found that onions and garlic are essential for this recipe to work.

You will also need a block (or two -- see below) of cream cheese and a dried herb spice mix (I use the Penzey's Green Goddess Dressing Base).

Preheat your oven to 425.

Chop up those veggies into about 2" pieces.  Just make sure they're uniform, so they all roast at the same rate.  Then sprinkle with olive or canola oil (I like neutral oils), and salt and pepper.  Mix it all up on a cookie sheet:

Roast 25 to35 minutes stirring once about halfway.  You want them to have some good caramelization.  I took a pic halfway through:

and then forgot to take another when they were done.  But, you get the idea.

Let them cool, then transfer to your food processor.  Pulverize until its a very ugly paste.

I don't think I need to describe what this looks like.  But we're all thinking the same thing.  Trust me, it gets better.

Add your cream cheese and 2 to 3 Tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) of the herbs.  Give it all another ride.  (I was making this for an office potluck, and had so many veggies that I ended up using 2 blocks of cream cheese.)

Transfer to a bowl and chill at least 4 hours.  But I think its better if it chills out overnight.  Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite crackers.

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gonna try this on Turkey Day

Okay, I read the review and some said to decrease the butter by 1/2 cup and add more sour cream, that's what I'm gonna do...

Baked Corn

Submitted By: Rhonda Mellott
Photo By: Truffles
Servings: 11

"This old southern recipe goes well with all kinds of meals. Especially at the holidays. It is always requested at all the holiday meals, and there is never any left! This is a very easy recipe to prepare. Originally submitted to ThanksgivingRecipe.com."
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package corn muffin mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Combine the whole-kernel corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, melted butter or margarine, beaten eggs and corn muffin mix. Mix well and pour into one 9x13 inch baking pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 11/14/2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spicy Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

These are a really quick, easy appetizer.  You need
1 package crescent rolls
Grated Cheddar Cheese (or any kind you like)
Spicy Ranch dressing
Crispy crumbled bacon
Finely chopped Green onions (which I forgot to buy but I bet they'd be great in this recipe!)

By the way, where would society be if Crescent roll dough had not been invented???  If the Nazis would have had it, they'd have won the war & we'd all be speaking German today!

Lay out your crescent roll dough into two rectangles, and pinch the seams together.

Next, brush on about 2 - 3 Tbls. of the dressing onto each one

Sprinkle on about a 1/4 cup each of cheese and bacon, and about 2 chopped green onions, assuming you remembered to buy them.

Do NOT roll up from the long side:

(This is wrong!)

Roll up this way (from the short side):

With a serrated knife, use a sawing motion to cut each one into 8 pieces.  Lay out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. 

Serve warm or at room temp.  Cold bacon is just nasty.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sweet Indian Pudding

3 cups milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 beaten egg (I put in 2)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons buter
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In saucepan, combine the milk and molasses: stir in cornmeal. Cook and stir till thick, about 1 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine egg, sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Gradually stir in hot cornmeal mixture. Bake, uncovered in a 1-quart casserole at 300 degrees about 1 1/2 hours. Serves 6

Another version:

Indian Pudding

Make as above EXCEPT omit egg and sugar. Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.

Cranberry Apple Salad

Easy, refreshing, and crunchy but yet has all those Turkey Day Flavors!

(easy to double/triple/quadruple)

1- 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 med apples, unpeeled but cored and diced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup, toasted, chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in walnuts just before serving.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Judy's Carrot Cake

I think we're all in agreement that this is THE BEST CARROT CAKE EVER!  I've copied and pasted Judy's recipe from the other blog, mainly for my own convenience.  We're having a potluck lunch at work next week, and I've been making many grand promises.  I even got 10 inch pans specifically for this cake.  Here's a question:  Will Grandma Koszuth come back and haunt me if I used store-bought cream cheese icing? 

Here's Judy's original post:

2 - 10 inch round layers

6 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
4 eggs
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 10-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 45-55 minutes in the preheated oven or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter softened
7 cups powdered sugar
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
splash of orange extract~optional

Cream the softened butter and cream cheese together. Add the vanilla and optional orange extract. Add the sugar a little at a time blending well. Frost the cake when smooth, then CAREFULLY put it in a box and send it to me as I’m hungry just typing this.......


Update 11/13/2010
I made this cake (pics below), and it was really good, but some the carrots turned GREEN in the cake!  Why?  Beats me.  Was it because I purchased pre-grated carrots and they're probably chemically infused?  Was is a reaction between that and the pineapple (acidity?).  The world may never know.  Here's my pics:

I was doing about 37 things at once, so I forgot to take a lot of pictures.  But, its a really good cake, green carrots and all......

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey

OK kids, believe it or not, Turkey Day is just around the corner.  I think the reason I love Thanksgiving is because its all about the food, and you don't have the added pressure of gifts and decorations.  I've been making dinner for the Skibinski clan for about the past 15 years, and I really love doing it.  They're coming again this year, and I'm looking forward to cooking again.

So, what are you making this year?  I need some new ideas for sides.  I seem to make the same old thing year after year.  They're good, but getting a bit monotonous.  Last year I tried mixing it up a bit, but had a few disastrous results (Don't, I repeat DON'T serve brussels sprouts to houseguests who have also been drinking beer non stop for the past 36 hours unless you also have the little green pills in serving dishes right on the table!).

I have been making the same turkey recipe for the past 6 years or so, and I don't plan to mess with that.  Its foolproof.  The best, juciest white meat you will ever eat.  I'm not going to print the whole recipe, as its Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey from Food Network.  You can get it here.  Try it.  You won't be sorry.  I brine it in my large stock pot  and begin brining before I go to bed.  I usually get a 12 to 14 pounder, and it cooks up in about 2 1/2 hours.  (Don't forget to make your own candied ginger!)

However, this does not solve my side dish problem.  The saffron butternut squash risotto was also a disaster last year, mainly due to timing issues.  Its a really good recipe, but risotto is a dish you probably need to save to be the centerpiece of a meal.  Too labor intensive when you're trying to get the rest of the meal on the table. 

Anyways, HELP!  I need some new ideas!  Lets get cooking!

Bon Apetit!