Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD!

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Taco Casserole (with chicken) *




This recipe was adapted from one originally submitted by Campbell's Kitchen.  The original recipe called for a 15-ounce bag of tortilla chips to be crushed up and layered in here.  BUT!!!, ...because I like left-overs, I omitted the chips (I left them out because I could picture them soaking up moisture, AND/OR becoming soggy/rubbery).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups shredded or "small chunked", cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken makes "quick work" of this, and it tastes  just great for this!).
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted.  (Original recipe asked for 2 cans, but I didn't want this recipe to end up being "too soupy".  Suit yourself.)
  • 1 cup sour cream.
  • 1 of 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained).
  • 1 of 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 of a 1 oz. envelope of taco seasoning mix--the reduced-sodium variety may be best.  (Especially for my husband's taste, I used only half of the 1 oz. envelope.)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided into two equal portions.
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  • Possible topping ingredients:  Chopped tomato, sliced green onion, cilantro leaves. black olives and/or ????
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat the oven to 350-degrees F. Lightly grease (or spray) a 9x13x2" baking dish.
  2. Stir the shredded or "small-chunked" well-done chicken meat, condensed soup, sour cream, tomatoes/chilies, black beans and taco seasoning in a medium/large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the chicken mixture in bottom of dish.  Add a layer of 1 cup of the shredded cheese amount.  Layer with the remaining chicken mixture.  
  4. Cover the baking dish
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Then, uncover the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake, UNcovered, for another 10 minutes or until hot/bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve topping options on the side for "individual preferences".  For those who like "hot stuff",  maybe a dash of hot sauce or other kinds of "hots" could be added to their individual serving. 
*  In my opinion, this dish, after baking, could be used as a dip for your favorite kind of crunchy chips.   Also, ...I think it could be served in soft OR hard taco shells.   And,... this mixture (before baking) could be wrapped in soft tortilla shells and baked like that... maybe with adding a light layer of your favorite kind of sauce?  (Actually, this mixture in its UNbaked state was tasting pretty darned good, too--  I happen to know this because... I licked off the spatula!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Corn Bread

"We all have the Native Americans to thank for corn bread.  Its humble beginnings can be traced back to the Indians that the European settlers came in contact with when they first arrived in America." (http://www.indians.org/articles/corn-bread.html)

We (my husband and I) have invited the sister missionaries to join us for supper tonight.  Planning to try a new (new to me) recipe for corn bread, I decided to make a skillet of it this morning.  That way, if it didn't turn out, or if I didn't like it, I could scratch the idea and make some dinner rolls.  Well,... I say this recipe is a "GO" for tonight, and beyond.  The credit for this recipe goes to someone named "Nandabear".

As I was making this, I thought of a particular grandson (Matthew, shown below) because he always liked it whenever I served this in the past-- but, confession-wise, my "cornbread of the past" usually came from one of those little blue boxes.  NOT this time around!!


This recipe makes enough to serve 10 (I'd surely cut this recipe in half for a small family.)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white cornmeal-- but, I used yellow cornmeal today.  (Personally, I like to look around and find Non-GMO corn meal--  an Internet search will help you find some brands of it.)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (To make this, I added two tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to a scant two cups of whole milk, and then let it sit for about 15 minutes so it could do its "curdle thing".)

DIRECTIONS:


  1. If you DON'T have regular buttermilk on hand, make your own by adding lemon juice as I did.  Do this now so it can sit and do it's "curdle thing" for a little while.  Skip this step, of course, if you have regular buttermilk on hand.
  2. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
  3. Pour vegetable oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and swirl the oil to coat bottom and sides of skillet.  Place skillet (with the oil in it) into the pre-heated oven until very hot, OR for 3-5 minutes.  Set a timer so you do NOT forget about this being in the oven.
  4. Remove skillet from oven, and set aside.
  5. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a med. sized mixing bowl. 
  6. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, and then stir the buttermilk in.
  7. Pour half (2 tablespoons) of the hot vegetable oil from the skillet into this buttermilk mixture.  Beat until oil is incorporated.  
  8. Mix buttermilk/eggs/oil mixture into dry ingredients to make a smooth batter. 
  9. Pour batter into the still hot/warm skillet.
  10. Bake in the oven until top is golden brown, or 18-20 minutes.  This is how mine looked at 18 minutes when I took it out of the oven.  
                                  
Since ovens vary, check yours so see how it is coming along after the first 15 minutes.  IF you do not want the top to get as dark as what mine did, here, you might want to lay a piece of aluminum foil very lightly over the top when it gets to the desired "brownness" and continue baking until it is done.  (At 18 minutes, I tested this with a wood toothpick to see if I thought it was done-- the toothpick came out "clean" so I took it out.)

Cut cornbread into servings while in the skillet, and serve while warm.  If baked ahead of time, like I just did, warm it in the oven just before serving time.
After taking that big wedge of corn bread out of the skillet and............. well, you know,...... eating it while the butter was melting on it,............... I think I just may have made a meal out of this.  OINK!!!, OINK!!! ... to ...ME!!!!   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Caramel Nut Chocolate Squares



When my sister was down-sizing in preparation to move from a large home to a small apartment, she gave me a whole BUNCH of cookbooks.  One was entitled Our Mom's Best Recipes (and Dad's) Vol. II.  It was... "Dedicated to the Best Moms and Dads in the World!" and sponsored by the First United Methodist Youth in December of 1994.   I found this particular recipe, submitted by Carolyn Whisenant, inside of that booklet.  After they were baked, my "taste tester" said he approved of their moistness, chewiness, and... TASTE!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 14 oz. package of light caramels (or approximately 50), UNwrapped. (P.S.  I do NOT like the job of UNwrapping caramels!  Usually, IF any children are around, they more than gladly do it for me just so they can have some of the "extras".  There were no children here today.)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk (I found that, by using a small 5 oz. can of evaporated milk, I had  enough for the two separate amounts called for in this recipe without having any left over to "waste"?)
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  • 1 package German Chocolate cake mix (as is)
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (Today, I used pecans)
  • 1 cup (or 6 oz.) chocolate chips-- you can choose between the semi-sweet or milk chocolate variety.  (Personally, I think they end up being toooooooooo sweet with milk chocolate chips.)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a saucepan, heat UNwrapped caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk.  Heat over low/medium heat until caramels are melted.  Stir until smooth and set aside.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan.  (I lined a pan with foil, and then used non-stick spray on that. This way I could lift them out of the pan for easier cutting after they cooled and the caramel firmed up.)
  3. In a larger bowl, combine dry cake mix, melted butter, the other 1/3 cup evaporated milk and the chopped nuts.   (Just because it's something I choose to do, I first rub the dry cake mix through a mesh screen-type strainer to get rid of any dry lumps.)
  4. By hand, stir until dough holds together.
  5. Press 1/2 of the dough into the baking pan, saving the rest for topping to be added later.
  6. Bake at 350-degrees for 6 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked/hot crust.  Spread caramel mixture over the chips.
  8. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel/chips layer.  (In order to accomplish this, I dropped very LITTLE dabs of dough on the caramel layer until I had "most" of the surface covered by little bits of dough.)
  9. Return to oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes more, depending on how your own oven heats.
  10. Cool slightly.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the caramel layer set before cutting.

I often bake things like this and then put them into 
the freezer for sharing when others stop in.