Simple Turkey Dressing

For me, homemade stuffing/dressing is required at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  The stuff from the box just doesn’t get it for me.  Although, that is what I was raised on, my mother used it. Yuck.  I had an aunt once declare that this dressing tastes just like her mom’s, but I don’t recall anything besides the boxed stuff at her house either.  In her defense, holiday meals normally meant cooking for 25 to 35 people.  We never had real mashed potatoes either.

I have been known to use a bag pre-seasoned hard cubes, and those can be prepared in a way that it is almost as good as homemade.  And 2 bags of those cubes can be used as a substitute for the loaf of rustic crusty bread used in this recipe.  It will require much more liquid than the crusty bread allowed to dry out will.

People put all kinds of stuff in their stuffing, maybe that’s why it’s called stuffing, it’s stuffed with stuff.  I have never stuffed a bird with dressing, I think it might end up being too greasy and not hot enough to kill whatever bacteria might be hiding inside that turkey.

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Large Pearl Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding! What else is there to say?

Tapioca pudding might be the epitome of comfort foods.  It bring memories of worn out diners that have stood the test of time, grandmother’s kitchens with smells only grandmothers’ houses can produce and simpler times.

I used to buy the stuff in the container for Ron when he was little.  He loved this stuff, he called it “tappy O da pudding”.  He rarely eats it now, he doesn’t care much for processed foods.  Perhaps he might try eating it again now with this recipe.  Pass on a love for tapioca pudding to his child.

I believe the key to a good tapioca may be starting with large pearl tapioca.  No small tapioca and certainly no instant.  I have had poor luck with those.  The recipes always say to soak the tapioca overnight, but I only ever soak mine for about 7 hours.  It cooks up beautifully, even as a double batch.

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Eggrolls

Egg rolls are my downfall in life.  They are like potato chips, I can’t eat just one.  Growing up an hours drive from Chicago we grew up eating at Chiam’s in Chinatown.  It is no longer in business which meant no more egg rolls from Chiam’s.  Eventually we started going to Rising Sun in Mokena, it was closer and we could do carry out orders.

But when we moved to Florida we were in for a rude awakening.  Chinese food was all the same at all locations (and it wasn’t delicious).  It is a phenomenon that has plagued us since.  The need for a good egg roll that reminded us of Chiam’s or even Rising Sun was nowhere to be found, so the experimenting started.

You may not like these, and it won’t hurt my feelings.  Egg roll preferences are a very personal thing.  Most people like the ones made in their area of the country and some like the generic version you get at most Chinese restaurant today that taste the same at all locations. Continue reading “Eggrolls”

Honey Peanut Butter

 

honey-peanut-butter-feature1So who doesn’t love peanut butter? Well, I sure as hell do. I love peanut butter everything. My mom even has a peanut butter icing recipe because I love peanut butter just that damn much.

About three years ago I received some homemade peanut butter from a CSA I was participating in. Since then, I have been hooked on homemade peanut butter. It was hands-down better than anything you could get at the grocery store. I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what the farmer was using in his peanut butter, but this blog post is about the recipe I came up with. It’s pretty damn good and it frequently replaces our normal brand. I do keep the store bought stuff around for when I’m too lazy to make peanut butter.

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“Too Cheesy” Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a big helping of homemade macaroni and cheese? My spouse, that’s who. He likes the stuff from the box; powdered cheese, foil packet of cheese, any kind of cheese besides good old fashioned American cheese slices. Now don’t misunderstand, there is something to be said about the convenience of those blue boxes and I have cooked my share of them. I have also served up the frozen and refrigerated prepackaged varieties. I feel no shame.

But I prefer my macaroni and cheese the way my mom used to make it when she was in the cooking spirit. It is swimming in cheese, enough cheese that it gets called “too cheesy” in this house and rarely gets made anymore. I was excited to write this post because it gave me the excuse to make it for photos.

(Side note: while writing the recipe, I realize that the DH might actually be right, this might be too cheesy……. But please do not tell him he was right, I will never hear the end of it.)

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is probably my favorite food.  Chicken and dumplings run a close second.  My mom told me once that when I was barely old enough to hold a spoon she left me home alone with my dad and told him to feed me a can of chicken noodle soup for dinner.  He opened the can, plopped a spoon in it and gave it to me.  I guess that moment is when my love affair with chicken noodle soup started.

I can still eat it from a can (water added now and heated – not actually out of the can), at a restaurant, but homemade is preferred with chicken pieces, swimming in a golden broth, surrounded by carrots slices and noodles.  When I make it, I usually start it in the late morning so I eat some for a late lunch, again for dinner, then put some in the refrigerator for lunch for a few days, and some in the freezer for later.  Later is usually a day or two after my refrigerator stash has been consumed.

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