You already have a whole book of recipes to play with this week, but I figured you could use another cookie recipe too. Actually, my daughter and I are headed out to go visit family this week so this weeks recipe was chosen for our need for car food.
I hadn't used this recipe before and in my opinion it needs some salt. They are fine the way they are but need a little kick. I few extra raisins would be nice too.
Chop Suey is the epitome of what America is. It takes an idea from another country, throws in whatever it happens to have around, tosses it together and it comes out an amazing dish.
As a child my mother and grandmother would buy the taped together blue cans available at every grocery store, the ones with the gravy like sauce on top and the vegetables on the bottom, heat it up and call it Chop Suey.
The history of Chop Suey seems to have as many variations as the recipes for the dish itself, but they all agree that its an American dish, and traditionally was made with whatever was leftover, which explains the variations in the recipe. I picked this one because it reminded me of the gloop in the blue cans I grew up eating. The sauce has a completely different flavor but the celery and bamboo shoots take me right back to being a kid.
I have to say that Easter is different this year. It's the first time in 14 years I wont be doing an egg hunt. My daughter decided she is too old and doesn't need me to hide eggs. I'm not sure how I feel about it, part of me is glad to not have to do all the work involved with dyeing eggs, filling plastic eggs, hiding them and then hoping I remember all the hiding places, part of me is sad to not have to do all that work. I will get to sleep in, I wont have to make ridiculous amounts of potato salad to use up the boiled eggs. What on earth am I going to do with all that time? We never really thought about what it would be like when our daughters go too old for all the usual holiday festivities and have decided to play board games all day and have a big dinner, something I don't usually do for Easter. Unfortunately this little guy isn't going to make it to the holiday feast.
I have a couple different cookbooks with this recipe in it but this one is my favorite and the oldest one I have.
This is a classic cake recipe that is easy to make and easy to work with. I went with 8 inch cake pans hoping to give my bunny a fatter look.
I love this frosting recipe. The flour in it gives it a very unique flavor and the ability, once completely cooled, to be molded like a soft dough. You can use any frosting recipe you like but for the variation to the cake I made the ability to mold the frosting is handy.
Such a cute little bunny! But seeing as I like Halloween better than Easter I had to make it a little more interesting.
To make your cute little bunny have adorable bunny guts scoop out the inside of each of the pieces of cake.
Then spread a thin layer of frosting into each cavity to prevent the cherry filling from seeping through the cake. Fill each cavity with lots of filling. Since the frosting is malleable use if to create a cover for one side of the cake. Then carefully and quickly, place the side you covered in frosting onto the other side. Decorate like an adorable bunny and enjoy your guests reactions. My family thinks I'm crazy already so were expecting something odd when they saw this adorable little cake.
Have a Happy Easter and always play with your food.
I hope you are all having a great week, and if you are in the Oregon/Washington area made it through the storm we had yesterday.
My younger daughter, otherwise known as Sue Chef, decided we needed to start volunteering somewhere, yesterday was our first day volunteering at the local food bank. I have volunteered at soup kitchens before but not a food bank so it was a new experience for both of us. We had a blast. The lady who is in charge of the volunteers makes a point of having volunteering be a fun experience and she has succeeded. I never expected a 15 year old to go on about a volunteering experience they way my daughter did but I'm glad she loved it so much. She was in the sorting room going through what food had been donated and loved seeing all the strange items that some people donated. She also really loved the volunteers she was working with, most of them were retirees and evidently they were cracking jokes the whole time. I also enjoyed my time but I'm feeling extremely grateful for the experience my daughter had. We will be going back every week from now on.
If you have a teen that is struggling to find purpose I highly recommend volunteer work.
This recipe is simple and would work well if you don't have much cooking experience or are having a young family member help with dinner. I used a higher fat ground beef because I think extra-lean ground beef makes meat loaf come out with a dry texture that I don't like as much. Because of the higher fat beef and the large amount of tomato puree used you end up with a lot of sauce in the pan. I had planned to serve it with just a large salad, but because of the amount of sauce that was forming in the pan I cooked some egg noodles to go with it as well.
My husband thinks if should have had some bacon in it, but the rest of us liked it just the way it is.
If you try the recipe let me know how it comes out.
Have a great week!
This little book was given to me by one of my husbands coworkers with the instructions I had to make something from it for him. Yes, I do requests, especially when they seem fun. I immediately decided that I had to do an entire meal from it and started looking for which recipes to use. Among the recipes for Molasses Pie(which I have already made), Snappin' Turtle(which I cant get) and Ground Hog(something I don't think I will ever cook) I found four recipes that seemed to fit to make the perfect meal.
I wasn't able to find fresh catfish but since the recipe has you cook and flake the fish first I didn't think it would make much of a difference, and I don't think it did. The most time consuming part was baking the fish, after that was done the recipe went together in a snap.
I love Swiss Chard and had some left over spinach in the fridge that needed to be used. I cant imagine the people of the Ozarks wanting me to waste that spinach so went ahead and added my leftover greens to my fresh ones and cooked them all up in bacon fat.
This was actually the first recipe I picked. Before making this recipe I had never cooked a cucumber. I couldn't even imagine that being something that would be edible. I used two cucumbers for four people, but probably could have done at least one more since they are sliced thick.
I picked this recipe for two reasons, I have never made a Wacky Cake before and because of it's name (that name is impossible to beat). The day before I made our dinner I actually looked at the recipe, if you have read it you will see the problem I discovered. The instructions contradict themselves. I went online searching for a recipe for Wacky Cake and discovered that this dessert with the weird name is actually really popular. There are plenty of recipes for it online that are almost identical to the one above, except this one uses shortening. After reading up on this wacky cake, mixed all the dry ingredients together in an 8x8 glass baking dish, then cut in the shortening like you would for biscuits. I made two small wells in the dry ingredients(the online recipes say this is essential, no clue why), and poured the vanilla in one and the vinegar in the other. I poured the water over it all and mixed it together until I couldn't see any more dry flour. The recipes I had found online all called for the cake to be baked at a higher temperature, but I stayed with the recipe and baked it at 25o degrees(maybe its at a lower temp to ensure the shortening has a chance to melt before the cake structure forms?).
I'm not sure how long it ended up baking for, I kept adding more time and tested it with a toothpick to see when it was done.
The meal was delicious. I think I was most surprised by the Fried Cucumber. I was expecting them to be flavorless and slimy but that was not the case, it tasted like a less flavorful fried tomato. The catfish balls were light and flavorful. My husband does not like catfish, he says they taste like mud, but he actually requested that I make the Ozark Catfish Balls again, he even suggested I put both recipes in my personal recipe collection. The cake is shallow in flavor, but because it is so fast to make and contains no dairy I will probably make it again. I think a larger pinch of salt would have helped and maybe a frosting, some whipped cream or ice cream on the side would add the little kick it needed.
I love this meal, it's a bit too fried for daily consumption , but it was easy, fast and my entire family cleaned their plates.
If you have a request for me to cook let me know, I'm always looking for fun recipes.
Have a great week