Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Friendship Bread Starter Recipe

New starter Recipe and Instructions Thanks justeloped!

1 cup of milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar (in a gallon ziplock bag)

Then, for the next 10 days follow these instructions:
Day 1 - do nothing
Day 2-5 - mush bag (let excess air out if needed)
Day 6 - feed bag 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, 1 c milk (and mush around to stir)
Day 7-9 - mush bag
Day 10 feed bag 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, 1 c milk**

Don't use metal spoon or bowl - don't refridgerate - if air gets in bag, let it out -it's normal for batter to thicken, bubble and ferment**

THEN: You'll have 5 cups of starter at that point. You can put 1 cup of starter in a new ziploc bag to give a friend (with the recipe of course), or each cup of sugar makes 2 loaves of bread according to the recipe below.

Last time I made 8 loaves of bread (4 cups of starter) and kept 1 cup of starter to do another round. This time I made all 10 loaves of bread (thank heaven, because I don't want to see any more bread for awhile, with all this baking!).

Bread instructions:
1/2 c oil
4 eggs
1 c starter
1 c sugar
1/2 tea soda
2 tea cinnamon
3/4 c milk
1 tea vanilla
2 c flour
1 1/2 tea baking powder
1/2 tea salt
1 large box instant pudding
1 c chips or nuts or raisins, if desired

Preheat oven to 325. Grease bread pans with butter, and shake cinnamon/sugar around in them to coat (on the sides, too). Mix all ingredients above and pour into pans. Bake 1 hr. (Toothpick comes out clean when bread is ready.) * Tip: if you're going to put chocolate chips in it, we've found it more effective to do this: pour the batter into the pans as directed and bake for 10 minutes. Then pull them out, sprinkle about a 1/4 c chocolate chips on top, and bake for the remaining 50 minutes. Some of the chips will sink down into the bread and some will be toward the top, but if you stir them all in at the beginning they tend to just sink down to the bottom and all be at the bottom of the bread. The exception to this is those little tiny mini-chips. They seem to stay suspended in the batter just fine.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MeatBall Recipe

Thank you cathysmom

Italian Meatballs:
2-3 lb ground beef, maybe 80/20 (leaner meat might make them too dry)
1-1 ½ lb ground pork
¾ tsp onion salt
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp salt or more
½ tsp pepper or more
2 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp cilantro (optional)
¾ c grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp grated Romano cheese (optional)
2 ½ c Italian bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs
6 eggs
1 c milk

Combine the raw meat and other ingredients in a large bowl and mix together using your hands. Squishing the meat between your fingers is the most effective way to blend everything. Once it’s mixed, shape the meat mixture into balls large or small. Fry them in a little vegetable oil over medium heat until browned on all sides.

A lot of people will throw the meatballs into the spaghetti sauce to finish cooking, but I always had problems with them disintegrating because I cook the sauce for a full day, and I was never sure they were cooked when I did that. My MIL gave me a tip to bake them instead so that’s what I did this time. I just threw them into cake pans and casserole dishes and baked them in a 350 oven until the centers were fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer or cut a few open to check for doneness (no pink). Mine had to bake about 20-30 minutes but it varies a lot depending on how big the meatballs are and how much they were cooked on the stovetop.

There’s a LOT of latitude in how you season the meatballs. Basically you need the meat, salt, bread crumbs, eggs and milk. Everything else can be adjusted to suit your tastes. I always used the parsley and parmesan cheese because my Grandma did and she was Italian. The other seasonings change each time. I just added more this time and it turned out well, though it’s still only lightly seasoned. You could add a lot more of the spices for more flavor. Adjust the proportions of meat/breadcrumbs/eggs and milk as needed to get a workable mixture if you are having trouble with it.

Things I have learned the wrong way: If your meatballs are falling apart while you are forming or cooking them, the mix is probably too dry and you need more eggs. I added more breadcrumbs and made it worse. The eggs act as the glue. While the idea of adding diced onions to the mix is nice, onion pieces will make the meatballs fall apart since they create flaws in the ball shape. I haven’t tried using dried minced onion, but that might work since the pieces are so small. Onion powder would work, too.

You don’t have to use ground pork, but we always did and I like the extra flavor rather than having all-beef meatballs. My Grandma used to use unseasoned pork sausage meat (removed from the casing) instead of ground pork sometimes, but I’m not a sausage person so I’ve never tried it.

Freezing: I divided mine into containers and added just enough sauce to cover if it was a ‘meatball’ container or a lot of sauce if it was a ‘sauce and meatball’ ready to go for dinner. I made spaghetti sauce the last time I made meatballs so I had sauce available, but I think that you could freeze them dry, too. If you do try that, would you let me know if that works or if freezer-burn becomes a problem?

Helpful Website for fixing Appliances

Money Saving Blog and Website

Startsmart sent these to me a while back but I am now including them here: a person who does an annual no spend July It has the simplist explaination of deals and coupons for free

Pumpkin Squares


1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 c for topping)
1/2 c melted margarine
1 egg, beaten

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 can pumpkin
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
(note: I substitute pumpkin pie spice for the last 3 ingredients)

1/4 c sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. margarine, cut in
1 c. dry cake mix (reserved from crust)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 x 13" pan. For Crust: mix ingredients indicated above and press into pan (mixture will be a soft ball). For filling: Mix ingredients listed above (in the order given) and pour over crust (spread evenly over bottom layer). For topping: Mix dry cake mix, sugar & cinnamon and then cut in refrigerated margarine. Sprinkle over filling. Bake for approx. 45-50 minutes until filling has set.
This will not be the consistancy of pumpkin cake, more along the lines of pumpkin pie with a crumb topping. Just as with pumpkin pie, serve with whipped topping if desired! If you like pumpkin, you'll find this yummy! Enjoy!

In a Jar Recipes

Thank you Gldnluvly for giving me this website

Cream of Artichoke Soup and Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Cream of Artichoke soup by Ombud

1 Jar (6oz) marinated artichoke hearts
3 large garlic cloves
1/2cup chopped onion
2 T Flour
2 cans condensed chicken broth (can use bouillon cubes as subs)
1/2 cup Cream thin, or Half and Half
finely chopped parsley

Drain marinade from artichoke hearts into 2 qt saucepan. Crush garlic and
add to marinade. Add onions and cook, covered, 10 min.over low heat. Blendin flour. Slowly stir in one can of broth and heat to boiling. Turnartichokes into blender jar, add hot mixture and blend till smooth. Strain
into saucepan, add remaining broth, and cream. Heat for serving, not boil.serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad*

2 Bosc Pears
* 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil*
1 tsp. whole-grain or favorite mustard*
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar*
one small bunch arugula and romaine

Heat over to 425 degrees. Halve and core pears and cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add pears and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown--about 4 min. Put pan in oven and continue cooking til pears are soft--about 5-7 min. Whisk
mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining olive oil to make smooth, thick dressing. Break apart arugula and romaine into bite-size pieces, and toss in salad bowl, adding blue cheese and dressing. Gently toss
in warm pears. Add chopped walnuts, too, if you like. Serve immediately.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread by Red Wagon

1 egg
3/4 c. sugar
2-3 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice or OJ
A dash or two of cinnamon to taste

1. Cream the eggs, sugar, and butter
2. Add dry ingredients
3. Add the mashed bananas
4. Add lemon juice (more if you only use 3 bananas)
5. Add cinnamon to taste
6. Put in a greased loaf pan
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Fudge and Oatmeal Raspberry Bar

From Honeylioness

Oatmeal Raspberry Bar Cookies

1/2 C room-temperature butter
1/2 C light-brown sugar
1 C flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 C rolled oats
3/4-1 C raspberry jam (the original recipe calls for seedless - but I use homemade with seeds and it is just as good)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8" square pan, line with foil, then butter the foil.

Mix together all ingredients except for the jam.

Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Spread jam to within 1/4" of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top and lightly press into the jam.

Bake 35-40 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

**NOTE: I usually make a double batch and use a 9 X 13 pan since these tend to go quickly***


Fantasy Fudge

6 C sugar
1 1/2 C margarine or butter
1 1/3 C evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
13 oz of marshmallow creme (aka Fluff)
2 C chopped nuts (optional)

Combine sugar, margarine & milk in a heavy 5 quart pan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

Boil for 5 minutes over medium heat (or until a candy thermometer reads 234) stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips - beating until the chips are all melted.

Add the marshmallow creme and nuts until well blended. Pour into two greased 9" X 13" pans. Cool at room temperature before cutting into pieces. Yields about six pounds.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Examiner Link for MrsLynch

Rocky Road Bark


1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecan pieces (about 8 ounces), lightly toasted

Line a jellyroll pan with wax paper. (Note: This is just a baking sheet with sides about an inch deep.) Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the marshmallows and 1 cup of the pecans. Scrape the mixture onto the pan and spread out with a spatula to ½ inch thick. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows and pecans over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere. Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Onyx TJ series by HoneyLioness!

HoneyLioness went through the trouble to compile the last 6 months of SES's cronicles and has them here:

Thank you for your hard work!