Monthly Archives: November 2014

Detox Juice

djYou ate too much. You drank too much. You feel awful. Groggy. Guilty. Bloated. You have to go back to work or school tomorrow. You need a little pick me up. Don’t worry about it! You just need to have some fruits and veggies to make you feel right as rain.

Detox Juice – not quite two cups
1 apple, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
A handful of spinach
1 small grapefruit, broken into sections
1 cup ice cold water


1. Throw everything in a blender that can handle celery.
2. Start on low and gradually increase the speed until everything is pulverized.
3. If you don’t want pulp, you can strain your juice.

I’m going to be upfront with you. This is not sweet at all. And the celery has a very strong flavor. If you haven’t used celery in juice or a smoothie before, you may want to start with half a stalk.  If you like sweet juice, I suppose you can add some honey or agave syrup. Or you can always do what The Teenager does when he is gifted with a smoothie for breakfast. Open up your gullet and pour it down. You won’t taste a thing.



Homemade Vegetable Pasta

hvpLast weekend, I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking through the Settlement Cookbook. I had questions spinning through my head about the origin of the cookbook and life of the woman who compiled it, Lizzie Black Kander, aka Mrs. Simon Kander. I read several stories about her, including this one from NPR.

Then my brother, who has the same cookbook, came up with an idea to make a recipe a week from the cookbook and the #SettlementCookbookChallenge was born. I was in and we got a bunch of our friends to buy the cookbook, too. I wonder if Amazon was confused about the small burst of Settlement Cookbook sales?

We were originally going to start the week after Thanksgiving but I was pretty excited about the recipe for Vegetable Noodles. I couldn’t wait. I made them today. I’ve listed the recipe below, verbatim from the cookbook.

Vegetable Noodles (2 entrees or 4 sides)
1/4 cup strained vegetables
1 egg slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Take fresh vegetables: spinach, asparagus, peas or tomatoes. Cook until soft; drain and press dry; strain through a fine sieve. Add egg, salt and flour to this pulp and knead to a smooth dough. Let stand, covered 1/2 hour or longer. Roll very thin. Let stand and when no longer sticky, cut into 1/3 inch wide noodles. Drop into boiling, salted water. Boil 10-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, pour over melted butter or fat. 

I did make a couple adjustments to the method suggested and added a couple ingredients.

1. I used 1/2 cup frozen spinach. When it was cooked, it reduced down to about 1/4 cup.
2. I pressed the water out of the spinach but didn’t dry it completely.
3. I added a 1/2 clove of garlic and 1 tsp dried basil
4. I wish I had added the flour gradually because two cups was too much. I ended up needing water to get a true dough.
5. I rolled the dough in batches. I figured it would be easier to get it thinner that way, especially in my small kitchen. That was a good call!
6. I cut the pasta with a pizza cutter into strips and then small chunks.
7. I served tossed with chopped spinach and pesto.

My rolled out dough

My rolled out dough

My Faithful Assistant and I had this for lunch and I have to say, it was pretty good! I was concerned that the noodles would be heavy and gummy but they weren’t. They reminded me of the noodles you get in a really good German restaurant.

It occured to me after I was finished that I could have mixed some ricotta, egg, and spinach and made some fantastic homemade spinach ravioli. Clearly, this recipe of yore is one to keep!



Funny Recipes of Yore

ROLI had planned to make the Carrot Ring my mom served on holidays today and give you another glimpse into the food I grew up eating. The recipe was copied from my mom’s version of The Settlement Cookbook by Mrs. Simon Kander. She gave me the 27th edition published in 1945. In it she wrote:

To Paula, with love from Mother. I hope this is the same edition that Nana had. This was the 1st edition after WWII. It is also the last edition compiled by Mrs. Kander. I think it is more fun to read than cook. Love, Mother

I read that inscription today and it made me smile. Of course she would point out the history of the book and note when it was published. She spoke of the woman who compiled the recipes as if she knew her. My mother and father lived for a short time in Milwaukee where the recipes for the book were tested in the Milwaukee Public School kitchens among other places.

The recipes are quite dated and at this point, pretty amusing. So, while your scouring the web for real recipes for good food to serve on Thanksgiving, I offer you a few recipes of yore. If you want to serve them, go ahead. Don’t blame me if you get showered with the likes of Boiled Cauliflower or Wilted Lettuce. The recipes are taken verbatim from the cookbook and are italicized. My comments are after in blue.

Wilted Lettuce
3/4 lb. leaf lettuce
Bacon salad dressing (pg. 273)

Wash, drain, and shred lettuce. Pour boiling water over it. Let stand 5 minutes until slightly wilted. Drain well. Add dressing. 

I know grilled salad is popular with some people. I hate it. I like my lettuce cold and crisp. I can’t even imagine how horrific this looked, smelled and how slimy it would be. 

Curly Endive, Kale or Escarole
These are strong flavored vegetables. Cut off the roots. Use only perfect leaves. Wash in several waters to remove dirt and insects. Cook uncovered in a large amount of rapidly boiling salted water only until tender, from 15-25 minutes, or Steam Cook, page 194. Drain, chop, add seasonings desired and melted butter or cream. 

Again with the wilted lettuce. I’m trying to understand what kale was like in 1945 that it needed to be boiled for 25 minutes to be tender. And the cream. Oy vey.

Welsh Rarebit
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb. cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp mustard

Melt the butter, break the cheese into small pieces, and add the seasoning and a speck of cayenne pepper to the butter. When the cheese melts, add the egg, beaten with the milk, and cook one minute. Serve at once on toast or wafers. 

My mom told me once that she was served this for lunch when she was in school. Cheese sauce on toast. Dear lord in heaven. 

Walnut Roll
6 yolks, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
6 whites of eggs, beaten

Beat the yolks well with the sugar, add nuts and lastly, the stiffly beaten whites. Spread in a shallow, well greased pan, 10″ x 15″, and bake in a medium oven 15-20 minutes. Turn out on a floured towel. Roll while hot. When cold, unroll, spread with sweetened whipped cream, flavored with vanilla. Roll again and cover with Boiled Chocolate Frosting No. 1, page 410, adding 1/2 cup marshmallows to syrup before pouring on beaten eggs.

I have to be honest here. I don’t really understand this one. You make some sort of pavlova thing with nuts and fill it with whipped cream and then douse the whole thing in chocolate. I guess if you need a gluten free dessert and your friends like kitschy things, you could potentially pull this off. 

There are quite a few tips of yore in this book which are quite fascinating. Take the following from the section on Invalid Cookery.

In preparing food for an invalid the following points should be kept in mind: 
     The food should be served in the most pleasing manner possible. It should be served in small quantities, suit the digestive powers of the patient, and satisfy hunger or furnish needed strength…

Here’s a recipe for an invalid. Try it the next time someone in your house is sick.

Brown Flour Soup
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp caraway seed

Brown flour, add butter and cook until it bubbles. Add seasoning, and gradually the water. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth. Serve hot. 

Can you imagine what this tastes like? It’s thick water with nutmeg and caraway seeds. That doesn’t scream to me something that would “suit the digestive powers of the patient, and satisfy hunger or furnish needed strength”. It does sound like something someone would throw at me from across the room. 

Last tidbit and this is important as you prepare for Thanksgiving.

Proper Dress for the Kitchen:
Jewelry should not be worn in the kitchen. Wear a cotton wash dress or a cover-all apron with a pocket for a handkerchief. 
Have a small hand towel that buttons on band of dress or apron.
Have two pot holders, fastened together with tape and attach to dress or apron. Wear washable cap that covers hair. 

That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope that this post gets you chatting with family about old recipes, old pre-Keurig kitchens and all the good (and awkward) memories that come with the holidays.


Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese

sbmcBRRR!!!!! It was cold today. It was the perfect day to make some nice comforting Mac and Cheese. But this time, it had a twist! I added bacon and cayenne pepper to make some really amazing Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese.

Take my regular Homemade Mac and Cheese and do the following:

  • Saute 10 pieces of bacon with the onions. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • When everything is done and combined, stir in 1/2 to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, depending on your taste.

Are you looking for a fun little hors d’ouevres for the holidays? Take two cups or so of your mac and cheese, stir in a beaten egg and bake it in a mini muffin tin at 375 for 15 minutes. Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites! Yum!

I usually use sharp cheddar in my mac and cheese because that’s what my family likes. You can add other cheeses. This would be great with a horseradish cheddar or gruyere. Try your family favorites.







Beef and Bean Skillet Enchiladas

bbseI am not a big meal planner. I truly admire people who can sit down and plan meals for two weeks at a time. I am more a two hour at a time meal planner. But I have taken a couple cues from those who are great planners and prepared things like chicken and ground beef on the weekends to use throughout the week.

This weekend, my wonderful spouse cooked about three pounds of ground beef. We used some for pasta with meat sauce and tonight, I used the rest to make a giant pan of…

Beef and Bean Skillet Enchiladas
2-3 cups Homemade Enchilada Sauce
10 tortillas
1 1/2 lbs cooked ground beef
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cheese

1. Put a layer of sauce on the bottom of a cast iron pan.
2. I had smallish tortillas so I had to use two tortillas per layer, kind of overlapped.
3. Spoon some beans and beef onto the tortillas.
4. Sprinkle some cheese over that. I would guess I put about a half cup in each layer.
5. Pour about 1/2 of sauce over that.
6. Repeat until you have used all the beef and beans. Top with tortillas, cheese and the rest of the sauce.
7. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes until the top is nice and bubbly.

If you’re interested in planning some meals a couple weeks out, please read this post from my friend Jen’s blog, The Whole Bag of Chips. Jen has a crazy work schedule so she is not always home at dinner time. For her, meal planning is a must!

The enchiladas were  hit. I was so happy to have everything I needed for them right in my little house. And I’m even happier to have lots of leftovers for later this week when I won’t be home to make dinner!