Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Make-your-own recipes for pasta, tortillas, and more!

Maybe I'm frugal, maybe I just like homemade over store-bought, but I've accumulated several recipes for things that you wouldn't think twice about buying at the store....until you need it and don't have time or money to go shopping. That point was brought to my attention today, when I needed cream of coconut. I hadn't been able to find it at the store and I needed it for my coconut mango cheesecake. So, I went a-hunting for a make-your-own! Yes, I found one, and it's turned out pretty good!

Anyway, here are several make-your-own recipes.

Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 c. boiling water
  • 4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. dry milk powder
Using an electric mixer, blend together the water, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add powdered milk and continue to blend until thick. Makes 12 oz. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to one week.
NOTE: to make the cream of coconut that I needed, I added 1/4 tsp. coconut extract to this.

Red Enchilada Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. mild chili powder
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth (or made from water & chicken bouillon)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Mix spices and flour in olive oil in saucepan over medium heat until fragrant and starting to brown. Slowly add chicken broth and tomato sauce and cook & stir until thickened. Store in refrigerator, or may even freeze.

Egg Roll Wrappers
  • 2 c. all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  • cornstarch
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add egg and water. Using a fork, stir the dough until it just holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes OR (gotta love my KitchenAid mixer) use the dough hook on your mixer.
Cover the dough and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Dust your rolling area with cornstarch and roll each piece of dough out to an 11 x 14 rectangle.
Cut the 14 inch length into 4 equal parts and the 11 inch length into 3 equal parts. You will have twelve 3 1/2 inch squares of dough. Stack them on a platter or plate. The cornstarch will prevent them from sticking.
Repeat with the remaining rectangles. If you're not going to use them right away, wrap well and freeze.
Keep a supply in the freezer and you'll always be able to make your favorite egg rolls!

Flour Tortillas

  • 2 c. flour
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 heaping ¼ t. baking powder
  • ¼ c. oil
  • 2/3 c. almost boiling hot water

Now, I cheated and used my bread machine to mix the dough....but you can make these without a bread machine also. Just mix the dry ingredients, stir in the oil until mixture resembles pea sized crumbs, then add the hot water and knead until smooth.

Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll out each piece to desired thinness and size. Cook on a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, just a brief minute or so on the first side until you get light bubbles and small golden brown spots, then on the other side for under a minute until you get more golden brown spots. Remove from skillet to a plastic resealable bag. You can stack the next tortillas on top of the first. Putting them in the bag lets the steam soften them as they cool. Store in refrigerator.

Plain Egg Noodle Dough:
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Stir dry ingredients together. Mix in rest of ingredients and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into halves or thirds and roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thick. Cut into desired widths/shapes. Lay on cookie sheets to dry for at least an hour. If not using right away, put into container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

Carrot Pasta Dough:

  • 1/2 c. carrot puree (cook 3-4 medium carrots in boiling water until soft, put through food mill or blender)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 c. flour, need a bit more for dusting the rolling surface
  • 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste, maybe even omit
Combine all ingredients and mix together. Knead until smooth (may need to add small amounts of flour if dough is sticky). Cover and let rest for one hour. Roll out and cut as desired, or put through a pasta maker.

Spinach Pasta Dough:

Cook spinach in boiling water for one minute. Remove with slotted spoon and cool in ice water. When cooled, remove from the water, squeeze in a towel to dry and place in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until a very fine paste forms. Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and spinach and the olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly re-flour the board and continue kneading for six more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll out and cut as desired or use a pasta maker.

Alternate Spinach Pasta Dough:

  • 1 (10 ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed,drained and squeezed as dry as humanly possible
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2-3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Process spinach in a food processor or blender until fine. Squeeze dry again. Combine with eggs and oil. Stir in flour and salt. Knead until smooth. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out and cut as desired, or put through a pasta maker.

Tomato Pasta Dough:

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. tomato paste

Place the flour on a large floured surface or in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well. Add the salt, oil, water, and tomato paste. Beat the mixture in the well with a fork, then gently start to work the flour into the liquid. Continue until the dough becomes sticky and difficult to work with the fork. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (or use a stand mixer with a dough hook.) You may need to add more flour since this dough can be sticky. Cover with a bowl or towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Proceed with rolling and cutting the pasta or use a pasta maker.

Whole Wheat Pasta Dough:

Stir flours together in a bowl with the salt. Add water and eggs and mix. Knead until smooth. Let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out and cut as desired, or put through a pasta maker.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More menu plan recipes

I'm trying out a few things this month that aren't in my blog yet, so I'm going to put the recipes here.

Easy Egg Rolls
  • 1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, crab, shrimp, pork)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 4 oz. can mushrooms, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pkg. egg roll wraps
Cook meat with onions, mushrooms, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add coleslaw mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Use water or egg to wet the sides of a wrap. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. filling near a corner, fold that corner to cover the filling, then the sides, then finish the roll by rolling. Deep fry in 365° oil until light golden brown.

Coconut Mango Cheesecake - I found this one at my new favorite recipe site,!
  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted lightly
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 large fresh mangoes
Wrap outside of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch high sides with foil. Mix graham cracker crumbs, coconut and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter and mix to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Chill while preparing filling.

Preheat oven to 325F. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in egg yolk. Add cream of coconut, whipping cream and shredded coconut; beat just until blended. Pour into crust. Bake cheesecake until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Refrigerate until well chilled (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Puree 1/4 of mango slices in blender until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Sweeten to taste with sugar, if desired.

Using small knife, cut around cheesecake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Arrange remaining mango slices decoratively over cheesecake. Serve with mango puree.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese
  • 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 c. margarine or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (this does not make it hot, it adds zest!)
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 c. half and half or milk or 50/50 of each (I use 2 cans of evaporated milk for this)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. Velveeta, cut into small cubes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2 quart or larger casserole dish. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente (do not overcook the pasta), about 7 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Place in a bowl and add another 2 Tbsp. butter to prevent sticking, set aside.
Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in minced garlic, onion powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper; stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 - 4 minutes. Add in flour and stir for 1 minute. Slow add milk and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Reduce heat and add in cheddar and Velveeta cheeses; mix until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Chow Mein Casserole
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2/3 c. instant rice OR 1/2 c. regular long grain white rice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
Brown the ground beef with celery and onion. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients and pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350°F, 15 minutes uncovered if using instant rice and 30 minutes uncovered if using regular rice, then 30 more minutes covered.

Wild Rice & Beef Crock Pot Casserole
  • 1 c. uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped carrots
  • 2 4 oz. cans mushroom pieces, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 lb. boneless round steak (I found chuck steak was cheaper), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 c. water
Place ingredients in crock pot in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until rice is tender. Stir before serving.

Rosemary chicken & potatoes
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. dry minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix oil, spices and salt in a large bowl. Add chicken and potatoes; toss to coat well. Arrange chicken and potatoes in single layer on foil-lined cookie pan sprayed with cooking spray. Roast in a preheated 425°F oven 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, turning potatoes occasionally.

Artichoke Dip & Pita Chips - my son got this recipe from his manager and, although I'm not a fan of artichokes, I DEVOURED this!
  • 14 oz. can Reese's brand artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Hellman's mayonnaise
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix all together. Put into a baking dish and bake at 350° 25 - 30 minutes until slightly bubbly & golden brown. Can add more parmesan cheese before serving.

Pita chips
Cut 1 pkg pita bread into pie wedge shaped triangles. Spray with cooking spray or brush with butter and sprinkle with a bit of parsley if desired. Bake 10- 15 minutes at 350° until desired crispness.

Lemon Meringue Torte
  • 1/2 c. margarine or butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 6 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 2 beaten egg yolks (save the whites)
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3/4 c. sugar
For the cake, cream together the butter or margarine and sugar. Add egg yolks and milk and beat well. Add flour and baking powder and beat well. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.
For the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and cold water. Stir until smooth. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir small amount into 2 beaten egg yolks. Return to pan, stirring constantly. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add margarine and lemon juice. Spread over hot cake.
For the topping, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over hot filling to the edges of the pan, swirling and pulling up decorative points of meringue. Bake at 350°F until meringue is lightly browned. Cool away from drafts. Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meal plan for August 16th - September 17th

Sorry, folks, I've been super busy with canning, babysitting 5 extra kids, a 91 year old grandmother with multiple health issues, and trying to stay cool, so it's been a while since I've posted.

I did put together another meal plan for the next 33 days and I'm pretty sure I can pull together 2 more meals out of what I have on hand, so that'll be FIVE WEEKS' worth of menus here! I shopped yesterday, and the grand total for all food came to $296.12!

Here's the plan:

Breakfasts: Homemade blueberry & strawberry waffles and pancakes (made in advance and frozen), oatmeal with fruit or peanut butter (yes, it sounds weird, but peanut butter & brown sugar are kind of good with oatmeal), scrambled egg muffins, yogurt berry parfaits, homemade granola, and 3 boxes of cold cereal that will be rationed.

Lunches: sandwiches (homemade bread, tuna salad, egg salad, PB & J, cheese, BLT), salads, or leftovers.

  • 8/16 Shredded chicken BBQ on buns, shredded carrot salad, beet pickles
  • 8/17 Taco salad
  • 8/18 Easy egg rolls, chicken fried rice, Szechuan beans
  • 8/19 Homemade mac & cheese, steamed broccoli mix, Waldorf salad
  • 8/20 Tator tot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/21 Lasagna, garlic herb bread, tossed salad
  • 8/22 Chicken breasts in lemon cream sauce, homemade egg noodles, green beans, tossed salad
  • 8/23 Wild rice/beef/ vegetables crockpot casserole, tossed salad
  • 8/24 Parmesan chicken, spaghetti noodles, tossed salad
  • 8/25 Wet burritos
  • 8/26 Chicken Jambalaya
  • 8/27 Copycat Manwich on homemade buns, steamed peas & carrots
  • 8/28 Roast chicken, stuffing, corn pudding
  • 8/29 Beef Roast, potatoes, carrots
  • 8/30 Chicken stroganoff over homemade egg noodles, green beans
  • 8/31 Tacos, all the trimmings
  • 9/1 Homemade chicken strips, pasta salad, green peas
  • 9/2 Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
  • 9/3 Teriyaki chicken, rice, oriental salad
  • 9/4 Baked spaghetti, tossed salad
  • 9/5 Rosemary chicken & potatoes, steamed broccoli mix
  • 9/6 LABOR DAY grilled bratwurst, buns, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad, artichoke dip & pita chips
  • 9/7 Taco lasagna
  • 9/8 Oven fried chicken, oven fried potatoes, green beans
  • 9/9 Tuna melts, potato chips, dill pickles
  • 9/10 Chow mein casserole, oriental salad with veggies
  • 9/11 Taco soup, coffeecake muffins
  • 9/12 Meatloaf, baked potatoes, corn
  • 9/13 Chicken alfredo, tossed salad
  • 9/14 Chili, crackers
  • 9/15 Bruschetta chicken, Italian bread, green beans
  • 9/16 Ramen casserole w/veggies
  • 9/17 Roast chicken, hot German potato salad, green peas

Desserts: Jello fluff dessert, chocolate macaroon cake, chocolate zucchini cake, marbled cheesecake brownies, coconut meringue pie, lemon meringue torte, coconut mango cheesecake, cheesecake bites with fruit topping

Snacks: Homemade peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, homemade tortilla chips with bean dip or salsa, frozen berries, fresh fruit, homemade granola bars, caramel corn, peanut butter popcorn, homemade snack crackers.

I'm sure you already understand that almost everything is homemade. I will include the recipes that are not already on my blog in a day or two.