Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Grandpa B's Peanut Brittle

 Ingredients:  3 cups sugar
                      1 cup Karo (corn ) syrup
                      1/2 cup water
                       3 cups peanuts
                      2 tsp baking soda
Stir together sugar, syrup and water in a 3-4 quart heavy pan over medium heat until it boils.
Stop stirring and cook to 280 degrees.  ( use candy thermometer ).
Now add 3 cups peanuts very slowly.  Peanuts should be room temp, not hot, not cold.  Cook until thermometer reads 300 degrees.  Watch carefully.  Remove from heat and add the baking soda.  Mix in and be careful as it bubbles up.  Now pour into 2 buttered 12 inch round pizza pans.  ( should have edges on the pans. )
Let cool and harden.  Once completely cooled, break into pieces.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sugar Cookies~ A Family Favorite

 Sugar cookies, made with real butter, fresh eggs from my flock of chickens, real vanilla, & love.Nothing beats a good plain sugar cookie accompanied by a cup of good coffee, tea,  or tall glass of cold milk. If it happens to be around Christmas the cookie may be frosted and liberally adorned with various sugared sprinkles, but still the best cookie in my book.This recipe comes from the November 1983 edition of 'Country Home'. I have baked many different sugar cookie recipes and all have turned out deliciously yummy, but this recipe is the best.Every year with grandchildren I have made these cookies for Christmas festivities.Baking these cookies with them is now a Christmas tradition, but these cookies are good all year round.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg ( farm-fresh best )
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.Beat butter & shortening until they are combined, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well.Add dry ingredients; beat well.Divide dough in half; wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for about 3 hours or overnight. (Sometimes I leave this in the fridge for a week or more until I am ready to bake.)

Working with half of the dough at a time, on lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desored shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove to wire rack; cool. Frost & decorate if desired. Makes 36 to 48 cookies.
NOTE: Often I will simply form the dough into a roll , wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and place in the fridge. When I want fresh baked cookies I pull it out of the fridge and cut slices of the roll and bake.No rolling out on a floured board, no cookie cutters needed. Just fresh, hot, simple sugar cookies to go with my cup of good , hot coffee.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Far I Kal ( Lamb & Cabbage )

Lamb & Cabbage, or "Far I Kal " in Norwegian, is delicious! We cooked our lamb & cabbage in a crock pot and found this is a perfect way to cook this meal. Far I Kal is very easy to make, and given we have a home grown supply of lamb this recipe is a natural for us.
  • To make Far I Kal you will need ~
  • 1 1/2 pounds of shoulder or breast of lamb
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • peppercorns, as many as your taste dictates
( We doubled this recipe for our large crock pot.) Cut the lamb into 1 inch cubes. Heat the oil of choice in a large saucepan , dredge the meat in flour seasoned with Johnny's all purpose seasoning, or seasonings of your choice and brown. Then put in the crock pot . Discard outer leaves of cabbage , quarter the cabbage, then layer on top of the lamb. We did this 4 times. 4 layers of lamb & cabbage. Sprinkle liberally with peppercorns between the layers then add the water. We then left the crock pot low for 4 to 6 hours and busied ourselves with all the activities a busy weekend day offers.

Finally ~ time to eat! Look at this lovely dish filled with lamb and cabbage, seasoned with peppercorns.
We served our lamb & cabbage over rice, but most Norwegian Americans choose potatoes for this honor. I s'pose you could use noodles too. This is a versatile dish.
Yum! Home raised lamb and cabbages, easy-peasy and affordable too.
"This dish is said to be better every time you re-heat it. The nineteenth- century Norwegian cookbook writer Olaug Kauken claimed it was best the 7th time around.". Andreas Viestad ' Kitchen of Light'

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thai Chicken with Lemon Grass & Cellophane Noodles

I love this soup! Great for winter time and great for digestion! Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 oz cellophane noodles, tied together

  • 2 1/2 pints unsalted chicken stock

  • 8 oz skinned, boned chicken breasts

  • 1 oz cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in very hot water for 20 minutes, then cut into thin strips. ( I used shitake mushrooms )

  • 3 stalks fresh lemon grass, bruised with the flat of a knife and knotted, or 1 and 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind.

  • citrus leaves or 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger root

  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2 tsp fish sauce

Pour the stock into a heavy bottomed fireproof casserole and bring it to a boil. Add the cellophane noodles, the chicken breasts, the mushroom strips, and the lemon grass and citrus leaves if you're using those. Thread the ginger slices and the garlic cloves on to skewers or wooden toothpicks, and add them to the stock with the fish sauce. Cover pot and remove it from heat. Let the chicken stand undisturbed for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock and set it aside to cool. Remove the lemon grass, ginger and garlic from the stock and discard them.

When the chicken is cool, break it into shreds with fingers. Remove the noodles from the stock, then untie them and cut them into 2 inch lengths. Reheat the stock; add the chicken, noodles and 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce if so desired. If you are substituting lemon rind and lime juice, add them now. Ladle the mixture into individual bowls and serve.