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Welcome to My Kitchen

Spring fare to please the palate

 

April 26, 2018



With the passing of Barbara Bush this past week, it seems appropriate to share her recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. During the 1992 Bush/Clinton presidential campaign a family favorite from each of the candidates wives were shared with the public. The recipe is very similar to the recipe 4H Cooking Clubs used in the 1950’s, when chocolate chips only came in 6 ounce packages and brown sugar was commonly measured by tablespoons in recipes.

This is a small batch recipe. I remember Mrs. Bush being asked how such a small recipe worked for her family. She stated they are intended to be baked and eaten right away. Fresh baked cookies are the best.

Barbara Bush’s

Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp hot water

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together, butter, sugars and egg until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in hot water and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixed with baking soda and salt.

Drop dough by well rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet one minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 2 dozen.

This is a busy week in Odessa with many Spring Fling events. Slow-cooker recipes are a meal saver when schedules are full. Absent Cook Stew is easy to prepare and the tomato base is a bit lighter than traditional gravy based stews. Serve with biscuits or crusty bread. The recipe comes from the Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook, compiled by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good, and attributed to Kathy Hertzler, Lancaster, PA.

Absent Cooks Stew

2 pounds cubed stewing beef

2-3 large carrots, sliced

1 large onion, chopped

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 ribs celery, sliced

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup

1 soup can water

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in slow-cooker . Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours.

Note: A dash of Worcestershire sauce is good in this recipe. Other vegetables may be added according to your families tastes. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Another recipe from this same cookbook is Easy, All-Day Meatloaf and Vegetables, attributed to Ann Sunday McDowell, Newtown, PA. Juices from the meat loaf drizzle down into the vegetables creating an oven roasted flavor.

Easy All-Day Meatloaf

And Vegetables

4 large potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

6 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tsp salt, divided

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup cracker crumbs

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 tsp dried marjoram

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place potatoes and carrots in slow-cooker. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined.

Form ground beef mixture into a loaf that fits your slow-cooker. Place loaf on top of vegetables making sure the loaf doesn’t touch the sides of the slow-cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Note: I like to make a “sling” from aluminum foil for the meatloaf to make it easy to remove from the crock for slicing. Do this by taking 18 inch lengths of foil and folding to make a strips about 3 inches wide. Place strips in a cross under loaf to use as a sling to lift the loaf out when done.

Quick Yummy Peaches, also in the same cookbook is attributed to Willard Roth of Elkhart, IN. When it is your turn to bring a dessert but preparation time is short, use your slow-cooker and dessert will be ready to go when you are.

Quick Yummy Peaches

1/3 cup buttermilk baking mix

2/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 cups sliced peaches, canned or fresh

1/2 cup peach juice or water

Mix together baking mix, oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon in a greased slow-cooker crock. Stir in peaches and juice.

Cook on low for at least 5 hours. Remove lid last 15-30 minutes of cooking.

Serve warm with frozen yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream. Yield: 6 servings.

Recently, several recipes featuring strawberries and peanut butter have crossed my recipe radar. Frankly the combination doesn’t sound appealing, but since there have been numerous recipes floating in the media, some of them must be good. Have any of you readers tried one of these recipes or have a good one to share?

Asparagus will soon become available from Washington state growers, so we will be looking for some new ideas for preparing this seasonal vegetable. I welcome any asparagus recipes you have to share.

Chives are flourishing in local gardens, and with the cool wet weather we have had, they are deliciously mild in flavor. Cut them back now and you should get another tender crop before the hot season is upon us. Freeze or dry for use in recipes throughout the year. Dried chives may be mixed into sour cream for a flavorful baked potato or taco topping.

Share your favorite strawberry and peanut butter recipes, and asparagus or other spring vegetable recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email therecord@odessaoffice.com or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in the Odessa Record office. Slugs can be a garden problem with all the wet weather this spring. Use baits properly to prevent contact with pets and small children.

 

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