Monday, 20 October 2014

Meat and Tater Pie

Well, folks, I’m into week four without a kitchen, thanks to mother’s “hurt” back. (It didn’t stop her from going to polka the other night.) But I had a brilliant idea. Why not borrow a friend’s kitchen? The only problem was finding a friend. It took me a while (and a lot of money) but I finally met a fellow caker who was willing to let me use his oven to make this Meat and Tater Pie.

This recipe comes from Pie Fare from Paris Fair. Now before you grab your beret and paint a moustache on with eyebrow pencil, that’s Paris, Ontario, not Paris, France. Talk about having an inferiority complex! Why would you set yourself up for that kind of fall? Ontario is weird, though. After all, this is the province of Paris, London, Stratford and Swastika.

Anyways, Meat and Tater Pie was delicious. In fact, my new friend (I think his name was Randy Andy) said the crunchy corn flake topping was the best part. It did get a little greasy on the bottom (I could only afford regular ground beef) so you might want to drain it before serving it up. Or sop up the grease with Wonder Bread.

As soon as we were done, Randy Andy told me I had to leave. He had someone else coming over to use his bedroom. Looks like I’m in the wrong business! LOL!

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon mustard
½ cup crushed corn flakes
Combine: press mixture on bottom and sides of a 9” pie plate.

2 eggs
2 cups mashed potatoes (see note 1)
¼ cup chopped onion (see note 2)
2 teaspoons parsley flakes

Beat eggs; add remaining ingredients: spread in meat shell. Place plate on baking sheet. Bake 350 F – 35 minutes.

½ cup crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter
grated cheddar cheese (enough to cover top of pie)

When pie has cooked 35 minutes, top with the grated cheese, then corn flake/butter mixture. Return to oven to bake 10 minutes until cheese melts.

Note 1: I used instant potatoes. Of course. But they were a little runny.
Note 2: Randy Andy said he would've sauteed the onions first as they were a little crunchy.

Source: Pie Fare from Paris Fair, Paris, Ontario

Monday, 13 October 2014

Chocolate Mug Cake

Bad news, folks. I still don’t have a kitchen. Mother was carrying my new golden harvest oven up the stairs and threw her back out. (I told her she shouldn’t have strapped it to her back but she never listens.) So now she’s laid up in bed and ringing a bell every time she’s hungry or needs a warsh. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I have a stove sitting in the middle of my stairs.

Thank the good lord for microwaves. Who needs an oven when you’ve got this little caker miracle box at your disposal? You can cook anything anywhere: the bedroom, the bathroom, even on a road trip (provided you’ve got a really long extension cord.)

I was sent the recipe for Chocolate Mug Cake by Madame M for Reader Recipe Month, but ran out of time. I was a little conflicted about the recipe in that it doesn’t involve cake mix (non-cake mix cake doesn’t even exist in the caker world), but, as Madame M pointed out, there are no bowls to warsh. So I guess it’s caker enough.

Having said that, the cake wasn’t very good. It was spongy. As in, I only ate half of it and used the other half to warsh the mug. Next time you want cake, it’s probably faster – and tastier – to eat a Ding Dong.

4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mug. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Pop your mug into the microwave and zap for 3 minutes on maximum. (See note 1) Wait until the cake stops rising, and sets in the mug. Eat right out of the mug. Add a blob of ice cream on top if you wish. (See note 2)

Here's a closer look.

Note 1: Your cake will rise pretty high out of the mug while it’s cooking. It was pretty scary and I started screaming, which got Mother ringing the bell and yelling, “What’s going on out there?”

Note 2: Won’t help.

Source: Madame M

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kitchen Reno Week

I’m undergoing a kitchen reno right now. I decided it’s time for this caker to prancercise his way into the 21st century. Here are all the things I’ve asked my handyman (a.k.a. Mother) to do:

1. Replace avocado appliances with golden harvest
2. Put up ruffled sheers from Sears
3. Put up flowered wallpaper border
4. Sew chair pads to match wallpaper border
5. Install showcase for my souvenir spoon collection
6. Get a “dishwasher” (apparently, it’s a box where you hide dirty dishes)
7. Hang extremely large wooden fork and spoon

Until my reno is complete, I don’t have a kitchen to cook in. And while some of you (mainly Eye-talians) assume that cakers don’t actually “cook,” we do need sources of heat. And my crimping iron simply isn’t going to cut it. So I’ve put together a list of random my fave recipes over the years, just like a flashbacks episode of The Golden Girls. Minus the cheesecake.

Hopefully, I’ll be back to posting recipes next week. So long as Mother manages to haul the fridge up the stairs.

Popcorn Salad
Orville Redenbacher’s favourite side dish.

Battle of the Peanut Butter Cookies: Cakers vs. Mennonites
And you thought Godzilla vs. Mothra was intense.

Ruby Slipper Cake
The height of sophistication from the pages of TV Guide.

Cheerio Chews
So easy to make! And eat!

Patsy Recline’s Dingle Hoofers
The name says it all.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Glamourous Chicken

Hark! Do you hear the quieting down of gastrointestinal tracts across the land? That can only mean one thing. We’ve officially reached the end of Caker Cooking’s Reader Recipe Month!

What better way to wrap up the festivities than by tossing in some old school Bette-Davis-we-loved-you caker pizzazz? Reader Sara got the recipe for Glamourous Chicken from one of her nana’s church cookbooks.

I can only assume that Nana went to the Church of Hollywood because Glamourous Chicken really does live up to its name! Who cares if it’s the colour of wet concrete? The important thing is the taste and dang if this didn’t make for a moist bird. (Although the rice was a little greasy. Cooking in chicken fat might have something to do with that.)

Can’t you just picture Joan Collins eating this while riding around in her limousine, tossing wings and drumsticks at poor people?

“Eat, my destitute darlings!” she’d cry in her sophisticated British accent, rhinestone earrings shimmering in the late afternoon sunlight on Sunset Boulevard. “Eat like me!”

The one thing not glamourous about this dish? Cleaning up.

Thanks, Sara! And thanks to all of you for submitting recipes. I’m sorry I didn’t get to all of them, but rest assured, your recipe might appear very soon on the pages of this blog.

2/3 cup regular uncooked rice (see note 1)
1 package Lipton dry onion soup
1 chicken, cut into pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Grease a Pyrex dish, 7 x 11 inches, and pour uncooked rice on bottom.  Sprinkle dry onion soup on rice.  Place chicken pieces on top.  Mix 1 can of water with mushroom soup; pour over top of ingredients.  Cover and bake 1 ¼ hours at 350 degrees; lift chicken at times to spread juice. (see note 2)

Note 1: Cakers, this calls for regular rice, not Minute Rice. Regular rice doesn’t come in a box and takes longer than five minutes to cook. Weird, right?

Note 2: Is it me or does the phrase “spread juice” seem dirty? Never mind. It's probably me.

Source: Caker Sara via her caker nana

Friday, 26 September 2014

Reader Recipe: French Cottage Salad

We finally made it! The last recipe of Reader Recipe Month!

Wait. Monday is September 30. Crap.

While I sort out the logistics, here’s something (and I really mean some thing) that reader Martine sent to me. Martine is Jewish and asked if that made her a "cacher" instead of a caker. I don’t know about that, Martine, but any culture that invented bottled fish can bring their paper plate to my dinner table any time.

Apparently, Martine’s dad invented the recipe for French Cottage Salad. Folks, I don’t know what the what this is. I mean, why would you ever want to bring these three ingredients together? It’s like an unholy trinity of taste. I couldn’t finish it, and for anyone familiar with this blog, you know that’s saying a lot. (Of course, the fact that my cottage cheese was past the due date and looked more like blue cheese might’ve played a factor.)

But who am I to judge? Martine's father apparently suffered from food trauma, including a bad incident involving a white fish and a large blue pot. (I had a similar traumatic incident, only it involved a white fish and a large blue woman.) I’m just glad Martine’s father enjoyed this dish. Because I’m sure no one else did.

Thanks, Martine! Everybody come back Monday for our (really) last recipe. Guess I better get the can opener out again.

2 pineapple rings
Scoop of cottage cheese
Wishbone French dressing (the creamy, orange stuff – otherwise he wouldn't eat cottage cheese and pineapple) (See note)

Place pineapple on a plate, top with cottage cheese and then top with dressing.

Note: I can relate. I can't tell you all the times I've announced, "I am NOT eating pineapple OR cottage cheese without salad dresssing on top!"

Source: Caker Martine via Caker Martine’s dad

Update: Sadly, Martine's dad passed away from cancer a few years back. She's running in the LA Cancer Challenge in his memory. If you'd like to help her out with her fundraising, click here.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Fondue Italiano

Bunjourno! Tutti a tavola a mangiare! (That means “Hello and welcome to the final week of Caker Cooking’s Reader Recipe Month!") As you might have guessed, I’m pretty fluent in Eyetalian thanks to the trip I took to It-lee at the beginning of the summer.

There are so many things I miss about It-lee. The hand gesturing, the life-or-death thrill of crossing the street, disco dancing with singing sensation Raffaella Carra. So I was over the moon when Jennifer sent me the recipe for Fondue Italiano from her copy of Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking.

Having said that, I have mixed feelings about fondues. For starters, you need company. So strike one for me. And secondly, they can be dangerous. I once had a fondue pot explode! Luckily, it was full of melted chocolate at the time. There are many worser things to pick out of your hair for three days straight.

For those reasons, Mother’s forbidden me to own a fondue pot, so I had to improvise and use a bowl. Be careful when spearing your breadcubes! Mother almost poked my eye out with her chopstick. We really enjoyed the fondue. It was cheesy and meaty and both of us got a little giddy, thanks to the wine. Then we fell asleep before Lawrence Welk came on.

WARNING: This has, like, a lot of cheese. Don’t be surprised if, the next morning, your neighbour asks when you started taking trumpet lessons. I’m speaking from experience.

Thanks, Jennifer! Come back Friday for another reader recipe. We're nearing the end. Hang in there.

½ pound ground beef
½ envelope spaghetti sauce mix
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
12 ounces natural Cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups) (See note 1)
4 ounces natural Mozarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (See note 2)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup chianti (see note 3)
Italian bread, cut into bite-size pieces, each with one crust

In saucepan, brown ground beef; drain off excess fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce mix and tomato sauce. Add cheeses gradually; stir over low heat till cheese is melted. Blend together cornstarch and wine; add to cheese mixture. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Transfer to fondue put; place over fondue burner. Spear bread cube with fondue fork; dip in fondue mixture, swirling to coat. (If fondue becomes thick, add a little warmed chianti.) Makes about 6 servings.

Note 1: As opposed to unnatural Cheddar
Note 2: As opposed to unnatural Mozarella
Note 3: Chianti is an Eyetalian wine. It’s pronounced “Chee-Anty.”

Source: Caker Jennifer via Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking

Friday, 19 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Frozen Fruit Loaf

Folks, we made it to the second recipe of the third week of Caker Cooking Reader Recipe Month. Are you still with me? [insert cricket FX]

Today’s recipe comes from Morag, who sent me the recipe for Frozen Fruit Loaf from 7-Up Goes to a Party! (It appears canned soda is more popular than I am, but I digress.) This recipe comes from the ‘50s, a period of time when our caker ancestors thought soda pop was a miracle liquid. I once caught my grandmother bathing in root beer. She said it was good for her arthritis. Not sure that explains why she polished the furniture with Mountain Dew.

Anyways, I made this and it was okay, although it was cold and made my brain freeze up more than when I’m looking for the hidden images in a Highlights picture. My main complaint was that it was too hard. The only thing worse than fruit is frozen fruit. If you’re going to chip your tooth, I’d sooner do it on a frozen Creamsicle than a frozen grape.

Speaking of grapes, you know how people sometimes see the Virgin Mary in toast? Tell me this doesn’t look like Dilbert. I’m going to sell it on eBay before it mel…Never mind.

Thanks, Morag! Come back Monday for a trip back to It-lee!

1 3-ounce package cream cheese (see note 1)
1 9-ounce can crushed pineapple (see note 2)
1 7-ounce bottle of 7-Up
2 cups diced fresh peaches
1 cup diced seedless grapes
½ cup sugar
½ pint whipping cream (see note 3)
1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows

Soften cream cheese and mix in pineapple. Stir in 7-Up. Sprinkle sugar over peaches and grapes and stir into mixture. Pour into a 2-quart refrigerator dish (see note 4) and freeze until partially thickened. Whip cream until stiff; fold cream and marshmallows into fruit mixture. Free until solid. Makes 8-10 servings.

Note 1: About a 1/3 of a regular package
Note 2: 1 cup
Note 3: I used Cool Whip. Of course.
Note 4: I used a loaf pan.

Source: Caker Morag via 7-Up Goes to a Party!