Friday 28 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Lime Cheese Salad

I can’t think of three words that have no business being strung together more than lime, cheese and salad.

Ian sent me this recipe for what he calls a “glistening, jiggling and milky-green caker classic.” Lime Cheese Salad has been a part of his family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for as long he can remember. He reckons the recipe was handed over to his mom by his Great Aunt Doris. (Is it me, or does every caker family have a Great Aunt Doris?)

I wasn’t looking forward to this because y’all know that while I can get with a number of things, I can’t get with JELL-O, vegetables and marannaise. But I made it and…it wasn’t half bad. It was tangy, the pineapple provided a hint of sweetness and the almonds gave it a nice crunch. The carrots, on the other hand, were like that guy who sits across from you in the staff lunchroom and chews with his mouth open. Not welcome.

That officially brings Reader Recipe Month to a close. Thanks to everyone who sent in a recipe. Sorry I couldn’t get to all of them, but I’ll endeavor to make – and post – every single one in the coming months. Promise. Come back Monday for some great sex. Yes, you read that right.

When he's not eating Lime Cheese Salad, Ian is a historian of Food, Health and Nutrition. Check out his website. Thanks, Ian!

1 large pkg lime Jell-O
1 ¼ cup boiling water
8 oz cream cheese

Dissolve jelly powder in boiling water. Add cheese and beat well. Put this in the food processor to make it a snap. (see note)

To this mixture add:
2 tbsp vinegar
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated carrot

Mix again in food processor just till mixed. Pour into well-greased gelatin mould.

Note: I don’t know if my food processor has a leak, but damn if green stuff didn’t spew everywhere when I turned it on. Proceed with caution, folks.

Source: Caker Ian via Great Aunt Doris

Monday 24 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Tender Bits Casserole

We finally made it – the final week of Reader Month!

When Caker Cooking reader Stephanie suggested I try her tender bits, I was like, “Whoa, this is taking reader relations to a whole new level.” Then I found out tender bits are a food. Or a non-food. They’re made with wheat gluten, oat flour, and soy protein. I don’t even know what those words mean.

I can’t get Tender Bits in Canada, so I went online. A case of 12 cans is selling on Amazon for seventy dollars! What other ingredient is in there – unicorn? Stephanie suggested I substitute grilled chicken pieces. Those were only $3.99 which meant I could make it and still afford to get Mother a Big Turk bar for dessert.

This recipe calls for barbeque chips. And paprika. Talk about being a wallflower. How can paprika compete with a bag of barbeque chips? Can you even see the paprika with all that other seasoning? I'm coming up with a new term: paprika complex. It's when you're so insignificant, you might as well not even try. But you should try this casserole. In spite of the photo above, it actually tasted pretty good.

Thanks, Stephanie!

1 can Tender Bits, drained and cut into about 1" pieces
1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
Use can to measure out milk, about 1/2 cup
1/2 onion, chopped (see note)
1/2 - 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Stir all of that together. It will be thick. Add one bag of crushed BBQ flavored Lay's potato chips and mix together, then place in greased casserole dish. Top with paprika, salt & pepper and bake 350 for about 45-60 minutes.

Note: Stephanie says, “I usually sauté for a couple of minutes until soft.”

Source: Caker Stephanie

Friday 21 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Fiesta Peach Salad with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing

Now there’s a mouthful. By the time you get the name of this dish out, the peaches will have fruit flies.

Today’s reader submission comes from Jennifer, who sent in this vintage caker recipe. She said it reminded her of sea urchins with the slivered almonds sticking out of the sides of the peaches.

That may be what she thought, but when I made it, all I saw were bloody demon eyes on a green monster face. Seriously. Just look at that thing! I’m going to send the photo to TLC and suggest a new show: "My Salad Was Possessed By the Devil." They can schedule it between "Honey Boo Boo" and the show with the cheapskates who re-use toilet paper. (And to think TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel.)

Demon eyes aside, this salad tasted pretty good. The almonds provided a nice crunch. And who can resist canned peaches? Just make sure you sprinkle it with holy water and repeat "The power of Christ compells you!" before digging in.

Thanks, Jennifer! Check out her blog. She describes herself as a Canadian vegetarian foodie but she lives in Monaco. (Isn't Monaco in Alberta?)

Eye-catching and tasty! Prepare raspberry-flavored gelatin as package directs. When firm, break up with fork. Stick shredded, toasted almonds into the edges of plump, sun-gold canned cling peach halves from California. Fill halves with gelatin. Serve on greens with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.

Source: Caker Jennifer via a magazine clipping.

Monday 17 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Ziploc Bag Omelettes

It's week three of Caker Cooking Reader Month!

Every now and then, I stumble upon a caker recipe that should come with a hazard sticker. When Mattel 1974 – she of Mexican Hat fame – sent me this recipe involving Ziploc bags, I was all like "Danger Will Robinson!" In a nutshell, you put eggs and chopped things into a Ziploc freezer bag, boil the bags and presto – individual omelettes!

But the more I thought about it, the more the recipe seemed, well, toxic. Even by my standards. Was it safe to boil freezer bags? Mattel 1974 said she’d never been brave enough to try it. That's when I visited the worldwide web for the answer. I found it on the Ziploc site which basically said, “Don't boil freezer bags, you caker fool.”

Fellow cakers, I know the idea of making omelettes without dirtying a frypan or – god forbid – having to flip the damn things might sound appealing, but please refrain. Instead, I've come up with a better solution – just boil your eggs in paper bags.

Make sure you read the recipe instructions below. The lady who submitted this recipe was working it HARD!

Thanks, Mattel 1974! I will forever wonder what these omelettes would've tasted like.

2 eggs, large or extra large
Cheese, ham, chopped onion, green pepper, red pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, whatever your prefer

This works great for guests. Have guests write their name on a quart size Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker pen. (See note 1)

Crack 2 eggs into a Ziploc bag, shake bag to combine eggs. Put out a variety of ingredients as mentioned above. Each guests adds ingredients of their choice to their bag and shakes it. Make sure to get all the air out of the bag, then zip it shut.

Have ready a large pot of boiling water, place bags in rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in one pot. For more have another pot ready. Open the bag and the omelet will roll out easily.


Nice to serve with fresh fruit and coffee cake. Everyone gets involved in the process and it is a great conversation piece.

Imagine having these ready the night before, then in the morning putting in the bag and boiling for 13 minutes and you have a nice breakfast.


Note 1: For those who like a few extra chemicals.

Source: Mattel 1974 via the Newdale Raven’s Glen W.I., Manitoba

Click on the image for full caps effec

Friday 14 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Rainbow Squares

Is there anything more stressful than a work potluck? There you are, looking at a table of food made by people you don't really know. How clean is the accounting guy's kitchen? Does the receptionist let her cat walk on the counter? What if the IT guy licked the spoon or, even worse, made the food naked?

Caker Cooking reader Adam recently had a “Diversity Day” work potluck. Since he’s gay and a caker (otherwise known as a “gayker"), he brought Rainbow Squares. Can you imagine the gasps when he served this mutli-layered work of art? Paging the HR department! Someone deserves a raise.

Adam’s recipe calls for an envelope of gelatin added to each JELL-O package. That means there are EIGHT envelopes of gelatin in this dish. (Or approximately 84 hooves.) Folks, this JELL-O was so stiff, I could've fired a bullet into it and it wouldn’t have come out the other side.

Before anyone calls me out, yes, I screwed up the rainbow order. Red should be on top. I’m a bad gayker.

Thanks, Adam! You make us proud!

6 boxes JELL-O (rainbow order from the top: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
8 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix purple JELL-O with one envelope gelatin. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until dissolved. Pour into 9x13” glass pan sprayed with PAM. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Dissolve 2 envelopes gelatin in ¼ cup cold water. Add ¾ boiling water and stir until dissolved. In another bowl mix condensed milk and 1 cup boiling water. Combine milk and gelatin mixture. Pour ½ cup milk mixture over the bottom layer of JELL-O. Pour slowly over a spoon to stop the mixture from making dents in JELL-O. Repeat using one layer JELL-O, waiting 30 minutes, then one layer milk mixture, waiting 20 minutes, ending with Jell-O (red). If the milk mixture starts to set, put in the microwave for 60 seconds.

Source: Gayker Adam

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday 10 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Catherwood Muffins

We’re into the second week of Reader Recipe Month!

Today’s caker recipe comes from Kate, who got this "muffin" recipe from her math teacher, Miss Catherwood. It’s since become a family favourite. Kate’s sister even used the recipe for her wedding cake! (Beats the heck out of fruitcake, IMHO.)

Now that I think about it, I learned a lot from my teachers growing up. Important things, like sleeves are a great place to store Kleenexes. And music teachers can get very emotional in the days leading up to a Christmas concert. And smoking is okay, so long as you do it in the staffroom.

Another thing I learned: just because you call something a “muffin” don’t make it no muffin. Catherwood Muffins are cupcakes, folks. These have as much nutritional value as a mango-scented Yankee candle. However, they’re dangerously delicious. (I think the pudding and sour cream have something to do with that.) I have no other choice but to dismiss class and order you make them immediately. Consider it your Home Ec homework.

Thanks, Kate! Check out Kate's book blog.

Come back Friday for the next reader recipe. I finally win at JELL-O!

1 package (18oz) devil's food cake mix
1 package (3 3/4 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and beat for 4 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Line a muffin tin with large baking papers and fill with batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. (See note.) Try to wait until they are cool enough to handle safely before enjoying the gooey, chocolatey goodness!

Note: I left mine in for 25 minutes.

Source: Caker Kate via Caker Miss Catherwood

Friday 7 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Liberace Sandwich

It’s time for our second reader recipe of the week!

When Caker Cooking reader Catherine sent me the recipe for Liberace Sandwich, I got pretty excited. There’s nothing more glamorous than eating the same thing as a Hollywood star. (Case in point: Barbara Mandrell’s Pig Out Cake.) And when that star has the mega-wattage of Liberace, well, sit back and put on the rhinestone-crusted sunglasses, my friends.

This sandwich proves two things: 1) Liberace was a caker (which, c’mon, we all knew – anyone with hair that stiff is down with the tater tots) and 2) his talent went beyond piano playing. The man knew his way around a loaf of white bread like nobody’s business. This egg-soaked, cheese-filled, bacon-topped creation really tickled my ivories.

Catherine also sent me a recipe for something called Fluffy Muff. I’m going out on a limb here, but I doubt Liberace ever made that for dinner.

Thanks, Catherine!

Make 6 sandwiches, no butter, cut off crusts, with cheddar cheese. Place in shallow, buttered pan. Beat 4 eggs with 2 cups milk, 1/2 tsp minced onion, 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Pour over sandwiches. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake in 375 oven 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and top with sliced, peeled ripe tomatoes. Cover with strips of pre-cooked bacon. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Source: Caker Catherine via Ladies Aid, Ogunquit Baptist Church, Ogunquit, Maine, 1975

Monday 3 February 2014

Reader Recipe: Cherry Balls

Welcome to Reader Recipe Month! I’ll be posting your caker recipes every Monday and Friday throughout February. After all, what good is cholesterol if you can’t share it between friends?

It should come as a surprise to no one when I say that cakers love their balls. Cold, hot, cheesy, so long as it’s round, we’ll pop it into our mouths. (Which explains the high number of golf ball-related caker deaths every year.) A few weeks back, I was at a wedding when I met Caker Cooking reader, Debbie, who asked if I wanted her Cherry Balls recipe. I said, “I do.”

I had my heart set on red maraschino cherries, but couldn’t find any at No Frills. They only had green ones – and all the jars were dusty. Please, caker gods, if I ever get reincarnated, don’t send me back as a green maraschino cherry. I can’t imagine a lonelier fate.

Thanks for the recipe, Debbie. Knowing your delicious balls were waiting at home got me through the dark days.

Come back Friday for a reader recipe that takes you behind the candelabra.

Maraschino cherries and graham cracker crumbs
2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut (see note)
1/2 cup butter, softened

Mix all ingredients except cherries and graham cracker crumbs. Roll around cherry, then roll in graham cracker crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Note: Debbie says, “I use sweetened shredded.”

Source: Caker Debbie