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!

Monday 15 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Canned Penis Casserole

Welcome to week three of Caker Cooking’s Reader Recipe Month! There’s a light at the end of this caker tunnel. It’s dim, but it’s there. I hope.

Today’s recipe comes from Kari who got the recipe for Lima-Sausage Casserole from the 1959 edition of Farm Journal's Country Cookbook. (Personally, I would’ve given it back to the Farm Journal.) This casserole calls for Vienna sausages. Kari says her husband calls them canned penises, which I think is a much better name. Just imagine the eye-twitching and awkward coughing when you bring your steaming Canned Penis Casserole to the table! (Be sure to follow up with Candle Salad for dessert.)

I’ve tried a lot of things on this blog, but somehow, I’ve managed to avoid Vienna sausages up until now. Sadly, they’re worse than I remember. They’re slimy and the colour of Silly Putty. And talk about small! How are you ever going to fill up on something so small? You’d have to put four of these in your mouth to equal the girth of one Johnsonville Brat.

Suffice to say, there isn’t much redeeming about Canned Penis Casserole, aside from the three-ingredient thing. I mean, it even has lima beans, for god’s sake. Who likes lima beans? They’re like the brussel sprouts of the bean world.

Anyways. Thanks, Kari. I think. Check out Kari’s blog, The Nostalgic Cook, and be sure to come back Friday for a genital-free reader recipe!

2 (10 oz) packages frozen lima beans
2 (4 oz) cans Vienna sausages
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed tomato soup, undiluted

Fill 6 individual casseroles or a 2 qt. casserole with lima beans. Top each with sausages. Spoon tomato soup over top. Bake, covered, in a moderate oven (350F) for 20 minutes. (See note)

Note: I let it cook for closer to 30 minutes. Not that it helped.

Source: Caker Kari via Farm Journal's Country Cookbook

Friday 12 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Cherry Jumbles

Here we are – the second recipe of the second week of Reader Recipe Month! Those who make it to the end get a free bottle of Pepto Bismol.

Today’s recipe comes from Bob, who I once christened as the Duke of Cakers because he’s the man who introduced me to Tang Pie as well as Twinkie Cake. And as far as I’m concerned, that makes you the Fergie of caker royalty.

Now hold onto your rain bonnets, because Cherry Jumbles is a recipe Bob invented on his own! Well, it's really packaged cookie mix, but Bob came up with the idea of adding things to the mix. If that’s not a sign of caker geniousity, I don’t know what is.

I couldn’t find sugar cookie mix at No Frills. I did, however, find chocolate chip cookie mix, which saved me from having to buy the chocolate chips. (Bob, looks like you’ve got some competition in the caker geniousity department. LOL!)

Because Bob recently commented that he wanted to hear more from my taste-tester, the Reluctant Eye-talian, here’s what the Reluctant Eye-talian said when he saw Bob's cookies.

“Eesch. Those are ugly.”

Still want to hear more from the Reluctant Eye-talian, Bob?

Anyways, I liked them. They had maraschino cherries, after all. You could roll a maraschino cherry in sawdust and I’d still eat it. In fact, I think I once did.

Thanks, Bob! Check out Bob’s blog, The Fondue, and come back Monday for another scrumptious reader recipe.

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
¼  to ½ cup chopped drained maraschino cherries (See note 1)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (see not 2)
Almond extract

Prepare cookie mix as package directs. If instructions call for liquid, substitute cherry juice; if not, add enough juice to the dough to make it bright pink and delicious. Add a few drops of almond extract and the chocolate chips. Bake as directed on package. When cookies are completely cool, glaze.

Cherry Glaze
Enough milk and cherry juice combined to equal ¼ cup. It should be bright pink and opaque.
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Few drops almond extract.

Combine and spread on cookies. Let harden.

Bob’s notes:

1. I give a range because it really depends on how many cherries you eat while chopping them. Aim for ½ cup, but be satisfied with whatever you end up with.  Better get the big jar next time. If there’s any juice left over (ha!), drink it.

2. The miniature kind are fun.

Source:  Bob, Duke of Cakers 

Monday 8 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Bierocks

Welcome to the second thrilling week of Caker Cooking’s Reader Recipe Month!

I grew up in a border city which pretty much scarred me for life. The main reason being was that I was forced to watch commercials for all the amazing things I couldn’t get in Canada. No doubt the neighbours heard the wailing whenever a White Castle commercial came on.

Today’s recipe comes from Patrick, who grew up in Minnesota, home of the hotdish and hot beef commercials. This is his mom’s recipe for bierocks. I’d never heard of bierocks and got pretty excited, thinking that beer and rocks might be involved. Turns out bierocks are like meat turnovers.

Patrick’s recipe calls for Pillsbury Grands biscuit dough. I went to two grocery stores and a Wal-Mart, but the only Grands I could find were the cinnamon bun kind. I’m assuming those weren’t an option, but folks in Minnesota may be freakier than I’ve been led to believe. In any case, I don’t think Pillsbury Grands biscuits are available in Canada. So I opted for Pillsbury pizza dough.

Patrick, if I’m ever stateside, I’m heading straight to Winn-Dixie (after a pitstop at White Castle), filling up the trunk of my Chevette with tubes of Grands biscuits, heading back to Canada and making bierocks the way they were goddamn meant to be made.

Having said that, the pizza dough was easy to work with. And the bierocks were tasty as heck. And ball-shaped. Kinda like a Pizza Pocket. Only with sauerkraut. And, uh, not the pizza part.

Thanks, Patrick! Don’t forget to come back Friday for another reader recipe.

1 lb ground beef or mild sausage
1 can saurkraut
Some diced onions and diced bell peppers
1 tube Grands biscuit dough

Fry the meat with the onions and peppers. When cooked, drain grease and then mix in saurkraut. Set aside.

Pop open the biscuit dough and, using some flour and a rolling pin, flatten out the biscuit, flipping and flouring so that it doesn't stick to the rolling pin. Spoon some filling into the centre of the dough. Fold the dough over, making a ball (pouch). Place fold side down onto cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough or filling is used up, whichever comes first.

Bake for however long the biscuit dough tube tells you. When done, spread some butter on ‘em and enjoy!

Source: Caker Patrick via his mom

Friday 5 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Humdingers

It’s time for our second recipe in Caker Cooking's month-long Reader Recipe Extravaganza!

Today’s recipe comes from Bibi. She lives in Nepal, which I think is in northern Alberta. Bibi sent me the recipe for Humdingers (not to be confused with Dingle Hoofers) from a Louisiana church cookbook. I’d never heard of Humdingers before, but, like any caker, I’m always on the hunt for new ball-shaped foods.

These call for dates and if I'm going to be honest, I have mixed feelings about dates. On the one hand, they’re sweet. But on the other, they’re nutritious. So you can imagine my conundrum. In any case, Bibi’s Humdingers had my dinger humming. They were scrumptious! Even The Reluctant Eye-talian (that’s his nickname whenever I ask him to taste test something) gave them the thumbs up. The dates take on a caramel taste and once you toss in the Rice Krispies and nuts, well, you’ve got a little ball of paradise.

In fact, The Reluctant Eye-talian even had a suggestion. (This doesn't happen often.) “Why not roll them into logs?” he asked. “Then you can call it a Humdinger Finger.”

Back off, Martha Stewartson. He’s all mine.

Come back Monday for our next reader recipe. Thanks, Bibi!

1 stick butter
¾ cup sugar
8 oz chopped dates
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chopped nuts
powdered sugar

Melt butter and sugar over low heat. Add dates and cook over low heat until dates are melted (around 5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat & add vanilla, Rice Krispies and nuts. Roll into small balls, then in powdered sugar.

Bibi’s notes:
I just heat and mix the sugar, dates, butter and vanilla over low heat until they become a caramelized goo using a WOODEN SPOON (see note 1). Then I pour the goo over the Rice Krispies and nuts and mix well. Allow mixture to cool for about 15-20 minutes before forming into balls or you'll burn your tootsies. I use a tablespoon to measure out the mixture for some uniformity in the “balls” (see note 2). To make the recipe more "familiar" in flavour for my Indian family, I add in the seeds of 10 green cardamoms (see note 3) and roll the balls in coconut flakes instead of powdered sugar.

Note 2: Never underestimate the importance of uniform balls.
Note 3: That’s green CARDAMOMS, not green CARNATIONS. Carnation seeds don't taste good. I’m speaking from experience.

Source: Caker Bibi via Recipes from the Little Church on the Bayou, Cheneyville Trinity Church Cookbook

Monday 1 September 2014

Reader Recipe: Frog Eye Salad

Sound the clarinets! September is Reader Recipe Month! 

I’ll be posting caker recipes submitted by readers every Monday and Friday. That’s twice a week! Needless to say, my oven’s going to get a workout. Now if only I could figure out how to turn it on…

When I was a kid, we used to visit my grandmother and extended family in Saskatoon. One time, I was eating a tapioca pudding I found in her fridge and my cousin told me that the little balls were fish eyes. Naturally, I started crying and my mom had to pull me aside and remind me that I was eighteen now and not to believe everything people told me.

So I was pretty freaked out when Jana sent me the recipe for Frog Eye Salad. Thankfully, there are no frog eyes in it. The “eyes” are actually little pasta balls. LOL! I don’t know the size of clan that Jana’s cooking for, but I thirded this recipe (which was very complicated for someone who failed Grade 10 math) and it still made a big bowl. So unless you’re the Duggers, proceed with caution.

All in all, Frog Eye Salad was pretty good. It's like Ambrosia Salad. My mom used to make something similar, only with Minute Rice. Adding carbohydrates to Cool Whip makes eating it alongside ham a little more understandable.

A little.

Y’all come back Friday for our next reader recipe! Check out Jana's blog, Time Travel Kitchen.

1 box Acini de Pepe (see note 1)
3 cans crushed pineapple
3 cans mandarin oranges
1 package mini marshmallows
1 large Cool Whip
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups pineapple juice (drained from pineapple) (see note 2)

Boil noodles according to directions. Boil pineapple juice sugar and flour 2-3 minutes. Stir in noodles and let sit overnight. Add remaining ingredients the next day.

Note 1: Don’t go into an Italian store, asking for Acne of Pepper. That’s not the translation. Trust me on this.

Note 2: Since I only used one can of pineapple, I didn’t have quite enough juice to make a third of two cups. If that makes sense. Anyway, top it up with water. Or gin.

Source: Caker Jana