I don’t care what anyone says – cakers are pretty intelligent. I often think of us as kitchen technologists. There’s nothing we love more than taking something apart and figuring out how to put it back together in half the time. Just look at Cabbage Roll Casserole. You get all the taste in just minutes. (Unfortunately, you still get all of the stink. Make sure your Wizard gel stick is close by.)
Another great example of caker ingenuity is this Lazy Perogie Casserole. Do you know how long it takes to make actual perogies? Like, a long time. Just ask my Ukrainian uncle. But with this casserole, you get to eat and enjoy your life. You’re welcome, Uncle Orest!
Lazy Perogie Casserole tastes just like the real thing. The only thing it lacks is bacon. Or should I say, artificial bacon bits. You know the ones I mean. They’re the colour of bricks and look like fish food. But they taste good and you don't even have to cook them. Thanks, caker kitchen technologists!
Come back Friday for the final Bazaar-o-Rama round-up, my tour of church holiday bazaars. Then, on Monday, December 1, Caker Christmas season officially gets underway! I’ll post holiday recipes and crafts three times a week leading up to my Caker Christmas party, my annual shindig where I force invite Eyetalians to make – and eat – caker food.
12 to 15 lasagna noodles
2 cups cottage cheese
¼ teaspoon onion salt (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups mashed potatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onions
Line 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with cooked noodles. Mix cottage cheese, egg and onion salt; spread over noodles. Add another layer of noodles. Mix cheese, potatoes, salt and pepper; spread over noodles. Cover with remaining layer of noodles. Melt butter; add onions and sauté. Pour over noodles. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve with sour cream.
Source: This Legion is Still Cooking, Royal Canadian Legion Cowichan Branch 53, Duncan, British Columbia
Call me a fuddy-duddy caker, but I bypass the microwave and cook my popcorn the old-fashioned way. First, I put on my petticoat, then I grow the corn, gather it in my apron, dry it and pop it on the woodstove. Pa and I usually do a jig before settling down to a bowl while the kids play with dolls made of sticks and mud.
As much as I enjoy popcorn (pronounced “pup-corn” in certain caker circles), I’m not sure that using it for a cake makes a lot of sense. Mainly because the unpopped kernels can play psychological warfare with you. Is that a peanut? Or a kernel? All I can say is keep your dentist on speed dial and nibble like a squirrel.
In spite of dental dangers, this cake was pretty good, although a little chewy. And I could've done without the gumdrops. Or jujubes. Are they the same thing? I get confused. Anyways, I made it in an angel food pan. If you do the same, don’t soak it in water like the recipe says or else the water will seep through the bottom and you’ll end up with something that looks like a mountain of wet Kleenexes. And that can be a hard one to sell to dinner guests.
1 16-oz package miniature marshmallows
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup butter or margarine
5 quarts popped popcorn (about 20 cups)
24 ounces gumdrops
1 cup salted peanuts
In pot, melt marshmallows, oil and butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside. In large bowl, combine popcorn, gumdrops and peanuts. Add marshmallow mixture and mix well. Press into 10” tube pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. To unmold, dip pan in hot water for 5-10 seconds.
I don’t know what Sunday dinners were like with your family, but in my caker household, they were pretty special. My mom would put away her casserole dish, slip on an apron, boil herself a cup of Nescafé and spend the afternoon actually making a meal. It took us awhile to understand the concept of passing different dishes around the table. Sometimes, my sisters would cry and complain that it hurt their arms. I guess that explains why caker forearms are so underdeveloped.
Usually, our Sunday meal included coleslaw (we were a creamy kind family), roast beef (sprinkled with Lipton onion soup mix), mashed padaydas (which had about as much flavour as air), canned corn and store-bought white dinner buns. Usually, there was a salad because my mom was concerned about our vitamin intake. This Orange Cottage Cheese Salad was pretty popular with us. (Hello?!? It has Cool Whip.)
There’s something about the soft, squishy bits of cottage cheese, artfully blended with the Cool Whip, that really does it for me. And talk about colour! Why, the only thing as pastel-pretty as this salad is its green sister, Watergate Salad. Never make me choose between them.
1 pound cottage cheese (see note)
1 package (3 ounces) orange JELL-O
14-ounce tin of pineapple chunks
10-ounce tin of mandarin oranges
1 tub Cool Whip
Sprinkle JELL-O over cottage cheese and stir. Drain pineapple and mandarin. Add to cottage cheese mixture. Fold in Cool Whip. Chill and serve.
Note: I just bought a big tub.
Hey! I smell turkey pies! That can only mean one thing – bazaar season is upon us. Join me for Bazaar-o-Rama starting this Friday. I travel around to bazaars throughout the month and post all the crap treasures I find. Needless to say, it’s pretty exciting.
In this case, it's ours. In the three and a half years since I started this blog, we’ve cried a little, laughed a little and burped a little. Okay, we burped a lot. But I think my caker work here is done.
I’ll be wrapping things up at the end of December. But despair not. There’s lots of fun headed your way.
Watch for Bazaar-o-Rama, my annual tour of church bazaars, starting next Friday. Then it’s time for my month-long Caker Christmas extravaganza. (If I were you, I’d start stocking up on the gold spray paint.)
Until then, put this on repeat and we'll see you Monday with a new recipe.
Let the caker record state: I can’t get with Tootsie Rolls. It’s not that I won’t eat them (they have sugar, after all), but I’ve never been able to figure them out. Are they supposed to be chocolate? Why so many sizes? How are they related to Tootsie Pops? And the whole poop resemblance thing – intentional or not?
For Halloween, I usually buy candy I don’t like. That way, I don’t find myself mid-November, eating four mini Coffee Crisps for breakfast and wondering why I can’t zip up my GWGs. This year, I bought a big bag of Tootsie Rolls. After four kids came to the door (none were in costumes and looked like they were in college), I turned to the nine pounds of leftover Tootsie Rolls and had an idea. (This was a big deal as ideas don’t happen often for me.)
I searched through my caker cookbook collection and found a recipe for Brown Cow Squares. Anyone remember this brown liquid? You mixed it with milk. I usually sucked it straight from the bottle. See what happens when caker kids aren't breast-fed?
I substituted Tootsie Rolls for the Brown Cow and you know what? My invention was delicious! The Tootsie Rolls got all gooey-like and were a nice compliment to the peanut butter. Now if only I had remembered to unwrap them first. Oh, well. I’m sure the wrappers will pass. Eventually. LOL!
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
½ cup brown cow (see note)
Combine flour and baking powder. Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well, after each addition. Stir in flour mixture alternately with milk into creamed mixture. Spread half the batter in a greased 9” x 13” pan. Drizzle with half the Brown Cow. Repeat layers. Bake in 350° oven 35-40 minutes or until done. Cool. Cut into squares. Makes one pan.
Note: I laid out about 12 Tootsie Rolls per layer. MAKE SURE YOU UNWRAP THEM!
Yep, looks like poop. For other feces-inspired ideas, check out the always-classy Kitty Litter Cake.
Source: Centennial Central School Cook Book, Arva, Ontario, 1995