What Ya' Got Cookin' 2014 Part 4 Sweet Summers' End

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sounds like fun! I'd probably cheat and use premade pie crust.

We made a Japanese item recently, Tonkatsu, a breaded fried piece of pork loin. What was more interesting though, is that if you don't have the official tonkatsu sauce, they say you can substitute a mix of Worcestershire and ketchup. Like Jan using hoisin and ketchup on her PA Europe old country meat pies!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I believe that pasties are Cornish in origin.

There is a World Pasty Championship held there every year.

Bread dough or pizza dough is a good substitute for crust doughs in recipes and is stretchier than pie crust doughs IMO. Frozen Pillsbury hot rolls flattened out work, too.

Lawrence Welk was a Volga German!

Jan, the closest I have to a tribe is Volga German....

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Happy New Year! I just finished putting a 10# boneless pork loin in the oven, with my usual coriander, cumin, caraway, and celery seed seasoning, Later I will add my sauerkraut to cook in the juices and brown a little. Served with copious quantities of mashed potatoes. It's our traditional new years fare. Supposedly good luck since the pig roots forward, while other animals scratch back.
I didn't remember the bayberry candle though. A new years eve tradition some places.
“Bayberry candles burned to the socket, bring health to the home and wealth to the pocket!”

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I am making a big pot of my Pappy's spaghetti sauce and meatballs. He was famous for this and did many spaghetti dinners for hunt clubs, mens clubs, and the like around his home town in Pennsylvania. Every family visit with him always included a ziti and meatballs meal. Every time I make it, it brings back a flood of memories.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I want to make Butternut Squash soup. I have everything I need just need to put it all together.
Also I have been really hungry for lasagna so I will either have to make some or maybe force Ric to take me out to Olive Garden. Yeah, like I would have to force him. LOL Oh, I know lunch and a movie, next week.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

We love tonkatsu, especially when we visited Japan back in '96.

Not sure what is in store for dinner. Cupboard is pretty bare. Either leftovers or a search through the pantry. Or maybe we'll use a gift card tonight. First, Maggie and I are going to watch a bball game at the high school. A girl from church is playing.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Turkey meatballs in a tomato/ brown sugar/ vinegar BBQ sauce, over rice. Probably make another batch of coleslaw. I really like the "Korean cabbage" at the Lotte, it's a flat head type, crisp and tender. And a cooked vegetable.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

My pork and kraut came out great, but today's attempts at something new fell flat on its face. I tried making a crab ravioli. I think my dough was too thick, and consequently under cooked. I also used a jar Alfredo which sure didn't improve it. I may not try making pasta again soon that's for sure. I'd be much better off making a batch of my own Alfredo, putting it in jars and freezing it. Then I can buy some pasta and have a good meal. LOL I got my recipe from a chef friend and it's killer, the guys at work called it "Heart attack on a plate". You start with a half pound of butter and a quart of heavy cream, if you see where that is going. LOL

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'll give you points for ambition, Ric! I doubt I'd ever attempt that crab ravioli. Sorry you had a bad result with pricey crab.
Heavy cream is magic yumminess. I forget what I used it in recently but it was good.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Today--I made the "Cream of Tomato Dill Soup with Shrimp".
I have not made it for a couple of years, it is SO yummy---so decadent!

This recipe, as written, only makes about 4qts+ of soup.
It is so very rich--butter and 1/2 and 1/2 and almost a lb. of shrimp.
It comes out like a bisque.

Here is the recipe--lengthy--but most of it is instructions. DO IT at least once!


(Baltimore Sun—“Recipe Finder”—May 5, 2010)
***This recipe comes from Oprah.com and was adapted from a recipe from Art Smith’s
“Kitchen Life”Cookbook. A simple substitution of fresh Dill (for the Marjoram)
was made.from the recipe the author found.
The finished Soup had balanced flavor and a rich, creamy consistency.
It was as pretty to look at, as it was tasty.
Makes 4-6 servings.


¾ lb. medium shrimp (25-31 count) unshelled. (I have used Old Bay
steamed shrimp as part of this…maybe half--just for the flavor in the broth).
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth—or Home-made. (I make my own….)
5 Tbs. Unsalted Butter—divided use. More never hurts!
1 Medium rib Celery—finely chopped.
½ cup Shallots, chopped (Sweet Onion, like Vidalia, can be substituted)
1-2 cloves garlic—minced (I like a couple more…)
½ cup all-purpose flour for thickening
1 can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes with juice
2 cups ½ and ½.
2 Tbs. Fresh Dill, chopped. Dried dill will do--just half the amount.
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
***NOTE; I find salt NOT necessary in this dish. Tomatoes have plenty of it.
So does “Old Bay”—if you use steamed Shrimp shells as part of the required
Shrimp amount. I love the flavor a lot better when I do that…..

To Do----
--Peel and de-vain Shrimp, reserving the shells.
--Combine the shells and the Chicken Broth in a saucepan and bring to a
simmer over medium heat.
--Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
--Strain the Shells-- reserving the broth –You should have about 2 cups.
Add water, or more broth, if needed to make up the quantity.

*****Pre-cooked broth from shells can be made ahead of time and frozen
in Zip-bags. Makes for less work when you want to serve this…

--Melt 4 Tbs, Butter in a the saucepan/pot over med. heat.
--Add Celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
(about 2-3 minutes.
--Add Shallots (or Sweet Onion) and Garlic and cook stirring, until they soften--
about 2 minutes.
--Add the Flour and stir in well until it is thickened a bit. Heat it through well.
--Add diced Tomatoes with their juices—stir and heat through.
--Stir in the reserved Broth, ½ and ½ and Dill and heat through for a few minutes.

--Bring to a gentle boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer, uncovered, until the Soup is lightly thickened—about 30 minutes.
Stir now and then so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Season with S & P and Old Bay if desired.
****As I said—salt is NOT necessary here….but OK if you want to.
I use fresh ground, black pepper and coarse Sea Salt to taste.

--Just before serving, melt the remaining Tbs. of butter in a large skillet over
medium to high heat. Add the Shrimp and cook, stirring often, just until they
turn opaque. They will continue cooking in the hot soup as you add them.
--Stir Shrimp into the hot Soup—reserving about 2 whole Shrimp per
serving to garnish with.
--Serve hot soup, garnished with the reserved, whole shrimp, and a twig of
fresh Dill.

***Garlic Bread or fresh, buttered bread or Pita Chips can be served as an


--Do all your chopping and dicing and shrimp-shelling ahead of time. Refrigerate.
--Broth can be homemade and pre-cooked with the shrimp shells—and then frozen.
--THINK!!! Any time you eat, or cook, shrimp—save the shells and freeze them.
OR--pre-cook them in the broth and then freeze that broth in Zip-Loc bags.
Nice to have that on hand.

Yummmm……This is a keeper!!!!


Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I still have no appetite, since that flu shot. I don't think that will hurt anything after the excesses of the holidays.:-} I did prepare a bowl of grits and a small dish of Greek yogurt.
I made a ham, cheddar and broccoli soup last evening. It was very yummy, but I only got through a half bowl. I'm thinking about Sunday dinner. I could really go for ham or pot roast. If I do the ham I could have whipped sweet potatoes with a little butter pecan syrup added. Interesting, talking about food is giving me a better appetite.

I never got to make this, I was too sick with the flu.

This message was edited Jan 17, 2015 2:14 PM

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I made Ina Gartens puff pastry sticky buns this morning. Only made half a recipe. Holy cow!!!! YUMMO. There are two left.

We went to the Home show at Valley Forge casino resort. Stopped at a Macaroni Grill for lunch so we could use up one of the gift cards we got. Brought home doggie boxes for dinner. I got a penne dish with chicken, shrimp and prosciutto in a rosemary cream sauce. Good. Jeff got baked meatballs, sausage and rigatoni. He was sweating from the spicy heat.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Just made a Zuppa Toscana. Holly just loved it, and I will say it was very tasty. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know. Mine is better than Olive Garden's! I'll bet you think so too.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

me me me

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Okay, you asked for it!
Zuppa Toscana
1 lb Italian sausage may sub. Turkey sausage
2-3 cups russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 heaping tbs prepared
2-4 cups kale or 2-4 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth or preferred other
3 cups water
2 cup half&half
1 tbs flour
Using bacon drippings or butter cook onions adding flour
Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
Brown sausage in your soup pot.
Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
Place potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
Add bacon or sub. Vegan bacon bits
Salt and pepper to taste.add half&half
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Turn to low heat.
Add kale
Heat through and serve.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

yum! the creamy base is a surprise, I had to look again when I saw 'flour'

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

When I told Holly I was making Zuppa, she said, she wasn't fond of watery soups. I told her mine isn't. I did modify the recipe a bit, because I don't like watery either, unless it's sweet and sour.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

One thing I struggle with, on soups, is how much pasta or rice to put in, given varying amounts of broth, since I put the pasta etc in later. and I don't want to add water at the end, if I overdo the pasta. I'm afraid that would end up tasting flat.

Boneless country ribs, cornbread, sweet potato casserole, coleslaw. Mark's been away for work two weeks and is really looking forward to being home for dinner. Meanwhile, of course, I've been home without my 'restaurant buddy' , working my new schedule, and wish I could go out ROFL.

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Sally, d I d you get the country ribs from Aldi's? I got some yesterday and am having them today, doing them in the slow cooker.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Actually, Robin, these were at Shopper's. I have stew beef from Aldi for another night though, and I've been happy with their meat quality at Aldi.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I made chicken stir-fry last night. I still had fresh veggies left from making trays for parties to use up. All I really added were some snow peas to finish. I also made a Thai purple sticky rice, it was interesting to say the least. I browned it a bit in coconut oil with garlic,salt,pepper, and ginger then transferred it to the steamer with leftover chicken broth. After an hour it still looked like soup so I put it back in a pan on the stove and simmered it for 10-15 mins, suddenly done. I'm thinking the steamer just didn't get hot enough? I thought it was yummy, Holly said it was different and looked like caviar. I think it was the appearance as much as the taste. LOL Gotta' do some chores, back later.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I like Aldi too! I just never go there enough. Though somewhat limited on selection they have unusual things. The market I have begun to frequent in Freeport, Bahamas is much the same. The only difference is their stock is greatly increased when literally, their ship come in. LOL I also found an open market for watermen and local produce.
Sally when I make soups I find making a good rue or savory broth first, makes all the difference. In measuring pasta or rice use the potato rule to figure it out. the example being: if making a quart of soup you would want 2 cups of potatoes, 1 cup of rice = 2 cups of rice, in pasta the ratio is about 1 1/2 cups of pasta will equal 2 cups of potato. Adding cream or half and half just before you finish simmering is better in most cases to make more liquid rather than watering it down.
I do the same for meats, I plan by portion, I like to have 1/4# of prepared meat per person (about the size of a deck of cards). So I almost always start with 1/2# per serving to start. Large bone-in meats may require an extra portion to compensate.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Many of the soups I make are more like stew that is best eaten with a spoon,chunky and thick. One of the reasons mine go watery is that Wayne likes to fish out the veggies and meat and leave the liquid! No matter how mant carrots I add initially after two days there will only be a very few remaining while the chunks of celery are still abundant! Seems I also use more onions and garlic than 'called for' and throw in various leftovers . Cans of condensed Cream of Mushroom soup are often added or that savory broth started with Lipton dried Onion Soup. Mashed potatoes or mashed beans can thicken things up without changing flavors much.

Today Real Liver and Onions! from entirely grass fed beef with no additives, hormones or antibiotics. Hope we enjoy it like I used to...sweet potatoes and green beans...

Ric, if you were going to add a bean to your Zuppa, what bean would you add.?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks Ric

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Made a shepherd's pie yesterday after getting home from ice skating(that would be Jeff) on a lake with some friends. I was pushed out on the ice in a camp chair with my face to the sun. After 2 hours I was an ice pop. Actually it wasn't bad until it hit suddenly. The top of my back and my feet were the worst. Everyone else was fine, cuz they were active. Glad Jeff got to use his new skates. He was very happy!! There was about 5" of ice. He was balking about going, but with today's forecast of rain I kind of insisted he go.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

On a free, lazy day--you could make up a large amount of Stock--I think
chicken stock is more usable for different dishes. Brown them bones 1st--at 450*!!
Browning the bones of anything will deepen the flavor considerately.

Freeze the stock in qt. size zip baggies. Secret to having FLAT frozen baggies
that you can stand up like books in a library (:o) ) is to get all the air out of the baggie
after you fill it. And--then freeze them FLAT. Stand up later for space saving.

Anyway--if your soup turns out too thick--you can always add one baggie of the stock.
This way--it should not taste "watered out"...

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I love Aldis--and my daughter shops only there. The savings are considerable.
Their meats look awesome to me too--but I have never bought them-as I have
a freezer full of meats.

I want to show this to those of you who do not shop at Aldis.
I bought a good amount of foods, frozen and other stuff.

Excuse the list to impress you.

Panne Italian bread (awesome--BIG, flat crispy white bread...YUM!
A French baguette; a qt, of 1/2&1/2; Bag of shredded sharp chedar;
5lbs. red potatoes; 4lb, bag of Fuji apples; I gal. od Apple Cider;
32oz of coffee creamer; A bag of 6 lemons--the biggest I have ever seen!;
A butternut squash; 2lb. bag of green grapes; 3-frozen, 12" pizzas;
5lb. bag of flour; and a 4lb. bag of sugar;
The total for all this was $39.99.

You gotta buy this big, round loaf of bread! Cost $3.75.
It is like REAL country white bread! It is not in the aisles--it is on a walk-around
square display with breads and rolls and doughnuts and sweets by the "last Chance"
frozen food display.Toast it a bit and slather it with butter--Good!!!!

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Now--for any of you IF you cook pork country style ribs--PLEASE try this
recipe. It is SOOOO good! We may have discussed this a year back--
as speedie actually made it. I think someone else did too.


Here is the recipe:

(from Betty Cocker's “New Picture COOK BOOK”--1st edition—1961)

1--Place 3 lbs. of spare, or loin, ribs cut in serving-size pieces,
on a rack in a shallow baking pan big enough to hold all in single layer.
Can be bone in—or boneless. Do NOT cover. Do NOT add water.
***( (They usually come already sliced.)***

2—On each piece, place a lemon slice—rind on. (see note below)..

3—Sprinkle ½ to 1cup of chopped onion over all. (see note below)

4—Bake in oven at 450 degrees (hot) about 30 minutes.

5—Pour or spoon “Texas Barbeque Sauce” (see recipe below) over ribs.

6—Reduce heat to 350 degrees (mod.) and continue baking for 1 ½ to 2 hrs.

----Baste with sauce/drippings every 15 minutes. If sauce thickens-
add a little hot water to pan.
--- To prevent excessive browning,cover pan with foil the last 30 min. of baking.
(Makes 3-4 servings).

In a med. Sauce pan, mix the following:

2 Tbs. Brown sugar, 1 Tbs. Paprika, 1tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Dry Mustard,
¼ tsp. Chili Powder, 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper, 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce,
¼ cup white Vinegar, 1 cup Tomato juice, ¼ cup Catsup, and ½ cup water.

Mix all of the above until blended and simmer for 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Stir now and then to prevent sticking.

1—Slice lemon thinly and cut slices in half to cover meat better--(remove seeds).
Don't skimp-use as many slices as you like. When baked and basted—
the lemon ads an amazing “zing” to everything.
2—I use more than ½ cup of chopped/diced onion. It caramelizes and tastes yummy.
3—For racks—I use any kind of rack you can fit into your pan. The thing here is
that the meat does not sit in the fatty juices-just gets basted by them.
4- Make more of the TX. BQ Sauce and freeze it in small bowls. It is a pain to
have to mix and simmer all these spices each time you make this dish.

Enjoy!!! Gita


I cannot tell you how decadent this tastes!! The lemon slices with all the sauce
and browning add an amazing flavor tot he dish.
Don't pick them off! Eat every one of the lemon slices!
I have always used the long, bone-in ribs for this, but you can do boneless.
I just think bone adds a depth of flavor to this.

Let me know if you made it and how it was. Thanks, G.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks Gita.

Until I get my stock made- Cooks Illustrated rated some chicken stocks and said the chicken ' stock' made with Better Than Bouillon was a better value than any boxed or canned stock.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--not familiar with Better Than Bouillon Sounds like any of those
sou starters and powdered flavorizers. Check the sodium content!
It is like 1000mg for a Tbs. of the powder. i do not deal with that.
Gotta think ahead for when YOU are older. Cannot keep eating all this sodium!

Making my own--i may add a couple bullion cubes to the stock/broth
but that it all. However--this would go into a gallon or more pot.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Better than Bouillon is a paste , like a soup base, it is high in sodium so Cooks Illustrated suggests halving the called for rate, and they say its still a good taste and good deal.

Gita, next week, I'll see if Amish Market sells chicken bones like RIchardsons does. If they don't I might ask you to get me some at Richardsons.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

You talking about the bag of breast bones i once gave you?
I think they cost a bit more now...used to be $1.50.
They always have chicken necks by the bag--of big case.
Crabbers buy those...not much meat on them for flavor...

I know I have some recipes for "best" stock. I think some of them say to
cook the WHOLE chicken. (let me check if I have it somewhere..)
Also--do not peel the onions--just 1/4 them. Adds a nice color...

Looking through my 3" binder....
Darius says in one recipe that she never adds Celery to stock, because it "kills the flavor'.
Must remember that...
She also noted that organic, free range chickens make a huge difference in taste.
So--buy a whole, small chicken and use that...as you noted.

I scanned in a recipe for Basic Meat Stock. Could not find one for Chicken.
I have stacks and stacks of cut out recipes....wouldn't know where to look.

I scanned in the Meat Stock recipe--but could not attach it as it is not in JPG.

Gonna take a picture of it now....hope my hand is steady....:o

OK--I think it is readable...This is from the "Old Farmer's Almanac"--2009


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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks, you did good with the picture. I'll save that for a lazy free day....

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

When I use to buy 40# cases of whole breast, (Before the empty nest). I would filet all of them and remove the skin and most of the fat. After freezing the tenders and breast I would then I would bring out my stock pot.and cook the whole mess, bones fat, and skin, with seasonings. If I left it cool enough I could skim almost all the fat off the top. Then I separated all the bones and skin out, leaving any meat (there was a good bit) in the stock. I would freeze it in flat gallon bags.It was just the best. I actually miss having it on hand.
Necks would make an good stock, cooked whole. They don't have much fat for flavor but do have a lot of cartilage to thicken the stock, (osteo health). You can easily scape a good bit of meat from them after slow cooking.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Made this creamy tortellini soup with chicken and spinach tonight. HOLY MOLY!!!!!! It is great. Next time I will adjust the salt. A little salty. I also did not use sausage tortellini , but cheese. The cinnamon added a certain something. Like all recipes...make it your own.


This message was edited Jan 19, 2015 7:52 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

adding that soup to my list to do, thanks Jan

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

This looks good- chicken meatballs with teriyaki sauce

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Those meatballs do look good.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

We went to a friend's surprise 40th birthday party at a winery over the weekend. They served hot flaky crusty bread with aged cheddar cheese, apples, prosciutto, and some kind of crab artichoke dip. It was so simple, but oh so good. I've been craving it since then and actually recreated it for dinner last night. The french bread loaves that I got at the grocery store didn't compare, but everything else was spot on. I also heated up some brie and added apricot preserves. Craving satisfied LOL.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


At Christmas (in NJ), one of my nieces brought a Brie ring from "Trader Joes".
It was SOOO good--b/c it had mushrooms in it. Yummmmy!

Also--IF you have an Aldis around--they have this amazing, 14" round loaf of bread
that is as close to country you can want. Very, very good! Crusty and tasty.
I have a picture of it: Please try it.
Sometimes it comes sliced--sometimes not.

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