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Recipe repost: Mom’s Tuna Casserole

Reposted from http://eatineatout.ca/easyrecipe-print/2905-0/ .

Moms-Tuna-Casserole_2Serves: Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 284 mL can condensed cream soup – mushroom, chicken, celery, broccoli
  • 1 170 g can flaked light tuna
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp EACH salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, just to al dente.
  3. In a bowl mix cooked pasta, soup, tuna, milk, onion, ½ cup cheese and spices. Pour mixture into a greased 1.5 qt. casserole dish and sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese on top.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling.
OPTIONAL: add up to 1 cup blanched broccoli or baby spinach

Repost: Sweet potato hash brown egg cups

Reposted from http://www.today.com/recipes/sweet-potato-hash-brown-egg-cups-recipe-t106986

sweet-potato-hash-brown-egg-cups

COOK TIME: 30 minutes
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 12

Eggs and hash browns go together like, well, eggs and hash browns! But eating them in a muffin-form makes them even better. I love to top mine with avocado and a drizzle of hot sauce. This is a great recipe to make on a Sunday morning because if you have leftovers, they are the perfect breakfast on-the-go for later in the week.

Technique tip: Squeezing the grated potatoes in a paper towel before baking them will remove excess water and make for a crispier hash brown shell.

Swap option: You can definitely stick to one potato or the other, depending on your preference. I like to add one russet potato to the sweet potatoes because I feel like it creates a crispier hash brown. You can also experiment by adding veggies or cheese before placing the eggs on top.

Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 small onion, finely diced
    • 3 cups sweet potato tater tots (defrosted)
    • 1 cup regular potato tater tots (defrosted)
    • 12 eggs
    • Cooking spray
    • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the tater tots, season with salt and pepper and sauté for roughly 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break them up while they cook so they resemble hash browns. Set aside.

3. Line a few paper towels in a large colander. Place hash brown mixture into the paper towel. Wrap up the potatoes with the paper towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Then place in a large bowl.

4. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Take a few tablespoons of the hash brown mixture and place in each cup, using fingers or a rubber spatula to push the potatoes into the bottoms and up the sides of the cup, creating a tight nest. Spray once more with cooking spray.

5. Place hash browns into oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

6. Crack one egg into each cup. Season tops with salt and pepper. Place back in oven and cook for another 15 minutes, until whites of eggs have set (you can cook for longer if you prefer a firmer yolk).

Recipe: Beinarian Slatkos with Kara, Kelan, or Nanla Filling

Created for The Great Succession Crisis and appearing in the 2nd Edition  (recipe was deleted for the Third Edition; both editions are available in paperback), slatkos are a fusion of breakfast pastry with Italian cannolis and filled with approximations of Beinarian kara, kelan, or nanli fruits.

slatkos

Beinarian Slatkos with Kara, Kelan, or Nanla Filling

Created by Laurel A. Rockefeller; Kristeen Shuga and Alayna Hoglund of “What’s the Occasion” bakery.

 

Beinarian slatkos are buttery baked pastry filled with fruit fillings popular across Beinan at formal events and sometimes for breakfast.  Slatkos made be filled with any number of fruits and/or nuts from across the planet.  While kara, kelan, nanla, and other Beinarian trees cannot grow here, their flavors can be closely replicated as demonstrated in this easy recipe.  It works best when stainless steel cannoli forms are put in the middle while baking; without the forms, each slatko bakes completely flat, greatly reducing the amount of filling and requiring the scooping out of some of the bread in the middle.

 

Pastry Puff Shells

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold butter, divided

¼ cup ice water

1 ½ teaspoons water

2 tablespoons beaten egg

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in ¼ cup butter until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a ball forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch x 6 inch rectangle.

 

  1. Cut remaining butter into thin slices. Starting at a short side of dough, arrange half of the thin butter slices over two-thirds of rectangle to within ½ inch of edges. Fold unbuttered third of dough over middle third. Fold remaining third over the middle, forming a 6 inch x 4 inch rectangle. Roll dough into a 12 inch x 6 inch rectangle.

 

  1. Repeat steps of butter layering and dough folding until all the butter is incorporated into the dough, ending with a 6 inch x 4 inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll dough into a 12 inch x 6 inch rectangle once more. Fold in half lengthwise and then width-wise. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine egg and water. Roll dough into a 12 inch square; cut into four squares. Brush with half of the egg mixture. Place squares onto cookie sheet and grab the two opposite corners and connect them over a stainless steel cannoli form.

 

  1. Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool until warm but not burning hot. Gently slide cannoli form out.  Cool completely.  Fill as directed below.

Substitution: baked shell dough may be substituted with crescent roll or turnover dough located in your local grocery store. Of the “crescent” dough options available in the supermarket, we prefer the new Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet which is uncut crescent bread dough. To use pre-purchased dough, simply unroll, separate (or cut to size if using the dough sheet), bring the corners together over each cannoli form, seal, bake, and fill.  For the flakiest shells, use turnover dough or Grands biscuit dough rolled/pressed out to size.

 

Fillings:

1 ½ cups berries or chopped fruit

¼ cup sugar (if the fruit is tart or slightly unripe)

3 tablespoons cornstarch diluted in enough COLD water to dissolve it.

 

  1. Puree with blender or mash thoroughly to a smooth to slightly lumpy consistency. Push through a sieve if you want to remove the seeds. Put puree in a pot on medium heat on the stovetop; add sugar and starch liquid; stir constantly. Bring to a boil until well thickened. Cool completely. This will become very thick and tastes very fresh.

 

  1. Once cooled, place some filling into either pastry bag or a sandwich bag. Cut hole into bag and squeeze slightly into pastry to pipe in the filling. Alternatively, a small spoon can be used to carefully fill each slatko shell. It is easier if you fill half on one side and half on the other as well.

 

Beinarian fillings:

 

Kara fruit filling

¾ cup blackberries (approximately 1 6 oz. container)

¾ cup blueberries (just under ½ of a standard pint container)

 

Kelan fruit filling

¾ cup blackberries (approximately 1 6 oz. container)

¾ cup lingonberries (approximately ¼ to ⅓ pound)

 

Nanla fruit filling

1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small but not fine chunks

¾ cup kiwi fruit (about 1 to 2 fruit, depending on size), peeled and chopped

 

Nanla fruit filling should be coarser than most slatko fillings; do not puree completely smooth.

 

Toppings:

 

After baking and filling, the tubes may be doused with powdered sugar, sprinkles, iced at the ends, or just left plain.

Repost: Beer and Cheese Pasta Sauce

When I was studying at the University of Nebraska there was one IT restaurant in town that was so popular you usually had to wait a very long time to get in.  It was called Spaghetti Works and it seriously had the best pasta and best pasta sauces I’ve ever tasted in my life — and an all you can eat salad bar with most meals that made sure you were getting a very healthy lunch or dinner.

In recent years Spaghetti Works fell out of favour in Lincoln (though on my last and final visit to Nebraska the one in the Old Market of Omaha was still going strong) and the Lincoln location closed.  But its “beer and cheese” pasta sauce is/was still to die for.

I am so happy then to find a recipe for it and am sharing it now with you. Bon Appetit!

beer-cheese-sauce

Spaghetti Works Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce

8 oz. jar Cheez Whiz (I know- Cheez Whiz… but it worked well)
8 oz. Whole Milk (now’s not the time to be thinking low fat or skim)
8 oz. flat beer (I used a decent pale ale but you probably don’t want anything too hoppy or too strongly flavored also it was not flat but that only contributed a little bit of extra foaming which subsided)
8 oz. Beef Broth
5 Tbs flour
5 Tbs butter
Optional-Real bacon bits or crisp crumbled bacon

Heat Cheez Whiz, milk, beer, & beef broth to 140 degs. stirring constantly.
Melt butter in sauce pan & add flour, stir until blended, cook 2 minutes but do not brown.
Stir the roux into the the cheese mixture and heat to 160 degs. stirring constantly.
Remove from heat & add bacon bits if desired.
Serve over spaghetti or favorite pasta.

Purim Celebrations for Gentiles

Originally posted February 28th, 2012

 

Hamantaschen are delicious cookies traditionally eaten at Purim.

The Jewish Holiday of Purim is a festive, often raucous holiday filled with gaiety, great food, and parties. Yet for the gentile, this holiday is often a bit of a conundrum, even though many gentiles know the essential story behind Purim from the Biblical book of Esther.

Purim is a spring holiday, typically celebrated in March, celebrating Jewish survival in the face of genocide. The word Purim means “lots” and is a reference to the lots drawn by Persian courtier Haman to decide the date of Jewish annihilation. The story itself is told in full in the Biblical book of Esther, the name of a very brave Jewish young woman who, according to the story, was chosen as the new queen of King Ahasuerus (assumed to be Xerxes I of Persia) after his previous queen refused to come to a banquet thrown by Xerxes for several nobles. Queen Vashti’s refusal was probably understandable; the summons came while Xerxes was drunk. Regardless the historical details, if any, Esther’s ascent puts her in a rare position, able to influence the king in a time of crisis. After Haman tricks Xerxes into genocidal slaughter of all the Jews in his realm, Esther skillfully uses Xerxes interest in her to amend the new law-allowing Jews to defend themselves. It is her courage and intelligence (and the ultimate victory by the Jews made in self defense) that is celebrated at Purim-one woman who stopped genocide.

Orthodox Jews celebrate Purim with readings of the entire book of Esther in temple. During the readings, it is customary to shout or make noise whenever the name of Haman is read. Children dress up in costumes (making some describe it as a sort of Jewish Halloween). Adults drink-the much debated standard is “until they can no longer distinguish between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordecai,'” (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Purim/At_Home/Meal/Drinking_on_Purim.shtml).

These are the parts of Purim that are more or less the real domain of Judaism. Yet it is the other half of Purim that I believe gentiles can robustly embrace and which I keep every spring as a gentile:

  • Charitable giving: giving to those who have less than you do. This part of Purim reminds us that no matter how hard life is or how much we may lack, there is ALWAYS someone who has even greater life challenges-economically and otherwise. Purim reminds us to “count our blessings.”
  • Giving food gifts: certain Jewish foods like hamentaschen cookies are traditional, but any food gift will work. This is related in part with charitable giving; there is always someone we know struggling to have enough to eat.
  • Feasting/enjoying a special Purim meal: this is a merry holiday–of course we celebrate with food.

Purim is more than simply a celebration honoring the courage of a Jewish heroine. The holiday has evolved into a time for charity, food, and humble thankfulness for the blessings each of us receive and too often take for granted. No matter your religious or cultural heritage, each of us can celebrate this very Jewish holiday and its spirit of helping others.

For more about Purim, please see http://www.meirpanim.org/page_e.php?name=Purim andhttp://purim.123holiday.net/purim_customes.html and http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Purim/At_Home/Foods.shtml.

 

 

A nice recipe for hamantaschen is at http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article_cdo/aid/1366/jewish/Traditional-Hamantashen.htm

Chamomile and Ginger: Two Herbs You Need to Consume More Of

Originally posted May 15th, 2012, this is a short introduction to chamomile and ginger, two herbs that are very powerful for healing and for coping with allergies in particular.

 

Chamomile and Ginger: Two Herbs You Need to Consume More Of

We all have herbs and spices in our cupboards. Whether it’s to season a favorite dish or to brew as our favorite tea, herbs and spices make our lives better.

Two of the most common herbs in our pantries are also the most useful-particularly for digestive problems: ginger and chamomile.

Ginger. Used extensively in Asian cuisine and Chinese medicine, ginger is a natural anti-histamine, particularly for food allergies-without the side effects of other antihistamines. Especially good for stomach issues like nausea, ginger is also one of your best lines of defense against colds and flues. Best yet, ginger does not put you to sleep like many OTC anti-histamines.

Two of the best ways to take ginger are 1) slice fresh ginger root thinly and float in a clear soda like sprite or ginger-ale and 2) eat candied ginger. Candied ginger is widely available in Asian grocery stores and Asian herbal stores or you can make it at home. A good recipe is athttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/candied-ginger-recipe/index.html.Nuts.com also has a good candied ginger at http://nuts.com/driedfruit/crystallized-ginger/premium.html?gclid=CJPT_cmw7q8CFUdN4AodpRB51A.

Chamomile. Most of us have enjoyed a cup of chamomile tea to help us fall asleep. But chamomile is much more than just a sleep aid. It helps with a wide range of digestive issues like indigestion, stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. I’ve found chamomile to be helpful in relieving the extreme pain I experience from food allergies. It won’t stop the anaphylaxis, but it absolutely mitigates much of the discomfort while you wait for the allergen to pass out of your system, making it a powerful partner for ginger in helping with food allergies. A noted sleep aid, chamomile is one of your best and most natural remedies for insomnia. Read these and more uses athttp://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbChamomileMed.htm.

Want a great tea? Try mixing chamomile with green tea or with English (culinary) lavender for a double dose of health. With single cup infusers (my favorite infuser is the Smart Tea Maker from Enjoying Tea http://www.enjoyingtea.com/smartteamaker.html) mix 1 tsp loose green tea with 1 tsp loose chamomile and 1 tsp English lavender, add hot water, and brew for 4 ½ to 5 minutes. The lavender will add to chamomile’s headache relief so be sure to add it if you suffer from migraines for natural relief.

Mulling Over Wine: Three Favorite Recipes for Your Happy Holidays

Written December 12, 2012, this set of recipes for mulled wines is especially great for warming a cold winter’s day and for bringing holiday cheer.  But why wait until November to enjoy a delicious cup of wine?

 

Mulling Over Wine: Three Favorite Recipes for Your Happy Holidays

Classic Medieval Beverage Stands the Test of Time

 The holidays are here…along with the darkness of winter, biting cold winter storms, and frozen toes. It’s also a time of year when we look back on the year that was as we welcome a new year. In December, we celebrate Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, and Kwanza, typically in that order. It’s a festive time focused on spending time with family and friends; the gifts we might exchange are secondary, contrary to what a plethora of TV advertisements may tell us.For centuries, a critical part of spreading that holiday cheer has been a cup of warmed, spiced wine. Typically red, it can also be white, depending on personal preferences, and infused with any number of fragrant herbs and spices.

For me, three recipes really stand out among all the many mulled wine recipes you can find. The first recipe is medieval. It’s an example from 1660 with doubtless origins stretching back several centuries before it was written down. Unlike most recipes you’ll find on the web, this medieval recipe adds cream to the mix, something I don’t see very often, but really adds to the flavor of the wine. Second, it’s written for a large gathering — an entire GALLON of (red) wine. This makes it perfect for serving at historical re-enactments where typically at least 40 people are sitting at feast at any given time. Not hosting a yuletide event? No problem…just serve it at whatever festive gatherings you choose to host. I can tell you from experience that few things make you feel warmer or happier coming in from a brutal storm than a nice cup of hot or warm mulled wine. For parties, I suggest using a crock pot to prepare and serve the medieval recipe. Your guests will thank you for serving the wine at just the right temperature to drink right away!

The second recipe is a favorite of mine because of all the extra information I found along with it. But it’s also just a really nice, flavorful mulled wine choice. This version calls for three full liters of red wine; I usually make 1/4th of a recipe (one regular 750 ml bottle). It features cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for a very classic taste that is palatable to almost anyone who enjoys red wine. Choose your favorite budget priced vintage for this one; the cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg add so much flavor that you don’t really need anything more pricy than $18 per bottle!

The final recipe, for mulled riesling, is my all time favorite. Like many people, I prefer lighter flavors; the tannins in reds just don’t agree with me as well as the lighter blushes and white wines do. For many people, white wines are also better tolerated, especially if a person takes prescription medications on a regular basis. But more than that, I love the combination of rosemary, honey, and lemon with riesling. Riesling is a very flavorful, light wine to begin with. Those flavors really come alive when you add rosemary, honey, and lemon to them. For someone with a refined palate especially, the combination is just spectacular! I love the nuances you get with this third and final recipe.
Medieval Recipe:

“1 gallon wine
3oz cinnamon
2oz ginger, sliced
1/4oz cloves
1oz mace
20 peppercorns
1oz nutmeg
3lb sugar
2qt cream

“Take a gallon of wine, three ounces of cinamon, two ounces of slic’t ginger, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, an ounce of mace, twenty corns of pepper, an ounce of nutmegs, three pound of sugar, and two quarts of cream.”

In essence, mix all ingredients and heat slowly in a large pot. Serve warm. You can also let it ‘settle’ for a few days and serve it cool, depending on which way tastes better to you!”

Anything Wine’s Recipe:
3 Liters red wine (we use Merlot) but you can use something like a hearty burgundy also

· 8 sticks of cinnamon

· 32 cloves

· 3 cups sugar

· 1 cup lemon juice

· 1Tbs nutmeg

· 3 cups water

“Combine all of the above in a pot and bring to a low boil with the cover on. I put the nutmeg and cloves in a small bag for easy removal and strain out the cinnamon sticks with a spoon. Boil for ten minutes.”

Let stand overnight and then take out the spices. Serve warm!

 

Riesling Rosemary Mulled Wine1/2c water
1/2c sugar
2 Tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup honey
2 lemons
2 bottles riesling white wine

Simmer (but not boil) the water, sugar, rosemary, and honey for 10 minutes. Add in the wine . Peel the lemons and add in the peels. Let sit for a length of time to seep in the flavors, without boiling. Strain out the larger bits and serve warm.
No matter what your mulled wine indulgence is, these three recipes are absolutely certain to please. Whether your interest is in making a historically accurate beverage, a family favorite traditional mulled red wine, or in the delicate flavors of the mulled riesling, there is something for everyone with these mulled wine choices.As the weather grows colder yet and the snow falls once more, try a cup of warmed mulled wine at your next holiday party or celebration. Long before egg nog (an American invention), the holidays were filled with generous cups of hot/warm mulled wine. Discover the tradition and you’ll know why it’s been the beverage of holiday cheer for over one thousand years!