Monday, March 30, 2009

Easy Hamburger Stroganoff

I vividly remember my mom talking to someone after church one Sunday and the discussion was about what you could make for supper with hamburger, mushrooms and sour cream. The answer was Hamburger Stroganoff. This is a super easy, fairly quick recipe, and it was perfect for our dinner tonight. Hamburger Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can mushrooms, undrained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
Cooked rice or pasta

Brown the meat with the onions. Stir in the mushrooms, soup and sour cream. Heat through but don't boil (or the sour cream will curdle). Serve over rice or noodles.

To make this even easier and faster I just pull a packet of cooked "wheat/meat" from the freezer and then mix everything together. To make it not easier and faster, you can make your own beef gravy (instead of the soup) and use fresh mushrooms. And to make it really good, use top sirloin instead of hamburger.

Updated August 2009: 
Michelle decided she wanted to do some cooking before school started again. (I suspect it's a Personal Progress requirement, but that's okay with me!) Her first pick was Easy Hamburger Stroganoff. And it is easy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad

For many years my parents lived in a town (Owego, New York) that had an annual strawberry festival. They picked up this recipe one year and shared it with us during a summer visit. Michelle always requests it during strawberry season, so we had it this week. Maybe you'll enjoy it too!

Strawberry Spinach Salad


½ cup oil
¼ cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Serve over green spinach and sliced strawberries.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prize Winning Chili

Cooked in a Dutch oven, this is the recipe that won a Chili Cook-Off in 2005. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine, but we've adapted it to our tastes.
Meaty Mushroom Chili
1 pound Italian sausage (cubed or ground)
1 pound beef (cubed or ground)
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can (46 oz) V8 or tomato juice
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cans (16 oz) kidney beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook sausage, beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for one hour. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese if desired. Serves 8.
10/22/2015 Notes: Wayne used 1 pound kielbasa and 2 pounds top round steak and added an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. He prepared it in the Dutch oven, and will use the crock pot to reheat it for dinner tomorrow. Next time, if using the additional meat, add another can or two of kidney beans.

10/28/2016 Notes: Used 1 pound bulk sausage and 2 pounds stew meat (from Costco), along with the extra salt, cayenne and two cans of beans.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Garlic Chicken Pizza

Garlic Chicken Pizza

1 pizza crust (see recipe below)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 cup cooked, diced chicken
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
1 cup grated mozarella cheese

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and garlic together. Spread on pizza crust. Top with chicken, vegetables, and cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

Robbyn's Garlic Pizza Crust

2 cups tepid water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
6 cups flour

Let the yeast soften in the water. Then stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Let rise until doubled (you can skip this step if you're in a hurry, and you don't mind a chewier crust). Roll out and top with desired toppings. Enough for 2 large pizzas or about 12 individual ones.
Here's a version with mushrooms, olives, hot dogs slices, and red peppers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Great Sushi Experiment

Wayne loves sushi. Michelle loves sushi. No one else does. They decided going to get some would make a great daddy-daughter date. Then they decided they would try making it themselves. So they did!

First, cook the rice. Combine 1 cup of short-grained rice and 2 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil on the stove. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Put the rice into a plastic bowl and gently toss with "Sushi Vinegar" (1/3 cup rice or white vinegar mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon salt - stir until it's all dissolved).

Now it's time to have some fun. Place a sheet of dried seaweed on some plastic wrap. Top with about a cup of the rice and roll it out. (Cover your rolling pin with plastic wrap as well.)
Decide what you want in the middle. (They chose imitation crab, shrimp, pickled vegetables and avocado.) Carefully roll it up (peeling back the plastic wrap) and slice into 8-10 pieces.
Dip into soy sauce and enjoy! (Neither one is a fan of wasabi, so they skipped that part.) And I actually tried one and liked it. Maybe making them at home is the secret!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Veggie Burger #2

In trying to come up with "how to use the oats in your pantry" ideas that weren't breakfast-y, I discovered that you can use oats in veggie burgers. So, this was my first experience making some. Here's the recipe I used:

Oat Veggie Burgers
2/3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (or any nut)
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup water

Mix the ingredients together (in a food processor works best) and season to taste (with garlic, salt and pepper). Shape into 6 burgers and fry until brown.

The food processor was an indispensable tool - first for grating the carrots. Then for chopping the other vegetables.(Note to self: it's not a smart idea to stick your hand in a bowl that has sharp edges exposed. Add food a little at a time through the feeder chute.) The mixture looked way too liquid-y (maybe my carrots, onion and celery stalks were larger than normal), so I added twice the amount of oats and omitted the water.

Because of the bandaid on my finger, I didn't feel like forming patties, so I tried two different methods to cook them, and both worked. One was to ladle a spoonful into the frying pan (using a dab of flavored olive oil to keep it from sticking - Yum!), flattening it a bit into a circle, and frying it like a regular burger. The other method was to place all of the "dough" on a greased cookie sheet and spread it out into a large rectangle about 1/2" thick (drizzling it with the yummy olive oil). Then bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan and, using a pizza cutter, cut it into 3" squares, flip them over, and return them to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. That worked also.
We decided that barbecue sauce was the perfect condiment. The two independent comments(child #1 ate while child #2 was at play practice, and then child #1 took a nap while child #2 ate) from the teenage taste-testers were, "That was interesting. I'd eat that without complaining if that's all the choice I had." High praise indeed!

Veggie Burger #1

I was told I can't call these veggie burgers because they weren't served between two halves of a bun! This recipe reminds me of zucchini pancakes. The "nuggets" tasted great with a dollop of salsa on top.
Oat Nuggets
2 cups oats
1 onion, minced
½ cup cheese, grated
½ teaspoon parsley
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
paprika, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
Cover oats with milk and soak. Add other ingredients, except eggs, and set aside for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Stir in eggs. Pour by the spoonful onto a hot, oiled pan and cook on both sides.

Wonderful Wendy's Cookies

Wonderful Wendy's Cookies (otherwise known as Mrs. Field's Cookies but I got the recipe from my wonderful friend Wendy)
1 cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 ½ cups oatmeal, powderized in blender ***
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips
1 ½ cups chopped nuts
½ cup finely grated milk chocolate

Cream together butter and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolates and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.
*** This is what's so neat about this recipe! Take your regular oats and put them in a food processor or blender.Give it a quick whirl and you've disguised the oats enough so that your children don't realize they're eating oatmeal cookies!
Do the same thing with either chocolate bars or milk chocolate chips and you get yummy chocolate flavor in every bite!

Oat Mix #2 - Unsweetened

Rolled Oats Master Mix

4 cups flour
4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 ½ cups nonfat dry milk powder
¼ cup baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups shortening

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Makes 10 cups.

To prepare Oat Muffins: Combine 2 1/4 cups Rolled Oats Master Mix, 1/2 cup. raisins or other dried fruit or chopped nuts (optional), 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2/3 cup. water, and 1 egg. Stir just to moisten. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake in preheated 425° oven for 20 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

To prepare Oat-Raisin Cookies: Beat 1 egg, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir in 2 1/2 cups Rolled Oats Master Mix, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 cup. raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 375° oven 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 24 cookies.

To prepare Buttered Oat Bread Sticks: Melt 1/3 cup butter in a 9x13" baking pan in a 450° preheating oven. Combine 2 cups Rolled Oats Master Mix and 1/2 cup water, mixing lightly with fork. Roll out on lightly floured surface to form 10-by-6-inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half in six crosswise strips. Using fork, dip each strip in butter, coating both sides; leave strips in pan. Arrange evenly and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

To prepare Oat Pancakes: Combine 1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats Master Mix, 1 egg, and 1 cup water. Bake on greased hot griddle or in skillet until browned on both sides and done in middle. Makes 12 servings.

Oat Mix #1 - Sweetened

Versatile Oat Mix

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups shortening
3 cups quick-cooking oats

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in oats. Store in airtight containers in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Yield: 9 cups

To prepare pancakes: Combine 1-1/2 cups oat mix, 1 egg and 1 cup water in a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 10 pancakes.

To prepare muffins: Combine 3 cups oat mix, 1 egg and 2/3 cup milk in bowl. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

To prepare peach crisp: Combine 2 cups oat mix and ¼ cup brown sugar in bowl; mix well. Pat 1-1/4 cups into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Spread with a 21-ounce can of peach pie filling. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping if desired.

Granola Bars #2

No-Bake Granola Bars
(or Glorified Rice Krispy Treats)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 ½ cups rolled oats

2 ¼ cups crisp rice cereal
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup coconut
½ cup crushed peanuts
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Melt oil and butter together. Stir in marshmallows until melted. Add remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and press them in. Cool before cutting.

Granola Bars #1

Best Chewy Granola Bars

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups quick oats
1 ¼ cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, etc.

Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla, honey and egg. Mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add to creamed mix. Stir in oats, nuts and cereal. Add any extras. Press firmly into greased 9x13 pan.Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Chocolate Oatmeal

Chocolate Oatmeal

Combine 1/3 cup quick oats and 2-3 tablespoons Hot Chocolate Mix (see below) in a cereal bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup boiling water and let sit a couple of minutes. Top with mini chocolate chips (which I forgot for the picture) and whipped cream if desired.
Hot Chocolate Mix

2 cups dry milk powder
1 cup cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup powdered creamer
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. To make Hot Chocolate, add 3-4 tablespoons of the mix to a cup of hot water.

Instant Oatmeal Mix

Instant Oatmeal Mix

1/3 cup quick oats
2 tablespoons powdered oats**
up to 1 tablespoon white or brown sugar
dash salt
2 tablespoons dried fruit, optional
1 tablespoon dairy creamer, optional
½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional

Combine and store in airtight bag or container. To serve, pour in bowl and add 2/3 cup boiling water. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes.

**For directions on how to make powdered oats, see this post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tomato-Oat Soup

It's time for a series of recipes using oats. While preparing to teach the class, I searched for something more than just oatmeal, cookies or granola. This sounded intriguing and so I had to try it. I doubt my kids would consider it a "favorite" but I actually liked it and would make it again. And if we're ever down to only oatmeal and canned tomatoes in the pantry, I bet they'd eat it without complaining too!

Tomato Oat Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup rolled oats
5 large tomatoes, halved and sliced
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 cups water, divided
½ bunch fresh cilantro (We don't like cilantro so I substituted some dried parsley instead.)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
½ teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a deep skillet. Add the oats; cook and stir until toasted. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1 cup of water and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pour into the pan with the toasted oats. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Mix in the salt and chicken bouillon. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serves 4.


This recipe came from the LDS Church website on provident living (click on Recipes with Oats). It's a good one.

Granola Mix
Makes about 2 quarts

6 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients except raisins. Stir in and coat thoroughly with:
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Add raisins or other dried fruit and bake 5 more minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Recipes using Granola Mix:

Serve as is for a breakfast cold cereal, or gently cook it in milk to turn it into a hot cereal.

Layer with fresh fruit and yogurt.

Use as an “add-in” for muffins or quick breads.

Sprinkle on top of pudding or ice cream.

Add to fruit salad.

Mix with peanut butter and serve with apples or celery.

Ice Cream Squares

4 cups granola
¼ cup caramel or chocolate sauce
1 quart vanilla ice cream (can vary flavor)

Press half the granola into a 9” square pan. Drizzle with the caramel/chocolate topping. Spread the softened ice cream and top and sprinkle with the remaining granola. Cover and freeze 6 hours. Serve with additional sauce.

Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

We'll probably stick with our old favorite for Blueberry Oat Muffins, but I was looking for a recipe that used Quick Mix (or Bisquick) and this one fit the bill.
Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

2 medium bananas, mashed
¼ cup milk
2 eggs
2 ¾ cups Quick Mix
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup quick oats
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Blend mashed bananas, eggs and milk in a bowl. Stir in Quick Mix, sugar, and oats. Gently mix in blueberries. Pour into a greased 9x5” loaf pan. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes. Cool for 2 hours before slicing. (If I ever make this again, I'd cook it at a lower temperature. It was a bit dark on the outside and just a touch dough-y in the very center following these directions.)