Friday, February 28, 2014

Easy Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes were one of the meals we would often have on a Friday night.  It's a great way to use canned (or leftover salmon).
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
15 ounces canned salmon, drained or 1-1/2 cups cooked salmon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 cups crushed Ritz Crackers
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Creamy Dilly Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery; cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in parsley, let cool.
Place salmon in a medium bowl.  Flake apart with fork; remove any bones and skin.
Add egg and mustard and mix to combine.  Add the onion mixture, cracker crumbs and pepper and mix well.  Shape into six patties, about 1/3 cup each.
Add canola oil to skillet just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add patties and cook until the undersides are golden, to 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn over to brown other side.

Creamy Dill Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chopped dill pickle
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
Pepper to taste

Monday, February 24, 2014

French Onion Meatloaf

This recipe came about while I was searching for recipes using Ritz Crackers.  It's a version of the Elvis Presley meatloaf from Paula Deen's website.  This meatloaf contains NO egg, but sour cream instead.  I didn't have any sour cream but I did have some French Onion Dip - French Onion Meatloaf.  The cheese choice was simple -elements of French Onion Soup.
1 lb. 85% ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
4 oz. Swiss Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup prepared French Sour Cream Onion Dip
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash No-Salt Original Seasoning
1 cup Ritz crackers
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small food processor, combine Ritz crackers, garlic clove and crushed red pepper flakes.  Pulse to fine crumbs.  Add olive oil and pulse to combine.  In a small saute pan, add crumb mixture and cook over medium heat until crumbs are toasted and lightly brown; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, onion, swiss cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion dip and Mrs. Dash seasoning and crumb mixture and combine well. 

Bake 45 minutes to one hour.  During the last 15 minutes, top with glaze of your choice.

Makes 2 generous servings plus enough for a cold sandwich the next day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Apple Crepe Pancake

What could be better on a cold, snowy February morning than a warm apple pancake.  A light crepe smothered in caramelized apples with cinnamon and butter.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 apple (I used Granny Smith)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Melt butter in a 5-inch cast iron skillet over low heat.  While the butter melts, pour the milk into a 2-cup measuring cup.  Peel the apple, cut off the core and slice lengthwise into thin slices.  In a small bowl, toss the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon until well coated.

Pour half the melted butter into the milk and whisk well.  Add the apple slices and any loose sugar in the bowl to the hot butter in the skillet.  Cook the apple slices over medium-low heat, turning them a few times, until softened; the sugar and butter will get nicely browned and bubbly.

Remove the skillet from the heat.  Add the egg to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.  Add the flour and salt and whisk until smooth.  Pour the batter over the apples in the skillet.

Bake until the pancake puffs up and gets lightly golden on top, about 10 minutes.  Enjoy straight from the skillet or invert onto a serving plate.

Makes 1 generous serving.
Serve warm

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Skip the Mix - DIY Hot Chocolate

You have probably been making Hot Chocolate without a recipe for your entire life - for many, hot chocolate can mean dumping a few scoops of a mix into a mug, adding a few glugs of milk, and heating the whole thing in the microwave.

Hot Chocolate is like pancakes.  Both aren't hard to make from scratch, but most people use mixes and the end results suffer.

Think back to winter days when you played outside so long that the snow penetrated your boots, bulky leggings and even the woolen mittens clipped to your sleeves.  Nothing could cure that chill like hot chocolate.  You can probably recall the warmth of the steaming cup warming your hands.


2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
4 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chips or bar
5 oz. Dove Silky smooth Milk Chocolate
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Whipped cream and grated chocolate for garnish

1.  Heat milk and half and half in a saucepan over medium heat to just below the simmering point.

Chop chocolate into small pieces for easier melting.

2.  Remove the pan from the heat and add both types of chocolate.

3.  When chocolate has melted, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine.
4.  Reheat gently and serve immediately garnished with whipped cream and grated chocolate.

We've all had powdery hot cocoa - watery, with those occasional crunch of undissolved marshmallow clumps.  Still cocoa was - and still is the best thing to stir into a mug on a winter afternoon.

Booze it up with a teaspoon (or more) of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur or Frangelico, or "virgin", laced with cinnamon or peppermint or marshmallow topped, this recipe is guaranteed to produce wintry, chocolate bliss.

Sharing with Simple Supper Tuesday
Linking up with Baking in a Tornado - Brrrr Brigade

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Skillet Tuna & Noodles

When you get a craving for this classic American comfort food,  make this skillet version for an easy weeknight dinner. 

Everything is cooked and can even be served in a skillet!  I used my  Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup from my last post to make this even tastier.  It's perfect when you are cooking for two!
8 oz. Pennsylvania Dutch Hearty Homestyle Egg Noodles
3 cups water
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom or Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 (6-ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, bring water to a boil.  Add noodles and reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add vegetables, cook 5 minutes longer.

Stir in soup, tuna, milk and pepper.  Heat through
Let stand several minutes to thicken before serving.

~Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles

Monday, February 3, 2014

Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

Some of the best recipes we know and love call for condensed soup.  The famous green bean casserole, chicken pot pie - all the great casseroles we grew up with.  If you are not fond of using "cream of anything" soups, then this is a recipe for you.

This is simple recipe that takes no prep time at all, just a little simmering time.
Substitute this for all your recipes and make them come alive again!
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

10 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 cup half and half
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and saute over medium heat until onions soften and mushrooms begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes.  Add flour and mix well.  Cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth and half and half and simmer on low until soup is reduced to 2 cups and has thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Soup will thicken upon cooling.

Stores up to 1 week refrigerated.

Add contents of jar and 1/2 cup water or milk for any recipe calling for 1 can of soup!

This can also be made into cream of broccoli or celery soup by just swapping out ingredients!

Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

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