Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Condiment from the Heavens. Homemade Sweet & HOT Mustard.

Anything with the words Spicy, Sweet & Mustard, all in the same sentence, you immediately have my attention.

I will spread, dip, drench, and lather anything with this condiment from the heavens.

Plus, I can't believe I made it!  Seriously. 

My darling neighbor so gracefully shared this recipe with me, which she so eloquently calls "Food from the Gods".  She said she makes this in large batches during the Holiday's and gives it away as gifts.

Unlike the kind and giving person as my neighbor is, I too make this in large batches.  But I keep it for myself.  I'm very stingy with this heavenly condiment.

1 c. dry ground mustard
1 c. apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
Glass containers with tight fitting lid

I bought these darling little 250 ml Ball jars from Target.  They came in a 4-pack and this recipe will fill 3 of these jars 3/4 of the way full.

I guess if you were a nice person, you could keep one jar and give 2 of them away. 

I, on the other hand, am not a nice person when it comes to sharing this recipe.  I refuse to part with any of this delicious condiment.

Mix together well 1 c. dry mustard and 1 c. apple cider vinegar in a Tupperware container and let stand overnight.  As they say back East, "fuget about it".

24 hours later, beat 2 eggs and add 1 c. sugar in top of a double boiler.  Now don't worry.  I don't have a double boiler either. Honestly, I don't think I have ever owned, or will own a double boiler. I've always improvised.

This is what I did.  I took a large pan, filled it a little less than half way with water, then took a Pyrex heat-proof glass bowl and set it inside the pan.

Place on stove at medium high heat.  Add Mustard and Vinegar mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Whisk well.

Add a pinch of salt and continue to whisk until combined.

Keep watching and whisking until mixture comes to a soft boil.  Keep whisking away until texture becomes somewhat thick, like a "thin custard". Not thick like a pudding but thick enough that when you dip a spoon in the mixture, it will coat the back and not drip off right away. 

Pour into your cute little jars and let cool for just a bit before screwing the lid on.

This condiment from the heavens has so so many uses.

I instantly made myself a ham sandwich because I could not take it any longer.

Here are some delicious suggestions for this heavenly sauce.

Brats & Hot Dogs are a given.

Delicious on any sandwich; Grilled Cheese, Hot Pastrami, Po' Boy....anything goes.

Oh, to die for, with fresh warm pretzels.

Add a smidgen in your deviled eggs or egg salad, oy vey.

So good on the side to dip your wrapped smokies.

Dip, spread, smear.......

You get the idea.

Truly, a condiment from the Heavens.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


In 1935 the Los Angeles Times  printed a "Tuna Noodle Casserole" recipe in their food section.

1935 people.

This little gem has been around a very long time.

Tuna Casserole. 

Makes you think of a 1950s kitchen doesn't it? 

A woman in a dress and high heels, wearing an apron.

HONEY, I'm home!

This is my version of Tuna Casserole. Without the Noodles - Instead I use Rice - Gasp!

Plus,  I use Swiss Cheese, for an ooey gooey modern flavor. 

As they said in the 50s.... It's Swell!

2 cans (6 ounce each) albacore tuna, drained & flaked
1 can ( 10 3/4 ounce) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 c. MINUTE White rice, uncooked
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. frozen peas & carrots
4 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

In a saucepan, on medium high heat, mix soup, milk, and peas & carrots.  I like to use the bag of frozen Peas & Carrots where the carrots are in little squares. So cute. 

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Add uncooked rice and drained tuna.  Mix lightly.

Pour HALF of mixture into a well greased casserole dish.

On top of half the tuna mixture, lay 2 slices of Swiss cheese.

 Pour remaining tuna mixture on top of the Swiss cheese slices.

Top with 2 more slices Swiss cheese.

Cover top with tin foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is all melted and bubbly.  Watch, as times may vary. 

Top should be bubbly and ooey and gooey and Swell looking!



Sunday, February 20, 2011

NO REGRETS. Chocolate Chip Marble Swirl Cake

My daughter turns 20 this year.

It's inconceivable to me that she is almost a grown woman.

I made this cake for her on her 10th birthday. I remember that day like it was yesterday.  She jumped up on the kitchen counter and watched me, as I carefully swirled the chocolate on top of the white frosting.

She begged me for "just a small piece" before her friends came over. 

As all mothers know, I would have given her a piece in a heartbeat.  But you know how it goes.  Can't very well have a birthday cake with a piece missing now can you?  Or can you?

Looking back I think to myself , "what would be the harm"?  Her 10 year old friends who were coming over for a slumber party wouldn't have cared.  They were more excited to show off their sticker books, and to paint their nails, and use their glitter paint.

Since that birthday party, 10 years ago, every single time I make this cake, I always remember that darling little girl, sitting on that kitchen counter wanting "just a little sliver, please please please". 

I still have a little pang of Regret not giving her just a little piece.  What fun that would have been - her and I sneaking a teensy tiny piece before the festivities.

So to all you mothers out there, with a 10 year old, or even a 10 month old -  I wish you no regrets in life over little things like this.

Sneak a piece of cake a time or two.  It will be a little special memory between mother and daughter.

1 Box White Cake Mix
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. oil
3 egg whites
1/2 c. mini chocolate chip morsels
1/4 c. chocolate flavored syrup
Extra chocolate flavored syrup for drizzling
1 tub Vanilla Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together cake mix, egg whites, water and oil. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

 Scoop out 1 cup of the batter and set aside.

Pour remaining batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been sprayed with Pam.

Put the 1 cup batter back into the original batter bowl (always trying to save a dirty dish.  Less is good).

Stir in 1/4 cup chocolate syrup into the 1 cup reserved batter and stir stir stir it up. 

Voila!  Chocolate cake batter!

Now carefully take a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter, and dot the white batter with 6 mounds.

Two. Two and Two.  Kinda something like this.

With a butter knife, swirl "S" shapes right through that chocolate batter, into the white batter.

Swirl away.  One direction, then the other direction.

Don't blend it in so much that it's one big blurr.  Make sure it looks all swirly and stuff.

Bake for about 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Be sure to watch it.  Ovens really do vary.

Your cake should turn out all pretty and marbled like this.

Let the cake cool completely.

Frost cooled cake with the tub of white frosting.

With your creative flare, drizzle chocolate syrup in sweet little designs all over the top.

If you are using the chocolate syrup that is in the can (Hershey's) , just take a spoon, dip, and drizzle away.

If a little certain someone asks for just a teeny sliver before guests come over, remember No Regrets.

Just tell your guests that a mouse must have ate it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Growing up in the Midwest in the 60s and 70s, and then moving to Southern California in the early 80s was quite the Culture Shock.

Spiked blue hair.... Surfer Dudes.....Valley Girl Accents....... and Breakfast Burritos.

I soon grew accustomed to the fashion styles and funny California accents, but  was still simply amazed  with the whole Breakfast Burrito concept.

Growing up in Kansas, our breakfasts consisted of, Waffles, Biscuits & Gravy, and of course Pigs in a Blanket.

My trips to Del Taco drive-thru became more and more frequent.  Each time, leaving there thinking "Breakfast in a Burrito form, Amazing!"

Man, California is light-years ahead of the Midwest.  Nothing like that existed in my Kansas world growing up in the 70s.  Nothing.

Moving back to Kansas in 1992, I proudly carried back my recipe for California Breakfast Burritos.

It's been 20 years since I've moved back, and I still make these for breakfast OR for dinner. 

Moving back from California, I now thought I was all cultured & stuff.  After all, it was "I" who brought the Breakfast Burrito to the Midwest!  (Well not really, but let's just go with it for the sake of this blog post)

Note: I completely forgot to put several items in the photo above, so just just ignore my memory loss.
1 roll Jimmy Dean Regular Breakfast Sausage
5 c. frozen cubed hash browns
1/2 stick butter
9 eggs
Splash of Milk
1/4 c. diced onions
1/8 c. diced red bell pepper
1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
6 small flour tortillas (taco size)

In a large pot, preferably non-stick, throw in your half stick of butter and your 5 cups frozen hash brown cubes. Turn your stove to the 6 dial (medium heat).

This part is the slowest, trickiest part of the whole recipe.  These little frozen potato cubes tend to burn quickly on the outside, while remain hard on the inside, and tend to stick on the bottom of the pan if you don't pay close attention.

I find it best to cook them slowly, with the lid on for steam reasons, and stir them quite often.

Once they are tender all the way through, take them off the stove and throw them into a large bowl to hang out.

Now in the same pan, throw in your sausage, onion and red peppers.  Turn your heat up to Medium High and cook until sausage is brown.  While browning, take a wooden spoon and break up the sausage.  Break break break it up until there are no large clumps.

When browned, throw it in the same bowl as the hash browns, and let them just hang out.  Like California surfers do, waiting for that big wave.

In a large bowl, crack open your 9 eggs, and throw in a splash of milk.  Whisk away like you're making scrambled eggs.

Throw in the egg mixture into the big pot.  There should be enough oil in the bottom from the sausage so the eggs won't stick.  If not, then just spritz it with a spray of Pam.

Scramble those eggs, and once they are done, toss back in the sausage and potato mixture.

Now is the time to put in your shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.

Turn the heat down to low, and stir until cheese is melted.

To assemble the burritos, I like to pop the tortilla in the microwave for about 8 seconds, so it gets all soft and bendy.

I also like to use the small tortillas.  I know I know, they are called Breakfast "Burritos", but that's what they did in California in the 80s, so just do it.

Place mixture down center of tortilla and roll er up.

You can be like the Californians and top with Salsa, or be like me, from Kansas, and top it with Jelly (can't take the Midwest out of the girl, sorry, I love jelly on my breakfast burritos)

Breakfast Burritos might not be a "new" concept to people anymore, but to me they are still a delicious change-of-pace to the boring old breakfast.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

MAN CAVE Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Roll

Man Cave. 

Man Cave, sometimes called Man Space or Man Sanctuary - is a place where guys can "do as they please" without fear of upsetting any female in regards to house rules or decor design.

Man Caves are a place to be away from women.  To indulge in childish hobbies. To hang out with male friends.

A place to retreat -  to watch sports, play Poker, or in my husband's case, to sing Karaoke and pretend he's the lead singer of Styx.

A Man Cave can present a guy with an "opportunity to disappear for hours without leaving the premises".

Wifely Instructions:
Make this recipe, open the Man Cave door ever so slightly, quickly stick your arm inside, and carefully hand your hungry Caveman and his friends this delicious Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza Roll.

He will thank you.

His Caveman friends will thank you.

And this will give you 2 additional hours of peace and quiet to take a bath, read a book, watch a girly movie, and to have the Wife Cave all to yourself.

1 lb. lean ground beef
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. chopped onion, chopped in small pieces
8 ounces (1/2 lb.) Velveeta  Cheese, cut into cubes
1 roll (13.8 ounces) Refrigerated Pizza Crust

Must Have Side Items:

Claussen Refrigerated Kosher Dill Sandwich Pickles
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fry bacon slices and crumble.  Set aside.

Fry hamburger and onion together.  Once hamburger is done, drain, return meat and onion to pan.  Add bacon and Velveeta cubes.  Heat until cheese is melted, stirring often. Once cheese is melted, and combined with meat mixture, take off burner and set aside.

Take large cookie sheet and spray it with Pam.

Unroll refrigerated pizza roll and gently press out to create a 15 x 8 inch rectangle. I use my 1/2 sheet, or Jelly Roll pan.  Gently push the dough out to the sides.

Top dough, evenly with meat mixture, trying to spread the meat out all the way to the edges.

Roll up the dough, starting from the long end and roll carefully with both hands, into a log.

Make sure seam side is down, and any holes that might have torn in the dough, be sure to pinch them together.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Be sure to start watching, after 18 minutes, as ovens really do vary.  That's what the oven window is for.

Cut into 6 slices.

Serve each slice on a plate, with a squirt of Ketchup and Mustard for dipping, as well as a Claussen pickle for the crunch factor. (Personally I love the cool crisp snap of the pickle after each bite).

Note:  These slices are to be eaten with your hands.  Do not hand out forks or knives. Forks are for women and children.
Cavemen use their hands, and they are to be picked up, and dunked into the mustard and ketchup before each bite. 

Purple nail polish in photo above does not belong to my Caveman. According to the rules and regulations of Cave Man handbook, article C, section 2; "Nail polish of any kind is strictly prohibited to anyone that enters the cave".