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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lazy Woman’s “Grilled” Cheese Sandwich

block of cheddar or mozzarella cheese

For each sandwich, toast two slices of bread. Cut enough slices of cheese off the block to cover one slice. Add the second slice and microwave until the cheese starts to melt. That’s 40 seconds in my ancient microwave but will probably be less in a newer, more high-powered model.

If you’re watching fat, calories, or cholesterol, you can use a low fat cheddar such as Allegra (it has 4% milk fat) in this, and it will taste just fine. Because the bread isn’t buttered, it’s already lower in calories than a standard grilled cheese.

Serve with ketchup and a dill pickle slice. Or you can add a tablespoon of salsa on top of the cheese before you microwave the sandwich.

With the exception of slicing the cheese, this can very easily be made by kids. Or buy a bag of shredded cheese for them to use, and there’ll be no worry about knives.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 227 gram (about a pound) packages white mushrooms
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (optional)
2 cups brown gravy (I use a powdered mix)
2 cups milk or light cream

Wash and slice mushrooms. In a pot that will hold at least 8 cups, melt butter over low heat, and add Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and garlic. Turn heat up to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook down until tender, stirring occasionally (could take 20-30 minutes). Stir in gravy.

Remove pot from heat and allow to cool. Blend the contents—an immersion or stick blender is best for this as you can do it right in the pot. Add milk. Reheat to serve. It will look quite a bit darker than canned mushroom soup, and has much more mushroom in it. You can serve it over toast if you like.

Makes six or so cups.

While this recipe is a little time-consuming, it’s very easy and quite tasty. Depending on your gravy mix, it could even be vegetarian—many rely on yeast for flavouring and don’t actually contain meat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

3 cups chicken stock
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
4 cups carrot chunks
4 cups winter squash (acorn, pepper, butternut)
    peeled, seeded and cubed
2 1/2 to 3 pound chicken
2 lemons, sliced

Grease a six quart crockpot. Pour in stock and vegetables, and place chicken on top. Cook on high for two hours. Turn chicken over and cover with lemon slices. Cook on high for another two hours. Switch to low for one more hour. Remove and slice chicken. Serve with drained vegetables (save the liquid for future use).

Will serve 4 to 6, but if you’re feeding fewer people, the leftovers can be used to make soup the next day. The squash really picks up the lemon flavour.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Butterscotch Pecan Squares

1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 15 ounce (432 grams) butter pecan cake mix
1 cup pecan pieces
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 x 9 inch square pan.

In large microwaveable bowl, melt margarine. Stir in cake mix and nuts. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Spoon into pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

One of my cousins had posted a link to a recipe for making cookies from cake mix. I tried it and it worked, but since it wasn’t my recipe and was already all over the internet (google “cake mix cookies” if you want to try it) there didn’t seem much point reposting it here. So I experimented a little and came up with this recipe for squares instead. You can make them as drop cookies if you prefer (you’ll have to adjust the cooking time down dramatically) but squares are much less work.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Emergency Chocolate

1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
4 tablespoons butter

Combine cocoa and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa sugar mixture. Pour onto foil or waxed paper and freeze until set.

Makes one or two doses.

For those occasions when you really need a piece of dark chocolate, but there’s none in the house and the weather’s too nasty to go out in. Works even better if you can substitute coconut oil for the butter.