Friday, November 19, 2010

1970's Vintage rural Minnesota old-folks cook book!

My mom sent this to me a week or so ago, but I just got around to looking at it last night. Oh.good.gracious! I am going to have fun with this!

I especially like this one, below, from a man? who was way, way, way ahead of his time. Do you think he went to Woodstock and had long hair and tie dye shirts?

I'd also like to try these 6 weeks muffins. I have never heard of using raisin bran in a muffin before...

and this. Lefsa is prized in our family, and my sister-in-law is the sole maker of it. My husband, is especially a fan.

It'll take me months to cook through all the cookie and bar recipes in that book! I am thinking about doing an "8 cookies for Christmas" series starting after Thanksgiving using recipes out of the book.

One thing that really surprised me about this book is the amount of 'convenience item' ingredients were included. Lots of "cream of" soups, Velveeta, Whipped Topping, and some strange strange thing called "Oleo" that I neither know how to pronounce nor have ever heard of. I'm sure some of you will laugh at me, but a child of the 70's I am not.

Strange ingredients or not, I love this cookbook! Thanks Mom!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raspberry Sauce, use for cheesecake, ice cream, or by the spoonfull...

Raspberry is in my top 5 favorite flavors list. It might be number one, depending on the quality of the berry I have in front of me. I love it that much. Some of the most memorable times from my childhood are picking raspberries out at my Grandparent's house, and in the winter, having Grandma heat up a bowl of those berries from the freezer, pouring some sugar over it, and letting me go to town. No better dessert than that!

This sauce is simple. The hardest part is taking the seeds out of it, and even that isn't really hard, just a bit time consuming. 

Seedless Raspberry Sauce
4 cups whole fresh raspberries
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp Chambord
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water

1. Place berries and sugar into a sauce pan over medium low heat. Cook until liquid is released and sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes. 

2. Take the berry mixture and press through a fine metal strainer. On occasion, with a different spoon, scrape the bottom of the strainer to remove any stubborn pulp that is sticking there.

3. Put back into a now cleaned out saucepan. Add Chambord, water, and vanilla. Stir well and simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes.

We made this tonight for a topping on the vanilla cheesecake I'll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. I hope I can keep my paws off of it until then! I had to 'test' it tonight on some Bryer's Natural Vanilla ice cream. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shrimp stir-fry with vegetables and shiitake mushrooms

I haven't posted an actual recipe in too long! Here you go. This is my go-to stir-fry recipe. I love the garlicky soy-based sauce, and often double the sauce portion so I can have plenty to pour over my jasmine rice.

This recipe is so versatile. You can add whatever vegetables that you like, and whatever meat as well. I often sub chicken in for the shrimp.

Basic Stir Fry Recipe
(printable recipe)
1 lb shelled, deveined, large shrimp
1 lb various vegetables (onion, asparagus, peas, green beans, zucchini, carrots, peppers, etc)
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms

3-4 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped


2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 T soy sauce
2 T dry sherry
1/4 tsp garlic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/4 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

  1. Mix Sauce ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Mix slurry (cornstarch & water in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or pan until almost smoking. You want it very, very, VERY hot. Dump in shrimp and stir fry approximately 2 minutes, or until pink. Remove from pan. 
  3. If necessary, add more oil to pan and allow to heat again until smoking. Add vegetables and stir fry 3-4 minutes, or until crisp tender. Add garlic and stir fry 30 seconds.
  4. Dump in sauce mixture and heat, while stirring, until simmering. Slowly pour in slurry mixture and stir until sauce is thickened. You may not need entire slurry mixture.
  5. Serve over jasmine rice

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    WFMW - Drying, made easy. Bounce Drier Bar, my new laundry BFF

    I have not raved about a product ever as much as I rave about the Bounce Dryer Bar. I love, love, LOVE this thing. I used to use liquid softener, religiously. Every load, measure out a cup of the blue stuff, pour into the Downey Ball, toss into the wash, and then...what? Nothing. The scent, and the softness, was never what I hoped it would be.

    I tried using dryer sheets, but the end result also wasn't what I was looking for. The scent was too strong, or not strong enough, or the little balled up papers would get stuck in or on my clothes. Not big problems, for sure, but minor annoyances in my day-to-day cleaning routine. I have four little kids, three of which are big enough to take off their clothes, and put on new ones, WHEN EVER the urge strikes them. Not good. My laundry pile is often just as big as my laundry machines. Very classy and neat looking sitting right off of my kitchen. I can vouch for that.

    These Bounce Dryer Bars though? Perfect. Stick the holder to the side of the dryer. Slide in the fabric softener bar. Forget about it...for MONTHS at a time. One less thing to worry about in my day is something to celebrate. They certainly add up when you keep at it!

    Once upon a time I had received some coupons to try these from either, or Vocalpoint (both GREAT site to get a lot of great coupons and sometimes free product to try!), and ever since then I've been hooked.

    Also, a great tip I've learned through the years is to toss in a dry towel into a wet load of clothes to speed up the drying time!

    **Note...this post was in no way sponsored by anyone or any company. I rarely feel strongly about a product to blog about it, but this one makes the cut.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Exciting times!

    Its exciting times in the Cookerella home these days. I have never been busier, and things have been pretty stressful, but for the first time ever I'm doing something I love doing, and getting PAID for it. PAID! Real money! What a concept, huh? Now I'm having not just ONE paying cooking job, but TWO. Can you believe it? If I actually remember to keep my camera charged and WITH me, that might actually mean a lot more real posts too. I haven't been posting much lately because I haven't really been cooking at home lately. I haven't even really been HOME lately.

    I'm very thankful that in this season that God has me, which is requiring me to step outside my comfort zone, He's providing a way for me to earn money for our family doing something that I enjoy. He's providing me the energy and the stamina to continue on doing so while having 2, 3, and soon to be 4 jobs (although technically three of them will be at the same physical location!). Let me tell you, friends, family, and blog readers, just what my weeks will look like in the next few weeks.

    • Monday - All day work shopping, cooking, and meal planning for a local client. 
    • Tuesday - Bake and cook at local restaurant from 12 or 1 to 5pm, the wait tables from 5pm until 9ish.
    • Wednesday - Prepare the house and the heart for youth group @ our house Wednesday evening.
    • Thursday - More cooking and some shopping for local client.
    • Friday - 5pm - 9ish waiting tables
    • Saturday - OFF!! Unless I pick up a shift waiting tables, or didn't finish my cooking for local client.
    • Sunday - Church in the morning, karaoke in the evening starting November 21st out at the same restaurant I'm waiting tables at and will be baking for.

    That is a busy week for someone whose calendar used to say "Open" all day, every day, and has four little tiny kids. In between sleep and work I also still have to keep up with all that needs to be done around the home front. Mr. Cooker has been amazing stepping up his game and adapting to his new temporart season in life as well, but running this house is definitely a two person job.

    I'm tired just thinking about all that. Good thing I get an extra hour of sleep tonight! I am praying tonight that whatever is being taught to me I'm learning well, and that I'm not making these lessons harder than they need to be. We're both going to be so glad when things go back to 'normal' again, but let us be content right where we are at as well.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    My very first "Works for me Wednesday"/ Cleaning your microwave

    works for me wednesday at we are that family

    I have spent way too much time in my short life cleaning microwaves. Or maybe not nearly enough judging by the average state of my microwave in the past 11 years since I've been out in the big world! That's until I discovered this fast, easy, and perfect method. It requires NO special cleaning tools, NO special cleaning solutions, and almost NO elbow grease. That is my perfect cleaning situation. Its so simple, I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out, and its something everyone else has probably known for all of eternity, but I'll share it with you anyway just in case you are a little, me.

    1. Take a dish rag, or a sponge, or any other cleaning cloth you use in your kitchen normally. Wet it down. I usually use hot soapy water from hand-washing dishes, but you can just wet it down under the faucet if you want. 
    2. Place sopping wet rag/sponge/cloth into microwave.
    3. Put 2:30 - 3:00 on the microwave
    4. Push start
    5. Walk away for 30-40 minutes
    6. Open microwave
    7. Grab cooled off rag/sponge/cloth
    8. Easily, with almost no effort, wipe out all the gook. 
    9. You are done, can you believe I broke that down into eight steps?
    10. No? How about 10?
    So there it is. Enjoy!

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