Monday, January 31, 2011

Meat Jerkey

Mom meant to post this on this blog... ;-)

Years ago when Sam was in the 4th grade (learning Utah history), he brought home a recipe for Meat Jerky that we made a few times. As I was going through and organizing my recipe binder, I came across this and thought someone might enjoy using it sometime. Emily forgive me for not putting it on Baking Barkers but I lost the access information (again!).

2 lbs round or flank steak
1 cup water
1 - 2 teaspoons salt and/or Season All salt
1/4 cup soy sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder or onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt (I vote for the powders, there's a lot of salt in this recipe!)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of Tabasco, hot sauce or taco sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (optional)
Use your imagination! Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne Pepper, etc.

1. Cut away all fat from meat.
2. Mix all ingredients except meat in a bowl.
3. Slice meat in thin, long strips lengthwise along the grain. Put the meat strips in the mixture and let sit overnight in refrigerator.
4. Hang strips on thin poles or string to dry in the sun. Keep dry, cover if the weather is threatening or hang strips in the basement or attic. This will take from 3-7 days to dry properly depending on the weather. This is how it was done in the old days.

When we made it, I think we dried it in a very slow oven.

Chicken a la King

This is how mom makes Chicken a la King -- one of dad's favorite dishes (this along with Chicken Velvet Soup, basically the same idea).

1/4 C butter (can use 1/8 C canola oil + 1/8 C butter)
1/3 C fresh mushrooms or 2 oz can
1/4 C chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C chopped pimento/red pepper
1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 C chicken broth
1 C milk
1 C diced, cooked chicken

Saute fresh mushrooms and peppers in the butter (if using canned mushrooms and bottled pimentos, you can add those when you add the chicken, just saute fresh green bell pepper).  Blend in the flour and seasonings.  Cook on low until smooth and bubbly.  Stir in broth and milk.  Boil over low for one minute stirring constantly.  Add chicken.  Cook until heated through.  Serve over potatoes, rice, toast, or noodles.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quick Vegetable Soup

Mom used to always make this soup.  Really good with dunking bread.

½ to 1 lb. ground beef
4 C cut up veggies (potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, zucchini…)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
3 C water
2 t. salt or 2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf
1/8 t. basil

Cook meat and onion in saucepan until brown.  Drain fat.  Add remaining ingredients; simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Microwave Muffins in Minutes

I got some silicone muffin trays for Christmas and thought I'd try them out today to make an after-school snack.  I do think it's a little weird to cook things in the microwave and I know it can work, I just don't usually do it.

I used some Shirley J muffin mix that I bought from my cousin and added chocolate and cinnamon chips.  (I meant to add mini-chips, but who knows where those went?  I found 2 opened bags of regular chocolate chips and one of cinnamon chips.  Where are the mini chips?)

The instructions on the trays said to spray them with Pam, but I didn't have any.  So, I consulted with a friend and decided to grease some of the shapes by hand (with oil) and leave some ungreased.  You can tell in the picture with the orange tray that the bottom row was definitely ungreased.  So, DO grease the trays.  Makes for easier clean up.

I cooked the orange tray for 5 minutes in the microwave.  I could have tried 4:30.  They're still pretty moist, but it's worth a try to do less time.

I added some cocoa to the batter for my blue tray (bugs) and cooked those for 3 minutes.  Some of them came out a bit hard, like a microwave can do; perhaps it's because there were only 5 muffins, and not a full tray.  I thought it strange that the bigger muffins needed less time to cook.

When I took the orange tray out of the microwave, it smelled a little plastickey -- not a smell I want to have if I'm going to be eating something.  From the research I've done, these silicone trays should not seep into your food.

I'm pleased with the results; however, my paranoid side says:
1.  You used a baking mix!!!  This is not from scratch!
2.  You used cinnamon chips!  Do you know what is in those things?
3.  I cooked in silicone.
4.  I cooked in the microwave!
5.  The first batch smelled like plastic!