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It definitely feels like soup weather is here! When Jeff mentioned last week that he and Karis had made a squash and apple soup it reminded me of my favorite recipe. I will have to get their recipe and try it sometime. I love trying something new!
A friend asked me if I had a recipe for squash soup so here it is! I am thinking that you could substitute pumpkin if you want. To prepare the squash I prick it with a fork, (leave the squash whole) lay it on a cookie sheet, and place in a 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Let it cool for a few minutes then cut it in half, remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh of the squash. It’s easier for me than trying to cut a hard squash.
Creamy Squash Soup:
2 lbs butternut squash, cook and prepare as above
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 (13 3/4 oz) cans chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
white pepper to taste
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream or half and half
In medium sauce pan combine onion, carrots, broth and salt; simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes until carrots are tender.
Add the squash and butter then puree this mixture, in batches, with a blender or food processor. Return to heat, add cream and pepper; taste and add more salt if desired. Heat just until hot. May serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
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A break with tradition!
Traditionally egg rolls are considered an appetizer, but I like to live dangerously once in awhile and besides, we really like egg rolls! That being said, at our home we generally consider egg rolls as a side dish with either the lemon chicken that was last week’s recipe or when I make homemade fried rice. I use the recipe from the Betty Crocker Chinese cook book. Over the years, I have modified it so they don’t take as long to make. You can use the egg roll wraps you find in the grocery store, but we prefer them with a crispier wrap so I buy spring roll wraps. You can find these in an Oriental grocery store. The closest Oriental grocery store is in Worthington, MN. They can be found in the frozen food section.
When you make egg rolls, it’s best to fry them immediately. If you roll them ahead of time, they are fragile and fall apart. They freeze well, but freeze them before you fry and take them from the freezer directly to the fryer. You can keep them warm in a low oven. Leftover egg rolls can be re-heated in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. If you microwave them, they get soggy. A little more advice: the Oriental grocery store in Worthington does not take checks, so be prepared!
1 pound ground pork (not sausage)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 pkg cole slaw mix with grated carrots
1 small can tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp five spice power, optional, found in Oriental aisle in grocery store
1 egg, beaten
Mix first 5 ingredients together, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or longer. Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in fry pan or wok, add pork, stir and cook until no longer pink and it’s crumbly; add 1 pkg coleslaw mix and cook until the cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat and add shrimp, green onions, mushrooms, salt and five spice powder. At this point you can store in the refrigerator a day or two until ready to use.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in wok or fry pan to 350 degrees. Place about 1/2 cup pork mixture slightly below center of egg roll skin (cover remaining skins with dampened towel to keep them pliable). Fold corner of egg roll skin closest to filling over the filling, tucking the point under, fold in and overlap the two opposite corners. Brush fourth corner with egg; roll up enclosed filling to seal. Fry 3-4 egg rolls at a time until golden brown, turning 2-3 times so are brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with hot mustard or a sweet and sour sauce. This makes about 15 egg rolls, I generally figure 2 per person, the ones we don’t fry I freeze to fry another time. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
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Life’s most precious blessing!
In my 70 plus years I have experienced many blessings, but the most precious blessings of all are my 10 grandchildren! They have been truly a gift. They make us feel loved and I hope they know that I love each unconditionally.
One Christmas I asked family what they wanted me to cook and they answered, “lemon chicken”. Chinese recipes don’t take long to cook but there’s a lot of prep work. Pa Lloyd and I spent a day in the kitchen and I learned an important lesson: don’t ask family what they want for Christmas dinner! This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Chinese Cookbook:
2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.), cut into four pieces and placed in shallow glass or plastic pan. Mix together 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 4 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp white pepper, whisk together and pour over chicken, turning to coat both sides, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove chicken; reserve marinade. To reserved marinade whisk in 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup water, 4 Tbsp cornstarch, 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat vegetable oil (1 1/2 inches) in wok or fry pan to 350 degrees. Dip chicken pieces one at a time into batter. Fry 2-3 pieces at a time until light brown, 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Increase oil to 375 degrees. Fry chicken all at one time, turning once, until golden brown. (Yes, you fry the chicken twice.) Drain on paper towels. Cut each piece crosswise into 5-6 pieces; place in single layer on heated platter. Pour hot lemon sauce over chicken and serve. Garnish with thin lemon slices if desired.
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup honey
6 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp light corn syrup
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp catsup
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Peel of one lemon
Mix all together, heat until boiling, then add 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp of water, cook and stir until thickened about a minute. You can make the sauce while the chicken is marinating or make the day before and refrigerate, reheating over low heat. I serve this with rice and home made egg rolls.
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Mrs. Flohrs Dessert
Today’s recipe was given to me by Eloise Lidke. In 1956, Eloise rented an upstairs room in the home of Rudy and Erma Flohrs for a whopping $20 per month. Eloise wrote that this dessert is one that Mrs Flohrs made for a neighborhood coffee party. Eloise was given a piece when she came home from working at the old hospital (located across from Ward Park). She was then given the recipe and served this cake when she had her own home.
We bought our house on Woodland Avenue from Rudy Flohrs in 1977. The upstairs had been rented out as an apartment, so we dismantled the apartment kitchen because we needed all three upstairs bedrooms for our four children. Rudy told us that his wife’s parents built the home so it’s at least 100 years old. We could tell that he loved his home. He was 85 and it was too much for him to keep up. We love it, too, and have many good memories in our home!
I made this dessert and took it up to my son and family at Wadena this weekend. Hunter, my ten year old grandson, ate two pieces after eating a big meal. A positive testimony!!
1 pkg Oreo cookes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 envelope Know clear gelatin
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
chopped nuts, if desired
1 package of Oreo cookies, crushed (I use a food processor; you can use a rolling pin). Measure 2/3 cup crumbs and set aside. Add 1/2 cup melted butter to remaining cookie crumbs, press into a 9x13 pan.
Soak 1 envelope Knox clear gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, set aside. Cook the following soft custard, stirring constantly until its slightly thickened. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and cook another couple of minutes: 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and 1/4 tsp salt. Take off stove and add dissolved gelatin and cool completely. Let it get a little syrupy but watch so it doesn’t get too thick. Add 1 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff, and 3 egg whites beaten until stiff. You may add some chopped nuts if desired. Pour over Oreo crumb crust and top with remaining 2/3 cup cookie crumbs. Chill until set.
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The Cranberry Saga
I am not especially crazy for cranberries, but I married a man who is, so I have learned to make - and yes even eat - cranberry relish.
When the United Methodist Church wanted to have a chicken and biscuit fundraiser, it was decided that each circle would furnish a salad for the event. I suggested to my circle we make cranberry relish.
A friend of mine was traveling to Wisconsin around September 17th so she agreed to purchase some fresh Wisconsin cranberries. Unfortunately she came back empty handed. Cranberry harvest had not yet begun!
My next step was to contact a local grocery store to see when they expected fresh cranberries. I was told not until sometime in October. This was disturbing news!! Our fundraiser was September 29th! I was in trouble! So to the internet I went.
I found a family-run cranberry company in Warren, Wisconsin. I called them and was told they were harvesting their cranberries on Monday, September 23. They would box them up and UPS them to me. They were delivered to my home on Wednesday.
Sorry this isn’t quite the end of my story. (I said it was a saga.) Math isn’t my strong point so I have a refrigerator in my garage packed full of cranberries...even after making relish for 300 people!!
My friends will be getting cranberries for their holiday gift, I will sell some, and freeze enough for next year’s chicken and biscuit fundraiser!! Cranberries anyone?
Here is my recipe for cranberry relish that was served at our UMC chicken and biscuit fundraiser:
1 # pkg fresh cranberries (1 # = 4 cups) so I was told by my cranberry company
4 apples, cored, you don’t have to peel
2 oranges, seeded. If they have a thick peel with lots of white pith (which is bitter) trim off the white.
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar (I used the lesser amount)
Grind the cranberries, apples and oranges. Mix in the pineapple and sugar. Chill. If you freeze the cranberries they aren’t so messy to grind. This recipe makes 24 - 1/3 cup servings. I measured this out so I would know how much to make for 300 people. To make a large amount, I used a food processor which is much faster.I like the consistency of the grinder better.
Refrigerate at least 24 hours for flavors to blend. This freezes well. I put it into small containers so if I am making a poultry dish, I have an easy salad-type dish on hand. The holidays are around the corner!!