Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spaetzel, Knaidlach & Knepp (Homemade Noodles) - Margaret Ullrich

No, that's not the name of a law firm.
They're nice, simple, cheap homemade pasta.

Pasta and noodles used to be a nice cheap thing to buy.
Well, not anymore.
But, they are still cheap to make.
And easy.

Pick a recipe according to your taste or salt restrictions.

                        Spaetzel (German or Hungarian Style)

1 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 Cup water

2 1/3 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
1 Cup water

In a medium bowl combine the ingredients.
Beat together.  It should be like dumpling batter.
If the batter is heavy, add a little more water.

Drop by spoonfuls into salted simmering water.
Let cook 5 to 8 minutes.


Combine in a medium bowl
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons melted chicken fat
1/3 Cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
Beat together

Stir in 
1 Cup matzo meal
This makes a stiff batter.
Chill 1 hour.
Form into balls. 
Drop into salted simmering water.
Cook 30 minutes.


Combine in a medium bowl
1 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Crumble together

2 Tablespoons water
Form into a smooth ball.
Drop by about 1/8 spoonfuls into boiling soup.
Boil 5 minutes.

Use in soup or with peas.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sloppy Joes and Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix - Margaret Ullrich

Those packages of pre-mixed spices are handy.
But, if you use them a lot, the cost does add up.
And if you're making Sloppy Joes, you're not on a steak budget.

Make the seasoning at home and buy the leaner ground meat.
Less fat to drain.
Healthier, too.

We're all in this together...

Sloppy Joe Seasoning

2 Tablespoons dry minced onion 
2 teaspoons green pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Makes 6 Tablespoons of seasoning.
And you know what's in it.

Since you've got the seasoning ready, why not make some

                        Sloppy Joes

In a frying pan brown
1 pound lean ground beef
3 Tablespoons Sloppy Joe Seasoning
1/2 Cup water
1 Cup tomato sauce
Bring to a boil.  
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
6 burger buns
Spoon meat sauce on buns and serve.

Soup, salad, whatever the family likes, go well with the joes.

And a Bloody Mary for the chef.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Celery Seed (or ground) / Homemade Seafood Spice Blend - Margaret Ullrich

We all know about celery.
The dieter's friend.
Yeah, that's how it's sold.
But, that's not how it goes.

Usually it goes, as a wilted or slimy mess, into the compost or garbage.

Sometimes a recipe calls for celery.
But usually not very much celery.
Back to the compost or garbage.
What a waste...

Welcome to Celery Seed!! 
It has the flavor of celery, but doesn't wilt or need chopping.
Perfect, right?

The seeds can be added to soups, stews, pickled beets and pickling brine.

The seeds can also be easily ground and added to:
creamy coleslaw and potato-salad dressings
deviled-egg filling
oyster stew, fish chowder, or split pea soup just before serving

You can also add a touch to tomato juice or Bloody Marys.
No dripping celery stalk to get in the way.

Homemade Seafood Spice Blend

2 Tablespoons ground allspice
1 Tablespoon celery seed 
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons powdered mustard 
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)

Makes 1/2 Cup

This also works with chicken.
What can I say?
It had to be called something.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Use It - NOW! - Margaret Ullrich

According to the church calendar, the Christmas season is over. 
The Boxing Month Sales are almost over. 
People are trying to find some corner where they can stash away the bargains. 

Ah, holidays. Does anything else make us work this hard?

A few weeks ago everyone was talking resolutions. 
The usual plans to stop smoking, lose weight and get into shape. 
Fine. Health is important. 

But, I didn't hear anyone mention a problem that cuts across all ethnic, socio-economic, age and national borders. 
A problem that causes hurt feelings in every family. 
A problem that can haunt your family even after you've passed on to that great bargain hunt in the sky. 


I'm not talking about ordinary things like GICs, RSPs, stocks and bonds. 
No. I'm talking about Christmas gift saving.

Remember Christmas? 
You unwrapped a gift while your loved ones watched, eagerly awaiting your reaction. 
You didn't disappoint them. 
You oohed and aahed and said you loved it. 
You loved the color, the material, the cut, the fragrance, the thought and the care that made your sweeties decide that you just had to have it. 

Then you packed it away.

What does this mean? 
Are you saying that you want a gift you wouldn't be caught dead in. 
That something ugly would make you feel comfortable and free to use it?

Oh... I know the excuses:
You're saving it for a special occasion.
You're saving it for when company comes over.
You don't want to ruin it.
You'll use it when you have a blouse, skirt, hat, coat, umbrella that goes with it.
You'll use it when you've lost a few pounds.
You, as you are now, are not good enough to use the damn thing.

Repeat after me: I'm good enough for it. 
Say it again. 
I knew you could.

Trust me - they didn't take out a loan to buy it. 
They might've bought it at last year's Boxing Day Sales. 
They might be re-gifting. 
Feel better now?

Still can't bring yourself to use it?

Oh... I can hear you. 
You went through The Depression or The War. 
You know how to do without and save. 

Think about it. 
Even if there is a depression, we won't go on a Jean Nate cologne barter system. 
The good old days of black markets are gone. 
Today a war means boom... total annihilation. 
Your Jean Nate will be vaporized.

Clothes do go out of style. 
Your grandchildren won't want them. 
Did you hear about the huge sale the Kennedy kids had after Jackie died? 
Caroline wasn't eager to wear those little pillbox hats her Mom had made so popular. 
Unless you have a relative working for a costume museum, those mint condition scarves, blouses and purses will end up on a shelf at the Salvation Army.

You want them to remember you? 
Use the gift. 
They'll be fighting like cats and dogs to inherit it because it'll remind them of you. 

There.  Doesn't the image of a family battle make you feel all warm and toasty.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homemade Candied Fruit Rind Snack - Margaret Ullrich

Citrus fruit is a good buy right about now.

The only problem with citrus is all that rind.
If you've got a composter, it's smelling lemon fresh.
If not, your garbage can is.

Fruit Rind can also be made into a snack.
Yes, really.
There's a recipe for Crystal Citrus Peel in my Purity Cookbook.

I had a grapefruit which I substituted for one of the oranges, made a few changes, and it worked just as well.

Have I ever lied to you?

            Homemade Candied Fruit Rind
Makes 1 1/2 pounds of candied rind

Peel rind in quarters of
3 oranges
1 grapefruit
Trim off white membrane.
Cut rind into 1/4 inch wide strips.

Place the strips in a large heavy saucepan.
Add water to cover.
Bring to a boil.  Simmer.  Drain.
Repeat with fresh water 2 more times.
Return rind to saucepan.

Stir in
2 Cups sugar
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Cup water
Simmer, stirring often from the bottom of the pan, about 40 minutes.

While the rinds are simmering, combine in a small bowl
1 Tablespoon gelatin
1/2 Cup water
Let soften.
Stir into fruit strips until dissolved, then cool.
Lift out strips and roll in
1/2 Cup sugar
When the strips are coated, place on a cookie sheet to dry.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chicken Souvlaki with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce (Greek yogurt dressing) - Margaret Ullrich

I know... That honking big box of chicken breasts was a really good buy.
And we Winnipeggers love really good buys.

What we don't love is the same old chicken, night after night.

Here's an easy recipe that'll use up 1 1/2 pounds of breasts.

The Tzatziki Sauce is a Greek style yogurt dressing.

Yes, I know you can buy it ready made.
But, sometimes you've got to wonder about store bought stuff.
I mean, why does the label say "May contain mustard"?
Don't they know what they put in it?
What else may it contain?
What if you have an allergy?

And what the heck is Propylene Glycol Alginate?

As with the beef stew, this will take about 2 1/2 hours.
The sauce takes about 45 minutes.
The chicken marinates.

You could, too.

                        Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

In a large bowl, combine
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed (about 2 inch chunks)
1/4 Cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Marinate 2 hours.

While the chicken is marinating, make the 

Tzatziki Sauce

In a medium bowl, toss
1 small cucumber, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon salt
Let sit 30 minutes.

While the cucumber is sitting, drain for 15 minutes
1 1/2 Cups plain yogurt

Also finely dice
1 green pepper

After the yogurt has drained
2 Tablespoons mint
2 Tablespoons coriander seeds (1 teaspoon ground, more or less)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pat the cucumber dry and stir it into the spiced yogurt.
Add the diced green pepper.

Broil the chicken 12 minutes, turning the meat twice.

The broiled chicken and sauce can be served on a bed of lettuce,
with more raw veggies (sliced tomatoes, peppers etc.)
Pita bread adds a nice touch.

Or you can serve the sauced chicken on rice, with cooked or raw veggies.
Or on couscous, if you've got it.
Or in pita bread, with a salad on the side.

Cook once, serve 4 different ways.
Great or what?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coriander (seed and ground) / Homemade Curry Spice Blend - Margaret Ullrich

Coriander seed is another unsung hero in the kitchen.
Especially since I can't spoof it like I did Cumin.
Aren't you glad of that?

Coriander seeds are the seeds of the cilantro (Chinese parsley) plant.
In case you've never tried it, cilantro tastes like a sweet lemony sage.
So, give it a try the next time you roast a chicken.

If you've bought a bag of Coriander seeds but don't want to reseed your lawn 
with the leftovers, you can add the extra seeds to pickles and marinades.

Coriander seeds have a pungent aroma and sweet flavor.
It's very versatile.
Especially if you grind it.

Ground Coriander is great in a main course.
It combines beautifully with garlic and chili in meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Add some to meat pies, hamburgers and stuffings.
For a gourmet touch, rub some into pork before roasting.
And, of course, it's essential in curry powder

Want to punch up a dessert?
Use ground Coriander to flavor pound cake.
Use it in place of cinnamon to flavor apple pie.
You can add ground Coriander to frying batters.
Toss melon chunks with coriander and sugar.

About that Curry Powder... why not make your own?
You can make it as mild or as strong as you want.
Here's a middle of the road blend.
Have fun!! 

Homemade Curry Spice Blend

2 Tablespoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons powdered mustard
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cayenne 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Makes 1/2 Cup

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beef Stew and Homemade Dumplings - Margaret Ullrich

Got an e mail...
The Vegetarian Chili is great, and goes well with burgers.

Okay.  I can take a hint.
Nothin' spells lovin' like a roast in the oven.
Or a beef stew.

This is an old favorite recipe.
And it has some vegetables.
And some meat.
Next time stew meat is on sale, try this recipe.

Fair warning, you have to start a stew 3 hours before you need it.
No, you don't work on it for 3 hours.
The stove does most of the work.
You just can't throw a stew together in 10 minutes.

Plan ahead.

                        Beef Stew and Homemade Dumplings

In a dutch oven heat
3 Tablespoons oil
1 to 2 pounds stewing beef (cubed about 1 inch)
Brown well.
4 Cups water
Reduce heat to a simmer.
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 beef bouillon cube (or a tablespoon powdered)
Cover and simmer 60 minutes.

4 medium carrots, scraped, cut and halved
6 medium potatoes, quartered
3 medium onions, quartered
2 Cups peas
Cover and simmer 60 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the second hour is up, prepare

Homemade Dumplings

In a medium bowl combine
1 1/2 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Cup milk
Stir until just mixed.
Drop by spoonfuls onto the stew.
Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Cover and cook another 10 minutes.

Serve with pride.
And a bit of grousing over having slaved away over a hot stove for 3 hours...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vegetarian Chili and Toppings - Margaret Ullrich

Like I said, the weather's been weird.
And cold!
Now's the time for something warming.
Bring on the stews, casseroles and chili.

I know what you're thinking.
I've gotten a bit of flack from some folks.
Vegetarians, to be exact.
I've had too many meat recipes.
I don't think so, but some folks do.

Before you vegetarians e mail me, read on.
This is a vegetarian recipe.
Something for everybody.
(But, if you want to add some meat, I'll never tell.)

While the chili is simmering, prepare some bowls of toppings:
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped red onions
chopped tomatoes
chopped cucumbers
And some shredded or chopped whatever else your family and friends like.

Keep warm...

                        Vegetarian Chili

In a dutch oven heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Cook until lightly browned.
6 onions, chopped
1 Cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
3 medium zucchini, chopped
2 28 oz. cans tomatoes
2 12 oz cans tomato puree
Reduce heat to a simmer.
1 Tablespoon cumin
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Simmer 40 minutes.

6 Cups cooked kidney beans
Simmer 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls.
Corn bread and salad would round out the meal.
So would some chips.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cumin (seeds and ground) / Homemade Fajita Spice Blend - Margaret Ullrich

He'll be cumin 'round the mountain, when he comes.....
Cumin really is too good a spice to be stuck in a bad joke.
What can I say?
Let's just blame it on the weird weather we've been having in Winnipeg.

Cumin isn't as famous as pepper or cinnamon.
But it is essential in curry and chili powders.
Yes, those are blends of spices.
Now you know.

Cumin seeds can be stirred into cheese spreads.
Or you can add a few to cooking water for rice or couscous.

Ground cumin adds a nice touch to lentil soup.
You can add a pinch to bottled salad dressing.

Have yogurt, have cumin, have fun...
Stir some cumin into plain yogurt, add some chopped cucumber and serve 
the cucumber/yogurt with spicy curries.
For a cooling summer drink, season plain yogurt with cumin and salt 
and thin with cold water.
Much healthier than a soda.

Along with curry and chili powders, cumin is in those packages of Fajita seasoning.
And you can make it at home!

Fajita Spice Blend

4 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 teaspoons garlic salt

Makes a scant 1/2 Cup

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Paprika: Homemade Spice Blends for Fish, Salads and Seasoned Butter - Margaret Ullrich

Want more Spice Mix recipes?
Okee dokee...

Don't be afraid to buy a bag of paprika.
We'll have some more fun with it in a few weeks.

Fish Seasoning Spice Blend

1/4 Cup paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper

Makes about 4 Tablespoons

Fish Seasoning can also be used to make 

Salad Dressing Spice Blend

Combine in a small jar
1/2 teaspoon Fish Seasoning
1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 Cup salad or olive oil
Cover and shake well.
Let stand 1 hour.

2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
Cover and shake well.

Serve over vegetable salads.

Fish Seasoning can also be used on pasta.

Seasoned Butter Spice Blend for Noodles

3 Tablespoons butter
Add and blend well
1 Tablespoon Fish Seasoning
1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook according to package directions
8 oz. package of noodles
Drain and toss lightly with seasoned butter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cayenne (ground red pepper) / Homemade Tandoorie Spice Blend - Margaret Ullrich

Man does not live on bread or cookie alone.
Although, during the holiday season, it sure seems that way.

It's January.
On to the more savoury spices.
The main course spices.
Spices like cayenne.

Did you always wonder what the heck cayenne is?
It's ground red pepper.

Cayenne goes well with many recipes.

Cayenne gives a lift to egg dishes.
Stir a bit into cream cheese spreads and guacamole.
Add some to corn bread batter, chili, barbecue sauce and salsa.
Stir into creamy dishes like chowders, cheese or white sauces and dressings.

In 1910 chili pepper production began in California.
Cayenne didn't just stay in California.
No way.
Can't keep a good spice hidden away.

Here's something to spice up your next chicken dinner.

Tandoorie Spice Blend

1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Makes a scant 1/2 Cup