siglinde99: (Diane Fancy)
I make some variant on this every year. It's a great way to use up pumpkins. The original recipe is vaguely African. Although pumpkins aren't native to Africa, the peanuts certainly are, and I think I first found this recipe in an African cookbook. It's filling and tasty. I hadn't gotten around to digging out a recipe this year but it was on my list of things to do, so when this popped up in my FB feed from 4 years ago, I decided I needed to save it somewhere that I was more likely to be able to find it again.

Getting rid of the Halloween creepies:
Once you have frightened away the ghosts and goblins, use up your jack-o'lanterns by making baked chicken and pumpkin.

1 kg chicken pieces
2 onions, cut in chunks
1 pie pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks (or about half a large jack'o'lantern)
3/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c hot chicken broth
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 c chopped peanuts

In 9 x 13 inch baking dish, place onions and pumpkin. In a medium bowl. Stir together peanut butter, half of salt and half of cayenne pepper. Gradually stir in hot chicken broth, melting peanut butter. Stir in half of lemon juice. Pour over pumpkin and onions. Bake in 200C oven for about 20 minutes
Remove from oven and place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt, pepper and lemon juice. Return to oven for another 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and pumpkin is tender. Place on serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts. Serves 6-8)
siglinde99: (Diane Fancy)
Once again, she is an instigator. A week or two ago she posted Bologna cake and I had to make my own. I ended up using a different recipe, but it was very similar.

I thought it would be truly horrible, but once it had chilled for a bit it was actually decent. That may be even more disturbing than Bologna cake.
siglinde99: (Flemish Siglinde)
Yesterday I got to celebrate [ profile] mythmaker999's elevation to the Order of the Laurel, the top arts award in my medieval club. As she researches and makes many things related to 16th C Flanders, many of the activities focused around creating the look and feel of peasant weddings and other celebrations from art of the time. A big part of that is the food, so I made five kinds of sausages and two kinds of mustard. Others made cheese pear, apple and strawberry tarts, waffles, breads, and jams/sauces. I blogged about my contribution here:

I also made a new costume for the day:
Alais looked lovely, though I wish I could have gotten her glasses off her before taking the picture. She didn't know I had the camera out though, and I didn't want to spoil her concentration by letting her know:
Part of her ceremony involved a dance, which looked really lovely.

siglinde99: (Default)
Do you find that what you like has changed over time? I know there are a few things I like better than I did as a kid, but mostly I have remained a fairly adventurous eater. There have been a few changes, though, and I wonder whether it is the food itself or how it was prepared. Today's example is okra.

When I lived in Brazil, I tried the traditional Minas Gerais dish of chicken and okra stew. I thought it was pretty loathsome because of the gluey texture. I haven't had it for years. However, a few years ago I made a spicy andouille sausage and needed something to use it in; the solution was a chicken and smoked andouille sausage dish that also had okra. This week, okra was on clearance sale so I bought 2 pounds of it. I didn't have any andouille, though, and didn't feel like making any, so I found a recipe for that Brazilian chicken and okra stew. I just tasted it and mm.mmmm..mmmm.... The okra had quite a lovely texture. Maybe I didn't cook it as long as it was cooked in restaurants in Brazil?
siglinde99: (Default)
I love summer, but OMG the garden and my CSA basket are exploding. And I can't resist a bargain... Yesterday's adventures included the purchase of okra because it was on sale. Which meant I needed to buy chicken and look up a recipe for frango com quiabo (chicken with okra, a traditional recipe from Minas Gerais, Brazil). I also have beets cooking up for a cold borscht. I finally sauteed my swiss chard to eat with rice and beans (I hate chard but can't let it go to waste; I have been using all sorts of other greens while waiting for my collards to grow big enough to use, so I figured the chard might work too). Tomorrow I need to get down to the serious business of making pesto, as my basil is exploding. I have discovered that carrot tops make a decent pesto, so I may experiment with adding them too, or I could just sautee them. Usually I just pitch out the green tops, but this year I am trying to learn to use everything.

My freezer will be nicely filled, but I will also have a lot of other foods I need to use up. Summer is the time when my craving for coleslaw kicks in every year, so I bought a cabbage which I haven't had time to use. Last night's CSA basket included a second cabbage, so I will be making cabbage roll casserole for the freezer, just to make room for non-freezable vegetables in my fridge.

How about you? Do you live where summer bounty changes what you eat? Do you prefer old favourites or do you like to experiment^
siglinde99: (Default)
Tonight I riffed off one of's rhubarb round-up recipes. The original Lemon Rhubarb Cake used a cake mix, but the original recipe seems to have come from a Strawberry Shortcut Cake. I sort-of combined the two, as follows:

Grease a 13 x 9 inch cake pan, heat oven to 350F
Sprinkle bottom of pan with about 2 cups of miniature marshmallows (or all the large marshmallows I happened to have on hand, cut into quarters).
Mix together:
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c solid shortening (or approximately 1/4 c shortening and 1/4 c margarine because that's what I had)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk
about 2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs

Blend at low speed until moistened,then at medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. I only have a hand mixer, so there was just one speed. Pour over the marshmallows.

3 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (it's what I had handy, and any more would have made a huge mess in the bottom of the oven)
1/2 c sugar
1 package raspberry jello powder

Mix thoroughtly, then pour over the cake mix.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes.

I let mine go a smidge longer than I should have, but it is pretty darned tasty. Next time, I might use even less sugar in the topping. I like things a little more tart. I suspect my daughter will love it, though.
siglinde99: (Default)
I am way behind on testing new things this month. I put it down to having decided to clean out my pantry and cupboards. It has meant a lot of boring eating. Last night, my daughter said she had a craving for Hamburger Helper - I never buy the packaged stuff, and even my homemade version isn't something she never liked (usually her brother gobbled it all up).

After poking around in a few cookbooks, I settled on Hamburger Stroganoff from good old Betty Crocker (1964 edition). She almost never fails me!

Hamburger Stroganoff
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (8 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups hot cooked noodles
snipped parsley

In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef and onion in butter until onion is tender. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper and mushrooms; cook five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in soup; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with snipped parsley.

Naturally, I didn't have all the right ingredients, but why let that stop me? I didn't have mushrooms (the girl hates them anyway), or cream of chicken soup, or sour cream, so I skipped mushrooms altogether, used dried onion soup mix with a bunch of milk and about a half block of cream cheese. I didn't have fresh parsley, so I threw in a whole bunch of dried (also to give it the illusion of having some sort of vegetable).
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
My Ex's grandmother made wicked rum balls. You could get drunk just smelling those puppies. I have her recipe in one of my binders full of paper recipes. This year, though< I decided to wing it a little. I had a bit of rum left from my summer stock (I buy a bottle each year for mojitos). I had some chocolate gram cracker crumbs left from the last time I made rum balls. I had some walnuts and ground almonds and coconut from previous projects. I didn't have any cocoa, but I had corn syrup for the planned experiment in making my own marshmallow fluff. So here's what I did:

1 c chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c rum
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 c nuts (I used about 2/3 ground almonds and 1/3 chopped walnuts)
1/2 c Splenda (granulated sugar would have worked equally well, but I had Splenda I wanted to get rid of)
1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together and roll into balls about the size of a walnut, then set on wax paper to harden a bit. You should end up with about 25-30 balls of mid-century yumminess.

This recipe was milder than Grandma Moore's but quite tasty.
siglinde99: (Default)
I'm caught up, really! I made two hair clips that I forgot to photograph because they were in my hair, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow. I'm also minutes away from completing one of my super secret surprise things so the photo of that will have to wait until it is delivered to its intended recipient. Here is what I have gotten done in the past few days:

Most of the beads in the orange necklace likely date from the 1960s. I thought the short strand was original, but as I look at its asymmetrical bead pattern, I begin to suspect it may have been restrung before. The long strand is made up of original beads, plus some loose gold beads I found, and glass beads I salvaged from another broken necklace. I don't wear orange much, so this one is likely to go to the church bazaar.

The red necklace was one my daughter made me for Christmas when she was little, supplemented by some beads from a little glass bead bracelet of uncertain origin, crystal beads left over from the last hair clip I made, and a few tiny beads from a Dollar Store find. I'm glad to have it back in use, even if it isn't quite the way she designed it.

The blue necklace came about when I found another little prize token of blue pearl with a couple of beads. I used similar ones to make earrings, so this odd pearl cried out to be made into a single something. Then I found a string of silver beads that sort-of matched the beads that came with the pearl, and decided to use a dollar store batch of beads to make this necklace, instead of using them in a multi-strand pearl necklace as originally planned. I still have a bag of Dollar Store glass beads in other shades of blue, so that necklace will happen over the next few days.

Random thought - why do so many foods come with recipes printed right on the package these days? Is it because people no longer learn to cook on home economics or from parents? In this case, the food is a pork roast. It came with detailed instructions on how to make a pot roast pulled pork. For the record, even though I had already looked up a pulled pork recipe, I decided to test this one for a 4 lb roast, in the slow cooker:

Mix together 2 Tbsp paprika, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt, 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tsp ground sage. Rub into the pork roast and then cook in slow cooker for 8 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker, skim off fat from the drippings, and add the drippings to 4-500 ml of barbecue sauce (I made my own rather than using a bottle, as recommended on the package). Heat through. Use two forks to shred the pork, then combine with sauce in a pan. Serve hot on buns (though we used it on rice).

Tonight I got to watch my girl perform a dance she has been working on for months. She was listed in the program as a special guest performer, which had both of us giggling. She and her partner danced very well, and it was a pleasure to see her dance with real joy and expression on her face, as the two tossed the dance lines back and forth. No pictures were allowed during the performance, of course, and she had peeled off her pointe shoes before I could grab her for a photo afterwards, but I'm still pleased to have a nice picture (even without the joyful smile).

siglinde99: (Default)
I'm parking this here in case I lose the little piece of paper that came with the bean pack. It was a fundraiser for the Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club ( I had purchased last year. When I had a leftover pork bone and there was a serious risk of frost, I decided it could be a summer dish. I would not have expected a bean soup to have chili powder and lemon, but it was really nice. The beans included lentils, black eyed peas, some little green thingies (mung?), - pretty much everything I have ever seen at the store except kidney, romano and black - and probably some I have never seen before. Eyeballing the bag, I would guess I had about 2 cups of dried beans. This would be a great way to use up the bits and bobs of legumes that don't get used in a recipe.

Wash and sort beans; cover with salted (2 tbsp.) water in large kettle, and let stand overnight. Rinse and drain beans, put in pot with 2 qts water and a ham bone/hock or smoked turkey part. Or use any stock you desire. Bring the mixture to boil, simmer gently for 2-3 hours, then add 1 large chopped onion, 1 large can tomatoes, 1 red pepper pod or 1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder, 1 clove garlic, 1 bay leaf, juice from 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Optional: any other meat, vegetables of flavouring. Simmer 1 1/2 - 2 more hours. Leftovers can be frozen.
siglinde99: (Default)
I did actual sewing stuff on my machine yesterday, and started a new super secret knitting project today, but the real accomplishment has been sausages. The doctor should never have said I'm healing well, as I spent the whole day testing recipes. I need to go boil some bratwurst now so it can dry overnight, and print out tickets for my daughter's dance show tomorrow night. Pictures of the sewing projects from the last two days will just have to wait until tomorrow.
siglinde99: (Default)
I posted on my resolutions a while ago, but didn't list the completed recipes as I had forgotten my list at work. It was a busy month on the cooking front, so herewith the results:

8 - General Tsao's chicken (randomly chosen recipe off the internet. The girl liked it so I'll probably make it again, even though it is messy and time-consuming - not to mention fried!)
14 - cranberry and chocolate chip scones (another random recipe from the internet, inspired by similar scones I got served at a meeting that week. I will probably make them again, when I happen to have dried cranberries and chocolate chips in the house. I was very glad to overcome my fear of making scones).
15 - rice oriental (Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery, a book I inherited from Adric, a friend who passed away more than 25 years ago. This is the first time I have used this particular cookbook. Quite a nice, spicy recipe).
16 - Bali Hai steak kew (I think I spotted this on some vintage recipe site, or maybe in one of my old cookbooks. I liked it, but the girl wasn't crazy about it)
17 - Oriental Pork (Chatelaine Quickies - this remains one of my go-to cookbooks, for good reason).
21 - potato latkes (a Jewish cookbook that came as part of a set, also from Adric, I think. Not nearly as much work as I had feared, since I broke out the food processor to grate the potatoes. I had far too many for my little family, though).
23 - onion dip from scratch (Alton Brown,, roasted chicken with preserved lemons (New York Times Cooking website). I had run out of cheap onion soup mix, and this was pretty good (especially with the latkes), but S wasn't crazy about the onion chunks. The roasted chicken was dead easy, since it was essentially "stuff the chicken with the preserved lemons your sister made as a Christmas gift last year, then bake".
24 - horse treats (from a website full of recipes for horse treats - a winner as all the horses at the barn were happy with treats made of molasses and oats), Pam Laviolette's butterscotch/peanut butter no-bake cookies (yum!), Chipits Tiger Bars (from the Chipits bag).
26 - Asian Turkey Salad (Company's Coming Recipes for Leftovers - G loved this so much he stole the container to take to Toronto, and lost the container of course)
siglinde99: (Ballet)
Baked Chicken and Pumpkin (

1 kg chicken pieces
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 pie pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks (I usually use part of a Hallowe'en pumpkin)
3/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c hot chicken broth
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 c chopped peanuts (I usually don't bother with these)

Place onions and pumpkin in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter, half of salt and half of cayenne pepper. Gradually stir in hot chicken broth so that the peanut butter melts. Stir in half of lemon juice. Pour over pumpkin and onions. Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt, pepper and lemon juice. Sprinkle black pepper over chicken. Bake in preheated 400F (200C) oven for 1 hour or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and pumpkin is tender. Place on serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts.

Butternut Squash Soup (

1 medium butternut squash (I eyeballed an approximately equivalent amount of pumpkin)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup (plus more to thin) homemade chicken broth or stock
1 sweet onion
2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garlic (or to taste)
sprinkle of thyme (optional)

Cut squash, scoop and peel squash, then chop into small cubes. Peel and dice onion. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and add onion, then sauté 3 minutes until starting to soften. Add squash and sauté an additional 5 minutes until squash starts to brown. Add coconut milk, stock, and spices and bring to simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes until soft. Use a blender or hand blender to puree until smooth.

As I perused my various books and binders to find these recipes again, I realized I have several variants of each. Obviously, I like them a lot, but this version of chicken and pumpkin has become my main go-to for cooking up pumpkins. Both recipes freeze well, which makes them ideal for work lunches.
siglinde99: (Ballet)
Tonight I cooked up more pumpkin - double batch of chicken and pumpkin (one of my go-to recipes for winter lunches), plus a double batch of elegant pumpkin bisque. I still need to make curried pumpkin puree with the last bit of cooked pumpkin, and a butternut squash soup with coconut (using pumpkin, of course). I still have a whole pumpkin on the counter, to be dealt with later.

I feel like I have enough pumpkin-based dishes on hand to survive the zombie apocalypse. As a bonus, my kitchen has been tidied so my counters no longer look like the are covered in brainnnnsss.
siglinde99: (Default)
I'm thinking about trying Live Below the Line fundraising and awareness campaign that challenges participants to live on the equivalent of $1.50 ($1.75 Cdn) for food and drink for five days. It starts April 28 and goes until May 2. Geoff leaves the morning of the 29th. I'm pretty sure I can live on rice, beans, home-baked bread, eggs, local vegetables and bananas for a week.
siglinde99: (Default)
This week I:
- baked two pumpkin pies from scratch, and used them to bribe my parents over for a visit (so they could take home at least some of the beet pickles);

- made a chocolate cookie dough that served as the base for witches brooms (with pretzels for handles) and witches' hats (with macaroons for the pointy bits);
- sugar cookies
- finger cookies (sugar cookies with a bit of almond, shaped like fingers with whole blanched almond fingernails, glued in place with red icing "blood");
- broken glass and blood cupcakes (red velvet cake recipe, corn syrup and sugar "glass", and corn syrup/corn starch "blood"). This recipe needs some tweaking as I ended up with far too much "glass", and the "blood" should have been boiled. It is worth doing again, though.

Combined with other donations, our calorie cart raised $176 for charity at work today.

I'm cvelebrating the end of the sugar rush with trouchia, a Swiss chard omelette from southern France. I have loathed Swiss chard since unfortunate experiences in childhood, but this is quite tasty.

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siglinde99: (Default)
This month's issue of Foreign Policy has several fascinating articles. The first is The Cookbook Theory of Economics, which posits that one can measure economic development by cookbooks about the cuisine of a society. Agrarian societies where ingredients are very local and recipes are handed down from mother to daughter are almost impossible to replicate elsewhere. As the society develops economically, restaurants pop up (specialization) and there is a need to standardize ingredients as well as teach the recipes to strangers. That's when cookbooks start to appear. The trend continues with globalization and the increased number of women working outside the home.

The Second article is an essay on rice, and how it is used as a stable and form of hospitality in war zones from Afghanistan to Palestine to Mali. It includes partial recipes for three rice dishes (an uzbecki pilau, basmati rice and jollof rice) and descriptions of others, such as Somali surbiyaan and a Baghdadi spiced rice cooked with chicken. The fascinating part is the description of what families must go though to get their rice, and the joy of surviving another day to share the meal.

The third article "Austerity Lentils" reflects on the economic collapse in Greece, and the many ways of serving lentils in Greece - the author discusses the role of lentils in feeding her family when they were poor peasants, then as a dish for homesick immigrants, and now as a food served in soup kitchens. Though this article doesn't give specific recipes, there are descriptions of several different dishes, with ingredient lists.

The final article "Market Revolution", describes the revolution that has overtaken the restaurant industry in Poland since the fall of the Wall. During the Cold War, there were elegant but empty official restaurants and unlicensed restaurants that actually had food (usually seasonal, organic and often contraband). Following the collapse of communism, people went crazy for imported foods (bad pizza, worse "French" restaurants, and McDonald's). With time, home cooks became professional and packaging improved. With political stability came national self-confidence and a revival of Polish cooking. Now, with globalization, chefs are reinventing traditional Polish dishes with once-exotic ingredients. This one also comes with enough of a recipe to make sour cucumber soup (ogorkowa), if only I can figure out what the author means by sour dill pickles.
siglinde99: (Default)
I just made what may be the ultimate anti-Cortejo food - breakfast queso fundido. It has pork sausage (chorizo), chicken eggs, two kinds of cow cheese, nightshades (two kinds of peppers) and served with wheat tortillas. I think she could eat the cooked onions and the green onion topping.

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siglinde99: (Default)
Inspired by some recent posts about variations of pizza/taco things to make in muffin cups, I cooked up lasagne noodles, cut small enough to fill muffin tins when criss-crossed, then filled with leftover spaghetti sauce and topped with mozzarella. I baked them at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I also made a ham and blue cheese sauce for pasta:

Saute one chopped onion until translucent. Add 8 oz crumbled blue cheese, 4 oz mozarella cheese, 1 c cream and 8 oz chopped ham. Heat until boiling, then simmer until cheese is melted and the sauce thickens. Add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, 1-2 Tbsp dried parsley, and ground pepper to taste. Toss with cooked pasta.

Next up: stir fry with noodles, then curried parsnip soup (another recipe from Smokey Tom's).

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siglinde99: (Default)
This recipe comes from "In a Manor of Cooking", a 40th anniversary project sponsored by the Manor Park Community Association in 1988. Manor Park is the next community but one, a fairly mixed community that ranges from subsidized housing to luxury homes bordering Rokcliffe Park. I decided to try this recipe because I already had all the ingredients.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Arrange chicken breasts in single layer in short casserole dish. Combine remaining ingredients, mix well and spoon over chicken. Bake at 350F for at least 1 hour or until chicken is tender.

Serves 6

The chicken is really tender. Next time, I might add a little hot sauce.

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