Saturday, May 29, 2010

ANGEL BISCUITS ----- Using Oil . . . not shortening

If you have never tried these, you must!  They are great little dinner rolls or wonderful biscuits for breakfast.  They will also keep for up two weeks in your fridge.     I always at least double the recipe  . . . that's the only way I ever have any dough for later. Give them  try!     Picture is biscuits made with left-over dough.

Angel Biscuits  

INGREDIENTS  --- Wet Stuff 
  • 2 T. yeast, dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water with a sprinkle of sugar.  (set aside until ready to add)
  • 1/ 2 c. oil
  • 2  c. Buttermilk  (you can use milk soured with vinegar or lemon juice, it just won't have quite the same flavor . . . you know what purist I am about buttermilk!  If you do use this method, give it a few minutes to curdle)
INGREDIENTS  --- Dry Stuff
  • 5 c. flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
Mix all of these dry ingredients in a medium bowl and make a well in the middle of it for the liquids.

MAKING THE DOUGH  ----  Good Stuff

Add all the wet ingredients into the well of the dry stuff at one time.  Mix until you have a nice blob of dough.  I have a hand mixer with pretty good power and so I use that.  When it is mixed pretty well, I flour my hands and start kneading the dough.  I often have to knead for a while until I work a little more flour into the ball so that it's no longer sticky.  Keep it soft.

Roll it out on a floured surface to about 3/4 " to 1 " thickness.  Cut with a round cutter.  I usually use a large canning jar ring.  Arrange on a greased or oiled cookie sheet with at least an inch between if you want them to be more like traditional biscuits.  If you want them to be more like traditional dinner rolls, have them almost touching.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Starting checking them at 12 minutes for the brownness that you want.  

To store the leftover dough, place in a container with a tight lid or a sturdy Ziplock bag that has been sprayed with pan spray.  Make sure there is growing room!  It will rise! 


Take the dough out of the fridge.  Knead it down, roll it out and cut as before.  If you want them to be as fluffy as the first batch, you may want to let them sit on the baking sheet for up to ten minutes before baking.  I usually don't have time and they haven't disappointed me yet!  

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Low Fat Hashbrowns . . . With Butter! Fresh and Dehydrated Potatoes

I just opened this up to finish it and found a blank page.  No wonder I didn't get it posted.

Growing up and most of my adult life, I made hash browns by frying them in half a stick of margarine in a ten inch skillet.  Yummy, yes, BUT a real killer, literally.   I stopped all that 50 lbs. ago and still haven't gained it back.

One of my favorite hobbies is now to take old favorites and making them healthy while still keeping the yummy.  This is how I plan to get the next 30 lbs. off and be healthy again!!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 6 - 8 oz. potato
  • Butter flavored pan spray
  • 1/2 t. to 1 t. butter
  • salt, pepper, seasoned salt, or spices blends that you like.  I have used Cajun, Mexican,  various Mrs. Dashes and Spike. 

Now let's talk spuds.  Not all of them are created equally and can be prepped in various ways.

Russets --  our good old stand-by that we have all grown up with.  Peel them, grate them and go to town. If you want the nutrients that are concentrated just under the skins, scrub them good.  I keep a brush in my kitchen just for scrubbing veggies in my kitchen.  Does that seem like an obvious point?  I caught one of my kids scrubbing away one day with the brush that I used on dirty dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.  YUCK!  So I now have a little tub label "veggies".  It holds a variety of cleaning tools that I still run through the dishwasher frequently for food safety sake.  If I want the russet skins to be a little less "woody", I use the dark green scrubber on it.  You can tell the one on the left is a little lighter from being scrubbed this way.  Makes it a lot more palatable, if you get my drift.  If you really that woody texture, just use the brush.

Golden, Yukon, Red and other thin skinned potatoes.  ---  I love these varieties, however,  occasionally, I have found that the golden and yukon can make pretty mushy hash browns. I believe it was when they were very wet for some reason. Now, if there seems a lot of water, I blot them with a paper towel or to be thrifty, I use one of my clean up rags that has been bleached.  I never peel them, just scrub them good with a brush and check for spots that are really weird.

Dehydrated Potatoes  ------ I have found that the dehydrated potatoes usually double in size when soaked in water.  I think this is one of the best additions for your long shelf life food storage.  If using shredded style, just rehydrate in your fridge the night before or earlier in the day if using them for dinner.  If you are using slices or dices, you will enjoy them better if you steam them for a few minutes after re-hydrating them and before frying them in your skillet.  I have found that if you don't steam them first, they tend to turn very chewy and tough.  Just not the texture and yumminess we are love to eating.

Time to shred ---  I have found that using a course grater makes them better.  A fine grater makes them cook into more of a solid mass.  If you want them to make a kind of patty with all the shreds melding together, use the finer one.  Trim the bad spots and shred.

1.  Give the pan a good coat of pan spray.  When it is good and warmed up, put in  half to a whole teaspoon of butter and spread it around good.  Sprinkle the potato shreds evenly around the pan..  Pat them down with the edge of the spatula.  If you use the flat side of it, they will be denser and cook up less tender.  Season with salt, pepper. seasoned salt, or any of the blends that Mrs. Dash makes.  They are all good!

2.  Cover the pan with a lid to help them cook through tender.  Check once in a while to see when they are browned as much as you would like.  When they are, spray the surface with the pan spray just before flipping them.  Loosen them around all the edges and then flip them all at once if you can.

3.  Tap them down with the edge of the potatoes again and let them cook until they are browned to your liking.

Now to make them even better let's talk about really tasty!  Planning ahead can make the big difference when it comes to using pantry foods.  I almost always rehydrate my dried foods over night for the next day.  Think about what you have.  I love to add diced peppers, celery & minced onions, just mixing them with the potatoes.    Everything is placed in water the night before in the fridge and it's all ready in the morning by draining it all.

Sometimes I sprinkle a little cheese (of course it's low-fat and only 1 oz.) over them as the second side is cooking and drizzle some salsa over it on our plates.  There is a whole meal in one dish when you add a little fruit on the side!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer is Coming!

I am busy like all other gardeners and still babysitting the world's most adorable grandkids, usually my monkey boys, if you get my drift.  But hang in there with me!

Our weather has been getting hot, cooling off  . . . . back and forth.  So blame Mother Nature for my not getting my summer kitchen up and running.


  • Getting the Heat Out of the Kitchen  -- Summer cooking on your patio or under shade in your back yard.  I;ll even swallow my pride and share with pictures this year.
  • Camping  ---  Baking on your Coleman stoves (liquid and propane), dutch oven cooking & whatever comes up as I go along.  Once I get going here I will remember other ways I have used to feed up to 50 people using only camp equipment!
  • Cooking with Limited Resources -- You never know when you may lose your power or gas source.  we used to have happen every summer in the violent summer storms.  We still do, or when a drunk driver takes out a pole or two.
  • Wonder Box Cooking -- I recently made some pinto beans, took pictures and then got sidetracked with grandkids so they sat there for 8 hours.  They were good and soft, but beans can be dangerous.  I would NOT suggest that!  Anyway, I  have taken my wonder box out, shooed my  two legged and four legged puppies off of it.  I have also put it into a box that was just the right size.  I will share some pictures of it & where to get one if you are interested.
Hoping you will stay in touch!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Last year I posted this on making a No-Bake Cheese Cake.  You can see this post HERE.

Today, I finally got around to making one with a crust, a wonderful glaze (if I may say so myself) that went over with all ages, 6 months to 62.  Hope you take the time to try this one.


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
Combine melted butter, flour & powdered sugar.  Mix well.  Press into a 9" - 10" pie pan or 9" square pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool.


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 t.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. boiling water ( I heated it in microwave to good & hot)
Mix until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Beat until smooth:
  • 2 c. (2-8 oz. pkgs. ) cream cheese (of course I used some that I had made from powdered milk!)
  • 2 t. vanilla
Add hot mixture gradually the cream cheese mixture while beating. Pour into prepared crust.  Chill until set.


  • 1 1/2 c. "Strawberry" juice (frozen Apple, Kiwi, Strawberry concentrate)

  • 1 1/2 c. water

  • 2 T. sugar
1.  Mix sugar and gelatine together and set aside.
2.  Mix juice concentrate and water in a pan, bring to a boil.
3.  Add sugar/gelatine mixture and stir until dissolved.
4.  Cool then spread over cheese cake.
5.  Sprinkle the sliced strawberries over top.
6.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

This glaze was pretty "tangy" and was enough to cover a 13" X 9" rectangular pan.  It has so much flavor.  The whole family hadn't realized that the glaze that you buy in the store had no flavor.

I doubled the cheese cake filling and the crust to fill the 13" X 9" pan.  

Saturday, May 1, 2010

BOUNTIFUL BASKET - - - - - MAY 1st - - - - - Here's Some Ideas!

Mexican Gray Squash  -   HERE

Cucumbers  - HERE 

Salsa Verde, using Tomatillas  -  HERE

Looking for the Grilled Artichoke Recipe!