Sauerbraten What?

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I’ve been trying to eat from my freezer lately. The other day I found a chuck roast hiding in it. That’s probably my favorite cut of beef. It’s flavorful and relatively inexpensive. I prefer bone-in, but most places here don’t sell those. Chuck roasts of any type can be hard to find where I live, so I try to get one or two when they’re on sale. I didn’t particularly want to cook a roast, but cut into stew-size pieces, it makes great soup or stew.

Just as I wasn’t in the mood for roast beef, beef stew didn’t call to me, either. Besides using that roast, the only thing I knew for sure was I wanted to cook it in my CrockPot. I’ve been using my pressure cooker and NuWave a lot lately, and I didn’t want my Crock Pot to feel neglected. So I went looking on the Internet for an idea. Almost immediately, I found sauerbraten soup. Huh? Yes, soup. And it wasn’t just one recipe; there were several. Now I like sauerbraten and make it occasionally. But I never thought of it as soup or stew. That was about to change.

I took the roast out to thaw, so I could make soup the next day. I looked at the recipes and took a bit from this one, more from that one, and oh, that part of that other one looked promising. The next day I grabbed all the ingredients and got to work.

Sauerbraten Soup1.jpg

I cut up the meat into stew-size pieces. If your meat has large pieces of fat, remove. Then put it in the Crock Pot (not turned on). Then I made the brine, which consists of red wine vinegar and sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, I added cold water to cool it down and added pickling and other spices. Then pour it onto the meat, making sure it covers the meat. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Yes, just 15 minutes.

In the interim, prepare your vegetables. I went with carrots, onions, and celery. When the 15 minutes are up, add stock and the veggies. Stir and cook on high for about 6 hours.

Serving suggestions included spaetzle and potato dumplings. I think a nice hunk of rye bread would be pretty tasty, too. I went with just straight sauerbraten soup.

A couple of notes.

You may be wondering if you could use packaged stew meat. Sure you can. But it’s usually more expensive than a chuck roast. I also find the roast more flavorful. And I’ve long had suspicions that the meat in those packages could come from multiple cows (like ground beef) and multiple cuts.

And about pickling spices. I happened to have part of a jar, so I used it. You can, of course, make your own. Here’s my version.

I hope you’ll expand your horizons and give Sauerbraten Soup a try.



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Dare I Say It? Fruitcake!

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It seems as though practically everyone I know on Facebook has been making a fruitcake. After all, Labor Day has passed, so it’s time. I guess.

For the most part, I’ve been one of those fruitcake haters. Neon fruit and odd flavors didn’t appeal to me. (They still don’t.) Mom was the only one who liked them, so we sometimes got the smallest we could find for the holidays. One year, though, someone gave her one without glow-in-the-dark ingredients, and it tasted pretty good. Then a few years later, someone gave me one she’d ordered from a monastery somewhere. It reminded me a lot of the one from my childhood–the good one. But I wasn’t inclined to make my own.

Until this year. Lemming that I can be, reading about all the fruitcakes being made, I had to join in. So the first thing was finding a recipe. You know something? There are a heck of a lot of fruitcake recipes out there. Most seem to be about the same. They may differ in a few ingredients or techniques, but the basics are similar. I posted my desire to make a fruitcake online and received a lot of suggestions.

I’m going to digress a bit here. I’ve mentioned before that one of my biggest regrets is that I have no passed-down family recipes. Nada. None. Desperate for a culinary history, I sometimes bid on recipe collections sold on eBay. I’m sure there would have been at least one fruitcake recipe in there. But I’ve yet to win one. I’m not sure why this lack pains me so. After all, I’ve no one to pass a collection to, but it does.

I looked over the recipes sent and recommended. I checked my cookbooks. I decided to try the recipe my FB friend Judy Lawson sent me for her mom’s fruitcake.

First I had to decide what fruit I wanted. None of that bright fruit for me. Mine would have cranberries, pineapple, cherries, regular raisins and golden raisins, and dates. Judy’s recipe called for 2 cups of candied fruit. Well, I wasn’t going to spend money on candied fruit. Yep, I made my own following the technique found here. (I didn’t use the honey, though.) I candied the cranberries, pineapple, and cherries.

Some instructions call for drying candied fruit. If I were going to use it as a snack, I probably would. But I was concerned the added moisture might change the texture of the cake. So I put them in the dehydrator for about 5 hours at 95 degrees to dry them slightly.

The raisins needed to be plumped, but I wasn’t sure in what. So I asked Judy. She plumps hers in coffee, so I did as well. Can I just say this makes a really tasty snack?


Raisins after their coffee soak

The recipe called for dried apricots, but I didn’t have any, so I skipped. I did add some chopped crystallized ginger. Judy’s mom also uses chopped walnuts. I did as well, but I also used chopped pecans and slivered almonds.

The original recipe calls for the addition of Jack Daniels. Unfortunately, I used the last of my supply for hot sauce (but it made a great hot sauce). But I did have Irish whiskey, so in that went. I also needed to decide what to put on the outside of the cake as it ages. The recipe calls for wine. I opted for brandy.WeighingEmptyBowl.jpgBefore mixing things together, I weighed the empty mixing bowl and the two loaf pans they’d bake in. This helped me make sure I got equal–well, almost equal–amounts of batter in each.

The yum-yums all mixed together

Fruitcakes bake for a long time. These for about 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees. Let them cool and then prep for their long nap. There are several methods for getting them ready for bed. The recipe called for wrapping in a wine-soaked cloth and putting in an air-tight container. I opted for another technique. After giving them a brandy bath, I wrapped in plastic before putting in an airtight container.

So here it is, my first fruitcake.


I sampled a crumb or two that fell off, and it is mighty tasty. The cake batter itself, without the fruits and nuts, would make a great adult spice cake. I’ll let you know the final results.

Thank you, Judy Lawson, for sharing your mother’s recipe. It makes me feel part of a recipe-sharing family.

Here’s my version of her fruitcake.


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Comfort, Carbs, and Chicken Soup

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It’s been a rough few weeks for a lot of people I know. And I have to include myself in there, too. Like many people going through a stressful time, I kind of threw healthy eating out the window more than once. Rather than cook something–even something unhealthy–potato chips and I became good friends. Oh, I could have made my own (and I have), it was so much easier to grab a bag at the store.

This past weekend, I came to the realization that my stress is not going to end anytime soon. With that also came the realization that I couldn’t keep having crap as the major part of my eating habits. To put it bluntly (and turn your head if you’re sensitive), my poor choices were making me spend a lot of time in the bathroom. And in not a good way.

So I sat down and thought what foods I’d personally classify as comfort foods. Like most people, they tend toward carbohydrates, and not the most healthy ones. But my attraction to carbs makes sense. It seems as though eating certain types of carbs triggers good feelings. And believe me, I needed those good feelings. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes and gravy, as well as turkey, are high on my comfort food list. As is soup, especially chicken noodle.

2015-10-10 17.09.44When we were kids, we had chicken soup a lot. Most of the time it was Campbell’s, but occasionally Mom made chicken soup and threw in a package of noodles. And sometimes, she served it over mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes and soup–with noodles?


When she did, there usually wasn’t as much liquid in the soup. And on occasion, she even used instant potatoes.

Now, if it wasn’t strange enough that a mother would do it, she got the idea from our school lunch program. In our junior high and high school cafeterias, it was a fairly common menu item. We went home and told her how good it was, and before long, it was on our home menu as well.

Once I remembered it, there was no question that was going to be my comfort food of choice this weekend. I had leftover chicken, so that took care of that. And I had stuff to make chicken stock. I had put it off and put it off, but this weekend was the right time. I’d planned on buying noodles at the store, but I just could not justify paying almost $3 for a bag of plain old noodles. Especially since I have plenty of flour. So I made noodles. And I made mashed potatoes.

I plopped some mashed potatoes in my bowl and followed it up with some chicken noodle soup. For a while, I felt better about things. Oh, it’s not a panacea for all things, and my stress is still there, but for a while, anyway, all was right with the world.

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Things Are Sprouting Up

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I’ve blogged about growing sprouts before, especially wheat and rye berries. I’ve wanted to sprout barley for bread for a long time, but I’ve not been able to find grains that will sprout. And I’ve also blogged about the great service and products I’ve gotten from Homesteader’s Supply. This post combines both.

A while ago, Homesteader’s Supply’s Jerri told me they were now offering a line of sprouting seeds called Speedy Sprouts. She asked if I’d like to test drive some, so to speak. I jumped at the opportunity to do so, and she sent me some barley seeds and wheat berries.

I had some questions before starting “Bob Barley,” of course. These are organic, non-GMO and high-germinating seeds. Good to know. Then she told me they were hulled, which immediately sent up “Danger, Will Robinson,” signals. (Okay, “danger” is probably too strong a word, but I wanted to use the Will Robinson quote. I have no shame.) As I researched barley, one of the most common admonitions I found was that hulled barley will not sprout; it’s too damaged in the process of removing the hulls. Hulless barley will sprout, but sprouting rates are not as good as when you use barley with its hull intact. I asked Jerri about these seeds, and she confirmed they sprouted.

I confess I was really confused. I looked at the seeds, and they certainly looked like the hulls were intact. So why did the grower/supplier say they were hulled? IMG_0141I did more research and was schooled in word choice. Some refer to hull-intact barley as being hulled. This doesn’t make total sense to me. After all, we don’t call oranges peeled if they still have their peels. Oh well. My advice? If you are contemplating ordering or buying barley seeds from anywhere, ask if they will sprout. If possible, read reviews and find out the sprouting experiences of others.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. These seeds do sprout. And they were quick about it. Granted, it was warmer in here than when I usually sprout; it was probably in the low 70s. Still, their sprouts started to show in about a day and a half. They were ready to dehydrate and grind in three!

IMG_0140Some are a little longer than I usually allow, but they were fine. Of all the seeds I started sprouting, all of them sprouted!

I only use these for flour, so I can’t say how they’d be for eating out of hand. But if you’re looking for sprouting barley for bread, these are a good choice. Check out these and other sprouting seeds and supplies available through Homesteaders’ Supply.

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Sing a Song of Celery Sales

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One of the best ways to save money is to buy in bulk. I think we all know that. The trick is finding ways to use what we buy. After all, it’s not a sale if we can’t use what we bought before it goes bad.

Meat is easy; put it in the freezer. Many vegetables can be prepped and put in the freezer, canned, or dehydrated. The same with fruit. Still, we might bypass some things because we just can’t think of ways to use them.

For me, celery was one such item. I’d see a sale for 10 packages for $10 and wonder how I could justify the purchase. I mean, you can’t beat the price; around here, celery is often close to $3 a package! I’ve been trying to stock up for the winter since they’re forecasting a possibly bad one. I always trying to prepare in case my freelance income is drastically cut or I have unexpected expenses. So I decided to challenge myself to find ways to use 10 packages of celery when I saw it on sale again. And that is how I ended up with 10 bags of celery in my fridge.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know how much I love soups and stews. So of course I chopped some and put in the freezer. I’ve designated these to be used within 6 months, so I did not blanch those.

You may have read about my foray into making spice, herb, and veggie blends. It was just logical to dehydrate some. When I dehydrate celery, I do blanch. Otherwise, the strings can make it difficult to dry completely, and well, let’s face it–celery can be tough. When dry, they were whizzed through the mill. Some were stopped at the flake stage; they’re part of my soup blends. The rest were powdered, so I have homemade celery in my pantry.

fermented celeryA

I’ve mentioned one of my favorite Facebook groups, Fermenters Kitchen. A couple people mentioned fermenting celery, so I decided to give it a try. My response? Why in the world did I not do this sooner? It is so good. I used a 2.5 percent brine with filtered water. I was going to check it after a couple days (it’s a quick ferment), but, well, I forgot about it and didn’t check it for a week. It was done. Someone in the group said hers was still crunchy. Mine wasn’t. But that is perfectly okay with me. I ‘m guessing it would have been done and stayed crispy with a shorter ferment time. I’ll be making it again, and I think I’ll stick with the longer time.

When something kind of out of the ordinary goes on sale if you buy in bulk, don’t dismiss it out of hand. Give it some thought, and it might turn out to be a really good deal.

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It’s a Miracle!

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It’s long been said there are two things you shouldn’t discuss in “polite company” or at the dinner table: religion and politics. Based on my experiences, I’d add a third: Miracle Whip or mayonnaise?

Now don’t go running off. This isn’t going to be a discussion of the virtues of one or the other. I believe there’s room in this world for both. No, this is a post about my craving for cake.

White condiments and cake? Yes indeed. Mayonnaise cakes have been around a long time. Yes, longer than I have. Some sources state Hellman’s created the cake in the 1930s as a way to get around egg and butter shortages. But a recipe for chocolate mayonnaise cake was published in the Oakland Tribune on March 7, 1927. Whatever the source, it’s been around a long time.

A week or so ago, I had a craving for cake. Unfortunately, there were no eggs in the fridge, and I couldn’t go to the store. What to do. I looked in the fridge to see what I did have, and there it was–a jar of Miracle Whip! Light bulb moment. When I was a kid, my mom made a mean Miracle Whip cake. When she asked me what kind of cake I wanted, that was always my answer. And since it’s a chocolate cake, well, that made it better.

Now bear with me. It’s not as eww as it might sound. And yes, it does go against my desire to use as few highly processed ingredients as possible. But still . . .  You don’t really taste the Miracle Whip. It’s not quite as sweet as many cakes, but that’s fine with me; I’m not into supersweet things.

Excuse the frosting

Excuse the frosting

There’s nothing complicated about this cake. Flour, water, baking soda, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa. And Miracle Whip, of course. Mix and bake. It’s so moist it doesn’t need frosting. (And I apologize for the frosting job above. It’s simply powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. And not very tasty.)

If you’re not a big fan of chocolate, the cake can be made without the cocoa. I’ve since made a lime and coconut Miracle Whip cake. Instead of vanilla, I used lime juice. I also added lime zest and coconut. That may be my new favorite cake.

If you absolutely can’t stand Miracle Whip (you have my sympathy), the cake can be made with mayonnaise. Do not, however, use a product simply called “salad dressing.” It’s Miracle Whip or mayo. Well, you can try it, but you’re on your own.

Here’s my recipe for Miracle Cake.


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Let’s Talk Mustard

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I use a lot of condiments, and I love making my own. I’m guessing you could figure that one out for yourselves. I recently started a new FaceBook group, Top It Off (come join us), that will focus on condiments, jams, jellies. marmalade. butter, cream cheese–anything that you put on top of some thing else to eat. I happened to mention on the site today that I thought I’d make mustard this weekend.  Someone asked me for a recipe. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t find it here. I was sure I’d posted about it, but I guess not. So I’m here to rectify the matter.

If you search for “mustard” on Google, you’ll find a lot of recipes.  Some differ in many ways, while others may only differ by one or two ingredients. Still others may have the same ingredients but use a different method.

You’ve heard me say this time and again, but one of the best things about making your own things–including condiments, is that you can fine-tune them to your preferences. One of the easiest ways to do this with mustard in to change the type of vinegar you use. White wine vinegar gives a mellower taste.

You’ll also notice I say to let the soaking mustard seeds sit for 3 days and then start tasting. That’s just an estimate. For me, its’ still a bit too spicy after 3 days. Keep in mind ambient temperature will make a difference in how long it takes to reach the flavor you like. If it’s hot, start checking earlier.

After the mustard meets your taste approval, whiz it up in a food processor. If it’s too thick, add a wee bit of warm water or vinegar. And then you let it sit again. Now, it’s not going to be that bright yellow mustard in the bright yellow bottle. It will look more like grainy mustard because that’s what it is.

I like my mustard on corned beef and pastrami (homemade preferred, of course). Sometimes I’ll add a bit of it and a bit of the bright yellow in potato salad.

Mustard is not difficult to make; it does take time, though. It is well worth the time.

Here’s my basic recipe.


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Food Preservation Kept Simple–Vegetables

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Some of you may recall I recently did a guest post about sprouting wheat for flour on Homesteader’s Supply‘s blog. Today I’m happy to share Robin Follette’s guest blog for The Enabling Cook. In this post, she shares ways to save the abundance of vegetables we hope to get from our gardens and farmers’ markets. They’re also great ways to be able to take advantage of supermarket sales.


Food Preservation Kept Simple–Vegetables

There’s so much food! After waiting out a long winter, it was nice to have the first fresh food that comes with spring. It was satisfying when there was enough to have a fresh vegetable with dinner each evening; add salad for lunch as a bonus a week later. But now? Now it’s time to get busy preserving the abundance. The baskets overflow, spilling green beans onto the floor when my tired arms half set, half drop the bushel basket to the floor.

Food preservation is one of my favorite parts of homesteading. It’s a nice reminder of summer when the wind is pelting freezing rain at the windows. It’s food security. And while it’s a lot of work, it’s money saved once you have your initial equipment. A $2 package of bush bean seeds can be turned into quarts of beans. One pound of corn seed can turn into one-tenth of an acre of corn on the cob.

The learning curve can be steep, especially if you’re canning. Once you have it down pat, you can almost do it with your eyes closed. And after weeks in the garden, that’s not that much of an exaggeration.


Freezing vegetables sometimes requires blanching first. A quick dip into boiling water, then a cold bath to remove heat, drain the vegetables well, and freeze. The following vegetables may be frozen.

  • Asparagus
  • Beans (bush)
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn (kernels and on the cob)
  • Greens (beet, collards, chard, mustard, rutabaga, spinach, turnip)
  • Herbs
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Peas and pods
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins and winter squash
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes

That doesn’t leave much that can’t be frozen.

Freezing has its downfalls. We lost a significant about of meat and vegetables last week when the chest freezer quit. It had to have been out 10 days before we discovered the disaster. We’re have a generator to run the freezers if the power goes out, but we weren’t prepared for this. If you are using a freezer for food preservation, please consider a temperature alarm. They are less than $25, and that’s a penny in the pot when it comes to the value of the food we lost.

Freezing requires little equipment. A large pot is used to boil water for blanching the vegetables. If you have a strainer, you can lower into the pot, add all of the vegetables in that batch at once, and remove them all at once. They blanch and cool evenly. You’ll need zipper or vacuum bags, freezer containers (plastic), or canning jars.


Don’t you love the look of shelves filled with jars of vegetables? The colors! Orange, red, green! Beautiful. We had a cold cellar in the house where I grew up. My mother would send me to the cellar to get three large potatoes and one quart jar of vegetables. If the choice was mine, we had green beans for supper. Mum warmed those beans in whole, fresh, raw milk and added a big chunk of butter. She salted and peppered the milk and let the beans sit in the warm milk while the rest of the meal cooked. It was delicious. We sopped up the buttery, beany milk with a chunk of homemade bread. I tried this as an adult and used frozen beans. It is not the same. The beans must be canned.

Canning is more complicated than freezing. Some vegetables must be canned in a pressure canner, and others should be simmered in a hot water bath. The internal temperature of a can of vegetables should reach 240°. The amount of pressure required depends on your altitude and what vegetable you’re canning. The amount of time you maintain the pressure doesn’t vary.

Vegetables must be washed before being put into jars to avoid clostridium botulinum, also known as botulism. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be deadly or permanently damaging. Food and knowledge have changed since our grandparents canned. It’s very important to brush up on current methods. As we know better, we do better and become safer.

Canning funnel

Canning funnel

You’ll need a pressure canner and/or water-bath canner, jars specifically made for canning, a rack that sits on the bottom of the canner to prevent jars from sitting on the bottom, lids, and rings. Also helpful are tongs, a lid lifter, a funnel, and a jar lifter. These items can be purchased together as a kit for under $20.

I encourage you to take a canning class. Your cooperative extension might offer this class. If not, they will have information and guidance. If your county’s extension office doesn’t have the information right there, they will tell you which county to contact. There are significant dos and don’ts involved with canning, but it’s not difficult. Making time to learn proper techniques is time well spent.


Food dehydrator

Food dehydrator

Dehydrating vegetables is simple, economical, and a tremendous space saver. My favorite summer snack is a handful of dried grape tomatoes that were sliced in half and seasoned with garlic powder and Italian herbs. I sneak these tomatoes into the house when nobody’s looking so that I can get them into the dehydrator. When my spaghetti sauce is a little too thin, I add these tasty treats. The tomato rehydrates and adds additional flavor to the sauce.

Purchase a dependable dehydrator. Some models offer circulation, temperature control, and timers. Others are simple plug-and-go dehydrators without a circulating fan. Place the vegetables in the trays, plug it in, and go do something else. After 8 hours in a plug-and-go, you’ll want to move the bottom trays to the top, the top to the bottom, and leave the center trays in the center. The wetter a vegetable is the longer it will take to dehydrate.

These vegetables can be dehydrated.

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn kernels (not on the cob)
  • Bush beans
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

I like to prepare a soup mix of carrots, celery, peas, summer squash or zucchini, and onions. Following the instructions that come with your dehydrator. Circulation, number of trays, and heat contribute to how long you’ll need to run the dehydrator.

Store your dehydrated vegetables in canning jars, zippered plastic bags, or vacuum sealed bags. Watch for signs of moisture in the container for the first two to three days. If you see any sign of moisture, return the vegetables to the dehydrator.


Almost any vegetable may be fermented. I think everyone’s heard of sauerkraut, but did you know you can lacto-ferment carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, peppers, and even sweet potatoes? That’s just a start. I use the Pickle-Pro Fermenting Lids for everything from vegetables to sourdough starter. Follow the instructions that come with your culture.

Fermenting crock

Fermenting crock

Lacto-fermentation makes vegetables easier to digest for some people, possibly because it creates probiotics. Fermenting preserves food as well as adds beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.


There’s a lot you can do to preserve foods. Often, several methods are used for personal preferences in flavor. Space and practicality will help you decide what methods are best for you.

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Mmm, Cookies

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I’m not much of a sweets eater, but I do like my ice cream, some pie, and cookies. Cookies are probably my go-to; after all, they’re the perfect grab-and-go snack. And when it comes to cookies, my favorites are probably shortbread and peanut butter. This week. They are, of course, subject to change.

I wanted cookies the other day. It was a serious jonesing. The last cookies I made were shortbread, and though I love them, I wanted something different. It just so happened a peanut butter cookie was popping up all over my Facebook feed. While cookies and my FB feed are exactly strangers, there was something different about this peanut butter cookie. Actually there were several things different about this peanut butter cookie recipe.

No flour

No butter

No salt

No baking powder

No baking soda

Of course I shared this recipe, and apparently I was one of the last to know about it. It’s been around for a long time. Who knew? (Yeh, probably everyone but me.)

I had to try it. I call it 1-Cubed Peanut Butter Cookies. (The 1 should be followed by a superscript 3, but I can’t figure out how to do it here. Ergo, spelling out “cubed.”) Why, because you use 1 of three items. Here’s the recipe. Don’t blink.

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, beaten

That’s it. Seriously.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape into balls, put on parchment lined cookie sheets, light press down, and put the fork marks on each cookie. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Ovens will vary.

PB CookiesIt works! And they taste good!

Since this was my first time making these cookies, I followed the recipe . . . for the most part. I did top with a light sprinkling of turbinado sugar before baking.

I did buy commercial peanut butter to make these cookies. I usually make my own PB, but I had doubts if it would work in this recipe. Although some recipes for homemade peanut butter call for the addition of oil, I don’t My PB is just peanuts whirred to buttery oblivion. Most commercial peanut butters contain at least one type of oil, and I wondered if that oil was necessary for this cookie dough to become cookiefied. I’ll probably try a batch using my peanut butter and see what happens.

You’d think I’d be happy this recipe worked and provided me with a good cookie fix. And I am. I’m especially happy for those looking for a wheat-free cookie. But it has got me to thinking if there are other cookies that can be made this way. There may be experiments in my future.

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Onions on Ice

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The other day I went to pull out an onion for a dish I was making. Nope. Not a single onion. I was sure I had at least one the last time I checked. Should have checked one more time.

Now you might think that’s no big deal. And in the whole scheme of things, it probably isn’t. But I am a big fan of onions. I love them raw. I love them cooked (most ways). They’re players in many of the dishes I make, especially soups and stews. And while I included them in my mirepoix cubes, there are times when I want just the onions.

The next chance I had I went to the store and picked up a couple of bags. When I opened the first bag, it was evident I needed to do something with them right away. Some were past their prime. They were certainly usable, but I needed to cut away parts. I dehydrated some for onion flakes and onion powder. And I wanted to freeze some.

Now that was the problem. When I’ve frozen them in the past, they clumped together and had to be pounded apart. Either that or plop the whole thing in the pot. Yes, I know that’s why they tell you to freeze such things on a cookie sheet first and then put in a container. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room for a cookie sheet in the freezer. There had to be another way.

And there was. Now this may be common knowledge, but I’d not heard of it before. While I didn’t have room for a cookie sheet, there was definitely room to squeeze in an ice cube tray.

Sorry about the lighting.

Sorry about the lighting.

So I took out my Genius Nicer Dicer Fusion and chopped up a couple of onions and put the pieces in an ice cube tray. My theory was that the water in the onions would make the pieces freeze together. Then I’d pop out the cubes and put in a container. When I wanted onions, I’d simply take out a cube or two.

Good theory. But first I had to deal with the onion smell, and these onions had a lot of smell. Before putting in the freezer, I covered first with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. It worked.


The next morning, I anxiously took them out of the freezer.


It worked!

Kind of.

While some stayed in a cubish form, others broke apart. But that’s fine. They’re still individually frozen.

As I said, this may be common knowledge, but it was new to me. I’m already thinking of other things to freeze this way.

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