Tuesday, November 25

Baby Food Cake

Congratulations, Mrs. Tairy Greene on the birth of your adorable baby boy!

To welcome little Pervis Greene into the world, here's a recipe for Baby Food Cake. Frankly, I'm a little surprised by this recipe because it actually sounds like it could be tasty. I suppose if you set out to make it sickenin though, in true Midwest Cookin fashion, you could substitute different combinations of baby food - strained peas and blueberry buckle would make a deliciously disgustin concoction for sure. Or, in the style of Pervis's father's famous casserole, you could sub baby food macaroni and cheese, baby food "meat" (to take the place of the hot dogs), and cottage cheese for the three baby foods listed below. Mmmmmm-mmm!

3 eggs
2 c. white sugar
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. bakin soda
1 tsp. salt
1 (2.5 oz) jar applesauce baby food
1 (2.5 oz) jar carrot baby food
1 (2.5 oz) jar apricot baby food

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 cake pan

How to:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar, and oil. Combine the flour bakin soda and salt, stir into the egg mixture. Finally, stir in the baby food. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and frost with your favorite cream cheese frostin (yeah, definitely use your favorite cream cheese frostin, and not the cheap crap that you totally hate. I bet you could frost it with good ol Cool Whip too if you're a busy new mom or a total lazyass).

Tuesday, October 7

Caramel Bars

This is my mom's own recipe, for the greatest bars ever made in the history of Midwest Cookin. Yes, they are sugary. Yes, they are not "good for you". But they are so so so so so so so yummy and worth givin up a few extra calories for. Also, they do have oatmeal in them, so you can chalk that up to your daily dose of whole grain, right?

I have never heard someone say they didn't like these, and if I ever do hear it, I might just punch them in the face for talkin smack about my momma's bars.

1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
2 sticks + 2 tbsp. margarine (melted) (what? no oleo?)
1 c. + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. soda (bakin soda, not soda pop, goofus)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 bag caramels (get some kids to unwrap them all, but you've got to watch em like a hawk - as my mom used to when we were kids - in order to make sure they don't eat half the caramels you need for the recipe)
8 tbsp. milk
1 bag chocolate chips (keep your paws out of them, they're for the bars)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 cake pan

How to:
Mix together first 6 ingredients and pat into a 9x13-inch pan (save 1/4 for topping). Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees; set aside. Melt caramels with milk. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked mixture Spread melted caramel over chips, then top with remainin crumbs. Bake 15 more minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake! (or they will suck and be diamond-hard. I am very proud that my mom didn't leave out any important steps, like the oven temp or bake time. Too bad I can't say the same for lots of the other recipes on this site!!!)

Monday, October 6

Punkin Bars

Bars, bars, bars! The perennial classic, the foundation of the Midwest potluck dessert line!

If you need to bake somethin up real quick for a Fall Bake Sale (there are like 10 of them goin on at my job this week, so I've got bake sales on the brain...), you can't go wrong with Punkin Bars.

(Sorry, I just can't think of anythin snarky to say about Punkin Bars because I actually find them to be quite delish. But there will be other, more sinister bars to come in the future - I won't let you down!)

2 c. sugar
1 c. salad oil (how bout vegetable or canola?)
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tsp. soda
1-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. pumpkin

1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3/4 stick oleo (yay! oleo! I love that word!)
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 11x17-inch jelly roll pan (who on earth makes jelly rolls anymore? I think they call em "bakin sheets" these days...)

How to:
Mix all together and pour into a greased 11x17-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. (And THEN you frost them. Probably after they've cooled [of course, the recipe is sufficiently vague on this aspect, most likely because if you're dumb enough to frost your bars before you bake em, you shouldn't be allowed to play with the stove].)

Thursday, September 25

Wiener Water Soup

Well, when the next Great Depression hits, we may all resort to eatin "food" like this "soup" which is the most depressin recipe I've ever seen. Other than hobos, who would actually eat this? Or, worse yet, serve it to their family? I feel like Child Services needs to be called on this recipe just for existin!

Thanks to Midwest Cookin fan Mrs. Gertrude Black for submittin this one.

1 pkg. wieners
3 c. water

How to:
Combine wieners and water in a two quart saucepan. Bring to a boil until wieners are cooked. Throw the wieners in the garbage. (WHAT?! you're broke enough to actually be eatin this swill and you're goin to toss perfectly good wieners in the garbage?!? you deserve to be poor.) Serve soup. Serves 3. (Ugh - I bet this "soup" has a deliteful aroma. Urp.)

Wednesday, September 24

Macaroni and Cheese, Hamburger

Hmmm...I wonder what ingredients could possibly be in this recipe? Macaroni and cheese and hamburger, you say? Why, I never would have guessed!

1 box macaroni and cheese dinner (go for the Kraft!)
1 lb. hamburger
1 can cream of mushroom soup (but of course!)
1/2 can milk (canned milk? or a random can filled halfway with milk? these are the things that keep me up at night.)

How to:
Prepare macaroni and cheese accordin to directions. Fry hamburger and onion. Add hamburger to prepared macaroni and cheese dinner; add soup and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Heat and serve. Very easy to make and tastes great. (Gee, I'll have to take your word on that "tastes great" part, Shirley. I think ketchup would make a lovely accompaniment, don't you?)

Saturday, July 19

Broken Glass

Finally! A recipe that uses Jello but doesn't call itself a salad!

Nope, not a salad. Just somethin dangerous that, as a rule, you generally want to avoid. Sounds like good eatin to me!

This is recipe #5 in the July Jello Jigtacular! Collect them all!

1 pkg. ea. lemon, raspberry, lime, and orange Jello (did you catch that folks? 4 boxes of Jello)
1 pkg. gelatin (make that 5 - this, though, is the unflavored stuff)
1 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cold water
2 c. whippin cream (the liquidy stuff, not Cool Whip--although I know you're tempted)
1 tsp. vanilla

24 graham crackers
1/2 c. butter (melted)
1/2 c. sugar

Pan size: 8x13-inch pan (actually, I think the standard is 9x13, so don't travel the globe lookin for an 8x13 pan, ok?)

How to:
Prepare graham cracker crust in an 8x13-inch pan. Prepare each box of Jello in 4 separate pans; set to harden (this is already usin up way too many dishes for my likin). Soak gelatin in cold water. Heat pineapple juice and add gelatin; cool. Combine whippin cream, sugar and vanilla. Cut Jello and fold together with cream mixture, pineapple mixture and Jello. Pour into pan with graham cracker crust and sprinkle graham crackers on top. Refrigerate 2 hours. (I wonder what this ends up lookin like? I just can't get a good mental visual on it at all. And why the hell is it called broken glass?)

Corn Beef Salad

I hope you aren't eatin when you read this one, and if you are, you might want to put down that fork. This could very well be one of the foulest concoctions we've seen here at Midwest Cookin.

I think the Midwest should have its own 4th of July competitive eatin fal-de-ral. Forget about Nathan's New York hot dog eatin contest. Those guys wouldn't last 3 bites if it was a contest featurin this dish.

Dear readers, I present to you: Corn Beef Salad! (No, not "corned beef" - "corn beef".)

This recipe is #4 in the July Jello Jigtacular! Collect them all!

("Wait", you say, slowly comin to the realization of what you're about to read, "beef...and...Jello? NOOOOooooooooo!"


1 large pkg. lemon Jello
2 c. hot water
1 c. cold water
2 c. celery (chop fine)
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 small green pepper
4 boiled eggs (cut fine)
2 tbsp. onion (grated)
1 can corned beef (flaked)
1 c. mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip) (thanks for the handy tip, Mary Wolf of Immanuel Lutheran)

How to:
Mix Jello in hot (boilin) water. Add cold water. After Jello starts to set, whip. Fold in the remainin ingredients. Add a little parsley on top (if desired). (Oh yes. The parsley will make it all better.)

Dark Cherry Salad Squares

I'm baffled as to what exactly justifies the use of the word "salad" in the title of this recipe. Is the use of Jello alone enough to call it a salad? I'd call it a dessert, but what do I know?

The first ingredient here is dark cherries, which I normally love - but on seein the rest of the ingredients, I just don't think I could bring myself to sample a square. What do you think?

This is recipe #3 in the July Jello Jigtacular! Collect them all!

2 c. Gourmet's Choice (r) dark sweet cherries (thawed, drained, reservin juice and cut in half)
1 1/2 c. boilin water
2 (3 oz.) pkgs. black cherry Jello (I've noticed that the word "pkg" hasn't been spelled out in any of this month's Jello recipes. Why?)
1 (8 oz.) container whipped toppin (e.g., Cool Whip)
1 c. white seedless grapes (cut in half)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. Elite Egg (tm) substitute (oh, this just keeps gettin better and better)
3/4 c. pineapple juice
2 tbsp. margarine

How to:
Thaw and drain cherries, reservin juice. Add enough water to reserved juice to equal 1 1/2 c. liquid. Cut cherries in half; set aside. Dissolve Jello in boilin water. Add to reserved juice mixture. Chill until partially set. Fold in grapes and cherries. Pour into a 9x9-inch square pan; chill until firm. Combine sugar, flour, (wait - what? there's no flour in the ingredients list) egg substitute and pineapple juice in saucepan. Cook, stirrin constantly until smooth and thickened. Stir in margarine; cool. Combine whipped toppin with egg mixture. Pour carefully over Jello. Chill. Makes 9 servins. (Phew. That's a lot of fancy cookin and ingredients for what could be a whole lot easier - take a can of fruit cocktail, pick out and eat all the peach and pear bits, dump the leftovers in a vat of cherry Jello and top with Cool Whip. Voila! I just came up with a new salad. We'll call it "Canned Gourmand's Delite Salad". That's copyrighted as of now.)

Carrot & Pineapple Salad

Mmmmm....nothin says "salad" more than vegetables trapped in Jello. This is a little different twist on the Carrot & Pineapple Salad that one usually finds on the salad bars of buffet restaurants. The secret? Shhh - you use lemon Jello instead of orange Jello! Brilliant!

Recipe # 2 in the July Jello Jigtacular! Collect them all!

2 c. carrots (grated)
1 c. crushed pineapple (drained)
1 pkg. lemon Jello
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice

How to:
Dissolve Jello in 1 c. hot water and 1 c. cold water. (I use my pineapple juice as part of my cold water.) (How very resourceful of you, Ms. Janet Leckness of Immanuel Lutheran Church!) Add salt and lemon juice. Stir in carrots and pineapple. Pour in molds and chill. (Eh? What if you don't have individual Jello molds? What do you pour it into then? Oh, down the drain? Good idea.) Turn out on lettuce leaves and top with mayonnaise and nuts, if desired. (Oh dear. Mayonnaise on Jello? Excuse me folks, I need to use the bathr-)

Wednesday, July 16

Applesauce Salad

Hello! I am back from my self-imposed hiatus and boy howdy, do I have some great recipes to share with you.

It's July, and what key ingredient of Midwest Cookin also starts with a J? That's right - JELLO!!!

I therefore welcome you to the


Our first entry is Applesauce Salad, from Mrs. Walter (Eleanora) Happel of Immanuel Lutheran Church. I never imagined that there would ever be a use for red hots other than as a cookie decoration, but Mrs. Walter (Eleanora) Happel has proven me wrong.

1 (10 oz.) pkg. red hots
1 pkg. cherry Jello
1 pkg. lemon Jello
3 c. boilin water
1 (15 oz.) can applesauce

How to:
Dissolve red hots, cherry Jello and lemon Jello with boilin water. Add applesauce. Refrigerate. (Well, couldn't get any simpler than that, eh? Don't ask me how long this should be refrigerated for; use your best judgment and at least wait until the "salad" is set.)

Wednesday, May 21

3 Layer Delight

In keepin with my recent theme of delightful entries, here is an absolute classic as far as Midwestern desserts go. I've seen this not only at every potluck, picnic, and social I've ever been to in my entire life, but this particular item pops up on restaurant buffet tables with unbelievable frequency. Anyway, before I stopped eatin Cool Whip, I even enjoyed it once or twice myself.

This particular version comes from Deb Wesley of Immanuel Lutheran. Thank you, Deb, for spellin "delight" correctly in your recipe title.

1 c. flour
1 stick butter or margarine
3/4 c. nuts
1 large pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese (room temperature)
1 c. confectioners sugar
1 large carton Cool Whip
1 large pkg. Jello instant chocolate puddin
3 c. milk

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x12 bakin dish

How to:
Melt butter and mix with flour and nuts. Pat into a 9x12 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. After crust has cooled, put on second layer of cream cheese, confectioners sugar and 1/2 large carton of Cool Whip. Mix chocolate puddin and milk for third layer. top off with remainnin Cool Whip and garnish with remainin nuts. (Hold up. So, you aren't supposed to use all the nuts in the crust? Nice. Thanks for tellin me. AFTER THE CRUST IS DONE AND I USED UP ALL THE STUPID @$%# NUTS!!!!!)

Friday, May 16

Noodle Puddin Delight

I've mentioned before my distaste of misspellin the word "delight" as "DELITE". Well, this recipe gets the spellin right, but I'll be damned if it gets anythin. Else. Right. At. All.

Like, when I read this recipe I literally puked and swallowed it. WHO would eat this? It's like somethin they'd serve in Gitmo to torture prisoners. It's like a dare. It's like, as loyal reader Ballz McCracken said, "they started a recipe, went to turn the page and some pages were stuck together, so they ended on another recipe." I couldn't agree more.

And does anybody want to guess who supplied this recipe to me? Yep. It was good ol' Mrs. Tairy Greene. Rats off to ya, Mrs. Greene! Keep on cookin!

2 c. medium wide noodles
2 eggs
3 tbsp Heinz tomato ketchup
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla (eh?)
3 tbsp salad oil
1 can crushed pineapple, drained (what? WHAT?!)
1 c seedless raisins (raisins and ketchup? oh, HELL no!)

Oven temp: 400 degrees

Pan size: 1 1/2 quart casserole

How to:
Cook noodles in salted boilin water until tender and drain, rinse. Beat eggs with next 5 ingredients until well blended. Add drained noodles; stir in salad oil. Add pineapple and raisins; turn mixture into greased 1 1/2 quart casserole or individual casseroles. Bake 40-45 minutes or until set. (oh cripes, that does it.) Serve hot. Makes 6-8 servins. (I had to read the recipe twice before I realized where the "puddin" comes from. There's no puddin in it - the coagulated ketchup-egg-pineapple-oil-raisins mix makes its OWN puddin. Lunch ladies of the world, here's your new Friday special.)

Thursday, May 15

Spud Bars

Yes! Two things that Midwest Cookin just couldn't exist without: bars and potato buds!

These actually sound kind of good. I may have to break down, buy some 'buds and give these a shot...

2 tbsp. diet margarine (what? yecch. I think I'll use butter.)
1/4 c. granulated sugar (I wonder what "non-granulated" sugar is?)
1/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
6 packets granulated sugar substitute (equal to 1/4 c. sugar) (oh god, yuck! chemicals! why not put another damned 1/4 c. sugar in these for cryin out loud!? it's not like a little more sugar's gonna kill ya...)
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. bakin soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. potato buds

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 8x8 bakin dish

How to:
In a large bowl, with electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream together margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar and sugar substitute. (hell no. cut that out.) Beat in flour, bakin soda, salt an dcinnamon until well blended. With spatula, stir in egg and vanilla, then potato buds. Pour batter into non-stick 8-inch square bakin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut and remove from pan while still slightly warm. Makes 16 tow-inch square bars, about 75 calories each. (Oh, so these are some sort of diet spud bars? Hence the diet margarine and nasty sugar substitute? Well, why didn't you say so in the title of the recipe!? I guess with my little changes to the recipe they'd be no longer diet, but they'd definitely taste better.)

Wednesday, May 14

Tang Punch

Well, it looks like it's finally goin to get warm around here. Mother Earth is takin her sweet time, but I'm sure one of these days here we'll have summer weather. And I, for one, can't wait!

Yes, I have summer fever. I'm all ready to go to the pool, grill out, and sip cold and tasty beverages on my little patio. So here for your sippin pleasure is a punch recipe from Karen Freudenberg of the Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Society.

2/3 c. powdered Tang (personally, I'm not a fan, but then again, I don't think I've tried it since my tastebuds matured at age 22. Maybe a second try would change my mind?)
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. cranberry juice (Ocean Spray brand) (yes, god forbid you buy the Hy-Vee brand)
3 c. water
1/4 tsp. almond extract (WTF?)
1 qt. ginger ale

Pan size: Get thee a punch bowl. I found a lovely glass one at Goodwill last winter for less than 5 bucks.

How to:
Mix Tang, sugar, water, and cranberry juice together. Freeze in a round ring or ice cube trays. When ready to serve, add almond extract and ginger ale to punch bowl. (Huh? How the hell is that punch? Ginger ale with a frozen chunk of Tang floatin in it does not a punch make. I really feel like somethin is missin from these instructions...Anyway, if you do decide to make it, I bet it would be really good with some vodka added to it. Just sayin...)

Tuesday, May 13

Drunch Lunch

Hey everybody! I'm back after a long hiatus. But school's out now, so the recipes again will flow. I know you've all been clamorin for them.

This here recipe is called "Drunch Lunch," and it comes to us from Shirley Pries of Immanuel Lutheran Church. I have no idea what a "drunch" is. Maybe it's like a cross between "drench" and "lunch"? Or maybe "drunk" and "lunch" (because you'd have to be drunk to enjoy this)?

Either way, it really doesn't seem much like somethin you'd eat for lunch. This seems pretty breakfasty to me.

Hell, maybe "drunch" is just "brunch" spelled wrong.

1 lb. sausage
4 slices bread (please people, make it white sandwich bread, mkay?)
1 c. cheese (grated)
6 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard

Oven temp: 350 degrees (but not until tomorrow)

Pan size: 9x13 bakin dish

How to:
Saute 1 lb. sausage; drain off grease. (GROSS - drainin grease is yucky) In a 9x13 pan, cube 4 slices of bread. Sprinkle sausage over bread and sprinkle 1 c. grated cheese on sausage. Beat eggs and milk, salt and dry mustard. Pour over sausage. Refrigerate overnight. Next mornin, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (Y'know, there's somethin awfully familiar about this recipe. I bet if you changed the sausage to bacon in this one and made them both you could do a pretty sweet taste test type thing for your friends and family. You could call it the Drunch Brunch Lunch Casserole Challenge.)

Tuesday, April 22

Cranberry and Chicken Delite

I always hate it when the word "delight" is spelled wrong, except in the case of the late 90's retrodiscofunkalicious group Deeeee-Lite (are they still around?). What, pray tell, makes this salad worthy of "delite"? Is it the 3 kinds of gelatin? The dill pickles?

Actually, it sounds like some crazy Midwestern pregnant lady was raidin her cupboards at 2 a.m. and decided to go with a "salad" for Fourth Meal. For your health!

First Layer: (oooh, if layers are involved you know you're in for somethin interestin)
3 c. cranberry juice cocktail
1 pkg. strawberry gelatin
1 pkg. lemon gelatin
1 c. fruit cocktail (drained)
1 c. whole berry cranberry sauce (I assume this is not the kind that comes out can-shaped; then again, this is Midwest Cookin)

Second Layer:
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (um)
1 (10 oz.) can condensed chicken broth (oh, I see. you're goin to make chicken broth jello. let me change that "um" to "yum"! heh...ha...ew.)
1 c. light cream
1 c. sour cream
1 c. tomato juice
Salt & pepper
2 c. chicken (diced & cooked)
1/2 c. celery (finely chopped)
1/2 c. dill pickles (finely chopped) (oh man, I almost lost it there - fruit cocktail, fruity jello, gelatinous chicken broth and pickles? what, did Mrs. Tairy Greene invent this recipe?)

Pan size: 9x13

How to:
Heat 1 c. cranberry juice to boilin. Add (fruity) gelatins and stir until dissolved. Stir in remainin juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in fruit cocktail and cranberry sauce. Combine gelatin and chicken broth. Place over low geat ([sic]) and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in cream, sour cream, and tomato juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until slightly thickended ([sic] [again]). Fold in chicken, celery and pickles. Pour in a 9x13-inch pan and chill until firm. Pour cranberry layer on top and chill. Serve on greens. (Well, there you have it. There's what makes this a healthy salad. You serve it on greens, i.e., iceberg lettuce. DELITEFUL!)

Wednesday, April 16

Sloppy Joe Potato Pizza

Oh my god - this just may be more than I can handle right here.

See kids, I am the most devoted pizza freak I know. I'll eat any kind of pizza (unless it has sausage or, god forbid, hamburger on it) -- frozen pizza, homemade pizza, grocery store pizza, roller rink pizza, franchise pizza, pizzeria pizza. Pizza is my sacred cow. I could eat it every day because it's different every time. But this, this crosses a line.

For starters, where is the crust? Potatoes doused in cheese soup do not a pizza crust make. It's like a casserole minus the dish, that you make in a pizza pan and smother with cheese and olives (why always with the unnecessary olives, folks?). So, in my mind, the only way that this earns its right to be referred to as "pizza" is through the pan in which it's baked. It could only be more blasphemous if it were named Sloppy Joe Potato Jesus.

Ok. Sorry bout that. I'll end my rant now and get back to the cookin.

By the way, this comes from Marjorie Boehm and was unearthed from the 1989 Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Cookbook. Dorkus.

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen hash browns
1 (11 oz.) can cheddar cheese soup
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 oz. cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 lb. ground beef (worst. pizza. toppin. ever.)
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can sandwich sauce for Sloppy Joe (she means MANWICH sauce, ladies)
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. sliced ripe olives (optional)

Oven temp: 450 degrees

Pan size: pizza pan

How to:
To thaw potatoes quickly, place in sieve (or, y'know, you could just throw a few potatoes in a food processor and make instant FRESH hash browns). Pour hot water over potatoes; drain well. In a large bowl, mix together hash browns, soup, egg, salt and pepper. Spread potato mixture over a large buttered pizza pan. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile saute ground beef and onions; drain fat (mmmm fat!). Stir in canned Sloppy Joe sandwich sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2/3 of cheese over baked potato crust. Spoon meat mixture over cheese and top with remainin cheese and olive slices. Bake 5 minutes longer. Makes 1 "pizza" (quotes added by me. so there. ha.).

Thursday, April 10

Beef Eaters

I guess this is like a smooshed up cheeseburger or something. Yuck. Even the name seems gross to me. Of course that's probably because I don't eat beef.

If some carnivore out there would make this and send me a picture, I would be terribly grateful. I'm really curious as to what this would look like. And no, I will not let my "beef eater" BF make this because I absolutely do not want to smell it.

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (4 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. horseradish (oooh - exotic!)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
American cheese (sliced) (aw, c'mon lazy bones, you know you're just goin to use Kraft singles)
1 loaf French bread (ooh la la - exotique! seriously. I was expectin Wonder bread here)
Salt (to taste)

How to:
Mix all ingredients except cheese (and, apparent in the next sentence, the bread). Slice French bread in half lengthwise and cut into 3-inch chunks. Top with beef mixture and broil 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure beef is all the way to the edge of the bread. Melt cheese slices on top. (So very simple, huh? By the way, to avoid fire or ruinin a pan, make sure the thing you use for the mixin and the broilin is oven-safe and broiler-safe. That's your Midwest Cookin safety tip for the month.)

Wednesday, April 9

Egg N Bacon Casserole

Mmmmm...breakfast. Good at any time of the day (because not everyone wakes up early in the mornin).

I am rather curious about this recipe and its call for bread at the bottom of the pan. Wouldn't that just turn into a soggy mess by the time you got around to bakin it the next day? Or maybe it turns into a delicious crust on emergin from the oven? Hmm. "Enquirin minds want to know!" (Yeah, I know that's spelled wrong, but I just had the tag line from the 80's commercials for the National Enquirer run through my head. Sidenote: Isn't it weird how they advertise tabloids on national television? Like we wouldn't see them in the checkout line at the grocery store anyway, and get sucked in by their tantalizin headlines? I mean, doesn't everyone - except celebrities and shut-ins - buy their own groceries? Okay, back to the recipe.)

4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
1 c. milk
3 slices bread, cut in 4 pieces (in bottom of pan) (I assume that white sandwich bread is what is bein called for here, but if you wanted to stray from tradition, you could always sub some roasted garlic artisan bread, french loaf, or slices of baguette. Just sayin...)
1/3 c. Velveeta cheese, diced
Salt & pepper
Olives, opt. (what? olives? that's like the casserolic embodiment of the Sesame Street song "Which One Doesn't Belong?"!)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x9 bakin dish

How to:
Refrigerate overnight or several hours. Bake in 9x9 pan for 40-50 minutes. Serves 6. (Again with the vague directions! Do I combine the milk, eggs, and bacon? Does the cheese go on top? Am I supposed to just dump everythin in the pan all willy-nilly and only make sure that the bread slices make it to the bottom? Sigh. Perhaps I ask too many questions.)

Tuesday, April 8

Banana Bread

If there is one thing that Midwest cooks know how to do well across the board, it's bakin. Bars, cookies, cakes, pies, breads - all baked goods are central to the idea of Midwest Cookin.

So today, when I had a couple of bananas goin ripe on me, I decided to whip up some classic Banana Bread. I turned to Helen Walensky's recipe in the First Lutheran Church 1974 cookbook to guide me and the results were perfect. Yummy!

1/2 c. butter or margarine (I used butter)
1 c. ripe bananas (2 mashed)
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. bakin soda
1 1/2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. milk
2 c. flour, sifted
1 c. walnuts, chopped (I skipped the nuts)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: Loaf pan

How to:
Cream shortenin (uh...you mean butter or margarine, right?) and sugars. Beat in eggs, add mashed bananas. Combine dry ingredients, add alternately with milk and lemon juice. Add chopped nuts. Bake in greased and floured loaf pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Friday, April 4

Mr. Tairy Greene's Casserole

Oh, Mrs. Tairy Greene, you devil, you. Where oh where do you come up with these fantastic culinary confections?

This particular dish, I'm told, is a BIG favorite of Mrs. Tairy Greene's Mister. The real name is "Poor Man's Casserole" but I simply can't imagine why. I could totally see this bein served in the finest restaurants in Elk Run Heights.

1 7.25 ounce box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
1 c. milk
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 15 ounce can Van de Kamp Pork and Beans (make sure they're Van de Kamp - generic Pork and Beans simply will not do!)
1 3/4 c. cottage cheese
6 wieners, sliced into "coins"

How to:
Cook Kraft Macaroni and Cheese accordin to package directions. Pour contents into a medium-sized servin bowl. Open the pork 'n' beans and layer the room-temperature beans onto the mac 'n' cheese. Next, microwave the wieners for approximately 45 seconds. While the wieners are warmin, layer the cottage cheese onto the layer of beans. (oh, delightful) Finally, sprinkle the wiener coins onto the cottage cheese layer and serve to your hungry family. (Oh my god - you don't bake it? It's just all these lukewarm ingredients? Wowwww. That is some harsh shit. I pity the kids that eat this casserole.)

Note from Mrs. Greene: "Mr. Tairy Greene says the combination of flavors, temperatures and textures are what make this casserole out of this world! And moms, it's so easy! If only your family knew! ;)"

Monday, March 31

Percolator Punch

Hey! Here's a quick way to ruin a coffee maker!

I guarantee you'll never be able to make decent coffee again after gummin up your machine with this punch. I know, I know - it seems more attuned for Fall than Spring, but since these days the temperature alternates between freezin and comfortable dependin on the time of day, I don't think it's too late to give it a shot before the scorchin summer sets in.

You've been warned - sticky juice will wreck a coffee maker. Just ask my mom, who once attempted to clean hers with cider vinegar instead of white vinegar...

1 qt. (4 c.) apple cider
1 pt. (2 c.) cranberry juice
1 pt. (2 c.) orange juice
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks (broken)

How to:
Combine juices in electric coffee maker. Place spices in percolator basket. Allow to go through heatin cycle. Serve hot. Makes 15 small punch cup servins.

Friday, March 28

Notable Canned Dinner

There are some times where I just crack open a recipe book and BOOM - a classic recipe perfect for the Midwest Cookin blog socks me right in the face. This is one of those times.

This recipe is courtesy of Dixie Rohle of Immanuel Lutheran Church, and I would love to ask her about the significance of the title. The "Canned Dinner" part of it is perfectly clear to me. But what about this makes it "Notable" I wonder? To investigate the worthiness of addin the word "Notable" to the title of this dish, I may try it myself w/tuna or crabmeat and sub regular cream of mushroom soup instead of the creamy chickeny concoction. I'll post an update if that actually happens. In the meantime...

1 can tuna, chicken, turkey, or crabmeat (flaked)
1 can chow mein noodles (wait a sec - aren't those the crunchy noodles? I didn't think those came in a can...)
1 can Chinese vegetables
1 can creamy chicken mushroom soup (does this soup actually exist? I've heard of cream OF chicken and cream OF mushroom, but not creamy chicken mushroom. Must investigate...)
1 can celery soup (do you mean cream of celery soup? I will assume yes.)
Sliced water chestnuts (as desired) (FYI, though not explicitly stated here, these come in a can too)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 1 1/2 qt. casserole

How to:
Combine ingredients, savin part of the crisp noodles (ha! I knew it!) to put on top the last 5 minutes of bakin. Bake in a 1 1/2 qt. casserole at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, March 19

Good Salad

I may sound like a bit of a conspiracy nut here, but the ingredients for this "Good Salad", are suspiciously close to those of Five Cup Salad (Winter Salad). Both are also from the 1974 Roosevelt Elementary School cookbook, so I must wonder...did Miss B. Wireman and Mrs. Charlene Montgomery hookup and do a little..."recipe swappin"? Isn't that what all the bored ladies of the 70's did on school days between "The Price Is Right" and "Ryan's Hope"?

1 can mandarin oranges
1 small can pineapple tidbits (I love the word tidbits almost as much as I love oleo)
1 pkg. orange Jello (it's not a salad unless it has Jello!)
1 can whippin cream or 1/2 c. milk
juice of lemon

Pan size: "long pyrex pan"

How to:
Dissolve Jello in heated juices and lemon juice to make 1 c. liquid. ("Heated juices?" Did I miss a step somewhere?) Add 1 c. cold water. Chill and whip. (Whip the Jello? But it didn't do anythin wrong!) Add whippin cream, then fold in drained fruit. Fills a long pyrex pan. Serves 12 to 15.

Thursday, March 6

Hot Dish (Number 2)

As proven by the first recipe for HOT DISH, there is no shortage of mish-mash casseroles that can be tossed together at the last minute to bring as a hot dish for a church potluck or PTA get-together. Callin your casserole a HOT DISH shows that you are no-nonsense. Who needs fancy names when you're just lookin to fix a dish that is hot?

Hamburger (how much? doesn't say.)
onions (how many? who knows?)
salt (no measurement? is it just me or is this recipe incredibly vague?)
1 can cream of chicken soup (hooray! I heart "cream of" soups!)
1 can milk (like evaporated milk or somethin?)
1 can vegetable soup
tater tots

Oven temp: ??? (Your guess is as good as mine. 350? 400?)

Pan size: a standard bakin dish will do the trick

How to:
Fry hamburger with onions, salt and pepper. After it's done, add chicken soup, milk, vegetable soup, put in bakin dish. Sprinkle tater tots on top. Bake 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

From Mrs. Donovan Nash (Well, thanks tons Mrs. Donovan Nash, but the mix of cooked hamburger with milk, cream of chicken soup, and vegetable soup sounds kind of like what you get when you hose out a Dumpster.)

Wednesday, March 5

Five Cup Salad (Winter Salad)

Because it feels like winter is never gonna end, you should make this salad. Why is it subtitled 'Winter Salad'? How should I know? The ingredients list makes it seem kinda tropical to me. Maybe that's the point - make this salad in winter and close your eyes while you eat it and pretend you are in Hawaii or somethin. Then when you open your eyes and see all the stupid snow outside, you just start cryin because you tricked yourself so good.

1 buffet can mandarin oranges (buffet can? what is this? surely this cannot mean that this salad requires one of those massive institutional-size cans of oranges!?)
1 #2 can pineapple chunks (again, what? pardon my ignorance; I didn't grow up in the 50's)
1 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. cocoanut (sorry, not my spellin error)
1 c. maraschino cherries
1 c. english walnuts (chopped, optional)
1/2 pint cultured sour cream

How to:
Mix together, let stand in refrigerator for 3 hours or more. (Similarly vague instructions to the Midwest Macaroni Salad, but at least there are no gapin holes in the directions here. This recipe is from a Miss B. Wireman, by the way, from the 1974 Roosevelt Elementary School Cookbook. Do you think she withheld her first name in order to stave off children's cries of "Nice salad, Betty/Barbara/Bernice!"?)

Midwest Macaroni Salad

Well, if this don't just beat all! Not only does this recipe have a title that hereby makes it the unofficial official recipe of Midwest Cookin, but it also contains not one but THREE of the key ingredients of cookin in the Midwest: Miracle Whip, bologna/SPAM, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner! God, if only it had Jello in it too! (Say, somebody out there should really try that...)

1 pkg. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner (or Cheese and Macaroni if you're a smartass kid)
1 12-oz can luncheon meat (i.e., SPAM) or 1/2 bologna cut in strips
1/2 c. diced celery
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. chopped sweet pickle
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. Miracle Whip Salad (Dressin)
1/2 c. shredded carrot

How To:
Add remainin ingredients, mix lightly and chill. (Huh? Remainin...Oh, I get it. We're missin some steps. Make the Mac N Cheese first, then add the remainin ingredients to THAT. Real specific there, Mrs. Lena Thomas. And what size bowl, pray tell, shall be used for this recipe? You don't say? Well then, I would make this in a large salad bowl. One with a Tupperware lid, preferably. It will be easier to tote to the PTA Potluck that way.)

Friday, February 29

Mother's Hot Milk Cake

Shame on me! I got so busy that I forgot to post the final recipe in the Mrs. Tairy Greene's Birthday Cake series! Here it is, from Lucille Bremer, the dessert with the most matronly (and innuendo-laden) name since Mother's Peppernuts -

1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
2 tsp. bakin powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. hot milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites, beaten

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 13x9x2" pan (i.e., 9x13 rectangular bakin dish)

How to:
Sift sugar, flour, bakin powder and salt three times. (Oooh - specific!) Place in mixin bowl. Pour hot milk and vanilla over mixture and mix well. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour batter in a 13x9x2" ungreased cake pan and bake 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Frost with a boiled white icin. Serves 18. (Thanks for tellin us how many people this cake will serve, but what the devil is "boiled white icin" and where is the recipe for THAT, Lucille? Do you just expect us to eat unfrosted cake, like we're some kind of savages!?)

Wednesday, February 20

Mayonnaise Cake

Keepin with the tradition of puttin odd stuff into cake, Carol Schatz has a recipe that is essentially chocolate cake with mayonnaise added. I suppose that's to make it MOIST! (Schatz - the plural past tense of the verb "shit"?)

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. cold water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. soda
dash of salt
3-4 tbsp. cocoa

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x11 (Now that's odd. I thought the standard cake pan was 9x13. Well, I guess when you make this you need to cut off the extra 2 inches and shove them in your mouth really quick before anybody comes into the kitchen.)

How to:
Mix all above in a large mixin bowl and beat well. Pour into greased and floured pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Mashed Potato Cake

Apparently, there are a ton of strange things that can be incorporated into cake. But who comes up with this? And how? Like, who, in the middle of makin a cake, says, "Gee, y'know what would go really good in this? Pork n' beans! No, no wait - how about mashed potatoes?"

Kind of reminds me of Iron Chef for some reason. That would be a great battle - BATTLE MIDWEST COOKIN. The Chairman would lift the altar cover to reveal Velveeta, Cool Whip, pork n' beans, Potato Buds and Jello as the secret ingredients. I'd watch it.

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 c. cold potatoes (mashed)
4 eggs (well beaten)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. cocoa
3/4 c. sour cream
1 c. raisins
1 c. nuts

3 tbsp. (level) flour
3/4 c. milk
1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
Vanilla (uh...how much? teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, gallon...)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: no size, just "greased pans" (plural)

How to:
Cream butter and sugar; add potatoes and eggs. Add flour and spices alternately with sour cream. Add floured raisins and nuts. (Did I miss somethin? Where did it say to flour the raisins?) Pour into greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.

For Icin: Cook flour and milk until thick. Cool. Add butter and sugar which have been creamed together. (Now that's an oddly phrased sentence.) Add Vanilla. (The End.)

Do Nothin Cake

I have been swamped this week and unfortunately neglected to post cake recipes for 2 days, so today I will make up for it with three!

Thanks to Evelyn Elsie Buol for this recipe, cake #4 in the "Happy Birthday Mrs. Tairy Greene" series! The title of this one is like what I am hopin to accomplish this comin weekend: DO NOTHIN! (Though I admit, I don't get it. I mean, why is it "Do Nothin"? Surely the act of collectin and mixin and bakin the ingredients counts for doin somethin!)

2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple (use juice)
1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick oleo (I love that word - OLEO)
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 c. nuts
1 c. coconut

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan

How to:
Mix all together and pour into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cook oleo, milk and sugar for 5 minutes. Add nuts and coconut. (And? Then what? God, this IS a lazy recipe!)

Sunday, February 17

Scripture Cake

Cake Recipe #3 in the "Happy Birthday Mrs. Tairy Greene" series! This one is rather challengin as it requires not only that you have the recipe, but a Bible handy as well. Not sure if it needs to be a specific translation. I suppose King James or Revised Standard versions would be suitable.

I found it in a centennial cookbook from my Great-Granny's church, Zion Lutheran. I am curious about what the ingredients actually are. Maybe I'll give this one a shot myself...

1/2 lb. Judges 5:25
1/2 lb. Jeremiah 6:20
1 tbsp. I Samuel 14:25
3 of Jeremiah 17:11, well beaten (10 bucks says this ingredient is eggs!)
1/2 lb. of I Samuel 30:12
2 oz. Numbers 17:8, chopped & blanched (almonds? walnuts?)
1/2 lb. Nahum 3:12
1 lb. I Kings 4:22 (equal 4 c. flour) (cheater! you gave it away!)
2 tsp. Amos 4:5
3 tbsp. Judges 4:19 (last clause)
1 pinch Leviticus 2:13

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan

How to:
Season to taste with II Chronicles 9:9. Note 1/2 pound is 1 cup except in I Kings. Look up the Bible passages and you will have the ingredients of a Scripture Cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a greased and floured 9x13 pan.

Saturday, February 16

Pork N' Beans Cake

You read that correctly. This is a cake made with pork n' beans. I need say no more.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Tairy Greene!

2 c. sugar
2 tsp. bakin soda
1 tsp. bakin powder
2 tsp. plain cinnamon (as opposed to fancy cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
1-16 oz. can drained pork and beans
2 c. plain flour
8 oz. can crushed pineapple
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. soft margarine

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: bundt pan

How to:
CAKE: mix all dry ingredients together. Add eggs and oil to mixture. Mash beans and mix with pineapple. Add this to above ingredients. Pour into a bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. ICIN: cream together all ingredients. Frost cake. "Surprisingly good." (I don't care what you say. I wouldn't eat this cake if you paid me. HOWEVER, I offer the same advice as I did for the SPAM truffles - take this to an office function and don't tell anyone what's really in it. Let your co-workers shovel it down and then reveal the surprise!)

Friday, February 15

Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake

Tomorrow is friend-of-the-blog Mrs. Tairy Greene's birthday! In her honor, I am goin to post seven days of cake recipes, startin with this gem: Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake.

Yes, when I think of cake, I immediately think of sauerkraut too, don't you?

2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. Crisco
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. sauerkraut - rinsed, drained
3 eggs
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tsp. red colorin
1 c. water

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan

How to:
Blend sugar, Crisco, eggs; add cocoa, flour, bakin powder and soda. Mix together and add vanilla, red colorin and water. Chop sauerkraut and add to batter. Bake in well greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 30 minutes. (Here are my thoughts: 1) Why the sauerkraut? I've heard of (and eaten) zucchini cake before, but sauerkraut is pickled and smells like pee! 2) What is the point of addin red food colorin? That just seems weird. Oh wait, this is a perfectly good chocolate cake ruined by sauerkraut. Weird is the word here.)

Friday, February 8

Sandwich Fillin

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. This Sandwich Fillin sure sounds good. Wait. No...no it doesn't.

I bet this was served at a Lutheran Social, or maybe a Quiltin Circle. It just seems like somethin old ladies would dig for lunch.

1 pkg. dried beef (finely chopped) (yucko)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (softened)
2 tbsp. Miracle Whip salad dressin
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tbsp. olives (grated) (huh? I've never heard of grated olives before)
1 c. parsley (chopped) or flakes
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

How to:
Add dressin, onion, olives, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce to the cream cheese. Create on dark bread. (I love how it says that you "create" it. This sandwich version of shit-on-a-shingle is truly a work of art!)

Wednesday, February 6

Potluck Casserole

Like "Hot Dish" before it, this casserole smacks of hastily-thrown-togetherness. This recipe comes from the 1975 First Lutheran Church cookbook and the contributor is none other than my own Granny. Why the lima beans, Granny? Why?

2 lbs. hamburger
1 lg. onion, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 can green lima beans, undrained
2 cans spaghetti (cans? oh - like the Franco-American kind. I used to actually enjoy that stuff)

Oven temp: 325 degrees

How to:
Fry hamburger, onion and celery. Drain excess grease. Add undrained lima beans and spaghetti. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees, uncovered. (I presume a standard casserole or bakin dish could be used for this recipe. Overall, this doesn't seem TOO terrible...but the canned lima beans are a total turnoff for me. I love fresh and frozen lima beans, but canned? Blecch.)

Friday, February 1

Kool-Aid Pickles

Oh, Mrs. Tairy Greene. You are some kind of Midwest gourmet, I tell you what. Your recipes are truly somethin else. Well kids, Mrs. Greene sent me this recipe for her latest concoction and I just had to share it.

I can't imagine what these taste like, or why anyone would want to eat one. Perhaps they have a social/scientific use in that they could be used to quickly turn an overeater into a bulimic.

1 c. sugar
1 envelope cherry KOOL-AID (I like the use of all-caps here - makes me want to scream OH YEAAAAAH! or, in the case of this recipe, OH NOOOOO!)
1 qt. (4 cups) water
1 jar (32 oz.) Kosher Dill Pickle Halves, drained

How to:
Stir sugar, KOOL-AID and water in 48-oz. glass or plastic jar or storage container with lid until drink mix is dissolved. (OK, you've not disgusted me yet. You've only made KOOL-AID at this point.) Add pickles, arrangin so that cut sides are completely covered with liquid; cover tightly. Refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 1 week. To serve, remove pickles from jar and cut in half. ("Hm," I say, "That doesn't seem that bad. Maybe I was just overreactin." And then I see the photo...)

(Yeah. I was thinkin the one on the left looked like that too, buddy. And the green one indicates that other flavors of KOOL-AID could potentially be used in this gastronomic apocalypse. What flavor is that anyway? Lemon-lime? Oh boy. I think this would be another one to take anonymously to a company potluck, or to be used as punishment for naughty children.)

Very Best Chicken Casserole

Hmm...I wonder what exactly makes this particular chicken casserole the VERY BEST? Is it the mayonnaise? The Velveeta? The two cans of "cream of " soup?

Yeah, I'd be willin to bet that the bestness of this dish comes from the massive amounts of sodium, fats, and calories found in all the ingredients save the chicken, rice, and vegetables. Let's thank Dorcas Society member Florence Matthias for this recipe, shall we? If I ever decide I want to gain 10 lbs and simultaneously raise my blood pressure, I'll give this one a try (with fake chicken, of course).

3 c. chicken (diced) (uh...should the chicken be cooked first? guess I don't know too much about cookin with chicken)
3 c. rice (cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp. onion (chopped) (that's it?! no wonder this dish's flavor comes entirely from processed ingredients!)
1 tsp. salt (are you sure? do you know how much salt is in one of those cans of soup?)
1 c. mayonnaise dressin (does that mean Miracle Whip? I bet it would work here too)
4 boiled eggs (chopped)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. carrots (shredded)
1 c. celery (chopped)
1 c. Velveeta cheese (cut up)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin dish

How to:
Mix all ingredients. Put in a 9x13-inch pan. Refrigerate overnight. Top with cracker crumbs. (FOUL! That wasn't in the ingredients list! Now I have to go back to the store!) Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. Serves 12 people.

Thursday, January 31

Watergate Salad

I found a pretty sweet Richard Nixon commemorative plate at Goodwill the other day. So, to celebrate, I'm postin a recipe today that I swear has cropped up at every single potluck I've ever been to in my entire life: Watergate Salad! Thanks to Delores Schoepske for providin us with this perennial classic!

1-3 oz. pkg. pistachio instant puddin
1-8 oz. container of Cool Whip (it wouldn't be a salad without Jello or Cool Whip somehow involved!)
1-16 oz. can crushed pineapple (not drained)
1/2 c. to 1 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. nuts (optional)

Pan size: 9x9-in (a bowl will work too - that's how I've seen it done before)

How to:
Mix puddin and Cool Whip together. Add pineapple and marshmallows. Put in 9x9 pan. Refrigerate. (This salad, if you've never seen it before, is a lovely and unnatural shade of mint green. Tres 70's!)

Monday, January 28

Hot Dish

Ahhhh yes. This is what I've been waitin for. Simple, elusive, evasive...just what IS this Hot Dish you call food? Well, Caroline Steinkraus? Spill the beans...or...spill the Velveeta...whatever...

1 box (2. c.) Creamettes macaroni (uncooked) (so...if you use a brand of macaroni other than Creamettes, will God strike you dead? I hope not...)
1-4 oz. pkg. dried beef (er...urrp...)
4 hard-cooked eggs (chopped)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 c. milk
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 onion

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin dish

How to:
Combine in a 9x13 inch pan and let stand overnight in refrigerator. (WHY!!?!) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 10 servings. (Y'know. This just feels like the kind of recipe that a good Lutheran Lady would come up with at the 11th hour as the Lutheran Potluck was fast approachin. Just sayin. It seems a little...forced.)

Saturday, January 26

Coca Cola Cake & Coca Cola Icin

Sweet baby Jesus. This cake has got to be the most sugar, fat, and calorie-laden concoction ever imagined. Who comes up with these things? Just readin the recipe, taken from the 1974 Roosevelt Elementary School Cookbook, has made my heart rate rise - if I actually ate a piece I'd go into an immediate sugar coma.

Coca Cola Cake
1 c. butter (that's 2 sticks, kids)
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. bakin soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 c. Coca Cola
1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan, greased

How to:
Combine all except cola and marshmallows. Blend at low speed, then beat for one minute at medium speed. Add cola and blend well. Add marshmallows. Pour into greased 9x13 in. pan and bake in an oven at 350 F, for 40 to 45 min. or until done. Cool cake before icin.

Coca Cola Icin
1/2 c. soft butter (that's yet another stick, kids)
1/3 c. Coca Cola
4 c. powdered sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 c. chopped pecans

How to:
Mix butter, cola, powdered sugar and cocoa until smooth, then stir in the pecans. (Uh, and last step - slap the icin on the cake and enjoy your adult-onset diabetes.)

Friday, January 25

Beet Jelly

How weird is Beet Jelly? What exactly would you spread it on? Toast? SPAM?

I'd never heard of it, let alone eaten it until stumblin upon not one, but TWO recipes for it in the First Lutheran Church cookbook. I tried to pick one or the other, but finally gave up. The recipes are so unique that I just have to share them both. Enjoy!

Beet Jelly Recipe #1, by Nell Bremer
4 c. beet water (peel and boil cut-up beets to get water)
5 c. sugar
1 pkg. raspberry Kool-Aid (do they even make that anymore?)
1 pkg. powdered pectin

How to:
Boil beet water, Kool-Aid, and pectin to full boil. Add sugar and boil again to full hard boil (ooh that's hot!) for 1 minute. Pour into jelly glasses. When cool, cover with paraffin and store. (Just below the end of the directions, separatin it from the next Beet Jelly recipe it says: "If you did all the things you should do before you go on vacation, it would be over before you started." What the hell does that mean? It's like some kind of Zen conundrum, like "the sound of one hand clapping"!)

Beet Jelly Recipe #2, by Esther Wolfgram
6 c. beet juice
2 pkgs. Sure-Jell
1/3 c. real lemon juice (as opposed to the fake kind)
8 c. sugar (woah - WAY sugarier than the other one - this one gets my vote)
1-6 oz. pkg. raspberry jello (I take that back)

How to:
Scrub beets real good and cover with water and boil until almost done. (Beets can be canned for pickled beets or buttered beets.) (I'm glad Esther isn't wasteful with her beets. I'm lookin at you, Nell.) (Put juice through a cloth.) (Did that really need to be in parentheses? You're cuttin into my game here, Esther.) Bring beet juice to a boil and add 2 packages Sure-Jell and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Add 8 cups sugar and raspberry jello. Boil 6 or 8 minutes. Skim and put in jars and seal with wax.

Thursday, January 24

Margarets Pink Freeze

You know you're in for a crappy day when you wake up to the weather guy sayin that the wind chill will be minus 35 degrees in the mornin, warmin up to a balmy +4 by late afternoon. It was so cold on the short walk from the bus stop to the Art Buildin that my ears - though covered by hat and hair - were numb enough that I could have pierced them multiple times without flinchin.

In honor of this pendin ice age that we're experiencin here, I present to you today's recipe: Margarets Pink Freeze from Margaret Runge of the First Lutheran Church Ladies' Circle.

2-3 oz. cream cheese (hmm...does this mean 2 to 3 ounces or two 3 ounce packages?)
2 tbsp. sugar
1-12 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
1 c. whipped cream
2 full tbsp. salad dressin (in other words, Miracle Whip - I doubt you'd want to use Thousand Island, French, Italian, or - heaven forbid - Ranch in this recipe. )
1 can cranberry sauce
1/2 c. nuts

How to:
Soften cream cheese to room temperature and blend in salad dressin, sugar, and cranberry sauce. Add pineapple and nuts. Use slow beater to mix. Fold in whipped cream and freeze. Serves 12. (unless you're havin me over for dinner, in which case it will serve 13)

Wednesday, January 23

Snow Ice Cream

It's been snowin "to beat the band" here lately, so I was inspired to post this snow-torious recipe from good Lutheran Lady Ruth Wright today.

Seriously though, Snow Ice Cream is perhaps the weirdest idea I've seen in awhile. I'm not sure I want to try it myself since the local snow would be made up of the local waterways (e.g., the Iowa River) - which are nasty, to say the least. I wonder if the snow would smell like the river? Like a rank mix of bleach, laundry detergent, dead fish, and bum urine? Well, if you are brave enough to give it a shot, share your results with the blog!

1 egg
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. evaporated milk or cream
A Snowy Day (duh)

How to:
In large bowl, beat egg, sugar, vanilla and milk. After a new snowfall bring in a large pan of fresh, clean snow (in other words, not yellow or brown). Before it has a chance to melt, add to egg mixture by the cupful, stirring until ice cream is thick...........eat quickly. (The overabundant elipses are in the original recipe. Doesn't the combination of raw egg and snow sound kinda gross and/or salmonella-inducing?)

Sunday, January 20

Ham Souffle

Oooh la la! So elegant, so refined! This is the perfect addition to the Hamtacular Spectacular. (Thanks to Corrine True of the Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Society for this unusual recipe.) Enjoy - and remember, if anyone makes fun of you for makin a froo-froo souffle, you remind them that there's never nothin froo-froo about the Midwest's favorite: Haaaaammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

16 slices fresh bread (remove crust)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 c. ham (cubed) or sausage (cooked) (wait a minute - if I'm readin this right, if you're usin ham it doesn't have to be cooked? that's ... hold on - is ham raw? or is it cured? can you tell I'm a vegetarian?)
3 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
6 eggs
2 c. corn flakes (crushed)
1/2 c. butter (melted)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan

How to:
Butter a 9x13-inch pan. Fit 8 slices of bread to cover bottom of pan. Add ham and cheese, top with 8 slices of bread. Mix other ingredients, pour over last layer of bread, cover with foil and refrigerate. (I don't know much about makin souffles, but this doesn't sound like the souffles I've seen before...) Before bakin, bring to room temperature, remove foil and top with corn flakes and butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh fruit on servin plates. (I take it this is a breakfast dish then? It seems awful breakfasty.)

Ham Spread

The final entry in this weekend's Hamtacular Spectacular is Ham Spread. It's simple, it's versatile, it's got ham in it. Hey, I have an idea - if you're havin a Stupor Bowl party, why not just serve 10 different kinds of ham and/or SPAM to your guests? You won't have to look farther than this blog for awesome ideas! How bout servin Ham Balls, Ham Logs, Ham Spread and SPAM truffles? Mmmmmm....sounds like delicious!

This recipe is courtesy of Janet Leckness of Immanuel Lutheran Church & School. "Lutheran Schools Care A Lot!"

2 c. ground ham
1-8 oz. package cream cheese
1/4 c. Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dry parsley
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped

How to:
Combine and let stand in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours or overnight. (See, I told you it was easy! Wait - what are you supposed to serve this with? Crackers? Bread? Sorry, I don't know. Maybe you just put a spoon in it and eat it straight like ice cream.)

Saturday, January 19

Ham Logs with Raisin Sauce

This one is for my brother DB, who loves ham so much that when he meditates, his mantra is "Haaammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!" I know he really misses good ol Midwest cookin, so I decided that this weekend should be a Hamtacular Spectacular.

It's also my Dad's birthday today, and he's an even bigger fan of ham than my brother. Happy birthday, Dad!

This recipe is courtesy of Mildred Sinnwell, and comes from the Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Society's 1992 cookbook, Generations of Good Cookin.

Now if I could only get a copy of my brother's recipe for Pickle Surprise!

1 lb. ground ham
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oatmeal
1 egg
2 tbsp. horseradish
1/2 tsp. salt & pepper

Raisin Sauce:
1 tbsp. corn starch
3/4 c. cold water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. raisins

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: standard bakin dish

How to:
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Shape into logs about 2-inches long. Place into bakin dish. Cover with raisin sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

For Raisin Sauce: Mix water and corn starch; blend well. Add remainin ingredients. Cook until mixture is smooth, stir continually. Pour over ham logs. (Logically, wouldn't it make sense to tell us to make the sauce and set it aside BEFORE tellin us to "combine all ingredients"? I guess Mildred's just assumin that everyone knows how to make Ham Balls/Logs/Whatever and only a grade-A moron would put the sauce ingredients in with the rest of the stuff.)

Ham Balls

Let's repeat that mantra: Haaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Part two of today's Hamtacular Spectacular. This recipe is H. J. Lichty's (does the H stand for Ham?), from the Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas cookbook, Generations of Good Cookin. I realize that Ham Balls and Ham Logs are very similar, but different meat shapes for different folks, right?

Besides, now that you know how to make em both, if you're havin a fancy party, you can serve a big ol platter of logs and balls - boy oh boy, your guests will sure thank you!

2 1/2 lbs. smoked ground ham
1 lb. ground lean pork
2 lbs. ground beef (good lawd, that's a lot of meat!)
3 eggs
3 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. milk

2 cans tomato soup (oh good, this recipe is low-salt)
3/4 c. vinegar
2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: ??? (casserole? bakin dish? who knows?)

How to:
Mix well the meats, eggs, crumbs, and milk. (Be sure to wash your hands after touchin your balls, kids.) Use ice cream dipper to form balls. Heat sauce and pour over balls. (OUCH!) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. These freeze very well baked or unbaked. Makes 40 balls. (That's a lotta nuts balls!)

Thursday, January 17

Glorified Rice

Just how does one make rice "glorified"? Why, turn it into a sweet, fruity concoction, that's how! Thanks to Mrs. Ross Burrill and the Rainbow of Recipes from Roosevelt School, you too can make this "salad" for your friends and enemies.

1 small box Minute Rice (cooked and cooled)
Miniature marshmallows (if you're lookin to send the sweetness factor into coma-inducing overdrive, go for the frooty marshmallows instead of the white ones)
1 can crushed pineapple
Maraschino cherries
Large Cool Whip

How to:
Combine all ingredients and chill. (Ah yes, yet another vague recipe from Mrs. Burrill. How long do you chill it? What size of bowl should be used? Do you use all of the Cool Whip? All of the marshmallows in the bag? Your guess is as good as mine.)

Wednesday, January 16

SPAM, Baked Beans And Pineapple Casserole

Today is a SPAM double special, courtesy of Mrs. Tairy Greene of Des Moines. Mrs. Greene is a big fan of the blog, and an even bigger fan of processed meats. Her cats, however, apparently don't take too kindly to chunks of SPAM bein tossed in their direction.

Mrs. Green writes, "Mittens smelled the SPAM and quickly ran away. Fruity tried to bury it like a turd in the litter box. Darkie hungrily ate every cube!" (It should be noted that Darkie is mentally-challenged.)

Included with her recipe suggestion were photos of the finished product. MMMMM!

1 12-ounce can SPAM luncheon meat
1 28-ounce can baked beans (with molasses)
1 20-ounce can pineapple rings
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: Standard casserole

How to:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Open all cans. Cut SPAM into ¼-inch slices. Dump beans into the bottom of a medium or large oven-proof casserole dish. Artistically place SPAM slices atop beans (like stairs). Cover with pineapple rings and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes until SPAM is browned and bean juice is bubblin. (Bubblin bean juice? Oh man I just puked and swallowed it.) Serves 4 to 6.

SPAMtastic Mincemeat Truffles

And for dessert, I present you with what could possibly be the most disgustin recipe I've encountered yet. SPAM candy. Who in God's name is responsible for this nightmare? Thanks again to Mrs. Tairy Greene for this nausea-inducing concoction...

1 envelope gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 (12-ounce) can SPAM Lite luncheon meat (yeah, like usin the "lite" version would somehow make me less likely to vomit on bitin into one of these babies)
1 (9-ounce) box condensed mincemeat
1 cup Coffee-Mate powdered coffee creamer, preferably hazelnut
2 cups flaked coconut
½ cup black rum (well, at least it has booze in it)
1 teaspoon rum flavorin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 cup walnut pieces
1 (24-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate chips

How to:
Dissolve gelatin in water in microwave about 1 ½ minutes. In food processor combine SPAM and gelatin for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add mincemeat and coffee creamer. Process 2 minutes at medium speed.

Place SPAM mixture in large bowl. Add coconut, rum, rum flavorin, vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

Usin the large end of a melon baller, form candy into balls with a walnut piece in the center of each one. (Oh, yeah, that makes it so much better.) Freeze candy for several hours.

Melt dark chocolate chips in a small bowl in microwave for about 5 minutes. Usin a two-tined fork, dip each ball into the dark chocolate, shake off excess and place on waxed paper.
Melt white chocolate chips in microwave about 3 minutes. Place melted white chips in a Ziploc bag. Snip of a tiny bit of plastic from one corner of the bag. Drizzle white chocolate back and forth across candy balls.

Allow all chocolate to harden. Keeps in refrigerator for up to 10 days and yields 100 truffles. (Hey, I have a suggestion: Got one of those lame office food parties comin up? You should totally bring these puppies. Don't tell your coworkers what's in them, just wait for their reactions. People will eat them without knowin what they are, I assure you. I'd do it myself, but I don't have a job right now.)

Tuesday, January 15

5-Can Casserole

Thanks, Elvice Rosencranz, for submittin this elegant recipe to the Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Cookbook: Generations of Good Cookin!

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can boned chicken (or other meat or tuna)
1 small can evaporated milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Chow Mein noodles

Oven temp: ??? (This really seems like somethin that should, at the very least, be heated. But the recipe doesn't say a temp or a bake time. Should you really eat cream of chicken soup raw? Oh dear, I just puked and swallowed it.)

Pan size: Casserole, greased

How to:
Mix into greased casserole. Crush potato chips or corn flakes on top. (Oh my god. What? That's it? Stir up some cold soups and crap and toss some potato chips on top and that's food? Sounds like "bomb shelter special" to me. If you have the balls to try this cold, let me know so I can give you props here on the blog.)

Monday, January 14

Macaroni & Cheese Salad

Today's recipe is for a salad. Is this a cold salad? A hot salad? The recipe, courtesy of Mrs. Ross Burrill from the 1974 cookbook A Rainbow of Recipes from Roosevelt School, neglects to add these specifics, so we'll just call it a Tepid Macaroni & Cheese Salad.

1 box macaroni, cooked (I presume this is regular elbow-style, but if you really want to get wild with this, you could make a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese instead)
1 to 2 c. cubed cheese
1 small onion, chopped
4-6 hard boiled eggs (chopped or sliced, I guess - or whole, if you want to mold the macaroni into a bird's nest and have the eggs sitting in it...which I don't recommend unless you plan to frighten the Ladies' Circle to death)
2 heapin tbsp. pickle relish
1 c. mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, chop (that is not a typo on my part)

How to:
Combine all ingredients. (Well, it just doesn't get any easier than that, does it? Of course, you'd have to make a guess on bowl size, based on the quantity of ingredients. How bout you just chop everythin up on your kitchen counter and then figure out the bowl size from lookin at it?)

Sunday, January 13

Hash Brown Casserole

Today, in honor of my Granny Bert Mickle's 77th birthday, I present to you one of her classic recipes, as recorded for posterity in the 1980 First Lutheran Church cookbook. Certain family members have attempted to copy this recipe in recent years, but the copycat dishes are always weak and soupy. Granny's original is still the best. Happy Birthday, Granny!

1 pint sour cream
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup (could sub cream of mushroom for a veggie version)
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 large bag frozen hash browns, 2 lbs.
1/2 c. melted margarine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin dish

How to:
Mix all ingredients together, addin hash browns last. Spread in 9x13-inch ungreased and uncovered bakin dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Raisin Bars (Very Good!)

This recipe for bars is also from the Immanuel Dorcas Ladies' landmark book, Generations of Good Cookin. Bars are an important part of Midwest Cookin because they are like cookies but are much easier to tote to a potluck as a cold dish.

Marge Scheel provides us with this recipe for Raisin Bars (Very Good!). Apparently Marge needs to convince us of the bars' goodness, lest we be put off by the inclusion of health foods like raisins and oatmeal in the ingredients list.

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp bakin powder
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. quick oatmeal
3/4 c. butter

2 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vinegar (my guess is white or cider vinegar...I'm not sure that balsamic or red wine or rice vinegars would go too good with bars - like corn squeezins and pizza)
1 tbsp. butter

Oven temp: 325 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 bakin pan

How to:
For Flour Mixture: Put all together and work until thoroughly mixed. Press 2/3 of this mixture into a well greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Save 1/3 for top.

For Fillin: Combine all ingredients for raisin fillin in a saucepan and boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Spread over crumb mixture in the pan. Cover with remainin crumb mixture and bake at 325 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes. THESE ARE DELICIOUS. (Really, Marge, the added assurance at the end of the recipe is more of a turnoff for me. I mean, if that much convincin is needed...)