Friday, November 6

Wonder Bread Cookies (Cheese Blintzes)

Good lord, ladies. Givin a recipe with a horrific name a somewhat-recognizable subtitle does not make the recipe any less horrific, especially when one views the ingredients involved. This concoction was dreamed up by Marcia Wnek and Dorothy Majcher, and was submitted to the blog by the lovely Mrs. Gertrude Black. As Mrs. Black noted in her submission, "I know it's your job to comment, not mine, but I have to say that other than the eggs and cinnamon, there are no naturally occurrin foods in this recipe. Maybe sugar, but it's processed too..." Too true, Mrs. Black, too true. I also must note that a recipe of this caliber took not one but TWO determined gals to not only dream it up but to have the gall to actually make it and share it with others, no less.

By the way, this recipe will be the perfect appetizer for that big hobo feast you're plannin! Or, y'know, just call it dinner and feed it to the kids. White bread and sugar. I'm sure they'll love it.

1 loaf Wonder or Sobig bread (don't know what Sobig bread is, and as a Midwesterner that makes me immediately suspicious of it)
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
2 yolks (from eggs, I presume)
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick margarine, melted (or oleo, if that's the way you swing)
1 c. sugar (eh? didn't you just tell me it needs 3/4 c. sugar? ever heard of combining ingredients and then explainin the split in your how-to portion? grumblegrumblegrumble)
4 tsp. cinnamon

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: (mysterious:) "ungreased pan"

How to:
Cut crust from loaf of bread. (Bread must be fresh.) (Okay, boss. By the by, parenthetical asides are MY JOB on this site so step off, sisters.) Roll each slice with rollin pin. Mix together cheese, egg yolks and 3/4 c. sugar. Spread mixture on bread generously (not cheaply, although you're one cheap bastard if you're makin this for somebody's party) and roll up. Roll in melted margarine, then in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. (it's poor man's monkey bread!) Bake at 350 for 20 minutes on ungreased pan. Cut each in 2 or 3 pieces. (Thereby stretchin this cheapo recipe a s f a r a s y o u c a n . . .)

Wednesday, November 4

Tomato Puddin

This week on Midwest Cookin, we're gonna take a look at foods you might make if you've been negatively affected by our crap-o economy and need to save some dough on eats.

Welcome to Broke As A Joke week!

You may recall previous selections we've featured here on the blog, like Poor Man Steak and Wiener Water Soup. Thriftiness and the Midwest go hand in hand, much like Velveeta and hamburger! Say, why not invite some hobos from the local library, Kmart parkin lot, or railyard (or your friends, I guess) and have a feast of famine! (And if your friends ARE hobos, well, then lucky you, right?)

Kickin off Broke As A Joke week is this super-classy recipe from Betty Wisniewski. You never thought of makin puddin from tomatoes? Well, hell's bells!

2 (10 oz.) cans tomato puree (if you're real hard-up I bet you could use 2 big ol' bottles of ketchup from the Aldi's instead)
1/2 c. boilin water
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. (6 pieces toast) bread cubes (that better be white bread! - and preferably from the Wonder stale store)
1/2 c. melted butter (oooh...I don't know...butter can be kind of expensive...can I just use curdled milk instead?)

Oven temp: 250 degrees

Pan size: "bakin dish" (as usual, your guess is as good as mine)

How to:
Boil tomatoes, water, sugar, and salt for 10 minutes. Place bread cubes in bakin dish. Pour over cubes: melted butter. (I take it Yoda wrote that instruction?) Add puree mixture. Bake at 250 for 25 to 30 minutes. (And....? How the hell is this a puddin? Sounds more like thick tomato soup to me. With the added punch of soggy-ass bread crumbs. Mmmm! I say, serve this with a lovely bottle of Nite Train or Grape MD 20/20 and your hobo guests will be soooo impressed!)

Friday, October 30

Pig Lickin Cake

Yeah. You read that right. The name of this cake is PIG LICKIN. However, you will be surprised to learn that, unlike some of our other fabulous submissions, this cake does NOT contain SPAM or pork n' beans. So where does the completely out-of-left-field name come from? Don't ask me, ask Bev Utash. She's the one who invented this Midwest classic.

If anyone out there knows why this is Pig Lickin Cake, or what the hell that means (blind guesses are acceptable too), please for the love of all that's holy let me know. Because the only images that Pig Lickin conjures in my mind are so NSFW it's not even funny, and this is a family establishment here goddammit.

Props to Mrs. Gertrude Black for yet again providin this blog with A-list material!

1 yellow cake mix (2 layer size)
3 oz. box instant vanilla puddin
3/4 c. oil (of the vegetable variety, I presume)
4 eggs
1 sm. can mandarin oranges, undrained (thus far I see nothin relatin to pigs or lickin)

Oven Temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9 x 13 x 2 (is there a 9 x 13 bakin pan in existance that isn't 2 inches deep? I've certainly never seen one)

How to:
Put all ingredients in large mixin bowl. Mix 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into 9" x 13" x 2" greased and floured or 2 (8" x 9") greased and floured round pans. (sorry, but double-decker cakes are a little too fancy for the church potluck, Bev. unless this is for a pig lickin weddin, we'll stick to the good ol' sheet cake) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 25 to 30 minutes for round pans or 30 to 35 minutes for a rectangular pan.

Toppin: (hey guess what? we didn't give you this in the ingredients list, so you probably neglected to purchase these additional items at the grocery store and won't realize you need them until it's too late! well, tough taco for you! of course, if you were a GOOD Midwest housewife, you'd keep a steady supply of all three of the followin items in the pantry, right next to your stockpile of cream of mushroom soups.)
15 oz. can crushed pineapple
6 oz. box vanilla instant puddin
8 oz. carton non dairy whip (a cake just isn't complete without a slatherin of Cool Whip!)

Thursday, October 29

Hot Diggity-Hot Dish

Or, as I would prefer to call it, Hot Diggity-Food Poisonin. This hurlicious dish comes to us from Helen Murawski via Mrs. Gertrude Black. Again, keepin with the standard of great Hot Dishes everywhere, it appears that Ms. Murawski took the upcomin church potluck as an opportunity to clean out her fridge and pantry. I picture her tossin it all in a casserole and throwin it in the oven, sayin "I signed up for a hot dish. It's hot and it's in a dish. What more do they want?"

2 c. macaroni, cooked (oh good, so it'll be nice and soggy by the time the dish has finished bakin)
1 lb. frankfurters, cut into quarters (frankfurters, as opposed to wieners. ugh. I just remembered what it's like to cut a hot dog in half.)
1 can creamed celery soup (in French accent: "buht ohf caourse!")
1 (8 oz.) tub sour cream (at room temperature) (that's just askin for trouble)
1 C. shredded carrots
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped green peppers (oooh - adventurous vegetable)
1/2 tsp. dill weed (optional) (I'm not quite seein the connection between flavors here...would it add a pickly taste? )

Oven temp: 350 degrees (aka Standard Hot Dish Temp)

Pan size: greased 2-quart bakin dish

How to:
Prepare macaroni accordin to directions; drain. Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well (I can imagine that sound...squishy-squishy). Turn into greased 2-quart bakin dish (bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!). Cover and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Makes 6 servins.

Wednesday, October 28

Raisin Wine

Disclosure: I will drink anythin - ANYTHIN - but there is no way I'd drink this unless I was a pathetically lonely teen with no friends (that looked) old enough to buy cheap beer for me. I think I'd even go for that hideous bile-flavored "dandelion" crap before I'd try this. Hell, I'd probably even drink nail polish remover first. Thanks to Mrs. Gertrude Black for sharin this with us. Bottoms up!

4 lbs. raisins
1 quart Welch's grape juice (don't go tryin to use the cheap shit - this is high quality stuff right here)
4 lbs. sugar
1/2 cake yeast (why cake yeast? what is cake yeast? if I used bread yeast, would the world end? how do I get a 1/2 cake yeast anyway?)
7 c. hot water

How to:
Combine ingredients. Stir for 26 days. (my, but that's a specific length of time...also, I'm pretty certain my arm will fall off after a solid 2 hours of stirrin, so I shudder to think what will happen after 624 hours of such activity.) Put in a jug (preferably a cartoon one marked 'XXX') and let yeast set on the bottom. Put in bottles and put top on lightly. (or what - it will turn into a diet-Coke-and-Mentos-style geyser? this sure sounds dangerous and messy, and I'm not just talkin about what will happen if you actually drink it.)

Chicken Lemone

Here's an...ahem...interestin recipe from Mrs. Betty Sanders, via friend of the blog Mrs. Gertrude Black.

On first read-through I said to myself, okay, what's so special about this? On second read-through I said out loud, "Now for heaven's sakes Betty, why the frozen lemonade? That's a rather odd choice for marinade." To which (in my imagination) Betty Draper replied, in between drags off a cigarette, "Who cares. I'm trapped in a loveless marriage under the repressive thumb of 1960's male chauvinism. You're lucky it's not marinated in Kool-Aid and whiskey."

At least the recipe name sounds French, so you can pretend you're Julia Child when tellin folks what you've made...

Boneless breast of chicken (1 full breast per person - 2 pieces) (but what if I want to serve more than two people? what do I do then? I CAN'T DO MATH!)
Frozen lemonade (1 can for 4-6 servins) (this still has me shakin my head)
Grated rind of 1 lemon (fancy!)
Salt, pepper in flour for dredgin
Oil (what kind? oh who cares. I'm lucky it's not baby oil, right Bets?)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: Who cares. Just try not to burn down the house.

How to:
Wash and pat dry chicken pieces. Place in a bowl. Lightly salt and pepper. Pour lemonade in a bowl and add to it the grated rind of lemon, stir to blend. Pour over chicken pieces. Cover and marinate for at least 8 hours. (8 hours!? why, that's like a whole day of work! what am I supposed to do, get up at the crack of dawn to make this recipe? well maybe it's just for those lucky stay-at-homers.)

To Prepare: Remove chicken from marinade and dredge with flour. Lightly brown in cookin oil (oh.) and place in a bakin pan. Cover with marinade and bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees. Should come out moist, tender, and delicious. (If you say so, Betty...) Serve with rice and salad and vegetable (just one) for a delicious meal. (All right. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, but now I believe the lady doth say "delicious" too much...)

Tuesday, March 3

Milkless, Butterless, Eggless Cake

We might as well also call this cake Tasteless and Joyless. Bid Jensen, the creator of this recipe, was way ahead of her time with this one, which predates Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and the modern health food craze. I think they sell a similar version of this cake at my local health food Co-Op, only they call it "Vegan" and charge $5 a slice for it.

Happy Birthday, DB!

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
Little nutmeg (seriously, kids - go easy on the nutmeg; it's a known hallucinogen)
1 c. raisins
1 tbsp. melted shortenin (yuck. why not just use oil?)
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. bakin soda
1 c. liquid from raisins (super yuck. I bet that smells deliteful.)
1 tsp. vanilla

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x12" pan (or 9x13, since that's actually the standard, but maybe ol' Bid wasn't so keen on the measurin?)

How to:
Stew raisins so there will be one cup of liquid. (maybe if you stewed them in booze, this cake wouldn't be Joyless anymore) Cool. (yeah, it would be cool if you stewed the raisins in liquor. nice to know we're on the same page, Bid) Put liquid in bowl and add soda, shortenin and sugar. Sift flour and measure. Then sift with salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. (all this siftin is gettin old fast) Beat 2 minutes - add raisins and vanilla. Serves 12. (So I guess we'll just forget the step where you actually bake the damned cake, and just call this a Milkless, Butterless, Eggless, Tasteless, Joyless, Bakeless Cake. But I'm guessin if you actually wanted to serve this, you'd bake it for about 30-35 minutes.)

Different spices may be used - to taste. (Oh, so this isn't a Tasteless cake after all, then is it? If I can choose whatever spices I want - to taste - then I choose cayenne, oregano, Paul Prudhomme's Salmon Magic, and a can of Van de Kamp's Pork n Beans. With Cool Whip on top.)

Monday, February 23

Poor Man Steak

Well, havin just read a bunch of news about this rotten economy, I figured we could all use some recipes for food that won't strain the budget, and this one certainly fits the bill both in ingredients and in name. (Note: I am not responsible if you end up needin triple-bypass from eatin a log of fried hamburger and three cans of cream of mushroom soup. If you want "healthy" poor folks' food, try Weiner Water Soup.)

Readin the title of this recipe, I imagined Mike Myers as Linda Richman on the old SNL "Coffee Talk" sketch sayin, "Poor Man Steak is neither made of man nor steak. Discuss."

3 lbs. hamburger
1 onion, chopped fine
1 c. milk
1 c. dry bread crumbs

Oven temp: 350 degrees 1 hour

Pan size: 9x13" glass bakin pan

How to:
Mix together and pat in cookie sheet. Cover with wax paper set in refrigerator overngiht ([sic]). Next day cut in servin pieces (you should totally cut them in shapes like steak-shape, dog bone-shape, hand-shape). Roll in flour and fry brown. Put in 9x13" glass bakin dish. (...and here's the big surprise...) Cover with 3 cans of mushroom soup. (Ta-DAAAAAA! Betcha didn't see that comin! Why didn't Myrtle Johnson include that crucial ingredient in the list? Why? Because silly, of course you, like any good housewife, keep a stock of 6-8 cans of cream of mushroom soup in your pantry at all times. You never know when company is goin to drop in and demand a casserole on the fly! By the way, I assume that this should be baked after you pour the soup over it, but it doesn't actually say - just lists an oven temp and cook time under the ingredients list. SO typical...)

Saturday, February 21

Chinese Bean Casserole

Here's another one from Erna, this time for a casserole that calls itself Chinese, though I am hard pressed to find anythin actually "Chinese" about this. If it were topped with chow mein noodles, or included water chestnuts, perhaps I could be swayed. But as it is, I think we can just chalk this one up as another ethnic-food-fakeout. Let's at least give the old gal props for not callin it "Oriental Bean Casserole".

1 can French cut beans
1 can wax beans, yellow (really, is there any other color of wax beans? and if they're canned, they're more "sallow" than "yellow")
1 can bean sprouts (oh, I bet this is where the "Chinese" comes from, because, y'know, only The Chinese eat those - that's why they're always branded "LaChoy" or "China Boy")
1 can cream of mushroom soup (it's not a casserole without one or more "cream-of" soups!)
1 can French fried onions for toppin

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: "greased bakin dish"

How to:
Mix first 3 cans. Mix in the can of mushroom soup. Put in a greased bakin dish, and bake 1/2 hour. Put onions on top the last 10 minutes. (Hey waitaminute...this is just a standard green bean casserole, but with bean sprouts thrown in. "Chinese", my Aunt Fanny!)

Cold Water Cocoa Cake

Welcome to the beautiful, newly-revamped version of Midwest Cookin! Just because the recipes are ugly don't mean the site has to be hideous.

To celebrate the reboot, let's have some cake with Erna Perry!

1/2 c. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. cold water (you better make damn sure it's cold because that's the ingredient that makes this baby special)
1/2 c. cocoa
2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour (oooh, fancy! reminds me of Home Ec class)
1 c. cold water (yeah, more cold water - this ain't called Cold Water Cocoa Cake for nothin)
3 egg whites, beaten with
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/3 tsp. soda dissolved in small amount of boilin water (and what, pray tell, is a "small amount"? this is goin into the cake, so a little specificity would be hell. I'm talkin to a brick wall here.)

Oven temp: 360 degrees (that's right - 360, not 350)

Pan size: 9x13-inch cake pan

How to:
Cream butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Blend and add cocoa and cold water blended. (huh?) Alternately blend cocoa mixture with flour and remainin cold water. (I feel an odd sense of deja vu) Fold in the beaten egg white-sugar mixture. Last add the soda mixture. Stir thoroughly. Bake 35 minutes.

This recipe has won several years at a county fair. (showoff. I wonder what you get if you "win several years"? calendars? time travel? does the island skip back to 1954?)