Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rosie's Recipe -- Apple or Peach Dumplings

If there's one meal that can  leave me in a culinary rut, it's breakfast. The traditional American breakfast consists of ham, bacon, or sausage with eggs, pancakes, french toast or waffles, and hash browns, toast or muffins on the side. Or biscuits...

You know, there's nothing quite like a piping hot biscuit, fresh out of the oven. The American biscuit, unlike biscuits in England, is a thick, doughy roll that's perfect with butter and jam, or topped with gravy. However, this classic recipe, from Rosie's Riveting Recipes, brings an exciting twist to the everyday breakfast biscuit. Please note that your favorite biscuit recipe would also be suitable for this version.



   2 tablespoons shortening
   1 cup Bisquick
   1 to 2 tablespoons water
   4 cored or pitted fresh fruit
   1 tablespoon jam

Cut shortening into Bisquick. Blend in water. Roll into 12-inch square. Cut into 4 6-inch squares. Place fruit on each square. Fill hollow with jam. Wrap pastry around fruit. Seal well. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in hot oven (450F). Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation: If using fresh apples decrease amount of fruit to 1 or 2 apples. If dough is too dry and crumbly add small amounts of water or milk. The biscuit recipe on the side of the Bisquick box can also be used.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Supermarket Sticker Shock

It's it just me, or have food gone through the roof? Again? Seems like every time the cost of gasoline goes up the cost of food goes up right along with it. And when all the recent flooding in states like Nebraska and Iowa, many crops were lost, along with stored grains when silos burst, so expect this trend to continue. This means we need to start shopping smarter. The following is my list of suggestions, and experience has taught me that they really do help save money. 

The Dollar Store. Depending on the store, you can sometimes find good selection, and the dollar store can be a good place to stock up on staples like flour and sugar, canned goods, and other products like shampoo and soap. Some dollar stores also have milk, eggs and butter, and even some produce. However, a word of caution here. Oftentimes items are only available in the smallest size, which means you may find a better deal on the larger sizes at your regular store. Also be sure to check the labels closely. I once bought a bottle of olive oil at the dollar store, thinking I was getting a great bargain, but it turned out it to be vegetable oil with about 1% olive oil, even though it was labeled as "olive oil." My advice is to shop carefully.

Forget Brand Loyalty. One of the things my mother taught me was to take your time and compare the prices. She said that name brand items, even when they're on sale, oftentimes cost more than the generic or the store brands, and those generic brands are usually just as good. My mother was right, and her advice is just as true today as it was back then. Think about it. Advertising, particularly advertising on television, costs big bucks, and food manufactures pass that cost on to you. So forget brand loyalty. They're not exactly being loyal to you.

Coupons May Not be the Bargain You Think. When I was first starting out on my own I took the Sunday paper, cut out all the grocery coupons, and lived under the illusion that I was saving money. But when I looked closer I began to realize that coupons really weren't as good of a bargain as they appeared to be. Sure, you can save some money, but go back an take a closer look at the store brand. Chances are, even with a coupon, you'll still get a better deal buying the store brand instead of the name brand.

Watch for Sales. I watch for sales, particularly in the fresh meat and produce isles. Fresh meat and poultry freezes well, so don't be afraid to stock up when something goes on sale. And if you do your own canning you can save money stocking up on fresh fruits and making your own jams and jellies.

Grow Your Own. Seeds are cheap, and if you have a yard, or even a small patio, try planting tomatoes or squash instead of daisies. Gardening can be a lot of fun. It's an activity the whole family can participate in, and it's a great way to teach your kids where food comes from.

Beware of Impulse Buying. Okay, I'll admit it. If impulse buying were and Olympic event, I'd be a gold medal winner. There's actually a science behind the way items are displayed in the grocery store, and they do it to get you to buy more. My advice is to have a grocery list and stick to it. I've also started buying my groceries online and having them delivered. I'll post more about that later, but I'll end for now by saying shopping online is a great way to curb impulse buying. 


Monday, April 8, 2019

Mediterranean Style Clam Chowder

© Can Stock Photo / cozyta

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I created it with love and a lot of trial and error as a tasty alternative for those with milk allergies or who may be lactose intolerant. It's sort of a cross between New England and Manhattan style chowder, and I added some Italian seasonings to give it a little extra zing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 



   1 medium onion, chopped
   1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic powder
   1 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil
   2 cups water
   2 to 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
   1 teaspoon salt (optional)
   1/4 teaspoon pepper
   1 can diced, peeled tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
   2 cans baby clams (10 ounce)
   1/2 teaspoon basil, bay leaves and Italian seasoning
   1 tablespoon Wondra flour or cornstarch

Chop onion and place in small stockpot with cooking oil. Add minced garlic, (if desired). Saute until the onions are soft and the garlic turns light brown. Add water, diced potatoes, salt (if desired), and pepper. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes. Strain clam juice into a small container and add clams to the soup mixture. Add Wondra flour or cornstarch to the clam juice and stir until all flour is dissolved and juice mixture is free of lumps. Add juice to soup mixture and stir thoroughly. Add garlic powder, (if not using minced garlic), basil, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning. Stir and bring soup back to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for an additional ten minutes. Serve.