Noodle Perfection

As promised, here’s a recipe that has nothing whatsoever to do with frosting. Mom wrote “very good!” in one corner, but I don’t remember her ever making it.

1/2 pound noodles (cooked, I assume)
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
1 can (med.) mushrooms
1 can (med.) ripe olives
1 or 2 cans tomato sauce [note: Mom didn’t say what constitutes “med.” or what size cans of tomato sauce]
1/2 pound velveta, cubed
Butter for sauteing

To do:
Heat oven to 350F. Saute onions in butter. Brown meat in fob. (No idea what “fob” is—I’d just brown it with the onions and butter.) Combine all ingredients. Season to taste. Bake 45 minutes. Garnish with a few extra cubes of cheese.


Maple Frosting

Is it possible for a blog to get diabetes? Oh well. We’re about done with the frosting recipes. I’ll see about moving on to a more substantial section of Mom’s recipe box soon.

2 and 3/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 C shortening
2 tsp vanilla

To do:
Mix sugar, salt, egg. Blend in syrup. Add shortening and vanilla, mixing until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar or water for right consistency.

Blue Cheese and Avocado dip

I interrupt this frosting-fest to bring you a recipe I made up after hearing a passing reference to something like it in a Martha Grimes mystery novel.

Ingredients (for 2–4 servings):
1 avocado
2–3 TBS blue cheese, crumbled
3–4 TBS blue cheese dressing

To do:
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Cut avocado in half, lengthwise, and remove pit. Score avocado flesh with a knife into roughly 1/2-inch squares. (Do not remove them from the skin.) Put the avocado halves into an oven-proof dish, skin-side down. Put the crumbled cheese into the pit holes. Add the dressing on top of the cheese and slather the remainder over the exposed avocado flesh. Bake for 25–35 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown. The avocado flesh should be very soft and spreadable.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes or as long as you can stand it. Spoon avocado and cheese from the skin onto the crackers. Eat warm.

This was a huge hit at a beach party a few years back. Serving this with margaritas or beer works really well.

Royal Icing

I don’t know what makes this royal. I do know that I’ve hit the frosting/icing section of the recipe box.

During one of her pregnancies, Mom had trouble with her hands. The doctor recommended that she take a cake decorating class, because squeezing the piping bags was good physical therapy. Mom could make lovely roses and whatnot with this frosting. Her cakes looked downright professional, and not in the “Cake Wrecks” sense, either.

(Make afternoon of use)
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 lb sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

To do:
Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat 7 to 10 minutes on high.Will stand in peaks and be stiff. May need more sugar when used. Use for all sugar work or work for hard decorations.

Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal makes it health-food, right?

1 and 1/4 C boiling water
1 C quick oats
1 stick margarine
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 C sifted flour

1/4 C margarine
1 C sugar
1 C pet milk (condensed milk, I think)
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped nuts
1 C coconut

To do:
Set oven to 350F. Mix boiling water, oats, and 1 stick margarine in oven-safe bowl and set in oven. Cream together sugars, add eggs, and mix in vanilla and cinnamon. Add oats and flour alternately. Pour into cake pan and bake for 40 min. While the cake’s baking put together the first four frosting ingredients and boil slowly until it thickens. Add vanilla, nuts, and coconuts. Pour over cooled cake.

Rhona Lemon Cake

(by Jane Small—Mom’s brother’s wife) (I have no idea who Rhona might be.)

Mom could make a darn good cake from scratch, but she had no problem with grabbing a box mix and tweaking it a bit. That said, I don’t remember her ever making this cake. It sounds pretty good, though.

1 box Duncan Hines Lemon Cake Mix
3/4 C oil
1/2 C sugar
1 C apricot nectar
4 eggs
1 C powdered sugar
juice from 1 lemon

To do:

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake mix, oil, sugar, and nectar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Pour into angel food cake tin. Bake for one hour. Do not turn cake out to cool—only remove outside ring. Pour powdered sugar and lemon juice over cake as it cools.

The Lazy Woman’s Chicken Noodle Soup

I like home-made chicken noodle soup as much as the next person who catches a cold every fall. But I’ve rarely had the time or storage space to make and keep home-made broth. And once you buy the broth, the rest takes very little time.

2 baked chicken breasts, sans skin and bone
2 quarts chicken broth (Swanson’s is pretty good)
1 small yellow or white onion
2 stalks celery
1–2 carrots, peeled
1 clove garlic
1 bag of egg noodles (or whatever noodles you happen to like)
1–2 TBS olive or other veggie oil
salt and pepper to taste
2–3 shakes of dried thyme leaves

To do:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Chop onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and add to the hot oil. Stir. Add a shake of salt to help sweat the veggies, but don’t go crazy with it—the broth and, depending on if you’re using left-overs or not, possibly the chicken—will also contribute salt to the final soup. While the veggies are cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. When the veggies are translucent, but before they go brown, add the chicken. Stir. Add the broth. Bring to a boil. Add the thyme and some pepper and salt. Remember that the soup will cook down a bit, so don’t add too much. Simmer for an hour or so. Look at the cooking time on your bag of noodles. Add them to the rest of the soup and cook for that time. Taste, and add salt and pepper if you need them. Remove from heat and eat. You can also refrigerate this for up to a week, or freeze it for considerably longer.

Snow Peak Frosting

All by its lonesome, this recipe sat on a card in Mom’s recipe box without an accompanying cake recipe. I’m picturing Mom sitting at a church women’s group function, politely eating the frosting off an otherwise regrettable cake, and asking for the frosting recipe so the cook wouldn’t feel dissed.

The fact that Mrs. Snider and I Did Not Get On may be feeding into this vision.

1 and 1/4 C white corn syrup
2 egg whites
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla

To Do:
Heat corn syrup until boiling. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add salt. Slowly pour in syrup, continuing to beat until frosting is fluffy and forms peaks when beater is raised. Fold in vanilla. Fills and frosts 2 8″ layers.

Credited to Mrs. Snider