The Hobbits' Cooking Guild

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

Postby heliona » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:29 am

Caster sugar is finer than granulated sugar. Granulated sugar (as in what would be put in tea and coffee) is a bit large grained to be able to cream. Apparently it is known as "superfine" sugar in the US, if that helps. I used light brown soft sugar for my recipe, which has a similar texture.

BBC Food article on Caster Sugar

I should have added that this recipe made 12 medium-sized muffins (although that may be small by US standards :D). I think if I'd used more than one apple it would have too much, so if you've got more apples to get rid off, you'll probably have to increase the rest of the recipe. :)
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:11 am

Thanks! :) Hubby likes to quote that old saw, "England and America are divided by a single language."

Oer here we have both light and dark brown sugar too, and we also have granulated brown sugar (why??) and raw sugar. And white sugar granulated, superfine (which we never bought so I'd forgotten about), and confectioners'. At home right now we only have granulated, confectioners', and brown (possibly both colors, I'm not sure). And a few packets of raw, scrounged from some restaurant or other.

Now all I have to do is look up the temperature conversion. :)
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Postby heliona » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:38 am

So, I promised recipes and haven't posted them. :D Here is the first, which is Wilko's birthday cake, also known as:

Devil's Food Cake

  • 200g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 5 ml (1 level teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 2.5 ml (½ level teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g (3 oz) plain chocolate
  • 125 ml (¼ pint) milk
  • 100g (4 oz) butter
  • 200g (8 oz) caster sugar [I used fine light brown sugar]
  • 2 (grade 2) eggs
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
For the butter icing:

  • 150g (6 oz) butter
  • 225g (9 oz) icing sugar
  • 100g (4 oz) plain chocolate [I used orange spiced chocolate]


1. Preheat oven to 180° C (350°F/Gas Mark 4). [I am using a fan oven, so my temperate was actually 160°C.]
2. Sieve flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda on to a plate or sheet of greaseproof paper. [There's no reason why you can't use a bowl for this!]
3. Break chocolate up into pieces and put in a basin with the milk.
4. Put basin in a pan of hot water over a low heat until chocolate has melted and blended with the milk.
5. Cream butter and caster sugar until light and creamy in colour and the sugar has lost its gritty taste.
6. Beat eggs with vanilla essence and then gradually mix into the creamed mixture adding 15 ml (a tablespoon) of flour with each addition.
7. Stir in the chocolate milk alternately with the remaining flour and mix until smooth.
8. Grease two 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins and pour in the mixture equally between the two.
9. Bake just above the centre of the oven for about 35-40 minutes.
10. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

[I would add to the greasing by either also having greaseproof paper, or additionally flouring the tins, as although I liberally applied butter to the tins, my cakes still didn't want to come out and were a bit of a mess.]

The icing:

1. Melt chocolate in a basin over warm water (as before).
2. Cream the butter and add the icing sugar slowly, then gradually add the melted chocolate.
3. Spread some of the mixture onto the cakes to sandwich them together and the rest over the cake as you would like. [I had a piping syringe so I had added decoration.]

[It should be noted that this amount of icing was more than the recipe called for (it was actually 75g of chocolate) however I made a bit more to cover up all the broken pieces that resulted from my cakes not coming out of the tins!]

The finished product
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Postby heliona » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:55 am

And for the next one.

Apple Cheesecake

  • 100g (4 oz) plain flour
  • 5 ml (1 level teaspoon) baking powder
  • 2.5 ml (½ level teaspoon) cinnamon
  • 37.5g (1.5 oz) butter
  • 25g (1 oz) caster sugar [I used fine light brown sugar]
  • ½ (grade 2) egg

For the filling:
  • 675g (1½ lb) cooking apples [I used three apples as that is all I had it came out fine - I've no idea how much they weighed!]
  • 337.5g (12 oz) soft cream cheese
  • 25g (1 oz) granulated brown sugar
  • 75g (3 oz) caster sugar [I used fine light brown sugar]
  • 37.5g (1½ oz) flour
  • 22.5g (1½ tablespoons) milk
  • 75g (3 oz) sultanas

[If you are wondering about the weird amounts, it is because I halved the amount needed for the base, and used half as much again for the filling. This is because the first time I made it, the base was really thick, and there wasn't a lot of cream cheese topping.]


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4). [Again, due to me having a fan oven, I reduced the temperate to 160°C.]
2. Sieve flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.
3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4. Stir in the sugar.
5. Beat egg until yolk and white are blended, then add to the dry mix.
6. It will be a crumbly mix at this point. [No, it won't. It'll be kind of gooey!]
7. Grease [and flour!] a 20 cm (8 in) loose bottomed cake tin and press the mixture firmly on the bottom.
8. Peel, core and cut the apples into thin slices.
9. Arrange over the top of the cake mixture.
10. Sprinkle over the granulated brown sugar.
11. To make the topping, cream the cream cheese with a wooden spoon until soft. [I brought it out of the fridge early so it was a bit softer to start of with.]
12. Beat in the caster sugar with the flour and the milk.
13. Add sultanas. [I didn't have any sultanas, so omitted this step.]
13. Spread over the apple mixture.
14. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper and cook for about 45 minutes.
15. Serve hot or cold.

This one came out a lot better than the first one, where as I mentioned, the cheese topping was a bit thin and the base was very thick.

Here is the finished product.

[Gah. I edited this post as I'd left out "lb" and now all my fractions have gone weird. I shall have to correct them when I'm at my home computer (it's got a program for the fractions) - apparently this work computer messed them up!)]

[Edit 2: added link to photo and hopefully fixed fractions]
Last edited by heliona on Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:20 am

Oh yum! More recipes!! And I just realized that the pumpkin-muffin recipe I've been hunting for this past month or so was magneted to the front of our fridge the whole time... :oops:
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Postby heliona » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:50 am

Gingerbread Biscuits
  • 50g (2 oz) margarine
  • 50g (2 oz) caster sugar [I once again used soft light brown sugar]
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) golden syrup
  • 100g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground ginger [I actually added a bit more than this and they still weren't particularly gingery, so I would say put as much in as you like, depending on your taste!]
  • 2.5ml (½ teaspoon) mixed spice
  • approx 10ml (2 teaspoons) milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4).
  2. Cream together the fat, sugar, and syrup.
  3. Sift together the flour and spices and work into the creamed mixture using a fork.
  4. Mix in enough milk to make a firm dough.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  6. Roll the dough out thinly and cut out gingerbread shapes.
  7. Place the shapes on greased baking sheets.
  8. Bake in centre of oven for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Cool on baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

No photos of these as they all got put into the post to be smashed in transit to various TORCers. :D
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Postby heliona » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:05 am

Rose was asking about a recipe for pizza dough. Here is the one that my mother uses.

Pizza dough

Basic recipe to make two pizzas, each serving four to six people.

  • 450g (1 lb) plain flour
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) salt
  • 15g (½ oz) lard [this would usually be margarine]
  • 15g (½ oz) fresh yeast (for dried yeast see note below)
  • 250ml (½ pint) hand-hot water

  1. Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Rub in lard until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Dissolve yeast in the warm water, stir well.
  4. Mix liquid with the flour and work until dough is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl clean.
  5. Turn out on to a floured board and knead until dough is firm and springs back when pulled. This takes about ten minutes (no less, so don't cheat).
  6. Lightly oil a polythene bag and put in the dough.
  7. Fold over top of bag and leave to double in size. This will take about an hour in a warm place, two hours at room temperature, 24 hours in a refrigerator. If the dough has been refrigerated it must return to room temperature before shaping.

Note: for dried yeast, dissolve 2.5ml (½ teaspoon) sugar in 250ml (½ pint) hand-hot water and sprinkle over 10ml (2 teaspoons) dried yeast. Leave until frothy - about ten minutes. If it doesn't froth, then the yeast is no longer active and you should buy a fresh supply.

Additional notes: bear in mind that these are British measurements!
My mum doesn't do the polythene bag thing. Instead she just puts the dough back into the bowl and puts some clingfilm over the top of it, placing the bowl in a warm place.
Also, dried yeast usually comes with instructions, so you might as well follow those as opposed to these! :)
And that's it - I find making dough is a good idea if you've got some pent-up aggression you want to get rid of!

(Also, as pizza dough doesn't need to be particularly light and airy, I don't see why you couldn't use wholemeal flour, or if you are wary, then half and half it. We've always used plain flour, but there's no harm in experimenting!)
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:02 am

Quick, folks, before tonight: anyone got a recipe for crust for a fruit tart? I mean, other than ordinary piecrust? And how about a glaze? I need to bake this 4-fruit tart tonight, because I need it for Yule service tomorrow evening and I work during the day, and I don't want to shuff it off on hubby, who's already making the soup!

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Postby RoseMorninStar » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:25 pm

Morwenna.. I've often used a type of shortcake dough for a fruit tart.. using something like bisquick. Otherwise, I have known people to use sugar cookie dough.. even the kind you buy already made. I hope something works for you! As for glaze.. apricot glaze is often used.. you can use jelly/jam for a base.

heliona!! Thanks for the pizza crust recipe!! I will try it with the whole wheat pasta flour I bought & I'll let you know how it turns out! Thanks again!
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Successful supper!

Postby Morwenna » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:49 am

Wow!!! We did it! Everyone loved both the soup and the tart! And we had 18 adults, more than we've had at a special service in a long time.

I'll have to ask hubby just what he put into that soup and report back. But meanwhile, here's what I did with the tart.

I made a standard piecrust and added a bit of sugar to the dough. Hubby rolled it out for me in a big circle and put it on a large cookie sheet. (He also sliced the fruit, bless his heart.) Outside ring was apple slices (skin on all the fruit, BTW), alternating Granny Smith with Fuji or Mac, then heavily sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Next row, sliced pears, facing the other way, sprinkled heavily with sugar and ginger. Next row, center really, plum slices, reversing direction again, with sugar and cloves. Piled in the middle and scattered over the rest, reconstituted dried cherries coated with sugar and nutmeg. Then hubby mixed the water from the cherries with a little honey and I used that for the glaze.

We have enough sliced fruit and spice mixtures left for another tart, but now I need to make another crust ball!

The soup contained, in addition to zillions of root veggies, the following: oats, peas, beans, and barley (remember the rhyme?), and parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. The tart, as you see, was apple pear, plum, and cherry (remember that other rhyme/song?), and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves ("and that's what gave me my jolly red nose"--the old song "Of all the birds up in the tree"). The organizer of the service said to me afterward that it was the first time he had ever had a sacred feast after a service!
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Postby Morwenna » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:41 pm

OK, this is what went into the soup...

Carrots, parsnips, turnip, celery root, sweet potato, onion, garlic, 4 kinds of beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, and blackeyed peas), peas, oats, barley, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt. And veggie stock, partly his own and partly commercial.

Whew! :)
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Postby heliona » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:44 am


My parents gave me a cookbook for Christmas (along with a gardening kit - when did I grow up and end up being all domesticated?! :shock:) - the Good Housekeeping Easy to Make! Top 10 Collection - all-time classic recipes for every occasion.

And they really mean it - there's a category for everything!

Anyway, from the one-pot section, I thought I'd give the winter stew a try. The results were delicious. Here's the recipe:

Peppered Winter Stew (serves 6)


  • 25g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 900g (2 lb) stewing venison, beef or lamb, cut into 4 cm (1½ in) cubes
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 225g (8 oz) button onions, peeled with root intact
  • 225g (8 oz) onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) red wine vinegar
  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 2 tbsp redcurrent jelly
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 900g (2 lb) mixed root vegetables, cut into chunks
  • 600-900ml (1-1½ pints) beef stock
  • salt and ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C for fan oven)/Mark 4.
  • Put the flour into a plastic bag, season with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in it.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and brown the meat well in small batches. Remove and put to one side.
  • Heat the remaining oil and fry the button onions for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and golden. Add the tomato purée and cook for further 2 minutes, then add the vinegar and wine and bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes.
  • Add the redcurrent jelly, thyme, bay leaves, 1 tbsp pepper, cloves and meat to the pan, together with the vegetables and enough stock to barely cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven for 1¾-2¼ hours until the meat is very tender.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2½ hours
Nutritional information: per serving 540 calories, 24g fat (of which 7g saturates), 24g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt
Dairy free

Notes: I used lamb for my stew. I didn't use 2 pounds of meat either (I don't think it would have fit in my pot to be honest!) so I cut all the other ingredients down by the same amount. I also didn't have any redcurrent jelly, so that was omitted. As was the button onions. I used potatoes, carrots and parsnips as root vegetables. I didn't add any cloves (again, I didn't have any) and instead of all that pepper, I added some fajita powder to give it a bit of a kick. As I had a smaller amount, my stew only needed about 1½ hours.

It was delicious. :)

Peppered Winter Stew by heliona, on Flickr
Last edited by heliona on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Morwenna » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:24 am

Oh, it sounds delicious--both ways! :) BTW, what's a "button onion"? Is it what we call a pearl onion?
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Postby heliona » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:33 am

Umm, I've no idea. :D I don't think I've ever seen button onions before.

Here's a link with a photo of them.

Ah yes, they are the same: Another link

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Postby Arassuil » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:54 am

That looks like some scrummy stew! Wonder how it would do in a warm climate?

Here's a tasty dish I enjoy...

Paprika Beef

- 750g (1.5lb) minced steak or top quality lean ground beef
- 3 medium Onions
- 125g (4oz.) Mushrooms
- 155g (5oz.) Tomato Paste
- 2 cups Water
- 2 Chicken Stock cubes
- 1 Bay-leaf
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
- salt & pepper to taste

Brown minced beef in saucepan.
Add peeled & chopped onions & sliced mushrooms.
Cook & stir for 5 minutes, then drain any excess fat.
Add remaining ingredients and blend in well.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat & simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove bay-leaf before serving.
Serve with hot rice, cos cos, or mashed potatoes.
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Postby heliona » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:05 am

That's sounds delicious, Arassuil. As for the warm climate, I'd suggest waiting until a very cool day to cook it. :D

I used up some citrus fruit to marinate some diced pork. The marinade consisted of:

- juice of one orange
- juice of one lemon
- glug of olive oil
- large dusting of paprika
- a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed/finely diced
- salt & pepper

I left the pork to marinate for a couple of hours and then fried it in the marinade. Then once the pork was cooked, I took it out, added some flour to the juices that were left (and then some wholegrain mustard) to make a thick sauce and then returned the pork to the sauce. It was served with sugarsnap peas and potato wedges and considering it was an experiment, was very nice. :D

It had quite a citrus kick. I didn't have much paprika left, so that may have had something to do with it. Next time I think I'd add some cajun spice flavouring to give it a bit of a kick and counter the citrus taste.
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:25 am

I like that measurement--a "glug." That says it all. :D

That pork dish sounds yummy; I do agree that something spicy might ameliorate the citrus.

Speaking of pearl onions (and the ones we get aound here have white skins, not brown), hubby likes to serve them in cream sauce, especially for holidays. But we haven't had any this year.
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Postby Vanaladiel » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:50 pm

My mom liked to use pearl onions in a cream sauce with sweet peas. They were very tasty peas but I was never able to eat the onions since I am allergic to them. :P
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Postby Morwenna » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 am

Pity! Are you allergic to all allium? Garlic included? We have an acquaintance who is. It's really hard to cook if she's going to share it, because my husband cannot conceive making anything except dessert without either onion or garlic or both! In that way he very strongly resembles my mom. She was gastronomically bothered by onions, and took antacids anyway because she refused to give them up.
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Postby The Watcher » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:09 pm

Okay, here we go:

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetable Stew

2 c raw cubed chicken (about 1/2 - 2/3 lb) (1/2" cubes)
1 T vegetable oil
2 carrots peeled and sliced diagonally about 1/4 "
1 red bell pepper in small strips
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 head small cauliflower in bite sized florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 - 2 c low sodium chicken stock
2 t ground ginger
1 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t garam masala (opt.)
1 t paprika
1 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 c dried fruit (apricots, prunes, raisins, apples)
1/2 c toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews)
1 15 oz can chickpeas,, drained and rinsed
2 T tomato paste
1 T lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper to taste
hummus and sesame oil for garnish
cilantro for garnish (I leave out, since I dislike it)

In a dutch oven, saute the chicken and vegetables in oil until chicken is no longer pink and onions are slightly translucent, 8 - 10 minutes. Add all ingredients through to the dried fruit, bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Add chickpeas, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Season, add a bit of hummus and sesame oil to each serving (the hummus will also help thicken the stew a bit) and serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired. This goes great with couscous or rice pilaf.

I had nearly an entire 7 oz container of hummus with artichoke that I wanted to use, so last time I made this, I added 8 oz of frozen baby lima beans in with the broth and tomatoes, left out the chickpeas, and added all of the hummus instead of the tomato paste. It worked great!

Asian Rice Salad

1 c brown rice
2 c stock or water
1 T oil or butter if desired

Combine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat covered for 30 to 40 minutes until liquid is absorbed (I usually cook it for 30 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it sit on the warm burner covered for the remaining time. Let cool by removing it to a sheetpan and spreading it out. You want the rice cooked but not gummy and sticky. If you like, you may saute the rice in the oil first until fragrant and golden brown before adding your liquid.

1 lb fresh green beans cut french style and cooked just until crisp tender and plunged into an ice bath
1/2 c shredded raw carrot
1 red bell pepper in thin 1-2" strips
3-4 scallions cut on diagonal, both green and white parts
1 can water chestnuts drained and cut into julienne strips
1/2 c toasted coarsely chopped cashews or slivered almonds

2 T finely minced gingerroot
1 T mashed garlic
3 T light low sodium soy sauce
3 T sesame oil
1/4 c rice wine vinegar

Whisk together well. I cheat and use 1/2 - 2/3 c Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger salad dressing.

Mix rice, vegetables, and dressing, chill 1 hour. Serve as is or in lettuce wraps. Goes great with teriyaki shredded chicken or teriyaki grilled salmon.

Turkey N Stuffing Patties

1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 c crushed whole wheat stuffing mix (Stove Top type)
1/4 c stock or water
1 egg

Mix all ingredients well and let sit chilled at least 1 hour. Shape into 6 patties. Saute 5 minutes on each side in 1 T vegetable oil, or bake at 425 degrees F on baking sheet with sides sprayed with nonstick spray 25 minutes. Serve on whole grain buns with lettuce and tomato and low fat mayo, or use a favorite chutney.

Mango Ginger Sauce for Turkey or Chicken

1 8 oz can pineapple in natural juice - drain juice and reserve, dice up pineapple
1 5 oz pouch dried mango pieces, coarsely chopped
1/2 c mango nectar or apricot nectar (pineapple juice also works)
2 T lime or lemon juice
2 t grated fresh gingerroot
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve warm with sliced turkey breast or roast chicken.

Pineapple Soy Glazed Salmon

1/4 c + 1 T pineapple juice (5 T)
2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t garlic powder
1 T cornstarch
1 to 1 1/2 lb salmon steaks (4-6 4 oz portions)

Combine ingredients in a one cup pyrex measuring cup and microwave on high 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until thickened, stirring at least once. Grill salmon on one side, flip over, glaze tops with sauce, and serve once other side is done. Serve with remaining glaze. This also works well with boneless loin pork chops or beef steaks, especially tenderloins.

Cinnamon Raisin Scones

2 c unbleached flour
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 oz) cold butter in pieces
1/2 c lowfat milk or buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 c raisins or craisins or dried cherries

Mix together dry ingredients, work in butter with fork or fingers until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in egg and milk. Stir in fruit. Dough should be stiff. Shape dough into a 7" circle on a nonstick spray coated baking sheet, pat smooth and score into eight or ten wedges. Brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool and cut into wedges.

Sweet Potato Applesauce Bread

1 c. whole wheat flour (I used oatmeal flour)
1/2 c. unbleached flour
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c unsweetened natural style applesauce
1/4 c low fat milk, buttermilk, or natural fruit juice (I used oj)
1 c mashed cooked sweet potato (NOT the type in heavy syrup, I cook my own and drain, cool and mash)
2/3 c dried fruits and/or chopped nuts

Blend together dry ingredients, mix in wet ingredients, and then fruits/nuts. Bake 350 degrees F for one hour in a 9"x4" loaf pan coated well with nonstick spray.

Bean and Kale Soup

1 T olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 c chopped fresh kale, tough stalks discarded
4 c low sodium broth or stock
2 cans white beans, 15 oz each ( I cooked my own white beans and used approx 4 cups with the cooking liquid)
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes, 15 oz.
1 T Italian seasoning
sea salt and black pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley and/or parmesan cheese to garnish

In a dutch oven, saute the garlic, onions, carrots and celery 5 minutes, add the kale and saute until the kale is wilted. Add 3 cups of the stock, 3 cups of the beans, tomatoes, and seasonings, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Puree the remaining broth and beans, add to the pot and simmer 15 minutes or until veggies are tender. Garnish with parsley and grated cheese.

I added some ground turkey in with the vegetables while sauteing to make this more of a main dish, and skipped the cheese. It was still delicious.

Curried Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 2" piece gingerroot, peeled and slivered
1 T red curry paste ( I used 3 t sweet curry powder and 1 t garam masala)
1 t garlic powder
1 t coriander (ground)
1 15 oz can unsweetened low fat coconut milk
3 c low sodium chicken broth ( I used homemade stock)
3 1/2 T lemon juice
1 t salt (optional)
1 T toasted sesame oil (garnish)

Saute the onion and ginger in oil until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients except salt and sesame oil, bring to a boil, and simmer until the sweet potato is very soft, about 30 to 45 minutes. Cool and puree ( I use an immersion blender) and return to heat until hot. Add salt to taste and stir in sesame oil.

Here again, I added about 1 cup of diced chicken breast sauteed separately and added after soup was pureed. My best friend's mother LOVES this soup!

Toasted Couscous with Almonds and Currants

1 box plain couscous (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or pine nuts, pistachios, or cashews, chopped)
2 c stock or broth (even apple juice or orange juice work)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 t cumin
black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 c currants ( or any dried fruit in small bits, such as apricots, craisins, etc.)

In a saute pan, toast the couscous and nuts until fragrant and golden brown. WATCH carefully, you do not want to scorch this. Heat the broth to a boil in either a saucepan or in the microwave. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and cover and let sit at least 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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Postby rwhen » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:41 am

The bean and kale soup sounds excellent and I WILL be making the sweet potato applesauce bread!!

Thanks for all that effort!! What a lovely array of recipes you have provided for our healthy eating.

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Postby Morwenna » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:11 am

I agree about that soup. Hubby made soup a couple years ago using fresh kale, which a friend had given us, and it was very good. Kale is tough, though; do the beans in this soup tenderize them somewhat?

I'd love to try that salmon, but if I make it it'll be only for myself. :(

The curried soup and the couscous, though, would go over really big around here! :)
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Postby The Watcher » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:02 pm

For the bean and kale soup, I actually did cook the kale a bit in the stock before adding the beans, I also chopped it up fairly fine, more ribbons than chunks. It worked out quite well. It was tender without being mushy.

"Souper" Main Dish Entrees using, you guessed it, condensed soup. Fairly fast, easy, economical, perfect for feeding the family dinner after a hectic day.

"Surprise Pork Chops"

6 pork chops
1 T vegetable oil
1 T mustard (brown works best)
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices mild or sweet onion
6 slices lemon, seeds removed
1 10.5 oz can condensed tomato soup

Brown chops in oil on both sides in an ovenproof skillet. Brush tops of chops with mustard, season with salt and pepper, top each chop with a slice of onion and lemon.(EDIT) Top with soup. (Txs, Morwenna, I think that needs to be in the directions. :D) Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.

I have also seen variations of this recipe using brown sugar with the mustard, or using bell pepper rings in place of the lemon slices. It is pretty easy to tweak to your own tastes.

"Golden Chicken Bake"

2 lbs chicken parts (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, whichever you like)
2 T melted butter or margarine
1 10.5 oz can condensed cream soup or golden mushroom soup
chopped parsley, chives, or green onions

Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer, skin side down, in a 8"x12" or 9"x13" baking pan. Drizzle butter over tops of chicken. Bake at 400 degrees F 20 minutes, turn and bake 20 minutes more. Pour soup over chicken, sprinkle parsley or chives or green onions over top. Bake 20 minutes more.

"Pork Chop Green Bean Bake"

6 pork chops, trimmed of excess fat if needed
1 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soup
Dash of dried thyme, poultry seasoning, OR dillweed
2 9 oz packages frozen green beans defrosted, or two 1 lb. cans green beans, drained
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

In an oven-proof skillet, brown the chops on both sides (add oil if chops are lean) and remove from pan. Blend soup with thyme in skillet, stir in beans. Return pork chops to top of beans, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake covered in 350 degree F oven 45 minutes, uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.

"Chicken Stuffing Bake"

1 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1 c milk
1 package (7 oz) stuffing mix ( or use dried stale bread or cornbread crumbled and mixed with a bit of poultry seasoning)
2 c cooked cubed chicken or turkey
2 c cooked broccoli florets
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/4 c finely diced onion (optional)
6 oz shredded Swiss cheese ( or whatever cheese you like)

In a mixing bowl, combine soup with milk and stir until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except 1/2 c of cheese. Pour into a greased 8"x12" pan or casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, top with remaining cheese, and bake until cheese melts and begins to brown. Serves 6

"Piquant Pork Chops"

4 boneless 1/2" thick pork chops, approx 1 lb.
1/4 t pepper
1 T vegetable oil
1 10.5 oz can condensed chicken broth (chicken gumbo soup also works well)
3 T lime or lemon juice
1 T brown sugar
1 t Dijon mustard
4 t cornstarch
2 T water
hot cooked rice

Sprinkle chops with pepper, brown in a 10" skillet with oil on both sides using medium heat. Stir in broth, juice, mustard, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove chops from pan. Mix together cornstarch and water, stir into hot sauce and cook over medium high heat until mixture bubbles and thickens. Stir often. Return meat to pan, serve chops and sauce over hot rice.

Ya'll want soup/semi homemade recipes, I found TWO different Campbell's cookbooks and another one for Lipton Dried soups in recipes. I also found the Philly Cream Cheese cookbook and the Bisquick cookbook. I am so embarrassed...:D
Last edited by The Watcher on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Morwenna » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:06 pm

The Surprise Pork Chops is nearly identical to the one I mentioned in Foodies that my mother used to make! Only in your recipe you neglected to mention the soup in the directions. :) I think Mom's recipe was called Fiesta Pork Chops or something like that.
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Postby The Watcher » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:45 pm

Oopsie, what I get when I rush!! :D :lol:

I went and fixed it, thanks Morwenna!

One further observation about recipes using condensed soups: most now have a nice smooth consistency out of the can, but if you have one that seems a bit too "solid" stir it up well with a fork to smooth it out before adding directly from the can, or with a whisk if the recipe calls for liquid to be added such as milk or water into your bowl or pan.
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Postby heliona » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:27 am

We don't see that much condensed soup over here. Not as much as in the USA. I don't think it's used as much as a basis for soups and casseroles, either. *shrug*

Anyway, I made a Spanish Fish Stew last night. Here's the recipe:

Spanish Fish Stew (serves 4)

  • 350g (12oz) small salad potatoes, halved
  • 175g (6oz) chorizo sausage, skinned and roughly chopped
  • 350g jar roasted peppers in olive oil, drained and chopped, oil reserved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 small red onions, cut into thick wedges
  • 175ml (6 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 300g (11oz) passata
  • 25g (1oz) pitted black olives
  • 450g (1lb) chunky white fish such as cod and haddock, cut into large cubes
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven), gas mark 3.
  2. Put the potatoes, chorizo, roasted peppers, garlic, onions, wine and passata into a large flameproof casserole with 2 tablespoons of the oil from the peppers. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, then cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Add the olives and fish and put back in the oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and completely cooked through.
  5. Spoon into warmed bowls and serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Nutritional information: per serving 463 calories, 22g of fat (of which 6g saturates), 32g carbohydrate, 1.8g salt.
Gluten and dairy free

Notes: I really dislike cooked olives, so they were omitted. Also, my jar of roasted peppers wasn't in oil, so I didn't add any to the recipe. Since I had 280g of fish as opposed to the suggested 450g, I reduced the rest of the ingredients down and it worked out nicely. I also didn't add quite as much chorizo as was required.

Passata is a useful store cupboard ingredient from the Italian kitchen, which can be used in sauces and stews. It is made from ripe tomatoes that have been puréed and sieved to make a very smooth sauce.

It was delicious. Again, note that everything is in British measurements, so the ounces and fluid ounces won't be the same.
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Postby The Watcher » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:11 pm

As promised (finally! :D)

Brown Bread (a quick bread)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn meal
1 cup whole wheat or graham flour
3/4 cup dark molasses
2 cups buttermilk or soured milk (lemon juice added to milk and curdled)
1 cup seedless raisins (or use chopped dates, prunes, or walnuts)

Mix together all dry ingredients, then add molasses and milk, whisk together until you have a smooth thick batter. Add fruit/nuts.

Traditional method:

Fill 3 clean 1 pound greased coffee cans about halfway, batter equally divided. Place the cans on a rack in a deep kettle with a lid, fill the kettle with boiling water to about 1 inch, keep water at bare simmer, cover kettle, and steam 3 hours, replenishing water as needed. Remove bread in cans, place cans in a very hot (450 degrees F) oven for five minutes. Remove bread from cans, serve hot. Great with butter or cream cheese. Traditionally served with Boston Baked Beans.

Modern method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan, pour batter into it. Set loaf pan in a larger pan filled about 3/4 to 1 inch with boiling water. Carefully set pans in center rack of oven, bake one hour. Do not overfill larger pan with water - the water is there to provide steam and to regulate baking. If water is too low, carefully pour more boiling water into larger pan. Remove loaf pan, remove bread from pan.
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Postby Morwenna » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:09 pm

I'll have to show this to hubby! He loves brown bread.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:02 pm

How do I never see this thread come up on my feed for Active topics??

Thanks for the recipe Watcher!! I'll let you know how it is! :D
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Postby The Watcher » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:44 pm

Okay, here are two recipes, one for Pasta Sauce Bolognese and one for Pastitsio. Both make quite a bit, but can be frozen and reheated in smaller portions.

Sauce Bolognese

2 T olive oil
4 oz (1/4 lb) pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups onions, finely diced
3/4 cup carrots, grated or finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 lbs ground meat - beef, veal, pork, or Italian sausage
2 T tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes, or petite dice, or puree
1 cup stock or broth - beef, chicken, vegetable
2 t sugar
2 T butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large kettle, render fat from pancetta in olive oil until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add vegetables, seasonings, and meat, saute until meat is brown and vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and wine, stir to dissolve tomato paste and reduce liquid by 1/2 - 3 minutes or so. Add tomatoes with juices, stock, and sugar, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Add butter, cream, and parsley. Just before serving, add cheese. Makes enough sauce for at least one pound of dry prepared pasta.


1 lb. dry tubular pasta - ziti works best, or penne or mostaccioli, not elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained, then tossed with
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T butter, melted
1/2 cup grated parmesan, asiago, romano, or kefalotiri cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Pour melted butter over pasta tossed with olive oil, and then toss with cheese, salt and pepper, and egg. Set aside.

Meat Sauce:
1 large onion, chopped
2 T butter or olive oil
1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb or beef or combination
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 t oregano
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
2 T minced fresh parsley or mint

Saute onion in oil until clear, add meat and saute until meat is browned. Add remaining ingredients except parsley/mint, simmer 20 minutes until thickened. Add parsley/mint. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

Bechamel Sauce:
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/4 t nutmeg
1 egg, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan and whisk in flour until bubbly and thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Do not brown. Whisk in milk all at once, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring. Do not let sauce scorch. Add nutmeg, let sauce cool slightly. Whisk in egg, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup of bechamel sauce to meat sauce.

1/2 cup (or more) of grated cheese used in pasta mixture

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or "pam" a 9x13 inch or 10x15 inch "lasagna" pan. Arrange one half of the pasta mixture in the pan, top with all of the meat sauce, spreading it evenly. Top with remaining pasta, spreading it evenly, and then the bechamel sauce, smoothing the sauce evenly over the top and to the edges. Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup additional grated cheese. Bake for 50 minutes, cover with foil if top begins to look too brown. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into servings. Makes 12 to 16 portions
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