Hearth & Home

Hearth and Home by Daphne Ross

Stock for Comfort Food Cooking

For those of you that home-can your pantry is well-stocked for comfort food cooking during cold weather seasons; I admire you. Someone like me stocks up on grocery store canned goods, that's how I prepare, not to mention the one or two, sometimes more processed deer in the deep freezers.

Believe it or not some cooks admire my late-season cupboard stocking. A couple ladies I know come every evening after work have no clue what to cook for dinner. They stop at the grocery store, nearly every day to gather needed ingredients. They may have a list of what they need or they wander the store waiting for a meal idea to jump out of the cooler, hop out of the freezer, or pop off the store shelf.

Most often the spaghetti dinner stand-by, cooked and served from the same cook pot is set on the table; and there are no complaints. But more time could be saved in the evening if cupboard stocking was routine, especially when sales on staples and canned goods are advertised in weekly store flyers.

Don't buy just one or two cans of green beans, one or two jars of spaghetti sauce, or one or two boxes of pasta purchase a set number, perhaps 6 of each, maybe 10, consider a case if the price is right. When a winter work day is over, we all want to get home, not stop at the grocery, not stop at the gas station (keep it on full, topping it off when the price lowers); we want to get home.

Now is a goodtime to take inventory of all your seasonings and spices; list what you have, list what you need. Is your baking powder, baking soda and cocoa too outdated? Consider your baking habits this time of year, and plan to bake at least once a week., leading up to the holidays.

When the dinner table is cleared the family clears the room, sometimes before, call them back to the household hub with the slow-moving aroma of a freshly baked pan cookie, 9 x 13 cake, or a brownie bar. It will be a good time to check their homework, enjoy a bedtime snack, and pack lunches for the next day. If you winter stock your cupboards, your pantry, your cellar shelves, and your freezers you'll have more time for family time. And who doesn't want that.

Send your belly-filling, warm up the kitchen recipes to Hearth & Home, 5973 Blachleyville Rd., Wooster, Ohio, 44691. Emails are always welcome: thewritecook@sssnet.com

Chicken Soup for the Mind, Body & Soul
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast, diced
1/2 pound extra wide noodles
2 teaspoons parsley
Over moderate heat, add olive oil. Add prepared vegetables in order as listed. Add bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Add stock; bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken, return to boil, reduce heat. Cook chicken 2 minutes; add noodles. Cook until noodles are tender and remove from the heat. Stir in parsley remove bay leaf and serve. Add 2 cups of water if you like soup with lots of broth.

Family Friendly Ghoul-ash
Family Goulash
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 c. water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash pepper
1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces uncooked noodles
Brown ground beef in large skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is tender. Combine water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, paprika, dry mustard and pepper. Stir into ground beef mixture. Cover, simmer 15 minutes. Blend flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; add to meat mixture. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until sauce thickens and begins to boil. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well. Serve goulash over noodles. About 4 servings.

Cafeteria Chili
2 pounds ground chuck
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 onion, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can mild chili beans, crushed
7 cups water
In a skillet, brown the ground chuck, pour off any excess grease. Stir in flour and brown sugar. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste and chili beans in a 2-quart cooking pot; add onions, chili powder and salt. Cook over low heat for a least 2 hours. Feeds a lot of kids!

After-Halloween Peanut Butter Squares
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Cream sugars and butter together. Add vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter; combine. Add remaining ingredients; mix together. Spread dough on a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot, spread 1 1/2 cups peanut butter on top. Cool so that peanut butter has becomes solid again; can be put in fridge so they set up faster. Spread your favorite chocolate frosting on top and cut into bars. Frosting:
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients with a mixer until smooth; spread on top of bars.

Fall Crunch Pretzel Snack
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 cups miniature pretzels
1 cup salted peanuts
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and molasses. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 to 50 seconds or until the butter is melted; stir. Microwave 15 to 25 seconds or until the butter is melted; stir. Microwave 15 to 25 seconds longer or until mixture boils. Immediately stir in the salt, baking soda and extract (mixture will foam), Stir in the pretzels and peanuts. Microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until pretzels and nuts are well coated, stirring twice. Spread into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan. Cool for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Store in air-tight container. 6 cups.

Apple Butter Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup apple butter
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Combine first 5 ingredients, and set aside. Combine sugar and shortening, creaming until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and stir in apple butter. Add dry ingredients, mixing well; stir in raisins and nuts. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonful's onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove to racks to cool. Yield: 8 dozen.

Marshmallow Surprise Sweet Potato Balls
2 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
Large marshmallows
Finely crushed corn flakes
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup light cream
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cook sweet potatoes I boiling water until done. Peel, mash fine. Add eggs, mix well. Form into balls around marshmallows; roll in corn flakes. Place in baking dish, being careful not to crowd. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until potato balls pop open. Mix brown sugar, cream, flour and vanilla in saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over potato balls; keep warm in oven until served.

Pizza in a Bowl
6 (1/2 inch) slices French bread
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup water
1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained and cut up
1 (14 ounce) jar pizza sauce
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
3 ounces (3 slices) Mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Trim slices of bread to fit inside 2 cup oven proof soup bowls. Bake bread slices in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. In large saucepan or Dutch oven brown ground beef with onion and garlic, drain. Add all remaining soup ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Pour soup into bowls. Top each with bread slice. Place 1/2 cheese slice on each bread slice. Place bowls in 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately. 6 servings

After-the-Hayride Fancy Franks
1 (16 ounce) package cocktail wieners
1 (13 ounce) can pineapple chunks, in syrup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup currant or grape jelly
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons pineapple syrup, from can
Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons syrup. In a skillet, saute all ingredients for 15 minutes on medium high heat; transfer to a chafing dish and provide toothpicks when serving.

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