Quick Sweet Rolls


These quick sweet rolls are great served with breakfast or beside a cup of tea or coffee later in the day. The rolls take about 30 minutes from mixing bowl to oven. The top center of each roll is filled with a spoon of jelly or jam. The rolls are drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze as soon as the4y come from the oven.

The sign of a good recipe is how well your family enjoys it. This one passed with flying colors. He who works had three in one sitting. Then he asked if I had plenty of supplies to make another batch.

Sweet rolls are traditional for breakfasts and brunches. They are often served late in the afternoon along with coffee or tea or when unexpected company calls.

This recipe will make 8 rolls each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Quick Sweet Roll

Quick Sweet Rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup os milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup or so of Jelly or jam
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Vanilla

Directions

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a sheet cake pan.

Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix to blend. Drop in the butter and using a pastry blender work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like course crumbs.

Pour the cold milk into a measuring cup and add the egg. Beat lightly with a fork and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well with a mixing spoon and then beat by hand 20 strokes. Using a large spoon or 1/4 cup measuring cup drop portions of the dough onto the prepared pan. There should be 8 mound of dough.

Fill a small glass with water. Use the teaspoon from your measuring spoon set and dip in water then press the back side of it into the center of each mound of dough to make an indentation for the jelly. Fill each depression with a spoon of jelly or jam.

Bake the rolls at 425 degree F for 15 minutes.

While the rolls are baking prepare the glaze. Mix the 2/3 cup powdered sugar with a few drops of vanilla and the tablespoon of water. Stir until smooth. As soon as the rolls are removed from the oven drizzle the glaze over each.

Allow the rolls to cool before serving. The jelly or jam will be very hot.

Notes

If you have no butter or margarine you can use cooking oil but the texture will not be the same.

Other fillings can be used. Lemon curd, berry pie filling, nuts and spice, chocolate chip, cheese or almost anything you can think of.

Nuts can be sprinkled on top of the rolls as soon as the glaze is drizzled on so they will cling to the rolls.

Ground or chopped nuts could be mixed into the dough.

The same dough can be poured into a 13x10x2 inch baking pan and a tablespoon used to make 8 dents in the top of the dough. Fill with pie filling or stewed fruit and bake at 425 degree F if a metal pan, 400 degree F if glass, and drizzle with glaze. Cut apart into 8 squares to serve.

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Zwiebelkuchen or Onion Cake


Zwiebelkuchen is onion cake in German. It is a main dish traditionally served in late summer and early Fall along with new wine. The recipe combines a layer of homemade bread dough with a layer of onion and sausage, then cheese and it is topped with a sour cream based custard seasoned with nutmeg and caraway seeds. It is sort of like a pizza and quiche stuck together. It smells heavenly while baking and tastes even better.

This recipe is my own variation of the standard recipe. I was attempting to recreate what I had tasted over twenty years ago. Having no recipe I searched the net for ideas. The usual version calls for bacon and has no cheese. I had no bacon and I like cheese. Some recipes dice the onions and bacon and after cooking mix them in with the savory custard. People also bake the onions, bacon and custard in standard pie pastry or puff pastry instead of bread dough. The use of a spring-form pan is suggested in many recipes. Big batches are baked in roasting pans. In most recipes the bread dough is rolled out thin and always comes up the side of the pan. The bread dough in my experimental batch was a mistake but tastes so good I’m keeping it. I added cheese just because I like it and used sausage instead of bacon because that is what I had.

It is thought by food historians that the combination of bread topped with other ingredients such as meats and vegetables is as old as cooking on hot rocks around a fire. Savory custards date from the 14 th. Century so this dish probably dates from around that time period. Simpler and earlier versions spread sour cream on bread dough and added sliced onions and bacon over the cream. Sometimes mushrooms or other vegetables were added.

I believe this might be one of the dishes my great grandmother made that my father hated because of the sour cream. He would rather starve than eat any thing he thought contained it. His grandmother would often add it into something thinking he would never notice only to have him refuse to eat whatever it was. Mom would not consider making anything Dad didn’t like so she didn’t copy any of the many recipes calling for sour cream from my great aunt’s large collection. In later years the hatred Dad had for sour cream worked to Mom’s advantage. Dad never touched the container of French onion dip Mom often kept in the frig for herself.

This recipe will take approximately 2 1/2 hours to prepare. The onion cake will serve 8. Serve it with a green salad, fruit salad, any vegetable in a cheese or cream sauce or sliced tomatoes.

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Onion Cake

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 package of dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup of warm water, body temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking or olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

Filling

  • 1 large onion peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 Bratwurst, skins removed and the meat crumbled (I used beer brats)

Custard

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk, scant
  • 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degree F, and butter, grease or spray a 13X10X2 inch Pyrex baking dish.

Make the dough.

Proof the yeast by stirring 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup. The water should be body temperature. When a drop is put on the inside of your wrist it should not be felt. After stirring the sugar into the water sprinkle on the dry yeast and stir. Sit the bowl in a warm place free of drafts for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it increases in volume and bubbles.

Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the proofed yeast, the oil and the water into the well. Mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and smooth. It will be sticky. Scrap the dough off the spoon and from the sides of the bowl, push the dough to the center of the bowl. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place free from drafts to rise. It should take about an hour to double in volume.

The filling.

While the yeast dough rises make the filling. Peel and cut the onion in half and then slice each half into about 1/4 inch slices. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the sliced onion. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Stir and cook until the onion begins to soften. Do not brown. Remove the skins from the sausages and crumble the meat into the pan with the onions. Stir and cook the onions and meat until the sausage meat is no longer pink. Sit the meat and onion mixture aside to cool.

Make the custard.

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the seasonings including the caraway seeds. Beat with a wire whisk. Add the sour cream and milk. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour over the top and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Assemble

Stir in about 1/2 cup of flour into the yeast dough. It will still be sticky. I used the last of the flour bag I had open and I was too sticky to get the new bag out and open it. So I didn’t add as much additional flour as I might have. I think the results were better.

Spread the dough in the pan working it well into the corners and trying to pull some dough up the sides of the pan or simply level the dough layer. Use a wet wooden spoon. In traditional recipes a thin layer of dough should come up the sides level with the top edge of the pan. Don’t bother trying to get the dough up the sides. It doesn’t matter and unless you roll out the dough it won’t work.

Spread the onions and sausage meat evenly over the yeast dough. Include the small amount of fat left in the pan, it flavors the dough. Put slices of cheddar cheese over the top of the meat and onions down the center. Pour the custard mixture evenly over all.

Sit the pan on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over. Mine didn’t but it was very full. Bake it about 40 to 50 minutes or until it tests done in the center and the top is lightly browned. I baked it for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit at least 20 minutes or longer before cutting and serving. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and then cut into squares. It can be served hot or cold.

Notes

Frozen or canned pizza dough or bread dough can be used instead of homemade dough. Homemade tastes better.

The yeast dough recipe can be used for homemade pizza. Add some garlic and use olive oil in the dough. No kneading or rolling required. Spoon the dough into a greased sheet pan. Top the dough with browned meats, sliced vegetables and canned or homemade seasoned tomato sauce. Top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F. until browned and the cheese is melted.

The meat can be left out of this recipe and sliced mushrooms used instead. Other possible combinations are bacon, mushroom and onion; chicken, mushroom and onion with tarragon seasoning instead of caraway seed; hamburger, onion, tomato, and cheese with Southwest seasonings.

The traditional way to make this recipe is to mix fried diced bacon and diced onions into the custard. I used the quiche method and layered the meat and onions on the crust and then covered it all with the custard.

The seasonings are essential in this recipe. I made a second batch and forgot to add the nutmeg. It was not as good. The caraway seeds add a wonderful flavor and smell. Do not leave them out or use subsitutes.

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Spicy Beef and Bean Chili


Spicy Beef and Bean Chili is another effort to create a spicy chili without using hot peppers. This recipe is the best one so far. He who works has proclaimed it excellent as he came back for a second helping. I served the chili crackers but it is equally delicious with sweet cornbread or other breads.

Chili is better the day after it is cooked and refrigerated. Some people recommend it not be served the same day. Leftover chili can be used in a number of ways. Mix it with pasta and it is chili Mac. Chili is great over baked potatoes with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Toss in some corn, some tomato juice and it becomes a soup, serve it with tortilla or corn chips. Chili can be poured over cheese fries, white rice, cornbread, burritos, hot dogs and burgers. Served over corn chips with shredded cheese and diced onion it becomes a chili pie.

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The recipe will serve 6 or more depending on the size of the servings. Serve with crackers, over wedges of sweet cornbread or along with other breads. Include a fruit salad and ice cream for dessert.

Spicy Beef and Bean Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon or less of cooking oil or bacon fat
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 3/4 of a large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tomato can of water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 10 squirts of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of water

Directions

Heat the cooking oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Crumble the ground beef into the hot oil and cook until it begins to brown. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir well. Continue cooking and stirring until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.

Stir in the can of tomatoes, do not drain. Fill the tomato can with water and add it. Stir in the chili powder and the remaining seasonings. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about an hour, stirring about every 15 minutes and adding more water if needed.

Rinse the beans and drain them well. Stir the beans into the pot. Add a cup of water. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the chili to a boil. Boil a few minutes and reduce the heat to low so it simmers. Stir, cover the pot and cook the chili for another hour. Check it often and stir each time so the beans will not stick or burn. Add more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Serve along with small dishes of sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion and hot peppers.

Notes

The next time I will thicken it.

Beer can be used as part of the liquid.

A tablespoon or more of good whiskey or bourbon would enhance the flavor.

The cumin seeds can be lightly toasted in a dry frying pan before adding to the chili.

Beef is the traditional meat to use in chili but other meats can be used. Venison is wonderful in chili. Venison has almost no fat so you have to add some. Mixing it with an equal amount of beef provides fat.

Some people use chicken or turkey in chili. I sure as hell don’t. Poultry is for dumplings, noodles and roasting.

Vegetarian chili can be made from the same recipe. Leave out the bacon fat and the meat Increase the amount of beans by a can. Add mushrooms, fried eggplant, squash or potatoes. Corn and other vegetables can be added. Serve with cornbread.

A large chopped green pepper can be added with the chopped onion.

A couple strips of bacon can be cooked crisp in the pan, removed and the remaining bacon fat can be used to cook the meat and onion in. The bacon can be crumbled and added back into the pot during the last hour of cooking time or crumbled and served at table.

A drained can of corn can be added with the beans. Frozen corn can be used. It does not have to be defrosted before adding to the chili.

There are various methods of thickening chili. You can add crushed tortilla chips or corn chips. A cup or so of the chili can be blended or mashed and added back into the pot. Corn starch, flour or corn flour can be used to thicken chili and stews. Mix a few tablespoons with cold water until smooth and pour into the bubbling chili while stirring. Let it boil for a few minutes or until as thick as you want.

 

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Quick Creamed Beef and Vegetables


Quick creamed beef and vegetables can be made in little more than an hour. Ground beef is cooked with onions, wine, seasoning, mixed frozen vegetables and a can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup. The creamed mixture can be served on bread, toast, biscuits, potatoes (baked, mashed or boiled), boiled rice, pasta or leftover sandwich buns. The only prep involved is slicing the onion.

One pot meals of one type or another seem to have been around forever. Meat pies are an early type where a creamed mixture is put in pie dough and covered with a top crust. Variations of creamed meats, fish, poultry and game along with vegetables became very popular after soup companies advertised quick one pot measl and casserole recipes featuring canned soup as the sauce.

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The recipe will serve 4. Leftovers can be turned into a casserole the next day by mixing with leftover rice, potatoes or pasta.

Quick Creamed Beef and Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 lb. of ground beef
  • 1/2 of a large onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teasp0oon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of good red wine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of small cut frozen mixed vegetables or leftover cooked vegetables, approximate
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup

Directions

Heat cooking oil in a wide, deep pan over medium high heat. Crumble in the meat and when it has almost browned add in the sliced onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well and cook covered until the onion is tender.

Add the cup of water. Stir in the wine, the chicken bouillon, the Worcestershire sauce and the vegetables. Stir well, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the vegetables are done.

Stir in the can of soup. If you want it thick do not add much additional water. Continue to simmer gently until heated through and bubbly.

Serve over almost anything. Good alone or with a light salad and dessert.

Notes

For a  vegetarian version use mushrooms or squash instead of meat.

Frozen hamburger patties can be used. Fry as per directions on the package and chop up before adding the onion.

Any variety of ground meat can be used in the recipe. Any kind of sausage can be used if the casing is removed before cooking.

Cooked leftover poultry can be used instead of the beef. Remove all fat and skin. Shred the meat or cut into small cubes. Cook the onion, then add the meat and other ingredients. The seasoning should be changed to poultry seasoning or sage. Some finely chopped celery could be added along with the onion. Corn would be a nice vegetable to use instead of the mixed ones.

Canned or leftover cooked fish or seafood could be used.

Other types of creamed canned soup could be used.

A casserole using approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the creamed mixture can be made by mixing it in with cooked rice or cooked pasta. About as much rice or pasta as you have of the creamed mixture. Pour into a greased casserole dish and cover the top with buttered bread crumbs or your favorite topping. Cheese could be added to the topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is good and hot.

A large pot pie can be made from the mixture. There are several ways of doing this. Pour the creamed mixture into a pie dough lined pan and cover tightly with a top crust or pour the mixture into a baking pan, bake until bubbly hot and top the mixture with rounds of biscuit dough, canned or homemade. The pie should be baked at around 400 degree F until browned. The biscuit topped casserole should be baked at 425 degrees F until the tops of the biscuits are browned.

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Midnight Cheesy Pasta


The midnight cheesy pasta recipe combines beans and tomatoes with a rich cheddar cheese sauce and twisted pasta. It is extra cheesy and needs no meat. The sauce is well seasoned and has real cheddar cheese melted into it instead of the strange powdered stuff found in commercial pasta and cheese products. The flavors of the dish are intensified when it is baked in a casserole dish. Each serving can be topped with extra shredded cheese at the table.

As with all casseroles and one pot meals there are endless variations of the recipe. Some are mentioned in the notes that follow. This recipe is the quickest homemade version I know of other than using a can of cream of cheese soup for the sauce. From the earliest pioneer times to the present day American cuisine has been built around casseroles and one pot meals.

The recipe will serve 4 to 6 depending on the size of the portions. Serve with extra shredded cheese, crisp rolls or hot breads and a green salad for a complete meal. A nice dessert would be a fruit crisp or a slice of pound cake with fruit.

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Midnight Cheesy Pasta

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. dry pasta, any shape
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup of butter (approximate)
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour (approximate)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard, heaping (or horseradish or diced hot pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian smoked paprika, heaping
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 2 or more teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (mix with the liquid)
  • 1/3 cup or more of sliced or shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of water or half milk and half water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for the table

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a large casserole dish by lightly greasing it.

Open the can of beans. Drain and rinse well. Set the beans aside. Open and drain the can of tomatoes. Set the tomatoes aside. Slice about 6 to 8 slices of cheese from a brick of cheddar, cut each in half. Set the cheese aside to add to the sauce. Shred a 1 inch thick or larger chunk of the cheese brick to serve with the casserole.

Bring a large pan of well salted water to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil stir in the dry pasta. Cook the pasta until almost tender. Do not overcook. It will finish in the oven. Drain the pasta and put into a bowl with a tablespoon of butter. Stir well and set aside.

Make the sauce by melting the butter in a large deep pan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Stir into the melted butter. Sprinkle in the flour, as much as it takes to absorb the butter and stir well to form a paste. Using a whisk slowly work in the water or half water and milk (add chicken bouillon) . Stir briskly with the whisk until the sauce mixture is smooth. Have thin slices of the cheddar cheese nearby. Return the pan of sauce to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon while it comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. Drop in the slices of cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.

Add the drained pasta to the hot sauce and stir well. Stir in the drained beans and the drained tomatoes. Stir well and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish.

Smooth the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes or more before serving.

Notes

You can use any seasonings you like such as oriental or TexMex.

Leftover meats or cooked fish can be added. Hotdogs can be laid on top and baked along with the casserole.

Diced or sliced onions can be added to the sauce. Cook the onion until tender in the butter then proceed as in the recipe. About 1/3 cup should be enough. Diced raw onion can be stirred in along with the other vegetables.

One large green pepper, cleaned and cut in small dice, can be added.

Fresh sliced mushrooms, about a pound, can be cooked lightly in the butter when making the sauce. Or a small can of button mushrooms can be drained and added into the casserole.

Bacon fried crisp, onion and Swiss cheese would be a good combination with the pasta. The sauce seasonings would be about the same but you could use part bacon fat in place of some of the butter for the sauce. This would be very good with mushrooms added.

The recipe was baked uncovered and there was no topping put on before putting it into the oven. However you can cover the top with buttered bread crumbs, crushed crackers or any other type of casserole topping you like. Goldfish crackers on top might appeal to kids.

Any type of bean can be used in the recipe. Either canned or leftover cooked beans.

1 inch cubes of fried eggplant or squash can be added.

I didn’t use a casserole dish. I have a Dutch oven sized multi-purpose stainless steel pan that I prepared the sauce in, added the other ingredients to and then put in the oven to finish. It saves time and dish washing. Otherwise I would have baked the casserole in a Pyrex rectangular glass baking dish. If you do that do not forget to set the oven temperature 25 degrees cooler.

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Another German Potato Salad


I found this recipe for German potato salad in an old cookbook the other day. The “National Cook Book” was published in 1856 and is available online at the Project Gutenberg site. The recipe for German potato salad in the book matches my Dad’s description of the potato salad his grandmother made except it contains no mustard or bacon. He always said the version of potato salad Mom served didn’t have enough onions and mustard and complained it didn’t contain bacon. Mom only used a quarter of a raw onion and that would have made a huge difference in flavor compared to this recipe.

This recipe is high on my must try as soon as possible list. It is a very simple recipe but I believe it will be high in flavor because of the amount of onion and the method. The recipe doesn’t say how many servings can be expected. It calls for six potatoes and I would expect the completed recipe should serve around 4 to 6 adults.

The salad would be best served warm but it could also be served cold. It would be a good salad to make ahead for quick weekday and weekend meals as well as to have on hand in the refrigerator for late night snacking. The salad could be reheated in the microwave.

Another German Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 6 onions, peeled and left whole
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Vinegar, to taste
  • Mustard, to taste (my addition)

Directions

Put the 6 whole peeled potatoes and the 6 whole peeled onions in separate pans. Cover each vegetable with water, add a couple pinches of salt and bring each to a boil. Cook the vegetables over medium heat until both the potatoes and onions are tender. They will take approximately the same amount of time.

Remove the potatoes and onions from the pans. Wipe out the pan the potatoes were cooked in and put the onions in it. Mash the onions. Slice the potatoes and add to the onions. Add butter, pepper, salt, vinegar and mustard to taste. Heat and stir until heated through and serve.

Notes

No potato or onion size is mentioned in the recipe. When the cook book was published potatoes were smaller than the ones we find today. So this recipe is an experiment. When I try it I plan on using at least 4 large potatoes or 6 small and 1 large onion or enough small onions to equal the amount a large onion would provide.

The mustard is my addition. Use prepared mustard as spicy as you like. Horseradish, crushed red pepper or dry mustard can be added for more heat. All the versions of potato salad my family made contained mustard and because I like mustard I always add it.

Sliced hard cooked eggs can be added and used as garnish.

Other possible additions; sliced radishes, ripe olives, small diced tomato, diced celery, diced carrots, diced green and red peppers, diced, crumbled or shredded cheese, diced cooked meats, cooked poultry or flaked cooked fish.

If you want to add crisp bacon to the salad dressing use part bacon fat instead of the butter called for in the recipe. You can make a nice dressing by combining warm bacon fat in a frying pan with vinegar and the seasonings and then stir in the crisp bacon bits before tossing the dressing with the potatoes and onions.

If you really can’t eat potato salad without it being covered in mayo you could put some on the table and let people add their own.

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Coral Spice Cake


Soup in cake? According to a booklet published by the H. J. Heinz Company condensed soup as an ingredient in cake is wonderful. I read this recipe and I don’t know if I will ever try it although I love a good spice cake.

Cakes containing mystery ingredients such as soup became popular in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The idea is cake using soup is rich and moist without using a large number of eggs so it was economical. The first printed spice cake recipe using soup was printed in a 1928 newspaper article. I think a cook may have used the soup instead of sour cream in a cake recipe. The purpose of the soup cake is that when entertaining the cake was a dessert and a conversation piece. The guests would be asked to guess the mystery ingredient.

There are a few variations of the basic soup spice cake recipe posted on the internet. Some include a cup of raisins. Another type includes a cup of chopped nuts. Others use chopped dried fruits such as dates or figs. It seems any combination of those items can be added to the cake batter as long as the total amount is around a cup to one and a half cups. The spices used differ from recipe to recipe. Different amounts and different combinations. Some did not include ginger or cloves but all included cinnamon and most included nutmeg.

While reading various recipes for soup spice cake I noticed that all were based on two cups of cake or all purpose flour. One of the first recipes from a soup company was from the Campbell company. It used two cups of regular flour and included raisins. The Heinz recipe is the only one I read that calls for three cups of cake flour and I think that might be a misprint. I haven’t experimented with the recipe but when I do I will use two cups of all purpose flour. Another change will be to add some ground ginger and maybe part brown sugar.

The recipe will make 1 layer cake. The recipe for cream cheese frosting from the booklet follows the cake recipe.

Coral Spice Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of Heinz condensed cream of tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 /4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degree F and prepare the pans by greasing them and lightly flouring them or by using pan release spray.

Sift the first 5 ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Cream the shortening and sugar together in another large bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture and beat well. Combine the soup, water and the baking soda in another bowl. Add the soup mixture and the dry mixture alternately to the creamed mixture. Mix well.

Pour into 2 9 inch layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degree F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake tests done. Remove from oven, cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (3 ounces) of cream cheese
  • 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions

Cream the cheese and butter together. Beat in the sugar and flavoring. Beat until smooth.

Notes

Cool the cake layers about 5 minutes before removing from the pans.

There is no salt in the cake recipe. I believe that is because the condensed soup contains salt. If the soup you use does not you will need to add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt to the cake ingredients.

Taste the batter and adjust the spices if needed before baking. Sometimes more is needed in spice cakes because of the freshness of the spices.

Part brown sugar might improve the cake recipe.

Many cooks during the 1930s added a cup of raisins to the batter. Soak the raisins in hot water, sherry, brandy or rum until plumped. Drain well before adding to the batter.

Chopped nuts could be added to the cake batter. Walnuts are traditional in spice cake.

Lemon or orange extract can be used instead of vanilla in the frosting.

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