I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recent Adventures

In the kitchen! Oh man, life in the slow lane, right?

First of all I found the photo of the Jello  mold with paperwhites....

And I got a huge kick out of everyone's reminiscences about family Jello salads, back in the day. I looked online...the classic lime Jello/ pineapple, pecans, cabbage, cottage cheese and optional horseradish salad was called Eisenhower salad! here Apparently the president loved this and Mamie Eisenhower had it made in the White House kitchen. The recipe was published in the newspapers for all the happy homemakers to try.
My mother wasn't one for eating fruit, she believed it was pure sugar...and she was a fan of food and home style writer Gladys Taber who also published a popular gelatin salad recipe. here  I am guessing my mother simply ditched the fattening pineapple and pecans. One thing she did, and I never found this version---the molded salad was made in two layers, one clear (the lemon Jello) with the cabbage, put in the mold first; then the second part (yes probably lime Jello not lemon because it was pale green) was whipped with the cottage cheese and horseradish, maybe Miracle Whip? and layered on when the first clear layer had set. Displayed on a bed of lettuce it was sooo pretty and two toned, clear on top with the opaque frothy base.
Traditional recipe here

I wish I had my mother's handwritten recipe book and clippings, wonder what happened to all her cooking things?

Other adventures:
I got pattypan squash at the farmers market.

It was the size of a Frisbee and I didn't dare saute it, so I roasted it instead.

Looks pretty, tasted pretty awful! Very watery and odd. What if it was a gourd, not a squash!? I didn't ask...

Then the braised beef with mushrooms here from Eating Well.

I liked it because it didn't require pre-browning the chunks of beef, making it a good candidate for the Slow Cooker...and I got lovely mushrooms at the farmers market.

White button mushrooms, Baby Bellas [are these the same as cremini?] and shiitake. The baby Bellas especially were meaty and tasty...the shiitake a waste of money, they are tasteless and slimy! Eeew. And very fungus looking,lol.

The recipe was fine, a little bland though. Possibly my fault because I do not use marjoram and couldn't find the tarragon! Forgot the chopped fresh dill at the end too. Shook on some dill seasoning salt instaead...and added quite a bit of black pepper and a bit of salt.  And it did NOT make 12 servings, maybe...2 dinners for 3 people, that's what? six servings.

And last, sigh...Country Living's fun/ easy/ oh so simple berry cobbler. (Sinfully Simple Berry Cobbler, Oct '12 issue/ not available online for link.) The berries at Costco were gorgeous! (But very very sour...).


And the dough, despite the addition of a t. of baking soda had all the charm and consistency of an old wet beach towel. Like lead...and tasteless. Where did the butter, sugar (Oh okay, I used Splenda, maybe it was my fault this was ick?), and cream go?

 Into the trash this went.

We enjoyed the Greek frozen yogurt I had bought to go with though...

Next time....peaches in the cobbler! And more sweetener! Or, gasp, real sugar?

How about you? Do you experiment or stick with tried and true recipes?



gone to the beach....
earlier sunsets hint of autumn?

all photos are by me except the mold with paperwhites/ I regret I could not find the etsy shop to credit the cool idea and photo....


  1. Those berries look beautiful. I haven't been out to Costco for a long time. DH has been going for us the last three trips.

    Not a lot of experimenting here. Plain meat and potatoes makes him happy. The less he sees of fruit and vegetables the happier he is. It made for some interesting dinners when I was a vegetarian for about 10 years. I got tired of making two dinners. LOL.

    Take care and thanks for the great post.


  2. Meat and potatoes make me happy too! Not fashionable but tonight I made a pork roast, with roasted tiny potaoes and fake-fried [microwaved] Granny Smith apples. Pretty yummy!More Costco [BJ's really] shopping finds, I stocked up last week!....



  3. I think shiitake mushrooms don't take long to cook when they're fresh - maybe add them last if you try them again. Or try dried ones - they have a less-mushy texture...

    I like trying new things sometimes, but I try to stick close to the recipe first, or maybe substitute 1/2 the sugar. Sometimes sugar is necessary for texture or to hold something together! I learned the hard way with a cookie recipe - got just crumbs, although they tasted okay. Too bad about the cobbler! It LOOKED good! I think maybe the squash was a gourd, because aren't pattypans yellow? Or green?

    LOL, when we lived in Florida I was always buying something weird at the store that I wasn't sure what was, just to try things out. No one told me you were supposed to COOK plantains! They look like bananas! And how the heck do you open a pomegranate without making a huge mess?? And does anyone else think starfruit taste like wax?

    Of course, along the way I've discovered a few things I actually like....so it's all good.

    Having weird weather here, lots of headaches from atmospheric pressure changes. Now I'm starting to think we're headed from a blisteringly hot dry summer directly into a cold wet fall/winter....it would just figure, you know!?

    Have a good week!

  4. I have many of my MIL's old handwritten recipes ... and have done a lot of scanning of her old newspaper clip out stuff ... let me know if you want to add to your collection!

    Do you know anyone who was ever able to get a jello mold out so it looked pretty? I have never done it ... it is on my bucket list (the culinary one!)


  5. Morning! No I am a recipe follower. Bummer about your cobbler. I have been thinking of making a peach one too. I am an avid fan of Gladys Taber! I have most of her books and love her writing style. I love to make Jello molds for the holidays and have a great recipe book from the Jello company. Have a great Fall day! Kit


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