Product Testing: Vegetable Peeler

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When I find something that helps me to prepare my food faster in the kitchen, I’m going to shout from the mountain tops about the product. I love things that make my life easier, especially with being a mom of three. I don’t like products that cause me frustration, especially when I’m already exhausted.

I found a vegetable peeler at an estate sale for fifty cents. I feel in love with it because the blade was sharp, and I had different options to choose from. Sadly, one day when I was getting ready to make mashed potatoes, I couldn’t find my vegetable peeler. It was gone. I had to use the standard vegetable peeler. I HATED it. The blade wasn’t sharp, and I wasn’t getting a nice even cut.

I went on amazon to search for the vegetable peeler that I enjoyed having, and found it! This piece is super easy to cut, with out constantly grasping on to the vegetable peeler.

The blade creates long thin cuts.

Not the small uneven types from the typical vegetable peeler. Plus, the small chunks of vegetable skin does not clog up the blade. You also have three types of blade options to use. The sides of the vegetable peeler have knobs that you can turn. Also, the vegetable peeler is dishwasher safe.

My children also use this vegetable peeler because it’s safer and easier to use for their little hands. Plus, they love the options that they can choose from to make eating vegetables fun.

The three in one vegetable peeler is an Amazon Prime supported product. This product is not expensive and well worth the price. Click here to buy the three in one vegetable peeler. I absolutely love having this in my kitchen, and will buy another one for my children, because they all want to use this vegetable peeler and not the standard one.

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Mexican Stacked Supper

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Last night I surprised my husband with his late mother’s Mexican stacked super. My husband hasn’t had his mom’s Mexican stacked super for over 20 years. I never had Mexican stacked supper before! This recipe is absolutely delicious and easy.

I made this recipe by using an enameled dutch oven cast iron. Due to the acidic food, the seasoning will ware off your cast iron and will cause the food to burn to your cast iron.

Mexican Stacked Supper

  • 2 pounds groups beef
  • 1 large can tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup onion flakes
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 packages chili mix
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (NOT packed)

Brown ground beef in a large enameled dutch oven. When fully cooked, scoop out ground beef and pour out the fat. Place ground beef aside. Pour in tomato juice, onion flakes, can of tomatoes, chili mix, chili powder, and brown sugar. Mix all ingredients together, until fully incorporated. Pour in cooked ground beef, and mix together. Allow the beef mixture to simmer on low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

While meat is simmering, prepare the other ingredients.

  • Cooked white rice (no more than cup)
  • Crumbled Doritos flavored nacho cheese (no more than a cup)
  • Crumbled saltine crackers (no more than a cup)
  • Shredded Iceberg lettuce (no more than a cup)
  • Diced tomatoes (no more than a cup)
  • Diced cucumber (no more than a cup)
  • Diced onions (no more than a half of a cup)
  • Green olives (no more than a half of a cup)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (no more than a cup)
  • Dry roasted peanuts (no more than a half of a cup)

In a bowl, sprinkle your base with Doritos, crackers, and rice. Place about two or three spoonfuls of ground beef. Select your favorite salad choices and stack on top of your meat.

Mammie’s Cornbread

I have baked and baked my little heart out. I’m using a lot of simple recipes that my Mammie used to help get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding unique ways to maintain food on the table and keeping your sanity.

A recipe that I have used time and time again, is cornbread. This is my Mammie’s recipe. She made delicious cornbread. I have determined that I will need to join Weight Watchers after all this has past. I have no desire to look at my scale right now. The number one item on my “To do list” is:

  1. Remove bathroom scale from floor and place in closet
  2. Place pillow sheets on top of weight scale

Mammie’s Fourth of July Cornbread

  • 3 1/2 self-rising meal
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups buttermilk

Mix all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well and place in oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.


This recipe also makes a wonderful base for dressing.

For cast iron:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Oil down your 12 inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Pour batter in hot skillet. Return to oven, until top of the crust is golden brown.

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Cake Cookies

I’ve been up for 24 hours.

Why?

I couldn’t breath very well and had to go to the urgent care clinic. I was diagnosed with bronchitis, sinus infection, and my windpipe was pretty swollen. My oldest was in charge for a short while.

While I was out, my daughter surprised me with cake cookies. This desert is probably one of the greatest recipes to make for kids that are bored or basic teaching principles of baking.

With my middle child knowing how to work the stove properly, he (8 years of age) coached my daughter (11 years of age) in what to do. Pre-heating the oven, what buttons to properly push, etc… This homeschool mom was very pleased with their maturity and their intellect in how to manage the kitchen. I can only imagine how old my Mammie or her mom was when they worked on a cast iron stove!

NOTE:

SHE DID NOT USE CAST IRON! I would actually wouldn’t trust a child with cast iron until they’re actually older, stronger, and more confident to handle items such as cast iron.

Here’s the recipe for cake cookies.

Cake Cookies:

  • 1 box of white cake mix (any type of cake mix will actually do).
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 veggie oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all three ingredients together for 2 minutes.

Roll or drop cookie dough on a cookie sheet. One dozen per sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees, until the edges are golden brown.

This recipe should yield 2 dozen cookies

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Vanilla French Toast

This morning I pulled out an old recipe for my kids to enjoy. Another quick, easy, and cheap recipe. Especially if you’re hunkered down.

  • Vanilla French Toast:
  • 1 three ounce box vanilla pudding (quick and serve)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • toasted bread (I use 6 pieces)

Pour vanilla pudding, egg, milk, and cinnamon in a mixer bowl. Beat for 2 minutes until well combined.

Toast your bread on dark setting.

In a cast iron pan, oil down the pan, and place on low-medium heat.

Dredge your toasted bread in the vanilla pudding and place in cast iron skillet for one minute. Repeat for the other side.

OPTIONAL

Once cooked, place the toast on the plate and pour just a little bit of maple syrup on the bread. Sprinkle with powder sugar and serve.

Tasty Tacos

Tonight we had tacos.

Last week I purchased three pounds of ground chuck at Sam’s Club and froze the meat by the pound. This has helped us to ration our food slowly during this chaotic time. Like many of you, I’m trying to go slow on the food so we can have plenty in the days to come. I hope this recipe will help you in feeding your family, as we’re all self-isolating ourselves from COVID-19.

Tasty Tacos:

  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
  • Taco sauce (1/2 jar)
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • taco shells
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground chuck until crumbly. Add taco seasoning, seasoning mix and 1/2 jar taco sauce. Mix together until well incorporated. Allow the meat to cool.

Shred cheddar cheese

At 200 degrees for 10 minutes, bake your taco shells.

Scoop into taco in your desired way

BBQ Cups

Like many of you, we are affected by the novel corona virus. This week was supposed to be our spring break. Sadly, we are doing our job to flatten the curve.

With food flying off the shelves in the United States, we have been getting by with what we have. We are going old school in our recipes. Cheap, easy, and quick recipes. The kids aren’t complaining, and they understand why we have to take it easy on food.

Yes, these times are very scary. I’m scared. The last thing we want is to see a loved one suffer from a virus that we have hardly and understanding of. My prayer is that the doctors can find a cure quickly.

Until then, I wanted to share some recipes that will help you and your family during this time.

BBQ Cups

  • 1 lb groud beef
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 sharp cheddar cheese
  • Grands biscuits (8 count)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Cook 1 lb of ground beef until fully browned. Pour BBQ sauce into ground beef and let simmer until no longer runny.

Oil down your muffin pan.

Roll out individual biscuits, and place inside the muffin pan. Sprinkle cheese, layer with meat, and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until they’re golden brown.

How To Create Heirloom Recipes With Cast Iron

Starting heirloom recipes is a unique gift that keeps on giving to generation to generation. Memories are kept alive and the food that was once was prepared for you, is now prepared by you. Most often when people think of their cast iron heirloom, they think of their grandmother’s cornbread.

Studies have shown that all five senses actually come into play when we think of a food memory; sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The strongest being taste. We’re able to remember where we were at, what the food looked like, and how we felt when we ate grandmother’s cornbread.

Creating these memories is not only a blessing, but also brings comfort once a loved one has passed.

You want to be intentional about what type of cast iron you want to buy for your child. Do you want something that’s antique, vintage, or modern?

For my children, I’ve set aside antique cast iron skillets that are over 120 years of age. I prefer the Southern Mystery Skillet. Antique cast iron pieces are lighter and easier to cook with because of the glass smooth surface. I love telling my children that I used their cast iron skillet to cook their favorite meal in for dinner. Their facial expressions and their little hops of excitement is a gift to me, and they don’t even know it.

Here are some tips in how to create a cast iron heirloom memories for your children.

Scope out the type of cast iron you want for your child.  The best places to look for cast iron are estate sales.  Make sure you check the cast iron for cracks and have the cast iron cleaned properly.  Click here for cleaning instructions.  
Show your child their cast iron and make an intentional effort to explain to them the history of the cast iron skillet.  Writing down the manufacture of the cast iron skillet, approximate date of the skillet, and when your purchased it.
Cook your child's favorite meals in their cast iron skillet.  Make sure you have a handwritten copy of the recipes they love.  Placing their recipes in a three ring binder with their favorite recipes in a sheet protector. 
You can also create a photo recipe album of the recipes your child loves.  On Fridays my kids like to cook with me in the kitchen.  After they have helped, I take a picture of the finished product.  I have the picture printed, dated, and their age placed on the back of their picture.  I place their picture on the recipe and slipped into the protected sheet cover.  

For extra protection, provide copies of recipes on a thumb drive.  This will protect family recipes from getting lost or destroyed.  

Food memories are very nostalgic and comforting. Keeping journals of recipes and a cooking tool provides comforting and positive memories. Memories that are created in the kitchen, also create stories that we can tell to the next generation. Creating and telling our children what we are creating is a huge gift that matures over time. They may not appreciate it today, but they will when they mature.

For more information about the Iron Lady, please check out her Facebook page, Old Time Cast Iron Restoration.

Chicken and Dumplings

In my best Homer Simpson gurgling noise impersonation.

“Ahhhhh, Chicken and Dumpling ahhhhhh.”

Ok, that’s a weak attempt. I’ll never do that again.

I’m such a sucker for chicken and dumplings. My Mammie made the best dumplings when I was a child. While everyone was getting ready for Sunday lunch, I would cram every single dumpling I possibly could in my mouth. Mammie’s dumplings were perfect! I wish I had her recipe for her dumplings. Her recipes were filed in her brain. Hardly any documentations of her recipes exist.

One Sunday afternoon I was searching for chicken and dumplings recipes. I found one that looked delicious. The recipe was “souped-up” more than my grandmother’s recipe. My family loved the delicious flavors that were incorporated with the chicken and dumplings. Leftovers are just as delicious as the day you made the dish. These are the recipes I love to keep around in our family!

The recipe I used came from Tasty. I took out a few of their ingredients and added some of my own. Tasty adds a lot of unique variety to their chicken and dumplings. The flavors are very bold and satisfying to the palate. This is the recipe you want to use when your household is under the weather, or perhaps a cold dreary day.

For this recipe, I like to use an enameled Dutch oven.

Cozy Chicken And Dumplings

  • Kroger seasoned frozen whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups fresh chicken broth
  • ½ cup farm fresh heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon parsley

DUMPLINGS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ⅓ cups farm fresh heavy cream

Cook thawed whole chicken on medium high heat until the chicken falls apart. Remove the chicken from the pot and save chicken broth in the fridge. Debone whole chicken and shred chicken.

On low to medium heat, add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in Dutch oven. Pour chicken into Dutch oven and cook until chicken has browned. Remove chicken from Dutch oven.

If needed, add a little more veggie oil in the Dutch oven before adding in chopped carrots and onion. Cook onion mixture for three minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for two more minutes. Remove onion mixture from pot.

For the roux, add 5 tablespoon of butter. Allow the butter to melt. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk. Gently add heavy cream and 5 cups of chicken broth. Stir in onion mixture, cream, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. If the broth mixture is too thick, add an extra cup of chicken broth. Simmer chicken broth for 15 minutes.

While the broth is simmering, you will need to start making your dumplings.

DUMPLINGS:

In a bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, and 1 1/3 cups heavy cream.

Mix together and knead for three to four minutes. Pull from the dough ball and form individual balls. No bigger than one inch.

Place the dough balls in the simmering soup. The dumplings do not need to touch. Do not overboil the dumplings. This will cause the dumplings to shrink and dissolve. Dunk the dumplings in the chicken broth to cover completely. Do not stir! Boil for about 10-15 minutes on low to medium heat. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parsley over the soup and serve.

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