Friday, April 22, 2011

A new story for Masters & Disasters 2?

I baked fish a few days ago for supper. It wasn't until I already had it in the over when I realized we didn't have any tartar sauce. I called my mom to see if she had any I could borrow. She didn't, but suggested that I just make some. Hmmm, how do I do that? She told me to use Miracle Whip and relish. Okay, I have both of those and this would work out great for the Product Testing I'm doing with Miracle Whip. So I asked her how much of each I use. Her answer, "I don't know, I just mix some together until it tastes right."

Why not? I throw things together like that all the time. I started by mixing equal amount of each and gave it a taste. Too sweet. I then added just a pinch of salt. Too much. How about a little sugar. Better, and I thought I had better stop or it might end up worse.

The verdict? All I'm going to say is that we ate the fish without tartar sauce, which is now on my grocery list for my next shopping trip.

I also wanted to remind everyone of the limited offer of free shipping on my book, Masters & Disasters of Cooking and tell you of a new offer. From now until April 26, 2011, you can get 20% off of the purchase price on the print version of the book. Visit my M&D web page for the codes for both offers. These offers cannot be combined, but must be used individually.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dandelion Jelly and a Special Offer

I was sitting in my office at my day job the other day looking out the window. With the beautiful weather on that particular day, I was wishing I was outside instead of in my office working. One thing I noticed was all of the dandelions in the yard. It looked like a yellow blanket had been spread over the whole lawn. The landlord actually came later that day to mow the grass and all of the dandelions succumbed, too. The next day, I turned my desk chair around to look out of the window again and there they were. The dandelions had returned strong as ever. Don't you just hate that?

So, today I give you my way of revenge over the ever mortal dandelion with my recipe for Dandelion Jelly. The main thing to remember when harvesting the dandelion blossoms is to not use them if they have been treated with any type of insecticide or fertilizer, and it wouldn't hurt to make sure the dog or cat haven't watered them in their own special way either. Lastly, please check below the recipe for a special offer for my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking.

Dandelion Jelly

1 quart dandelion blossoms
2 T. lemon juice
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell
1 pkg yellow food coloring

De-stem and rinse dandelions thoroughly. Boil them in one quart of water for 3 minutes. Strain out 3 cups of the water and return it to the stove. Discard the blossoms. To the water, add the lemon juice, food coloring, and Sure-Jell. Stir well and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the sugar and stir. Boil again for more 3 minutes. Pour into jars and seal.

Special Offer from my publisher:
From now until April 30, 2011, my publisher is running a special offer for free shipping (up to $4.99) on orders of my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking. This would make a great gift for Mother's Day. To find out how to get this special offer and to order, visit this page on my web site.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Potato Soup

I think I've mentioned before what a wonderful cook my husband is. Well, I'm going to remind you again and share a recent recipe of his. Here at home, we share the cooking duties for our dinners. As with most other families, we get into a rut by preparing the same things all the time. It gets old and we are always looking for something new to try. This past week, my husband decided to fix some potato soup before our potatoes went bad. I could not stop myself from telling him over and over how good his soup was.

When he decides on a new dish, he usually searches online for a recipe, even though I have hundreds of cookbooks on the bookshelf to look through. Sometime ago, he found a recipe for potato soup. It was good, but nothing to really brag about. This week, he pulled that recipe out and found that we didn't have all of the ingredients. Being the good cook that he is, he improvised and the result was the wonderful delicacy that I am bragging about. The only thing I added was a small amount of shredded cheese to my bowl. But, even without the added cheese, it was still good. I took some to work the next day for my lunch and forgot the cheese. Even without the cheese, I think it was even better the next day. Below is his final recipe after changing a few of the original ingredients and amounts.

Steve's Potato Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C. celery, chopped
2 T. chopped parsley
5 T. butter or margarine (we use butter)
4 T. flour
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. whole milk
4 potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. chicken bouillon powder
pepper, to taste

In a large pot, saute onion, celery, and parsley, in the butter until soft, but not brown. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Still stirring, slowly add in broth.

Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer and thicken. Stir frequently to keep from burning for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are cook thoroughly. (My addition to the recipe is to add shredded cheese to each bowl and stir until melted.) Serve warm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Product Testing

For the next two weeks, I will doing product testing with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing. I filled out an online survey last weekend and since I apparently answered the questions like they wanted, I was asked to do a product test. FedEx delivered the jars just a few minutes ago. I haven't had a chance to look over any of the material that came with it yet, but did see two boxes inside of the bigger box.

What I know from the survey last weekend is that I am to use one jar this week as a dressing on sandwiches, mixed for tuna salad, chicken salad, or egg salad, and finally in potato salad or some other dish calling for Miracle Whip. At the end of the week, I fill out another survey, then the next week I do it all over again, but with the other jar. Strict rules prohibit me from even opening the box for the second week until the first week is over and survey filled out.

In the past, I did product test for mascara, but I think this one will be more rewarding just from the fact that it's food and my husband once did a product test for Pam Cooking Spray. Check back and I will report my finding at the end of the two weeks.