Decorating my plate one meal at a time

miscellaneous

Instant “Cream of” soup.

I posted pictures of this on my facebook account when I finished up making this.  I had several responses asking for the recipes, and a couple of people shared the photo.  I hate digging back through my facebook posts to find something so I thought I would post this in a “pin-able” format.

Finished jars of "Cream of" soup.

Finished jars of “Cream of” soup.

Cream-o-Chicken

  • 2 cups dried milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup chicken bouillon granules (powder)
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cream-o-Mushroom

  • 2 cups dried milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup beef bouillon granules (powder)
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 3 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

OPTIONAL: Chopped dried mushrooms (to taste- I use about a 1/3 cup or more per batch)  If you have a dehydrator, one 8 oz package of mushrooms will easily make two batches. Dry until crispy and then crush into smallish bits.

Stir all the ingredients with a whisk and put into an air-tight container.  One batch fits perfectly into a quart jar.  I use my FoodSaver attachment to seal the jars for extended storage.  One jar makes about 10-12 “cans” of soup, and takes up a LOT less room in your pantry.

To use: Mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cup cold water and bring to a boil. Replaces 1 can condensed soup in recipes.

You can also make this with milk for a richer soup, or thin it with additional water/milk for gravy.

I adjusted the original recipe to my taste, you may find you need to do the same. The original had somewhat different measurements of the herbs, what I felt was too much pepper, and omitted garlic, which is a staple in our house. I also added the dried mushrooms because I felt that it was just “cream of beef” without them.

32 oz of button and baby bella mushrooms, washed, sliced, and going into the dehydrator.

32 oz of button and baby bella mushrooms, washed, sliced, and going into the dehydrator.

Dried mushrooms. Total volume reduced by about two thirds.  This was enough for 4 batches of cream of mushroom AND a quart jar of mushrooms "put up" for later use.

Dried mushrooms.
Total volume reduced by about two thirds. This was enough for 4 batches of cream of mushroom AND a quart jar of mushrooms “put up” for later use.

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Aunt Carol’s “All Purpose Salad Dressing”

In my family, I have two people I go to if I want a tried and true recipe: Mom, and her sister Carol.  Mom has most of the recipes out of Gramma’s recipe box; many of those recipes are, for me, a memory on a plate.   Carol has many of those and interesting things I’ve never even thought to Google.  If I called her on any given day and said “I have chicken, goat cheese, and beets” she’d be the only person I know likely answer “I have 3 recipes that call for that, hang on, let me find them!”

The recipe I’m sharing today is one of Carol’s that Mom got from her and I quickly adopted.  I split a batch of this with Mom and each of us keeps a jar in our fridge for last minute meals.   Make this up now, it keeps next to forever, and you’ll want it around next weekend.

“All Purpose Salad Dressing”
  • 1 Quart Fat Free Miracle Whip
  • 1/4 Cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1/4 Cup vinegar
  • 1/4 Jar of sweet pickle relish

Last week Mom and I were found, yet again, staring into the refrigerator, waiting for dinner to jump out and fix itself.  These are sort of my favorite types of meals, because there aren’t hours of planning and shopping involved and it makes us get creative with what is around the house. About two ounces of turkey, 9 grapes, half a small apple and 5 cashews fished out of the can of mixed nuts ended up on the cutting board.

Turkey Salad, ready for bread...

A little of this, a little of that...

Mom chopped up the apple and turkey into small pieces and cut the grapes in half. The cashews got a rough chop (or your could crush with the side of your chef’s knife).  All the ingredients were mixed together with 1-2 tablespoons of Aunt Carol’s Salad Dressing and the whole works was put on rye bread.  Voila! Dinner is served.

This made enough for one big sandwich that we split and ate with reheated turkey spaetzle soup from the day before (recipe coming soon).

Half Turkey Salad Sandwich on Rye

The dressing is also good spread on bread when making a cold cut sandwich, or in tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad, chicken salad, ham spread, and if you mix a little with ketchup, it’s a better than Big Mac sauce.  When you’re feeling adventurous, use it to make deviled eggs or as a sauce for an easy pasta salad.

If you have family hanging around for a few days after Thanksgiving, you’ll be thankful to have this around, ready to dress up your leftover turkey or whip up a quick meal of tuna melts or chicken salad when you return home exhausted from Black Friday shopping.