Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
We're sisters who like to cook and bake, talk cooking and baking, and share recipes and kitchen wisdom.

Cheeseburger Chowder with Hamburger Mix

This is another quick recipe using hamburger mix instead of browning ground beef and vegetables.  You can use either your home-canned or frozen hamburger mix to shorten preparation time and mess. 
Cheeseburger Chowder with Hamburger Mix
    ½      pint hamburger mix
  1         medium  Potato -- peeled and cubed - 5 1/2 - 6 ounces
  1         tablespoon  green pepper – chopped (optional)
     ½      Cup  Water -- Use broth from hamburger mix as part of liquid
  1          Cup  milk
  1 ½      tablespoons  flour
     ½      cup  shredded cheddar cheese -- 2 ounces
1.      In saucepan, combine vegetables and water. Cover and cook until potatoes are just tender; 15-20 minutes.
  Add hamburger mix.
2.     Blend 1/2 cup milk with the flour. Add to saucepan along with remaining milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese. Heat and stir until cheese melts.
2 Servings

**If you don’t have hamburger mix, brown together ½ pound ground beef, 1/4 cup onion and 1/4 cup celery, chopped.  Continue with recipe at step 1.

Hamburger Mix Easy Pantry Chili

I love having an easy pantry meal; always on hand, that is ready, with no fuss, in 20 minutes!  This chili from “The Farm Journal "Thrifty Cook” is perfect.  This week I made it along with Best Ever Muffins and a small green salad. 
This is why I can versatile Hamburger Mix; no thawing, no mess, no last minute fuss.  If you can't can it, freeze it, and thaw it before use.
I just multiply this recipe if I need to feed more.  We really like the addition of the hominy; it gives it that Southwestern cornmeal taste right in the bowl. 
I had already measured out my muffin dry ingredients in a covered bowl, had my muffin pan greased and ready, and had the milk and egg beaten in a small covered measuring cup in the refrigerator, to make the muffins quicker too.  We got home late, but had a good hot meal in short order. 
                                Easy Pantry Chili
  1          Pint  Hamburger Mix
  1          Pint  Tomatoes -- cut up (or canned tomatoes with chilies)
  15        Ounces  Hominy, Canned
  2          Pints  Kidney Beans, Canned -- drained and rinsed (two 15 oz. cans)
  2          Teaspoons  Chili Powder -- to taste
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
**If you don’t have hamburger mix, brown together ½ pound ground beef, 1/4 cup onion and 1/4 cup celery, chopped.  Continue with recipe at step 1.
Serves 6
Per Serving: 365 Calories; 13g Fat (31.6% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 37mg Cholesterol; 1274mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

Sunday in Iowa...

A June garden on a farmstead east of Melcher, Iowa on county road G76 near our son's homestead.

Cookbook Reviews...Deseret Recipes

I purchased my cookbook, Deseret Recipes, from the LDS online store for $6.50!  The price appeared to have increased to $8.99 - still a great bargain - today I could only find it as a used book!
Neither of us are LDS, but I had seen a few recipes from this book and thought it might be a fit for us.  The description says “This is a compilation of economical recipes that use basic food commodities, such as those in bishops’ storehouses. It also contains a food guide to help Relief Society presidents figure quantities of food for needy families.”
I have to say, the book is much more.  It’s been published since 1981, and includes 222 pages of simple recipes that are both surprisingly sophisticated and excellent.  If you want a simple cookbook that makes good use of basic foods and garden produce, this is it.  It has menu ideas, and recipes for beverages, soups and salads, breads, fruits and vegetables, entrees, desserts and cookies and cakes.  There is also a chapter on homemade mixes and recipes to make from them with lots of use-it-up variations.  I like the vegetable buying and preparation guide that indicates the best season for buying vegetables too - it's near the center of the book.

The book suggests using love and imagination to prepare meals for your family - I like that reminder that cooking doesn't have to be just a chore.  Here are some recipes from Deseret Recipes.

Chinese Fried Rice  

Kidney Bean Bowl  (a favorite of Sue's family)

Madsen's Dressing

Sponge Cake

Chicken Rice Casserole

Beet Pickles

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Lemon Cups (Myrna's favorite from this book)

Family Favorites...Cherry Nut Ice Cream

This is an ice cream variation everyone likes; very festive looking too.  I got this idea from Myrna's daughter Amy.  My amounts of cherries and nuts are approximate – use what you like.  This makes a little over a quart.  
We like this recipe using only one egg and a little cornstarch for the mixture.  It’s not too rich, but is still creamy.  I occasionally add 1 teaspoon Amaretto to this mixture before processing; it seems to keep the ice cream from getting too hard.  This is a "make-ahead" recipe; you need to start it a day before you serve it.
Cherry Nut Ice Cream
     ½    Cup  Sugar
  2        Tablespoons  Cornstarch
            Dash  Salt
  2        Cups  Whole Milk
  1        Cup  Heavy Cream
  1        Large  Egg Yolk
  1 ½    Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
     ½    Cup  Maraschino Cherries – drained well and cut up
     ½    Cup  Nuts -- broken (pecans or walnuts)
     ½    Cup  Miniature Chocolate Chips -- optional
 Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Pour about one cup of the hot mixture into the lightly beaten egg yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla. Cool one hour, stirring occasionally.
Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.  Add the fruit and nuts at the end of freezing or stir in before putting in the freezer to ripen (about 2-4 hours).
  "1 Quart"

Hamburger Mix One Pan Spaghetti

We like spaghetti with the sauce mixed into it, and this recipe saves a pan as well!  It’s similar to my goulash recipe, but uses spaghetti and Italian seasoning instead.  Use whatever cheese you have on hand.  You may want to break your spaghetti in half to make it easier to mix in.  Be sure you stir it until the spaghetti softens so it doesn’t stick together in clumps.  
How much water or juice you need depends on how much liquid is in your canned tomatoes.  This recipe is a budget one, as tomatoes are usually cheaper than purchased spaghetti sauce. 
With a crisp salad, this is a perfect family meal and one I find myself making often on busy days, as the hamburger mix really shortens the time to make this.              
                            One Pan Spaghetti
     1        pint Hamburger Mix, canned or frozen (thawed)
     14 1/2   ounces  diced tomatoes -- (or 1 pint) undrained
1/2   - 2/3     Cup  water  (or tomato juice)
     1/2     teaspoon  salt
     1/2     teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
     1/2     teaspoon  Italian Seasoning
  4            ounces  Spaghetti -- uncooked
  4            tablespoons  shredded cheddar cheese -- or mozzarella
In a large skillet, stir together hamburger mix, tomatoes and 1/2 cup water, salt, garlic, Italian seasoning and spaghetti.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently and adding remaining water if necessary.
Sprinkle with cheese; cover and heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
4 Servings

Per Serving: 302 Calories; 13g Fat (38.4% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 47mg Cholesterol; 361mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

If you don't have hamburger mix, you can substitute:
   1/2      pound  Ground Beef, Extra Lean
  1             small  onion -- chopped
  14 1/2   ounces  diced tomatoes -- (or 1 pint) undrained
    1/3      cup  chopped green pepper
Brown together, and finish recipe as above.

From the Garden...Orange Beets

We like beets but I won’t cook them from fresh. Canned work just fine for me. Beet juice is a real pretty color but it also stains and I can never keep from getting it all over and end up having red counter tops, hands and what ever else I don’t want red. 
If you use canned I would leave the salt out of this recipe. Check the can, but most of them are packed in water and salt. I buy diced instead of sliced as that is what we prefer. Either works. We decided we all liked these much better than Harvard Beets. Everyone is already asking for them again.  The allspice is what makes these different from other orange sauced beets I have made. Don't leave it out.
 We eat these often now that I have found the recipe.
Orange Beets With Sauce
2  pounds fresh young beets
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup orange juice
2 tablespoon (¼ stick) butter
Minced chives
  Cut off the beet tops and wash beets well. Simmer, covered, in enough water to cover for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. (use canned beets, much easier and a whole lot less messy). Drain, cover with cold water; slip skins. Slice ¼ inch thick and set aside
  In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, salt, allspice, pepper, orange rind and brown sugar. Gradually add the orange juice and stir until smooth. Add the butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the beets and heat through. Top with minced chives if desired.
Cooking From Quilt Country      

Hamburger Mix Taco Pasta Salad

Myrna found this recipe on the cover of a small Taste of Home Side Dish special interest publication; we both thought it looked like something our families would like.  I thought it would be perfect to use with my home canned hamburger mix;  and I also made our homemade Catalina Dressing and Taco Seasoning mix…it was a winner!  It took just minutes to stir up the dressing and combine the seasonings while the pasta cooked. 
Simple, tasty, I didn’t have to buy anything special, and it could be made without thawing meat if needed. I didn’t have tortilla chips, but I made some homemade cornbread muffins – we’ll have this again!   Of course, make this faster by using purchased dressing and seasoning mix.               

                         Taco Pasta Salad 
  2              cups  uncooked spiral pasta -- 8 ounces
  2              pints hamburger mix
  1              envelope  taco seasoning
  3              cups  shredded lettuce
  2              cups  halved cherry tomatoes
  1              cup  shredded cheddar cheese -- (4 ounces)
     1/2       cup  chopped onion
     1/2       cup  chopped green pepper
     1/2       cup  Catalina salad dressing
                  Tortilla chips
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Heat hamburger mix; drain.  (Or in a large skillet, cook 1 pound of ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.)
Stir in the taco seasoning; cool. 
Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into meat mixture. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion, green pepper and dressing; toss to coat. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 6 – 8 servings.

                        Catalina Dressing
  4          tablespoons  salad oil
  8          teaspoons  Sugar
  4          teaspoons  vinegar
  4          teaspoons  ketchup
     1/6   teaspoon  garlic salt
Stir together, let set until sugar dissolves.  Stir or shake before adding to salad.

                        Taco Seasoning Mix
  2          Teaspoons  Instant Minced Onion
  1          Teaspoon  Salt
  1          Teaspoon  Chili Powder
     1/2   Teaspoon  Cornstarch
     1/2   Teaspoon  Crushed Dried Red Pepper
     1/2   Teaspoon  Instant Minced Garlic
     1/4   Teaspoon  Dried Oregano
     1/2   Teaspoon  Ground Cumin

Combine.  Comparable to 1 package seasoning mix.