Cookbook Reviews...Land O Lakes Country Heritage cookbook

  The Land O Lakes cookbooks are some of the best out there. This one titled Land O Lakes Country Heritage cookbook is one both Sue and I have and use. The recipes are to some extent similar to the recipes we grew up with. There is just enough of a twist to them to make trying the recipes fun and interesting.
  The book covers the full gamut of cooking and baking and does it well. Whether you are a Mid-Westerner or not, we think you will enjoy this book.  The book is readily available on line and at a lot of book sales and used book stores.

Family Favorites...Sloppy Joe Turnovers

Rolling squares Challenged
  Saturday night supper and I wanted something easy to make. I thought I had the perfect recipe from the Pillsbury Best of Classic Cookbooks. Sue had given me some of her Mexican filling already made and frozen and I had a can of biscuits. Easy right!
  Well, we decided I am rolling pin challenged. I can roll circles, as I make lots of pie crust, but how do you get round biscuits into 4 inch squares? 
  Bettie and Lyle thought they were good, Bettie ate hers with some Salsa, so I will make them again. The next time I will make  the biscuits. Whether from scratch or from refrigerated biscuits, roll the dough out into a square and then cut your squares. I am posting the Pillsbury recipe as it is in the book, with a link to the Mexican filling. That way you can try either. If you have small children eating these, you might want the milder filling. 
  Either way, I hope yours look better than mine did!
Sloppy Joe Turnovers
½ pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sour cream
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1 (6 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits
   Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, brown ground beef and onion until beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain. Stir in ketchup, sour cream, salt and garlic powder. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Press or roll out each biscuit to a 4 inch square. Put on cookie sheet. Place ⅛ to ¼ cup filling on half. Fold one corner over to make a triangle. Press edges together firmly. Cut 2 ½ inch slits in top of each. 
  Bake at 375° for 12 to 18 minutes or until brown.
Try using Frozen Mexican filling, your favorite sloppy joe filling, and your own biscuits for a change.

One Pan Chicken and Potatoes

  I am always willing to try a new recipe for chicken and this time used a recipe and directions I found on the internet and changed them to suit our family.We all eat dark chicken and it is much cheaper than breasts. It turned out quite well, except the onions disappeared on me. I think I just didn’t use enough of them and will add more the next time. I am going to include the larger amount in the directions and you can decide how many you want to use. Also you can certainly change the spices. The next time I try this I think I am going to use Cajun spice. We have found that the Tone Brand works well for our tastes. 
 This made a nice one pan meal and gave me time to do other things while it was in the oven. With the potatoes baking with the chicken all I needed to add was a vegetable so we had Harvard beets.
One Pan Chicken and Potatoes
Three chicken hindquarters, or thighs 
One large onion sliced
One bay leaf
Soft butter
Salt and Pepper
Dash of Dry Sherry optional
3 small to medium baking potatoes peeled and halved
 Mix salt, pepper and spices in a small dish. Dry chicken with a paper towel and rub with the spice mixture. Place onion slices in bottom of a baking dish, casserole or pan that will hold it in one layer. Add bay leaf and sherry if using. Place chicken on top of onions. Add pats of butter on chicken. Nestle some peeled halved potatoes around chicken. Bake in a 375°F. Oven till the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done  (170°) for dark meat chicken. Baste once or twice with the pan juices.

From the Garden...Sue's Easy Corn Relish

This is an easy canning recipe to try.  It's also good when you don't have enough garden corn because frozen purchased corn makes good, crisp relish.  I like to can this in late winter when frozen corn is often on sale, to use with summer meals especially.  We usually serve it as a side dish with grilled hamburgers or brats. It’s a good way to get a few more veggies into a meal.  
This recipe is a combination of recipes from several old books – it’s just the way we like it. Use the red onion and peppers and black beans to make it colorful, but you can leave out the beans if needed; see the bottom of the recipe for adjustments. Don’t change the measurements otherwise, they are just right to make water-bath canning safe.  If you can in 4 pint jars, the processing time is the same.
I was shocked to see this relish sold at the Amana Colonies and at a huge outdoors store for $ 5.99 a pint.  I can make 4 pints for less than $4, even buying peppers, and it only takes simple water bath canning.
Check your Ball Blue Book or canning book for more detailed water bath canning instructions.
Sue’s Easy Corn Relish
2 Pounds Frozen Corn -- or fresh kernels, 6 cups
¾ Cup Red Onion -- chopped
2/3 cup Green Pepper -- chopped
1/3 cup Red Pepper -- chopped
½ Cup Black Beans -- cooked and drained **
2/3 cup Sugar
4 Teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon Celery Seed
2 Teaspoons Turmeric
2 cups Cider Vinegar
• Thaw or heat and drain corn. Combine with remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stir occasionally to avoid scorching, keep covered to avoid losing any brine. This makes exactly 8 half pints, follow measurements carefully.
• Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
** If you don't have or want black beans, use 1 1/3 cup red onion instead.
Yield: "8 Half Pint Jars"
2017 cost using home grown peppers and purchased frozen corn on sale: $3.71 or 47¢ per jar.
Per Half Pint: 230 Calories; 1g Fat (4.8% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 55g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1073mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Fried Chicken

This is some of the best pan-fried chicken I have ever made.  I used our mother’s cast-iron frying pan; and it certainly makes a difference.  My husband especially liked the crust…crispy, crunchy, and it stayed on the chicken.  The seasonings gave it some punch, but the real secret is a coating made of both cornmeal and grits, which are coarser and stayed very crunchy.  
This dish is gluten-free if you choose cornmeal and grits that are labeled that they are processed in a gluten-free facility.
I usually cut up chicken breasts into 5-6 ounce pieces and pound them out before I put them in the freezer, so I saved some time right before lunch.  By using the thinner chicken pieces, you save on some expensive butter and oil, as well as calories, and the chicken still gets fried all the way around.  As you can see, the pieces shrink some and get a little thicker as they cook.  You also save time, as the thinner pieces cook more quickly. 
Today, I served it with some cornbread dressing and a nice green vegetable, and had it on the table in about 30 minutes.                    
                              Fried Chicken
  4         each  Chicken Cutlets -- 5-6 ounces each
  1         teaspoon  Salt
     ½     teaspoon  Pepper
  1         cup  Cornmeal
     ¼     cup  Grits -- quick cooking (not instant)
  1        teaspoon  Garlic Salt
     ¼    teaspoon  Ground Red Pepper
  1       cup  Buttermilk
  1       tablespoon  Mustard -- grainy
  3       tablespoons  Olive Oil
  3       tablespoons  Butter
Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness.
Mix cornmeal, grits, garlic salt and red pepper in a shallow dish or paper plate.
Combine buttermilk and mustard in another shallow dish.
Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, drain excess.
Dredge in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat fat over medium heat.  Cook chicken in batches, turning until brown and crisp, 4-5 minutes per side.  If not serving immediately, place on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet in a 200° oven.   4 Servings

  "Taste of the South (adapted)"

Cooked-type Cereals...Use It Up

Cereals that are prepared for cooked cereal are the cheapest way to get your breakfast cereal, much cheaper than highly processed dry cereal.  But they are also great additions to many recipes, like desserts, cookies, breads, breading and main dishes. 
I always keep oatmeal, grits and cornmeal on hand, and like to incorporate them into recipes, as well as eating them plain.  I buy mine in bulk, from our nearest Amish grocery, but they are inexpensive compared to dry cereals, everywhere.  For cooked cereal in a hurry, try the microwave in-the-bowl recipes on the box, you don’t need the more processed instant versions (that don’t taste as good either).  There are many other choices of cook-type cereal; look up recipes from their manufacturer online or on the box.

Here are a few recipes to try.