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.

Family Favorites...Parmesan Potato Wedges

We really enjoyed these delicious oven-fried potatoes from the "Better Homes & Gardens Best Comfort Food” for lunch today and it occurred to me that if your husband is willing to grill, you could open a jar of Freezer Cole Slaw and pop these easy potatoes in the oven and your job would be done!  No muss, no fuss. 
If you use foil, use the “no-stick” kind.  I melted the butter right in the bowl in the microwave; I think you could melt the butter and make the coating right in the pan, then add the potatoes and toss – save washing a bowl.
  Parmesan Potato Wedges
      1/3  cup  Butter -- melted
  1         teaspoon  Garlic -- minced
     1/4   cup  Parmesan Cheese -- grated
     1/2   teaspoon  Italian Seasoning
     1/4   teaspoon  Salt
     1/8   teaspoon  Pepper
  6         Medium  Baking Potatos -- 2 pounds
Preheat oven to 425°.  Lina a 15 x 10 x 1" baking pan with parchment paper or foil; set aside.  Cut each potato lengthwise into eight wedges.
In a large bowl, stir together butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Add potato wedges and toss to throughly coat the wedges.  Place the wedges on the prepared baking pan.
Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until tender.
6 Servings
2011 Cost:  $1.66 or 28¢ per serving if potatoes are purchased
Per Serving: 252 Calories; 11g Fat (39.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 30mg Cholesterol; 266mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

Happy Thanksgiving

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain.
~Alexander Pope

We wish you the best of Thanksgiving days.
Myrna and Sue

Make it Yourself...Pie Crust Finishes

 There are several ways to finish a pie crust. The most common edge is a fluted edge.
Trim pastry ½ inch beyond the plate edge. Fold under so it stands upright. Using your fingers and knuckle press to make a ruffled edge. You can use two fingers from one hand and one finger from the other hand which ever is easiest for you.
 The next most common is an edge pressed to the pie plate with a fork. Trim the crust edge even with the plate and using fork tines press a pattern around the edge. This is the easiest of the edges to make. You can also use the bowl of a spoon to make scallops instead of the fork tine marks.
 If you want to get a little fancier, trim pastry even with the plate. Cut small slits at ½ to 1 inch intervals around the edge of pastry. Gently fold every other section toward the center of the pie plate. This makes a good looking edge for a berry pie.
 A very attractive edge is made using a very small cookie cutter. Trim the pastry edge even with the pie plate. Using another crust cut out shapes (leaves are always nice for a fall pie) Attach shapes to pie edge with water, overlapping them slightly.
 Any of these edges can be used with a two crust pie. 
One way to finish a pie is with a lattice crust. They are easy to make and look especially nice with a berry or stone fruit type of pie. My favorite apple pie has a streusel topping but you can use a top crust, flute the edges and then brush with cream or milk or water and sprinkle with coarse sugar or cinnamon and sugar. Our Grandma always used milk and cinnamon and sugar on hers, as does Sue. Any or all of these are simple to do and will make your pie look so good.

Couscous Primavera

This is a pretty way to serve couscous.  If you haven’t used it before, you’ll like it, it’s really just very fine pasta, and it cooks QUICK!   Most people won’t even realize you have used whole wheat couscous because it’s so fine; you can certainly substitute regular couscous if you wish.                    
                            Couscous Primavera
  1               Tablespoon  Butter -- or olive oil
     1/4        Cup  Onion -- red if desired, minced
  1               Cup  Green Beans -- cooked and cut
  1               Cup  Frozen Peas
  1               Cup  Cherry Tomatoes -- halved
     1/2        Cup  Couscous -- whole wheat
     3/4        Cup  Water
     1/4        Cup  Parmesan Cheese -- grated
In large skillet, cook onion in butter or oil over medium-high heat 3 minutes until tender.  Add green beans and peas; cook until heated through.
Add water.  Bring to a boil.  Add couscous; reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 2-5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork.  Add tomatoes; stir in cheese.
4 Servings
88¢ per serving if all ingredients purchased
Per Serving: 178 Calories; 5g Fat (24.0% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 172mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Fine Cooking Potato Chip Cookies

  This is almost the same recipe that Sue has posted for Potato Chip cookies though they came out quite different. I think the method of flattening them and finely chopping the pecans make a difference. Either way, this recipe from Fine Cooking Cookies or Sue’s recipe these are a great cookie and very few people will guess that there are potato chips in the cookies. A sweet and salty cookie at the same time.
Sweet and Salty
  My only problem with the recipe is that it made way too small of a batch. Made them yesterday afternoon and this morning they are almost gone. Next time I will make more as they are so easy to make I just have to find a better flat bottom glass to use to flatten them. I didn’t realize that I did not have a flat bottomed glass anymore. I think we used to use jelly glasses.
Potato-Chip Cookies
½ lb. (1 cup) butter at room temperature (about 20 minutes to soften)
½ cup granulated sugar; more for shaping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces (scant 2 cups) all purpose flour
2 ounces (i/2 cup) finely chopped pecans
½ cup finely crushed potato chips (try crushing in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin)
  Position oven rack in the middle of oven and heat to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  Using a mixer on medium speed beat the butter and sugar till creamy and well blended, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until blended. To bowl, on low speed add the flour, pecans and potato chips just until blended.
  Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into 1 inch balls (I used cookie scoop). Place about 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Lightly butter the bottom of a flat bottomed glass, dip into granulated sugar and press cookie to about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.  Bake at 350° for 10 to 11 minutes until edges are brown. Cool on pans for 5 minutes and then on wire rack. 
Yield: About 30 cookies
  To store, do not cover and to freeze, layer with wax paper between each layer of cookies
*TIP: Do not freeze or refrigerate the unbaked cookie dough or the potato chips will become soggy. 

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving coming always makes me think of our mom – in our family, our folks hosted Thanksgiving, every year.
I don’t think the menu varied much, turkey, of course, mashed potatoes, bread dressing, gravy, cranberries, a carrot and pineapple jello salad, and pumpkin and apple pie. Rolls, pickles, a vegetable, etc. rounded out the meal. 
We often served 25 or so people, in multiple sittings – with a kids table. I felt I had really grown up when I finally graduated to the adult table.  You had to wait awhile, until someone else was old enough to supervise the younger kids.
Then there was the year my dad purchased a live turkey, and Myrna and our older sister, Kay, after feeding it for a week or two, cried so much about him killing it for the table, he returned it to the Produce and brought home a dressed-out bird.
Our mom seemed to take most of this hustle and bustle in stride; a lot could be prepared ahead, and there were plenty of dishwashers who volunteered after the meal. Dishwashing was a time to visit among the ladies and catch up.  The men usually competed for who could mash all those potatoes (with a hand masher, of course) the best.
This is my favorite old photo of our Mom; in her everyday clothes, sitting on our front steps.

Family Favorites...Potato Chip Pan Fried Fish

  Bettie and I are fish eaters. One of our favorite type of fish is Sole. I buy it frozen at our local HyVee store and it is quite good. They do carry some fresh fish, but not this type.
  This recipe called for a thinner fish and a quick cooking time so decided to try it. We both decided we prefer the way I usually fix fish, Sole Meuniere, but this made a nice alternative. The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens easy comfort foods and uses potato chips and cornmeal as the coating. It states in the tip that you need to make the sure the fish is patted as dry as possible to help the coating stick. I did this and the coating stayed on very well. The potato chips helped season it and I just added a small amount of pepper. There is a variation which I will list that adds cayenne pepper and I think that might have been good. Serve with some lemon wedges and tartar sauce for a quick and light meal.

Potato Chip Pan Fried Fish
1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets, ½ to ¾ inch thick
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons water
1 ⅓ cups finely crushed potato chips
3 Tablespoons cornmeal or fine dry bread crumbs
Dash ground black pepper
Oil or shortening for frying
  Thaw fish, if frozen Rinse dish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into four serving size pieces if necessary. In a shallow dish. Combine egg and the water. In another shallow dish, stir together crushed chips, cornmeal, and pepper. Dip fish into egg mixture, coat fish with potato chip mixture.
  Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch oil. Add half of the fish in a single layer; fry on one side until golden. Turn carefully. Fry until second side is golden. Allow 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in oven while frying remaining fish, Makes 4 Servings
Spicy Hot Fish: Prepare as above except omit potato chips and black pepper. Increase cornmeal to ¼ cup and combine with ¼ cup all purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon paprika.
Cost 2011:  Sole-$5.95, potato chips-50¢, cornmeal-pennies. 4 Servings-$6.45 or $1.61 per serving

Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts

 This recipe for Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts is a change of pace for boneless chicken breasts.  It will work with boneless thighs also. If you have fresh thyme do use it as the thyme and the lemon zest are what give it the bright fresh taste.
 This is healthy, easy to make and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day, either as a sandwich, wrap or just eat the cold chicken which is how Bettie likes it. 
 I adapted this recipe from a recipe that was on PBS's web site. They served it on pasta with a lemon sauce, but I wanted it to stay healthy and I can not eat pasta. We had it with a green salad for a easy to fix and eat meal.

Lemon Thyme Chicken
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ tablespoon lemon zest
½ tablespoon of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
 Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a small bowl mix the thyme, zest, salt and pepper. (fingers work well)
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with non stick spray
Coat the chicken breast with the olive oil. Season both sides of the chicken with the lemon thyme seasoning. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 - 40 minutes until done. Cooking time will vary with the size of the breast pieces.
 Turn to coat both sides with any oil or juice left in pan and serve.