Small Recipes...Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies


  This is supposed to be a small recipe from Taste of Home Cooking for One or Two!  I halved the recipe and got 8 large cookies.  Next time I will probably bake 4 in my toaster oven and freeze 4 dough balls to freeze and bake another day.
They spread a lot, so I would suggest baking on two quarter sheet pans or at least a 15” cookie sheet for all 8 of them.  I used a rounded size 50 scoop.
 I used an egg yolk instead of a half egg…my husband loves Coconut Macaroons, and I make them with egg whites left from other recipes; I’ll make some in a day or two, as the white keeps refrigerated several days.  When possible, this is how I cut a recipe that uses a half egg…much easier and no measuring and I actually have a use for the egg white that’s left.
There will be a next time…they are crisp and delicious and we had a hard time not eating them up in a day!
Top:  Creamed butter, sugar and egg yolk; dry ingredients in sifter.  
Cookies are actually too close together on the pan!  
     Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies- Small Recipe        
1/4           cup  butter -- softened 
     3/8      cup  sugar 
  1             large  egg yolk -- or 1/2 beaten egg 
     1/4      teaspoon  coconut extract -- or vanilla extract 
     1/2      cup  plus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour -- 2 3/4 ounces 
     1/4      teaspoon  baking soda 
     1/4      teaspoon  salt 
     1/2      cup  semisweet chocolate chips -- (3 ounces) 
     1/4      cup  sweetened shredded coconut -- (1 ounce) 

In a 1 quart bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in half egg or egg yolk and flavoring extract. Sift to combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and coconut.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (a size 50 scoop) 2 in. apart onto ungreased or parchment-lined 15" baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Sunday in Iowa...


A barn near Middle Amana, Iowa  
We took a drive through the country this week...harvesting corn and beans (soybeans, that is) is in full swing, with miles, not just acres, being harvested, and the 80° dry weather making for perfect conditions.  Next week, we're looking at 60's and perhaps 50's, more normal fall weather.

Saturday Thoughts...Michelle's Canned Hamburger


 Michelle has still been busy canning to fill her new pantry shelves.  Finding enough jars and lids is a problem right now, as many of you know. Here’s her latest endeavor:

Michelle says:  “I canned 7 quarts of hamburger with onions & peppers; my liquid was tomato juice from two years ago. It should be good for chili, pasta sauce, or goulash. I have another 10 pounds of ground beef to do something with very soon. I purchased beef broth for that batch. I don’t have too many more pint jars, I’m canning some chili in those today for me to take for my lunches this winter.”

For our recipe for canning hamburger go to our link, which includes recipes for using your canned or frozen hamburger mix as well.  Canned Hamburger Mix



Cookbook Review...The Ultra Gel Answer Book



If you want to use Ultra Gel or Clearjel, you don’t have many options for instructions.  That's why Myrna bought The Ultra Gel Answer Book,  written by two women who have degrees in the area of Home Economics with an emphasis on food science and nutrition.  They have both taught food-related classes for church and civic groups as well as Community Education programs in Utah.
The book covers using Ultra Gel for salad dressings and fruit salads and dips, sauces and gravies, main dishes, desserts, in whipped creams, jams, jellies and preserves, and home canned specialties.  
They also cover using ultra gel in baking, not just pie fillings, but in cakes and cookies, and breads.  Think about adding pudding mix to cake mixes and you get the idea of how Ultra Gel helps make breads, cakes and cookies have an even texture and moist crumb with less fat.  Yeast breads raise faster and brown better with a softer texture.
They show how to use Ultra Gel in gravies and soups and main dishes.  The chapter on main dishes interested me as they show how to make a lot of recipes into freezer meals that can be frozen in individual dinners or as the whole recipe to make your own microwaveable freezer meals.  Ultra Gel or similar products are what commercial manufacturers use in many products because it can be frozen and reheated without the sauce getting watery.
The last chapter covers home-canned specialties; and when using Ultra Gel, you can usually freeze the product instead of canning it if you don’t have a canner.  They don’t just give recipes for pie filling, but canned stew and braised beef, as well as salsa and barbeque sauce.
Getting started with Ultra Gel isn’t too hard because the package gives directions and recipes for a few products, but this book will expand your repertoire. 
I’ve found these recipes also work with Clearjel, but as it doesn’t blend in as easily, you do have to take that into consideration when making the recipe.

Small Recipes...Crunchy Macaroni Salad


Here’s a simple recipe my husband especially likes from the Taste of Home Cooking for One or Two.  He thinks this salad tastes very close to his favorite salad bar salad, which as a slightly sweet dressing.  
I used commercial mayonnaise instead of Miracle Whip, so I added an extra teaspoon of sugar to suit his taste.   For easy peeling, steam your eggs 15 minutes; then plunge into ice water for 10 minutes before peeling.  I cook an extra egg for garnish and add the ends (chopped up) to the salad.  I can see adding a little shredded carrot, peas, diced ham or cheese, or bacon or cooked chicken or whatever you like in your macaroni salad.
This is such an easy recipe I’ll be making it more often.  We enjoyed it with one of the last summer tomatoes and some smoked brats yesterday.

Crunchy Macaroni Salad                    

  1          cup  cooked elbow macaroni -- 2 ounces dry
  1          large  egg -- hard cooked, chopped
  2           tablespoons  chopped celery
  2           tablespoons  chopped onion
  3           tablespoons  Miracle Whip
  1 -2      teaspoons  sugar
  1           teaspoon  cider vinegar
     ½       teaspoon  prepared mustard
     ¼       teaspoon  salt
  1          Pinch  pepper
Hard cook egg; prepare macaroni following label directions.  Drain and cool.  Peel egg. 
In a bowl, combine the macaroni, egg, celery and onion. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over macaroni mixture and toss gently. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.
 Serves 2.

Saturday Thoughts...Michelle is filling her new pantry!

Since she got her new pantry shelves last month, my daughter-in-law Michelle has been busy filling them up.  She has been canning meat..Beef, Pork and Chicken to help keep them going.  She got the pork on sale for 99¢ a pound last week! And she bought the beef and chicken on sale too.
Left: Canned Chicken Breasts, R. top: Canned Pork Loin,
 R. Bottom: Canned Beef  
She says “I can’t remember the type of beef roast (hot pack) it was but I was able to get 5 pints. The 3 whole pork loins I cold packed and got 28 pints total. The chicken was hot packed, boneless chicken breast, I got 8 pints.”
She added a lot to that meat shelf in her new pantry!  The shelf with the boxes and empty jars on it now is filled with pints of canned meat and poultry!
One of the biggest problems is trying to buy canning lids…she had plenty of jars.  They hit the nearest Amish store, the farm store, the grocery and discount stores…nothing, and this is in farm country were many people can from their gardens and farms all the time.
Our son called us…I had a dozen boxes of Ball lids of 12 per box that I could spare so we made a quick trip and met in the town half way between our places to pass on the lids.  Luckily, I had purchased some bulk lids (packed 345 to a tube) before the pandemic started, and hadn’t started on them yet, and still had some more Ball lids too so I could afford to share some.  Right now, I can't get those bulk lids anywhere either.
We’re happy to see them getting their food storage in place; and they see a new urgency as our son had his hours cut down this week too.   His work had been unaffected up until now.  But they are both good managers and hard workers so we know they will get through this downturn.  Living in the country where they have a garden and chickens helps too.

Cake Mixes...Apple Custard Dessert


This is an easy, delicious dessert - from .  "Duncan Hines Holiday Spectacular”Almost everyone will enjoy this and the hardest part is peeling a few apples.  It didn’t call for any additional seasoning, and actually didn’t need it.  The ratio of topping to apples was just right.  We served it with a little heavy cream sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, but whipped cream or ice cream would be great. 
I made it with an ordinary yellow cake mix and Granny Smith apples that were both on sale.  
Make it smaller:
Halve the recipe by using a “Jiffy” one layer cake mix or weighing out half of the contents of your regular cake mix, halving the rest of your ingredients and using an 8 x 8” or 7 x 11” pan. 
Apple Custard Dessert
  1            Package Yellow Cake Mix (regular size)
  1            Cup  Coconut -- flaked
     ½       Cup  Butter
  6            Medium  Apples -- pared, cored, and thinly sliced
  1            Cup  Water
     ¼       Cup  Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease 13 x 9 x 2" pan.
Combine cake mix and coconut in a large bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives.  Arrange apple slices in pan.  Sprinkle with crumb mixture.
Combine water and lemon juice in 2 cup measure.  Pour evenly over top.  Do not stir.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned and set.  Cool slightly before serving.
16 Servings
Use Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Winesap, McIntosh or Jonathan apples.