cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
This recipe is for S.O.S. AKA Shit on a Shingle AKA Same Old Stuff AKA "chipped beef."


Boiling water
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. warm milk
1/2 jar dried beef (about 2.5 oz)
1/3 c. canned corn (or frozen, if cooked)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
black pepper

Toasted bread


Put dried beef slices in a bowl. Pour boiling water over them. Let sit briefly and drain (this removes some of the extra salt). Chop into roughly 1/2" squares.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux. Whisk in warm milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in beef, corn, and cayenne. Heat through. Add black pepper and salt (optional) to taste.

Serve over buttered toast.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
As someone who's lived in Minnesota for over a decade, it was time. Time for tater tot hotdish, AKA tater tot casserole.

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cans french-sliced green beans
1 can cream of celery soup (condensed)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
frozen tater tots, about 2/3rds of a bag
1-2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

Requires: skillet, 9x13 pan.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt butter and vegetable oil in medium skillet on stove.
3. Saute onion until lightly browned.
4. Add ground beef and minced garlic. Saute until meat is brown.
5. Spread ground beef mixture in bottom of 9x13 pan.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Layer 1 1/2 cans green beans on top of beef mixture.
8. Spread cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup on top of beans, attempting to distribute evenly.
9. Place one layer of tater tots on top.
10. Bake 50 minutes or until tater tots are browned.
11. Remove from oven. Sprinkle cheddar cheese all over tater tots. Put back in oven and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
12. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
I occasionally use this for more than just a recipe repository, I swear! Anyway, cabbage fried rice. I'm pretty happy with this recipe because both kids liked it as-is, including the extremely picky eater, and it got veggies (cabbage, carrot, onion) and protein (egg) into them. And I used the leftover lime cabbage from chicken fajitas with lime cabbage and avocado, so winner winner leftovers dinner.

Serves 3.

1 1/2 c. uncooked rice or about 3 c. cooked
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
vegetable oil
2 c. chopped cabbage (about 1/2" squares), packed in the measuring cup
1 carrot, finely grated
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced or finely grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce


Cook rice with:

Meanwhile, chop, mince, beat, and measure all the things.

Heat oil over high heat in a wok or your largest pan. Add:

Stir constantly until vegetables are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add:

Stir for another minute.

Make a well in the center of the pan by pushing rice to the sides. Lower heat. Pour eggs into center and stir eggs constantly until mostly cooked. Then stir all the contents of the pan together.

Combine in a small bowl:
soy sauce
lime juice
fish sauce

Drizzle sauce over rice and mix.

cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
This is a pretty basic recipe, a solid kid-pleaser (other people's kids, not mine) that's packed with vegetables. I'm writing it up because I had a recipe request and so needed to write it up anyway.

Use a 9x13 pan (no greasing needed) with tin foil. Recipe may be halved and cooked in a 9x9 pan, instead.
Pie ingredients:
1 pkg. spaghetti
vegetable oil
olive oil
1 small to medium eggplant
3 Tbsp. butter
1 onion
1 pkg mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
5 eggs
1 c. cottage cheese
1 c. Parmesan, shredded
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 c. spaghetti sauce, separated (2 + 1)

Cheese topping ingredients:
1/4 c. Parmesan, shredded
2 c. mozzarella, grated
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, minced
Mince onion. Chop mushrooms. Mince garlic. Slice eggplant into thick rounds (about 1/3") and salt lightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Start salted water boiling in a large pot. When boiling, cook 1 package of spaghetti (about 8 cups prepared*) to al dente. Add a bit of olive oil to keep spaghetti from sticking together.
In your largest skillet, heat about 1/3" vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add eggplant slices and fry on each side until browned, turning every couple of minutes with tongs. When browned, remove and set on paper towels to drain.
Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet. Saute onions and mushrooms until reduced in size. Add garlic and keep sauteing for another minute or so. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add 2 c. spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. Combine.
Take cooled fried eggplant, lightly salt, and chop into 1" squares. Maybe eat a slice or two yourself because freshly fried eggplant is delicious.
In another bowl, combine all cheese topping ingredients. If necessary, use your hands to work it together.
Take 9x13 pan. Put 1/3 of cooked spaghetti in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/2 the mushrooms and 1/2 the eggplant chunks. Pour 1/2 of egg combination on top.
Layer another 1/3 of spaghetti on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the mushrooms and eggplant. Pour the rest of the egg combination on top.
Put the rest of the spaghetti on top. Drizzle reserved 1 c. of spaghetti sauce across the top. Cover with the cheese topping.

Put tin foil on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove tin foil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until done in the middle.**
Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
* I used leftover spaghetti that had been boiled with split habanero peppers to make it slightly spicy. Regular spaghetti should be fine, though.
** The potluck version had been reheated in the oven as well, so it may have been cooked for an even longer time.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
A crust of flour tortillas and a filling of refried beans, and/or shredded rotisserie chicken and salsa. Top it off with some taco sauce and cheese.

Serves 8.


  • 1 (16 oz) can refried beans (you may not need the entire can)

  • (optional) 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

  • ½ cup salsa

  • vegetable oil

  • 8 flour tortillas, fajita or taco size

  • taco sauce (to taste)

  • 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese or cheddar

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 8 Kalamata olives, sliced thin


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  2. Warm up beans in a small bowl in the microwave. If using chicken, combine chicken and salsa in another bowl and warm it up in the microwave.

  3. To toast the tortillas, heat oil in a skillet and fry both sides of the tortilla.

  4. Lay four of the toasted tortillas on a large baking sheet. Spread thinly with refried beans on each tortilla. Add tomatoes. Top with the salsa/chicken mixture, evenly dividing it among the four tortillas. Top with another fried tortilla.

  5. Spread a thin layer of taco sauce on the top of the top tortilla. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, evenly dividing it among the four pizzas. Sprinkle olives on top. Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  6. Cut into triangles and serve immediately. Enjoy!

cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Finally posting this so that I can get that piece of paper I scribbled notes on off my desk! Original recipe from Dana as part of her dairy-free, soy-free recipes.

Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. sugar + 1 tsp. cinnamon (for rolling in)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine half the flour (1 1/8 c.) with other ingredients except sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Beat on medium speed while gradually adding the rest of the flour.

Shape into 1" dough balls, roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place on greased cookie sheet.

For crispy cookies, bake 11-12 min at 375 degrees. They will still be soft when removed from oven. Let sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before moving to cooling rack. (For softer cookies, bake 8+ minutes until sugar starts to crack.)
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
4 slices uncooked bacon
1 bunch asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1-2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Fry bacon in skillet. Set bacon aside on paper towels. Do not drain bacon fat from skillet.

Melt butter in medium pan over low heat.

Whisk flour into butter until all lumps are gone. Continue whisking for another minute.

Gradually pour milk in, whisking constantly until combined. Simmer over low heat until thickened, stirring often.

Meanwhile, heat skillet with bacon fat over medium/medium-hot heat. Add asparagus and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, turning often (use tongs).

Once sauce has started to thicken, stir cheddar cheese in 1/2 cup at a time.

To serve, put asparagus on platter, pour cheese sauce over the top (there will be extra left), and crumble bacon on top.


Notes: I used cheddar, but I bet this would be good with blue cheese, or a combo of fancy cheeses, or some such.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
The last two weeks have been kind of rough for me, because Phil hasn't been able to provide much parenting assistance. First he was gone on business for a week, and then he got a rather horrible case of The Sick that has pretty much knocked out his ability to contribute at home. Despite this, it's been an interesting couple of weeks with lots of new experiences.

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Yes, it's something of a guilty pleasure. I did not grow up with so-called "convenience" food, and I may have overindulged in it a bit when I was a teenager/young adult. 'Nuff said. This version is pretty darn good, although the taco flavor is strong.

Possible taco variation: Just make the hamburger pasta part, maybe add some chopped fresh tomatoes and black olives or corn, sprinkle with shredded cheddar immediately before serving.

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Buttery Chicken Artichoke Linguine
No butter actually involved!
(from Dana's kind no-dairy, no-soy recipe email)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups water
1 bouillon cube (soy-free chicken)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. Parsley
1⁄2 tsp. marjoram
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 Tbsp. capers

Linguine noodles, cooked

(optional: 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese)


* Simmer chicken for 10 minutes in water w/bouillon, parsley, marjoram, and 1/2 the garlic. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 15-20 min. (Should be opaque.) Save the broth and let it cool in refrigerator.

* Cut up chicken and brown with butter, oil and remaining garlic

* Whisk together flour and chicken broth lumps are gone. Add to pan and simmer 5 mins. until thickened.

* add lemon juice, artichokes, and capers. Simmer 15-20 mins

* toss with linguine and parmesan cheese
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
I improvised this salad for the ATV weekend/family reunion in Wisconsin. Lots of people liked it, so I thought I'd better write down something recipe-ish before I forget what I did.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Makes enough to fill up two large salad bowls. Leftovers do not keep well. Although this will still be tasty the next day, the salad will be quite limp.

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 c. vegetable oil or canola oil
1/4 c. raspberry-flavored white wine vinegar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 Tbsp. Penzey's Raspberry Enlightenment (or raspberry jam)

Candied Walnuts:
1/4 c. butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 c. sugar
3 c. chopped walnuts (about 2 small bags)
pinch of salt

Salad Ingredients:
2 bunches spinach
2 small heads romaine lettuce (volume should be about equal to the spinach)
1 1/2 boxes ripe strawberries

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Candied Walnuts:
Grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

Heat skillet over high heat.

Melt butter. Add sugar and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until it is bubbling vigorously.

Add walnuts. Continue stirring constantly for five minutes.

Pour half of mixture onto cookie sheet. Immediately, working as fast as possible, separate walnuts as much as possible. Repeat with second half of mixture on second cookie sheet.

Let cool for ten minutes.

Using your hands, break walnut clumps apart.

Rinse and dry spinach. Discard bad leaves. Chop off stems and discard. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Put in salad bowls.

Rinse and dry lettuce. Chop into bite sized pieces. Add to salad bowls.

Slice strawberries. Reserve 1/2 cup. Put the rest in the salad bowls.

Add walnuts or put aside for people to add on their own if allergies are a concern.

Use tongs to combine salad bowl contents. Try to keep all the strawberries from falling to the bottom.

Wait until 5 minutes before serving time, then add salad dressing to taste (there will be salad dressing left over). Use tongs to combine salad bowl contents again.

Get reserved strawberries and place on top of the salad.

Eat and enjoy! Bonus points if you remember to photograph it first.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Pretty sure that this is not what most authentic restaurants would describe as Kung Pao Chicken, but hey! It's tasty, and that's what the recipe claimed it was. Originally.

It *is* dairy-free and soy-free, since it uses substitutes for what the recipe originally called for: soy sauce and Catalina dressing.

5 c. broccoli pieces, about 2 large stalks
1/4 c. Catalina dressing OR all of Sub1, divided
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce OR all of Sub2
2-3 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced gingerroot
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

Sub1, Catalina dressing substitute
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 dash paprika
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 c. cider vinegar
1/6 c. ketchup
1/4 c. corn oil

Sub2, Soy sauce substitute
1 packet beef bullion (+ 1 tsp. salt if sodium-free)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. molasses


Start rice cooking.

Steam broccoli 5 min. or until crisp-tender. If using broccoli stems, steam stems for an additional five minutes before florets.

Meanwhile, mix 2 Tbsp. dressing, peanut butter, soy sauce and chili sauce until well blended.

Cover broccoli to keep warm; reserve steaming water. Heat remaining dressing in skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook and stir 1 min. Add chicken; cook 2 min., stirring frequently. Stir in peanut butter mixture; cook 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is done and sauce is thickened, stirring frequently to scrape up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add 1/4+ c. water from broccoli steamer as necessary.

Add broccoli to chicken mixture and fold in. Serve with rice.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
For my own future reference, in case I decide to try vegan bean fudge again, this is not good.

It does not set up. It makes a soft, squishy spread that tastes mostly like beans. That said, Cassius still thinks it's a treat, so it's not all bad--he's getting beans! It's just so very far from an adequate chocolate fudge for me.

* I have been reading China Mieville's Railsea, so when I say that fudge is my philosophy, I mean that it is like a leviathan of a mole rat that burrows & flees & took something important from me & that only by pursuing will I discover something important. It pays homage to Moby Dick & Robinson Crusoe & Kidnapped. Good book & very fond of ampersands.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
These are possibly my favoritest cookies ever. They are definitely my *new* favorite cookies! And they are soy-free and dairy-free, although they do need eggs. What these make is a thin bottom layer of chewy brownie, with a thin arch of crystalline chocolate over the top. Without the walnuts they are incredibly fragile, but also super-delicious.

Chocolate Brownie Heavens Cookies

3 extra-large egg whites
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ cups powdered (10X) sugar
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
(Optional: 1-1½ cups unsalted raw walnut halves)*

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
2. Put the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Make certain that there is not even a drop of yolk in the egg whites, and be sure the bowl is immaculately clean. Whip on low speed for 2 minutes, then on maximum speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
3. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl together, then fold into the batter with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth and shiny.
(Optional: Fold in the walnuts, until they are well coated with the batter.)
4. Grease two cookie sheets. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough ½ inch apart.
5. Bake until the outside has crisped and the bottom starts to pull away, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. As soon as the cookies can be moved, use a spatula to transfer them to a rack and let them cool.

Enjoy the cookies right away, or store when completely cool in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

* Me, I prefer them without the walnuts. But then I prefer my brownies without walnuts, too.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
1 lb. cooked taco meat (or make your own with ground beef, taco seasoning, and onion)
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
2 c. salsa
3ish c. broken up tortilla chips
3 tomatoes, diced
2 c. cheddar cheese (with a bit of habanero cheddar)
1/2 c. sliced black olives
2 c. shredded lettuce

Heat oven to 350°F.

In 12-inch skillet, heat taco meat, refried beans, and salsa to boiling, stirring frequently.

In ungreased 9x13 casserole, place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips. Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the tomato.

Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes. Top baked casserole with lettuce, cheese, remaining tomato, olives, and remaining tortilla chips.

Recipe was originally for 9x9 pan and with half as many toppings, but it was a bit thick. Will probably work better in 9x13 pan with doubled amount of toppings.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Mix together and let sit overnight, stirring occasionally.

2 lb. pretzels
1 bottle Orville Redenbacher popping oil
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch powder
2 Tbsp. dill weed
1 tsp. garlic powder
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sliced fresh strawberries or syrup


In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl,
lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir
into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until
stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron until golden brown. Serve with strawberries or syrup.

Yield: 10 waffles (about 4-1/2 inches).

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 696 calories, 41 g fat (25 g saturated fat), 193 mg cholesterol, 712 mg sodium, 72 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Original recipe from Taste of Home 2013
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. milk
1 c. yogurt
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat the eggs. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and mix well.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. If using frozen blueberries, rinse in a strainer first.  Fold blueberries into batter.

Heat griddle and melt 1 tsp. of butter. Pour pancake batter by 1/4 c. cupfuls. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Working on my pot roast recipe(s). Addition variations I've tried (dumped over meat, potatoes, and peeled carrots). These are only working notes.

1 c. double-strength beef broth
1/2 c. vermouth/wine
1 1/2 tsp. dry thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
onion soup mix

Result: good, not great.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (shadow)
1/2 lb. shells pasta
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 cups broccoli florets
1/4 c. sliced sundried tomatoes
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3 1/2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese


COOK pasta.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing and garlic in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken. Cook and stir 5 min. or until chicken is lightly browned. Stir in broccoli and cook another few minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 cup mozzarella; cook 1 to 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add mozzarella and parmesan; serve.

For nicer presentation, place pasta on serving plate. Top with chicken mixture, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Special Extra
For a little lemon zing, add 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning as you cook and stir the chicken and broccoli.


cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
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