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Family Recipe Book Flipbook PDF

A collection of recipes from various family members, assembled into a gift for adult children. Includes quips and anecdo


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MoM’s KItcHen

COOK BOOK and guide to entertaining and etiquette

- Grandpa Dave Swiers

with random blurbs, tips, notes , photos and anecdotes throughout, as well as contributions from the ol’ family tree

2020- The Year Never to be Spoken of Again.

This book has been years in the making. It started in 2013 as “Mom’s Little Guide to Life on Your Own Three Feet” and included meal planning and shopping lists, debt trackers, party planning, bill schedules and a variety of lists and spreadsheets you might one day need. Then it became a tongue-incheek guide book for entertaining (and adulting) old school. Like really, really old school. Like 1930’s old school. Like how to properly introduce people, and how to formally address envelopes and when to send specific mailings and how to entertain without ever touching taboo subjects old school. And while all of this was fun (like this little blurb from one of my favorite reference books, available for rent, interest compounded daily), I finally settled on recipes and tidbits from some of our favorite people. So, spanning several generations, and relationships of all kinds I hope you enjoy the final work. And make the items within. And share them with us. Oh, and others. Love you.

table of contents 01

Ice

Because on a hot summer day, who wants to drink warm water? Or what if you hit your head unnecessarily hard trying to think of something to make for dinner? You’re gonna want to ice that. Iced tea? Ice cream? Ice[berg] lettuce? Impossible without the ice! So let’s start with the basics, shall we?

02

Guacamole and Salsa

Look at you all fancy and shit. Going to a party or simply kicking back with some Mexican beers, these are two super simple recipes that everyone asks for. Let’s keep it in the family that we can be Mexican Snack Lords with like 15-20 minutes of effort. Sometimes finding the blender is the hardest part.

03

Buffalo Chicken wontons

It’s like a basic bitch wrapped in the arms of a crispy Asian. Crispy, dipping pockets of buffalove. Compact handheld wonton pockets stuffed with all the flavor of chicken wings but a lot less mess. no sticky fingers here.

04

Jalapeño popper Cups

Not particularly spicy (unless you want them to be), but a fun little burst of jalapeño goodness in a bite-size pastry. Easy to make and even easier to eat.

05

Chicken wing dip

A classic. The perfect party appetizer, no messy hands. Super easy and everyone is doing it. So maybe use this recipe as a base/starter and make it even better than theirs. You can do it.

06

Bacon wrapped water Chestnuts

while we’re still on appetizers, I think this one was a Swiers party staple. It is literally the only thing I’ve ever used my electric skillet for. Ever. And they’re not even prepared in the skillet- it just makes a great warmer. go figure. More dishes. you do you though. Chances are, they won’t last long enough to worry about keeping warm.

table of contents 07

warm Crab dip

you might think to yourself “what goes with crab dip?”when the real question is “what doesn’t go with crab dip?” Sometimes served with soft pretzel bread, other great ways to serve hot cheesy crab dip is with any other fresh bread of choice, pita wedges, celery, and sturdy buttery crackers. Or a spoon. Just a spoon.

08

Nana’s Pizza Dip

You can’t go wrong with a pizza dip, unless, apparently, if you drop it in your driveway. Nana advises against that (and aside from the obvious reasons, I’d love to know why!) Six ingredients, fifteen minutes, instant party hero (or make it as a midnight snack and eat it by yourself. No one is judging you.

09

Prime Rib

If you’re going to splurge on prime rib, you need to know a few of the basics, like how to order it and how to roast this beast like a pro. I make mine in an electric roaster, but you can also make it in a roasting pan in the oven. The key is to follow these cooking instructions carefully so you get that yummy outer crust and delicious pink center every. single. time.

10

unstuffed Cabbage rolls

Because chopping is so much easier than filling and rolling cabbage leaves. Or because I’m lazy. Either way, I haven’t made cabbage rolls in years thanks to this little beauty of a recipe that’s super filling and totally easy for busy nights!

11

Eggplant Parmesan

Rarely does a human being say, “I feel like eggplant parm for dinner”. Or rarely DID they until they tried this dish. It’s a healthy no-fry take on classic eggplant parm and every bit as delicious!

12

Stuffed peppers and Stuffed pepper Soup

the best thing about stuffed peppers is that you can literally stuff them with just about anything for a yummy twist on a classic comfort food. Let’s look at the basics and some of my favorite variations ... PLUS the soup has almost the same ingredients that you use to stuff green peppers but the peppers are not actually stuffed (and cheese is used as an optional topping). An easy soup that tastes like stuffed peppers.

table of contents 13

Arroz Con polo

Arroz con pollo is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America, closely related to paella. I probably haven’t made this since we lived on Stanley Street, but it used to be part of our weekly rotation because it’s a healthy meal that everyone enjoyed!

14

Picadillo

dad found this recipe after he bought me the Instant pot (and I was terrified to use it!) I wasn’t excited about it (the recipe Or the Instant pot) but both turned out to be AMAzIng! now that I’m confident I will not blow up our house or set off a mini bomb in my face, I make this Cuban recipe as often as I can get away with.

15

Dad’s “Fireman Goulash”

I don’t know why we started calling this “fireman’s goulash” because that’s not what the original recipe was called at all. This is dad’s yummy spin on it and has since become his signature goulash dish.

16

Grandma Grace’s Goulash

This is Grandma Grace’s traditional goulash, probably the recipe you guys like the most. Simple. Delicious. Simply delicious. Double this recipe.

17

Grandma Grace’s Meatloaf

there are a few recipes everyone should have the basic gist of. Comfort foods like meatloaf, a decent spaghetti, and a hearty soup are just a few. Master the art of the Jello salad and you’ll be adulting 1950’s style.

18

Grandma Grace and Papa Joe’s Periogis

Some cookbooks from the 17th century describe how during that era, pierogi were considered a staple of the polish diet, and each holiday had its own special kind of pierogi created. different shapes and fillings were made for holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

table of contents 19

Lazy periogi Casserole

This is one of those dishes I look for at every family reunion or potluck event. It’s simple to make and even easier to eat.

20

grandma grace’s Chicken paprikash

Going back to its origins in Hungary, this dish is called “Paprikás Csirke”, which literally means “Paprika Chicken.” As the name would imply, its namesake spice plays a major role in the flavor of the dish, which gives it a similar flavor profile to other Hungarian stews such as goulash... yet none of us use paprika in our goulash. Strange, right?

21

Papa Joe’s Homemade Noodles

Recipe written down for us by Grandma Grace. The only - very important- piece of advice I can add to these instructions is that you should definitely nOt try to make these on a distressed wood table. In fact, you should nEVEr work with flour on distressed wood. But you know, dad does gets OnE BAd dECISIOn a year!

22

Memaw’s Chicken with Artichoke Sauce

I make something similar, but add spinach and asparagus tips to mine. I don’t brine my chicken and get all fancy stuffing it with zucchini slices though. this is how you take a one pot meal and make it all fancy. Look at you now!

23

Memaw’s Veal (or Chicken) piccata

The original recipe is included below, but for the sake of clarity, I interpreted and expanded on the cooking steps. This is a simple dish, which might be why it’s such a classic comfort food—and thin cutlets mean they cook quickly. By the time the outside is perfectly golden brown, it’s fully cooked.

24

uncle ty’s Crack pot Chicken

Everyone else calls this Crock pot Crack Chicken, but not uncle ty. He’s got it so streamlined, he’s even abbreviated the name and included much needed beverages in his easy five step recipe!

table of contents 25

uncle Lon’s Low Country Boil

I wish I had Uncle Lon’s written notes on this, but he’s the one that introduced us all to this southern seafood spread, adding his cool country boy spin to Grandpa’s traditional clambake. You’ll need your biggest pot for this boil (also called Frogmore Stew) that’s full of shrimp, sweet corn, smoky sausage, and tender potatoes.

26

uncle dave’s “Hangover” Breakfast Casserole

Taking a little detour from the average dinner idea, Uncle Dave couldn’t have provided a more perfect recipe. This is a plan-ahead-so-tomorrow’s-you-will-really-appreciate-today’s-you kind of meal, and who really knows what time of day you’ll be making it? Not only will tomorrow’s-you-really-appreciate-today’s-you, I’m guessing all of you will appreciate uncle dave for the idea! pairs well with coffee and Excedrin.

27

Nana’s Beef Taco Skillet

For weeks when you just had Mexican Monday and taco tuesday and whatever wednesday and you’re still trying to figure out a way to keep the fiesta going, this Beef taco Skillet is like the laid back version of dinner where maybe you drink a soda instead of a cerveza. Or whatever. It’s almost Mexican comfort food. And it’s a one-pot meal, especially if you just eat it right out of the pan.

28

uncle Brian’s Blue Cheese Scalloped potatoes

Uncle Brian couldn’t always cook. For instance, he once burnt a chicken pot pie so badly that the remains were a carcass of charcoal in the exact perfect shape of each tiny individual charred pea and carrot within. But then again, it was a perfectly shaped carcass...

29

Memaw’s wilted Lettuce

wilted lettuce is a side dish Memaw made a lot when I was a kid. It’s a tasty side dish that’s somewhere in between spinach and a salad.

30

Memaw’s Baked Zucchini

Such a simple but delicious side dish! Memaw says bake for 5 minutes. I say bake for 10-15. You decide how cooked you like them!

table of contents 31

Crockpot Cheesy potatoes

Aunt Jackie introduced the Swiers family to this side dish way before it was a staple at family reunions and potlucks across the land. Pro tip: spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray to keep the potatoes from sticking and for much easier cleanup once the pot is empty. This is literally a set it and forget it dish, and if you add your own little spin, whatever that may be, everyone will think you’re a brilliant chef! And you are!

31

Not Your Ordinary Baked Beans

A grandpa Swiers original. the first time I laid eyes on these, I thought he was making chili. My guess is that his recipe was never exactly the same, just as mine is never a precise measurement. I just add all of the ingredients he had in it that very first time, which was likely a collection of things in his fridge that would “probably taste good in beans”. So, no hard measurements, just adjust for your audience, and remember, these beans go a lot farther than your “ordinary” baked beans.

33

Grandma Nora’s Go-To Potluck Grape Salad

Grandma Nora’s BFF Denise Dixon (of “Tucker and Denise”) sent me this recipe to share, along with a few memories. You guys weren’t old enough to participate in Grandma Nora’s famous clam bake morning Mimosas and Bloody Marys, and that’s probably a good thing. I only had a few years worth, but those things could knock you on your butt before the day even got started!

34

Taco Soup

This creamy taco soup recipe is loaded with ground beef, taco spices, corn and beans. I recommend not skipping the beans, but I suppose the soup would be delicious either way. You can throw tortilla strips on top before serving if you want to look all fancy.

35

Banana Pepper Soup

This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. You control the heat in this soup. Made as directed, it’s got a kick, but that can be tempered with additional cream cheese or by substituting a few of the banana peppers for cubanella or sweet peppers.

36

Memaw’s Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

This creamy chili looks an awful lot like the chicken cousin of my taco soup, and just like I am in love with the taco soup, Memaw loves this creamy chicken chili enough to draw that cute little heart on her recipe!

table of contents 37

Memaw’s Healthy Meatless Soup

This one sounds like a cleansing concoction to follow an evening of debauchery. Throw all these yummy vegetables and ingredients together in a stock or crock pot and enjoy!

38

uncle Brian’s new England Chowder

New Englanders take a freakish pride in their world-famous chowda, which is cream or broth-based and often features potatoes and onions sautéed in pork fat. Manhattan clam chowder, on the other hand, has a tomato base and no cream. People are such freaks about their chowders, that the inclusion of tomatoes is seen as an affront to the new England church of chowder, so much so that in 1939 a bill was introduced in Maine to ban the use of tomatoes in clam chowder!

39

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here it is guys. My chocolate chip cookie recipe. The one I got from Memaw and now I give to you. this recipe, originated by ruth wakefield, has been around since 1939. Once you know it, you know it.

40

Peanut Butter Pie

Smells like Thanksgiving. This is simply my spin on the original Jif Peanut Butter recipe (at least I think it was Jif), and aside from wanting to make sure you have a bad ass mixer (I’ve burned out several making this pie over the years), you need only about 10-15 minutes to make and 30 minutes to chill. Dessert hero.

41

Memaw’s Blueberry Scones

Try this recipe. Over and over until you get it just right. Perfect it. Then please bring some to me. In fact, bring me a taste of each try- I’ll help guide you until you get it just right. why? Because I love you.

42

Memaw’s Artisan Bread

Here it is: the recipe for those yummy loaves of bread Memaw makes and sends warm wrapped in cheesecloth or flour sack towels like a little hug from Ohio.

table of contents 43

unce Charlie’s French Cherry glaze pie

More hugs from Ohio, Aunt neet sent this recipe that was uncle Charlie’s go-to dessert for pot lucks. the premise seems much like a cheesecake base, so if you can’t handle the cherry topping, I bet you could substitute with just about any other favorite cheesecake topper.

44

Aunt Neet’s Suet Bird Balls

I love this! Apparently Aunt Neet does not do the cooking at their house! I grew up not knowing this! But because she’s awesome, she still contributed one of her “recipes” for your books! It’s sweet, so I think it fits here with other baked goods recipes.

45

Great Grandma Swiers’ Popcorn Balls

Not for the nirds. Growing up, my Grandma Swiers made these popcorn balls every fall. They are way better than any store bought version you may have tried. where the recipe below says “over”, Aunt neet tells me the back side just describes what the “hard crack stage” is. It’s not what you think. The Swiers family were drinkers! The hard crack stage is when the syrup falls between 300-310 on a candy thermometer. Make these and impress your friends or coworkers. Better yet, start your own tradition by carrying on your great grandmother’s!

46

great great grandma Swiers’ Cookies

These cookie recipes were given to your great grandma by my great grandma (see note in upper right hand corner of the recipes- “Mother Swiers” would be great grandpa Swiers’ mom. That’s a lot of great history wrapped up in these tasty little treats!

47

grandma grace’s Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

Don’t shoot the messenger here. I know raisins are gross, but this is an old recipe and people really used to like nuts and raisins in their baked goods. Skip ‘em if you want; I bet the cookies are still delicious!

48

nana’s pretzel Caramel Chip Cookies

Nana claims these are awesome cookies, but for the last 25 years she’s been making me peanut butter blossoms (my favorite) so I’ve never tried them. I therefore challenge you to prove it. Go on, make the cookies, bring them to me to try.

table of contents 49

grandma doris’ Brownies with Chocolate glaze

This is the quintessential brownie recipe, the one for those brownies that used to be at every church potluck, every school bake sale, every scouting gathering, or more specifically for me, at the family party my grandma doris hosted every Christmas Eve.

50

Grandma Doris’ Buckeyes

I love this recipe, not because I particularly love buckeyes (a little too sweet for me), but because this is exactly how I learned to cook and bake- just from a basic idea. when Memaw sent me this one, though, I had to ask what is was for as I did not immediately recognize it as the little round treat but thought it might be a peanut butter dip instead! Included here is a little more information so you can recreate this Ohio dessert!

51

Miss Lori’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

Oooh! No family recipe book would be complete without a contribution from your second mom, your other mother if you will. Now, since peanut butter blossoms are my favorite cookie, and since Miss Lori has an incurable sweet tooth, it only seems fair that you test this recipe on us. For our professional opinions, of course.

52

Miss Lori’s Snickerdoodle Cookies

Oooh! Did you know that over the years, Miss Lori and I have made thousands of cookies together? It’s way more fun to crank out hundreds of Christmas cookies with a few beers, some music and a good friend. She even helped me make hundreds and hundreds of cut out cookies for Nana and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary party!

The Ingredients: 1. water

ServeS

4 meThod

FrEEZE

mInuTeS

45?

g r E tA C O O p E r

the first cooling systems for food involved ice. Artificial refrigeration began in the mid-1750s, and developed in the early 1800s. In 1834, the first working vapor-compression refrigeration system was built. the first commercial ice-making machine was invented in 1854. In 1913, refrigerators for home use were invented. In 1923 Frigidaire introduced the first self-contained unit. the introduction of Freon in the 1920s expanded the refrigerator market during the 1930s. Home freezers as separate compartments (larger than necessary just for ice cubes) were introduced in 1940. Frozen foods, previously a luxury item, became commonplace.

01. Ice Cooking Steps :  Fill tray. Freeze.

dIffICulTy

1/10

02. Guacamole If you don’t use up all your avocados as a butter substitute, you can make guac to share at your next shindig. or to eat by yourself with a whole bag of chips and a six pack of Corona. Whatever. Here’s the ridiculously easy recipe that makes everyone request my guac for parties. The secret ingredient is the rotel tomatoes. Make this ANd homemade salsa and you’ll be a frickin’ Mexican superstar.

ServeS

PEoPlE

meThod

STIr/CHoP

The Ingredients :

mInuTeS

15

dIffICulTy

1/10

Cooking Steps :

1. 2 ripe avocados

remove pit and scoop avocado into bowl.

2. 1 packet of any brand guac mix

Add any brand guac mix. Seriously. They’re all the same.

3. 1 can rotel original diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained with Green Chilies

Add rotel original (most of 10 oz can. Eyeball it)

TIP: Avocados are ripe when you can squeeze them and they don’t hurt your hand (but too ripe if they ooze their green innards. Yuk.)

Smoosh it all together and put it in a pretty bowl. Cover and chill at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. I like Xóchitl (só cheel), but they’re a little pricier. Just find thin & crispy chips like they serve at El Cubilete.

C! Salsa This really is the best, EASY Mexican-style salsa that tastes just as good (or better than) what they serve at El Cubilete or [“Welcome to] Moe’s![“] PS. You’re gonna need more chips.

The Ingredients : 1. �28 ounce can whole tomatoes , drained 2. 2 can rotel original diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained 3. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 4. 1/4 cup onion chopped 5. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 6. 1 clove garlic , minced 7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 8. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 9. pinch granulated sugar

Cooking Steps : Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times until no large chunks remain. That’s it, Senorita. For best flavor, refrigerate salsa for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

03. Buffalo Chicken Wontons Superbowl winner every year, no matter who’s playing. If you are planning a party spread, do NoT make these ahead. The wonton wrappers get sticky, they fall apart in the oil, you’ll end up contemplating ever cooking again. use a little bowl of water to pinch the wontons, parchment paper is your savior, but so is a deep pot of hot oil. Speaking of which, wear a shirt that can get grease stains on it. Trust me.

The Ingredients : 1. 4 cups shredded chicken

ServeS

PEoPlE

2. 3/4 cup of Franks sauce (original or wing) 3. 3 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup) 4. 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 5. 48 wonton wrappers

Cooking Steps : meThod

FrY

Stir items 1-4 together in a medium bowl lay out wonton wrappers on parchment paper Have a finger dish of water ready Spoon 2 tsp of chicken mixture in center of each wrapper Moisten edges of each wonton with water Fold corners over mixture to form a triangle

mInuTeS

45

Press edges to seal Heat about a bottle (maybe more, depending on how deep the oil is in your pan) over medium heat. When the oil is HoT (sizzles when you throw water in it!) begin cooking wontons, 6-12 at a time, about 2 minutes or until golden brown. From start to finish of this process, you won’t walk away from the stove so have someone pour you a glass of wine or hand you a beer.

dIffICulTy

5/10

Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or chaffing dish and keep warm (about 200°) until ready to serve.

04. Jalapeño Popper Cups Mini phyllo cups filled with a creamy, cheesy jalapeño filling are a new year’s Eve fave. They’re also easy-peasy to make.

The Ingredients: 12 mini phyllo tart shells (from the freezer section) 4 ounces cream, softened 1/2 cup cheddar cheese 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped 1 tbsp Franks sauce [optional] green onions to make ‘em look all fancy

Who are we kidding? you’re gonna want to double or triple this recipe and these measurements are just a guide.

Cooking Steps : Preheat oven to 350 °. Place phyllo cups on a baking sheet. Stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeños and hot sauce in a bowl. Sprinkle green onions on top. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

05. Chicken Wing Dip Not feeling the effort of making Buffalo chicken wontons? I feel ya. Here’s a simple recipe to get the same feels, without as much work. Serve with carrot and celery sticks. Feeling really lazy? You can buy those veggies already cut! Bam. ServeS

The Ingredients:

PEoPlE

4 boneless/skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded OR 4 cans of white meat chicken, drained (see above note about feeling lazy)

mInuTeS

45

1 cup Franks sauce 2 eight ounce bricks (or tubs) cream cheese

meThod

BAkE

1 cup blue cheese dressing

Cooking Steps :

dIffICulTy

MEH

Preheat oven to 350 °. Combine all ingredients in skillet until blended. Transfer to baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly, or transfer to crockpot and use lowest setting to keep warm.

06. Bacon Water Chestnut Wraps Another New Year’s Eve favorite. Sounds gross, tastes pretty good. They’ll go fast so consider doubling the recipe. Also, if making for a holiday, buy your water chestnuts early.

Serves

people

They disappear from store shelves fast!

The Ingredients: 1 pound sliced bacon 2 eight ounce cans whole water chestnuts, drained

minutes

45

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup chili sauce

Cooking Steps :

method

bake

Preheat oven to 350 °. Cut bacon strips in half. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp; drain. Wrap each bacon piece around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Please in ungreased baking dish. Combine the brown sugar, mayo and chili sauce. Pour over chestnuts. Bake, uncovered, for

difficulty

about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. These keep well in electric skillet or chaffing dish!

2/10

07. Warm Crab Dip Yet another New Year’s Eve favorite. You know, from back when we had big New Year’s Eve parties., Circa 201.0. You probably want to double this one too. Makes a great 2nd day breakfast!

The Ingredients: 1 six ounce can crabmeat, drained and flaked. 1 eight ounce package cream cheese, softened 1 cup mayo 1 cup sour cream 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Cooking Steps : Preheat oven to 350 °. In a small baking dish, mix the crab meat, cream cheese, mayo, parmesan cheese, sour cream and garlic (so yes, everything). Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve warm with pita chips or baguette bread.

08. Nana’s Pizza Dip You can’t go wrong with a pizza dip, unless, apparently, if you drop it in your driveway. Nana advises against that (and aside from the obvious reasons, I’d love to know why!) Six ingredients, fifteen minutes, instant party hero (or make it as a midnight snack and eat it by yourself. No one is judging you. It says to serve warm with crackers. I say serve warm with whatever gets it in to your belly!

Setting the table so people think you’re adulting like a boss.

Setting the table so people think you’re adulting like a boss.

09. Prime Rib If you’re going to splurge on prime rib, you need to know a few of the basics, like how to order it and how to roast this beast like a pro. I make mine in an electric roaster, but you can also make it in a roasting pan in the oven. The key is to follow these cooking instructions carefully so you get that yummy outer crust and delicious pink center every. single. time.

I LIKE

Beef cuts and

I cannot lie

This part might be a little boring, but it’s totally worth it. The first important thing to note is that only a real butcher is going to understand these instructions. Not the kid at the meat counter or the old lady taking your order. Make sure you either talk to the butcher yourself, or that your request is written down word for yummy-but-expensive word.

How to Shop for Prime Rib A cow has 13 ribs per side. Butchers refer to these ribs in ascending order from the front of the beast to the back. The first five ribs (1 through 5) are in the “chuck” section, the next seven (6 through 12) are the “rib” section, and the 13th is part of the loin. Ribs 6 through 12 are sold as prime rib. A cow by any other name: First cut/Loin end/Small end- this more desirable of the two cuts (because it contains the large, tender rib-eye muscle) is closer to the loin, and consists of ribs 10 through 12. The second cut, ribs 6 to 9 (also referred to as the large end), is closer to the chuck end, contains more connective tissue than a first-cut roast. It’s still an excellent roast that some people prefer since it contains more fatty pockets than the first cut (and fat adds flavor). Whichever end you choose, you’re going to want to ask the butcher to cut the meat from the bones and tie it back on again. A real butcher will know what you mean. Plan on one rib for every two people. I usually add one extra rib to ensure we have leftovers. We always have more than enough, so maybe stick to the one rib/two people formula. Important note: if you’re buying your roast from the grocer or local meat market (not some high end butcher), chances are you’ll be buying a choice-grade prime rib. That’s perfectly okay. Just make sure the old lady taking your order knows you’re talking about beef and not pork. She probably knows it as a standing rib roast.

how to Cook this Beast and Impress All your friends If you really want to blow this meal out of the ballpark, start by seasoning it the day before you want to cook it. You’re gonna salt this baby all around. The salt seasons the meat and enhances the beefy flavor (mmm.....beef) while dissolving some of the proteins, yielding a buttery-tender roast. Yum. Some recipes say you can leave the roast uncovered in your fridge during this step. I never do that. Ever. But that’s just me. Also, I prefer to use a steak house seasoning rather than just salt and pepper, but again, that’s just me. Whichever you prefer, season liberally (and don’t think about the time we had to rinse the seasoning off our steaks. That won’t be the case here, I promise.)

Cooking Steps:

Carving Prime rib:

Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Prime rib is relatively easy to carve, as long as the bones have been removed.

Preheat the oven (or electric roasting pan) to 375°. Score Fat Cap. Scoring (making shallow cross-hatched cuts down to, but not into, the meat) helps any seasonings penetrate the meat and encourages rendering.

Carve only as many slices as you need. leaving the rest of the roast intact will help it stay warm and retain its yummy juices.

Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan so that the fatty side is up and the rib side is on the bottom.

1.

Cut twine and remove roast from ribs.

2.

Carve into 3/4-inch-thick slices and season with coarse sea salt (if desired). Chances are though that you will not need any additional seasoning!

Roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn the oven off and leave the roast inside. do not open the door/lid. leave it in there for 3 hours. Seriously, do noT oPen The door/lId. 30 to 40 minutes before serving, turn the oven back on at 375° to reheat the roast. The internal temperature should be at least 145°. 30-40 minutes usually does the trick. remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Take a bow. You just made beefy magic.



reheating:

The best way to reheat without drying out your prime rib is to sear the roast on all sides in hot, oiled skillet, 1 to 1½ minutes per side. (do not sear cut ends.) You can also reheat in a 250° oven, uncovered, for about an hour (or until the meat registers 120°).

THE MORE YOU KNOW: no matter which cut of meat you buy, prime rib is expensive. It is usually on sale close to Christmas and new years. Even if you’re a few days away from making the roast, ordering and paying for it during a sale can save you a lot of money. To give you some idea, I usually order around 3-4 ribs (usually ribs 10-12). On sale, I might pay around $75-$90. without a sale, I’m looking at closer to $120-$150 (as of this writing in 2020).



Remember to specify which end (or which ribs, by number) that you want. Do not expect anyone other than a butcher to understand what you’re ordering.



Always let the roast stand at room temp for at least an hour before cooking and no matter what, no matter how powerful the desire to check on your roast, do not open the oven door or roaster lid during that essential 3 hour roasting period. Don’t do it. And maybe put up a sign so no one else does it.

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10. Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Because chopping is so much easier than filling and rolling cabbage leaves. Or because I’m lazy. Either way, I haven’t made cabbage rolls in years thanks to this little beauty of a recipe that’s super filling and totally easy for busy nights!

The Ingredients:

Cooking Steps :

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey

Add the beef to a 5 quart dutch oven over medium

1 small-medium onion, diced

heat. Brown the meat, crumbling as it cooks.

2 cloves garlic, minced

When meat is partially cooked, add the onion and

1 large head of cabbage, chopped

garlic to the pan and continue cooking, stirring often.

2 cans diced tomatoes

Add the cabbage, sauce, water, and salt to the pan

1 teaspoon salt; pepper to taste

and stir to cover the cabbage in the sauce and beef.

24 ounces of your favorite red sauce + 1/2 cup water

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.

11. Eggplant Parmesan Rarely does a human being say, “I feel like eggplant parm for dinner”. Or rarely DID they until they tried this dish. It’s a healthy no-fry take on classic eggplant parm and every bit as delicious!

The Ingredients:

Serves

dinner

3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced

16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

4 cups Italian or Panko bread crumbs

½ teaspoon each dried basil & Italian seasoning

6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided

2 cloves minced garlic

Cooking Steps : Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and thinly slice eggplant. If time allows, salt and place slices

method

bake

on paper towels for 20-30 minutes prior to assembly. This drains a ton of water from the eggplant, keeping your finished casserole less “soupy”. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side. In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan

minutes

1 Hr 5 Min

cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle spices on top. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

12. Stuffed Peppers The best thing about stuffed peppers is that you can literally stuff them with just about anything for a yummy twist on a classic comfort food. Let’s look at the basics and some of my favorite variations!

Classic Ingredients: 4-6 green bell peppers 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey 1 medium onion, diced

Preparing the Peppers: Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Submerge in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften before baking. (NOTE: I like this step, but it can be skipped by increasing cook time). Remove from water and salt insides of peppers.

2 cloves garlic, minced

Preparing the Filling:

2 cans diced tomatoes

Add beef to a 5 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the meat, crumbling as it cooks. When meat is partially cooked, add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue cooking, stirring often. Add remaining ingredients (including 6-8 ounces of shredded cheese and half the sauce) to the pan and stir to combine.

1 cup rice or cauliflower rice, cooked 24 ounces of your fave red sauce, divided 16 ounces shredded cheddar, divided

Cooking Steps: NOTE: I prefer sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese for bolder flavor, but you can also mix it up with any of your favorites cheeses.

Pour enough sauce to cover bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Slice cooked peppers in half lengthwise and place in sauced dish. Stuff pepper halves with heaping scoop[s] of meat filling. Top with sauce, cheese and any remaining meat mixture. Bake

Variations: Replace ground meat with shaved beef and add fajita style onions and peppers for a Mexican spin. Replace beef with andouille sausage, shrimp, and Creole seasoning for a Cajun style twist. Replace bell peppers with cubanellas. Add 8 oz softened cream cheese to filling for a rich, creamy appetizer. Eliminate rice and red sauce and replace with sloppy joe sauce for... well... sloppy joe stuffed peppers.

C! Stuffed Pepper Soup This soup has almost the same ingredients that you use to stuff green peppers but the peppers are not actually stuffed (and cheese is used as an optional topping). An easy soup that tastes like stuffed peppers.

Cooking Steps : In a large stock pot, brown ground meat. Drain fat and add garlic, chopped pepper and onion. Add tomatoes, sauce, 14-28 ounces broth (depending on the consistency you prefer) and season with salt. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until peppers are tender. Add cooked rice/cauliflower rice. Heat soup through and serve.

13. Arroz Con Pollo Arroz con pollo is a traditional dish of Spain and latin America, closely related to paella. I probably haven’t made this since we lived on Stanley Street, but it used to be part of our weekly rotation because it’s a healthy meal that everyone enjoyed!

The Ingredients: 8 skinless chicken thighs

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp vinegar

5 scallions

2 tsp saffron

2 tbsp bell pepper

about 1/2 tsp adobo powder, Goya

1 medium vine tomato

about 1/2 garlic powder

2 1/2 cups enriched long grain white rice

3 tsp olive oil

4 cups water

1/2 onion

1 chicken bouillon cube

1/4 cup cilantro

kosher salt to taste, about 2 tsp

ServeS

8

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Cooking Steps : 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8.

9.

Season chicken with vinegar, 1/2 tsp saffron, adobo and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large skillet on medium, add 2 tsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. remove and set aside. Mix onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in mini food processor or chopper. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, cook another minute. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add water, bouillon (be sure it dissolves well) and remaining saffron, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Salt to taste. Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil or paper towel in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes). Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don’t peak!!!) Fluff with a fork and eat!

for a complete healthy dining experience, Arroz Con Pollo pairs well with:

14. Picadillo Dad found this recipe after he bought me the Instant Pot (and I was terrified to use it!) I wasn’t excited about it (the recipe OR the Instant Pot) but both turned out to be AMAZING! Now that I’m confident I will not blow up our house or set off a mini bomb in my face, I make this Cuban recipe as often as I can get away with. Instant Pot directions first, followed by Crock Pot- the only thing that changes is you can saute right in the Instant Pot and the total time is less.

The Ingredients: 1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef

2 tbsp cilantro

1/2 large chopped onion

4 oz 1/2 can tomato sauce (I like Goya)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tomato, chopped

1-2 bay leaf

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tbsp capers (green olives would work too)

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

ServeS

6

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PoT

Instant Pot Cooking Steps : 1.

Press saute button. When hot, brown meat and season with salt and pepper. use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces until no longer pink.

2.

Add onion, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper and cilantro and stir 1 minute. Add capers or olives and about 2 tbsp of the brine (the juice from the olives, this adds great flavor) cumin, and bay leaf. Add tomato sauce and 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Cover and cook high pressure 15 minutes. Natural or quick release and enjoy!

Crock Pot Cooking Steps : 1.

Brown meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper.

2.

When meat is no longer pink, drain. Add onions, garlic and bell peppers to meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

3.

Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water and capers/olives.

4.

Set Crock Pot to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or lOW for 6 to 8.

like Arroz Con Pollo, Picadillo also pairs well with these healthy beverages:

15. Dad’s “Fireman’s Goulash” I don’t know why we started calling this “fireman’s goulash” because that’s not what the original recipe was called at all. This is dad’s yummy spin on it and has since become his signature goulash dish.

16. Grandma Grace’s Goulash This is Grandma Grace’s traditional goulash, probably the recipe you guys like the most. Simple. Delicious. Simply delicious. Double this recipe.

The Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef 1/2 large chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional) 1 large can diced tomatoes 1 can (or 8 oz pack fresh) mushrooms 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped salt and pepper to taste 2 cups elbow macaroni

17. Grandma Grace’s Meatloaf there are a few recipes everyone should have the basic gist of. Comfort foods like meatloaf, a decent spaghetti, and a hearty soup are just a few. Master the art of the Jello salad and you’ll be adulting 1950’s style.

The Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs ground beef 2/3 cup oatmeal (or breadcrumbs) 1 egg (room temperature) 1/2 large chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional) 1 can tomato sauce salt and pepper to taste 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Cooking Steps : Mix all ingredients together, place in pan and form a loaf. Bake at 400° until lightly brown (about 30 minutes) then add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (thinned out with 1/2 can of water. Pour over meatloaf and continue cooking until cooked through (about an additional hour).

18. Grandma Grace & Papa Joe’s Periogi Some cookbooks from the 17th century describe how during that era, pierogi were considered a staple of the Polish diet, and each holiday had its own special kind of pierogi created. different shapes and fillings were made for holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

The Ingredients: 2 egg yolks 1 tbs crisco 1 tsp salt 1/2 pint sour cream 3/4 cup lukewarm water 4 cups flour

Cooking Steps : Mix all ingredients together. knead in 4 cups of sifted flour until smooth. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. roll out and cut dough. Fill with desired filling. Fold and dab water to pinch closed. Fork outside edge to ensure seal.

fillings and toppings: Pierogi may be stuffed with mashed potatoes, fried onions, farmer cheese, sauerkraut, meat, mushrooms, spinach, or any other ingredients you prefer. Dessert versions can be stuffed with sweetened farmers cheese or with a fresh fruit filling such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apple or peaches. Savory pierogi are often served with a topping of sour cream, fried onions, or both, while dessert versions are usually served with sour cream mixed with sugar.

19. Lazy Periogi Casserole This is one of those dishes I look for at every family reunion or potluck event. It’s simple to make and even easier to eat.

The Ingredients: 1 (16 ounce) package rotelle pasta

Cooking Steps : 1.

½ pound bacon, chopped

cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Preheat oven

2 onions, chopped ½ pound mushrooms, quartered

to 350° 2.

1 tablespoon butter

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in onions, and cook until

1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut - rinsed and drained 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and

translucent. In a separate pan, saute the mushrooms in butter. 3.

salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, onion, mushrooms, sauerkraut and condensed soup. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

4.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

20. Grandma Grace’s Chicken Paprikash going back to its origins in Hungary, this dish is called “paprikás Csirke”, which literally means “paprika Chicken.” As the name would imply, its namesake spice plays a major role in the flavor of the dish, which gives it a similar flavor profile to other Hungarian stews such as goulash... yet none of us use paprika in our goulash. Strange, right?

The Ingredients: 1 onion, chopped 4 tbsp shortening 1 tbsp paprika 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 tbsp salt 4-5 lb chicken, cut up 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 pint sour cream

Cooking Steps : Brown onion in shortening, add chicken and seasoning. Brown 10 minutes. Add water, cover and let simmer slowly until tender. remove chicken, add sour cream to pan drippings and mix well. Add dumplings (or egg noodles). Arrange chicken on top. Heat through and serve.

21. Papa Joe’s Homemade Noodles recipe written down for us by Grandma Grace. The only - very important- piece of advice I can add to these instructions is that you should definitely NOT try to make these on a distressed wood table. In fact, you should NEVER work with flour on distressed wood. But you know, dad does gets ONE BAD DECISION a year!

22. Memaw’s Chicken w/ Artichoke Sauce I make something similar, but add spinach and asparagus tips to mine. I don’t brine my chicken and get all fancy stuffing it with zucchini slices though. this is how you take a one pot meal and make it all fancy. Look at you now!

The Ingredients: •

1/4 c kosher salt



4 (6 oz) boneless/skinless chicken breasts



3 t olive oil



1/2 c chopped onion



2 cloves garlic



1/4 t red pepper flakes



1/4 t sea salt



1 (24 oz) diced tomato



1 (10 oz) marinated artichokes, drained



1/2 c chopped basil



1 zucchini cut into thin slices



1 1/2 t oregano



1/4 t black pepper



1/2 c grated mozzarella



1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Cooking Steps : 1.

Preheat oven to 400 °

2.

No wait. You have to make the brine first!

3.

Now you need to refrigerate the chicken in the brine for at least an hour. or overnight. Better turn the oven off.

4.

You’re back? ok, saute the onion and garlic in oil with pepper flakes and salt. Add tomatoes and artichokes and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stir in basil.

5.

NoW you can preheat your oven to 400°! Take your chicken out of the brine bath and pat it dry. Cut slits in chicken and fill with zucchini slices. drizzle with oil sprinkle with pepper and oregano and bake for 20 minutes.

6.

Top with cheeses and return to oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is all golden and yummy.

7.

Eat it all by yourself. No one will know.

23. Memaw’s Veal (or Chicken) Piccata The original recipe is included below, but for the sake of clarity, I interpreted and expanded on the cooking steps. This is a simple dish, which might be why it’s such a classic comfort food—and thin cutlets mean they cook quickly. By the time the outside is perfectly golden brown, it’s fully cooked. You can ask the butcher to flatten the cutlets for you, but you’ll be missing all the fun. Just place them between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet (the flat side, if you please) or some other flat, heavy object. The bottom of a skillet is perfect. Whatever helps release your stress. let that shit go.

The Ingredients: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

veal scallopini or thin sliced chicken breast (4-8 pieces) 1 c chicken broth/stock 2 t lemon juice 2 t capers 1 c white wine 3-4 t butter flour, salt & pepper for dredging

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Cooking Steps : 1.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate or in a shallow baking dish.

2.

Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat for two minutes. You really do want to let your pan get nice and hot. once it is, add the oil and heat for another 30 seconds or so.

3.

Dredge both sides of the veal cutlets in the flour mixture.

4.

Shake off any excess flour and add them, one at a time, to the hot pan. Work in batches if necessary, rather than overcrowding the pan.

5.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the cutlets are nicely browned.

6.

remove them from the pan and set aside on a plate, covered with foil, while you make the sauce. (You can hold them in a very low-temperature oven, if you like.)

7.

Add the stock, wine, lemon juice, and capers to the pan and scrape off any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan.

8.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by about one-third.

9.

Swirl in the butter and chopped parsley just at the end of the cooking. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and lemon juice.

10. Plate the cutlets, two per person. Garnish with lemon slices. Sauce generously and serve immediately.

24. Uncle Ty’s Crack Pot Chicken Everyone else calls this Crock pot Crack Chicken, but not uncle ty. He’s got it so streamlined, he’s even abbreviated the name and included much needed beverages in his easy five step recipe!

The Ingredients:

Cooking Steps :



As much and whatever kind of chicken you want

1.

open beer and start drinking



1-2 large cans of Cream of Chicken soup

2.

Combine all ingredients in crockpot



1-2 blocks cream cheese

3.



1 packet Hidden Valley ranch dry seasoning

Continue drinking for 3-4 hours until chicken is cooked through



1 bag egg noodles

4.

Boil, drain and apply “copious” amounts of butter to noodles



1 12 pack of your favorite beer

5.

Combine noodles, chicken and sauce and enjoy!

25. Uncle Lon’s Low Country Boil I wish I had Uncle Lon’s written notes on this, but he’s the one that introduced us all to this southern seafood spread, adding his cool country boy spin to Grandpa’s traditional clambake. You’ll need your biggest pot for this boil (also called Frogmore Stew) that’s full of shrimp, sweet corn, smoky sausage, and tender potatoes. Call all your friends (or me!) and spread out some newspaper for a fun, roll-up-your-sleeves meal that will feed a crowd.

The Ingredients: •

2 lemons, quartered



2 bay leaves



3 tablespoons kosher salt



2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns



1/2-3/4 cup crab and shrimp boil seasoning, such as old Bay, OR 4 (3 ounce) bags Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil



4 pounds small new potatoes (about 1 1/2” in diameter)



2 pounds smoked pork sausage (about 4 links), such as kielbasa, cut into 2” pieces



2 sweet or yellow onions, peeled, quartered



8 ears of corn, shucked and cut in half



4 pounds fresh large shrimp (31–35 count), unpeeled

Cooking Steps : Fill stockpot with 6 qt. water (if using 2 pots, divide ingredients and water between them). Add lemons, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and 1/2 cup seasoning, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Add potatoes, return to a boil, and cook 7 minutes. Add sausage and onions, return to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Add corn, return to a boil, and cook until corn is cooked and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes more. Add shrimp and cook (no need to return to a boil), stirring gently, until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. remove insert or drain through a very large colander.

Serve the shrimp boil: Serve shrimp boil on a newspaper-lined table or large platters. dust with additional old Bay, if using. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon butter.

26. Uncle Dave’s “Hangover” Breakfast Casserole Taking a little detour from the average dinner idea, Uncle Dave couldn’t have provided a more perfect recipe. This is a plan-ahead-so-tomorrow’s-you-will-really-appreciate-today’s-you kind of meal, and who really knows what time of day you’ll be making it? Not only will tomorrow’s-you-really-appreciate-today’s-you, I’m guessing all of you will appreciate uncle dave for the idea! pairs well with coffee and Excedrin.

27. Nana’s Beef Taco Skillet For weeks when you just had Mexican Monday and taco tuesday and whatever wednesday and you’re still trying to figure out a way to keep the fiesta going, this Beef taco Skillet is like the laid back version of dinner where maybe you drink a soda instead of a cerveza. Or whatever. It’s almost Mexican comfort food. And it’s a one-pot meal, especially if you just eat it right out of the pan.

THE MORE YOU KNOW Some tips from Uncle Brian’s kitchen:

Use the tip of a spoon to easily scrape out the seeds and veins from peppers.

Don’t wrap something in bacon, put it on the grill, and walk away. It won’t end well.

Turn your gas grill into a smoker! Soak about 2 cups of wood chips (available at Depot or Lowes) overnight and loosely wrap them in a tinfoil pouch. Leave the pouch open 1/2” and place under the grate on the burner shield at Medium heat. Use only this burner and adjust the heat to get the grill steady around 250 degrees. Food should go on the opposite side of the grill with the burner off.

Always use Ziploc’s to marinate when possible. Get all of the air out and they make it easy to flip and turn without having to constantly wash your hands. they now sell bags big enough to fit a small child. the Marinated Small Child recipe is only available on request.

28. Uncle Brian’s Scalloped Potatoes uncle Brian couldn’t always cook. For instance, he once burnt a chicken pot pie so badly that the remains were a carcass of charcoal in the exact perfect shape of each tiny individual charred pea and carrot within. But then again, it was a perfectly shaped carcass...

29. Memaw’s Wilted Lettuce wilted lettuce is a side dish Memaw made a lot when I was a kid. It’s a tasty side dish that’s somewhere in between spinach and a salad.

The Ingredients: •

6-8 slices crispy bacon



2-4 green onions



leaf lettuce



1/2 c bacon grease (or if that grosses you out, you can use butter!)



1/2 c vinegar



4 t sugar



1/2 t salt



1/2 t pepper



1/4 c water

Cooking Steps : 1.

Add onion to bacon grease/butter. Cook until tender

2.

Add vinegar and water, sugar, salt, pepper and bacon. Cook and stir until hot.

3.

Pour over lettuce just before serving

30. Memaw’s Baked Zucchini Such a simple but delicious side dish! Memaw says bake for 5 minutes. I say bake for 10-15. You decide how cooked you like them!

The Ingredients: •

2 medium zucchini, sliced



1/2 c shredded parmesan



1 t olive oil



salt and pepper to taste (I don’t add salt to mine



1/2 t dry italian seasoning

Cooking Steps : Toss zucchini slices in olive oil, seasoning and about 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 425° to desired firmness.

because the parmesan cheese is salty enough!)

31. Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes Aunt Jackie introduced the Swiers family to this side dish way before it was a staple at family reunions and potlucks across the land. Pro tip: spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray to keep the potatoes from sticking and for much easier cleanup once the pot is empty. This is literally a set it and forget it dish, and if you add your own little spin, whatever that may be, everyone will think you’re a brilliant chef! And you are!

The five Basic Ingredients: 1.

1 bag 32 oz frozen diced potatoes

2.

1 cup sour cream

3.

1 can 10.5 oz cream of ‘your choice’ soup

4.

1 teaspoon garlic salt

5.

2 cups cheddar jack cheese shredded

Cooking Steps : Spray slow cooker with cooking spray (this is optional, but I recommend it!)

ServeS

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SloW Cook

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4-6 HourS

2/10

In a bowl combine sour cream, cream of whatever soup and garlic salt. Stir to combine. Add potatoes and cheese, stir everything together, and pour in to slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. keeps for a few hours on “keep Warm”, but stir occasionally!

my spin[s] : •

I always (always, always, always) use potatoes o’brien, a fancy name for potatoes with diced peppers and onions, instead of just plain home-fry potatoes. Some recipes call for hashbrowns- this creates a totally different side dish. Pick a lane, Susan.



Now that we’ve got peppers and onions “automatically” added, some other stir-ins I use are cheese crumbles (whatever variety I’m feeling) effectively using entirely way more cheese than the recipe calls for. To keep the potatoes from then being too rich or chewy, I compensate by adding softened cream cheese (usually of the chive and onion variety). Sounds counterintuitive; trust me, it’s not.



I think the first recipe I saw called for Cream of Mushroom soup, which is absolutely fine, even if you don’t like mushrooms, but I think Cream of onion or Cream of Mushroom with roasted Garlic soups add a little more flavor.



If you’re baking this dish instead of crock-potting (new verb!), you can spread crushed Corn Flakes on top before baking (which, by the way, can be done at 375° for about 30-45 minutes, or until potatoes soften). I, however, prefer crushed potato chips; again, whatever flavor I’m feeling.



A little note on spices: 1 teaspoon of garlic salt is not going to blow the roof off the house. I’m a big fan of adding paprika, a little seasoned salt and chives. Another thing that will give this a little kick is adding about a tablespoon of mustard- regular, spicy, or dijon (cue Barenaked ladies... and yes, I know it was dijon ketchup).



Want to make this side dish more of a main dish? Add diced ham, because who doesn’t like ham and potatoes? (And if you know someone who doesn’t, do you really even know them?) You can find already diced ham in 12 ounce packages usually wherever your grocery store has pepperoni (weird, right?) otherwise, just buy a ham steak and cut the pieces whatever size you prefer.

32. Not Your Ordinary Baked Beans A grandpa Swiers original. the first time I laid eyes on these, I thought he was making chili. My guess is that his recipe was never exactly the same, just as mine is never a precise measurement. I just add all of the ingredients he had in it that very first time, which was likely a collection of things in his fridge that would “probably taste good in beans”. So, no hard measurements, just adjust for your audience, and remember, these beans go a lot farther than your “ordinary” baked beans.

The Ingredients: •

Canned baked beans- I don’t know what Grandpa Swiers used, but I like Bush’s steakhouse and Memphis blends because they are less sweet and have onions, peppers, and who knows what else stirred in. I NEVEr use the traditional can of Campbell’s pork and beans (grossly sweet).



Ground beef- If I had to give you a rough estimate, I’d say 1/3- 1/2 pound to every can of beans (not to exceed 1.5-2 pounds unless you’re feeding an army (unless, of course, you’re really feeding The Army, in which case you might add more than 2 pounds).



Sausage- crumbles; just a tube of Jimmy dean, or whatever’s on sale. Flavor is a matter of personal taste. I use sage; you could use hot/medium/mild/purple. dealer’s choice.



Ham- but like, lunchmeat ham. Grandpa had Virginia lunchmeat ham in his fridge, so that’s what he added. Subsequently, that’s what I usually buy (unless I already have ham in my refrigerator). dice it, slice it, whatever- cut it into smaller pieces.



Bacon. Throw whatever you got at it. Moo.



diced tomatoes- my rule of thumb here would be 1 can to every pound of ground beef.



Chop up some onions and throw those in along with some minced garlic (to taste).



dress it up with a splash (or more) of Frank’s sauce or A1 (you know, our ol’ buddy Al!)



Want to add anything else? That’s okay- they’d still be “not your ordinary baked beans”.

Cooking Steps : After browning beef, sausage and bacon and softening the onions and garlic, add everything to a large soup pot or dutch oven (if you have time to watch and stir occasionally), or mix it all together in a crockpot, set it and forget it on the slow cooker’s low setting.

ServeS

PEoPlE

meThod

SIMMEr

dIffICulTy

MEH

33. Grandma Nora’s Go-To Potluck Grape Salad Grandma Nora’s BFF Denise Dixon (of “Tucker and Denise”) sent me this recipe to share, along with a few memories: Hi LisaI’m sorry I am not much help with a handwritten recipe, but this was a dish that Nora brought to a lot of potlucksVery easy too. I still make it often and it always brings a smile, thinking of All the Great Times we shared together. I sure miss herBest Friend ALWAYS!! As far as a memory from clambake— If you got there late to make soup, ended up with worst job, such as dicing onion or cutting the gut sacks from the fresh clams. but after a few of Nora’s Famous Bloody Mary’s it got easier



Great Times, Memories that I will always cherish. We sure Lived Life to the Fullest!

The Ingredients:

Cooking Steps :



8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1.



1 cup sour cream



1/3 cup granulated sugar



1 teaspoon vanilla extract

plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one



2 pounds green grapes rinsed and patted dry

hour, best if overnight.



2 pounds red grapes rinsed and patted dry



1/4 cup light brown sugar



1/2 cup chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.

2.

3.

10

Fold in grapes until evenly coated. Cover with meThod

BEAT IT

Just before servings, sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans

4.

ServeS

do a toast to Grandma Nora!

dIffICulTy

2/10

HoW MucH TO SERVE AT A PARTY A FEw GUIDELINES TO REMEMBER:

THE MORE YOU KNOW: 1000LIFEHACKS.COM has a ton more handy tips & tricks to make you the top chef and a party planning wizard.

34. Taco Soup This creamy taco soup recipe is loaded with ground beef, taco spices, corn and beans. I recommend not skipping the beans, but I suppose the soup would be delicious either way. You can throw tortilla strips on top before serving if you want to look all fancy.

The Ingredients: •

1 pound lean ground beef



1 teaspoon ground cumin



1 red bell pepper chopped



1 teaspoon smoked paprika



2 (10 oz ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes & green chilies



1/2 tablespoon chili powder



4 cups chicken broth



1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn drained



1 teaspoon garlic powder



1 (15 fluid ounce) can black beans drained



1 teaspoon onion powder



1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese- any flavor you like. I use chive and onion.

Cooking Steps : Take the cream cheese out of the fridge to let it soften up. 1. Add the ground beef to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef and drain the fat. 2. Add all the ingredients except for the cream cheese (and optional salt & pepper.) 3. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down heat so it’s simmering gently for around 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. 4. Cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces and add it to the soup. Let it melt in (you may have to stir it a fair bit until it’s fully dissolved). Season the soup with salt & pepper and serve with toppings as desired.

35. Banana Pepper Soup You control the heat in this soup. Made as directed, it’s got a kick, but that can be tempered with additional cream cheese or by substituting a few of the banana peppers for cubanella or sweet peppers.

The Ingredients: •

2 teaspoons olive oil



7 -9 banana peppers



8-16 ounces cream cheese, cubed



1 medium onion



1-2 cans chicken stock (reserve 1/2)



2 -3 garlic, cloves



6 ounces heavy cream (optional)



8 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cooking Steps : In a large skillet heat 2 tsp olive oil; saute coarsely chopped onion and garlic for about ten minutes. While sautéing: halve, clean and coarsely chop banana peppers. Add peppers and 1/2 chicken stock to pan, stir everything in and allow it to start to steam. Add to blender (in batches if necessary. I use the Magic Bullet, so it’s always necessary!) and puree with cream cheese and cream for several minutes, until smooth. Return to a deep pan, bring to near boil and thicken by SLOWLY adding additional cream cheese and chicken broth (pureed in blender) until desired consistency is obtained. It should be just a touch thinner than chowder. Add Parmesan and spoon. Enjoy.

36. Memaw’s Slow Cooker Chicken Chili This creamy chili looks an awful lot like the chicken cousin of my taco soup, and just like I am in love with the taco soup, Memaw loves this creamy chicken chili enough to draw that cute little heart on her recipe!

The Ingredients: •

2-3 chicken breasts (shredded) or canned chicken



1 can black beans, drained and rinsed



1 can rotel tomatoes (Meems uses extra spicy)



1 can whole kernel corn, undrained



1 teaspoon ground cumin



1 teaspoon onion powder



1 packet dry ranch dressing mix



8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Cooking Steps : 1.

Simply layer chicken (if not already shredded, remove at end of cooking and shred before adding back in), black beans, corn and tomatoes, Mix spices with dry dressing mix and sprinkle all over. Top with cream cheese.

2.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

37. Memaw’s Healthy Meatless Soup Throw all these yummy vegetables and ingredients together in a stock or crock pot and enjoy!

The Ingredients: •

3 onions? (that sounds like a lot- don’t kiss anyone)



diced green pepper



3 cups of broth (boxes of broth come in 32 ounces, or 4 cups. I’d just use that).



2 cups chopped cabbage



tomato paste



1/2 cup green beans



2 (16 ounce) cans peeled tomatoes with broth



zucchini (how many? you can has all the zucchinis!)



14 oz. broth (I’m just as confused as you are)



28 qts of tomato juice (shoulda had a V8!)



10 stalks celery (this sounds like the makings of a bloody mary!)



carrots (1/2 c or 5 carrots)



1/2 t basil



1/2 t oregano



dry onion soup

38. Uncle Brian’s New England Chowder New Englanders take a freakish pride in their world-famous chowda, which is cream or broth-based and often features potatoes and onions sautéed in pork fat. Manhattan clam chowder, on the other hand, has a tomato base and no cream. People are such freaks about their chowders, that the inclusion of tomatoes is seen as an affront to the New England church of chowder, so much so that in 1939 a bill was introduced in Maine to ban the use of tomatoes in clam chowder!

A little guide to help you avoid a painful salmonella infection.

Should I still eat this?

Can I still eat this?

Because I love you.

HOW TO HalVe A RECIPE 3/4 Cup

6 TBSP

2/3 Cup

1/3 Cup

1/2 Cup

1/4 Cup

1/3 Cup

2 TBSP 2 TSP

1/4 Cup

2 TBSP

1 TBSP

1 1/2 TSP

HOW TO stoRe BAKED GOODS Here’s Martha Stewart’s commandments on storing baked goods so they’ll stay fresh: Mostly not in the refrigerator. The Counter Most baked goods keep well at room temperature. That goes for cookies and brownies (which can be stored in an airtight containers for up to five days) as well as muffins, breads, and pastries (which will start to stale in two to three days but will keep better here than anywhere else). Pro tip: Tuck a piece of bread inside the storage container to help regulate moisture and keep your goodies fresher for longer. Baked goods supporting baked goods: Now that’s teamwork. Even cakes and pies, which might throw up your flares to refrigerate, will stay fresher on the counter. Place cakes on a covered stand or keeper, and wrap pies tightly in plastic wrap. You’ll want to consume them within two to three days. If you know you won’t finish them that quickly, you’re better off sending them straight to the freezer. The Fridge In case you need a briefing on refrigeration technology, cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria without changing the physical state of the object (i.e. liquid to solid, or vice versa). The refrigerator is great for keeping things like produce, dairy, meat, and prepared foods fresh in the short-term-including the milk and eggs you’ll likely use to make your treats. When it comes to taste and texture of baked goods, though, the fridge will not serve you well. Cold air is extremely drying (just think of your skin in winter!), so most baked goods will be better off on the counter for a few days, or straight to the freezer for longer. Reserve the refrigerator option for desserts that are made with raw dairy and eggs-like a pumpkin, custard, or cream pie. The Freezer If you’re playing a long game in which you aim to always have treats at the ready, the freezer is your friend. Cookies, brownies, muffins, and most breads will all do well here if placed in an airtight freezer bag with the extra air pressed out of it. Cake is tricky-once frosted, it won’t do well in the freezer. However, if you’re prepping cupcakes or layer cake in advance, you can freeze the unfrosted cake pieces wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Feel free to freeze fruit pies-flash freeze them uncovered before wrapping in plastic-but custard pies should be made and enjoyed fresh.

39. Time to bake... chocolate chip cookies Here it is guys. My chocolate chip cookie recipe. The one I got from Memaw and now I give to you. This recipe, originated by Ruth Wakefield, has been around since 1939. Once you know it, you know it.

40. Peanut Butter Pie Smells like Thanksgiving. This is simply my spin on the original Jif Peanut Butter recipe (at least I think it was Jif), and aside from wanting to make sure you have a bad ass mixer (I’ve burned out several making this pie over the years), you need only about 10-15 minutes to make and 30 minutes to chill. Dessert hero.

The Ingredients:

Cooking Steps :

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1. BEAT together 1 cup peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Gently mix in 1 container whipped topping until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture into pie shell and smooth to edges.

Serves

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar 2 (12 oz.) containers light cool whip

2. Refrigerate until set. Spread remaining whipped topping over pie, careful not to mix with peanut butter.

1 prepared chocolate pie crust [optional] 1 jar hot fudge topping

3. {optional] Using a plastic bag with the corner snipped, drizzle hot fudge in one direction over pie. In another bag, drizzle peanut butter in the opposite direction.

the soul

method

beat & Chill

minutes

20

difficulty

3/10

The Original Recipe: Turns out, this recipe is the result of a 25 year courtship between Smucker’s and Jif brands, made by jelly maker J.M.. Smucker and Proctor & Gamble Co., respectively. Originally called “Decadent Peanut Butter Pie”, it’s the result of a fling between Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter and Smucker’s® Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, born long before Smucker’s acquired Jif in 2001. A delicious union, no doubt, but I can’t help thinking about the old adage, why buy the cow? Whatever. That’s Ohio for ya.

The Ingredients: 1. 1 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter, plus 2 tablespoons, divided 2. 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 3. 1/2 cup sugar 4. 1 (12 oz.) container (4 1/2 cups) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided 5. 1 prepared chocolate pie crust 6. 1 (11.75 oz.) jar Smucker’s® Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, divided

Cooking Steps : 1. BEAT together 1 cup peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer on medium, until well combined. Gently mix in 3 cups whipped topping until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Using a spatula, smooth mixture to edges of pie. 2. RESERVE 2 tablespoons of hot fudge topping into the corner of a resealable food storage bag; set aside. Microwave remaining topping on HIGH (100% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Spread topping over pie, covering entire peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until set. Spread remaining whipped topping (1 1/2 cups), over hot fudge layer, being careful not to mix the two layers. 3. CUT a small corner from bag containing topping. Squeeze bag to drizzle topping over pie. Place remaining 2 tablespoons peanut butter in a resealable food storage bag; cut bag corner and squeeze to drizzle in opposite direction from topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

41. Memaw’s Blueberry Scones Try this recipe. over and over until you get it just right. Perfect it. Then please bring some to me. In fact, bring me a taste of each try- I’ll help guide you until you get it just right. Why? Because I love you.

42. Memaw’s Artisan Bread Here it is: the recipe for those yummy loaves of bread Memaw makes and sends warm wrapped in cheesecloth or flour sack towels like a little hug from Ohio.

43. Uncle Charlie’s French Cherry Glaze Pie More hugs from ohio, Aunt Neet sent this recipe that was uncle Charlie’s go-to dessert for pot lucks. The premise seems much like a cheesecake base, so if you can’t handle the cherry topping, I bet you could substitute with just about any other favorite cheesecake topper.

44. Aunt Neet’s Suet Bird Balls I love this! Apparently Aunt Neet does not do the cooking at their house! I grew up not knowing this! But because she’s awesome, she still contributed one of her “recipes” for your books! It’s sweet, so I think it fits here with other baked goods recipes.

45. Great Grandma Swiers’ Popcorn Balls Growing up, my Grandma Swiers made these popcorn balls every fall. They are way better than any store bought version you may have tried. Where the recipe below says “over”, Aunt Neet tells me the back side just describes what the “hard crack stage” is. It’s not what you think. The Swiers family were drinkers! The hard crack stage is when the syrup falls between 300-310 on a candy thermometer. Make these and impress your friends or coworkers. Better yet, start your own tradition by carrying on your great grandmother’s!

46. Great-Great Grandma Swiers’ Cookies These cookie recipes were given to your great grandma by my great grandma (see note in upper right hand corner of the recipes- “Mother Swiers” would be great grandpa Swiers’ mom. That’s a lot of great history wrapped up in these tasty little treats!

47. Grandma Grace’s Oatmeal Sugar Cookies don’t shoot the messenger here. I know raisins are gross, but this is an old recipe and people really used to like nuts and raisins in their baked goods. Skip ‘em if you want; I bet the cookies are still delicious!

48. Nana’s Pretzel Caramel Chip Cookies Nana claims these are awesome cookies, but for the last 25 years she’s been making me peanut butter blossoms (my favorite) so I’ve never tried them. I therefore challenge you to prove it. Go on, make the cookies, bring them to me to try.

49. Grandma Doris’ Brownies and Chocolate Glaze This is the quintessential brownie recipe, the one for those brownies that used to be at every church potluck, every school bake sale, every scouting gathering, or more specifically for me, at the family party my Grandma Doris hosted every Christmas Eve.

50. Grandma Doris’ Buckeyes I love this recipe, not because I particularly love buckeyes (a little too sweet for me), but because this is exactly how I learned to cook and bake- just from a basic idea. When Memaw sent me this one, though, I had to ask what is was for as I did not immediately recognize it as the little round treat but thought it might be a peanut butter dip instead! Included here is a little more information so you can recreate this ohio dessert!

The Ingredients: •

1 ½ cups peanut butter



1 cup butter, softened



½ teaspoon vanilla extract



6 cups confectioners’ sugar



4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Cooking Steps : 1.

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. The dough will look dry. roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

2.

Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

3.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

4.

dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

51. Miss Lori’s Peanut Butter Blossoms- Oooh! oooh! No family recipe book would be complete without a contribution from your second mom, your other mother if you will. Now, since peanut butter blossoms are my favorite cookie, and since Miss lori has an incurable sweet tooth, it only seems fair that you test this recipe on us. For our professional opinions, of course.

52. Miss Lori’s Snickerdoodle Cookies- Oooh! oooh! did you know that over the years, Miss lori and I have made thousands of cookies together? It’s way more fun to crank out hundreds of Christmas cookies with a few beers, some music and a good friend. She even helped me make hundreds and hundreds of cut out cookies for Nana and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary party!