Corn Griddle Cakes

These are delicious made and served hot with butter and lots of maple syrup!

Corn Griddle Cakes

1 can corn, drained
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl combine the drained corn, white all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, large egg, whole milk and melted butter.

Warm a large skillet over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Dollop large tablespoon amounts of batter onto preheated and prepared skillet leaving about 3 inches between each.

Once the cakes start to bubble, carefully flip them over with a spatula and cook another minute or two depending on desired doneness.

Work in batches.

Serve warm.

CHEW THIS! Sharing Recipes

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats


Grandma Mary’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole

img_9007.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 17th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Celebrating Love with Recipes and Memories
Blaise Doubman

I love recipes that have a history of family and memories attached to them. The recipes I am sharing today come to me from a very good friend of mine, Theresa Pierce. We got to know each other by working together a few years ago and have been close ever since. A lot of people know Theresa as a smart, hardworking, caring person who would go out of her way for any of her friends. But guess what? Not that many people know that she is also very talented in the kitchen! Do not let her tell you otherwise, she really is a talented and very creative person in the kitchen! But she is quick to mention that all credit for that would go to her Mom and Grandma. Over the last few years she has gone from not wanting to enter the kitchen much, to baking muffins, cakes and pies! She even made a pumpkin roll a couple years back and ever since I still cannot use cheesecloth without thinking of her. She did, however, say that she would never make another pumpkin roll again… and so far she has kept that promise! Ha!

Over the course of knowing her, I also got to know her family – her husband, Rick; her Mom , Grace and her Grandma Mary. She loves and respects her family and her friends and I really admire that. I’ve admired her for years and even though I have only told her a time or two, I really think she knows how I feel. The recipe I am sharing today comes from her late grandmother, Mary (Matney) George. Even though I never got the chance to meet her, I feel like I knew her very well. She was kind, funny, warm and caring. I loved telling Theresa stories about my latest kitchen adventures, or misadventures, so that she could go and relay them to her Grandma Mary. I think one of Mary’s favorite stories was the one where I was cleaning green beans for the first time and I was using craft scissors to cut them off the vine and to cut the ends and snap their middles. Theresa said her Grandma Mary laughed and laughed over how I got them off the vine! I can only imagine some of the other stories that Theresa told her Grandma over the course of the several years we worked together! Grandma Mary is missed but her recipes, such as the ones I have shared here, will live on. That is what I love about sharing family recipes! Shout out and special thanks to Theresa Pierce for sharing with me her deliciously memorable family recipes for all to share and for all to enjoy.

Grandma Mary’s Graham Cracker Treats
Cover a 17-inch x 11 ½-inch cookie sheet with aluminum foil (Grandma Mary was VERY specific on size). Arrange graham crackers on the baking sheet, filling the sheet fully. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan melt 1 stick of butter, 1 stick of margarine and ½ cup sugar. Bring to rolling boil and stir for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers, being sure to cover evenly. Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts – pecans work well here. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove treats from sheet but leave on aluminum foil. Cool completely and break into pieces. Do not try and make these on a humid day – they will not get crispy!

Grace’s Cap’n Crunch Treats
Theresa’s Mom, Grace, adds broken up pretzel sticks to the following mixture. If using the pretzels add them at the same time you add the cereal and nuts.

16 2 oz. blocks white almond bark
1 box Cap’n Crunch peanut butter flavored cereal
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 16oz. jar dry-roasted peanuts

Start by lining two large baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly spray evenly with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the white almond bark and the smooth peanut butter in a large microwave safe plastic bowl in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

Stir in the cereal and dry-roasted peanuts. When well mixed, spread evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Allow the mixture to cool and set up for about 30 minutes.

After it has set, break up into pieces and store in plastic food storage bags at room temperature.

Ask and Answer: I have had questions about quick and easy casseroles so I thought I would share a recipe that Theresa’s Grandma Mary would make her frequently. Theresa said her Grandma’s “Cheesy Chicken Casserole” is delicious and whenever it was made she would polish off most of it! Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine 2 cups chopped cooked chicken with 12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup Quaker 100% natural cereal, 1 10 ¾ oz. can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup chopped celery, ½ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup milk and sprinkle of pepper. Spread into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Combine 1 cup Quaker 100% natural cereal with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over top of chicken mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before enjoying.

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” September 2nd, 2017

I made a “Welcome Fall” trip to Jacob’s Family Orchard yesterday and stocked up on their delicious apple cinnamon donuts, apple butter, honey, apple pie spice, amazingly rich and delicious caramel apple turnovers, tomatoes and of course popcorn! My favorite is the “Amish” style “purple” popcorn. I find it pops more evenly, has a better flavor and contains more antioxidants than a normal popcorn kernel. Anyways, I got to researching the perfect stovetop popcorn popping methods and discovered one of my own that I could not wait to tell you all about! Their are a couple of secrets that you must do – and I will explain them – and the “why” behind them as I go about the recipe. Are you ready!?

img_8892.jpg

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup “purple” style popcorn
4 tablespoons salted butter

Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the canola oil. Place 4 kernels of corn into the oil. Once the kernels start to pop – you will know the oil is ready!

Salt the oil with the Kosher salt. This will ensure that once the popcorn pops, it will be salted evenly. 

Once a kernel or two has popped, add in the remaining 1/3 cup of popcorn kernals evenly over the heated oil. Remove from heat and count out loud to 40 seconds. This ensures that all the kernels are at the same temperature and thus when placed back on the heat, the popcorn kernels will all pop at the same time – leaving none unpopped. 

Once 40 seconds are up, place back on the medium high heat and wait until you get some kernel popping action. Once the kernels start popping, place a lid slightly ajar on top and start shaking and moving around the pot gently. Placing a lid slightly ajar will ensure some of the steam to escape therefore making the popcorn dry which is what is desired. 

Once the popcorn kernels stop popping and slow down quite a bit remove from the heat and shake a few more minutes until you do not hear popping. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl.

Place butter in the already hot pot and allow to melt. Once melted pour over the popcorn and eat while still warm / hot.

Enjoy!

HER magazine, Betty’s Cajun Snack Crackers

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” February 12th, 2017

img_2777.jpg

The following special feature has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times” magazine “HER magazine” Winter 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

These snack crackers are worth the wait…
Blaise Doubman

“Count the memories, not the calories”. This slogan means everything to me and is what I more or less live my life and create my recipes around. The slogan is printed on my blog, printed on my business cards and was the slogan I used for my cookbook. I love family memories and family recipes and I think of them as almost a family tree, or a family journal, that tells the stories and growths of each family member. Each recipe contains a memory and each recipe, regardless of calorie count, is a cherished memory that can be passed along to the next generation. I am always on the hunt for forgotten family recipes and memories and get so excited when someone writes to me with a new piece I can add to my “family recipe puzzle”.

My excitement went through the roof when my Grandma Barbra told me that she had heard from my Great Aunt Betty, and she had sent a recipe! My Grandma Barbra and her sister, Betty, who lives in Texas, correspond back and forth with family pictures and family updates. Last September my Grandma had mailed Betty a copy of my cookbook and Betty had written back saying how much her and her family loved and enjoyed my cookbook, encouraging me to write more and saying that her daughter Jeanne, would be sending me her recipe for gumbo! Immediately I went into trying the recipe that Betty had sent for snack crackers. I did not think I was going to be able to wait the three days that it called for in the recipe, but I did, and believe me when I say that these crackers are worth the wait! Betty said she likes these better than potato chips and I agree with her! They have so much more flavor than anything you can find in a potato chip, or buy at the store. Another fabulous family recipe that I can add to my family recipe collection and I hope that you will also add to yours.

Betty’s Cajun Snack Crackers

These crackers have a spicy kick to them that is amplified by the crushed red pepper flakes. Feel free to add less or simply leave them out. The canola oil that is called for can not be replaced with any other type of oil. I used a large plastic container with a snap on lid but you may also cover your large bowl with a tight plastic wrap. The crackers will break apart slightly from the rolling and tossing, which is desirable. Store covered at room temperature.

1 1/3 cup canola oil
1 package powdered ranch salad dressing mix
1 package taco seasoning mix
3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 box saltine crackers

Start by combining the canola oil, powdered ranch salad dressing mix, taco seasoning mix and crushed red pepper flakes in an extra large plastic bowl.

Add in the saltine crackers and gently roll, toss and shake them until they are covered in the oil and seasonings.

Place a lid on the plastic bowl and cover. Place on counter at room temperature and gently give a shake and toss several times a day for three days.

At the end of the three days, remove the lid and serve!

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of questions about what to do with a store bought rotisserie chicken. The possibilities here are endless! You could take the chicken, remove the skin and bones, cut the meat into large bite size chunks and add diced sweet pickles, celery, white onion and boiled eggs. Squirt in a little yellow mustard, add a large spoonful of mayonnaise, a sprinkling of white granulated sugar, salt and pepper and have rotisserie chicken salad that would be delicious for days! You could also use the meat in making chicken and noodles, chicken pot pies or even a cold chicken side dish called “Chicken Caviar” that combines the chicken meat with champagne, white and purple grapes, mayonnaise and brown sugar.

CHEW THIS! Celebration Party Mix

Celebration Party Mix

img_1001.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 1st 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Party Mix to celebrate the New Year!
Blaise Doubman

For years and years my family and I would all make “New Year’s Resolutions” but after awhile we stopped. It was almost like no matter what the “resolution” would be, it would automatically fail within the first few weeks. Once we stopped doing it, it was almost like a weight had been lifted. There was no restraints on what we should or should not be doing and we were all able to come into the New Year without any heavy expectations. Celebrating the New Year was just an all around more enjoyable experience. I always admired people who made a resolution and stuck with them – good for them! And if you do now – good for you! I, however, gave up on that tradition long ago. However, I do let myself make “New Years Goals” for the coming year, which always seems to help guide me over the course of the coming year. Life happens unexpectedly most of the time but it does help when there is a little bit of a navigational course you plan for yourself. This year some of my goals are personal, some professional. Personally I am wanting to make more time for spontaneous things. Professionally I am wanting to expand my knowledge of foreign cuisine and customs.

I am also setting the goal of making and developing more recipes that are “seasonal” in aspect of ingredients and taste. I love celebrating the Holidays with family and friends and so many of our recipes are geared towards certain Holidays, without even really thinking about it. I am going to try and make more of a point to make certain recipes for certain Holiday celebrations and I am going to start here with this one! My “Celebration Party Mix” was inspired by a recipe that my Grandma Barbra and I have been making for years that was originally found in an old children’s cookbook that my Grandma bought at a book sale. Over the years we have added and subtracted all kinds of ingredients and what is listed below is our favorite combination of flavors and textures. Save this recipe and stir up a batch anytime there’s a celebration!

Celebration Party Mix

This recipe is one of the most versatile recipes I think I have ever created. You can literally add anything you want to this mix, customizable in thousands of different options. Add your favorite cereal, granola, raisins, dates, dried fruits or nuts. The flavor is customizable as well! Add your favorite hot sauce, seasoning packet or favorite powder staple. The sky is really the limit with this mix! This is best served warm but can also be served at room temperature. Feel free to double or even triple this recipe. Experiment and have fun with the flavors and textures!

4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup salted mixed nuts
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1 cup wheat squares cereal
1 cup cheddar square crackers
1 cup large wheat crackers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
5 drops hot sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees F.

Place the butter in a large 9×13-inch shallow baking pan and place in the oven.

Once the oven has preheated and the butter has completely melted, carefully remove the pan and add the salted mixed nuts, pretzel sticks and cereal. Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir everything together well to coat.

Place mixture in preheated oven for 30 minutes, removing and stirring every 10 minutes.

After baking, remove from the oven and pour the snack mix into a large serving bowl.

Leftovers can be kept at room temperature, in a covered container for 5 days.

Ask and Answer: Several readers have been asking how to properly melt chocolate chips in the microwave. The answer is simple – always add a little bit of solid vegetable shortening to the chips. In a microwave safe bowl, add the desired amount of chocolate chips and add a little less than 1 tablespoon of pure solid vegetable shortening for every 1 ½ cups of chips. Microwave on 100% power in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is smooth and silky when you stir it.

CHEW THIS! Rosemary’s Sweet and Sour Pickles and Diane’s Cheeseball

Rosemary’s Sweet and Sour Pickles and Diane’s Cheeseball 

img_3605.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 4th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Sharing family recipes and memories…
Blaise Doubman

My Grandpa Max loved to cook and so did a lot of the members in his family. His sister Rosemary had a reputation of being not only a wonderful cook, but a fabulous baker too. I am so thankful that food, recipes and a love for both runs deep on both sides of my family. My Grandpa Max started out his love for cooking while he was enlisted in the armed services. He found himself being more and more drawn into the kitchen and the more he cooked, the better he got. It was a win-win for him. He loved working in the kitchen, preparing and serving the meals and had so many great memories that he shared with me of his times there. He actually developed several recipes himself, including his famous beef stew recipe. I have tried for years to duplicate the flavors of his soup, even working off of his own recipe, but never could copy it. I eventually had to tell myself that I was searching for a memory and not so much a taste.

After my Grandpa Max passed away, my Mom, Darla, started calling and corresponding with Rosemary. They had many similar interests and really loved talking about old memories of when everyone was younger. Rosemary was one of the sweetest people I knew. A couple of years ago my parents and I, along with my Uncle Duane went to visit Rosemary, and her daughter Diane and family. It was a wonderful time and we shared so many memories, photographs and recipes. It would be the last time I would see Rosemary. She passed away a couple of months later. In remembrance her daughter, Diane, sent me the Bolinger family recipes, two of which I am sharing here with you today. The recipes range from appetizers to main dishes to desserts and more. I love and cherish them so very much. The two recipes I am sharing today are delicious! The sweet and sour pickles and unlike anything you can buy in the store. My friend and recipe tester, Mary, said they were the “best pickles I have ever eaten”. Diane’s cheeseball recipe is super simple at only three ingredients, but loaded with flavor!

Rosemary’s Sweet and Sour Pickles and Diane’s Cheeseball

Both of these recipes are family heirloom recipes that I very much cherish. The pickle recipe is perfect for snacking, topping on hamburgers or making homemade relish from! The cheeseball is delicious with or without the nuts but really memorable when served with whole wheat crackers, fancy crackers or an assortment of entertaining biscuits. Both of these recipes are best made ahead of time and are perfect for family reunions or Holiday parties.

For the sweet and sour pickles…
1 quart jar whole Kosher dill pickles
3 cups white granulated sugar
1 ½ cups white vinegar

In a medium pot over medium heat combine the white granulated sugar and white vinegar until it comes to a boil. Allow to boil for about 30 seconds and then remove from the heat. Drain pickles from their juice, discarding the juice. Rinse the pickle jar and set aside. Slice pickles about ¼-inch thick and place back in jar. Pour sugar and vinegar mixture over the pickles and fill the jar, leaving about ½-inch space at the top. Screw on lid and place in refrigerator for 24 hours before removing, serving and enjoying.

For the cheeseball…
16 oz. cream cheese
1 jar Old English cheese
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese with the Old English cheese until the mixture is smooth and combined. Beat in the Worcestershire sauce. Form into 2 large balls or 4 medium sized balls and roll in chopped walnuts. Place in refrigerator to chill for several hours.

CHEW THIS! Skillet Meatballs

Skillet Meatballs

img_0799.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 5th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Homemade meatballs are deliciously versatile…
Blaise Doubman

When developing a recipe, the first thing on my mind is flavor. What will add to the overall flavor of the recipe, what ingredients will contribute to the flavors I’m looking for and what will pair nicely with the flavors? Most of the time I’ll eat something I want to recreate and it will go from there. Take this recipe for skillet meatballs for example. There’s a popular restaurant chain that has a meatball sandwich on its menu. I’ve eaten this more times than I’m willing to admit, and after a friend and I got to thinking about what could possibly be the secret ingredient in their meatballs, I sat out to crack the code myself. It took a little experimentation, several recipe testers and lots of ground beef, but I can happily say, I cracked the code.

I have a recipe on my blog for hamburgers that are perfect on a charcoal grill and served with cooked onions and peppers. I remember developing that recipe and adding all kinds of things to the ground beef, to try and add flavor. Then I thought – why am I doing this? You want to be able to taste the freshness of the ground beef, right? So I went minimal, which is what I’ve done here. I’ve added bread crumbs to help bind the meatballs and hold them together, and added two main flavor components – yellow squirt mustard and fresh basil. The yellow squirt mustard gives the ground beef subtitle flavor, and the fresh basil combines nicely with the overall flavors and adds a fresh background note. This is my go to meatball recipe…

Skillet Meatballs

I prefer this method over baking them in the oven. These are very versatile. The recipe can be doubled, tripled or more! These are delicious served over warm spaghetti or, my personal favorite, placed into sub buns and served with homemade tomato sauce, or marinara sauce, sliced mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan. These also make a perfect appetizer. Serve with toothpicks and a side dish of tomato sauce and/or barbecue sauce. Keep them warm by placing them in a low heated slow cooker. 

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon yellow squirt mustard
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Olive oil, for frying

Start by placing the panko bread crumbs in a small bowl and pouring over the whole milk. Allow the bread crumbs to soak for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, place the ground beef and 1 tablespoon yellow squirt mustard, along with the diced onion, melted butter, eggs, chopped basil, salt, pepper and milk soaked bread crumbs.

Mix everything together using a fork, and a light hand. Be careful not the over mix the meat mixture.

Heat about 1/4-inch of olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Allow to heat up 2 minutes.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs a little bigger than the size of your standard ping pong ball and place into the skillet.

Fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. You will need to turn them occasionally.

Serve on spaghetti, as appetizers with toothpick holders or in sub-buns as meatball sub sandwiches, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.