Category Archives: From the Mad Hatter Kitchen

Recipes to fill your Gullet!

Game?

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Cool game

games for girls

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Tofu Jerky

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Most of my family has added their opinions on my newest Tofu experiment which comes at you from all directions. Most of the responses end in laughter, but I have them thinking. I have left the seed so to speak. Now I can rant and rave all I want about healthier eating, but tonight I ate a lovely Skinny Bar and to be honest not feeling so skinny. All in all this tofu was something I knew I could get DH to try. So here is the low down..

All day I heard this “Man that smells good”, “Is it done yet I want to try it.” After the eight hours of loving this tofu got did it pass the test?

 

Straight from the oven, and I mean straight still steaming DH began to chow. This is as if another revelation in this household. My husband thinking this was meat! [Just like the Splenda I have been mixing in the sugar for years? The sugar-free candy I used to pass off as the real thing.] Oh yes this was looking good. So all in all this recipe looks great. I need a bit of tweaking with the recipe because to me it needs a bit more oomph. Teriyaki flavor is a serious possibility. For now I am going to let this get a bit less sticky and try it again. Also I have a convection oven and I am not sure I needed those 8hrs I could be wrong.

Anyone have any tofu recipes that have made their family in awe?

To Sarah….still as yet that is some killer looking tofu jerky. I will save some for ya. Maybe can it? 😉

In the Kitchen this Week

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With DH still home I find that much of my day is either cooking, or the usual more cleaning. [I still have no idea how the floors dirty themselves daily lol.] So here is a look at some of the happenings of the kitchen this week.

A wee bit of canning this week as I found a couple daikon in the produce market to pickle.

Felt the urge to use up a bit or oranges that were on there last leg. What better way than Chocolate Cheesecake?

The next recipe I will add a bit more info in the next post, but had some tofu which I haven’t found a recipe that our family adores. This jerky recipe was interesting. I modified it to our taste, and a bit of different ingredients and voila!

Make anything different this week you want to share?

Eggplant Burger

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So while we watched a bit of Food Network we watched Best of Burgers. In the effort of getting everyone on the LESS MEAT track the eggplant burger seemed like the perfect idea! Eggplant, burger, I must be in heaven! After cubing the eggplant I sauteed it in a frying pan. In the food processor I grated the garlic while the eggplant was getting soft. After it was cooked down I added it to the processor with the garlic, cheddar cheese, and bread crumbs [the first batch I ever made!!] on pulse I looked for a thicker consistency.

First I tried the George Forman grill. That was a bust because of the grates. Do they have a griddle top for a George Forman? I went back to the frying pan and added a bit of canola oil. Since this was my first time doing anything like this I know next time I will make them a bit smaller. They were monsters! 3lbs of eggplant made 7 seriously monster burgers.

To top it off some strawberries were hitting their last leg, and we turned them into a refreshing strawberry vinaigrette for the spinach apple hazelnut salad my oldest concocted. It was fabulous I promise you! So here is the ending result of our eggplant burgers, with lovely salad. We will make them again as they are so tasty I kid you not. My oldest detest eggplant, but he choose the eggplant burger over the turkey burger! Shocker! Happy day enjoy the rest of your weekend with those you love!

 

Never too young to learn savings…

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Well Happy Sunday to you and yours! Yesterday after our visit to the local produce market with my youngest we picked up some lovely wares. After we both decided to share a lovely orange we sat at the table and spoke about how everything in life God has given us has a purpose. Even that orange peel. So lo and behold today I made a carrot cake just because…sometimes we all need a little carrot cake!

So it goes show that even that orange peel had a purpose. I grated it and used it to make the delicious cream cheese frosting. Also when in the hospital they had a medical show [yes in the hospital a medical show…like you don’t get scared enough being there!!!] it showed how the outside of the orange is the best nutrients as well as cleansing power for your body. Also great for indigestion, and heartburn! Who would have thought! Every day I take something for heartburn and haven’t drank orange juice in the longest time.

Well in the end we all have a purpose even an orange peel. Happy day spend it with those you love. xoxo

More Thrifty Ways to Meet Ends Meet! Homemade Hot Cocoa.

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Well I am on a mission to make more things and end the processed food in this house. Not that some of these items aren’t processed, but I just am tired of spending an arm and a leg on hot cocoa during the winter months. Nothing is more soothing to us than a cup of steaming cocoa when old man winter rears his head. So I found this killer recipe I shared once before, but will again hot cocoa recipe. Still as yet I am trying to figure if this is a better deal than the packaged hot cocoa. We have huge mugs, and tend to use 1.5 packets of the packaged one. The homemade version we use 3 heaping T. My total cost for all the ingredients for a double batch [4 qts of mix] was $9.52. I figured I would need a slew of dried milk, but hey it will come in use for breadmaking, hurricanes, etc.

After testing the packet kind we used 5T compared to the 3T in the homemade version. The homemade version had a nice rich flavor as well. This 4qt mix will make 85 cups of homemade hot cocoa and .11 per serving. The packet version was .25 per serving which isn’t much more, but I think I will stick to the homemade version because it is versatile. I am sure as well that I can get down the ingredient cost because I didn’t have much in q’s for the nesquik at the time.

I know this is an unusual test, but hey in life all of it is a gamble…sometimes we just need to humor ourselves! For now I will stick my $11.90 in my pocket and run off to make some hot cocoa it sure is cold tonight! Bless you and yours.

Trial and Error Canning part 1

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Well, well, well. Here I go again trying to find more corners to cut on this daily mission to make ends meet. Canning. We purchased a pressure canner a bit ago, but I had yet to try it out. Truly I was nervous as a jitterbug! We have a bit of a garden and I just can’t see to waste a thing. On top of that we have an amazing produce market that dundundun….has a mark down rack!!!! So I can find a bunch of beans for a buck, etc. So why not take advantage of the produce market finds when I find them right?!!?!?

I am not sure what is with my body, but sometimes I crave bean salad. Weird, but I adore it! It is hard to find wax beans here, and since I am getting more mature I have found my adoration for vegetables.

Here is the clincher. I need your help…I am sure I messed up somewhere this first time. I blanched the wax beans when I found them on sale and tossed them in the freezer. After a couple of weeks I found the rest of the fixings for this salad. After thawing out the wax beans they felt weird. Can you freeze beans like that? Do you have any tips for canning?

Any help is appreciated I adore to hear your comments!

Here is my first batch of bean salad [I think I added too much liquid too…], and a jar of pickles easy enough.