Friday, May 14, 2010

May: Homemade

We all know that provident living includes culinary independence—being able to feed your family frugally, whether from food storage items or by saving money with homemade staples. Tonight the cooking club sisters shared their attempts at homemade favorites, not only to face the pioneer challenge head on, but to make healthier food for their families and avoid all of the packaging and waste that comes along with store bought foodstuffs. Gabby also brought a fantastic book called “Homemade,” a Reader’s Digest compilation with recipes for homemade kitchen basics as well as cleaning products, cosmetics, pet foods and gardening items. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:

Enjoy the recipes, and join us on June 10th at Gabby Gordon’s house at 7:30 for SUMMER SALADS!





Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chopped vegetables with olive oil and salt. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes, stirring partway through. If you have two cookie sheets (Shelli likes to do one sheet of broccoli and one sheet of cauliflower), switch their place halfway through the cooking time.





2 quarts whole milk

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, heavy cream (if using), vinegar, and salt to a boil. Very gently boil for one to two minutes, until the milk is curdled.

2 Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth (I just use a clean kitchen towel) and set it over a deep bowl.

3 Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid. Makes 2 cups.

To serve with crackers: drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.

To serve with cookies or use in cannoli or another dessert, sweeten with sugar, add mini chocolate chips if desired.

You could also, of course, use it in the traditional ricotta-ways, like in lasagna or ravioli, but it’s so unbelievably delicious homemade that it almost seems a shame not to just eat it with a spoon.




1/2 pound nappa cabbage (chopped very finely)
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/3 pound green onion (chopped finely)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
40-50 gyoza wrappers (round wonton wrappers)
small bowl of water for moistening edges of wrappers
2 tablespoons safflower oil or other cooking oil

If cabbage is wet place in kitchen towel and squeeze firmly to get out as much of the moisture as possible. Place in large bowl. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, being careful no to overdo the salt since the soy sauce is salty. Mix together until thoroughly blended.

To fill the dumplings, place a wonton wrapper on your work surface (making sure to keep the remaining wrappers covered with a damp cloth or they will dry out). place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center, being careful not to allow the filling to touch the edges or they might not seal. Using your finger moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little of the water. Fold the wrapper in half across the filling and pinch together at the center of the edge. Starting at one open end, make pleats to gather the dough around the filling. Pinch along the top of the dumpling to seal the pleated edges tightly.

Set the dumpling, sealed side up, flattening the bottom slightly, on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Keep covered with a damp towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil to the pan, making sure there is enough to cover the bottom. Add the dumplings, sealed side up, and cook until the bottoms are brown. Add 1/2 cup of water carefully. Cover immediately. Steam until the dumplings are firm and fully cooked, or until the liquid has evaporated (you will hear a popping sound). If the dumplings are frozen when you cook them do not brown first just add water + 2 tablespoons extra then cover immediately and cook till water is evaporated then let them cook for a min or two till the bottoms are browned.

Soy Ginger dipping sauce:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
fresh grated ginger
garnish with chopped green onion





1 C flour

1 1/4 C whole wheat flour

5 Tbs sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3 Tbs chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 vegetable shortening

2 Tbs honey

1 Tbs molasses

1/4 C water

1 tsp vanilla extract


1. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Mix honey, molasses, water, and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add gradually to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center. Divide the dough in half and let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

4. Spread wax paper over work surface, lightly sprinkle with whole wheat flour. Place half of dough on paper, sprinkle with flour, cover with another sheet of wax paper and roll the dough out to form a 7 x 15-inch rectangle.

5. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper, prick dough with a fork in dotted lines 1/2- to 1-in intervals. Use a pizza cutter to separate dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Using a spatula, transfer the dough to a baking sheet. Gather dough and reroll until all is used.

6. Bake until crackers are lightly browned on the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (pictured on the graham cracker above)

1 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 dash salt

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Stir together.

2. Boil 2-5 minutes, stirring rapidly, until sauce begins to thicken.

3. This must be stored in the fridge.




3/4 C unsweetened apple juice or cider

1/3 C firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground allspice

3 lbs apples, peeled, quartered, and cored

1. In a food processor or blender combine juice, sugar and spices until well blended. Add apple quarters a few at a time until all apples are pureed.

2. Pour the mixture in a large saucepan. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until the mixture is thickened, and 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.

3. Spoon apple butter into two widemouthed, warm, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in space between lid. Use hot water bath method to seal. If you don’t can the butter, it will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for a year.




One of the challenges of homemade ice cream sandwiches is that the cookies can get too hard when frozen. Using gluten-free flour keeps them soft enough to eat easily in ice cream sandwich form.

1 C butter, softened

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbs vanilla

3 C Pamela’s Gluten-free flour mix (Kathy mixed hers with some coconut flour too)

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

chocolate chips

Heath toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits. Place 1 to 1-1/2-in balls on a cookie sheet, bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a rack

When cookies are cool, make sandwiches with your favorite ice cream that you’ve left soften on the counter slightly.





Double Chocolate Fudge

1-12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-11 1/2 oz package milk chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 TB cream or milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

In saucepan, over low heat, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 TBSP cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup walnuts. Spread evenly into foil-lined 9-inch square pan. In another saucepan, over low heat, melt milk chocolate chips with remaining sweetened condensed milk, 1 TBSP cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Remove from heat; stir in remaining walnuts. Spread over fudge in pan. chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off foil and cut into squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.


White Chocolate-Cherry Almond Fudge

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk (whole)
1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Line a 8" square pan with foil; grease foil.
Mix sugar and milk in a heavy 3 quart saucepan. Add butter and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Without stirring, boil vigorously 5 min. Remove from heat. Add chips and vanilla. Stir, then whisk until chips melt and mixture is smooth. Stir in almonds and cherries; spread in prepared pan. Refrigerate 6 hours until firm. Invert pan, peel off foil, invert fudge and cut in 1" squares.