Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies ( Hay Stacks)

This cookie, if you can call it that, was always a favorite of mine. I sent out the usual request for recipes but it was not in the archives... It may have fallen out of fashion before the definitive set of recipes in the book of books was written.
Not a problem with the internet.
I trolled around and found a suitable replacement. I don't remember these having peanuts in them and others don't remember these treats at all :-(.

But they did exist and as with many prairie treats they were often wrestled from Tupperware in the freezer when no one was looking.

The basic formula is as follows:

2 cups of chocolate chips
2 cups of butterscotch chips
2 cups of dried canned chow mein noodles
1 cup peanut butter

Melt the butterscotch chips first if you can using the double boiler
add the chocolate chips
stir slowly until fully melted.

then turn off the heat let it cool slightly, then mix in the noodles with a spatula or wooden spoon.
mix slowly taking care not to brake the noodles. Stir until they are covered with chocolate.
Add peanuts at this time.

If you don't want the peanuts add more noodles until it has the consistency of reinforced concrete and not a noodle soup.

Place the stacks on wax paper on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator to set.

If they look like they have a skirt of liquid chocolate they are too runny and add more noodles.

I made several batches and found that if you reduce the butterscotch chips and use dark chocolate chips they are much better .
I also added a teaspoon of Nescafe " Classico" instant coffee to the final batch that really pushed the whole taste over the top.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Deconstructing the Monster

When I was a boy on the Prairies, my Mom used to make these cookies in a giant
salad bowl. I decided to work on reducing the size of the recipe from Canadian Forces
kitchen size to a manageable batch! I'm sure we used Smarties as M+M's were not available till later.

The non giant size that worked for me was to 1/4 every thing, it all fit into a regular mixing bowl.
Put the M and M's in last to avoid crushing them.

1/4 lbs butter, unsalted
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3/4 lbs peanut butter, ( 1, 1/3 cups )
4.5 cups oatmeal, quick cook type
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 lbs unsalted blanched peanuts ( 3/4 cup )
1/8 cup milk
1/4 lbs M and M's
Makes 5 dozen ( not that I'm counting its a lot)
The directions and temperatures are all below and all good.

I see from the original recipe it came from my Auntie Eileen who lived in Compton, and then Annihiem California. Everything she made or sent us in care packages was viewed
as the height of sophistication. After all it came from Caaalifooornia ! My Aunt moved to California in the 50's and we came to visit her a few times over the years and she came back to Rapid City and Virden a few times as well. I remember my Aunt Joy came to the Rapid City Centennial or was it the Manitoba Centennial in 1971. Six years before they celebrated the end of crank phones. Party lines lasted in to the 80's in this rural area. I still remember only answering on " Two Long " rings and how people would pick up to see if the phone was busy as 4 families were sharing one line.

It was at my Nana's where I remember watching the Quebec crisis unfold on her Viking black and white TV. Tanks in the streets of Canada. I have taken a detour down memory lane..

I have posted the original recipe for those feeding an army and it has the original credit to Eileen on the card. I went to visit Uncle Russ and Auntie Eileen in 1983 crashing on their couch as a stop over on my way to Mexico in my VW. It was the thing to do back in the day. We celebrated my cousin Glens boy Russ's 2nd birthday with his and his wife Glinda's family. I was 20 and a bit crazy I guess. It cost $87 in gas to get to Mexico in those days...
When I got to the border they asked where I was going I said " Montana " What? they didn't like that answer and grilled me for a while. I can't remember if I had my "Hippy" beard or not probably looked rough after a few days of sleeping in the car. Che' Guevara sort of look.
I blew through Montana and on to California, stopping in Great Falls Idaho to pick up a Sony cassette and a copy of Led Zeppelin 4. I remember every time I turned on the radio it was Robert Plant "Big Log"

On this day, Mothers Day, 2011 I would like to post this recipe, as I do all with of my Mom's recipes as a tribute to those modern day pioneer ladies who were the mortar that held our families together.

Here's to all our mothers and there great knowledge.

In the language of the Lakota people "Mitakuye Oyasin " we are all family.

I guess we are just one global dysfunctional family.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pimp My Meat Loaf

Once twice three times a lady ...oops that's not Meat Loaf!
Two outa three aint Bad.
I was making a few treats for the holidays and realized that I had yet to post anything in 2011.
It's not for lack of cooking or eating for that matter.

I have been a bit disturbed lately as my favorite cooking show featuring Nigella Lawson has been
moved from the am to mid day on Sunday.
How am I supposed to wait to have morning tea until that hour... I have have to get a recorder.

Nigella is at least 3 times a lady and four times the cook too. Her knife technique is unusual but two out of three isn't bad.

Meatloaf is a family staple and I have posted this in the past. Nigella's meatloaf on a scale of one to ten is definably an eleven. She has taken this house hold staple and elevated it to the status of an imposing island king robed in resplendent bacon, bejeweled with a golden orb embedded within.
Intrigued? read on...

The first thing you have to do is hard boil three eggs, then let them cool so you can peel them.
Preheat the oven to 400

4 eggs
1lbd of onions chopped finely
5 tablespoons of duck fat or butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds ground beef, (I used turkey and pork)
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
20 slices of bacon

large roasting pan

Peel and chop the onions, make them uniform and smallish as large ones make the loaf fall apart.
Heat the fat in a fry pan and cook the onions gently until they are golden, sprinkling with salt, remove and allow to cool in a bowl

Put the meat in a large bowl and add the Worchestershire sauce and the onions once cooled.
Mix it with your hands

Add the last egg mix and then add the bread crumbs.

Divide the mixture into two parts patting half of it into a ovoid shape in the bottom of the pan.
peel and place the three eggs in the middle of the loaf.

Shape the remaining meat over the eggs and into a fat torpedo of truth shape taking care npot to over work it. Be wary of holes.

This next step separates art from stupidity, bandage the meat torpedo in bacon carefully wrapping the entire loaf like a Mummy.

Bake for 1 hr at 400 and then let it rest for 15 to 20 min before cutting with a sharp knife

It's really quite spectacular and easy to make. The leftovers make meatloaf sandwiches which
are great in there own right.


Thank you Nigella :-)