Here's a little measuring chart that I use with medicinals but I've found it to be very valuable in baking & cooking and soap & candle making as well.
Cup ---- Tbsp ----- tsp ----- fluid oz
1 c ----- 16 T ----- 48 t ----- 8 oz
3/4 c ---12 T ----- 36 t ------6 oz
2/3 c ---11 T ------32 t -------5 oz
1/2 c ----8 T ------24 t -------4 oz
1/3 c ----5 T ------16 t -------3 oz
1/4 c ----4 T ------12 t -------2 oz
1/8 c ----2 T -------6 t -------1 oz
1/16 c ---1 T -------3 t ------.5 oz
This is the baking mix I use most often ....
5 pounds (20 cups) flour (any kind of flour of combination)
3/4 c baking powder
2 T salt
2 1/2 c nonfat dry milk powder
3 3/4 c shortening
Makes 27 cups of mix
Store in an airtight container, stays good for several months. Stays good even longer in the refrigerator and can also be frozen.
**Here's a link to more about Missouri Mix and recipes ...
For the love of Tortillas
When I was a little girl we lived many years in Texas, often near the border of Mexico. That's where my mother learned to make tortillas, which became our main food staple throughout most of my childhood. They were our main bread, we ate them with almost every meal and sometimes they were the meal.
My mother would make a huge batch, 60 or more tortillas at a time, all those little balls resting under towels for their turn to be rolled out and cooked.
The first tortillas were always the best. My younger sister and I were almost always hungry and my mother would usually give us fresh hot tortillas. I loved those sacred first tortillas, there was something very special about them to me.
Now I make them myself and I still love them just as much. The simple basic recipe is perfect because it's so very versatile. As it is, the tortillas can go with anything, sweet, spicy, sour or bland, they fit right in. Over the years I've experimented by adding different things and discovered hundreds of different ways you can make them.
To the basic recipe some of our favorites adds are ...
cinnamon and sugar
garlic, onion and cayenne
garlic, some Italian herbs and ground parmesan
cayenne, chili powder and onion
sun dried tomato paste
chopped dried herbs
chopped dried spinach
chopped black olives
You can substitute up to half the flour with ...
corn flour (ground cornmeal)
oat flour (ground oatmeal)
whole wheat flour
(up to half because if the flour is too dense it won't cook properly)
You can make them as thin as you like or make them a bit thick for a heartier flat bread. I often make them double thick for that purpose.
You can make the tortillas into chips by cooking as usual, then brush with a little vegetable or olive oil, cut into wedges, sprinkle with things you like (the add list above works well) and bake for a few minutes in the oven until they're crisp. Our favorites for chips are parmesan chips, cinnamon-sugar chips and chips from the corn version.
Here's my mothers recipe and the only one I've ever used ...
4 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
4 T shortening (I have also used margarine and it worked fine)
1¼ c water
flour for rolling
Kneed together with hands working the dough well. Form 12 palm sized balls and set aside. Prepare a rolling surface and roll each ball out round and thin. In a large, dry skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, cook on both sides until done. Cool each tortilla seperately. Makes 1 dozen.
I've also used it to make tortillas and pancakes on the woodstove.
An iron skillet or tortilla pan is the best to me
but you can use any sort of flat pan or griddle.
Our house and kicthen are very small and counter space is limited.
I use the counter for rolling and the stove top or dinning table for the rest.
When the tortillas are ready, put them on the dry pan and cook until there are some light bornw spots. the tortillas will get air pockets which go down when removed from the heat. Lightly cook on each side and then allow to cool.
One plate for rolled tortillas waiting to be cooked and another for cooked tortillas cooling. If the windows are open or I make them outside I cover both plates with a cloth napkin but the cooked tortillas need to get air while cooling or they will become damp.
Now you guys experiment and share your favorites and what you come up with :)
3/4 lb browned ground beef
2 cups dry beans soaked overnight (at least 8 to 10 hours)
2 cups Tomato (sauce, soup, whatever you have)
onions (about half a medium onion )
I prepare the beans a few days in advance and let them spend one night in the fridge in their own juice. Soak beans over night. Boil them until very tender. Rest in fridge.
Set beans to drain over a bowl.
While the beans drain start browning ground beef. While beef is cooking add some garlic, black pepper, chili powder and cayenne, plus all the onion. If you don't spice the beef while it cooks your chili will be a bit bland.
While the beef is cooking, add the beans and tomato sauce to a large pot on low heat. Add more garlic, cayenne, black pepper, chili powder and also thyme. Cover and cook on low stirring occasionally.
Strain juice from beef into small bowl. Add beef and onions to beans, mix in well, cover and continue cooking on low for at least one hour stirring occasionally.
Serve as a big bowl of chili topped with lettuce shredded cheeses and/or sour cream or chili dogs with salad and oven fries or chili-cheese potatoes or corn chip pie or any combination rolled up in a warm tortilla. It freezes well so i make a large pot each time.
Use what you have. Onions can be fresh dried or onion powder. Tomato sauce can be sauce, paste or even tomato soup.
I often buy beef in 2.25 pound packages and divide each into 3 - 3/4 lb portions to freeze. 3/4 pound is plenty for any recipe that call for 1 pound of beef, in needed, I just add more vegetables to cover.
I always save bean juice for thickening in soups and stews or to add to steamed rice with spices etc..
I also always save the meat juices. I store it in the freezer marked with the date, what kind of meat ... beef, chicken, pork .... and whether it bland or spicy. I use it in many dishes, soups, stews, pot pies, try adding some for the liquid in steamed rice. I also use the bland juices for making cat and dog foods and for ill animals.
Rustic Fruit Tart & Prepared Apples
This is my version of a medieval recipe I found years ago. I've always called it Rustic Fruit Pie but it's actually a fruit tart
I prepare and freeze several batches of apples each fall to use in tarts and things.
Honey water - about 4 tablespoon honey dissolved in a few cups water.
Peel, core and slice apples (I make them in 4 cup batches). Soak sliced apples in a bowl of honey water, enough to cover apples for about 5 minutes. I soak a 4 cup batch while preparing the next 4 cups of apples. Drain (honey water can be reused several times) and add to freezer bags. Add cinnamon and sugar to taste, I use 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar. Get all the air out and seal tight. Lay each bag on the counter and spread the apples out in a single flat layer, stack and freeze.
I don't use lemon juice but if you do that's fine. lemon juice keeps the fruit from browning, I find the honey water helps that and with the cinnamon they're brown anyway :)
Rustic Fruit Tart
4 c prepared apples, thawed
2 pies worth of pie crust dough
1 Tablespoon butter, cut in pieces
extra flour for rolling
You can set the apples to drain, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. If using a cookies sheet you should drain the apples.
Prepare your dough and roll out in a large rough circle. You want it somewhat thick but even. I use an extra large pie pan now but I used to just make it on a cookie sheet. Either way, butter the bottom and a little more of the pan, place the dough on. Carefully fill with the prepared apples leaving at least a good inch of dough all the way around. If you like a sweeter pie you can sprinkle on another tablespoon of sugar now. Dot with pieces of butter. Fold edges over and pinch closed. Bake 375 for around 35 minutes or until apples bubble and crust is golden brown. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes.
Or bake ahead of time for 25 to 30 minutes and store in the fridge for a days or two. When ready, bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes.
You can use about any fruit or berry and you can easily add raisin or nuts to the fruit.
Herbed Bread Twist from the bread machine
It's so easy, you can use just about any bread recipe. Even start with a simple white bread and add herbs, onion and garlic to the dry ingredients then proceed as directed.
Here I used a boxed mix and added Italian seasoning, onion and garlic. Made in the bread machine on dough cycle.
When the cycle completes remove dough to lightly floured surface and divide in half.
Roll each piece out to as long as you want or need. These are about 24 inches.
Press the ends together and braid. You can braid loose or tight. You can make little snips with kitchen shears along the top and make it look like a wheat wreath.
When you've finished your braid, cover with a clean towel and let rise until it's about twice it's size.
Place on greased pan and shape as you like. Here I've made a crescent but you can connect the ends completely and make a lovely wreath or, if your pan is long enough, make a long, elegant braid. Brush the top with an egg wash (an egg and tiny amount of water beaten together). Then, bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let it cool on the pan for around 10 minutes then remove to plate or basket.
Simple Oatmeal Cookies
These are good for a snack or even for breakfast with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk.
1 c. softened butter or margarine (2 sticks)
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c baking mix
1 t cinnamon
3 c oatmeal (uncooked)
Blend butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl add baking mix, oats and cinnamon, mix together well.
Slowly add dry mix to creamy mix blending well. If you want, you can now add any extras like raisins, dried cranberries or nuts, 3/4 to 1 cup full.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
I use this same recipe to make granola.
Baked Corn Dogs
I use a corn pone pan but you could use anything with divided sections to fit a hot dog in. Sprayed the pan double with nonstick spray. Pat the hotdogs dry and set aside.
Mix up a batch of corn bread, whatever recipe you use. Add about a table spoon of the prepared mix to each section of the pan and spread it out a bit. Place a dry hotdog in each section and press it in a tiny bit. If you press it to much you'll lose the cornbread on the bottom. The take a spoon and scoop some mix from the sides over the hotdog on top. Add a bit of mix to cover. The hotdogs will shows thru here and there a bit but just cover them as much as possible. Bake as directed for cornbread or 400 deg for 15 to 20 minutes.
When they're golden brown on top, remove from oven and turn them out on a plate. You can then poke an icecream stick or a chopstick (that's what we used) in them and enjoy !
The left over cornbread mix can be kept in the fridge a few days and used for some breakfast pones :)
The original recipe came from HillBillyHouseWife but I had to redo it for us and here is my version.
1/2 c baking margarine or butter (1 stick)
2 1/2 c baking mix (Bisquick type or homemade)
4 T sugar
1/2 c milk (approximately)1 t real vanilla or almond extract (optional)
*Mix 1/4 sugar + 1 t cinnamon together for topping and set aside
Put all the butter in a 9x13 baking pan and put in 425 deg oven to melt.
In a medium bowl add baking mix and sugar mixing well. If adding extract, add it now and mix in well. Slowly add milk till a firm dough forms, a big wooden spoon works best. Blend well until you have a soft ball of dough, add more making mix if dough is sticky.
Turn out on wax paper or rolling surface and roll out to a 9x13 rectangle. A clean, floured drinking glass works fine.
Remove pan from oven and carefully place dough in pan on top of butter. ** Be very careful not to burn yourself, the butter is very hot !
With a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips. I cut once in half long way and then strips short ways. The butter will come thru the cuts, I also use a small spoon and spoon butter over all.
Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top and bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes.
A couple of sticks, a piece of fruit and a glass of milk makes a fine breakfast :)
Sweet n Sour Cukes
2 large cucumbers, sliced thin to medium
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c water
1 T oil
Peel and slice cucumbers, put them in a medium bowl, toss with oil, salt and pepper them and set aside.
Heat sugar, water and vinegar in a medium sauce pan until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and immediately, carefully pur over cucumbers. Be sure there's enough to just cover them.
Cover bowl and refrigerate over night. The longer they're in the fridge the better they taste.
The vinegar water can be reused several times.
Simple Potato Soup
this recipe is per person so simply double, triple .... the ingredients when needed.
1 large potato
1/4 c milk or cream
1 T butter
Peel and cut up potatoes (and carrots, celery, onion, what ever you want or have). Put in sauce pan and add water but not quite enough to cover the veggies. Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
When done and tender, don't drain, mash roughly leaving small chunks. Add milk or cream to just make it the consistency you want then salt and pepper to taste.
You can also top with cheese or add cheese just before mashing
This is wonderful in bread bowls on a cold day or an easy but hardy meal when you're tired. It's a great comfort food :)