One of my favorite ways to celebrate the bounty of fresh berries and fruit is the simple shortcake. No, not that grocery store sponge cake with the dip in the middle, a rich, simple shortcake that you pile the fruit &/or berries on along with a side of whipped cream or ice cream.
Now, I do have to admit that I’ve been known to pick up my favorite pound cake to use in place of a homemade shortcake – and that is a great option if you have a good pound cake recipe or can get your hands on a good one.
As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of Bisquick and love their shortcake recipe. You can find a link to it HERE.
That being said, I do love to make a scratch version, which oddly enough, isn’t much more work than the previous option. You can find a link to it HERE.
The next time you find a batch of beautiful fruit, consider whipping up a simple shortcake to celebrate it.
When we think of the ‘Holiday Meal’ many of us think of the roasted turkey or ham (or both) with loads of different sides and a collection of pies, cakes, and cookies that will require the loosening of the belt or the wearing of the comfy clothes.
Some cooks are genuinely terrified of roasting the bird. If they have little to no experience with roasting a chicken a turkey can not help but be scary.
Then there are those years when the tried and true are just boring and repetitious. Of course, there will always be those traditionalists who insist The Meal be exactly the same every year, but what if maybe we tried something a little different? Since many Americans repeat the same big meal menu for Thanksgiving on Christmas, there might be room for a change.
At a time when shortages are rampant and items that used to always grace the holiday table might not be available, now seems to be the perfect time to experiment a bit.
The recipes I’ve included keep the spirit of a Make A Fuss Meal and that meal can be created for any reason, not just the Holidays. True, most of them are not diet friendly. That being said, there are dozens of alternative recipes available at the touch of finger to keyboard.
Here’s What I’m Thinking
How about a spectacular main course accompanied by easy side dishes? For those who love their traditional sides, they could be used. Dessert could be a showstopper or a collection of the usual goodies folks look forward to.
Basically, what you have is a blueprint for a meal that can be easily customized and created. And, if you are lucky to have a group over for The Meal, some of it could be divvied up among guests to bring. Sort of a pot luck, you know?
Check out the November Pantry Magic Holiday Meal Revisited recipe collection here.
This is the House Mix. It has all the basics mixed in so all I have to do is add any extras for recipes.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15minutes
Large Mixing Bowl
2poundground beef or ground chuckThe lower the fat content the milder the flavor.
1poundsausage meatremove any casings
1/2tspground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, add egg, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder. Beat to combine. Add meats and mix only until fully combined – do not over mix.
If freezing, separate into portions and add to containers. Don't forget to label the containers with the contents and the date prepared. Freeze.
When you are ready to use, take the container out of the freezer the day before and defrost in the refrigerator.
This is a base recipe. You can multiply it for larger quantities of ground beef. For example, if you had 5 pounds of ground beef you would add 2 1/2 pounds of ground sausage and multiply the seasonings to taste.If you want to check the seasonings, fry a small piece of the mixture. Do not eat raw meat.You can also use fresh onion, garlic or any other flavoring in place of the powdered version. Onion, celery, green peppers, and garlic can be chopped to the size you desire and added to the meat mixture in place of the dried seasonings. When I do this, I chop as finely as possible as I do not like to chew on pieces of vegetable. 🙂
For those of us who grew up in the 1960s, the Waldorf Salad was part of the holiday menu. It was one of those ‘kept for special’ recipes that were brought out along with the other holiday staples like roast turkey, candied sweet potatoes and the like.
I recently found myself thinking about this almost forgotten favorite when I purchased some chicken salad for sandwiches. It came with shredded cooked chicken, and pecans, cranberries mixed with mayo. Delicious!
As I said, I got to remembering the Original Waldorf Salad recipe and thought I’d look it up. As you can see from the link, at the very beginning, the salad was simple, elegant and easy to prepare. It was also easy to update.
Adding sliced grapes, shredded chicken, maybe some bleu cheese changes the flavor profile and adds a bit more interest. You literally can gussie this one up in a variety of ways to make it more modern, but why? Really, the original is light, flavorful and has a nice combination of textures that will work well alongside a menu including roast chicken. I would think it might also be a nice side with a roast beef. I’d probably shy away from a roast pork as the meat might be a bit too rich. Then again, maybe not.
If you have never tried the Waldorf Salad, in any of its forms, I urge you to check the link above for the original recipe and see what you think. It might just become a part of your regular rotation – if not your holiday menu.
You might recall that I embarked on an adventure of cataloging my library last summer. This is a project I do every few years or so when the inspiration hits me. There are a few years when I hit back, but not last year. <shrug>
I discovered quite a few things. One, in particular, was a bit surprising. I own quite a few Bisquick cookbooks. Like, maybe, eight of them. Yeah, it surprised me, too.
The thing is, I love cooking with Bisquick. It is a staple in my pantry alongside flour, sugar and all the rest. The ease and versatility of it is amazing and the biscuits and pancakes it makes is – dare I say it – wonderful.
Now, that is not to say that fully from scratch versions aren’t possibly better, but my scratch biscuits could be used to pave the driveway.
A Lifelong Partnership
I don’t remember when I first used the product, but I would have to say it was in the mid-60s when I was just learning to cook. Over the years I’ve picked up the occasional cookbook and added at least one recipe to my collection from each of them. Their Impossibly Easy Pies are game-changers. I am a huge fan of their French Apple pie; it is easy, tasty, and versatile. And, if you are like me and pie pastry challenged, this is easy!
A recent foray over on Amazon netted me a copy of the Betty Crocker Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies book published in 2004. Click HERE for a look.
If you have never tried an Impossibly Easy Pie recipe, I’m including one of my very favorites as this month’s Recipe of the Month.
Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie
Courses: Main Dish Categories: Beef, Bisquick, Casserole Serving size: 6 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 25 mins
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz) 1/2 cup Original Bisquick™ mix 1 cup milk 2 eggs
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Amount per serving Serving size: 1 Serving Calories: 325 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 135mg Sodium: 530mg Total Carbohydrate: 11g Dietary Fiber: 0g Protein: 23g
Let me know what you think. Are you a fan of these easy recipes or are you new to the genre?
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