Archive | December, 2011

What’s a Doughboy?

31 Dec

I found this picture of a doughboy soldier on Wikapedia.

This morning we had doughboys for breakfast, one of our extra-special treats. What is a doughboy? Depends what state you’re in and who you ask!

A quick look on Wikapedia shows one meaning:

Doughboy is an informal term for an American soldier, especially members of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I. The term dates back to the Mexican–American War of 1846–48.

The term was used sparingly during World War II, gradually replaced by the appellations “G.I.“, “Troop“, or “Dogface“, but was still used in popular songs of the day, as in the 1942 song “Johnny Doughboy found a Rose in Ireland.”[1] It dropped out of popular use soon after World War II.[2]

Then there’s the ever-famous Pillsbury Doughboy too, as seen here on this book that I saw on Amazon.com.

But still no, that’s not the kind of doughboy that we had!!

Our kind of doughboys are sometimes called Funnel Cakes or Malasades if you are Portugese.

Platter of doughboys

Done and ready to eat!

In basic terms, it’s fried dough covered in sugar or cinnamon/sugar or jelly or powdered sugar and it is DELICOUS!! It is *not* healthy, which is why it’s a special treat.

Don makes fantastic doughboys, and this time when he made them, I took photos for you.

The dough for doughboys is sometimes hard to find.

One thing about making doughboys is you need to find dough. Where we live, it’s easy to find and it’s only $1.00 per bag in most places. When we visit my inlaws we bring our dough with us because there’s none to be found in the south.

When Don is making doughboys for a large group he makes 3 or 4 pounds of dough. The dough is stored in the fridge so you need to take it out a little bit ahead of time. It does not need to rise, but it needs to get the chill out before it’s used.

Separate the dough into smaller pieces.

Once it’s at room temperature, you need to separate the dough into smaller pieces which will get bigger once the dough is deep fried.

We use a regular frying pan, as deep as we have, to fry the dough. You fry several pieces at a time in vegetable (or canola) oil until they are a dark, golden brown color.

Once the doughboys are golden brown on both sides, they can be taken out of the frying pan and placed on layers of paper toweling.

Once they’re done on both sides, we recommend taking them out and placing them on a couple layers of paper toweling, to catch the extra oil as it drips off.

We prefer to sprinkle regular sugar on top, but you can sprinkle anything on top that you prefer.

Enjoy!

New year, new giveaway!

30 Dec
Scrabble Library Classic

I was so excited when Winning Solutions asked me to review their Library Classic version of Scrabble!

My family *loves* Scrabble. We love it so much that there is a running joke in our family that you can’t marry into the family without playing the game first. My husband jokes that he snuck in and married me without anyone knowing that he never played. We have the big deluxe version of the game, which we kept out in our living room all the time in case we wanted to play, but it wasn’t the most attractive looking big box to have in our “formal” living room.

That’s why I was thrilled when Winning Solutions asked me to review their new Library Classic version of Scrabble.

“For game fans who like nostalgia and style, Winning Solutionsʼ Library Classic Collection, made under license from Hasbro, includes special editions of MONOPOLY, SCRABBLE and CLUE board games, packaged within a luxe faux-leather “book” that makes a decorative addition to any bookshelf.”

I loved the look of the game as well as the easy, compact storage that it provides for people who want easy access to their game without having a huge box out in the middle of the living room.

You don't sacrifice quality for convenience.

Although the game is easily stored, the quality of the components is not lost.

“The SCRABBLE Library Classic game features a fabric tile pouch, wooden tile racks and score pad with vintage design. Each game board is designed for easy fold-up storage within the foil stamped
“book” package along with all other game pieces.”

Everything stores easily inside of the "book."

Everything stores easily inside of the "book."

The Library Classic version of Scrabble is recommended for ages 8 and up, and retails for $40. It’s available as of this fall at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Calendar Club and other specialty retailers.

I am excited to announce that Winning Solutions has also allowed me to give away a copy of their Scrabble Library Classic game. I will run this giveaway for two weeks, until January 15.

HOW TO WIN

To enter, “like” The Whole Bag of Chips on Facebook and leave me a comment there telling me why you’d like to win the Scrabble Library Classic game. If you are already a fan, leave me a comment telling me so, and let me know why you’d like to win the game.

For a second entry, leave me a comment on the blog here, telling me what your favorite board game is!

Christmas Dessert: Mocha Roll and Christmas Cookies

29 Dec
Christmas cookie tray

All together now: all of the cookies made by my mom, me and both grandmas, all on one tray.

This week I’ve been posing in retrospect about our Christmas Dinner. To me, the best part of any dinner is always the dessert. And like our Christmas Dinner, which is much the same every year, our dessert selection is as well.

First off, there’s the tray of Christmas Cookies. Together with my mom and two grandmothers, we put together a tray of cookies that has about 13 different varieties to choose from. We all have our favorites.

But…we’ve been eating cookies on and off now for two weeks. Well, at least I have. So we have to have another choice also. Enter…the Mocha Roll.

My mom makes the most fabulous frozen dessert called a Mocha Roll.

The Mocha Roll, before the first piece has been cut.

The Mocha Roll before the first piece has been cut.

This picture looks nice enough, but you truly can’t get a good enough idea of what this dessert really is unless you see it cut into a serving, which you will in a minute, when I post the recipe. However, I first must give tons of thanks to my mom here, because I decided to ask her for the recipe *just* as she was getting ready to leave for a cross-country, day-after-Christmas trip and I’m sure she had better things to be doing than emailing me recipes, but sure enough, there it was in my inbox this afternoon. So 1) She made it for yesterday’s dessert, 2) she typed up the recipe for me already so I don’t have to do it and 3) she took the time to send it to me. Thank you Mom!!

Single serving mocha roll

Here's my dish, whipped cream on the side because I don't actually like whipped cream. I did that just for you!

Here’s the recipe for her Mocha Roll for you!

FROZEN MOCHA ROLL

(Good Housekeeping Magazine – 1974 or earlier)

Note:  Can be made and frozen one month ahead.

INGREDIENTS

5 eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided

Cocoa

Dash salt

Mocha cream (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

Day before or early in day:

Preheat oven to 400º.  Grease 15½ X 10½ jelly roll pan with shortening.  Line plan with waxed paper, then grease again and flour.

Separate eggs while they are cold, taking care not to get any yolk mixed in with the whites because if any egg yolk is present in whites, the whites will not beat to their highest volume.  Also, for greatest volume, cover bowl and let egg whites warm to room temperature before beating.

In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Beating at high sped, sprinkle in 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar.  Beat until sugar is completely dissolved.  Do not scrape sides of bowl.  (Egg whites should be stiff with glossy peaks.)  Set aside.

In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored.  At low speed, beat in 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tablespoons cocoa, and dash of salt, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  Gently fold yolk mixture into whites until blended.  (To do this, with a gentle downward motion and using a spatula, cut through the center of the whites, across the bottom and up the side of the bowl.  Then, give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the cutting motion until egg-white mixture is broken to the size of small peas.  Fold just until all ingredients are combined, using spatula or whisk.  Over-folding breaks air bubbles, causing a flat jelly roll.)

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake 12-13 minutes.  Cake is done when top springs back when lightly touched with finger.  Do not overbake.

Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean cloth towel with cocoa.  (A flat weave towel, rather than a terry towel, works best.)

When cake is done, use a small spatula to immediately loosen edges from sides of pan.  Invert cake onto prepared towel.  Gently peel waxed paper from cake.  Roll towel together with cake from one of the narrow edges (jelly-roll fashion).  Roll as tightly as possible, but do not press down on cake.   Cool completely, seam-side down, on a wire rack.  Meanwhile, prepare mocha cream.

When cake is cool, unroll from towel.  Evenly spread Mocha Cream on cake almost to edges.  Starting at same narrow end, roll up cake without towel.  Place cake seam-side down on top of plastic wrap.  Wrap cake and then place on heavy duty foil; wrap and freeze cake for several hours or overnight.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove cake from freezer; unwrap; let stand for easier slicing.

MOCHA CREAM:

In medium bowl, whip together, until soft peaks form:

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3 teaspoons instant coffee (prefer decaf, but not required)

(You can buy 16 oz. container and use remaining 1 cup to whip and serve with cake; add a little confectioner’s sugar to cream before whipping.)

Serves 8 to 10. This can be refrozen if there are leftovers!

Sooo….what was for Christmas dinner? Part 2

28 Dec
Christmas Dinner: pork chop with homemade applesauce, green beans, twice baked potatoes, butternut squash

Today's post is all about the potatoes.

Yesterday I wrote the first part of my post about our Christmas dinner, which is a great meal for any occasion:  roasted pork chops, homemade applesauce, Twice-Baked Potatoes, sauteed green beans and butternut squash.

At the end of the post I promised that I’d be sharing the make-ahead process that Don uses for the Twice-Baked Potatoes, which also provides you with a ready-made appetizer: potato skins.

To begin, you need baking potatoes. I get mine at Aldi’s. They sell the perfect sized and shaped potatoes in a big bag so that you don’t have to hand pick every single one. I buy two bags of them.

Early in the day on Christmas Eve, they go in the oven to be baked just as you would for any baked potato. Don bakes them at 400 degrees for one hour.

After that, they cool on top of the stove for two hours.

Potato skins

You want to take off the tops, but leave enough potato on them to make a hearty potato skin appetizer. You don't want just skin.

At that time, Don cuts the top skin off of the potatoes, putting the tops in a serving dish to be used as Potato Skins for the next day and leaving the bottoms on the tray to be used for the Twice Baked Potatoes.

potato shells

You don't want to scrape right down to the skin, leave enough flesh on the skin for a sturdy shell.

The next step is to scoop all of the potato flesh out of the skins, and into a mixing bowl.

making mashed potatoes for twice baked potoatoes

Next, you make mashed potatoes.

Next, you make the filling. We use butter, milk or half and half, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese, mashing the mixture just as you would for mashed potatoes.

Then, you fill the potato skins back up again. They should be slightly more full than they were before because of the added cheese, milk and butter.

Wrap the entire tray with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

On Christmas morning, when it’s time to cook, take your potatoes out. Let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring the temperature up a bit. Bake them in the oven 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each one, and broil for a few minutes until brown and crispy. Eat and Enjoy!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Good enough to eat!

Additionally, to make your potato skins appetizer, you use the tops of the skins from the day before, sprinkling them with any toppings you’d like. We use cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Broil them for a few minutes in the oven before serving. We serve with a side of sour cream.

Sooo…what was for Christmas dinner? Part 1

27 Dec
Roasted pork chops, sauteed green beans, butternut squash, twice baked potatoes, applesauce

Here's my plate, just before I dug in!

Yesterday’s post showed our pretty ordinary Christmas breakfast, which despite the simplicity of it, we love it. I noted however, that our dinner is more elaborate since we do host Christmas.

We tend to be creatures of habit, so we make the same thing more or less, every single year: Pork roast with homemade applesauce, twice baked potatoes, sauteed green beans and this year my cousin Val made butternut squash with apples as well (one of my favorite vegetables ever, by the way.)

This meal is actually relatively easy to prepare because you can do a lot of it ahead of time. You can use this meal for any occasion, not just Christmas, but it’s definitely our go-to meal for Christmas Day.

Homemade applesauce

Six pounds of apples is a lot to peel, and I'm always amazed at how much this reduces once it's done. It looks like less than it is, once the apples are cooked.

The day before, I make the homemade applesauce using six pounds of apples.

You can find the recipe for the applesauce on my Hanukkah post here.

Homemade applesauce, cooked.

Here's how it looks all cooked.

Once the applesauce is cooked, I put it into the serving bowl for the next day, and put it into the fridge, cinnamon stick and all. Just needs to be reheated in the microwave before dinner.

Homemade Applesauce

Ready to serve on Christmas Day.

Another big part of the dinner which can be prepped ahead of time, is the twice baked potatoes. Don does those.

Tomorrow, I will share that recipe and show the steps to get you from a bag of potatoes to the yummy side dish that we love so much. And, as an added bonus, the recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes gives you a ready-made appetizer as well: Potato Skins. You’ll see how that happens when you read tomorrow’s post.

Here we are, ready to eat our Christmas Dinner. Missing from the photo: Don, who's taking the picture so that I can be in it, for once!

A few not-so-random post-Christmas thoughts

26 Dec

By the time this post is read, Christmas will be over and done! I know it will be wonderful as we will be surrounded by family for the whole week! In pre-typing a post to run after Christmas, I wasn’t sure what to write, since the holiday events, both expected and unexpected happenings, haven’t actually happened yet! Therefore, I thought I’d post a few random thoughts, or not so much so.

kitchen photo

This photo just proves you can do a lot with a small space! A new kitchen is a huge want of mine, but not a need!

First off: My kitchen.

You all know by now I, we, do a ton of cooking and baking out of this here, raised ranch, gazebo style (apparently that’s what it’s called due to its round shape) kitchen. The house was built in 1976 and I’m pretty sure the kitchen is just about original, other than the relatively new appliances that we’ve purchased since we moved in 12 years ago. I just figured I’d show you were I do most of my cooking and baking from, and it’s right here in this little corner of the kitchen between the sink and the stove. You can see that you don’t need a ton of space to do a ton of cooking! I utilize the space right on top of the stove all the time. You can even see the cabinets where I stick all my little recipe cards into the grooves, so I can read while I bake. The one that’s there permanently all winter is the one for the Creamy Hot Chocolate.

dining room baking cookies

When I need to spread out, there's always the dining room table.

If I find that I need more work space than my corner of the kitchen, I move into our dining room and use that table. We do not have an eat-in kitchen or an island in the kitchen, so this is where we eat all of our meals, and do all of our crafts, where I type my articles and blog posts, where the kids do their homework, etc. At our school we have a “multipurpose room” which serves as the gym, the auditorium and the cafeteria. We call it the Cafa-gym-atorium. Well in our house, this is our island-a-kitchen-dining-room- table-atorium. Again, as much as I want more space, this works just fine.

And last but not least, I’m the baking and recipe sharing queen, according to my friends, fans, and loyal readers. In past weeks I’ve had many requests for holiday morning breakfast ideas and I’ve shared many. Therefore, I know you are just dying to know what OUR family has for breakfast on Christmas morning. Probably some huge meal, prepared for hours the day before to be out and piping hot on Christmas morning, right?? Wrong. On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, we’re off duty so that we can enjoy our time together and just have fun. Here’s what we have for breakfast on Christmas morning, much to my kids’ delight:

Great Value Cinnamon Buns

Our Christmas morning breakfast

Yup! Cinnamon Buns and hard-boiled eggs. I don’t even make the buns from scratch–at least not yet. I buy whatever store brand I’m in during my travels the week of Christmas, either Walmart (as these are) or PriceRite or Aldi’s. We usually throw in some fruit or some Christmas cookies along with it, but that’s it, that’s our breakfast!

We host Christmas dinner so that’s quite a bit more elaborate than our breakfast, but this takes the pressure off of me, of us, for just a little while, so that we too can enjoy Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and all that goes along with it.

And, the cinnamon buns…. are just delicious!!

This week for part of the week I’ll be spending a few days discussing our Christmas dinner meal and how we pull off a lot of it by preparing it ahead. Be sure to check back each day. I promise it’ll leave your mouth watering!

*The* Christmas card revealed…Liz’s big debut

24 Dec
Warm Winter Wishes 2011 Christmas Card

Liz's idea for this year's card: a snowman

I’ve been getting word that the 100 cards we made and mailed have been arriving at homes around the country, so now I think it’s fair to reveal this year’s Christmas card, designed by Elizabeth. Last year when we were making the cards, she said to me, “Mommy I have an idea for next year’s card: A Snowman. There’s three of us so each of us can be one part of the snowman.” That worked for me! I printed out 100 copies of one photo that had all three of them and our new dog in it, so as not to waste ink and then I started punching out 1″ circles of each of them. I chose some plum paper and some celery ribbon, just to be different than the typical reds and greens, and then we began our assembly line.

We now have a dog, so I did have to amend the card design to be a snowman plus a little snowball off to the side as well.

2011 snowman card

It takes total concentration to tape 100 little circles onto cards.

Each girl was responsible for putting their own photo onto each card so they sat in order and passed from one to the next. They also had to each sign the cards too. Alex really experimented with her signature, and the girls were quite concerned that no one would know what she wrote, but I told them I thought people would be fine.

Alex helped me put the glue dots on the ribbons and Elizabeth stamped all the “Warm Winter Wishes.” Caroline helped me to assemble the card stock layers.

I thought it was funny that I printed out and punched out exactly 100 cards and circles, but at the end, they all ended up with different numbers left. One had only three photos left, one had four and one had six. So, if anyone gets a card with a missing kid or puppy, that would be why.

Merry Christmas everyone!

There were three of them and one of me so I kept getting behind. Caroline helped out by assembling the card fronts with me as well.

card making 2011 snowman card

We all, but especially Elizabeth, hope you enjoy our cards this year!

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