Macaroni Stroganoff

In the mood for something a bit more….”International”? Go for the Macaroni Stroganoff.

I have to tattle and say that Denise has confessed a fondness for canned macaroni and cheese. She won’t touch a thing called Stroganoff though. I suspect serving this nightmare of Spam…err I mean “luncheon meat” and canned macaroni and cheese won’t go over well in our house no matter the name. The nutrition content or lack thereof makes me cringe.

That said–it is a quick and thrifty meal. Since none of the ingredients truly makes me queasy, if we went down to a bare bones budget, (always a possibility) this might appear. I think the anti-soup Denise would stick to the black bean soup served with it. (as would the children)

Macaroni Stroganoff

1 can luncheon meat
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cans macaroni and cheese sauce
chopped parsley

Cut meat into strips about 1/2-inch thick. In skillet, brown meat and cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in sour cream and macaroni. Heat; stir now and then. Garnish with parsley.

From Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, 1968

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Savory Shepherd’s Pie

One of my children has a thing for Shepherd’s Pie. I blame the sabbatical in England. The ones there and indeed the shepherd’s pies I make, bear little resemblance to this one…part of a jiffy meal as you can see. Not sure how they imagine you season the mashed potatoes. Also I am not sure about the wisdom of using a can of vegetable soup for the veggie portion. I generally use frozen mixed vegetables and soy crumbles instead of the ground beef. I do have to say it is an easy and thrifty meal made this way though. Of course that is unless green peppers in your neck of the woods are as outrageously priced as they are here! Ugh. Not only high priced but not worth buying. Darn weather ruining my non-local produce!

Savory Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed vegetable soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash thyme (if desired)
Seasoned mashed potatoes

Brown beef and cook onion and green pepper until tender; stir in soup, salt and thyme. Spoon into 1-qt casserole. Place potatoes in mounds around edge of casserole. Bake at 425 F for 15 min. 4 servings.

(From Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, 1968)

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Pineapple Upside Down Ham

Since her birthday, 15-year-old girl has been talking about pineapple upside down cake, despite the fact that she requested an entirely different cake for her birthday.

For my mother’s birthday, I decided on pineapple upside down ham. I mashed together a million recipes over the years I have used for ham glaze and came up with this recipe:

1 ham (I bought one of those presliced, precooked boneless hams, about 3-5 lbs)
1 can sliced pineapple drained
1 cup brown sugar
1 can Coca-cola
2 tsp dry ground mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
cloves

Place pineapple rings in the bottom of a baking pan. Place ham on top. Combine brown sugar, Coca-cola, mustard and ginger in a bowl and whisk until smooth. It makes a very thin glaze. Stud ham with cloves. Pour glaze over ham. Bake for 15 min per pound or by the directions on your ham. Flip onto serving platter OR serve from the baking dish like a heathen. (This is what we generally do.)

Mock Chicken Salad

For a couple where one person loves food and the other just will eat…sometimes, we have a romance that involves food in the oddest ways. Perhaps not. Doesn’t everyone have a food story that also speaks of love?

One of the recipes Denise loves is my mock chicken salad. I make it with tofu. Once upon a time I used Yves Chickn for it, but that became unavailable. It started as a recipe either in my mother’s curried chicken salad (known as “Bird of Paradise Salad” ) and at a vegetarian restaurant (The Laughing Seed) in Asheville, NC restaurant where we landed on a mommy weekend early in our relationship.

We sat as vegetarians in a restaurant full of options just for us and couldn’t make a decision. Vegetarians usually have it easy in the south–if there is a vegetarian option, there will be only one. Denise decided on the Mock Chicken Salad and when it came I said “Oh! It is just like my mom’s–except she uses chicken.”

I then went home to find a vegetarian mock chicken salad, but decided to create it from how my mother made her chicken salad.

It makes me laugh when I see recipes like the following for Mock Chicken salad. (and isn’t the picture a winner?) I so wouldn’t think “Hey, I am out of chicken, how about I make chicken salad out of veal.” Note, it does also recommend pork which I sometimes have left over. On the other hand, the whole shaping into balls totally makes this a no go in this house–even if the walnut eaters and olive eaters were the same people.

Mock Chicken Salad

2 cups cold veal or pork cut fine
3/4 cup finely cut celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped olives
Mayonnaise
Lettuce
Mix meat, celery, nuts, and olives.

Add enough mayonnaise to moisten and shape in small balls. Arrange these balls on lettuce on individual salad plates. Garnish with olives and mayonnaise.

(Another recipe from January 1923, from a feature called “Winter Salads” in Modern Priscilla.)