Corn Ball Cookies?

Something is amiss. I picked up a recipe card for Corn Cookies in a kitchen/food store the other day. Never having heard of corn cookies, it was something new to try.

Results:  Either the gourmet corn meal the recipe called for is really different from the kind I have (mixed with a ‘secret’ ingredient?) or I did something very wrong, but I ended up with Corn Ball Cookies.

The dough wasn’t doughy at all, but very crumbly. The only way I could get it to stick together was to pack a couple of tablespoons of it into my hand and squeeze it into a ball.  So that’s what I did. They baked and the only noticeable difference between the raw and the cooked was a light brown cookie bottom.

The shape stayed the same; no rising, no flattening out, no nothin’. They actually taste pretty good; they’re nice and crunchy and have a sweetened corn flavor.  I can’t help thinking I missed something.

Corn Ball Cookie, anyone?

Don’t mind if I do!

Your friend in the kitchen,


Home Made Salad Dressing – Yummy!

At a recent Make-a-Memory Cooking Party, we celebrated a mother’s birthday. Her grown daughters planned it as a surprise – a cooking class followed by a special lunch. This is a woman who has always cooked from scratch and has spent a lot of time in the kitchen. The daughters’ one requirement was that I fix dishes their Mom had never prepared. It was fun to plan her surprise cooking class and lunch.
One of the things I did was make homemade salad dressing for a very simple four-ingredient salad. It was a hit!
Here’s the recipe with some easy tips included:  Don’t let the long list of ingredients throw you – it goes together easily and is truly worth the effort!
1 head Romaine lettuce
1/2 bunch spinach leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (TIP: If you have more lemon juice than vinegar, reverse the amounts; no problem)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice (TIP: can be fresh or bottled)
1 clove garlic, minced (TIP:  ok to use 1/8 teaspoon dried garlic instead (spice dept of grocery store, labeled as minced garlic)
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives (TIP: ok to use tops of green onions)
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. (TIP: I put plastic wrap between the jar and the lid to prevent any leakage.)
Shake well and refrigerate.
Shake again and add dressing to salad ingredients just before serving.
This recipe serves 6-8.  For a smaller salad, prepare fewer greens, add less cheese and fewer croutons. Add a small amount of dressing, toss and taste, until you have as much as you desire.  Keep unused portion in the fridge and use again later. Just shake it well and label.
Your friend in the kitchen!
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Beets & Eggs – A Simple Salad

I recently purchased an egg slicer. Haven’t had one for years and don’t need one very often. I’ve been slicing eggs with a knife. But I have to say, the slicer does a beautiful job of creating even, smooth slices. The yolk seems less inclined to separate from the white and makes the egg easier to handle.

Anyway, buying the slicer made me remember one of my favorite salads growing up and gave me a good reason to make it:  Beets & Eggs   Here’s how Mom did it:

1. She would shred lettuce and spread it out on a large plate.
2. Open and drain a couple of cans of sliced pickled beets (we were a big family).
3. Take hardboiled eggs out of the refrigerator; peel, then slice them crosswise.
4.  Lay a slice of beet and a slice of egg alternately in a circle around the outer section of the lettuce lined plate. If there was room on the plate, she’d make a second circle inside the first. If there was still more room, she’d pile the remaining beets and a few egg slices in  the very center.
5. She added a few dollops of mayonnaise here and there and it was ready to serve.

If you don’t like pickled beets, you can make this with plain, cooked and sliced beets. It’s a very pretty salad. You can also do the same presentation on individual salad plates with the dollop of mayo in the center.



When you don’t know what to buy: Gourmet Marshmallows

Waiting to meet a friend, I browsed a bit in an upscale market and found the Plush Puffs. Almost as big a surprise as discovering cotton candy in the grocery store. That just doesn’t seem right.  It’s for fairs and carnivals and other special childhood events – not the grocery store!!!

Anyway, I had time to examine the packages of Plush Puffs and they looked home made. Never thought about home made marshmallows, but I’ll have to try them sometime.

There were six flavors. and they all sounded interesting: Caramel Swirl, Sydney’s Cinnamon, Luscious Lemony Meringue, Cherry Chocolate Chip, Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Chipetta. Thinking about roasting them and making S’Mores made my mouth water.

But I didn’t buy them. Maybe next time.