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Friday, June 1, 2018

Honeymama's Candied Dill Pickles

If you like sweet pickles at all, you'll love these.  My grandmother (we called her Honeymama) used to make these and whenever she had a jar in the fridge, I was there to mooch 'em.  Nothing better in the world than a longhorn cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with Kraft Mayo, a slice of fresh tomato still warm from the garden and several candied dill chips.  She taught me how to make them, in self-defense I think, hoping I'd ease up on her supply. 

Oh, and you needed a tall cold Dr. Pepper in the return-for-deposit bottle to go with it. The beauty of candied dills is you almost have to make them yourselves. For some reason pickle makers have never mass produced candied dills for very long, if at all.

Here's what you need to make candied dills:

  • 1 giant jar of cheap hamburger dill pickle chips
  • 1 cup of sugar for each quart of the jar's capacity
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed pickling spice per quart
  • Vinegar (apple cider vinegar works nicely and gives it a unique flavor)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Twine

Here's what you do:

  1. Pour out the pickles into a collander and drain off the vinegar. 
  2. Rinse the pickles with fresh vinegar.
  3. Rinse out the pickle jar.
  4. Put the pickles back in the jar
  5. Pour part of the sugar into the jar. 
  6. Pour vinegar over it to dissolve the sugar.
  7. Alternate sugar and vinegar till the jar is about 3/4 full of vinegar.
  8. Measure 1 tablespoon of pickling spice onto a six inch square of cheesecloth.
  9. Wrap the cheesecloth around the spice and tie the open end securely with string.
  10. Tuck the spice ball down in the pickles
  11. Finish filling the jar with vinegar and the entire amount of sugar
  12. Put the lid back on and shove it to the back of the refrigerator
  13. Put a sign on the jar threatening to chop off the fingers of anyone who gets into the jar without permission.
  14. Shake up the jar every day or two to promote complete dissolving of the sugar on the bottom of the jar.  Open the lid and sniff. It doesn't help any, but it's good for your morale during the curing process. 
  15. Wait at least two weeks for the sugar and spice to permeate the pickles.
  16. About  a week into the process, make another jar or two. You will need them because if the first jar lasts a week I'd be surprised.
  17. Enjoy!
I make my own labels for these.  I wondered why no commercial pickler made candied dills for a long time. Then, I found candied dills made by a small local boutique pickler named "Annies". She sold them through a special display at Brookshire's and charged $7 a pint for them.  I used to buy them when I couldn't wait for a new batch to cure. They are that danged good!

Annie even sells one variety of candied pickles that have jalapenos in them. Those are really good too. I may try a batch of Honeymom's candied dills with a few jalapenos tossed in to give it a little kick. I'll let you know how it turns out.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vegan Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw
I came into possession of some vegan mayonnaise. I was skeptical at first but the stuff turned out to be really really good. Made with all the usual ingredients, the only thing different is the vegan mayo. It makes up to a huge bowl of Cole slaw for potluck. As with fresh made Cole Slaw, if you set it in the fridge overnight you may get some settling of the thinner parts of the dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Just toss it all again or pour off any water that settles and it’ll be great.

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup Vegannaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon season salt or Creole seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Slaw Ingredients:
- ½ head of green cabbage
- ½ head of purple cabbage
- 3 cups grated carrots.
  1. Chop both cabbages
  2. Grate the carrots
  3. Toss with dressing in a large sealable bowl
  4. Refrigerate in a sealed bowl until ready to use.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Oriental Cole Slaw

Once again it's so good we ate half of it before I thought,
"Hey, I need to write this one up for TPV!" The recipe makes
better than twice that much Cole slaw.

This my Sweet Baboo's favorite Cole slaw recipe from our box o' old recipes under the kitchen cabinet. It's easy to make and it's a huge bowl of Cole slaw when you're done - perfect for potluck. It's not that hard to do.


Slaw -
  • 2 pkgs. Chicken flavor Ramen Noodles
  • 1 bag Cole Slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds 
  • Butter/margarine
Dressing -
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Seasoning packets from Ramen noodles
  1. Crush the Ramen Noodles in a large bowl. Store in a Ziplock bag.
  2. Put Cole Slaw mix in a large bowl or Tupperware container.
  3. In small frying pan melt butter and brown the slivered almonds.
  4. Mix almonds into slaw and noodle mix.
  5. In a small bowl, Mix sugar, vinegar, oil, and Ramen noodle seasoning packets
  6. Pour dressing over slaw mix and toss till everything is evenly coated. Keep the crushed Ramen noodles separate and don't add them until just before you serve it up.

Put the Cole slaw in a big Tupperware bowl, seal and store in the fridge overnight so it's nice and cold for potluck on Sabbath. Just before you serve it, pour the Ramen noodles into the slaw and give it a good toss.

Mmmmm good!

Tom King

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sheila's Homemade Banana Pudding

This dessert is a sure potluck hit. You should double or triple the recipe. It looks nice in a big yellow mixing bowl which I recommend everyone get because, well, everyone should have a big yellow glass mixing bowl. There are easier ways to make banana pudding, but no Jello mix can quite compete. You can't make it like this out of a box. Between the cooking time, the assembly time, and making up the topping, it can take an hour to put it all together. It’s very much worth it. It’s easy to double or triple the recipe. You just have to be really careful keeping it stirred while cooking a very large batch so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.



  • 1/2 Cup Sugar or you can substitute Stevia or something like that to lower the calories. You just have to change the prep a bit.
  • 1/3 Cup Flour or ¼ cup corn starch
  • 3 Egg Yolks, Save the egg whites for making meringue if you plan to do that.
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Box Vanilla Wafers
  • 5 Bananas
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla (a bit more if you use something beside vanilla extract)
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar, for making meringue
  • 3/4 cups Sugar, for making the meringue
  • 3 Egg Whites, for making meringue
  • Alternate topping – large tub of Whipped Cream or Cool Whip
  1. In a large pot or saucepan, mix flour, egg yolks (beaten), milk and salt. If using sugar add it now. If using artificial sweetner, set it aside till after the pudding is cooked as heat will kill the sweetness.
  2. Heat over medium eat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. It takes around 15 minutes for the pudding to thicken. Don’t let it scorch.
  3. When the pudding thickens and begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and set it aside to begin to cool. Add vanilla when it's cooled a bit and stir it up good.
  4. In your big yellow mixing bowl, place a layer of vanilla wavers in the bottom of the bowl. If making a double or triple batch, make sure you have an extra bowl or a really, really big bowl.
  5. Slice bananas and cover the layer of cookies. Alternate cookies and bananas
  6. If using artificial sweetener (which will cause diabetics in the group to kiss you feet) stir the sweetener into the pudding. Just follow the replacement amounts on the box of sweetener. At any rate, with your pudding ready to go, every few layers, spoon the pudding over the cookies and bananas. Add more cookies and bananas and pudding layers until you fill up the bowl. 
  7. At this point you should preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you are doing meringue. If you are doing Cool Whip skip to step #13.
  8. Place all the egg whites in another mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar and 3/4 cup of sugar or sweetener two tablespoons at a time while beating the egg whites. It could take up to 15 minutes.
  9. Continue whipping egg mixture till it forms stiff glossy peaks.
  10. Pour meringue mixture over the top of the banana pudding; spread it out over the bowl. Dab at the top of the meringue with a spoon till curly peaks form.
  11. Set the pudding on a baking sheet and bake in the hot oven till the peaks begin to brown.
  12. Remove the pudding and allow it to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator. Do not put hot meringue straight out of the oven in the refrigerator. It will collapse as I discovered the hard way.
  13. If you’re doing Cool Whip instead of meringue, wait till the pudding cools at least to slightly warm and then spoon whipped topping over the top of the pudding. At this point I add cookies in decorative patterns on top of the topping.
  14. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  15. You may have to padlock the refrigerator door while the pudding is cooling. Otherwise, you may get up Sabbath morning and find a big hole in your pudding.
Serving Suggestion:
This part’s simple. Pull off the plastic, stick a big spoon in it and get out of the way. I promise you that you will be taking home a nice clean bowl.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Creole Seasoned Vegeburger Mac and Cheese Casserole

This one is very like the Vege-Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole in my last blog. It's just a little simpler and maybe a little quicker. Here's how it works.

  • Morningstar Griller Recipe Crumbles (1/3 bag)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 6 sliced olives 
  • 2 boxes macaroni and cheese
  • 1 tbsp Tony's Creole Seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook the macaroni by package directions.
  3. In a large pot, lightly cover the bottom with olive oil.
  4. Saute onions and peppers with Griller Crumbles.
  5. Add spaghetti sauce and prepared mac and cheese.
  6. Stir in Creole seasoning
  7. Warm the mixture then pour into large loaf pan
  8. Sprinkle grated cheese over top.
  9. Spread sliced olives over the cheese
  10. Bake 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.
Serving Suggestions:

Bake on Friday. Simply reheat for Sabbath Potluck.

© 2018 by Tom King

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Vege-Macaroni Burger Corn Casserole

Here's a quick and highly adaptable macaroni casserole. I had some microwavable macaroni, some Grillers Crumbles and a can of soup, so this recipe was a big GO!  I added a couple of things that I liked but you might not so I put it in parentheses. This one can be done on Friday and kept in the fridge till potluck Sabbath. It doesn't take long in the oven either.

  • 16 oz.macaroni
  • 4-6 oz Velveeta cheese
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 bag Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles, Loma Linda Vegeburger or Worthington Vegeburger
  • 1 can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 8 oz can tomato soup
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 can mild Rotel tomatoes (optional)
  • Club cracker crumbs, French-fried onions, or crushed potato chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet, saute' the onion and green peppers until tender, add Recipe Crumbles and cook till done.
  3. Prepare elbow macaroni per the directions and drain.
  4. In large bowl, mix drained macaroni, Recipe Crumbles or vegeburger, onions, peppers, corn, tomato soup, salt, garlic powder and Rotel (if desired).
  5. Stir and add a little water if the mixture is too dry.
  6. Pour mixture into large casserole.  Grate Velveeta or thin slice it to cover the top of the casserole. 
  7. Sprinkle crumbled crackers or French-fried onions or crushed potato chips over the top of the casserole. I like to drizzle a little ketchup on top for decorative purposes.
  8. Put into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese is melted and is lightly browned on top.
Serving suggestions:

Cover the dish with foil and let cool before storing overnight in the fridge. Heat in the oven before serving for potluck. All you need is a big spoon.

Bon' Apetit

© 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cottage Cheese Loaf - Nutty Version

I got hungry for cottage cheese loaf and whipped up this one.  I changed a few ingredients thanks to some suggestions from readers and a couple of ingredients I wanted to try out for a nuttier version. If you guys are allergic to nuts, this one is not recommended. Here's the recipe.

  • 1 large carton cottage cheese (24-32 oz. size)
  • 5 eggs (higher in protein with the extra egg and binds the extra oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup pecan meal (If you have pecans, dump a cup in the blinder and whiz it up till it's meal)
  • 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 packet Lipton's onion soup mix
  • 1 regular box of Special K cereal
  • 1/2 stick of butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Crush the Special K in a large bowl. Grind up the pecans to make meal if you don't have pecan meal.
  3. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter, oil, soup mix, cottage cheese and eggs. Mix together thoroughly.
  4. In 9x13 casserole dish, melt butter.
  5. Press loaf mixture into the casserole dish
  6. Sprinkle toasted almond slivers over the top
  7. Bake in the oven for 40 to 60 minutes until the top is brown and the edges are crisp and pull slightly away from the sides of the pan.

Cover and hold in the refrigerator for tomorrow's potluck or serve immediately. I tend to go with "serve immediately" as you can tell from the picture above. This version has a nuttier flavor than the original recipe. The oatmeal doesn't much change the taste and gives you more of it if you need to feed a larger group. An extra egg covers the extra ingredients. I love this stuff. If you haven't checked it out, here's the original recipe the way my grandmother and Miss Sheila made it.  (Just click the link).

Tom King