Sunday, October 27, 2013

Airplane Bathrooms

There is no photo or graphic that can project an image of what I am about to describe.  You will  have to use your own imagination.

I am on an airplane heading to Calgary, seat 7D, writing this note.

We are twenty-minutes from landing and the toilet has been used by every specimen of the human race.  I know this because I was one of those specimens.  The floor is dotted with wet spots of an unidentified origin and tid-bits of wet toilet paper and paper towel.  The mirror has spots and the sink has "stuff" in it.  That is what happens when lots of people use a single bathroom the size of a household furnace.

As I observe my surroundings, I frown because the soles of my shoes are now contaminated.  My goal:  quick exit.

Who is next in line?  A young woman in her early 20's - barefoot.  Yes, in she goes!  Barefoot.

E-wwwwwwwww.  I stare at the bathroom door in disbelief.  What would ever posses someone, an adult,  to go into an airplane toilet barefoot? This is contrary to everything my mother taught me about bathroom etiquette and procedures in a public place. 

Think of this girl the next time you shoe shop.  And yes, she'll probably live to 95 unlike the rest of us who carry those little hand sanitizer packets.



Recipes - Special Request




My Favorite Recipe Book


This tired old worn book has seen better days.  It needs duck tape but I'll have none of that dull gray duck tape for this book.  No-sir-ee.  It needs a special color, probably red or yellow, to coordinate with the flowers on the front.  This book is one of my prized possessions and I'll tell you why.

I purchased this blank page book years, years, and years ago for the purpose of keeping recipes of exceptional tasty food that was served by family and friends in their homes.  These recipes tie me to my friendships and family as much as the recipe itself.  Handing down recipes from friend to friend and family to family says I enjoyed being a guest at your table.  I loved what you served and I cherish the time you took to make something special for me.  Memories of a joyful special time.  Being invited for dinner for a home-cooked meal is the ultimate compliment.

I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's and my family did not eat out.  There was no need.  Our table always had ample delicious food.  My goodness, Dog N' Suds was the only restaurant I knew about until I was in high school.  Our "restaurant" was grandma's house, my aunt and uncle's house, and neighbors.  And, it was always pot luck which was the best tasting dish of the lady who brought it.

I'll share just a few recipes today that will come in handy when you expect company or if you need something for a dish-to-pass.  I'll add more later.  Don't expect organic, fat-free, low-calorie, recipes in my collection.  I want the "real thing" even if it means a small portion.   You know, it isn't all about the food.

Coconut Cheese Ball

3-8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1/2 small jar Major Gray's Chutney (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1-1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Coconut, shredded

Blend softened cream cheese with other ingredients except coconut.  Shape into a ball. Roll in coconut.  Serve with salty crackers like Trisket crackers.

HINT:  This makes a generous recipe.  I usually make several smaller balls, enough for an appetizer at a party.  They defrost fine.  Nice to have on hand for unexpected company or card club.

Bok Choy Salad

1 head of Napa Cabbage, chopped, white part only
1 head of Bok Choy, chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
1 stick butter
1 pkg of Oriental Ramen Noodle Soup
1 large package of slivered almonds
3/4 cup of sunflower seeds

Dressing
3/4 cup salad oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

Melt butter in pan and toast noodles and almonds.  Color should be light brown.  Set aside to cool.
Mix salad ingredients.  Sprinkle Ramen Noodle flavor package into salad.  Toss.
Sprinkle crunchy noodle and nut mixture.
Add dressing.  Toss.  Serve immediately or noodles will get soggy.

NOTE:  This is always a big hit.  Very tasty. 

My favorite 1960's Ladies Luncheon Menu recipes and photos can be viewed on the link below in my website.

Ladies Sandwich Loaf, 7-layer Jell-O Salad and Champagne Dessert Recipes

Spicy Zucchini Boats

4 small zucchini
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Cayenne Pepper
Chives, Chopped

Soil salted water and blanch zucchini with skin on.  Put in ice water ASAP.  Cool.  Cut in half lengthwise and hollow out like a boat.  I use a melon-ball tool.
Combine cheeses, pepper and chives.  Stuff boats
Bake 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the top cheese browns slightly.  OK to broil.
Serve hot.
NOTE:  Very nice side dish but you can also eat this for main meal if you want something lite.

Hot Cheese Dip

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix.  Pour into small oven-ready baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Should be bubbly.  Serve hot with crackers.  Triskets work well.

NOTE:  I know this is high calorie but oh my goodness, it is tasty!

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

1 - 16 oz. jar of mild salsa
1 - 16 oz. jar of medium salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 10 oz. pkg dry lasagna noodles
2 cups nonfat or low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Pour both jars of salsa into large saucepan. Add the pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic.  Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions and drain well.  Pat dry.  Combine the cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, and chilies; mix well and set aside.
Lightly coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Arrange half the lasagna noodles in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread half the cottage cheese mixture over the pasta, then half the cooked chicken, then half the salsa.  Spread half the shredded cheeses on top.  Repeat the layering step., ending with the shredded cheeses.
Bake, covered at 375 degrees about 45 - 60 minutes - until bubbly.  Let stand uncovered for 10 minutes before cutting.

NOTE:  This can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator, unbaked,  until you are ready to put it in oven.

Lemon Square Bars

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon peel, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
confectioner's sugar for garnish

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees
Crust
Mix flour, butter and 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar.  Press into ungreased 8 inch square pan, building up 1/2 inch edges.  Bake in preheated over for 20 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Pour over hot crust.  Bake 25 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched.

Cool.  Cut in squares.  Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

NOTE:  This tastes best when you use real butter for the crust. 

Olive Dip

8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 small can of chopped black olives
1-1/2 teaspoon granulated beef bouillon
4 Tablespoons for water

Soften cream cheese so it is easy to beat.  Boil 4 Tablespoons of water and add beef bouillon.  Mix until melted and blended.  Let cool and add to cream cheese.  Add olives and refrigerate.  Serve with potato chips.

NOTE:  I have been making this since the 1970's.  If you love black olives you will love this dip.  It is a nice alternative to French Onion Soup mix chip dip. 

Scalloped Broccoli

1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4-5 cups of fresh broccoli or frozen, chopped and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 Tablespoons minced onion
2 eggs, well beaten
buttered bread crumbs

Mix ingredients; sprinkle breadcrumbs or top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. 

Cream Cheese Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

8 oz. package of whipped cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
1 package of Duncan Hines Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Mix with instant pudding (see box)
Cup cake papers

Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg, and salt until creamy and fluffy.  Then, stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop this mixture into a third-filled cupcake batter.  Add a little chocolate cake batter on top of the mixture to cover it.  Bake according to the directions on the cake box.

Curry and Sweet Pickle Tuna Salad

7 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked
6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 pinch of garlic

Mix everything except tuna.  Taste and adjust to your liking.  Mix with tuna.  Set in refrigerator and serve cold on bed of lettuce.
NOTE:  This is a nice change from the standard tuna salad.  We love it.

Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers

12-16 oz. plain oyster crackers
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Original Ranch Salad Dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4-1 cup of salad oil

Combine Hidden Valley Ranch mix and oil; add dill weed, garlic powder and lemon pepper.  Pour over crackers, stir to coat.  Place in warm oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

NOTE:  These are so-o-o-o-o good but eat them when you are staying home.  I would avoid serving at a party unless your guests don't mind the garlic.

French Salad Dressing

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup salad oil

Put all in blender and blend well.  Adjust any seasoning if necessary.
Refrigerate.


Lime Cottage Cheese Jell-O Salad

1 small package lime Jell-O
1 cup hot water
1 cup pineapple juice
1 small can crushed or chunk pineapple
1 small carton cottage cheese
1 cup of whipped cream or Cool-Whip

Mix all ingredients together, varying amounts of pineapple, cottage cheese, whipping cream, according to taste.  Put into a pretty mold or dish.  Refrigerate, preferably overnight, until set and serve cold.
NOTE:  My mother made this for all the holiday's, bridal or baby showers and ladies luncheons.

Seven Layer Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 can (3-1/2 oz.) sweetened coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
1 package ( 6 oz.) chocolate chips
1 package ( 6 oz.) butterscotch chips
1 cup nut, chopped

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan in the oven.  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  Add each ingredient in order, layering.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This is very easy - and fast.  You don't even need a mixing bowl!
People love this - especially the guys.

Hot Blue Cheese Dip

7 bacon slices, cooked crisp and diced
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic cloves
8 oz. whipped cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup half and half
4 oz. Blue Cheese crumbled
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 Tablespoons chopped smoked almonds (I use smokehouse brand)

With electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add half and half.  Blend.  Stir in bacon bits, blue cheese, garlic, and chives.  Transfer to a 2 cup baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake until heated - about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle chopped almonds on top when you remove from the oven.
Serve with baguettes.