what’s all the commotion?!

Posted July 24, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: Uncategorized

The Lame Chef has gone out of commission for a while.  She can be found hanging out, sometimes with a ball of yarn, sometimes with a canning kettle, at Bespoke By Brouhaha!

Some of her recent food posts over there include:

Preserving my Insanity

Marketing 101

I’m a poet and don’t know it

The litany of the wiseguy

(OK, OK – so this wasn’t a food post!!!! So sue me!!!)

Canada Day Pies

Kali Orexi!!!

Quick Cooking 101: Presto entrees and desserts

Posted April 29, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: cooking, humor, humour, vintage, what not to do

Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, yesterday I had no luck with finding anything remotely edible and quick to fix in the Presto cookbook. But I never did make it to the entree section (the Pizza Pizza guy buzzed up just as I was ready to turn the page. Honestly).

So, what shall I cook tonight? Meat? Well, there’s plenty of that in the deep freezer…


Hmm… all I can really say is that I’ve never seen a roast beef served on a bed of cucumber and whole radish before. Hmm. Well, I’ll turn the page (skipping the photographed selections, methinks…).

A bit more exotic than the Soup section, at any rate:

Norwegian Meatballs (which appear to be meatballs boiled in milk and cream. Next…)
Swiss Steak No. 1
Swiss Steak No. 2 (which appears to be the same as Swiss Steak No. 1 except that it also features a cup of tomato soup and “2 T. cornstarch”. 2 tablespoons?!?!? Must be a hangover from the Cereal page…)

Another exoticism: Porcupine Meatballs – oh, those racy 50s housewives! What were they doing, hanging out at the side of the highway looking for roadkill??

Moving on…some items that no 50s cookbook would be complete without:

Savory (sic) Beef Neck
Economy Pork Steak
Beef Liver
Devilled Lamb Neck Slices (have you ever had lamb neck? I make it quite often as I love lamb and it’s a cheap homestyle greek dish. However, if you don’t do it in the crockpot or, failing that, in the oven for about five hours, you might as well buy a pack of chewing gum and save yourself the trouble. This recipe calls for 15 minutes cooking time. I’m sceptical…)
Stuffed Beef Heart (the minute I left home, I vowed that never again would organ meat pass my lips. It is perhaps the one vow I have never broken).
Fresh Tongue (nah, although I’m sure it’s far better than that stale tongue in all the other cookbooks…)

and finally (drumroll, please…)

Pigs in a Blanket. That time honoured favourite. However, paradoxically, this recipe calls for round steak wrapped in bacon. So, shouldn’t it be “Cow in a Blanket”?

The next section, luckily, looks intriguing:

“Combination” of what? you may well ask? I certainly did, looking at the above photo. Vegetables and vegetables? Meat and blobs of unknown origin? Meatballs and blood?

Let’s peek within to try to shed some light on this mystery:

More international exoticism!!!
Belgian Stew (with beef neck and carrots)
Sauerbraten (German beef stew)
3 – count ’em – 3 versions of Chop Suey!!!!! (American, Fancy and Plain. The only difference I can see is that the Fancy has three types of meat instead of one. All share copious amounts of canned vegetables in common. And, isn’t chop suey all American anyway?)

And some more stuff I’ve never heard of before (with good reason, in my opinion):
Corn Cabbage
Squash with Pineapple

Chicken is starting to look pretty good right about now…

Check out the cooking time table!!


Let’s zoom in, shall we?

Qu’est-ce que c’est “gosling”? I have no idea.


Well, that’s one way to get them onto the plate, I guess. I can just hear Mr. Scotland now, though: “Puir wee pheasant, smothered before its time.”

Shiskabugs!!!

Puir wee Bugs Bunny. I don’t want any harm coming to him. He did have the guts to go around in
drag in the 1940s
, after all. You might call him a role model of mine…

Next…

I’ve got some frozen shrimp I scored at Loblaws a while back …


Frozen shrimp, blood and Ritz crackers – all hauled in by a serf. No thanks.

I don’t really like vegetables, but I’m getting desperate here:
The flowers look nice anyway.

There are recipes for 28 vegetables. The recipes are all identical except for the main ingredient. Here’s a sample:

Potatoes (small)

small whole new potatoes
1 cup water
salt

I kid you not. Oh wait, I lie to you. Some of the recipes are a bit different:

Peas (green)

Fresh peas
1/2 cup water
salt

I guess it’s dessert for dinner again…

What the hell is “steamed bread”??? Is it that stuff that weighs about a pound for a small slice and sits in your stomach for days afterward? Not in this house…give me a Viennetta or some Cadbury’s any old day.

And finally…

Maybe I’m out of it, but isn’t a “fruit recipe” a dessert? (by the look of the photo, maybe not – especially when served swimming in Vaseline and food colouring).

Damn it all. I guess I’m going to have to come up with some quick cooking ideas of my own.

Hmm…. perogies, perhaps?

Come on back tomorrow to see how they turned out.
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Homepage? click here.

More Recipes in 25 words or less…

Posted April 28, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: cooking, food, recipes

Tags: , ,

Back by popular demand (from at least three people!)…

Here are Monday’s entrees entries for the 25 word or less recipes.  I will endeavour to publish these updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  We’ll see how many I can come up with! And I do hope I encourage you to come up with some of your own – it’s rather a fun exercise!

Oh… did I mention that I don’t get out much?! heh heh

Salads

Moroccan Chickpea: mix one can chickpeas; red bell pepper; carrot; one teaspoon each cumin, coriander; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; two scallions; garlic; olive oil; lemon juice; salt.  Zippy.

Village Greek: cut tomatoes into wedges; salt heavily; let sit.  Add sliced English cucumber, three cloves garlic, chopped onion, cubed feta, kalamata olives, pepper, oil to taste.

Appetizers

Spicy Peanut Sauce: mix one cup chunky peanut butter, one tsp each cumin, hot paprika, and chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, salt.  Add hot water to desired consistency.

Garlic Puffs: cut one sheet puff pastry into squares.  Brush on garlic-flavoured olive oil.  Sprinkle lots of parmesan over.  Bake 20 minutes at 400 F.

Entrees:

Lamb Shanks Youvetsi: place lamb shanks in ovenproof casserole.  Add two cups stock, one large can tomatoes, one teaspoon cinnamon, chopped onion, garlic. Cover.  Bake two hours. Hearty!

Pasta with Burnt Butter: Heat four tablespoons of butter per serving of pasta in heavy sauce pan until it foams then turns brown. Remove from heat.  Pour over pasta.

Desserts:

Lemon Squares: crush shortbread cookies.  Add eight tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, some salt.  Pack into pan and let sit 1/2 hour.  Cover with lemon curd.

Quick Cooking 101: Presto breakfast and soup

Posted April 25, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: breakfast, cleaning, cookbooks, cooking, how not to cook, humor, humour, kitchen gadgets, lifestyle, recipes, soup, tips, vintage, what not to do

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Well, now that I’ve stopped beating myself up for being less than the perfect Suzie Homemaker, it’s back to the Presto Cookbook (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here).

Gotta love these old cookbooks. The photography is so appetizing. Let’s see – I haven’t had breakfast yet (unless you count the nougat bar with jujubes…) so perhaps I can find something tasty here:

Um, didn’t realise that “mucilage” was one of the food groups. Hmm.

Well, maybe it’s actually time for lunch. How about some soup? It’s chilly today…


Hmm… blood and bile with swirls of pus? Nah…but let me see if I can find anything that appeals within the section…

– Oyster Chowder
– Southern Okra Gumbo
– Gumbo… maybe… but with oysters? Nope.

To top it off, the Soup and Chowder section is in that mysterious land where any spice save Salt and Pepper apparently fear to tread.

Sigh. I’ve now completely lost my appetite. Perhaps this was some kind of secret 1950s diet aid? Is that how they all stayed so skinny?

See you Monday!

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Coming Tuesday: More on the Presto Cookbook – don’t say you weren’t warned!!

Coming Monday: another fabulous article.

Homepage? click here.

Top 12 Recipes – 25 words or less! (and baklava to boot!)

Posted April 24, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: cooking, food, humor, recipes, tips, vegetarian

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Has time gotten away with you today? No idea what to make for dinner?

Here are 10 recipes, brought to you in 25 words (or less). They take hardly any longer to prepare than to read (or to text to yourself as a reminder of what to pick up on the way home).

Vegetarian? Carnivore? Lazy@$$? There’s something here for everyone – courtesy of The Lame Cook!!

Soups

1. Tortellini soup: Put stock in pot. Bring to boil. Throw in tortellini. Simmer six minutes. Turn off heat. Add frozen veg and let sit three minutes. Enjoy.

  • (click here for the full Lame Chef recipe)

2. Cock-a-leekie: slice and saute three leeks. Add three cups chicken stock and 1/4 cup barley. Simmer 45 minutes. Turn off heat and add frozen veg. Tasty.

3. Zingy Noodle Soup: Put stock from one pack ramen noodles in two cups water- remove foil first! Add soy and hot sauces, vinegar, noodles, beansprouts. Boil three minutes.

Appetizers/Vegetarian

4. Hummus: Blend one large can chickpeas, 1/4 cup each tahini (sesame paste) and lemon juice, one teaspoon cumin, one-half teaspoon smoked paprika, cayenne and salt.

5. Saganaki: slice kefalotiri (or romano) cheese 1/4 inch thick. Dredge with flour. Fry in lots of butter until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and bread. Opa!

6. Greek Surprise Salad: chop one red onion. Let sit in lime juice 1/2 hour. Cube watermelon. Add feta, kalamata olives, fresh herbs, salt, pepper. Pour onion/lime over.

7. Fennel Citrus Salad: slice one bulb fennel. Add one tin mandarin oranges with juice, one quarter cup white wine vinegar, salt, pepper. Dress with edible flowers.

8. Chicken a la grecque: Brown boneless chicken breasts. Add sauce grecque (one can cream of chicken soup, half can water, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper). Simmer half an hour. Yum.

9. Desperation Curry: Saute one pound ground meat with soy sauce, pepper, onion and garlic (powder will do), red wine vinegar and BBQ sauce. Serve with rice.

10. Perogies: Chop onion and bacon – saute ten minutes. Meanwhile, boil perogies in salted water until they float to top – drain. Saute perogies in bacon mixture. Mmmm.

Desserts

11. Boozy Trifle: cut stale cake or muffins into cubes. Put in bowl. Soak with booze of your choice. Mix in pudding or custard and fruit or jam.

12. Decadent Delight: got cookies and pudding packs? Crush cookies, layer with pudding in bowl. Mix in whipped cream or cool whip and freeze 20 minutes. Mmm.

AND… (drumroll please) THE LAME COOK’S DOZEN BONUS!

  • (photo of zest of 12 lemons plus one lime from Michael Dietsch’s Flickr page)

Baklava in 50 words or less!!

  • shred half pound phyllo into large pan. Mix in two cups nuts and half pound melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes. Let cool. Bring one and a half cups honey, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup orange juice, two cinnamon sticks to boil. Pour syrup over cooled pastry. Dee-lish!

Kali orexi! (bon appetit in Greek).

And, for more tips, 25 word recipes and laughs with the Lame Cook, bookmark this page: How Not To Be A Chef!

Have any ideas for 25 Word or Less Recipes? Drop me a line and I’ll post your ideas with a link to your blog!

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Foolproof Recipe No. 1: Tortellini Soup

Posted April 24, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: carnivore, chefs, cooking, food, humor, humour, recipes, soup, tips, vegetarian, what not to do

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Can’t cook anything without burning it?

Think again. Here’s a recipe so simple that anyone can manage it. And… it’s tasty. And… it disguises leftover meat! In fifteen minutes or less, to boot. And it’s even got a fancy eyetalian name, too!

Zuppa di Tortellini

1. Get some stock or broth.

This is actually homemade chicken stock. Don’t be impressed. It’s easy to make. I’ll post some tips in the next week if you can’t figure it out for yourself. In the meantime, it comes in cans or tetrapak boxes or little dry bouillon cubes for your convenience. About a litre (or quart) of stock will do for four or so people plus leftovers.

LAME COOK TIP: No stock? Try tomato juice or V-8 juice! No juice? Hey, I’m not a magician. Go get some bouillon cubes.

2. Extract the trusty tortellini stash from the freezer.

I always have some of this stuff kicking around and buy it by the kilo at Loblaws:

A couple of handfuls will do for a litre of stock.

3. Cut up whatever leftover meat you have as long as it goes with the broth.

Yesterday’s selection: the remains of one of those prepackaged mini ham roasts. MMMM. I actually prefer ham to chicken in this soup for some reason. A cup of so of diced meat should work.

4. Bring the stock to a boil…

Simmer all of the above for 5 minutes or so. When the tortellini are done they will float to the top. Turn off the heat.

5. I guess you’d better stick in some green stuff as well.

I know that not everyone wants to be the only North American with scurvy in the 21st century!! Since I don’t usually have any fresh veg about, I typically stick in some frozen peas (which I like because they are easy to fish out of the soup!)

If using frozen veg, just let them sit in the hot broth for a couple or three minutes.

6. Season to taste.
I like parmesan cheese grated on top of this. The Scotsman who lives with me, however, does not. Salt and pepper also go well with everything, I find!

7. Serve up with some homemade crackers which you have spent all day whipping up.
Oh, sorry – I forgot. This is the fancy Italian tortellini soup, not the boring old Britisher soup. So – serve with crusty bread, preferably italian style.

LAME COOK TIP: Don’t have tortellini? All the fixings for another tasty ethnic soup are available at your local smoke shop. Stop there on your way home and pick them up:

Green onions and sesame oil are a nice touch too, I find.

So there you have it – not one, but two foolproof recipes!

(And, by the way, if you don’t find them to be foolproof, don’t bother dropping me a line unless you want me to create a Hall of Shame page and post it there. I mean, there are limits!)

Coming Tomorrow: Presto Cooking part ii: Breakfast and Soup

Quick Cooking 101: an introduction to Presto

Posted April 23, 2008 by The Lame Cook
Categories: food, humor, humour, Uncategorized, vintage, what not to do

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Lest you think that cooking in 30 minutes or less was an invention of the Food Network, I’m here to tell you otherwise. There is every indication that quick cookery started as early as …

…hmm. I’m not sure – no date on the cookbook I found, sadly neglected, in the book swap at work. I’d put it at early 1950s.

But I guess it really doesn’t need a date, because the information it contains is timeless, not to mention priceless.

I mean get a load of this:

Where on earth are these vegetables grown, anyway?! I’ve certainly never come across corn and carrots which are the same size. Some weird post-nuclear accident?

But really, I shouldn’t jest. Maybe if I actually consult this book, I will acquire some gourmet hausfrau tips. As I leave my halcyon takeout-swilling chip-eating youth further and further behind, I’m increasingly worried that I am not the best helpmeet I could be. And if I start working on them now, I should be Queen of the Homemakers by 2010 when I turn 40!

And besides, the women all looked so happy back then!


Um… well, most of the time they did. Unfortunately, there is no caption for this picture. And check out the bottle!

I mean, I’ve never had kids, so I don’t really know… but it strikes me that it’s not appropriate to heat a baby bottle to boiling point. Am I wrong?

And… is that a fist I see hiding under the dishcloth?

Ah – it all makes sense now. This must be the missing caption:


“That’ll teach you for making me play ‘airplane’ for the 57th time today, kid… “

Would you just shut up and eat, already?!?!?!? If Mommy misses seeing Victor and Nikki’s fifth wedding on the Young and the Restless you’re going to your room until you turn 18 and I kick your worthless @$$ onto the street…”

And now for a short break from our sponsor… the back of the Presto book!
I want to be a model for a Presto ad!

Look how fun it is to do housework!!!

Hmm… I might not be dressed quite the part, though…


Maybe they’d go for something like this instead?

Um… maybe not. Unless, of course, the product is called “Mommy’s Dirty Little Secrets”…

Sigh – I’m not really picking up this hausfrau thing too swiftly, am I?

But what about the recipes? Well, I’m tired now. Check back tomorrow, wouldja?

Or, actually, Friday. Tomorrow I’ll give you one of my secret recipes instead.

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Homepage? click here.


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