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Easy Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets Recipe

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Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Today was grocery day. This means I spent two hours wandering through the grocery store trying to find the right products to match with the right coupons amidst a sea of neon yellow sale tag sirens. And at the end of the race, I had to go home and unload all the groceries I had just put in the bags. After all that, I was tired. But the questions still loomed, “What’s for dinner?”
I scoured the recent mound of food in the fridge. There was a box of boneless chicken wings.  (How wings can be boneless, I don’t know. But who cares if they’re so good.) I also found crescent rolls and bleu cheese wedges. And as always, a bottle of hot sauce. So I came up with an quick, easy recipe for dinner: Chicken Buffalo Bleu Sandwiches or

Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Buffalo Chicken PocketsIngredients:
Can of refrigerated crescent rolls
Boneless chicken wings or chicken fingers
Spreadable Blue cheese wedges
Hot buffalo sauce

 

Quick & Easy Instructions:

1. Unroll half of the crescent roll dough into triangles according to directions on package.

2. Cut up the chicken wings or chicken fingers into pieces and place close together onto each sheet of crescent dough; leave 1/2″ border around edge.

3. Slice chunks of spreadable blue cheese wedges and place on top of chicken.

3. Place a second dough triangle on top of the boneless chicken wings and pinch top and bottom parts together. Trim ends of dough to cover seams if necessary.

4. Bake rolls according to directions on package. You may need another 5-10 min to cook filled pockets.

 Remove pockets and pour hot buffalo sauce across the Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets and serve.
My lovely wife gave them a hearty approval. I liked having the buffalo chicken flavor all together in a flaky crescent roll crust  like a calzone, pastie, or whatever you call a hot hand-held sandwich. Plus, Blue Buffalo Chicken Pockets were less messy than regular buffalo chicken fingers –the roll contained the cheese and the fork could dip into the buffalo sauce as much as it wanted. And best of all, it was a quick and easy dinner.
At the end of the meal our mouth were burning hot but happy!

 

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Creepy Jello Brain Surgery

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Creepy Jello Brain

 

On Friday I became a brain surgeon. And a cannibal. In honor of Halloween and my anniversary of surviving brain surgery I made a Jello brain. The mold from Amazon showed all the bundles of squiggly wrinkles (non-medical term) that make up a real brain. The size was larger than a real human brain though, more like a hard hat. Gives new meaning to putting on your thinking cap.

Since Betty Crocker didn’t have jiggly brain recipes I searched the Web. After rejecting a few recipes for what seemed like giant Jello shots, I found a couple that gave some guidelines. I combined 3 boxes of peach Jello and 1 strawberry Jello box equivalent (three sugar-free boxes that offer less for more money) then added some lite sweetened condensed milk for opaque creaminess. Then it all sat in the fridge for 6 hrs after which my brave wife removed my brain and put it on a platter.

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The fresh flesh was pink and gloppy. The color was redder than a real brain would be but still creepy enough to cause you to squiver. I did the honor of severing the hemispheres and performing a frontal lobotomy.

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This brain was firm and cut well…not as jiggly as you’d expect. As I was slicing into it I felt an eerie out-of-mind moment. It seemed strange to think a doctor did this to me a few years ago to remove a tumor. But I’m glad it happened. My life has been much better since then.

 

I the served fresh brain sliced with Reddi-Wip. It didn’t have much taste though. But that didn’t matter much because it looked so cool and creepy.

German Chocolate Cake Brownies & Frozen Hot Cocoa

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What makes German chocolate cake so irresistible? The sweet Baker’s chocolate? Or the gooey frosting full of coconut and pecans? While I like cake, I must say I can never have enough frosting….well almost.

One time in junior high Grandma let my sister, cousin and I stay up until midnight and do anything. So we decided to raid the kitchen. My sister made a tin foil funnel hat coated with cheese. My cousin had coffee grinds smeared on her head and face, and I had a beard made of coconut pecan cake frosting.  By the stroke of 12:00 when we had to revert to our normal selves, my beard had been eaten down to a goatee, and I was rather sick of the sweetness and stickiness. I had had enough coconut pecan German chocolate cake frosting for a while. But that didn’t last too long and I regained my taste for it in time for my birthday the next year.

All this leads to today’s creations and recipes: German Chocolate Cake Brownies and Frozen Hot Chocolate.

German Chocolate Cake Brownie Recipe

Since my wife loves brownies and I love cake, I decided to marry the two together into German Chocolate Cake Brownies.

Mix half a box of German Chocolate cake with half a box of brownie mix. You’ll need to calculate the right egg ratio; in this box mix combination it ended up being just 2 eggs. Otherwise, you can just mix eggs together and divide them. For richer flavor, you can substitute milk or even chocolate milk for the water in the cake. Baking time varies but will lean more towards the brownie directions. When cooled, frost with canned or homemade coconut pecan frosting. Makes 9-12 brownies based on pan size.

Frozen Hot German Chocolate Cake Cocoa

Next comes the illusive chocolate drink: Frozen Hot Chocolate! One summer in the mid 90’s Dairy Queen came out with frozen hot chocolate. Both creamy and icy, you could scrape off the flavor with a spoon. I wanted to recreate the flavor experience and add German Chocolate. The result is delicious, but definitely not nutritious! Warning: Do not feed to young children unless you want to become a ringmaster of a circus of jumping kids.

1/2 oz. German chocolate  OR 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate plus 1/4 tablespoon sugar                  Hot German Chocolate Recipe
2-3 tsp cocoa mix or 2 tsp cocoa
1 1/4 cup 2% or whole milk
1/4 cup sweetened canned coconut milk OR 1/2 cup prepared coconut milk in carton
1 3/4 Tbsp sugar
2-3 cups ice (5-7 ice cubes)

  1. Combine both milks and sugar and microwave on low heat until it starts to dissolve.
  2. Add chocolate and cocoa to mixture. Stir every 30 seconds until they are incorporated. Cool.

  3. Take out ice cubes and let thaw slightly. Add prepare liquid to blender and gradually add the ice cubes. Use pulse  function to crush ice, then turn on milkshake/smoothie mode and beat until creamy.

  4. Pour into cup and place in freezer at least 4 hrs.

  5. Top with toasted coconut, pecans, and chocolate shavings, if desired.

If you’re really into the coconut and pecan taste, you can throw some into the blender along with the other ingredients.

Serves 1 person

All measurements serve as an estimate; you may want to add more sugar depending on taste. If you don’t know what you like, then just keep eating until you get it right ;-D

Let me know: Do you like frozen hot chocolate cocoa or other frozen drinks? How else do you use German Chocolate Cake mix or frosting?

 

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Thumbs Down for Vintage 7 Up Recipes

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7UP Recipes Fizzle Out

7Up Recipe FavoritesI bought a stack of old cookbooks at an estate sale the other day and was intrigued by a 7Up recipe booklet advertising all the ways cooking with 7UP can enhance your kitchen meals.  According to the uncola company,  7Up and food “just naturally go together.” So just how many ways could 7Up be used besides drinking? I knew citrus soda could  be used in baking biscuits and cakes but had never tried to cook with it.  So, against the protestations of my wife, I  decided to try some 7UP soda recipes from 1969.

I wanted to make an entire meal from 7 UP recipes but didn’t have enough time or pop after drinking it. So I settled on “Carrots Supreme” and a special fish sauce. The recipe for carrots supreme was pretty simple: carrots boiled in 2 cups of 7UP for an “unusual flair.”  The result was rather usual though: carrots that tasted like, well, just carrots. Perhaps I should have elevated myself to “sophisticated” beans instead.

7UP Food Recipes  7 Up Cooking Recipe with Vegetables7Up Recipe - Fish Sauce

Next came the fish. The sauce was supposed to be  served over fried fish fillets, but since I’m not allowed near hot oil after several culinary scars, and since I didn’t have a whole branzino to baste, I settled for cod fillets. The process of making the sauce not as simple as the instructions indicated. Mixing and boiling the ingredients took longer than desires, and the 7UP lost its fizzle when added to the hot butter and resulted in a bubbling brown sticky mess. On the plate it looked like the fish had sneezed from a bad cold.

In all, the results were less than sparkling fresh. The sugar in the 7UP masked any other flavors. Perhaps there was less sugar in the 60s version of the soda? (I asked 7Up but did not receive an answer).  My wife didn’t try to conceal her dislike of it. I continued to try the creations but after a few bites had to admit the “distinctly different” 7 UP recipes were rather lackluster. The results were not even worthy of display photos.

So whether you say soda, pop, or uncola soda, I wouldn’t recommend these  7UP recipes from the 60s or anytime.

 

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Whipping It Up: My First Homemade Whipped Cream

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Getting Whipped Cream Right

Whipped Cream

I saw an ad one Thanksgiving that changed my life forever.  A woman stands looking at the dairy toppings and a worker comes up to her and asks if she wants oil or cream on pumpkin pie. Confused, the customer looks down and sees the signs for Cool Whip and Rite Whip. The worker reveals that Cool Whip contains hydrogenated oils; whereas, Reddi-Whip uses only cream. Wow. Who knew? From then on, I wanted only real cream on my pie.

As fun as real cream spray whip is I want the real thing. But it always seems so intimidating. The words “Beat until stiff peaks form” scare me. I want to run out of the room crying. Because no matter how hard I’ve tried, neither my eggs nor my cream ever ascend into heavenly white peaks. Like Helen of Troy or Don Quixote’s Dulcinea, they represent the perfect ideal, that unattainable and impossible dream.

The other day I decided once more to dream the impossible dream of homemade whipped cream. I had tried a few times before but always ended up staring down into a bowl of an uncertain gloppiness that, no matter how hard it was beaten, never lifts into peakdom.

This time I took some tips from my mother who has made about everything. First, I cleaned the bowl and the beaters very well; any speck could ruin it. And who wants to ruin a whole cup of heavy cream? Next I put the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes until it was sufficiently cold.

Then I took the bowl out and beat in the cream. The electric hand mixer made the process easier than last time when I tried to use a balloon whisk (a good workout but a bad way to raise cream). Even with the beaters it still took at least 5 minutes until I noticed the rotating circles of the beater started to slows down, and I saw that little clumps fall off the sides of the bowl. That’s when I realized dairy nirvana may be near. I kept the beaters in place and watched as ridges began to form in a slow-motion snowstorm. Could it be that the peaks were forming?

Firm Peaks - Homemade Whipped CreamThe directions said to beat until the cream held its own. Slowly, I took out the beaters and waited. The substance didn’t move. Was this it? I dipped in a spoon and tasted the substance. Sweet and fluffy and full bodied. I had just climbed up a small white Himalayan mountain and reached firm peaks!

                                                   peaks

While stiff peaks still lay ahead, at least I had now whipped part of my culinary fears into a puffy cloud of creamy goodness.

Junket Danish Dessert

A dollop of my fresh whipped cream and atop of the much-anticipated Danish Dessert.

 

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Custard’s Last Stand – Just Desserts

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Junket Custard Catalog – 1941

Tempting Nutritious Desserta - Junket 1942

If you didn’t read the the first post with fun pictures and recipes from the booklet, How to Make Tempting and Nutritious Desserts, then click here for the fun! Then proceed along the route to custard enlightenment.

The Junket Food diet continues with even more tempting and nutritious desserts.

Image (53) The milkshake pictures here start looking tempting, minus the yellow radiation in the pineapple shake. While many variations on the theme of homemade ice cream still provide deliciousness, some recipes just didn’t survive the next few decades. See Golden Glow Custard

I’m sorry, but I don’t like my desserts to glow. Orange light emanating from a bowl makes me feel like I’ve entered a plutonium-enhanced Halloween party. Plus, 7 Tbsp sugarDanish Dessert?!

The queen of curious desserts is the Danish Dessert.

The writing is in a Nordic text, so it must be authentically Danish. But was it a gelatin or pudding, or something new entirely?  I just had to know, so I ordered some from the Junket site, along with a chocolate ice cream mix and box of Rennet tablets.

Time to try the recipes. First up was the frozen vanilla custard. The modern and vintage recipe versions gave the same directions with a few exceptions:

1. The original recipe called for a freezing tray. I wasn’t sure what it was. According to the quaint domestic drawings it may have been part of an early electric refrigerator or icebox. So I just decided to use a small loaf pan.

2. The 1941 directions says to test the milk temperature by dropping it on to your wrist. But how do you know if it is “comfortably warm” or uncomfortable scalding? The latter could leave red spots on the wrist that may be difficult to explain to friends at work – did you get bit by a tarantula, or was it some rare disease? Mercifully, the current version just uses a food thermometer at 110 F.

3. The vintage recipe wanted you to whip the heavy cream and then add it to the mixture at the end. I managed that to some success. The modern version avoids all the mess; instead, it adds all the liquids directly into the initial mix that is beaten later.

After a relatively easy assembly and a firm beating, the concoction entered the freezer. After waiting impatiently for some time the frozen custard ice cream emerged from cryostasis. Would frozen custard still taste good after 74 years? Yes. Yes it did. The frozen delight felt like the texture of homemade ice cream. That is, not too firm or gloppy like the store-bought stuff, but with just enough creamy substance and sugar to make it pleasing to the taste buds.

Finally, I was going to satisfy my curiosity about the Danish Dessert. What was it and why did a whole country identify with it? I followed the package directions and boiled it like you would do with Jell-O. Only Junket Danish Dessert is thicker and the flavor is a little more tart and sweet. It can be used for pie filling but tastes delicious on its own with whipped cream.

DanishDessert

Whatever the year, Americans’ sweet teeth need to be satisfied. And some recipes, hidden from time in a yard sale box, still meet that tasty, tempting desire.

Find surviving vintage recipes for current Junket products at their site: www.junketdesserts.com

Artwork and recipes copyright 1941 by Junket Desserts, a RedCo Foods company. Used by permission.

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Custard’s First Stand – Rennet Custard Desserts

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Vintage Junket & Rennet Custard Dessert Catalog – 1941

RunningforDesserts

The title of this booklet immediately attracted me. Who knew desserts could be both tempting and nutritious? Better yet, according to this, desserts are the answer to diet problems too! They sure must be good desserts– just look at those kids running with big spoons (safer than running with scissors). Even the dog is racing on his way to the kitchen – perhaps Kibbles just didn’t cut it.

So what did children of the 40s eat that was so delicious and nutritious? Let’s look:

Image (37)
A well-balanced meal includes fruit, vegetables, milk and “other food” (does that mean cookies?), plus a pint of whole milk, an egg, and three squares of butter per day. Cows and hens must have worked overtime back then!

According to the vintage pamphlet, races that have consumed milk have been stronger than other cultures. Tell that to Ghengis Khan and other Asian people lacking lactose enzymes. Of course, there’s no mention of milk from non-bovines: goat, llama, platypuses

On the next page we see family a happy family. Mom looks on smiling at Dad who laughs and looks at the daughter whose custard he not-so-secretly envies. Baby sits in the high chair studying the cup whose contents she so desperately wants to get at. Her uninterpretable cries of, “Throw away those mushed peas and give me custard, Mommy!” have finally been answered. Now if she could just manage to grasp the spoon and get the jiggly custard goodness.

The next strip shows just how Junket Rennet custard tablets transformed the arduous task of feeding the baby.

FlanStrip1

FlanStrip2

Apparently, parents in the 50s literally bent over backwards in attempt to feed their baby. But all they really needed was Rennet custard to please the child. Just listen to that extra contented “Goo” the baby makes after getting her Junket custard. Mom and Dad look pleased, “How cute darling, it’s baby’s first flan!”

To continue to delight the family, mothers needed to learn the recipes:

                                   mince                  Jiffy Prune Renent Custard

   Mmm…Prunes! Popular with old folks.               I never figured out mincemeat.                                  But not baby’s diaper.                            But meat in pudding is just scary.

 Image (54)

The childhood joy of gelatin continues with a birthday party. Eggs, beans and plain sandwiches—what a birthday treat! The orange sherbet wafers afterward sure better be worth it . Laughing Baby

And that baby is still laughing. I’d laugh  in joy too if all I got to eat was Rennet custard.

Perhaps the “nutritiousness” of these foods may be debatable. But then again so can many of the foods today with hidden sugar and syrups.

Still, I don’t really think the average modern kids need butter, eggs and whole milk every day. Unless, with of course, they spend all day running around with spoons in their hands.

Next up: I attempt to re-create recipes from the book with modern Rennet tablets and Junket dessert packets.

What do you remember about Junket or Rennet tablets? Did you have any of these recipes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

All pictures and recipes copyright 1941 by Junket Desserts, a RedCo Foods company. Used by permission.

 

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