My New Foodie Gift/Present

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I won a gift pack from Right at Home and SC Johnson! I was quite excited as I rarely win anything. Most everything in the box was something I would use regularly. . .except the Ziplock containers. We like glass. I took the freebie supply and this great post and came up with a foodie gift plan that I intend to use regularly from now on.

To me, cooking (like sewing) is becoming a lost art. So, I decided to use my pack of 5 2-cup Ziplock containers as gifts to encourage others to spend a little more time in the kitchen. I went through my mother's cookbook and found tried-and-true recipes that fit in the 2 cup containers. I copied off the recipe and highlighted the title and the liquid ingredients. Then, I mixed all the dried ingredients into the container. The recipe, folded in half, fits perfectly inside the lid, but I would tape it for extra security.

The product does two things for a busy chef-wanna-be: a) it eliminates the need to go shopping for the majority of the ingredients, and b) it cuts down the prep time. And for those people who fear that more than a certain number of ingredients in a project might confuse them and yield an awful mess, leaving just a few liquid ingredients to add to the pre-mix makes them feel like they can do anything.

When do I think this gift idea will be useful? Weddings. How many brides are anxious about impressing their mothers or mothers-in-law in the kitchen? New Babies. How many new parents have the time to put together any substantial meals? Christmas. I think it's so great to serve a fresh homemade salad dressing to the family. Wouldn't other people appreciate it, too? Birthdays. Housewarmings. I'm so excited by the possibilities!

Below are a few recipes that fit in the 2 cup container. However, there are significantly more recipes that can fit in a 3 cup container, which I will probably use in the future.

Ranch Dressing a la Claire

  • 1 C mayonnaise
  • 1 t onion powder
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t celery seed powder
  • dash red pepper
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • ½ t sugar (optional)
  • 1 t sweet basil
  • 2 t parsley
  • 1 t chives
  • ¼ t salt or to taste
  • ¼ C milk or ½ C milk

Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing. This makes a good dressing for cole slaw.

Variation: 1,000 Island: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.

Pastry Shell

  • 1 C sifted all-purpose flour
  • ¾ t salt
  • ¾ t Sugar (optional)
  • ¼ C vegetable oil
  • 2 T skim milk

Preheat oven to 475° (very hot), or according to recipe for filling. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Combine oil and milk in measuring cup and pour all at once over flour mixture. Stir with fork until mixed.

Shape into a ball, place on sheet of waxed paper, flatten, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out with a rolling pin (dampen table top if necessary to prevent slipping) and peel off top paper. Turn dough upside-down over pie pan, peel off bottom paper, and fit dough into pan. Trim. If dough tears, mend without moistening. Flute edge. If crust is to be baked before filling is added, prick pastry all over with a fork and bake about 10 minutes. Cool before adding filling. If filling is to be baked with pie, do not prick crust, and follow directions of your recipe. (For a 2-crust pie, make double amount of pastry and divide into two balls.) Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust.

Shortcake Biscuits

  • 1 3/4 C sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • 1/2 C butter or margarine
  • 2/3 C milk

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and stir with fork until soft dough is formed. Turn out on lightly floured board and pat or roll lightly until dough is 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 16 biscuits.

Waffles

  • 1 C sifted al-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ t baking powder
  • 1 ½ t sugar
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ C milk
  • 2 T cooking oil

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat eggs until thick; add milk and oil. Add flour mixture and blend until smooth. Pour 1 cup batter onto preheated grid. Close unit and bake until light goes off. Yield: 4 large waffles.

Eating Vegetarian: 

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