Category Archives: Lunch

Bierrocks

Thanks to Kathy Taylor for this recipe. She contributed it to a church cookbook about 25 years ago, just in time for me to start wondering what to feed 5 children and a husband on a budget! These are great little fist-sized hot sandwiches. At their best, they should remind you a little of White Castle hamburgers.  Actually, up here in Omaha, they have something similar that is called a runza, but it’s not quite the same, or as good.  Some people eat them with cheese sauce, but we like them with ketchup (like White Castles!). They can be made with either chopped cabbage or sauerkraut, but I almost always use kraut.  They aren’t bad cold, and if you make enough, you can wrap and freeze them and have a handy lunch ready.

okay, here’s the truth: I can’t find my recipe, so I’m flying by the seat of my pants as far as the amounts go.  I’m pretty sure this is right; I double checked the bread recipe so it’s reliable.  Silas and Patty, thanks for asking: I sometimes don’t find time to update this unless I get a request.

Lots of chopped onion and black pepper make these tasty.

Bierrocks

  • 2 pounds of hamburger
  • 1 very large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans sauerkraut, drained (or 1 large can)
  • salt and lots of black pepper

Cook the onion until soft. Add the hamburger. Drain the excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Add the drained kraut. Hold it. Make the dough.

Dough:

  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

Add:

  • 1 cup mashed potato
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening or oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups milk

Stir all this together and add

  • about 8 cups flour; I use about 3 cups of whole wheat flour.

Stir until the dough holds together.  Knead for about 8 minutes. Let rise — about an hour.

Divide the dough in half.  Roll one half into a rectangle and then cut into squares.  Put a large spoonful of filling onto each square and bring up the 4 corners to meet each other and pinch the sides together.  You want to enclose all the filling. Repeat with the other half.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 35o until brown — about 20-25 minutes.

One Dish Meals – The Series: Not Tuna Casserole

Growing up in southern Kansas, we called the one-dish meals “casseroles”; I understand that in some parts of the country, they are called “hot dishes”.  Whatever you call them, they probably got started as a way to stretch the food dollar by combining a little bit of protein with a whole lot of what we used to call “starch”, or carbohydrate. This starch was usually in the form of what we used to call noodles, now known as pasta.  Sometimes,  rice was the stretcher.  To tell the truth, these casseroles all kind of ended up looking alike: a gummy mass of noodles that was pretty salty.  My mom went to her grave never knowing that I hated tuna casserole, for instance.  It had four ingredients: macaroni, tuna, cream of mushroom soup and sometimes peas.  Or cheese.  Fat city, here I come! I knew that there had to be a better way, and I’m sure that I was not the first one to turn to the Italian method for inspiration.  This was the result: something I call Tuna, Pasta, Tomatoes and Olives.  or Not Tuna Casserole.

  • One bag of whole wheat, spiral macaroni (I think it’s about a pound)
  • One large can of diced tomatoes
  • One onion
  • One green pepper
  • One can of pitted black olives
  • Some olive oil
  • Some balsamic vinegar
  • Some basil and garlic
  • one can of tuna, preferably the solid white kind.

Cook and drain the pasta.  Chop the onion and pepper.  Slice the olives. Drain the tomatoes, but drink the juice — it’s yummy and good for you.Mix together about 1/3 c. of olive oil, the same of the vinegar, and season with basil and garlic until you are satisfied with the flavor.  You can serve this hot or cold.  Some crusty bread is good with it.

One Dish Meals: First in a Series . Macaroni and Cheese

One of my sons has suggested a “one pot” theme.  Good idea, especially if the dish is such that you can do like the cavepeople did and all stick your spoons in the same pot!  No dishes! I like it.  To my way of thinking, soup makes a great one pot meal, especially if you have got (or have made!) some really good bread.  Anyway, watch this spot; there will be more to come.  But for the first one pot meal, let’s make it macaroni and cheese.  Technically, I use 2 pots, one for the mac and one for the sauce, but there is a way to make it in one pot.  Here it is.  Don’t forget  to serve with applesauce.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 bag of macaroni – usually about a pound.  And I like to use whole wheat mac, the spirals.
  • 4 tablespoons butter.  and it’s better if your butter is not margarine.
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk (or alternatively, 2/3 cup dry milk powder mixed with 2 cups water. or add the powder with the flour and then stir in the water.)
  • 0ne pound (or more) of cheddar cheese, shredded — or you can  use a mixture of Monterey Jack, cheddar, etc.  Sometimes I also use some cream cheese.  And, while some would say that Velveeta is not real cheese, it sure does melt nicely. Use the big box.
  • salt and pepper
  • additional seasoning: I like to use either Worcestershire sauce or Lawry’s seasoned salt.  Some chopped green onions are also good.

First, you need a big pot in which to boil your water and cook your macaroni.  I assume you can follow the directions on the bag.  When it is cooked, drain it and return to the stove (but turn the burner way down.  In fact, turn it off for a while.  The mac is pretty hot.) Now, stir in the butter and let it melt, and then add the flour.  Now the milk (or the milk powder and water). Now, with the heat on low, start stirring in the cheese til its melted.  If you choose to add the additional seasonings, go ahead.  Remember, the more cheese the better.  That’s it; you can eat it out of the pot, or if you are from southern Kansas, pour it into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 til brown on top.  (buttered bread crumbs always make a good casserole topping.)

Like my Mom said, “Feed ’em macaroni and cheese!”

A Word about Powdered Milk

I don’t suppose anyone likes to drink powdered milk, but it is handy to have around.  If you bake or cook any recipe that calls for milk, the difference won’t be noticeable if you substitute reconstituted dry milk. It’s cheaper, and it keeps for a long time. And then you can save the real milk for drinking and eating cereal.

BLT Chicken Salad

This is a much-requested recipe (at least as far as my children are concerned). I have seen it from several different sources (mags, etc.) but it’s pretty much PD now. (I hope.) Enjoy.

Mix:

  • 1/2 c. real mayo
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 1/2 teaspns. vinegar (balsalmic is good)
  • 1 tablespn. BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 teaspn garlic powder

Cook 1 pound chicken breasts; cool, cut in cubes.

Cook 1/2 pound rotini pasta (of course, I prefer ww)

Cook several strips bacon til crisp (how about 1 1/2 strips per person?)

Now, mix pasta and dressing. Toss in chicken, bacon.  Add 3 c. chopped Romaine lettuce and fresh spinach.  Throww in a chopped tomato. Toasted croutons made of good french bread are a good add-in: I toss the cubes with olive oil and bake at a low temp til crisp. This will probably serve 6 people.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

First, get a loaf of white bread; we’re going old school. Pull out a couple of slices, but NOT THE HEEL!  Grape jelly is preferred, but strawberry is okay — it’s just a little too healthy for our purposes today.  Make sure that you use creamy peanut butter, it’s easier to spread.  And MAKE SURE that you spread from edge to edge — VERY IMPORTANT! No bread must show through! on the other piece of bread, spread some margarine — Mom always said that would keep us from choking.  The margarine should be spread thick enough to show teeth marks when you bite it. Slap it together and there you are! (you can cut it into triangles –“houses”, or rectangles, but when you cut it, the flavor runs out.)Raisins can be sprinkled on top of the p.b. but skip the jelly.   Find a book and enjoy with your nutritious snack!

I do not eat peanut butter this way anymore, but this might explain why I am still trying to lose 10 lbs. of baby fat.