Now that we are buying a home, we can finally unpack everything and put things however we want them. We started packing a few months before the move and made the decision to get rid of a lot of things. I had many cookbooks and a few that I felt I could sacrifice to make things easier. When I was unpacking the cookbooks after we got a nice bookshelf (for free on Craigslist) and my husband anchored it to the wall, I was somewhat shocked to see how few cookbooks I had left. I didn’t remember getting rid of so many. Then I realized that I had never had a bookshelf for them and never got to see them all at once! I do remember the yard sale and the Rescue Mission donations though and through those I got rid of about 1/4 of my collection.
So I’m going to take advantage of such an uncomplicated set of cookbooks and share some of the best and most interesting recipes in the set.
Here is a book that I have used frequently over the years and shared many recipes with others. It’s one of those small books that they sell at checkout stands. It’s called Taste of Home’s Halloween Food and Fun.
I have such a love for Fall and Fall-themed foods that I use this book all year long. I began making homemade corn dogs because of this book. I altered the recipe later on but the one in this book was a great starting point. My newest and best version is this:
1 cup cornmeal (organic if you avoid GMO’s)
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
About 2 inches of peanut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil in a 10 in skillet
16 hot dogs (I use uncured chicken or beef dogs from Trader Joes, or the organic ones there, or in a pinch, Hebrew National)
16 Bamboo skewers
Mix all batter ingredients. Heat oil over medium heat (you may need to periodically adjust the temp). Skewer the dogs and pat them somewhat dry. Working with about 3-4 dogs at a time, dip the dogs in the batter using a fork to spread a thin layer over each one. Quickly lay each one in the skillet with the skewer laying outside the pan. Twist each to turn over to brown all sides. These cook for about 4 min or less. Drain on paper towels and cook the remaining dogs that same way.
My junk food-loving 17 year old doesn’t even want the frozen ones he once loved anymore!
My absolute favorite recipe in the Halloween book is Pumpkin Sloppy Joes. This is excellent because it is really a very healthy main dish. And trust me-even pumpkin haters can’t taste the pumpkin but still get the health benefits of it. I have altered the recipe slightly for a large family and for organic ingredients but feel free to halve it for smaller families and/or for non-organic ingredients.
Pumpkin Sloppy Joes
2 pounds organic lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 15 oz can organic pumpkin
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons mustard
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 hamburger buns, white or wheat
In large skillet over medium heat cook ground beef and drain. Add onion an garlic and cook until tender. Stir in pumpkin, tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Spoon on buns and add cheese slices.
Once assembled, these hold together very well and also serve as excellent lunches the next day, even cold!
There are so many more recipes and I will be sharing them as I make them in the near future!
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