Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week of 1/16/2011: Of Souffles and meatloaf

Berry Kuchen

In keeping with my efforts at a sit-down family dinner every Sunday--greatly helped by Nathan's new work schedule in which he is off Sunday and Monday--I decided to have Salmon Souffle this week. Why you might ask? Because I have a few cans of salmon I need to use. I was pretty sure the kids wouldn't like this, but I made it. I doubled it. I froze one for use later. They'll either learn to eat it or figure something out, I guess.  

This recipe originally came from my Aunt Rita, and we had it last fall when we went to lunch at her house.  Louis and I liked it; I trust the kids will grow to like it.

Salmon Souffle

2  c. cubed bread (I used Wonder Whole Wheat White) in bottom of buttered 2.5 qt. casserole.

Mix     1 can salmon, drained
            1/2 c. chopped onion
            1/4 c. chopped celery
            1/4 c. chopped gr. pepper
            1/2 c. mayo

Spread over bread cubes.

Beat     4 eggs
             1 c. milk
             1 can cr. mushroom (Dawn's note:  I used cream of chicken because that's what I had)
Pour over salmon and bread cubes.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Uncover.  Top with 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese and bake 1 hr 15 minutes @ 350F (May put cheese on last 20 minutes).

Of course, not being very good at following directions, I put more than 1/2 c. of cheese on top and it was too cheesy.  Live and learn.  Otherwise, it was yummy.

One of my goals for this year is to offer my family homemade desserts more regularly.  By more regularly, I mean more than once or twice a year and when we have company.  I've added "Dessert from Grandma" into my Sunday dinner routine.  This week, it was "Kuchen."

The interesting thing about this recipe is that it apparently is one of those recipe cards on which my mother melded more than one recipe.  In parentheses next to the word "Kuchen" near the top is written (Dee's and mine!) in black ink.  "Kuchen" is written in blue.  Next to several of the ingredients which are written in blue--the "original" recipe--are ingredients in parentheses written in black.  I surmise that my mother tweaked this to make it more to her liking after getting it from my Aunt Dee.  Or, she could have had a similar recipe and wrote both on the same card?  Only she knew.  Sadly, I'll never know.

Kuchen (Dee's and mine!)

(1 stick=1/2 c)
1/2 # (2 sticks oleo)
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar (1 c.)
1 can fruit filling or 1.5 cup fresh fruit (Dawn's note:  I used frozen berry mix)
3 eggs (2)
Berry Kuchen
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. b pud (this took me quite a while to figure out....baking powder)

2/3 batter bottom greased 9x13 pan. Top w/fruit.  Add other 1/3 batter.

350 for 60 min(?)

Once again, this is a recipe that is very minimalist regarding instructions.  Does one melt the butter?  Does one cut the butter in?  Blend it in?  I have no clue.  Now, I easily could have looked up other Kuchen recipes and decided, but instead I decided to do what was easiest.  I melted the butter to make a smoother batter and to avoid having to use the electric beaters.  It seems to have worked fairly well.

Seeing as Tuesday is my long day at school, I'm trying to make Tuesday's a day for leftovers or something simple.  However, this week, I didn't think that I'd have leftovers anyone would eat, since I was pretty sure that Salmon Souffle wouldn't be a huge hit and Monday's menu is enchiladas, which most likely will all get eaten.  Therefore, I decided on something simple, warm and wholesome:  Bread and Cheese Dish.

The rest of the modern world knows this as "breakfast casserole."  However, back in the 70s, I guess breakfast casserole hadn't been invented.  Either that or Nina, who was from Romania, didn't know about breakfast casseroles and was preparing a bread and cheese dish....This recipe card has several recipes written on it.  So I combined several.  Nina's original calls for toasting the bread but doesn't call for refrigeration as is typical now.  Since I'm preparing Tuesday's dish on Sunday afternoon, I went with the refrigeration method. 

Bread and Cheese Casserole

8 slices of bread torn or cubed (Dawn's note:  I used Wonder Whole Wheat White)
(optional:  one lb. browned sausage, bacon, or ham)  (Dawn's note:  I used left over turkey ham, cubed)
6 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
(dash hot sauce or Worcestershire) (Dawn's note:  I used hot sauce)
(garlic powder)
(dried onions) (Dawn's note, I used both garlic powder and dried onions)

Mix together and refrigerate.
Bake 1 hr. 325F

I will confess, I didn't measure anything but the milk.  So, I hope this turns out.  I'm thinking I dumped in a little too much garlic powder.  Anyway, this will be easy for someone to pull out Tuesday and pop in the oven.  I have a vague recollection of eating something similar only made with whole slices of bread on a regular basis.  In the future, I'll have to dig it up.

The final grandma meal this week was suggested by Aidan, lover of all things meat based:  Meatloaf.

Most families have a family meatloaf recipe.  Ours is no different.  In fact, we've all always loved meatloaf.  However, we've discovered that we aren't fans of other families' recipes for the most part, especially those with green peppers in them and tomato sauce on top.  Who knows why my mother first decided to try this recipe, maybe because Lipton's Instant Onion Soup Mix was considered to dang modern and also hit the shelves right about the time my mom was getting married (introduced in 1952), regardless, we love this recipe.  (Oh, and for those of you interested in food, you need to check out this wiki). 

Meat Loaf

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2-1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. catsup
1 1/2 c. bread crumbs
3/4 c. water

Preheat oven to 375.  In large bowl combine meat, Lipton Onion Soup, eggs, catsup, bread crumbs, and water.  Shape into loaf and place in pan.  Back 45 min.

(mom's note:  soft bread = 1/2 c. about or 3/4 c. dry crumbs)

We love this recipe to death.  I remember when I first asked my mom for her recipe for meat loaf and she said, "It's on the box of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix, but I can copy it out for you."  I bet it's copied out in my own recipe box.  Who knows though because I generally just buy either Lipton's or another brand of onion soup mix and follow the recipe on the box.  Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup makes it especially tasty.  Yum, indeed.  This is the recipe Nathan asks for as his birthday dinner every single year.


  1. My "mealoaf trick" is to mix in a tube of Jimmy Dean. It doesn't matter what the rest of the recipe is (bread crumbs vs. oatmeal, water vs. milk, etc)... one tube of Jimmy Dean regular sausage takes meatloaf to levels of super awesome.

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