Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning Brunch

Well, Christmas morning has come and gone. We are all hanging lounging around until we have to head up to Boonton for our gathering of Nordic hordes at my sister-in-laws house. We had the usually exchange of presents this morning. Rob is playing his new Wii music game and I am blogging on a new lap desk that Matt bought me. After exchanging presents Grandma and Grandpa Meyer along with Natalie and here Dad came over for Christmas brunch.

Here is the Menu for our Christmas Brunch:

Overnight Pecan Sticky Buns
Fruit Salad
Hash Browned Potatoes
Baked Egg Cups

I used a recipe from Good Housekeeping for the Overnight Pecan Sticky Buns. I did the whole recipe in my Kitchen Aid mixer instead of hand kneading as the recipe suggests. It was the first time I had used this recipe and it was a winner.

Here is the recipe for the baked egg cups:

1 dozen slices of good quality white bread
1 stick of butter
1 dozen eggs
salt pepper

Cut the crusts off the bread and flatten each slice with a rolling pin. Butter both sides the bread. Gather together the four corners and place in a muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees until toasty. Fill each toast cup with an egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees until egg is set, about 13 to 15 minutes.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oly Kucken Day at G Ma's

Our holiday season keeps rolling on, along with all the great traditions our family has kept over the years. In honor of the Dutch heritage of my side of the family, Becca and Bria get together with my mother (who the girl's call G Ma), for their annual Oly Kucken day. Oly Kucken are deeped fried dough cakes with raisins, coated with powdered sugar. I believe that they actually are made for the season leading up to Lent in Dutch and German homes, but for some reason they have become associated with Christmas in our household. They are a special treat we look forward to this time of year.

The recipe is transcriped here exactly as it was written down by my mother, who wrote it down from her grandmother , Annie Dorn Stohl, who we knew as Mammie.

Oly Kucken

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. raisns, soaked while preparing.

Mix 1 egg with 1/2 c. milk - 3/4 c. sugar $ 2 tsp vanilla - add dry ingredients - fry @ 350 degrees until brown.

(Editor's note: I suggest that you fry in shortening. Vegetable oils can leave a taste behind and the Oly Kucken are more oily.)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holland Butter Cookies

My favorite of our family's holiday traditions is Christmas Baking. We make all kinds of delicious, sweet, spicy, and nutty carbohydrate concoctions. These items come from the recipe box of Christine's and my ethnic backgrounds. Christine's Norwegian heritage has the most food based holiday traditions of the two of us, but my Dutch and Irish heritage contribute a bit to the mix. Tonight the girls are heading up to North Jersey to gather with the aunts and female cousins of my wife's clan to make all sorts of Norwegian cookies. I will share some of the recipes and pictures of the tasty treats over the next few days. Last night however, the girls launched the baking extravaganza by making a cookie tin full of Holland Butter Cookies.

I have no idea where this recipe came from. It is has been in my family a long time. The cookies are very simple. The main flavoring comes from brown sugar and almond extract. It is essential that you stick to the proportions of butter and margarine. I am not a margarine fan, but the proportions in this recipe yield a thin and crispy cookie. Even though the recipe seems so simple, please give it a try. Once you do they just might become one your favorite cookies.

Holland Butter Cookies

1 stick butter
2 sticks margarine
1 t vanilla
1 t almond extract3 & 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 & 1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter, sugar & extracts together. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Press through a cookie press or roll cookies into small balls and press flat with the tines of a fork or a cookie stamp. Bak 20-30 minutes.

As the original recipe notes--always double or triple the recipe!


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Monday, December 15, 2008

Economy Leaves Americans with Empty Plates

More than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, either live with or are on the verge of hunger. In New Jersey alone, an estimated 250,000 new clients will be seeking sustenance this year from the state's food banks. But recently, as requests for food assistance have risen, food donations are on the decline, leaving food bank shelves almost empty and hungry families waiting for something to eat.

The situation is dire, no more so than at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), the largest food bank in the state, where requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism.

As the state's key distributor of food to local banks – serving more than 500,000 people a year and providing assistance to nearly 1,700 non-profits in the state – the stability of replenishment of the CFBNJ is essential to ensuring that individuals in need have access to food.

If everyone could just do a little, it would help those in need a lot. To help, people can:
  1. Make a monetary contribution: Visit
  2. Donate food: Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry.
  3. Organize a food drive: We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD.
  4. Help "Check Out Hunger:" Look for the "Check Out Hunger" coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small!
One thing that people commonly confuse is the role of the food bank. The CFBNJ is similar to a wholesale distributor, as they provide food to more than 1,600 charities throughout the state, which then give food directly to the hungry (the food bank does not give food directly to individuals). The food bank also does not accept small amounts of food, such as a cart of groceries. They encourage those donations go directly to a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Rather, the food bank accepts large quantity food donations, such as a truck full of groceries, as well as monetary donations which they stretch to purchase food at wholesale prices, such as 300 lb. bags of rice, for example.

Participating Bloggers for “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail” campaign



3) Jersey Girl Cooks

4) Simply Sable

5) John and Lisa are eating in South Jersey

6) Padma's Kitchen

7) Chefdruck

8) Life Lightly Salted

9) My Italian Grandmother

10) Cook Appeal

11) Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars

12) Mommy Vents

13) This Full House

14) Paper Bridges

15) Motherhood Avenue

16) The Kamienski Chronicles

17) Down the Shore with Jen

18) Fits and Giggles

19) House Hubbies Home Cooking

20) Nourish Ourselves



23) Off the broiler

24) Mrs. Mo’s New Jersey Baby




28) Savy Source Newark

29) Momlogic New Jersey




33) Best of Roxy

34) Citizen


36) Jersey Beat

37) Pop Vulture Phil




41) Mike Halfacres Blog

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43) Family, Friends and Food




47) New Jersey Real Estate Report


49) More Monmouth Musings

50) Man of Infirmity

51) Another Delco Guy in South Jersey


53) Average Noone

54) Cleary’s Notebook

55) Welcome to my Planet

56) The Center of New Jersey Life

57) Sharon’s Food Blog

58) Morristown, Chatham, Summit, and Madison NJ Real Estate

59) Midtown Direct Real Estate News

60) New Jersey Real Estate



63) The Ridgewood Blog

64) Book a Week with Jen

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67) Matawan Advocate

68) Take Back the Kitchen

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72) SaveJersey

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79) Cooking With Friends Blog

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83) Likelihood of Success

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87) Figmentations

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94)Politics Patrol, The Bob Ingle Blog

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99) New Jersey: Politics Unusual

100) Jersey Shore Blog

101) Plainfield Today

102) Beacon Bulletin

103) Journal Square Jersey City 07306

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Delicious Mac and Cheese

Delicious Mac and Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 and 1/2 stick of butter
1/4 medium onion, minced
4 T flour
1 can evaporated milk
4 c milk
1/4 t. white pepper
1/2 lb of american cheese grated
1/2 lb sharp cheddar grated
1/2 lb diced ham
1/2 fresh breadcrumbs
2 T melted butter

Cook macaroni in boiling water until just done. Melt butter in large sauce pan. Add onions and cook until clear. Add the flour and cook until bubbly. Add the evaporated milk and regular milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Add the pepper, and the cheeses. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce. Fold in the ham. Put the macaroni into a casserole. Toss breadcrumbs in melted butter. Top macaroni with breadcrumbs. Bake in oven until the sauce is bubbly and the topping is crunchy and brown.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Quest for the World's Tastiest Meatloaf v. 1

I love meatloaf. A tender and savory slice of meatloaf napped in brown gravy beside a pile of buttery mashed potatoes is the ultimate comfort food. For years Christine has made the meatloaf recipe that is on the back of the Lipton Mushroom Onion Soup Mix box. I have to say that it is a pretty good recipes and great in a pinch. It is the one that i have been making for years. Lately though, I have wanted to put my own signature on our meatloaf so I have begun to experiment with different additions and subtractions in the quest for the world's tastiest meatloaf. My first attempt about a month ago was a disaster. I don't usually have out and out failures in my cooking but this one was. I used way to much bread and other wet ingredients so the meatloaf came out mushy. I also used to much Worcestershire sauce and the flavor was over powering. My next attempt which I served last night was much better. In fact my middle son with his highly developed pallet gave it a 9. On further thought he lowered the rating to 8.5. So it was a good meatloaf, but had room for improvement. My quest for the world's tastiest meatloaf will be an continuing series and I will report on my ongoing quest in future posts.

Worlds Tastiest Meatloaf v. 1

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 T. butter
1 stale roll or 3 slices of stale bread
enough milk to soak the bread
1/3 c. ketchup
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/3 c. milk
1 egg
1.5 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground pepper


1/3 c ketchup
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1 T. brown sugar

Break up bread and soak in milk until soft. Squeeze out the milk and add enough milk to have 1/3 of a cup. Saute onions and celery in butter until soft. Add this to the rest of the ingredients, except the glaze ingredients and mix together well until blended and all ingredients are evenly distributed. Put into roasting pan and form into a loaf. Mix glaze ingredients together and spread this on top of the meatloaf. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Add about 3/4 c of water to pan about half way through cooking. Increase heat to 400 and bake another 15 minutes to get the glaze to be nice and crusty. Remove meatloaf from pan. Add additional water to pan and scrape up any brown bits. Add a flour and water slurry to make a gravy. Serve with meatloaf.


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Friday, December 5, 2008

House Hubbie's Joins "Blogging Out Hunger" Campaign

My fellow foodie and blogging buddy, Deborah of Jersey Bites is coordinating a bloging campaign on behalf of The Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The "This Bank Can't Fail" blogging campaign is scheduled to launch December 15th. The goal is to get 100 New Jersey bloggers spreading the word about the desperate need that The Community Food Bank of New Jersey is in due to the increased demands being put on New Jersey food pantries.

Some of you know that House Hubbie's is a little hobbie of mine. What my real life is all about is being a pastor of community church in Toms River, NJ. I can tell you from direct experience that the volume of calls I have from people looking for help has gone through the roof. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey provides much of the food that is on the shelves of the food pantries that I direct people toward who are in need. There are some alarming trends happening because of the increased need:
  • At the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. - CFBNJ

  • Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism. - CFBNJ
I am excited to be part of this effort to raise awareness of the need and hope you will get involved. If you want to participate you can e-mail Deborah at jerseybites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Treats for Finals Week

This week is finals week for our kids who are in college. My daughter is 6.5 hours away at Grove City College in the Pittsburgh area. She is feeling a bit blue, missing home and her boy friend, so my wife, being the good mommy that she is, sent her some early Christmas Cookies to cheer her up during finals week. She found a quick little recipe for some sweet treats called Black Tie Tartlets. She found the recipe on the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies site at Nestles Chocolate. She whipped them up in about 5 minutes. They were so pretty that I wanted to share them with you.


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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hearty Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Soup

This soup doesn't have to be from a Thanksgiving leftover turkey . . . any turkey carcass will do, but for some reason it is especially tasty after Thanksgiving. I cook my turkey carcass the day after the feast and then put the whole pot in the fridge in order to let the fat harden so I can easily remove it. You don't need the leftover gravy and stuffing, but if you use it the especially rich and thick.

Hearty Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Soup

1 cooked turkey carcass broken up into pieces
1 large onion
2 ribs of celery
2 carrots
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
enough water to cover

Put the turkey carcass and other ingredients in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for several hours, adding more water if necessary. Cover and put pot in refrigerator. When stock is chilled remove hardened fat, set aside two T and discard the rest. Warm up the stock, strain it and remove meat from carcass and set aside.

2 T turkey fat
4 carrots peeled and diced
4 ribs of celery diced
2 turnips peeled and diced
2 parsnips peeled and diced
6-8 cups turkey stock (add water to stock to make at least 6 cups if necessary)
leftover stuffing
leftover turkey gravy
reserved turkey meat
1 lb cooked egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste
cranberry relish

Melt turkey fat in stock pot. Cook vegetables in the fat for a few minutes. Add the turkey stock, gravy and stuffing and cook until veggies are tender and soup is nice and thick. Add turkey meat and egg noodles. Adjust seasoning serve garnished with a dollop of cranberry relish, accompanied by fresh baked bread.

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