Monday, August 13, 2012

Recipe Tool Box

I went to a bridal shower last weekend for a good friend of mine, Kelly, in Kalona. It was very nice and such a pretty part of the state!

Here is an actual text conversation with Kelly a couple days before the shower:

          Me: I know what I'm getting you! It's not on your list!

          Kelly: Oh boy! I'm excited!

          Me: It's something that may get passed down to your grandchildren.
          Me: And I'm making it.

          Kelly: That's a real head-scratcher!

          Me: It also may cost less than $3.
          Me: Maybe more with the card and wrapping paper.

          Kelly: Oh Lord!

          Me: But in perspective, a bronze Olympic medal only has a material value of $5.

Know what it is? I guess I gave it away in the title of my post! I can't claim it as a completely original idea since one of my favorite wedding shower gifts was a recipe box from my mom. What made it special is that she filled it with her favorite recipes. Did you know Target doesn't sell any recipe boxes in their stores? Walmart has exactly one recipe box, and it's in the canning section. Are people who can the only ones who use recipe boxes? Maybe so! It looks like this.

 No offense to any of you who have kitchens with strawberry wallpaper and a lattice boarder, but YUCK! The good news is that for $6.88, you also get some matching strawberry recipe cards. I doubt Kelly is into strawberries and red lattice, but I had an idea to transform it into something more awesome.

Did I mention that Kelly and I work at a company that manufactures tool storage? We both love tool boxes! If you don't have one, you should buy one. They make great gifts!  I used some acrylic paint and a metallic paint marker to make the modifications. Then I sealed it with polycrylic to give it a shiny, durable finish. Our coworker, Betty, made the Domino logo, which will be Kelly's new last name. It turned out like this.
I tried to skew the photo angle so you don't notice that the top handle is completely off center. Did you notice? I would try to do a better job with that if I did this again.

Then came the fun part. Recipes! I completely entertained myself personalizing them. Here are a few examples.

Yard Bird Spaghetti
This one looks and tastes good enough to serve to company. Admittedly, some of the others I’ve given you do not. Well, most of them taste fine. But some people are scared of casseroles, so my advice is to avoid casseroles for company unless you know them really well.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 oz. cooked spaghetti
4 c. cooked chicken, diced
Parmesan cheese

Mix first soups and cheese in a large bowl. Add spaghetti and blend. Stir in chicken. Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese. 
Cucumber and Onion Salad
Could you ever see yourself with a vegetable garden? If so, plant some cucumbers and onions so you can make this dish. If not, I don’t blame you. I can think of lots of better ways to spend my time. One thing I’d rather do than plant a garden is to go to the grocery store to buy cucumbers and onions.

2 cucumbers
1 onion
½ c. vinegar
2 T. sugar
½ c. water

Slice cucumbers and onions into a bowl, salting each layer. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the top. Chill for at least an hour.
Corn Supreme
When I was first married, I made a recipe called “Cheesy Corn Delight.” I thought it was delicious, but TJ was not impressed. We compromised with Corn Supreme, but let me know if you want the recipe for Cheesy Corn Delight. I had to promise not to make it ever again. He still makes fun of my Cheesy Corn Delight, and I don’t think it’s funny.

1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn
8 oz. sour cream
1 stick margarine
2 eggs
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Dot the top with margarine. Bake 45 minutes at 350° or until set in the center. 

Eclair Dessert
This is a good one for company because it looks harder to make than it really is. Try to be happy whenever you cook or bake. I believe it will taste better, don’t you? It’s sort of like how you can tell when someone is smiling when you talk to them on the phone.
1 box graham crackers
1 6oz package instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 tub chocolate frosting

Line the bottom of greased 9 x 14 with whole graham crackers (don’t break or crush them). Mix pudding with milk and let stand several minutes. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour ½ over graham crackers. Add a layer of graham crackers. Pour on remaining pudding. Place 3rd layer of graham crackers. Chill overnight. Top with chocolate frosting. Good leftover!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Just get the frozen ones, Kelly. They taste almost as good as homemade and are a heck of a lot easier to make. Just follow the directions on the bag. However, I don’t recommend this “recipe” if you’re planning to be in the Iowa State Fair cinnamon roll contest. Did you know the first prize wins $5,000. That’s actually true. The winner is usually Amish or Mennonite, but I hope you win. You could go on a fun trip with $5,000. I would be happy to go with you as long as you don’t insist I wear a bikini. 

She liked it!

1 comment:

  1. This was the best gift ever! Not only does it provide tasty recipes, it provides hours of entertainment! Just ask Tyler...I'm still laughing!!!!