home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes

Eating cookie dough

Story and photos by Angie Sutton


Last Saturday morning my husband, Jeff, was sitting on the living room floor playing with the twins when he posed an interesting question. “What happened to the real Saturday morning cartoons?” he said.

Has it been a slow progression from looking forward to cartoons on Saturday mornings to having “kid-television” available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on various channels targeting our little ones? Even my favorite shows like “The Brady Bunch,” where Mike and Carol peacefully work through sibling rivalry and lost dog issues, have been replaced with a yellow sponge working as an under-the-sea fry cook and a sassy nanny wrangling the likes of poorly-mannered, impolite affluent kids. The latter I have blocked from our TV program menu.

A conversation ensued about what we used to do when we were kids that our kids will likely never experience. Call it the advancement of technology or just the progression of the human race, but creating the list made me feel a bit nostalgic as we kick off the not-so-lazy days of summer. I narrowed it to 5 things but I’m certain you will think of many more!

5. Change the channel on the television…by hand! Oh kids, if you think rolling down the window with a crank seems exhausting, try wearing out a path over to the television set each and every time you wanted to change the channel. You would turn the dial and select from just 13 channels and if the weather was just right you could get a bonus channel to come in.

4. Riding bikes with no worries. We just got on our bikes and rode them. Big packs of kids moving from one park to another and just riding because we could. The only rule was to be home before the street lights came on. There were no bicycle helmets or special paths to ride on (though I think both are important nowadays).

3. Looking up stuff on paper. Really this applies to anything that was on paper but is now electronic. Maps—we used a paper map with my mom navigating on family vacations. Encyclopedias—pretty much anything you ever wanted to know was contained in this multi-book set. Now we just ask our phone to tell us how to get somewhere and “Google” the needed information that will solve our problems.

2. Eating cookie dough and doing other stuff that is dangerous now. We grew up eating cookie dough straight from the bowl at Grandma’s house. We made mud pies and went for walks around the neighborhood. We piled five kids in the back of the station wagon and begged Aunt Sharon to “take the big hills.”

1. Taking pictures with a camera requiring film. Photography is one of my favorite things. I got my first point-and-shoot camera that required film and flash cubes when I was about 10 years old. I loved taking photos. Each one was thoughtfully planned because there were only 24 exposures on the film. Once the photos were taken, we’d drop off the film canister and go back a week later to pick up the pictures. The anticipation was half the fun!

My mind was definitely wandering when I was thinking back to the freedom those school-free summer days brought. I hope that I’m not allowing my kids to sign up for so many activities that someday they won’t have the same memories of summer fun, albeit much different than my youth.

In the spirit of enjoying summer, I’m sharing a collection of quick-and-simple recipes that work for lunch or dinner.

Crab Cakes and Fresh Tartar Sauce

The frozen lump crab meat works best for this recipe as the texture is a bit substantial than the canned variety. If you use the canned variety, drain the liquid first. Be sure to give it at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator so your cakes will stay together. You can substitute 3/4 cup of bread crumbs for the saltines and add a dash of hot sauce.

1/4 c. light mayonnaise
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
Pinch of ground red pepper
1 lb. lump crab meat
1/2 c. saltine crackers, crushed to coarse crumbs (about 10)
4 Tbsp. olive oil

Tartar Sauce:

1/3 c. light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chopped dill pickle
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. capers, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Prepare crab cakes: In a medium-bowl, stir mayonnaise, egg, lemon peel, mustard, salt and pepper until blended. Pick through crab meat to remove any pieces of shell; avoid breaking up the meat. Gently stir crab meat and cracker crumbs into mayonnaise mixture. Onto waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet, scoop crab mixture by scant 1/2 cups into 8 mounds; shape each into 3-inch rounds. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare tartar sauce: In a small bowl, stir together all sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute half the crab cakes 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining crab cakes.

Cuban-Style Shredded Pork Sandwich

Source: Hamilton Beach

1/4 c. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lime zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
5 lb. boneless pork shoulder

For the sandwich:

Bread (if you want panini) or rolls
Yellow Mustard (prepared)
Sliced Swiss cheese
Sliced baked ham
Dill pickles

Combine juices, olive oil, zest, garlic and seasonings. Place pork in large resealable bag. Pour marinade over pork and refrigerate overnight (or several hours). Place roast and contents of bag in slow cooker crock. Cover and cook in high 4 to 5 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours. Remove pork to cutting board. Reserve juice in crock. Shred pork. Add to crock and stir to combine juices. Spread rolls with mustard. Layer cheese, ham, shredded pork and top with pickles in bun. If you are making paninis, preheat panini press and then grill until toasted.

Slow-Cooked Summer Sloppy Joes

What I love about this recipe is that you can put your slow cooker on the warm setting and use it as a come-and-go type meal for a busy night. Just be sure to cool and refrigerate your leftovers within two hours. This is enough for 16 to 24 sandwiches depending on serving size.

6 lbs. lean ground beef
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. finely chopped celery
1 c. chopped green bell pepper
2 (12 oz.) bottles chili sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
5 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
16 to 24 sandwich buns

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, brown ground beef, onions, celery and bell pepper until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain if necessary. Place ground beef mixture in 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients except buns. Cover; cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.


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