February 24, 2014

Crab Stuffed Tilapia, Sole or Flounder

This is a repost but fitting as we are having crab stuffed tilapia tonight and instead of reinventing the wheel, it's just as well to post this from my archives since so many visitors to An American Housewife are new or first time visitors and probably haven't seen many of the recipes before.  This works with almost any thin, white fish but also works with salmon as well as long as it's not too thick.

Normally I serve these with a very simple Hollandaise sauce with lemon but this time I seasoned them with a sprinkle of lemon, pepper, garlic seasoning and served them sans white sauce.  I like them both ways.

Crab Stuffed Flounder or fish of your choice

6 fish filets  (sole, flounder, tilapia)
1/2 lb. real crab meat
1 T onion, diced fine
1T red pepper, diced fine (*optional)
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T celery, chopped fine
6 T butter
1/2 c cracker crumbs
1 egg
lemon pepper garlic seasoning

Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper. Coil each fillet into a buttered muffin tin. Saute the onions, parsley and celery in 3 T butter. When tender, remove from heat. Add the crumbs, flaked crab meat and the egg. Mix and season to taste. Spoon into the center of each fish fillet. Brush with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake 20-30 minutes or until your fish is done.

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February 23, 2014

Homemade Rice Mixes you can Pack in Mylar, glass jars or baggies. (Great for Emergency Storage)

Originally, these were posted on my blog years ago and I've featured them once before.  I revisited them last summer but now I'm posting them today because they are perfect for a project I'm going to be working on soon for our emergency storage kits and our 72 hour bags.  You might also be interested in these for hiking, camping and backpacking.

To make them you simply add water or another liquid you prefer (like broth if you wish).  The project I'm going to working on involves mixing these recipes together then dividing them equally between 4 empty Capri-Sun packets and resealing with high heat from a hair straightener set to 450 degrees. I saw this idea on a few different emergency and camping boards and I thought it would be fun to try.  These individual packets are light, small, thin and easy to pack in a backpack.  You can adapt preparation by adding boiling water, resealing and waiting 10-12 minutes and then enjoying.  I happen to have Butter Powderin my storage as well so I can add that to the mix - but you wouldn't have to do so of course.  Also, if you are preparing these for a long term storage option and are not using a FoodSaver, I would insert an oxygen absorber packet.  This will suck the moisture and air out of the packet and allow you to safely store them as long as they were properly sealed.  I'll let you know how my 'capri-sun' packaging endeavor goes in a future post!

If you are not using these for backpacking or storage, think about making these and then storing them in an air tight Mason or other canning jar.  I think you could even put them in a Ziploc style baggy - and if you wish, freeze the mix. 

Onion Rice Mix
4 cups uncooked rice
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1 T. parsley
1/2 t. salt

Lemon Dill Rice Mix

4 cups uncooked rice
1/4 cup grated lemon peel
1/4 cup powdered chicken soup base
2 T. dill
1 T. chives
1/2 t. salt

Vegetable Rice Mix
4 cups uncooked rice
1 envelope vegetable soup mix
2 T. dried minced onion
2 T. dried minced celery
2 T. dried minced pepper
1 t. salt

Spanish Rice Mix
4 cups uncooked rice
1/2 cup Mexican seasoning mix (if you don't have a purchased mix try something like this);
  • 1/4 c dried oregano
  • 3 T dried chile powder
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 t salt
1/2 cup dried corn
2 T. parsley
1 T. basil

Creamy Herb Rice
4 cups uncooked rice
1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup dried minced celery
2 T. parsley
2 T. thyme
1 T. marjoram

Combine the ingredients specified for each different mix, and store each different mix in a glass jar or tightly closed container on the pantry shelf for up to 4 months.

To Use: Mix 1 cup of any of the rice mixes with 2 cups of liquid, either water, juice, broth, or a combination along with 2 tablespoons of butter. Place the rice, liquid, and butter on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer the rice for 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

To cook in a microwave, combine the rice, liquid, and butter in a 1 1/2 quart casserole, and heat, uncovered on high or full power for 12 minutes. Top and stir once or twice during the cooking. Cover the casserole and let rice stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Variations: It's easy to make a meal in one pot if you sprinkle a cup of rice mix around a roast or several meat or fish pieces before baking. Just remember to add 2 cups of liquid, cover, and bake for at least 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Or, try serving the prepared rice combined with stir fried vegetable, shrimp, or chopped ham. When making Spanish Rice, it's a good idea to use tomato juice or sauce as the liquid. The mixes make 32 oz. each.

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February 20, 2014

Dog Treats: Homemade Dog Biscuits Made from 'Spent Grain' from Homebrewed Beer

My husband enjoys making craft beers but we both feel guilty throwing out the spent grain after it cooks so we find creative ways to use it.  While composting it works and you can use 1/2 c to 1 c increments in homemade breads - I have started to use it primarily just for dog biscuits.  Our dogs know them as 'snacks' and you have to s-p-e-l-l out the word because yes, they know it and yes, they will immediately run to the laundry room door and wait for their human to go get them their 'snack'.

If your dogs like peanut butter, this has a faint peanut butter smell and taste as they do use about a cup of peanut butter.  My dogs love garlic and I like to give them garlic foods as a natural flea and tick deterrent so a garlic, pizza sauce flavored biscuit is a hit in our house.  I wouldn't use things like cheese in them though, as I assume they would go rancid... although I'm quietly asking myself if a cheese powder would work ok... hmmm.  I may have to play around with that idea!  But for now I use items I can incorporate that can be baked a long time, to a hard, crisp biscuit without going bad, molding or going rancid.  This one works great!

Why are they round?  Because it was easy.  I wish (!!!) I had a set like this;  Dog Bone Cookie Cutter Set but alas - with the 100+ cookie cutters I have, I do not have a dog bone cutter and shaping the dough into little bone shapes lasted for 4 bones before I got sick of it and started to roll out the dough and cut with a round cutter.  Fast. Easy. Perfect.  Shape them however YOU want.  Your dog doesn't really care.

Dog Biscuits

4 c 'spent grain' from homemade beer brewing
2-3 c flour
1 c peanut butter or 1 c pizza sauce
2 T fresh minced garlic (optional with the pizza flavor)
2 eggs

Mash everything together (I use my hands) and add more flour a little at a time until it comes together to form a nice ball of dough.  Roll out and cut into shapes or use a scoop and shape into flats with your hands, roll out and cut into squares with a knife... etc.  Completely up to you how you want to shape them.  NOTE:  About 1/2 inch is about as thick as you want to make them as thicker biscuits take longer to bake.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 and turn your oven down to 225.  Let the biscuits bake a couple hours until completely dried and crisp - the centers need to be crisp and dry like a Milk Bone biscuits or the snacks will go bad if stored at room temperature.  I baked mine about 4 hours, turned off the oven and went to bed, leaving them in the hot oven all night. 

Spent grain

Form a dough ball

Roll out or shape as you and your dogs like best

Bake and bake and bake until completely dry and crisp all the way through

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February 17, 2014

Quick Crab Dip

This is one of the many photos I snapped on my iphone and made on the spur of the moment that usually sit in my files and I never get around to posting.

I made this as a last second appetizer to waste some time before a late dinner was being served as we were waiting for my husband to get home from work.  I loved it with plain crackers but my teenager preferred it with 'scoop' style tortilla chips.


1/2 c butter
1 c green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T flour
1 c half and half
2 c cheese, shredded (I used Swiss, Parmesan & mozzarella mixed)
1/2 c parsley, fresh or about 1-2 T dried
1 lb. crab meat, flaked

Melt butter in a pan on stove top, saute the garlic and onion til tender. Add the flour, whisk in and add the rest of the ingredients.  Bake 40 minutes at 350.  

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February 15, 2014

Mixed Berry Jam - Jello Jam Style

I have all these recipes that I've tested lately but just never have the time to post!  I'm really preoccupied today and a little stressed so perhaps it is a good day to immerse myself into busy-work like updating a couple posts.

My husband had been wanting and waiting patiently for homemade jam or jelly.  He wasn't picky;  any kind, any style... he just wanted my homemade.  We had a lot of frozen berries in the freezer I wanted to use up so I got everything ready and....  realized we had no pectin on hand.  So much for being quick and easy.  Knowing that some people make a simple jelly or jam using gelatin instead of pectin, I decided to try it.

In the end, I'm going to give it a...  3.5 stars out of 5.   Using Jello instead of pectin results in a softer set so it's not as thick as a normal homemade jam or jelly.  Not a big issue, but something to be aware of.  I also think the mixture of Jello and sugar results in a super sweet jelly or jam.  I'm a fan of cutting back on sugar in my jelly  making but I didn't feel comfortable doing so with this recipe as I thought perhaps the cooked sugar would help the set up process.  Full sugar and Jello gives you a really sweet jam.

Jello Jam

4 c sugar
5 c mashed fruit
1 - 6 oz. box jello
1/2 c water

Cook sugar, water and fruit 15 minutes over medium heat, skimming the top often.  Remove from heat, add jello mix.  Stir until dissolved.  Ladle into hot jars, seal and water process for 10 minutes.  Let cool at room temperature until sealing pop is heard.  If one doesn't seal, just refrigerate and use that one first.  Makes about 5 pints. 


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February 13, 2014

Same Recipe: Different food item! This time Mini Cinnamon Donut Bites!


I'm just going to quickly post this as I have a habit of snapping a couple pictures on my iphone and then never, ever loading them on the site.  But in case my daughters (or my son) want to make these and see how mine came out, I better get this up!

Same recipe as below but I also made some into mini donuts.  I topped with the glaze and streusel but because they already had the indentation in the donut, it seemed quick and easy to sprinkle the cinnamon topping right in the centers.  Made for a cute little donut and a tasty bite.  

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February 12, 2014

Mini Cinnamon Donut Cupcakes

This is the first of two (2) posts that utilize the same recipe - but baked differently.  Originally I was going to make a baked mini donut, but because I have a mini-cupcake maker that literally heats up in about 2-3 minutes on my counter and bakes little cupcakes in about 5 minutes, I usually end up baking mini cupcakes out of almost any cake, bread, muffin or donut batter I have in front of me.

This recipe trial ended up to be a tasty donut flavored cupcake with a cinnamon streusel topping.  Usually I do a typical dry streusel mix to top and bake but this time I tried a streusel you bake separate and then crumble on top.  I'm not a huge fan of it as it was more work for the same taste and I think a typical crumbled topping adheres better.  These crumbs stick with the help of the icing glaze.

They were a huge hit - and every last one was gone that morning... one I will be happy to make again.

Mini Cinnamon Donut Cupcakes/Muffins

1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t nutmeg
dash salt
scant 1/3 c milk or half and half
1 egg
3 T butter
1 t vanilla

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.  In a microwave safe container heat the milk, butter and vanilla until the butter melts.  Whisk in the egg and add to the dry mix in the bowl.  Stir just until blended.  Grease or line a mini muffin tin or use your mini cupcake baker.  If you are using a dry topping streusel mix top them now before baking.  If you are using the topping I used in the photo above, bake your cupcakes at 350 for about 8 minutes until done and spring back when touched gently.

Streusel Topping:

4 T butter
1/2 c flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

Mash topping together with your fingers until it forms a paste.  Spread on foil on a baking sheet and bake about 6-10 minutes.  When it spreads and is starting to get a little hard around the edges, remove and let cool on the counter.  After the cupcakes are done, dip tops in glaze and crumble pieces of the streusel on top.

1 c powdered sugar
2 T milk, water or cream
dash of vanilla

If you've used a dry streusel, you can drizzle the glaze over with a spoon or ziploc baggy with the corner snipped.


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February 08, 2014

Reposting as it's tonight's dinner! YUM! FISH TACOS with SPICY SAUCE

Incredible Fish Taco's

Do you have someone in your family who looks at you like you are crazy when you say you want to have fish taco's?  I have a family member who quote;  "Doesn't like seafood"  who went crazy over these fish taco's last week.  I made grilled fish and grilled chicken to give a choice of fillings, but once she tried the fish she remarked it 'doesn't even taste like fish' - which basically meant they aren't 'fishy' - just good!  The sauce is what I love most of all.  It really brings this together!  It's a hodge podge mixture of 4 different recipe idea's, but the end result was a 'keeper'.

Fish Taco's with Spicy Sauce

1/4 c olive oil
2 T white vinegar
2 T lime juice
zest from 1 lime
1 1/2 t honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 t Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t pepper
1 t hot pepper sauce of your choice
1 pound fish - cod, tilipia, etc.  (something cheap)

Whisk the ingredients for the marinade together, put in a Ziploc Baggy (or whatever you use to marinate) and add the fish.  Refrigerate at least 6-8 hours, flipping every now and then so it's all covered equally.

While it marinates, make the dressing.

heaping 1/2 c sour cream
heaping 1/2 c mayonnaise
2 T lime juice
1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, dill weed, cumin, chipotle powder and ground or crushed coriander
2 small jalapenos, chopped fine (you can use less if you really hate spicy dressings)
2 t dried cilantro or parsley
5 drops of sucralose or about 1/2 teaspoon sugar or splenda

Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate until it's serving time.

Grill your fish until flaky and done.  This is usually about 10 minutes.  Serve the sliced fish with sides of the sauce, shredded cabbage, diced tomato, guacamole, and extra lime slices if you wish.  Enjoy!

I like to marinate in a ziploc as it's easy to flip and mix
Making the yummy sauce

The fish, sauce and cabbage come together... just right.
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