Fun Foods and Comfort Foods from Grandma's Kitchen

There is no money waster in the grocery store like the junk food section. You can make your own fun foods for a fraction of the supermarket cost. But wait, there's more! Not only are these thrifty snacks, they also taste better than any two month old cellophane sack of sugared popcorn could possibly taste. Don't get cheated by the junk food rip-off! Make your own fun foods for convenience, nutrition, taste, and affordability.


Best Biscuit recipe | Cinnamon sugar or Quick White Icing | Oil or shortening

Make biscuit dough and roll into biscuits. Pinch a hole in the middle. Drop into hot oil, fry until brown on both sides. Drain, dust with cinnamon sugar or ice with Quick White Icing. For yeast raised biscuits, substitute sweet roll dough for biscuits.

Hot Cocoa

For each cup of cocoa, mix to 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup milk. Heat, but do not boil. For an added touch, add a drop of vanilla and beat just before serving.

Onion Ring Batter

3/4 cup flour | 1/4 tsp baking soda | 1/4 cup cornstarch | 1-1/2 tsp baking powder | 1 cup water | 1 egg

Combine ingredients and mix well. Slice onion into rings, dip into batter, deep fry in hot oil. Variation: (1) dip thinly sliced potatoes in batter and deep fry. (2) Use milk instead of water for a creamier batter. (3) Dip other vegetables (sliced zucchini, carrots, whatever) and deep fry. (4) Use beer instead of water. (5) Add seasonings to the batter, such as black pepper, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, dried herbs.

Sean's Should Be Famous Onion Ring Method

1 can beer | 2 eggs | flour| Habanero Salsa | baking powder (1 tsp per cup of flour) | Spices and Herbs

Cut the onions into rings. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs with the beer and the habanero salsa but don't mix with the dry ingredients. Dip the rings into the beer/egg mixture, then into the dry mixture so they are thoroughly covered with flour. Dip again in beer/egg and again in dry mixture. If you don't have habanero salsa, use cayenne pepper in the dry ingredients.

Hot Peanuts

2 tbsp. red pepper | 4 garlic cloves | 1 tsp chili powder | 3 tbsp. oil | Dry unsalted shelled peanuts.

Heat crushed red pepper in oil for one minute. Crush garlic and add to oil, add peanuts. Cover over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from heat, add salt and chili powder. Drain on paper towels.

Caramel Popcorn

2 quarts popped corn | 2 sticks butter | 1/2 cup karo syrup |1-1/3 cup sugar | 1 tsp vanilla nuts (optional)

Mix syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Cook until it is a light caramel color. Pour over popcorn and nut mixture. Press into large pan. Cool and break into pieces.

Oklahoma Peanuts

1-1/2 cup nuts | 1/2 cup sugar | 1/2 tsp vanilla | 2 tbsp. butter

Line a baking sheet with greased foil. In a heavy skillet, combine nuts, sugar, butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for eight minutes or until sugar melts and turns a rich brown color. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Cool, break into small clusters, store tightly covered.

Beer Nuts

1 cup sugar | 1/4 tsp maple flavoring | 1/2 cup water | shelled raw peanuts (about a pound)

Combine all ingredient in saucepan. Cook until liquid is gone (10 to 15 minutes). Spread on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Bread Pudding

2 cups dry bread | 2 cups milk | 2 eggs | vanilla | 1/2 cup sugar or honey | dash salt | raisins | other dried fruit and/or nuts

Beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla together. Crumble bread and add to the milk mixture, add raisins/dried fruit/nuts. Mix together. Bake in dish set in a larger pan of water for one hour at 300 degrees.

Yummy Fritter Batter

1 cup flour | 1 tsp baking powder | dash of salt |1 tbsp. melted butter | 1 egg | 1/2 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir to blend, add unbeaten egg and melted butter, stir until well blended. Add milk, mix well. Let stand 30 minutes. Ham fritters: add 1 cup minced ham, drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and deep fry. Banana Fritters: peel and quarter six bananas, use fruit juice instead of milk (optional), dip bananas in batter and saute in butter until golden on all sides. Apple Fritters: use fruit juice as liquid, peel, core, and dice two cups of apples, add the apples to the batter, drop by spoonfuls into hot oil, deep fry. For peach or apricot fritters, use the canned fruit syrup for the liquid, chop peaches or apricots and mix with batter, fry as with the apple fritters. For beer batter, use beer instead of milk, use 2 eggs.

Corn Dogs

2 cups flour | 2 cups corn meal | 2 tbsp baking powder | 2 tsp salt | 2 -3 tbsp. sugar | 1 egg, beaten | 2 cups milk | wieners

Mix dry ingredients, add egg and milk, mix well. Let b batter stand for 30 minutes. Dip wieners into batter, deep fry in hot oil. When done on one side, they should turn over by themselves. Variation: add 1/4 cup melted butter to batter, and instead of frying, bake coated wieners in 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until batter is done. Favorite spices can be added to the batter, if you like spicy foods, had some hot salsa or cayenne pepper to the batter.

Beer Batter for Corn Dogs, Shrimp, or Fried Dill Pickles

1 cup flour | 1 teaspoon sugar | 2 teaspoons season salt | 1 teaspoon baking powder | 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper | 1/2 cup milk | 2 eggs
Enough beer for a medium batter

Mix all ingredients together well. For fried dill pickles, use dill pickle slices. Blot them dry with a cloth or paper towel. Dip in flour, then dip in batter, deep fry, flipping them after about 30 seconds, until golden brown.

Pigs in a Blanket

Roll unbaked biscuits into flat rectangles and wrap around wieners. Bake in 375 degree oven until biscuits are done, about 10 minutes. Melt a little cheese into some hot dog chili sauce or chili.. Pour over wieners and biscuits. Vegetarian variation: roll biscuit dough around whole baked/cooked carrots or parsnips, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with brown sugar.

Beef Jerky

2 tsp onion powder | 1 tsp salt | 3 lb roast | 2 tsp garlic powder | 2 tsp pepper | 1/2 C soy sauce | 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Trim all fat from roast and slice very thin. Combine all ingredients except meat, mix well. Add meat and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator (cover tightly). Arrange strips of marinated meat over oven rack, directly on the rack (line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch drips). Bake at 200 degrees with the oven door slightly open for six to eight hours. Store in tightly covered container.

Refried Beans

Put some bacon fat in a skillet, add cooked beans, and mash them. If they are too dry, add some of the bean liquid. You can add spices (cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper). To make a bean dip, add some salsa.

Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Cooked Pinto Beans & liquid | Barbecue sauce | Beef Bouillon | Spices

Mash the cooked pinto beans like you were making refried beans, and add liquid until it is the typical consistency of canned hot dog chili sauce. Add chili/garlic/onion powder, beef bouillon (about 1 tsp/cup), and some of your favorite barbecue sauce. Make a bunch and freeze in portions for use later.

Pizza Dough

1 tbsp yeast | 3 to 3-1/2 cups flour | 2 tbsp oil | 1 cup warm water | 1 tsp salt | 1 tbsp sugar

Mix sugar & warm water, sprinkle yeast on the water, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until yeast bubbles up. Add salt, oil, flour (in that order). Knead until smooth and let rise 1 hour. Roll to desired size of pizza (makes 1 thick, or 2 thin crusts). Top with tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce), add cheese, fried hamburger or sausage, or whatever else you like on a pizza. Bake at 350 degrees until done (about 20 minutes).

Better Times Almanac Home | Better Times Website Index