Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sick (part 2): Egg McMuffin Pie

Although the Group has won a major victory in securing a food supply; they know Hershel's life still hangs in the balance. Carol bandages what remains of Hershel's leg to help prevent infection. When he does not regain consciousness, the Group fears the worst.

Maggie even whispers a heartfelt goodbye to her father in anticipation of his death. But the goodbye would not be necessary. The Group finally has a moment of joy. Hershel opens his eyes and they realize he has done what no one else has been able to do. He has survived a Walker bite.

The Group would definitely pause to share a brief meal together. It would be very important for anyone with a serious injury to eat and drink while recovering. A high-calorie breakfast with protein would help undo the damage caused by months of malnourishment. 

Familiar flavors can remind us all of better days. The McDonald's favorite; the Egg McMuffin is reimagined here as a breakfast pie. While the ingredients do not include fresh eggs, the flavor is remarkably similar and very comforting. Your Group will smile with the memory of days gone bye when they enjoy this breakfast.

And when the dead rise; "It's gotta be the brain. Not the stomach. Not the heart. The brain!"

Egg McMuffin Pie

1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick Baking Mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1/2 cup water

Powdered Eggs and Water to equal 8 fresh eggs 
1/4 cup evaporated dairy milk (or almond or soy milk)

1 small can SPAM, cubed
1 (8 oz) package Velveeta Cheese, cubed 
2 Tbsp. Dried Chives

Preheat oven to 350° or heat campfire coals to medium-hot. Grease a 10 inch pie pan or springform pan with shortening or oil.

In a medium bowl, mix Baking Mix, cornmeal, Parmesan or Romano cheese and water. Blend well until the mixture forms a ball. If needed, add more water (a few tablespoons at a time). Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the crust. If needed, you may want to grease your hands so the crust mixture does not stick to your fingers.

Bake crust for 20 minutes in oven or until center of crust is set and the edges are golden brown. Alternately, cover pan with foil and "bake" over campfire coals for 12-14 minutes or until center of crust is set and edges are golden brown.

Heat a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat (or medium-hot campfire coals). In another medium bowl, mix powdered egg mix and water according to package directions. Stir in soy or almond milk and 1 Tbsp of the Dried Chives. 

Allow to stand for a few minutes while the skillet heats. Add egg mixture to skillet and stir until eggs are just softly set and still appear moist. Remove from heat source and stir in SPAM and Velveeta cubes. Spread egg, SPAM and cheese mixture over the baked crust. 

Bake pie in 350° oven for 8 minutes, or just until cheese is melted and eggs appear firmer. Alternately, cover pan with foil and place over medium-campfire coals. Allow mixture to "bake" over coals for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs appear firmer. 

Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of dried chives over pie. Slice into wedges and serve.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Update from the Field: Charleston Crab Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Reports of survivors from Maine to Florida continue to surface. Ham radio operators tell of both large and small survivor Groups deep in hiding; unwilling to reveal their locations for fear of attack from other survivors. From all accounts, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Charlotte and Jacksonville have been completely overrun. No military presence has been reported in any of these cities and rumors have been traded of the formation of small militia units.

All survivors should be aware that any locally formed militia units are not acting on the authority of the Federal government or the President of the United States. One small group of survivors has reached out to reveal their location to the WDSCB. We now have confirmation that a group in Charleston, South Carolina is alive and well.

This week, we present Charleston Crab Soup in recognition of the Survivors of Charleston. This traditional soup is a regional specialty of South Carolina. It features crabmeat in a rich cream base and is seasoned with Sherry and Cayenne Pepper.

This recipe was adapted from The Joy of Cooking and works very well with pantry ingredients. Canned crabmeat is elevated to new heights when paired with the smooth and creamy texture of simple evaporated milk. This soup will surprise, especially when served with Parmesan Crisps. Share this special meal with those you love.

Kerri and Gmån of Charleston...this one is for you.

Charleston Crab Soup

4 Tbsp. Butter flavored shortening
4 Tbsp. Flour
3-12 oz. cans Evaporated Milk
2 1/2 Tbsps. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 cans crabmeat, drained (or more if you would like your soup to be extra chunky)
2 Tbsp. Dry Sherry

1 tsp. or more Kosher Sea Salt (or to taste)
Garnish: Dried Chives

In a large Dutch oven or heavy duty soup pot, melt the shortening over medium heat or medium-hot coals. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly. Cook until the flour smells toasted but do not allow to brown (2-3 minutes).

Whisk in the evaporated milk, Worcestershire Sauce and Cayenne Pepper. Allow mixture to come to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in drained crabmeat, Sherry and salt. Stir soup to heat the crabmeat gently. Taste and add sea salt to taste. You may also wish to add more cayenne pepper if you'd like your soup to be more spicy. Serve with Parmesan Crisps and add dried chives for garnish if you wish.

Parmesan Crisps

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Flour
1 tsp Parsley, dried

In a small bowl, mix cheese, flour and parsley.

Heat a heavy duty nonstick skillet over medium heat or medium-hot coals. Spoon the mixture by 1 tablespoon rounds (each round about 2 inches in diameter) into the hot skillet.

Allow to cook over medium heat or medium-hot coals for 3 minutes; or until the cheese fuses together to form a solid round, crisp "cracker". Flip (very carefully) in the skillet and allow to cook for another 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet with a small spatula and allow to cool a few minutes before serving with soup.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Update from the Field: Andes Thin Mint Toddy and Eggnog Crème Brûlée

As another winter approaches, Survivors are struggling to find suitable shelter. Many public buildings suffered structural damage from the looting and rioting that occurred after the first outbreaks.

All Survivors should now have supplies stored for the long winter ahead. While the Northern regions of the U.S. will enjoy relative safety with the cold-induced Walker slowdowns, the Southern states must remain vigilant against herd attacks as well as nutritional deficits.

High-calorie drinks, snacks and desserts can keep your Group from dropping weight during the colder months.

Andes Thin Mint Toddy will make even the most foul-tempered Survivor smile. It features smooth and creamy hot chocolate with the added kick of Peppermint Schnapps.

Eggnog Crème Brûlée is a rich satisfying treat; and very easy to prepare with pantry staples. Be sure to make the effort to caramelize the sugar on top with either a butane torch or red-hot campfire coals held with tongs. The extra flavor and crunch makes it worth the effort.

These satisfying (and vegan!) sweets were created in response to a special request from Andrea. Thank you Andrea…May your winter be Walker-free and overflowing with Peppermint Schnapps.

Andes Thin Mint Toddy

4 cups milk (32 oz boxed almond, soy or dairy milk)
1 disk Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate mix 
OR enough powdered dry Hot Chocolate mix to flavor 4 cups of milk
1/2 cup Peppermint Schnapps

Pour all of the milk into a large Dutch oven (or saucepan). Add the disk of Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate or powdered Hot Chocolate drink mix and warm mixture over medium heat (or medium campfire coals). 

Using a whisk, stir gently until chocolate is melted or blended and mixture is very hot. Remove from heat and whisk for several minutes until the mixture is slightly frothy.

Pour evenly into 4 serving mugs and add 2 Tablespoons of Peppermint Schnapps to each mug. Serve immediately.

Eggnog Crème Brûlée

2 packages (3 ounce each) Vanilla Pudding mix (cook and serve type)
2 cups milk (boxed almond, soy or dairy milk)
3 Tbsp. Brandy
1 Tbsp. White Rum
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
4 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

Pour milk and pudding mixes into a large Dutch oven (or saucepan). Warm mixture over medium heat (or medium campfire coals) stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in Brandy, White Rum and Nutmeg. Stir until blended. Pour evenly into 2 six-inch cast iron skillets (each for 2 people to share) or 4 small, heat-proof ramekins. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the tops of the Crème Brûlées evenly with granulated sugar. With a butane torch (or using red-hot campfire coals held with tongs) heat the sugar on top. Move torch slowly and carefully until sugar is toasted and caramelized. Use caution; the sugar can burn very easily.

Once sugar is caramelized, serve immediately. Serves 4.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sick: Joe Grey Soup

The Group transports Hershel back to their safe cellblock and Carol takes charge to stop the bleeding. They soon learn that five surviving prisoners had witnessed the entire amputation procedure in horror. 

The prisoners follow Rick's Group back and are stunned to learn that in the past 294 days (while they were trapped in the prison's cafeteria), all of civilization has collapsed. Rick makes a deal with the leader of the prisoners, Tomas. The Group will help them clear one cellblock for themselves in exchange for half of the prison's food supply.

During the battle to clear Walkers, one of the prisoners is bitten and Tomas kills him brutally before he can turn. In the chaos, Tomas also makes two separate attempts on Rick's life. Believing Tomas to be dangerous, Rick kills him with a blow to the head. A third prisoner flees when he sees Tomas killed. Locking him in the prison yard; Rick tells him to run.

With a secured food supply, the Group could finally have enough for everyone to have full portions at their meals.

Joe Grey Soup is a traditional Gypsy recipe. It is both delicious and easy to prepare using all pantry ingredients. A hearty soup will always keep your group nourished and healthy.

And when the dead rise; Stay in tight prison riot crap.

Joe Grey Soup

1 Tbsp Shortening or oil
10 ounce Summer Sausage (no refrigeration required)
1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 oz) cans of potatoes, drained
3 cubes of beef bouillon
1 Tbsp. of Bacon Salt OR 2 Tbsp. of Smoked Paprika

Optional Seasoning: Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic Powder, Parsley, Italian Seasoning

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat or medium-hot coals. Remove packaging from sausage and slice lengthwise into quarters; then cut into thin slices. Add sausage to oil and allow to sauté lightly for 2 minutes.

Add the Onion Soup mix and the undrained diced tomatoes (save the can) and stir well. Fill the 28 ounce empty tomato can half full with water if you have it. If you have no water source; you may add the liquid from the canned potatoes, making sure to add the same amount. Cube or quarter the drained, canned potatoes and add to soup. Add bouillon cubes and Bacon Salt or Paprika.

Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring VERY often. Taste and add any optional seasoning you wish. The WDSCB used 1 teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper, 1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder, 1 tablespoon of Parsley and 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to add whatever spices your Group enjoys.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seed (part 2): Skillet Granola

Though the Group is pleased to have breached the perimeter of the prison, Rick refuses to allow them to rest. They push onward and are able to clear out and secure an entire cellblock. Lori confesses her fear of dying to Hershel. And her fear of harming Carl or her unborn child if she turns. She stresses to him that he must not allow her to turn into a Walker. As they choose the cells that they will call home, they enjoy a temporary moment of peace. 

As usual, the peace is short-lived. The next day they press further into the deepest parts of the prison to clear out Walkers. When Glenn and Maggie are separated from the Group, a distracted Hershel makes a catastrophic mistake. He steps too close to a Walker lying on the floor, and is badly bitten on the leg.

In a bold and desperate move, Rick amputates Hershel's leg below the knee. 

The Group has suffered another devastating blow.

There is no time to eat…everyone is needed to help Hershel. It was a good thing that they shared breakfast together earlier that morning. With very limited supplies, they would have had at least a few staples to prepare Skillet Granola.

High in fiber (and fat), it would give them the energy to clear more cell-blocks of Walkers.

And when the dead rise; don't step too close to Walkers lying on the ground!

Skillet Granola

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 cups Rolled Oats
6 Tbsp. Butter flavored shortening
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (the WDSCB used pecans)
1 cup dried fruit (the WDSCB used cranberries)

Optional Spices: 1 tsp ginger or 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat or medium-hot coals. Add the oats to the skillet and stir well. They will start to toast and turn a bit crispy. Stir well, for about 5 minutes. 

Add butter flavored shortening to skillet and allow to melt. Add honey and brown sugar and stir well to coat oats with melted shortening and sugar/honey mixture.

Add spices if desired and stir well. Continue to cook and stir constantly for another 5 minutes to make sure the oats are evenly coated. Remove from heat and spread mixture out into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Allow to cool to room temperature and then stir in the vanilla extract and whatever chopped nuts and dried fruit you were able to scavenge. 

Store the granola in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. Serve with boxed soy milk, boxed almond milk or canned dairy milk.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Update from the Field: Turkey Mackinac with Sweet Potato Biscuits and Cranberry Sauce

Initial reports of a walled stronghold in Coweta County, Georgia have finally been verified. Firsthand accounts confirm that a violent leader has proclaimed himself "Governor" of this small town. Tales of a militia prowling the surrounding counties in search of supplies have continued to terrify the local communities. As Walker Herd counts rise; the existence of an additional threat in this part of rural Georgia remains a concern.

As more information becomes available, the WDSCB will provide updates. 

Reports have also emerged of two female survivors in the area. Normally, more survivors would be a cause for celebration; however this particular pair reportedly travels with two captive Walkers. Sightings have been reported in the woods surrounding Newton as well as a local Sportsman Deer Cooler. Until more information can be gathered, we would advise everyone in the area not to approach these two women. They should be considered armed and dangerous.

The WDSCB also has a confirmation of the existence of another survivor Group. For their own protection, they have not revealed their location. But we know they are there and it gives us one more reason to be thankful. 

Today of all days; let us be thankful for what we have. And who we have. 

So Andrea (and everyone in your Group)...this one is for you:

Turkey Mackinac

4 Tbsp. butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup water
1 box (7 or 8 oz) Stuffing
2 cans (10 oz) turkey or turkey breast, drained
1 can (15 oz) French Style Green Beans
1 package (1 3/4 oz) sliced almonds (or about 3/4 cup)
1 can (condensed) Cream of Celery or Mushroom soup
Additional water

Preheat oven to 325° or heat campfire coals to very hot and allow to turn to white-hot ash. 

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat (or medium coals), melt shortening in water. Add stuffing mix and stir well.

Layer half of the stuffing in a 8" x 8" baking pan or a cast iron skillet. Drain Green Beans and layer over the stuffing. Sprinkle almonds over the green beans. Drain turkey meat and layer turkey over the almonds.

Cover turkey meat with remaining stuffing mixture.

Combine cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of water. Stir until smooth. Pour carefully over the stuffing layer.

Bake at 325° for 45 minutes to one hour. Alternately, cover pan or cast iron skillet with aluminum foil or a baking sheet placed over the pan or skillet. Place over grill over hot coals and allow to bake for 25 minutes. Remove and check to make sure the ingredients are heated through. Return to grill over coals if necessary and check every 5 minutes or until hot. Serve immediately with Sweet Potato Biscuits.

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Cranberry Sauce

2 1/2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix
1/3 cup butter flavored shortening
1 can (15 oz) Sweet Potatoes (drained and mashed)
1/2 cup soy or almond milk

1 can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 450° or heat campfire coals to red hot and allow to turn to white-hot ash.

Mix all ingredients (except Cranberry Sauce) in a large bowl. Stir until blended into a ball of dough. Place dough on a clean, flat surface that has been sprinkled with about a 1/2 cup of Bisquick.

Knead three or four times to allow the dough to absorb more flour. Pat into a circle that is about 1/2 inch thick. 

Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass that has been dipped in Bisquick. Place very closely together on a baking sheet and make sure the edges touch.

Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until they are a golden, orange-brown. Alternately, place over coals and allow to cook until the tops are spongy and appear dry. You may want to flip them like a pancake to ensure they are done all the way through. 

Split and spread with whole cranberry sauce if desired. Serve with Turkey Mackinac.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seed: Vermont Campfire Beans

A long, hard winter has broken the bodies of the Group. But their spirits remain strong.

They have run at a relentless pace throughout the cold months. Rick has refused to let them stop for more than a day and they have only minimal supplies.

With growing herds wandering aimlessly and seeming to dog their tracks; they have been reluctant to  get too comfortable anywhere. Lori's rapidly advancing pregnancy however, finally forces Rick to find a more permanent home for the Group.

He convinces them that a prison would be an ideal place to call a halt and build a base. The prison would contain an infirmary, an armory and a cafeteria with a kitchen. It would likely have everything they would need to survive a long, long time.

So the prison takeover begins. 

And by nightfall, they are able to gather around a campfire inside the perimeter of the prison.

There is only a little meat from Daryl and Rick's efforts at hunting to share among all ten of them. But the Group would have had scavenged at least a few items to serve alongside it.

Vermont Campfire Beans are a twist on the traditional Boston Baked Beans. Maple syrup stands in for the usual molasses; while Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper supply unexpected heat.

And when the dead rise; don't eat dogfood.




Vermont Campfire Beans

2-15 oz. cans Great Northern or Navy Beans (drained)
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix (the WDSCB used Lipton)
1-2 tsp. Bacon Salt
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup water
Cayenne Pepper, dash

In a large Dutch oven (over medium campfire coals), combine beans (drained), onion soup mix, bacon salt, syrup, mustard and water. Stir well and allow to come to a boil. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add a dash of Cayenne pepper and stir. Taste and add more cayenne pepper if you wish.

Serve with whatever meat your group can find.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beside the Dying Fire: Soda Pineapple Beans

After Shane's death, Rick attempts to explain the events that  have taken place to Carl. But the sight of hundreds of Walkers closing in sends them both running for the Farm. The Group had heard gunshots and Daryl goes back outside to find Rick and Shane. The moment Daryl, Andrea, Hershel and Glenn step out onto the porch, they see the monstrous herd of Walkers bearing down on the Farm. Hershel decides that no matter what; he will defend his farm. The Group quickly rallies to the Greene family's side.

They take to their cars in pairs, both to draw the Walkers away, and to destroy as many as they can in the process. It is a near impossible task and they quickly realize that there are simply too many Walkers.

Rick and Carl make their way to the barn. Realizing that there is no way to get to the others; Rick sets the barn on fire and hides in the loft with Carl both to avoid the flames and to alert the Group. The plan works and Jimmy takes the RV to retrieve them; losing his own life in the process.

The Group is scattered; each of them escaping in pairs as the farm is lost. Andrea is left behind in the chaos and flees with their bag of weapons. 

Hershel and Carl return to the site where they first broke down. The rest of the Group make their way back to the same site and are overjoyed to reunite with each other. They mourn the loss of Shane, Jimmy and Patricia; but Rick refuses to allow anyone to return and search for Andrea. He wants them to get as far away from the farm as possible.

Rick finally shares the information that he's been hiding. The entire population is already infected with the plague that has destroyed civilization. No matter what the cause of death; everyone will rise as one  of the Walking Dead. The Group is understandably angry that Rick withheld this from them. Their hope is almost lost when they receive the final blow: Rick confesses that he killed Shane.

They have no shelter; hardly any fuel; very little ammunition and only the clothes on their backs. As they gather around the dying fire, the only food they would have had would be a few canned items they kept in the cars for emergencies. 

Soda Pineapple beans contain only three ingredients but the flavors blend well and the protein and carbohydrates will be nutritious and filling. They would have to ration carefully to make sure everyone got a little bit. Be sure to keep extra cans of beans and pineapple in each of your Group's cars.

And when the dead rise; Stay Together and Hold Fast!

Soda Pineapple Beans

1 large can Baked Beans
8 oz can Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 bottle or can of Coke, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Heat over medium hot coals until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.