Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Southeners Snow Cream

We don't get snow that often here. At least not a good one. And our snow is no where near as good as the people up north. ( I can't imagine how awesome theirs would be!) But here is my recipe!

1 cup of milk
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2tsp of Vanilla
1/2tsp of Cinnamon (optional)
8 cups of snow

1. Put out your container out to catch snow the snow

2. Mix together milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. I use a whisk, spoon is fine.

3. Add the snow, 1 cup at a time, mixing until blended.

At this point, you can eat the snow or like me, you can put it in the freezer to firm up for a bit and serve later (we do)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fried Barbeque Pork Chops

One of my house mothers in foster care used to make this meal, and I loved it. (she also made this killer pizza. I wish I could remember how!) So, We can call this Ms. Tashika's recipe.

  • 1 cup of lard/cooking oil (I prefer lard)
  • 2 cups of AP (all purpose) Flour
  • 4tsp of barbecue seasoning spice
  • Fresh cracked Pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Small bottle of Barbecue sauce
  • 4-6 pork chops

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Preheat skillet with lard/oil

3. Mix together the pepper, flour, and spice

4. Mix together the milk and eggs in to shallow dish for dipping

5. Dip the chops in the egg, then flour.

6. Repeat step 5. This gives it a stronger, crunchier, TASTIER crust

7. Fry til brown on both sides. (10 minutes each side is average)

8. Set aside to dry while pouring barbecue sauce into shallow dish and greasing baking pan

9. Dip chops into sauce and lay on greased pan.

10. Place in oven for 20 minutes to bake!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tuesday Tips: quick substitutions for Italian Dishes

(yeah, I know it's not Tuesday. It's been a busy week)

Arborio Rice (1 cup) = 1 cup of short grain or brown

Balsamic Vinegar (1 Tbsp) = 1tbsp cider or red wine vinegar plus 1/2tsp sugar

1Tbsp fresh herbs = 1tsp dried herbs, crushed

1 Clove Garlic = 1/2tsp mince garlic or 1/8tsp garlic powder

1 cup Half and Half/Light Cream = 1tbsp melted butter plus 1 cup of whole milk

Now, for those new to fresh garlic, remember, you buy garlic in a "head", the clove is each part that you pull apart from the head.


Monday, January 25, 2010

How to make Thick Spaghetti Sauce

To make a delicious homemade sauce, you need about 6 hours. And a crock pot. I make mine and then freeze it for later use. Once you have your base and flavor, you can add pretty much anything to it.

Main Ingredients:

2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 whole head of garlic
1 onion
2Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup of Italian seasonings mixture (Italian seasoning, Basil, and parsley)
1 crushed bay leave
4tsp Sugar
1/3 Cup of red wine

1. Pour crushed tomatoes and tomato paste into crockpot, turn crockpot on low. Tomato paste is THICK. Blend together with spoon and leave alone.

2. Chop onions up and saute in EVOO until halfway cooked. Then add minced garlic. Cook until garlic is browned. Add to sauce and stir

3. Pour in seaonings and crushed bay leaf.

4. Add 1/3 cup of red wine

4. Cook for 3 hours on low, stirring occasionally.

5. Add 4 tsp sugar and cook on low for 3 additional hours.

Now, this is your base, and it's awesome. From here, you can do whatever you want. You can cook up Italian sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, cheeses.... And add them in during that last 3 hours to cook in as well. It's what ever you want.

This jars or freezes well. Currently, I do not have the jars I want, so I use freezer bags and lay flat in the freezer until I need to use them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cheesy Taco Bake

We love mexican in our family. Almost as much as we love Italian. So, tonight, as a different spin on things, I decided to make a Taco Bake instead of regular tacos.

1 medium Onion
2tsp EVOO (extra virgin Olive Oil)
1.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Taco Seasoning (either pack or make yourself)
8 flour tortillas
8 cups shredded cheese (28 oz)
2/3 cup of milk
1.5-2lbs hamburger meat
1/2 cup water
Sour Cream
Shredded Lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Brown your hamburger meat and drain. Apparently there is a new movement where people rinse their cooked hamburger with water. Please do not do this. Use chicken instead or something, but do not ruin the meat.

3. Add meat back to the pan and add 1 cup of water and taco seasoning mix, bring to slight boil, reduce to medium heat and leave for 4 minutes.
taco bake

4. Chop your onion into small cubes. I have this, and it's the only ASOTV item I have ever liked. Add 2tsp EVOO to pan and saute your onions on high heat until browned. Set aside.
taco bake

5. Mix the milk and the cheese into a saucepan and cook until melted. Add Cayenne pepper and sauteed onions
taco bake

6. Using 9x11 (or similar size) pan, butter spray the bottom lightly, and then add two tortillas, side by side. They will overlap, this is fine.
taco bake

7. Spread 1/2 the meat mixture on top, covering to the edge
taco bake

8. Cover meat mixture with 2 more tortillas, like you did the bottom.
taco bake

9. Spread 3/4 cheese mixture on top, spreading till near the edge.
taco bake

10. Repeat step 8

11. Mix remaining cheese with remaining meat and spread on top.
taco bake
taco bake

12. Lightly butter the top of the remaining tortillas, and place on top of meat and cheese.

13. Bake in oven for 15 minutes

14. Remove and let cool, topping with sour cream, shredded lettuce, and tomato. (even extra shredded cheese if wanted)
taco bake


taco bake

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mashed Potatoes

This is one side dish that is very simple, yet many people can't quite get it to look the way they want. The simple answer to that is you are missing your mixer. Hand held or a stand, doesn't matter.

  • 5lb bag of potatoes
  • 2 big spoons of sour cream
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • Butter, salt, pepper to taste
1. Peel, cut and rinse your potatoes.

2. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water

3. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce to simmer (about an 8 on dial stoves) for 20 minutes, covered.

4. Pour hot potatoes into a strainer, and then pour into a mixing bowl.

5. Lightly mash potatoes with a masher or fork. I personally, love my masher. You do not want to mash it too much, as lumpy potatoes are the best potatoes.

(my masher)

6. Add milk and sour cream to bowl. I use a large spoon to measure out the sour cream:

7. Use mixer for 30-45 seconds, until well blended, but still lumpy

7. Add your salt, pepper, and butter for taste.

We personally have to leave all of the salt pepper and butter out of the bowl and add it individually, as one kid hates pepper and the other hates butter, and I do not like salt. Isn't cooking for your family fun!

After it's ready, I transfer it to a nice bowl, and run my spoon across the top, giving it that smooth out "whipped" look.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Tips

Still sick. 1 week and 1 day. My tip should probably be for me to start downing vitamin C a little more often!

My Tuesday Tip this week has to do with making sure that your oven temperature is correct. Sounds simple enough, but many people do not realize that their oven temps can easily be off 10-25 degrees, which is why your cakes and casseroles tend to be a bit under or over done. This can kill the desire to cook for anyone.

EHow has a great article that outlines the steps to test your oven here. And if you don't want to go the easy way and just add or subtract the extra degrees each time you cook, they also have helpful steps to adjust the settings, here, as well.

Crossing my fingers that I feel up to making chicken and dumplings tomorrow.
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