Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Party Food

Happy Halloween every one. I hope we all had a safe one and got plenty of candy. Today I am going to share with you some of the food my sister and mom and dad fixed for our Halloween celebration.

My sister made a moldy cheese ball. She used the link below for the recipe but rolled hers in dried parsley. She said it mellowed after it set a few hours so the dill is not that strong.

 Here are my Mom's Mouths. She took apples cut into wedges and glued them together with peanut butter. The teeth are candy corn.
 Here are snake sandwiches. They are made of crescent rolls and stuffed with ham and Muenster cheese. She finishes them with faces. The pictures are down below of the faces.
 These are little rubber eyeballs in the ice cubes for the drinks.
 This is cemetery dirt. Devils food pudding, Oreos, and gummy bugs.
 Devils Eyeballs. (Deviled egg with an olive in them)
 Here are the faces of the snakes. They have mustard under the olives to hold them on. The tongues are tomatoes. You can use red bell pepper.
 These are fingers. Mozzarella cheese sticks with almond sliver fingernails. They died the almonds red.
 These are mummy. Little Smokies with biscuits wrapped around them in strips.

They also served Buffalo Chicken Bites. They named them Witches Scabs.
 Here is Wesley the Pirate.
Rebekka is Clawdeen Wolf.

Honey Glaced Pears

This is what we call a free food in this house. It is free organic pears and free organic honey. The only thing in this was the pat of butter that was not free.  I sliced the pears and sauteed them in butter until soft. Then I added the honey to the top and let it for a syrup with the water from the pears. I used 1/4 cup of honey for a whole large frying pan of pears. This would be great on ice cream but Hubby and Wesley ate it by its self. (That is one fruit I don't eat!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Corn Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
1 can or 10 oz pkg frozen corn- drained
I mixed it together until just combined. I then dropped it by the tablespoon full into hot grease and fried them. Next time I am adding cheese and green chilies. This was just something I tried due to only having one can of corn in the pantry. Wesley decided they were great. You are supposed to dip them into maple syrup but we just ate them plain.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Allen's Allies   Here is the link to my page that I am doing once a month for Allen's Vegetable company. As you may know I don't endorse many companies at all. I either have to use it or like what they are doing to promote them in any way. I am very excited to be getting the privilege of doing a monthly  post about diabetes and how vegetables help you manage you blood sugar.

I love Allen's Vegetables. I grew up on them and use them in my cooking all the time.  My favorite is the seasoned turnip greens. They take all the work out of them plus I cant grow them as the live stock here always gets out and eats them. The goats, the horse, the pigs, the chickens  and the neighbors cows. I just gave up on having them. lol.

Now the kids are fighting on what vegetable to try next. When I asked Wesley if he would try lima beans he said only if I put them on icecrean and covered them with chocolate. He was watching Scooby Doo at the time. He later said he would eat any thing but beets and brussle sprouts.  I know what ever we try next will be good. I did not know that they had so many different types of vegetables or brand names.

Princella Sweet Potatoes
Royal Prince Sweet Potatoes
Steam Supreme
Sugary Sam
Allen's Sunshine
Wagon Master
Allens Butterfield
Crest Top
East Texas Fair
Freshlike Select
Happy Chef
Popeye's Spinach  Here is their home page. You can get to the Allies program thru here or you can go to their great recipe page.

So please take the time and explore their web site and tell me what is your favorite Allen's vegetable. I am interested to know.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eggs In A Window

Here is one of my sons favorite foods. I had to make it for almost a year every morning. It is an Egg in a Window, Egg in a basket or the million different names it goes by all over the world.  I use Texas toast, free range eggs (our own), butter, salt, and shredded cheese. I cut a hole in the bread. Rebekka uses cookie cutters in different shapes (heart, flowers)

 Here it is in the frying pan. I wait until the white starts to bubble up and set around the yolk before I turn it. When I turn it I add the cheese to the top side. (just enough to melt a little)
I never waste the holes either. I fry them too here is a finished one ready to eat.

This is a super cheap meal. I get eggs for free (from my chickens) I buy the Texas toast at the store when they run their bread for $0.50 a loaf. I stock up on all types of bread. I like the Texas toast better for this as it holds the egg better and is a little heartier than the thin sliced bread.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Learning To Adapt In The Kitchen

We have all been there. We run out of time, don't have an ingredient we need, something doesn't work out like we want, or like me tonight my oven catches fire. (I will explain that one below) We all have learned to adapt in the kitchen. Here is my adaptation.

Corn bread cakes. My oven has been acting up a little (the thermostat is messed up) Well tonight it decided to set the cast iron skillet on fire. Hubby  had to sit there and let the grease burn out before we could do any thing. I had just put a little bacon grease in the skillet and shut the door. I mixed up my corn bread mix and opened the door to pour it into the skillet. That is when it flamed up. So I adapted. After we got the fire out I made the corn bread batter into pancakes. I fried them on top of the stove.  (The oven is now out of order until it can be fixed.)

What is your adaptation story? What did you come up with that was probably better than what you had planned.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Loaded Bake Potato Salad and Caramel Apples

Here is a recipe I made up after eating at a barbecue restaurant. They had a loaded bake potato salad but it needed a little help. This is what I came up with. I left out the pulled pork meat this time as I was taking it to a barbecue. I buy the non sauced variety of meat. I have used smoked ham in it in the past too. The idea is to put what ever you eat on a loaded bake potato into this salad.

 We baked the potatoes that morning. If you do this the night before them put them in the fridge they peel easier.
 Here is Rebekka peeling them.
 After peeling them cut them into bite size chunks.
 Here is the dressing. This made a large amount of salad so you might want to make less for personal use. I used 16 oz of sour cream, 4 to 5 tablespoons of mayo, one package of shredded cheese, one sheet pan of crisp bacon (crumbled fine), Ranch dressing (I would say about 4 to 5 tablespoons) and milk to thin it down to a pourable consistency.
 Here is the finished product. You can make the dressing the night before and let it sit in the fridge. The flavors meld better that way.
Here are my simple Caramel Apples. I used the Kraft Original Caramels and followed the directions on the back. I made 14 of them using 2 packages of caramels. I did not use their sticks I used Bamboo skewers.

Pickles: Make it at Home

I am going to start a weekly section on Make it instead of buying it. This topic was chosen by my Internet son. @tmimichael in twitter. Here is one of his blogs If you have a request for a recipe from something in the store or a restaurant please leave me a message in the comments and I will see what I can do about finding it for you.I have a large collection of copy cat recipes from Mc Donalds to StarBucks and beyond.
1 gallon of whole pickles
4 lbs sugar
10 or more whole garlic cloves
1 small bottle of hot sauce
Drain pickles and discard of the juice (I save it for another use). Slice pickles. layer sugar,garlic,hotsauce and pickles. Repeat until you are out of pickles. Close jar back and place in fridge. Turn upside down every day. Let set for 5 days. Then enjoy.
4 quarts pickling cucumbers
1 1/2 cups onions, sliced
2 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup pickling salt
2 quarts chopped ice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teasp. turmeric
1 1/2 teasp. celery seed
2 tabls. mustard seed
3 cups white vinegar
In large bowl, add sliced cucumbers and onions, garlic cloves and
pickling salt; mix well. Cover with chopped ice, place towel over,
and let stand 3 hours. Prepare brine by combining sugar, turmeric,
celery seed, mustard seed and vinegar in large pot; bring to a boil.
Drain water and ice from cucumber slices and remove garlic cloves.
Add cucumbers to brine; simmer 5 minutes. Pack in sterile jars,
leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal. Process in boiling water bath for
10 minutes. Allow to stand two weeks before opening.
Fresh cucumbers, enough to fill five-gallon crock
3 gallons water
1 pound salt
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 ounces mixed pickling spices
1 bunch fresh dill
1 loaf of stale rye bread broken into chunks
Place cucumbers in crock. Mix salt into water and pour over cucumbers. Add garlic, spices, and fresh dill on top.
Add rye bread chunks. Cover crock with cheesecloth.
Put a lightweight stone on top of the cucumbers to submerge them in the brine mixture. Keep crock at room temperature for 3 days. Cure in refrigerator for 5 more days.
Pickles must be stored in refrigerator.
7 pounds cucumbers
3 cups pickling lime
2 gallons water
Cut cucumbers crossways to desired thickness. Not too thin because cucumbers become crisp while soaking. Mix water and lime, stirring well. Put cucumbers in large container and pour water mixture over sliced cucumbers. Let stand for 24 hours without stirring. Drain and return to container. Cover with just water and allow to set for 1 hour. Repeat 1 hour process 4 times making a total of 4 changes with plain water. Handle cucumbers carefully to minimize breakage.
While cucumbers are soaking for the 4th time make the following syrup.
4 pounds sugar
3 pints white vinegar
pickling spice to your taste (put in cheese cloth bag - an old piece of stocking works well
Bring ingredients to a boil and pour over drained cucumbers. Let stand over night. In the morning bring cucumbers and vinegar mixture with cucumber in it to a boil and cook for 1 hour, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent boiling over.
Ladle pickles into pint or quart jars, your choice, clean around the rim of jar and put caps and rings on jars tightly. At this point you can either turn jars upside down on towel to cool or you may process in water bath for 10 minutes. Either way works. If you dip up pickles when they are boiling and the jars are hot already, bath is not necessary.
2 dill flowers
2 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
1 1/4 lbs. (8−10) pickling cucumbers
6 long sprigs fresh dill
1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
Put dill flower and garlic in bottom of mason jar;
add the cukes, put sprigs of dill in center of
cukes, add salt, fill jar with half boiled water
that is now cool, and half vinegar to within 1/8th of top.
Put on seal and ring, shake to dissolve salt,
set upside down on counter away from sunlight
and heat. Let sit 4−5 days flipping the jar
either upright or upside down each day.
Let sit upright 2 more days then refrigerate.
Lasts about 6 months.
2 gallons prepared cucumbers, peeled,ends removed,cored and cut into rings or sticks (measure after slicing)
8 1/2 quarts water
2 cups pickling lime
1 tablespoon alum
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 1/2 ounces red food coloring
10 cups sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
8 to 10 ounces red hots
Prepare the cucumbers: peel, removed ends, core, and cut into rings or sticks.
Combine water and lime.
Soak prepared cucumbers in lime-water for 24 hours.
Drain and wash 3 times in cold water.
Cover with cold water and let sit for 3 hours.
Combine alum, vinegar, 2 cups water, food coloring, sugar, cinnamon and red hots to make a syrup.
Add drained cucumbers and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
Let stand overnight.
Drain off syrup, reheat and pour over pickles daily for 3 days.
Pack in hot jars and seal.
There is a Warning to go with these. Please make sure you put these where they will not get knocked over in your fridge. If they do get knocked over you will have to use really hot water to get it out of there (It happened here lol)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hamburger Stew

Simply, good, warming for cold days or nights and good for you. Hamburger Stew is a simply meal that we make when we have had a busy day. You can put it in the crock pot after browning the hamburger meat and draining it.  This bowl has potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, 3 tablespoons of ketchup, salt and pepper to taste and one pound of hamburger meat. You can use chicken instead or leave the meat out all together.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cow Boy Chocolate Cake

Today the Kids and I decided we needed a chocolate cake. We like to make them from scratch. This one is easy to make, uses ingredients I keep for baking, and turned out really well. This makes two layers. So I made one with Dried peppers in it and the other one normal.  This is the link to the recipe for this cake. It is Hershey' recipe.

Here are all the dry ingredients mixed together.
Here is one Mulano pepper (mild with a hint of chocolate taste) and some Crushed Red Pepper flakes. I added half to the cake mix and sprinkled the other half on top of the icing.
This is the batter after the wet ingredients have been added. It is a looser type batter than a normal cake batter.
Here is the finished cake.
Here is the regular cake iced.
Here is the end results of the cow boy cake. Sweet with the heat makes a great taste.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bacon, Porkchops and Green Beans.

Today was a busy day. I had to go get my car tested and order parts for it. I had to pray the whole time it would make it home. So I went to one shopping center and got what I needed. (It had the parts place, the Chinese restaurant and the Grocery store.)  It is not my normal grocery store but I go there every once in a while. I was glad I did today. I got a great deal on some bacon. 10 lbs for $14.90 which comes out to $1.49 a pound. That is a lot of bacon for most people but I use it in a lot of things when I have it. The grease for beans, the bacon for breakfast, in vegetables, wrapped around stuff.  My 6 yea old son will fight you for it so I do not buy it that often. This is a treat for them.

 I ended up cutting it in half and then putting it in freezer bags. It is better to buy somethings in bulk. Exspecially if you know how to freeze it and you use alot of it. You can precook some of this bacon and freeze it on cookie sheets (so it will be flat). Then freeze it in single layers between wax or butcher paper. That way you have it ready for sandwiches or quick breakfasts.

Dinner tonight was a quick one. I pan seared some porkchops. I use a weight to weigh them down while cooking them. (pic below) This weight is a bacon press that I found at the Goodwill. It is Cast Iron so it has some weight behind it. If you do not have one of these use another skillet to lay on top of the pork chops. You will be glad you took the extra effort.

 Here is what they look like when they are cooked. I start out with a rocket hot pan. Very little oil (almost none if the pan is nonstick if I use cast iron I use a little more.) These just have a little salt and pepper on them. If hubby wants BBQ I put them in the oven under the broiler with a little sauce on them for a few minuets a side when they are still hot out of the pan.
This is Green Beans and Bacon. I drain and rinse my canned green beans before doing this. I cook them down until they shrink in size to about half. This is not that healthy but we only eat them this way about once a month. I usually cook them in the crock pot in chicken stock and onions.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Black Beans and Rice and Cake Doughnuts

This is an odd ball comb of food but this is what I made that I found interesting enough to post about.  I know every one here knows how to open a can of food and make box mac and cheese.  I have been sick again so I haven't cooked a whole lot until today.

 This is my version of Black Beans and Rice. I cheated on the rice this time by using the Five Minuet rice in the box. (I told you I have been sick lol) The black beans on top have a roll of breakfast sausage fried and drained, one medium onion diced and fried in bacon grease, 4 slices of bacon crumbled, one can of rotel, one can drained and rinsed of corn, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and about 2 cups of black beans (I cooked them and then drained them)

Cake Doughnuts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground all spice
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract

I mixed all of these together. Place covered in the fridge for at least one hour. (I left mine about 2 hours). I heated the oil to about 350 (according to my thermometer.) I put about a teaspoon for each doughnut ball. I drained them and put them in Powder sugar.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ham Sliders and Caso Dip

Saturday is Family Movie night. We alway make finger foods and gather to watch movies. This weekend I made Ham Sliders and Caso Dip.

I used the little slider rolls for them this time. Normally I use the dinner rolls that are in the aluminum pan. I cut them open and layer ham, cheese (your choice), bacon and then a mustard based spread (Recipe below). I bake them until the cheese is melted and serve. This size roll worked out really well this time as they are easier to handle and you get more than a bite per serving.

Here is the spread recipe.

1 stick softened butter
3 TBSP prepared mustard
3 TBSP poppy seeds
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP Dried Onion Flakes

When I make Caso Dip it will always be different. I use Velvetta every time. Some times I use a can of chili, a can of rotel, pizza sauce and sausage or pepporoni, sauted onions and peppers, brocolli and almonds or Spinach and artichokes. The list is endless. You dont just have to use chips either. Vegetables, pitas, and crackers work really well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tostadas Byrd Style

Yesterday was National Taco Day. But since (Like always) I am a day late and a dollar short I made something like that today.

 Here are the tostadas I used. I found these great ones at The Dollar General for $1.45. These are very crunchy with out being heated up.
 Here is a picture of my taco meat I made. It is 2 pounds of hamburger meat, two packages on taco seasoning (one hot one mild) and a package of dried onion soup. I brown the meat and drain the grease. (If it is still frozen then I boil it and it removes more grease this way.) I then follow the taco package instructions as to how much water and how long to cook it.
 Here Bekka is putting meat on some tostadas before they go into a hot oven. I pull them out when they are sizzling and you can see some oil around the sides of the tostada.
 Here is the toppings I used. I used cheese too but it did not make it into the picture. There is onion, taco sauce, lettuce, tomato, avocado (Rebekka style) and ranch dressing. Some times we use sour cream.
 This is the Rebekka style Avocados. She mashes them and adds a pinch of salt to them.
Here is one put together.

I make enough filling to use again in quesidillas or more tacos and such. This is a favorite meal of my family.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week Day Country Meal

I know how everyone is pressed for time during the week. This is a simple meal that uses the crock pot or slow oven and takes no time to prepare.
The Pork Chops can be cooked in the crokpot or in a casserole dish with a lid in a 250 degree oven. It is pork chops, one onion sliced, 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, one cup of wter and salt and pepper to taste. I layer the pork chops and onions. I then mix the water and sauce together and pour over the meat. I let it cook slow all day. (If in the oven check the water level often_)
The fried potatoes I cut up earlier in the day and let sit in cold water. I then scooped them out and dried them. If you pour the water out all the starch goes right back on the potatoes. I then fried them in a little vegetable oil. 
As for the Turnip Greens I used my favorite canned ones (Allen's_). I also opened a can of hominy. I made cornbread and beans and was ready to serve.
I cook my beans twice a week and they eat off of them all week. We use them in salads, for dinner over cornbread, refried beans and bean patties (Left over beans or black eyed peas, flour, onion and sage. Fried in a little oil_)

If you have left over vegetables put them in a freezer bag to make vegetable soup down the road. (Al but potatoes_) I use the left over Turnip  greens in Scrambled eggs the next morning (Drain them well before adding_) or in a Frittata.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday cooking

I get to cook on the weekend more than during the week. Today I had extra time so I took full advantage. Here are the two things I made today. For lunch I made homemade corn dogs and for dinner I made Chicken pot pie.

Here are my mini corn dogs. I cut hot dogs in half so they fit in the fry pot better. I just made a corn bread batter and added chili powder and crushed red pepper to it. Next time I am adding cream corn and cheese to the batter. I scored points today with these. My hubby actually ate these and gave a compliment. (Remember he is the picky one in the family:) )

This is my go to meal when I have canned vegetables and chicken thighs. The vegetables can vary according to taste. I have even added mushrooms and brocolli to this. I made a drop biscuit dough this time. I swap back in forth from a standard pie crust to biscuit dough. Half the family likes the biscuit the other half the pie crust.
Today I boiled chicken thighs until done.(I like thighs for the fat they have.) I took half the broth that made and boiled my potatoes and onion until fork tender. I made a rue out of butter and flour. Add a little milk and chicken broth to it. (Enough to coat the vegetables) I added my vegetables and chicken to this. (I added potatoes, onion, green peas, carrots, green beans and corn. (Make sure you drain the cans of vegetables.) I mixed all of this together and poured into a casserole dish. I then made biscuit dough and spread on top. I baked until the biscuits were brown and the inside was bubbly.

You can leave out the milk and the butter if you would like. Just add flour to a little of the chicken broth as a thickener. You can also use puff pastry or canned biscuits for the topping. I made enough filling today to have another one this week or can freexe the filling for later use.