Monday, January 11, 2010

dream a lil dream of me

i have pics, but i'm exhausted. a sick 3 year old and an 8 month old who refuses to nap, make for long days and nights.

Friday, January 8, 2010

flying purple people eater

welcome back to another adventure in cookbooks. tonight's recipe is for the kiddos. we have been doing Friday pizza night for a long time. we started with store bought pizza and have slowly made our way to homemade. i didn't feel like messing with that recipe too much, so i made drinks for the kids instead. we headed over to the cowden's house for pizza night fun. the recipe is from Blender Cooking, a good deal of my cookbooks are thrift store buys or were inherited.
Grape Chiller
6 oz frozen grape juice concentrate, partially thawed
3 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed
2 thin unpeeled lime or lemon slices, quartered
1 1/2 c cold water
1 c crushed ice
20 oz chilled ginger ale
Crumb first ingredients 20 seconds, or until lime or lemon is finely chopped. Pour an equal amount of mixture into 6 tall glasses over ice cubes; fill glasses with ginger ale and stir gently.

yeah i know the picture isn't that great, but did you see the one with the cookbook? that's my oldest daughter, monkey, and pattylicious' oldest son brc. well I've never been one to follow all of the rules, so i tossed the ice in with the first five ingredients. let's face it kids think anything out of the blender is way fun, well so i do i for what it's worth. the ginger ale made the grape mixture all foamy and cool looking, and the kids seemed to really like it. even the twins thought it was good stuff. i tried a glass because i wanted to warn you if it was too weird, and it was actually pretty good. i would have had another, but sadly it was all gone.

i don't promise anything too extravagant next week because i will be pulling double duty. my hubby has training in Orlando for a week, so i will be on my own. i will do my best to continue with my forward momentum. tune in tomorrow night to see how Scandinavian Saturday turned out. i think we are going to try to do a different global cuisine every Saturday, so this could be a lot of fun. until next time happy cooking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 for tea

I'm trying to make up for the first few days of the new year that i didn't do a new recipe, so you get two today. i made some bunuelos for the girls to have snacks when they got home from school. i found this recipe in The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes From Famous Eating Places. the recipe itself is from a place in California called the Padua Hills Restaurant.

4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 c melted butter
3 c sifted flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
oil for deep frying

Beat eggs; add milk and melted butter. sift dry ingredients into this to make a soft dough easily handled without sticking. make into walnut-sized balls; roll on slightly floured board into a large circle like a tortilla or very thin pancake. fry in deep fat until golden brown. drain and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

i made shrimp etouffee for dinner. it was so much better than yummy. the recipe came out of the chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook.

i thought the ingredients alone sure looked pretty.

crawfish (or shrimp) etouffee

seasoning mix:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped bell peppers
7 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3 c, in all, seafood stock
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, in all
2 lbs peeled crawfish tails or medium shrimp
1 c very finely chopped green onions
4 c hot cooked rice

thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. in a separate bowl combine he onions, celery and bell peppers.
in a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. with a long handled metal whisk, gradually mix in the flour, stirring until smooth. continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown, about 3 - 5 minutes (be careful not to let it scorch in the pan or splash on your skin). remove from heat and immediately stir in the vegetables and 1 Tbsp of the seasoning mix with a wooden spoon; continue stirring until cooled, about 5 minutes.
in a 2-quart saucepan bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil over high heat. gradually add the roux and whisk until thoroughly dissolved. reduce heat to low and cook until flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes, whisking almost constantly (if any of the mixture scorches, don't continue to scrape that part of the pan bottom). remove from heat and set aside.
heat the serving plates in a 250 degree oven.
in a 4-quart saucepan melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat. stir in the crawfish (or shrimp) and the green onions; saute about 1 minute, stirring constantly. add the remaining stick of butter, the stock mixture and the remaining cup of stock; cook until butter melts and is mixed into the sauce, about 4 to minutes, constantly shaking the pan in a back-and-forth motion (versus stirring). add the remaining seasoning mix; stir well and remove from heat (if sauce starts separating, add about 2 tablespoons more of stock or water and shake pan until it combines). serve immediately over rice.

both of the items were well received. the hubby thought the etouffee needed more spice so he added Tabasco to his. it was absolutely delicious. i have included an extra picture of the wee finches holding a cookbook.

aren't they the sweetest things you've ever seen. her heiness is showing off some bubble bath that she got. let me know what you think or if you have questions. until tomorrow happy cooking.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

what exactly is a grit?

we found ourselves hungry today and the question of lunch or breakfast came up because it was 11. the hubby whipped out a cookbook to find something to try. the recipe is from Southern Living 1984 Annual Recipes. my hubby being ever the southern gentleman picked something with grits. we had the Grits-Sausage Casserole.

Grits-Sausage Casserole

1 c. quick-cooking grits
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 c. chopped green pepper
1 1/2 c. (6 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

cook grits according to package directions; set aside. crumble sausage in a large skillet; add onion and green pepper. cook over medium het until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. drain well.
combine grits, meat mixture, and 1 cup cheese. spoon into lightly greased 10 x 6 x 2 inch baking dish. bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. yeild 8 servings.

we didn't have sausage, bell pepper, or cheddar cheese, so we improvised. we used ground turkey and seasoned it with sausage seasoning. we had green chilis so we used those instead of the bell pepper. we had mozzerella, but just sprinkled it on top. i know i can't follow instructions, but that's nothing new right. it was so good we had double portions. most often breakfast casseroles are heavy and egg laden, so it was kind of nice that this didn't sit real heavy on the stomach. it had great staying power. i wasn't snacky all day, how awesome is that.

we will be having shrimp etouffe tomorrow for dinner, a cool grape drink on friday, and scandanavian satuday. you don't want to miss any of that do you? let me know what you think.

an exploration

those of you who follow my personal blog know that i love cookbooks. i have a 6 x 7 ft bookshelf covered in cookbooks. i have decided to try at least one new recipe a day,and i hope to use a different cookbook everyday. this blog is a way of keeping track of what works and what doesn't. if you have a cookbook or recipe suggestion i would love to try it. i will include the recipe and a picture of the completed dish. i hope that if you read this you leave a comment, just so i know you're out there. i will probably post in the evenings when my darlings are sleeping, so until this evening, i bid you good eating.