Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Cure

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

We are in a difficult time in our family. Some of us have flu-like symptoms and others feel great. Basically it means that some of us want to lie in bed and sleep or at best, watch television, while others are going and blowing like normal. Being The Mommy, I know that the possibility of my getting a lot of rest is not good, so I have to find a diversion and here it cream with hot fudge sauce and sliced strawberries. Not any old ice cream either. Nope, this is the good stuff... Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla with Strawberries is just incredible. I know it is not available in all parts of the country and well, I'm sorry for you. But we can finally get Blue Bell in Tennessee and sometimes that high-dollar stuff is just worth it. I can't imagine anything tasting better on a sore throat than this ice cream and what better to top it than homemade hot fudge sauce?! It's simple, low-cost and makes a great gift.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce
makes 1 quart

12 tablespoons real butter
12 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Add sugar and evaporated milk and whisk until smooth. Stirring constantly, heat mixture to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Stir until smooth and pour into a quart jar. Allow to cool, place lid on jar and store in refrigerator up to 2 months. Reheat in small amounts as needed for topping ice cream, dipping fruit, drizzling over pound cake, licking off your finger, etc.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Stop, Lambert's, Sikeston, MO

"Throwed" Roll, Lambert's Sikeston, Missouri

All You Can Eat Fried Okra, Lambert's, Sikeston, Missouri

I'm a little late in blogging our trip. We left around noon on Tuesday, June 30. I had worked all night and took a little nap on the road while The Daddy drove. We arrived at Lambert's in Sikeston around 4:30pm. It was perfect timing! A large tour bus pulled in the lot as we were going in the door. We got a table quickly and were greeted with fresh, hot okra spooned onto our napkins. We made our choices from the menu and began watching and listening for the "Hot Rolls" guy. The rolls were HOT and delicious. The kids enjoyed catching them as they were literally thrown from across the large dining room. Other 'pass-arounds' came by but we were pretty much about the okra and rolls. There was honey on the table and a young lady came by with sorghum molasses for the rolls as well. I got pot roast with mashed potatoes and collard greens. I did get a small amount of black-eyed peas from the pass-arounds, but I didn't try the macaroni with tomatoes or the fried potatoes. The okra was delicious and I seriously cannot believe The Daddy ate as much as he did! I cleaned my plate and had another roll with honey for dessert. It was a good value of food for the money. The younger kids all had chicken and dumplings with two sides (mostly applesauce and corn) and their drink came with the price of their meal. The Daddy and Master-P had cheeseburgers, big surprise, but they were large, freshly made burgers and they were both full, a major accomplishment. Homey-G had the vegetable plate and ate more than his fair share of black-eyed peas and okra as well. Homey is not eating meat at this time. Dessert was offered but we were stuffed. Lambert's was a great place to stop, but since we live in the land of Meat and Three cafes, I wouldn't make a special trip.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Three Sugar Poundcake

Sorry to not have any entries for so very long. If you check in now and then or just come here when I mention it on FB or LDD, then you know I've been lax. It is obvious from the date on my last post that I've not been cooking anything exciting or not taking a picture of it for quite some time. It was laundry. I just couldn't get caught up. Now it's all better.

My mom was visiting a couple of weeks ago while I was sick. Bless her heart, I think feeding these bottomless pits I call my children just might have done her in. The first day I came home from the hospital, she had baked a poundcake. Honestly, I think I had forgotten how delicious they are and how easy they are to put offense, Mom. I know you worked hard those two weeks! Anyway, as I began feeling better, I was poking around in my pantry and noticed I had a lot of brown sugar and some bits of dark brown sugar, too. I'm sure I bought it for a recipe and it had been sitting in there for awhile. So, like most folks I know, I googled recipes with brown sugar and promptly found a few that looked good but not exactly what I wanted. I combined/refined a few and this is what I got. It was really good and I jokingly called it Magic Poundcake because it disappeared quickly. I hope you enjoy it.

Three Sugar Pound Cake
This makes a dense cake with a delicious slightly sticky crust. Perfect for topping with berries!

1 cup dark brown sugar**
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract, really
1 cup buttermilk or soured milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Move rack to middle of oven. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt or tube pan.
Mix 3 types of sugar and butter with a mixer for 6 minutes on low speed. The mixture should be very light and fluffy with no visible sugar lumps. (This was a critical step and my KA made it easier.) Add eggs, beating well after each one. Scrape down the bowl, beat another minute and add vanilla. Add buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately, ending with buttermilk. Beat just until incorporated. It is important NOT to over beat the flour or it will get tough. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 60 to 75 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out with just a bit of crumb. Cake will be brown on the outside but not burned-looking.
Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out on rack to cool. Try not to eat it hot...well, it's good! :0) Tastes even better the next day, if it lasts.

** If you don't have dark brown sugar, just use 2 cups light brown sugar and add a tablespoon of molasses to the cake.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hurry Curry

A Photo Sort of Similar to My Curry

Okay, just for the record, the above photo is a lovely googled image of Thai Red Curry with Shrimp. I simply forgot to take a photo of the curry I created on Saturday night. I have numerous excuses, but I'll save those for another time. Suffice it to say, our curry was delicious and photo-worthy, but also eaten, gone, snarfed, nom nom nom.
It all started with a local grocery store having Buy-One-Get-One-Free deals on Wild Caught Argentine Sea Scallops. I'm a sucker for wild-caught seafood. I'm such a snob, I know, but I hate farm-raised seafood....blergh, just the thought of it all swimming around in it's own...well, anyway. I do buy wild-caught shrimp, salmon and most other fish. This seemed like a saawweeet deal. It was. I got 2 1-lb bags for $7.00. I've been following Weight Watchers again since the first of the year. I wanted a delicious and tasty use for the scallops that didn't involve lots of butter and garlic (oh but that would have been nice, too). Since we love Thai food, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. It was a little more pointy than my normal meals, but as a treat and certainly as a restuarant-quality meal, it was great! Remember that I'm trying to add lots of vegetables in our diets, so use your own preferences and discrection on that part. Enough's how I made it!

Thai Red Curry with Scallops

1 can lite coconut milk
1- 1 1/2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste (my brand was Thai Kitchen)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2-4 cups chopped fresh vegetables, I used fresh asparagus, cut in half, fresh green beans, a red pepper, sliced, a zucchini, sliced, a yellow squash, sliced, a lot of fresh mushrooms, sliced, and green onions cut on the bias
2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
1 lb. frozen scallops or peeled shrimp
6-8 fresh basil leaves, torn in large pieces
Sirarcha to taste
Hot Cooked Jasmine Rice

In a very large skillet, heat the coconut milk and red curry paste to a high simmer. Let simmer 5 minutes or until the coconut milk has reduced a bit and thickened. Add brown sugar and simmer another minute. Add vegetables and cook until crisp tender. Stir in fish sauce, seafood and basil. Stir and cook just until seafood is done, about 4 minutes. Serve with additional fish sauce and Sirarcha sauce for more heat. Serve on rice to soak up the delicious sauce. Yum!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Big Sister's Favorite New Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

We had some friends over a few weeks back to bake cookies. Lunch that day was soup. Big Sister requested this one and it was, as always, tasty and simple. I know it may not be true Italian Wedding Soup, but that's what we call it. Hope you like it, too.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb. lean ground turkey (don't buy plain ground turkey, buy the lean stuff)
1 tbsp. Penzey's Italian Sausage Seasoning (you haven't ordered any YET?)
3 quarts good chicken broth (homemade is great, organic store bought is okay, too)
1 lb. small pasta, whole wheat or regular, you choose...that is ditalini in the photo
1 bag fresh baby spinach or 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach (kale is good, too)
Fresh Parmesan for shaving on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix turkey with Italian Sausage Seasoning. Make tiny meatballs and place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat chicken broth to boiling. Add pasta and cook until just slightly done. Add spinach and stir to wilt. Continue cooking broth, pasta and spinach until pasta is al dente. Add meatballs and heat through.
Serve with crusty bread and shave fresh parmesan on top. Delicious!
**The recipe depends on having a good, flavorful chicken broth base. Spend a little extra and buy Organic Chicken Broth or make your own using the technique I wrote about in the Chicken and Dumplings post.

Be blessed~

Friday, August 1, 2008

Crumby Chicken - Five Ways!

Crumby Chicken

Many years back, I tried a recipe from a community cookbook from The Daddy's hometown of Friona, Texas. It was a low-fat "fried" chicken and it became an immediate family favorite. Over the years I've played with the recipe and here are the versions I use now. It is on our family's table at least once a month in some form. The Daddy's favorite is the lemon pepper, but the kids like the Ranch Dressing one. I have served it to those big teen-age kids when I cooked for mission trips and they called it "magic chicken" because it always disappeared.

Crumby Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I have used both freshly grated from my own block and the green can stuff with great results, but the kind in the chees section in a bag doesn't work here)

Choice of Seasonings:**pick one option

1) 1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
2) 1 pack dry ranch dressing mix
3) 1tsp lemon pepper and 1 tsp dried parsley
4) 2 tbsp. any flavor dry soup mix (like onion or vegetable)
5) Sub sesame crackers for the breadcrumbs, add 2 tsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. dried ginger to the egg white mixture.
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. In a pie plate, beat egg whites and water with a fork until frothy. In another plate mix bread crumbs, cheese and seasoning. Dip each piece of chicken in egg whites, than coat well with crumb mixture. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with melted butter and bake 35 minutes or until just done.

I usually do Homemade RiceARoni as a side dish, unless it is the Asian option, then I do fried rice. The kids like Fried Apples with this dish, too. A green vegtable or salad rounds out the meal. The chicken stays so moist because of the egg white and the flavor is great.
Whatever version, it is comfort food and healthy!
Be blessed~

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gift Wrapped

I'm sorry I don't have a photo of my recipe today, but there are camera issues that I am working to resolve. Anyway, I thought I would post a favorite recipe to serve as an entree to use with those crockpot beans.
The translation of envuelto is gift-wrapped. I grew up eating envueltos at a local Tex-Mex cafe in my little hometown. They are like enchiladas, but lighter and spicier. The sauce drips off into the refried beans and is incredible! When we lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, the restuarants there didn't serve envueltos. I learned to make ranchero sauce (or my version of it) and our love of homemade envueltos began. They are like a little gift. The following recipe is my new, low-fat, WW-friendly version. Feel free to sub shredded chicken for the ground beef.

makes 16

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (I leave this out...we don't "do" cooked bell pepper)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce ( I use no-salt-added)
1 can regular or mild Ro-tel chopped tomatoes and green chilies
**optional...if you want this spicier add a diced jalepeno to the sauteed vegetables
16 corn tortillas
2 lb. ground sirloin (or your choice of ground beef)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Shredded cheddar cheese (I use veggie cheese for Weight Watchers)

In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion and pepper and cook until transluscent. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Stir in the tomato sauce and Ro-tel. Use water to wash out the cans and pour that into the skillet. Bring to a high simmer, then turn down to a very low simmer.
In another skillet, brown the ground beef and season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain off any grease if needed.
Wrap 8 corn tortillas in a clean dishtowel and microwave on high about 2 minutes. These will be very hot and soft. Place 2-3 tablespoons of ground beef in each tortilla and roll up enchilada-style. Place seam side down in a well-greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour tomato sauce mixture over rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
**Because the tortillas are steamed instead of fried, they do fall apart a little more than usual. They still taste great and the fat/calorie difference is too much to care!