Sunday, 31 March 2013

People Are Like Kolaches: A Little Patience Goes a Long Way

Pin It

Come sit a spell, and have a cup of tea with me, while I share some thoughts that crossed my mind today.

Inspired by a friend's Facebook picture post, about a week or so ago, I brazenly attempted to make my first batch of kolaches. She assured me it was easy, and provided a fool-proof recipe, however I was seriously lacking one essential ingredient; patience.

According to the directions, I was to make the dough, and allow it to double overnight in the fridge. Ack! Overnight? I had no time for that! I wanted my kolaches now. After waiting for about five hours I succumbed to temptation and my own needs, and took the dough out of the fridge and began to prepare them for the oven. The only trouble was -- the dough wasn't quite as ready as I was. As I made the required indentation in the middle, it quickly resisted and continued to rise, covering over the indent, and pushing out any of the sweet filling I tried to place in it. I pushed a little harder, and when it still resisted, I did the best I could and popped them in the oven anyway. My results were less than perfect, and although they tasted like kolaches, they didn't rise to their full potential. The less than lustre end result, wasn't the fault of the recipe, my friend, or any other external circumstance other than my impatience, and inability to let things take their natural course.

I find the often, we tend to treat people, the way I treated my kolaches. We demand they act, react and perform according to our expectations and needs, when in reality, what they really need is a little bit of patience, and time to progress to the state of readiness on their own. We often push people into the heat of the fire, because we decide it's time, despite their shouts of resistance, when in reality if we had just shown compassion, unconditional love and yes...patience, they would have had a better chance of succeeding, and reaching their full potential.

We need to be gentle with our fellow human beings, just as we need to be patient with kolache dough. Everything will happen when it's meant to, and we don't have to try and control so much, that we end up ruining a good batch over something as silly as a battle of wills.

Anyhow -- that's my food for thought for today. The above picture is my success story after a lesson learned the hard way.  Here's the recipe again - and be sure to add a little patience into the ingredient list :)


Kolaches

Yield: 2 dozen

2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup warm water

1 cup sour cream, warmed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside.

Mix sour cream, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, and flour. Mix with dough hook, or by hand. Place the dough in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate overnight. Dough should at least double.

Heat oven to 350F.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 or 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Flatten dough with the heel of your hand and let rise another 10 minutes.

Make an indentation in each kolache with your thumb (I suggest making this a bit more exaggerated than a normal thumb print) and fill with your favorite filling. (Lemon, cherry and cream cheese are all popular, I chose apple)

Sprinkle with streusel topping, and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.



Saturday, 30 March 2013

German Cornbread Salad


Pin It

Mom's Pantry is a vast resource for tried and true recipes. This one for German Cornbread Salad came from  Penny Cleveland and it's a winner. It's easy, and so delicious. Make it a day ahead to allow the flavors to meld even more. It went perfect as a said for our grilled burgers tonight.
German Cornbread Salad
Ingredients:

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 or 3 Red Tomatoes- Diced
2 or 3 Green Peppers = Diced
1 Purple Onion- Diced
1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Mayonnaise (I added a scant tbps of apple cider vinegar to thin the mayo out a bit)
Directions:

Bake cornbread as directed on box. Cool and crumble into a bowl.
Add tomatoes, peppers, & onions. Mix all together.
Mix sugar & mayonnaise together & pour over salad & mix all together, Refrigerate.

Southern Comfort Pound Cake

Another great recipe from Gail Vernon-Musgrove!

"Southern-Comfort" Pound Cake

It's the glaze that makes this so Yummy!
Pin It

Preheat oven to 350*F.

1-Angel Food cake Pan or Tube Pan
1- small saucepan
1-Yellow Cake Mix
1-pkg 3-1/2 oz instant vanilla pudding
4-eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Southern Comfort Whiskey
1-cup chopped nuts ( optional)

Mix all ingredients till batter is smooth, pour into your baking pan.

Bake at 350* for 1-hour or until cake springs back at a touch.

Remove cake and let cool and set aside.

*Glaze*

1/4 cup butter-or margarine ( I prefer butter)
1/8 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2-cup Southern Comfort
1/2-cup powdered sugar
1-cup powdered sugar for sifting after glazing.

In a small saucepan add all ingredients adding sugar slowly..add Southern Comfort
last. Bring to a fast boil till sugar is dissolved and remove from heat. Prick holes
all over the top and sides of the cake with a fork. Pour the glaze all over the cake
and let it sit for an hour before serving.

Sift powdered sugar over the top after the glaze has soaked in the cake.

Serve with your favorite beverage.

Yummy.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Almost Sugar Free Desserts



Pin It

Cheesecake with Sugar-free Blackberry Sauce

Cheesecake:
*note: this makes an eggier/custard type cheesecake as opposed to the creamy textured version
Ingredients:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2-3/4 cup vanilla sugar free syrup (I got mine at Starbucks) 
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and continue to beat. Add in the remaining ingredients, until well blended.
2. Pour into an 8x8 inch pan.
3. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. To test for done-ness: insert a knife in the center it will come out clean when its done, and the cheesecake will be golden brown on top.
4. Cool before cutting, and chill completely before serving.
5. Top with sugar-free Blackberry Sauce.

Blackberry Sauce/Syrup
* Berries can be frozen or fresh, and you can interchange the blackberries for berry (or combination thereof) that you prefer. Blackberries just happen to grow wild where I live. This can be used on pancakes or desserts. 

Ingredients:

3 cups of blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
artificial sweetener of your choice, to taste
pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in to a pan, and bring to a boil. The fruit will break down as the mixture begins to boil. After five minutes of cooking, take off of the heat, and mash the berries down with a fork or potato masher. Boil again for another couple of minutes. Mixture will thicken as it cools. If I am using it as a dessert sauce, I sometimes thicken it a bit with cornstarch.



Orange Dream Dessert

When I'm trying to cut calories I keep this in the fridge at all times, to satisfy any sweet cravings I might have. I like the orange flavor but you could use any flavor of sugar-free Jello you like.

Ingredients:

1 small pkg of sugar free orange Jello
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup heavy cream

Dissolve gelatin in a medium bowl with hot water. Stir until crystals are dissolved. Add in the cold water and the cream, until well blended. Cover and put in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.

As the mixture chills, it sets and it will split into two layers, a clear flavored gelatin layer on the bottom and a creamier flavored one on top.

Makes 3- 4 servings at approx 1 carb each


Monkey Bread



Pin It



Monkey Bread

3 cans biscuits
1 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon 

1 stick butter
1 c brown sugar
2 Tblsp water

Nuts are optional

Mix cinnamon and sugar, cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and coat with the sugar mix. 
If using nuts put those in the pan first, then layer all the biscuit pieces in a lightly greased bundt pan. 
Bring the butter, brown sugar & water to a boil, let boil for 1 minute then pour over the biscuits. 
Bake @ 350* for 35-40 minutes.

Shared graciously with us by Mom's Pantry friend Sharon Jackson

Southern Chicken Cornbread Dressing

Someone asked me recently for a chicken dressing mix and instantly thought of the one we're served at family dinners here in Texas. It's wonderful. Back up North we have stuffing, and here in Texas (the south) they have dressing, which is more of a casserole than anything, but its great. Sharing this one for those in search of a good recipe for their holiday table.

Pin It


Southern Chicken Cornbread Dressing

1 Packet of Corn Kits, baked, cooled and crumbled
1 Chicken, cooked, cooled and chopped (I buy a roasted chicken)
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/2 stick of margarine
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
Salt and Pepper

Saute the onions and celery in the margarine. Mix into the cornbread, broth and soup mixture. Place half in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Put the chopped chicken over that and rest of cornbread mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Corn Kits is a brand new corn bread muffin mix. You could substitute your favorite. 




Thursday, 28 March 2013

Pineapple Cobbler


Pin It

Sharon Jackson shared this recipe as an alternative to Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I can't wait to try it! -- 

Pineapple Cobbler

1/2 cup butter
1 cup self rising flour
(OR add 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 salt to 1 c AP flour)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup milk
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks (crushed works also), drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (16 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained

Preheat oven to 400º
In a 9x13 baking dish (or cast iron skillet) melt butter in oven
Stir flour, white sugar and milk together, smooth
Pour in baking dish over melted butter, do not stir
In bowl toss pineapple and brown sugar and cherries, spread pineapple mixture over the batter
Bake @ 400 deg for 30 minutes or until golden brown




Look Hon, I Made a Pie!

Look Hon, I Made a Pie!

How my guy made it alive to his 50th birthday as a bachelor is beyond me. After leaving home as a young teen, he spent the next few decades surviving primarily on take out food and frozen fish sticks. Hardly the diet most robust Texan men survive on. But somehow he did, and for that I'm most grateful.

It wasn't long after we met that I discovered a different side of him, that took me a bit aback. Although he'd never done it, he was interested in learning how to cook. I must say I was pleasantly surprised and since then, we've had some great times sharing the kitchen island together.

We have had lengthy debates on what is an appropriate heat level for Texas chili, and after I talked him into buying his first slow cooker, I've broke in him on how to make easy, but tasty soups in the crock pot. Eventually, I even taught him to make cornbread. I have some work to do yet, because despite his great advances in learning some cooking techniques, he still considers boxed mashed potatoes his specialty vegetable.

There is one particular recipe, however, that he has taken to with greater gusto than most, even to the point of offering to make it for his Mom on Mother's Day.

Now, let me back up.

This is the man, who, when asked to bring salad to a family dinner during his bachelor days, stopped at a corner store on the way over to their house, to grab something from the produce department. As he proudly handed his mother the plastic bag of "lettuce", she instead found a head of cabbage. Needless to say, they didn't have a salad with that holiday meal.

His skills at identifying vegetables continued as one day I assisted him over the phone in whipping up a batch of crock pot stew, he was very upset to find his potatoes had turned orange while they cooked. Turns out the yam display was beside the potato display. He painstakingly took each offending piece of vegetable out the next day, replacing it with cooked piece of lily white potato, but word quickly got around to his mother about his latest produce faux pas, and cemented his reputation as an ill-fated wannabe culinary expert.

Eventually I turned my attention to helping him create desserts, in particular a sugar-free cheesecake pie that I liked to make for my father up in the Great White North.

While I was way up there, and he was back in Texas, I gave him a mini lesson over the phone on  how to make the pie, and much to both of our surprise, it turned out quite well for the first time.

Needless to say, he was cocky with pride, and a few weeks later he insisted he was going to make one for his mother for Mother's Day. I am sure the family was worried, and I could tell he was nervous too. The morning of Mother's Day, he asked if I would help walk him through the steps once again, over the phone. Sure, I told him.  When he'd finished and had let it set, he began to complain that it didn't look as good as the first one he'd made. I asked him what was wrong with it. "It's kind of lumpy" he lamented.  I asked him to take a picture and send it by email so I could help him, thinking perhaps he hasn't whipped the cream cheese as thoroughly as he said he had.

The photograph that showed up in my inbox a couple of minutes later was sad looking. It definitely had lumps. A lot of them. I went over each step of the recipe with him, trying to figure out what went wrong. The cream cheese had been smooth when he had finished beating it, he insisted, but when he'd taken the Jello mixture out of the fridge it wasn't a clear yellow like the last time.

A light bulb went off in my head. I asked him to read me the label on the package of Jello.

I wasn't surprised to hear him say "Jello lemon flavored instant pudding". He was mortified, he'd made yet another culinary mistake in advance of another family dinner. He raced to the local store, repurchased everything he needed and we repeated the steps, this time with the right ingredients.

His mother dropped me an email later that night, telling me how surprised everyone was with how great the pie tasted. I am sure they were just as relieved as they were impressed.

Now it's his new specialty  and he offers to bring it to every family dinner, and his mother has even submitted the recipe to her church cookbook.

He's now brave enough to change up the Jello flavors, as he's mastered the art of  making the smoothest sugar-free cheesecake pie this side of the Mississippi. And, like any true artist, he takes a photograph of each of his masterpieces, before they disappear from the pie plate, just to keep the memory.
Pin It

Key Lime 
Black Cherry with a layer of 
fresh blackberries underneath


Orange Creamsicle

(Almost) Sugar-Free Lemon Cheesecake Pie
1 graham wafer crumb crust
1 pkg of light cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg of sugar-free lemon Jello gelatin
1 cup of hot water
2 cups of light Cool Whip

Allow cream cheese to sit, at room temperature.
Mix Jello crystals with hot water in a small bowl, making sure that the crystals have completely dissolved
Place in the fridge to set for 20 minutes. (It will not set completely, do not worry, its not supposed to)
While the jello is cooling and partially setting, cut cream cheese into pieces and whip in a large bowl with vanilla, until smooth.
When the 20 minutes is up, add the partially set jello to the cream cheese mixture and beat until as smooth as possible. Add the Cool Whip and continue to beat until smooth.
Pour into the pie crust and allow to set for at least a couple of hours.

You can change the flavors to any sugar-free jello of your choice, and you can vary the recipe by adding fresh fruit as a bottom layer, or on top. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.


Spaghetti Casserole



Spaghetti Casserole

1-1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Shredded cheese of choice
8 oz. box of spaghetti

Brown hamburger, onion, and green pepper-drain, then mix in soups (undiluted).
Cook spaghetti and drain.
Lightly grease casserole dish and layer spaghetti, meat mixture & cheese

Bake 20-30 minutes at 400º

Shared by: Sharon Jackson


Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Icing



Mom's Pantry friend, Sharon Jackson, has shared her recipe for Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Icing ♥

Peanut Butter Cake

Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 c. water
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. cooking oil
Place above ingredients in medium size pan and bring to boil over medium heat.
Take off stove and add the following:
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir until well mixed.

Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes.

Icing

1 stick butter
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box confectioners' sugar (one pound)

Place all ingredients except the confectioners' sugar in pan and bring to boil on medium heat.

Remove from stove and add sugar.

Stir until well blended.
Cool and spread on cooled cake.

* I also like this frosting for chocolate cup cakes



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tater Tot Casserole ala Mom


Tater Tot casseroles have been around since the invention of....well...tater tots. I can recall many a meal made centered around them from my youth, and young parenting years. They can be made with a variety of ground meats, but this one uses chicken pieces and is a little bit of a twist on the norm.

Pin It

Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cheese Tater Tot Casserole (Tater Tot Casserole ala Mom)

These directions are for a 7 qt slow cooker.

Ingredients

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 2-lb package of tater tots
1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheese
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used maple bacon)
1 cup of milk
1 pkg of dry ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Ranch original)

Directions

Place 1/2 the tater tots on the bottom of the crock pot, that has been sprayed with Pam.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1/3 of the bacon over top.

Place chicken pieces on top. You could season with salt and pepper but I didn't, as my chicken breasts came pre-seasoned.

Place another layer of 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/3 of the bacon crumbles over top.

Place another layer of tater tots on top and cover with remaining cheese and bacon crumbles.

Mix the milk with the dry seasoning mix and pour over top.

I baked mine in the crock pot for 1 hour on high and then turned it to low for an additional 3. Please be sure to keep an eye on your own while its cooking as different sized crock pots and makes and models cook differently. Yours might be just fine at 4 hours on low.

I haven't tried it, but I am assuming you can bake this in the oven as well in a casserole dish.






Ginger Snap Cookies


Ginger Snap Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup mild molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white sugar for coating

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses until blended and smooth.

In another bowl combine the dry ingredients (except for the final 1/4 cup of sugar).

Add creamed mixture to flour mixture, and mix until no dry flour remains. Roll into one inch balls.

Roll each ball in sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet about 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches apart. Do NOT flatten. Bake for 10 minutes at 350F and allow to slightly cool before removing from the cookie sheet.



Gail's Spicy Sweet Sloppy Joe's


Thanks to Mom's Pantry friend Gail Vernon-Musgrove for sharing this recipe with us.

Spicy Sweet Sloppy Joe's

1-pkg 2 lbs.- ground lean beef
2-large onions finely chopped
1-2 packages of Sloppy Joe mix I use McCormick's Brand
1-can green chillies
1-can tomato sauce
1-2 sliced and chopped up jalapeno’s depending how much zip ya want to them.
about 1 cup dark molasses. I like that sweet but spicy taste.1/2 cup water if to thick add more water.
1-cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

I use whole wheat or multi-grain hamburger buns.. You can use whatever you like.

Brown your ground beef and add your Sloppy Joe mix and water stir till mixed.

Add all the other ingredients and let it simmer on medium-low for about 45 mins..

Serve on the bun and top off with the cheese and there ya go!..


Yummy!


Texas Breakfast Cookies


There were a lot of things I love about living in Texas, and high on the list was the food, and the way that recipes were shared. There seemed to be unlimited sources for finding down-home, southern fare to test out in the kitchen. One of my favorite sources when I was in South Texas was the monthly magazine that came in the mail from my electric service provider. It shared news, music, and food with its customers. I still have every single issue. This is one of their recipes, that is a particular favorite.
Texas Breakfast Cookies
2 cups unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar packed lightly
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
2 cups Texas pecan pieces
12 ounces bacon, cooked crisp and roughly chopped
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
4 cups regular corn flakes
1/8 cup cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, 2 cups granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Fold in oatmeal, pecans and bacon. Add flour, salt and baking powder, mixing well. Add corn flakes and mix until combined evenly. Do not over mix. Drop onto parchment paper using 4-ounce scoop. Leave at least one inch of space between cookies. Flatten each into 2-inch circle. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar. Sprinkle atop each cookie. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set but not crunchy.


Authentic Hot and Sour Soup

One of our favorite people, Mary from Lovefoodies, shared her family recipe for Hot and Sour Soup with me so I could share it with Mom's Pantry followers. We had an active discussion on our Facebook page around the topic of finding the perfect restaurant worthy recipe for the Asian delicacy. I recently had tasted it for the first time, while dining out (see below) and I was instantly intoxicated with his unique comforting powers. I would easily take this over chicken soup if I was under the weather. Some of the ingredients are a bit exotic but if you have an Asian market in your area you may be able to find them, or at least reasonable alternatives.

I know I'm a bit strange, but surely I can't be the
only one who takes pictures of the meals when 
dining out :)

Hot & Sour Soup

Ingredients
100 grams = 3. 60 oz, pork fillet
around 1 tbsp strips bamboo
2 Chinese dried mushrooms (soak these for 1 hr in hot water or 4-5 hrs in cold water to rehydrate)
1 fungus (re-hydrate in cold water for 1 hr)
2 slices ginger 3mm thick each
half pressed tofu ( 150 grams ) = 5. 30 oz, medium firm
an egg add 1 tsp water
600 ml = 20 fl oz, boiling water
1/3 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp Lee kum kee chilli bean sauce
 2 tsp chicken powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Thickening: 

1. 7 tsp corn starch
2. 25 ml = 5 tsp water

Soup bowl ingredients: 

2 coriander
2 tsp chinkiang vinegar
1 tsp white vinegar essence (if you can’t get this, white vinegar will be ok, but 2 tsp)
1/3 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp chilli oil
1 tsp sesame oil

All the ‘strange’ ingredients you can take a look here, only the vinegar essence is not available, but the dried mushrooms, fungus, chilli paste etc is all here so you have an idea of what you need to look out for. 

Prepare the main ingredients

Shred the pork very thinly, first, cut horizontally in half so it is not as thick, then diagonally in very very fine strips. (matchsticks)Put in bowl
To the pork, Add 1 tsp rice wine , 1 tsp say sauce & pinch sugar, ½ tsp water. Stir very well
Add 1 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp sesame oil to the pork. Stir well again
Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour
Put 1 Tablespoon bamboo strips in boiling water
Cook medium heat for 2 minutes
Remove the bamboo strips, rinse them and drain. Put aside for now
Cut the 2 Chinese mushrooms into fine matchsticks
Dry the fungus in kitchen paper and remove the hard bit (you will see it easily) then cut into smaller size matchstick pieces
Finely chop the ginger slices
Wash & rinse the tofu (be gentle as it is delicate)
Cut the tofu into 1cm thick & matchstick in length and place in a bowl of water

The thickening

In a small bowl, add 7 tsp corn starch & 25 ml water and stir until combined
In a separate bowl, Add 1 tsp water to an egg & beat

The soup bowl

In the soup bowl remove the leaves from 2 blades of coriander and place in the bottom of the soup bowl
Add 2 tsp chinkiang vinegar, 1 tsp white vinegar essence, 1/3 tsp white pepper, ½ tsp chilli oil, 1 tsp sesame oil all in the soup bowl

Cook the main ingredients

Add 2 tsp oil to a medium heat pan
Add diced ginger to the hot oil then push it to the side of the pan (it will burn too quick otherwise)
Add the pork strips, fry on one side for about 1 minute then turn for the other side. Don’t let the meat stick together.
Add the Chinese mushroom strips and cook well
Add the fungus & bamboo, combine everything in the pan well
Add 600 ml of boiling water and turn to a low heat
Add seasonings -
1/3 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 3 tsp lee kum kee chilli bean sauce
2 tsp chicken powder, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt.
Turn to high heat and stir well
Add the thickener (cornstarch & water from earlier)
Keep stirring until the soup boils then turn heat down to low
Pour in the egg water mixture around the side of the pan and count to 15 (Do not stir at this point . we want the egg to set like ribbons)
When the soup starts to reboil, turn the heat up to high and then stir a little
Add the tofu and bring back to boil
Once boiling turn off the heat
Pour the boiling soup directly into your soup bowl from earlier (it should have the coriander leaves etc in it) Stir the soup in the bowl well



And enjoy!

If you have any questions (and I am sure some will) I will direct Lovefoodies over this way to help you.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Jalapeno Cornbread

This recipe is one of our favorites. I'll upload a picture here as soon as make up a new batch, but in the meantime I'll share the recipe.

Jalapeño Cornbread 
Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/2 c all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 c olive oil
3 jalapeno peppers (seeded, finely chopped)
Method:
1) Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
2) In a separate bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, olive oil and chopped jalapenos. Stir until blended and then add to the dry mixture. Beat until well blended.
3) Pour into 8X8 greased baking pan.
4) Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
5) Serve warm.

Aunt Pat's El Dorado Casserole


Aunt Pat's El Dorado Casserole

* Thank you to Kimmy Davis, and her late Aunt Pat for this recipe


(I'll be posting a picture soon, as it's on my "to make" list

Ingredients:


1 pound ground beef (browned and drained)
1 Small can Tomato Sauce1 Container Sour Cream
1 Container Cottage Cheese
1-2 Cups Shredded Cheese
1 Small Can Green Chili's (Diced) (Drain juice off)
1 Bag Dorito's (Any Flavor)

Directions:


Brown ground beef and drain. 


Add Tomato Sauce and Simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

In bowl, mix sour cream, cottage cheese and green chili's and stir. 

Line bottom of the baking dish with Doritos. 

Layer on ground beef mixture, then top with sour cream/cottage cheese mixture. 

Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until cheese on top is melted and slightly browned. 

Serve with extra Doritos. 

Serves 4-5 people.

Works great as a dip for parties too.



Fruit Salad

This recipe comes to us via Mom's Pantry friend: Gail Vernon-Musgrove. Thanks Gail! (she warns that she makes this on holidays, so it makes a large batch)

Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1- pint of fresh Strawberries washed and sliced.
1- pint of fresh blueberries washed and drained.
2-3 large-Banana's Peeled and sliced thin.
2-Large cans of Fruit Salad drained ( in it's own syrup )
1-2 cans of Mandarin Oranges drained.
1-Jar of Marachino Cherries drained. ( set the juice aside for later)
1- Regular container of Sour Cream.
1/3-1/2 cup of Splenda or Sugar. ( Optional)
1-2 Bags of Miniature Marshmallows . ( I used the colored ones or holiday ones
depending on what the holiday is )
and last Candy Sprinkles. ( Optional )


In a very large bowl add all your fruit starting with the cans of fruit cocktail. ( I use my
huge stainless salad mixing bowls )


Add your Sour Cream and gently stir making sure the fruits are covered.

Fold in 1-2 bags of the Miniature Marshmallows depending on how much you like

Marshmallows.

If it's not sweet enough for you , you can add the splenda or sugar. ( I normally just add

about 2 TBS. of Splenda )

Add the Maraschino Cherry Juice about half of it.


Blend this all till it looks nice and creamy and top off with some candy sprinkles after it

has been refrigerated.

Refrigerate for an hour and then serve.



Pizza Wraps

Pizza Wraps

This recipe and photos was shared by Mom's Pantry follower Jaime Nasdeo. She found the recipe in the Kitchenaid manual, and inspired by a recipe she had seen somewhere, she created a family favorite: Pizza Rolls.  (See below for dough recipe)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray your cooking sheet with pam, so that the pizza rolls will not stick. Roll out 1/2 of the dough recipe (below) into a rectangle shape. Add your favorite pizza sauce.


Top with your favorite toppings.


Roll into a log.



Use flour on either the knife or on the pizza log to provide easy (easier) cutting through the dough at about an inch apart to maybe an inch and half. Each piece you cut you want to lay on its side showing the different layers on top.

Add a pinch more of cheese to the top.


Ready to bake? Oven is heated up? pop in oven for like 9-13 minutes (depending on your oven)

How to tell they are done? The dough is a golden yellow-ish brown and your cheese is melted with just a HINT of turning golden brown.

How much dough makes how many? Enough single batch of dough makes one large pizza, or 1 log, so at about 1"- 1.5" wide you are looking about 6-10 wraps.

Jaime says: "They go fast!! and I mean really fast.. so I would make a double batch (enough to make two logs) if for a family of 3-4 depending on age of those in the family. I have a family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids ages 10-5 years old) and I make about 4 logs with only 5 or 6 left over.. if I want enough to freeze for a later date I have to make 8 logs, but the family helps me in the kitchen on those days."



Pizza Dough (from Kitchenaid manual)

*this makes a double batch of dough, so you can freeze what is left over for another day (you can 1/2 the recipe to make a single batch)

2 pkg of yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115F)
1 tsp salt
4 tsps olive oil
5 - 6 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a warm mixing bowl. and salt, oil and 5 cups of flour. Mix until dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour (up to 1 1/2 more cups) as needed to make dough the proper consistency.

Turn out onto a floured board, and knead. 

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover, let warm in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.

It's ready now to make Jaime's pizza wraps, or your own homemade pizza.


                                                      








Sunday, 24 March 2013

Raw Kale and Strawberry Salad


Raw Kale and Strawberry Salad

1 bunch red kale, washed and pulled from the stalk
1 bunch green kale, washed and pulled from the stalk
2 large lemons
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 tbsp good quality olive oil1 cup ripe strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1. Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and toss together in a large salad bowl.
2. Squeeze the juice of the lemons over the kale, add the salt, and with clean hands massage the kale until it breaks down and becomes tender (about 2 min)
3. Add the pepper, olive oil, strawberries, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Toss to combine and serve immediately.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

A Brave New World - Kolaches Attempt #1




I am not a pastry chef by any stretch of the imagination; I'm more of a put-in-the-crock-pot and pull it out 8 hours later kind of gal, but ever since we made a side trip to West, Texas on a recent road trip to South Texas, I've been wanting to try my hands at kolaches. Thanks to a dear friend, sharing her recipe, and posting a photo of her most recent batch on her Facebook wall, I decided to take the plunge.

I carefully followed each step of the recipe, and was disappointed to find that although I put the batch of dough in the fridge, as instructed at 1 p.m. today, she still recommended I leave it there overnight. Confession time: I am not a patient person, and after she listened to me whine, she suggested that I could attempt to bake them after the dough had doubled.

Let me just say, dough does not rise when watched, any more than a pot boils. After about 6 hours, and admittedly just shy of being doubled, I pulled the dough from the fridge and proceeded to create my inaugural batch.

The dough had a lot of elasticity in it, and I don't think my thumb print was big enough. By the time I got back to them to put the filling in, the dough had swelled and covered my imprint. The next time I make these, I plan on exaggerating the indent, to allow more filling.

That said, as I pulled the pastries from the oven, I was pretty impressed with myself. They looked decent enough for a first try, even if they only slightly resembled the perfection of the kolaches we had in West, Texas. As you can see from the photograph, the indentation is not as pronounced as it should be, but when I closed my eyes and tasted the first one, they were soft and flavorful. I will definitely be making this recipe again, and attempt further perfection, although next time I think I will leave the dough overnight as suggested.

For those who want to give it a go, here's the recipe. It was originally in a 1985 issue of Texas Highways. I'd love to hear how the recipe works for you!

Kolaches

Yield: 2 dozen

2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup warm water

1 cup sour cream, warmed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside.

Mix sour cream, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, and flour. Mix with dough hook, or by hand. Place the dough in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate overnight. (If you're more patient than I am.) Dough should at least double.

Heat oven to 350F.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 or 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Flatten dough with the heel of your hand and let rise another 10 minutes.

Make an indentation in each kolache with your thumb (I suggest making this a bit more exaggerated than a normal thumb print) and fill with your favorite filling. (Lemon, cherry and cream cheese are all popular, I chose apple)

Sprinkle with streusel topping, and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.