Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tribute to Utah

Well it's Sunday again and this Sunday finds me in our new home state of Maryland. I thought it was appropriate to share with you 2 of my favorite recipes from Utah.

Fry Sauce-

Get a glob of mayonnaise
squirt some catchup

Mix, dip french fries!

Use BBQ sauce instead of catchup
add a splash of Tabasco sauce
mix in pickle relish
stir in a dash of mustard

Enjoy your fries with good ole' Utah fry sauce!

Funeral Potatoes-

6-8 potatoes pressure cooked to fork tender
about 1/2 lb cheese grated
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 a tub sour cream
1/2 a stick butter cut into pats
shake of onion powder, salt and pepper

pressure cook potatoes, peel and mash in 9x13 baking pan, add butter, cream of chicken, cheese, sour cream and seasonings and stir well. smooth out and place in 350 degree oven until everything is bubbly.

Now the great debate is to add corn flake or not to add corn flakes, I have like mine sans corn flake I think they are unnecessary. I have also seen bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, and one time though I think it was a mistake I had some with frosted flakes (EEEWWWWWW!)
SO if you come down on the pro corn flakes side here's the drill-
place 1 or 2 cups of corn flakes in a zip lock bag, mash to crumbs, add melted butter and mix some more, pour out of bag onto top of potatoes before going into oven.

I hope you all have a fantastic week and enjoy a few of Utah's claim to fame.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Special request

I had a request for my pasta sauce recipe, this is a dump and stir contribution from my husbands time in Italy. He got it from a lady named Anna so we call it...

Anna's Magic Red Sauce

1 can whole tomato's
4-5 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
splash olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
handful of chopped fresh basil or half a handful dry
a few shakes dry parsley

Warm olive oil, add garlic about 30 seconds to 1 minute (don't burn the garlic, dump in can of tomatoes, red pepper, basil and parsley. Mash tomatoes (I use a potato masher but a fork, spoon or any other implement of destruction will work), cook for about 3-5 minutes and serve over angel hair pasta.

That's it! Easy huh!

I sometimes add some browned Italian sausage to it and then serve it over penne pasta or bow ties.

I hope you enjoy, please feel free to ask questions or make requests and suggestions.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday recipe

From spicy salsa to dessert...

This weeks recipe is for peach cobbler another one of those dishes you can make as much of or as little of with a few minor adjustments to the amounts. The recipe I am going to give you is for a 9 x 13 pan that will make enough for a family or a small party. I will also post the recipe for vanilla sauce a great alternative to the traditional vanilla ice cream usually served with cobbler.

Peach Cobbler
3 16oz cans of sliced peaches in syrup
small pearl tapioca (enough to cover the spaces with syrup when you dump the peaches in your pan)
about 4 Cups baking mix (bisquick or jiffy whatever)
4 Tablespoons sugar (a little more if you like yours REALLY sweet)
1 Cup milk
appx 1/3 Cup veg oil

Open and dump your peaches in your pan then sprinkle the tapioca over the syrup areas in the pan so you have just a single layer. Mix together your baking mix, sugar, milk and oil (it will be gooey) drop globs(yes that is a dump and stir technical term) over your peaches mixture, make it as even as you can but this isn't a huge deal its going to flatten and spread some so don't loose sleep over it.
place this in the oven at 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes. Its done when the top is golden brown and the syrup/tapioca mixture is bubbly.
Serve with ice cream or better serve with vanilla sauce

Vanilla Sauce
1 1/2 C sugar
4 T cornstarch
2 1/2 C hot milk
4 T butter
1/2 tea vanilla
pinch salt

mix cornstarch and sugar in sauce pan, heat milk (I use a microwave for this but hey if you want use another saucepan)and add to sugar mixture, cook on med heat until thickened add salt, butter and vanilla stir well.

Carin's tip of the week
I always use the best vanilla I can buy, it makes a difference! I love Watkins double strength The flavor doesn't cook out so it's my favorite for any baking. You can buy it online, through a dealer or I have found small bottles at my Walmart store.

Enjoy, Carin
It was Sunday when I started to post this ;O)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here's to a HOT New Year!

So I was going to post a new recipe every Sunday but I wanted to give you a head start on something for New Year's Eve. I am a hot head, not temperamental (hush all of you) I LOVE spicy food. Mexican, Thai, Szechuan, Indian I love it.

So its only right that to ring in the new year properly you need to have something HOT! Usually New Year's Eve means a party so this recipe is something you can adjust the amount to suit just a few or a whole crowd, it also keeps about a week in the fridge so if you're a sad and lonely person ringing in the new year you can make it for yourself.

Enough lets get on with the recipe for my world famous (okay maybe one day world famous)Salsa!

1 bunch cilantro

1 160z can of whole tomatoes
3 Roma tomatoes
1 limes juice

3 jalapeno peppers

3 Serrano peppers
3 or 4 cloves garlic
splash white vinegar
pinch salt
cumin to taste

Here is the beauty of dump and stir dump this in your food processor until its the chunkiness you want and whala salsa.

Now I only use the leaves of the cilantro and throw out the stems but its not necessary, also you can hold back the liquid from the canned tomatoes if you like your salsa chunky, best of all you can change the number or even type of peppers to alter the heat. This is a fairly hot salsa for the average taste bud. You can just use jalapenos if you want it more mild, you can use fewer of either pepper to alter the heat level and if your really a hot head you can add more peppers.

Tips on altering the heat:

1) You want it really mild use Anaheim peppers instead of the jalapenos and the Serrano's

2) You want it REALLY hot add a habanero or Ghost pepper to the mix. (if I want to up the heat I just add more Serrano's, I find the habanero and Ghost chili to be sorta bitter)
3) If you are wary of how hot your salsa will turn out add in a few peppers, run the food processor for a few pulses to get it started then taste, you can always add but can't subtract
4) Tragically you have made it too hot try adding a few more tomatoes and lime this should bring the heat down some.
No promises though, if its to hot for you put it in a Gladware container and take it and a bag of chips to work, surely someone there is man enough to eat it. (usually it's the little 5' nothing 98 lb girl that will eat the whole bowl while the big linebacker types are afraid of it)

I hope you can find a use for your first dump and stir recipe be it a New Year's Eve party or just your morning eggs.
Enjoy, Carin

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cooking philosophy???

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a philosophy as-

phi·los·o·phy noun \fə-ˈlä-s(ə-)fē\
1 a (1) : all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts
b : a discipline comprising as its core logic and aesthetics

2 a : pursuit of wisdom
b : a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means
c : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs

So what is dump and stir and how does it fit in the description of a philosophy?
Well that's what this first post is here to tell you.

Growing up when I asked my mother how to make an item she was preparing for dinner the answer was invariably "Oh dump some of (whatever item) and add some of (another item) and stir it around" soon we just called anything we were having for dinner as "dump and stir".

This is the way I learned to cook a lot of what I make. I am not saying that there aren't recipes I used but somehow I always end up "dumping" a little of this or that to tweak the recipe.

I have noticed more and more people don't cook. They eat out, they open a box and prepare per instructions on the box or they microwave something frozen and pre-prepared I even know a family that eats protein bars and sports drinks 3 meals a day that to me is insane, Food should be enjoyed not tolerated.

What I hope to do with this blog is to help those that say "Oh I can't cook"
I will be posting a new "recipes" once a week, I will also share tips and tricks I have learned so that when you make something all your family and friends think you have slaved away to prepare something wonderful and you know you got to play mad scientist or modern artist in the kitchen.

I would love your help naming my Sunday recipe posts, be creative post your ideas and I will send a random person a recipe card holder and cards to start your new collection of dump and stir recipes.