Category Archives: Recipes

Side project

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One of the biggest problems David and I have when it comes to cooking is getting stuck in seasonal ruts.  I mean, we’ve a large pile of cookbooks, recipe magazines, printouts and recipe cards, but it’s really too much a pile to dig through when it comes time to do the weekly grocery list.

So we get stuck.  Same half-dozen recipes over and over and over again, just because of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind issue.  If we haven’t made something in a few months, we’re much less likely to remember TO make it than we are pasta bake (which due to ease, appears very regularly on your weekly menu year-round).

So, we’ve decided to take advantage of blogging (and more specifically tagging) to try and organize a virtual recipe box.  One that’s searchable, and more importantly, tagged to reflect our grocery list habits (namely, checking the store to see what’s on sale, and then planning meals around that).

And since people have been interested in our recipes in the past, I’m just gonna drop a quickie link here.  http://dmrecipes.wordpress.com/ (real original URL, I know!)

As mentioned, there’s some pretty aggressive (probably superfluous) tagging going on (for example, shepherd’s pie is tagged both lamb and ground lamb), and it’s still very much a work in progress.  Many of the recipes have already been featured on this blog (copy/paste is a *wonderful* thing) and..  I may keep posting some of the more “keeper” recipes here, or I may just put them all over there.  I haven’t decided yet.

So, yeah, I wanted to throw that out there.  🙂

Breakfast Tacos

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I’ll admit, I was skeptical.  Lori and I had…  discussions on this topic for about a year before David and I finally visited in Austin.  And, while I didn’t really get what the big deal was, then or now, we made them for *cough*breakfast*cough* today.

Breakfast Tacos (serves 3-4)

  • 12 Corn Tortillas (3-4 per)
  • 3 Eggs (4 – 5)
  • 5 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch bits  (6 – 8 )
  • 3 small russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  (1 1/2)
  • salsa, guac, tomato, onion, bell pepper, olives, sour cream, anything else you like to taste

Directions

In a medium or large skillet, fry the bacon pieces until they are your preferred level of done-ness.  Once that is done, remove them to a plate and drain on a paper towel.

Add chopped potato to skillet and fry in bacon grease.  Toss them to get them well-coated.  Cover and cook ~15 minutes, stirring every 5, or until done.  Season as needed and toss before removing them to a bowl.

Before starting the eggs, wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for ~15-30 seconds, just to soften them up.

Scramble the eggs in the remaining bacon grease in the skillet.  Go for a dry scramble.

Notes

In the actual recipe above, I made some notes that we’ll use in the future.  Number of tacos should depend entirely on how hungry people are and how large the tortillas are.  I ate 3, and prefer my tacos kinda skinny as far as filling amount goes.  David ate 3 full ones, Judy ate 4 full ones.  Bear that in mind with my notes and amounts 😉

Most importantly: we ran out of egg before anything else. This was in part due to the fact we only had 3 eggs in the fridge.  There was just barely enough for everyone, and only then because only 10 tacos were made.  Basically, everyone got 1-2 tacos with enough egg, then 1-2 tacos with barely any.

Second most important, we had probably 1 or 1/2 potato worth of leftovers there.  If you like home fries, and don’t mind potato on the side, you’re in good shape with the amount quoted above.

We were okay for amounts on both bacon and cheese, but really… everyone loves bacon and cheese, so more would have been better.  Another couple slices of bacon, another few gratings of cheese, everyone would have been pleased and they still would have disappeared.

Finally, I really wish we’d had some more stuff.  An onion to chop fine and fry with the potato would have been great.  I’m not a specific fan of sour cream, but that would have gone really well also.  Veg would have cut down a bit on the “gut bomb” aspects of this meal.

However, it was tasty, and the food went fast.

Madeline just wanted to know why we didn’t save her any…

Simple Shortbread

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Okay, these are the easiest cookies in the world.

1 cup butter, softened or melted
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cup sifted flour

Cream together butter and sugar, then add flour.  Stir until it comes together in a dough (the more soft the butter, the creamier the dough) then chill for 1hr.

From here, you can do just about anything…  Roll out and cut, drop, roll and slice fridge-style, press into a mold…  Make cookies 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.

Bake at 300 for 20-25 min  (Cookies do not brown, nor do they spread during baking.)

Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing– these things are molten butter when they come out.  Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

These things are fun, easy, and always popular.  Usually when I make them, I do them filled.  Press the cookies thin, add a TIIIIINY bit of Raspberry preserves (or they’ll leak out the edges), place another on top, squish in the edges.  These things go FAST.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I wasn’t certain I was gonna post this…  They’re kinda my ace in the hole as far as awesome stuff goes.  But since I’m going absolute bonkers with making these things, I figured the recipe was safe to share (or inflict) on all of you.

Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips (1 cup semisweet, 1 cup bittersweet)

Sift dry ingredients together; make certain cocoa is well blended to the flour.

Cream butter and sugars, add vanilla and eggs.  Mix well.

Slowly add dry mixture, once fully mixed, add the chips.

Let chill 1-2 hours.

Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes (my oven bleeds heat like a bitch, so mine tend to be in nearly 30 minutes)

Fake Ribs

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I’m kinda shocked I’ve forgotten to post this here.  I was totally digging around looking for the specifics of this, since I need to start making it in a few.  GG Marianne.

I’m copy/pasting this from my old, defunct LJ account, so this might not be news to some of you *eyes Lori* but I have it on excellent authority this recipe is a star, so I figure it bears repeating, just in case.  😉  This is our usual July 4th meal, though it’s pretty hands off (and easy) the rest of the year as well.

1 rack ribs (pork)
1/2 cup Jack Daniels BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce

Wrap ribs tightly in foil, cook at 250 for 3 hours.
Let stand approx 30 min (or until cool enough to unwrap and remove from foil without risking major burns and trips to the emergency room) There WILL be a large amount of rendered fat in the foil, and the ribs will have begun to shun the bones. Be careful.
Turn up oven to 325. Liberally baste ribs with sauce.
Cook basted ribs for 1 hour at 325. Apply more sauce, turn off oven, and let sit for another 30 minutes.

And the notes and disclaimers:

1) Fake because we don’t have a grill and didn’t make our own sauce.
2) On Monday, we’re at the grocery store. “Do we need more BBQ sauce for the ribs?” “No, we’re good.” Then the “oh crap” moment when you’ve got a partially cooked thing of ribs and realize you’ve only about 1/4 bottle left, and no spares. Hoisin was added pretty much at random and, I gotta say, it tasted amazing.
3) Note on cooking time/temp. I remembered my grandfather always makes super nummy ribs, leaving them in the oven on very low heat while they’re at church (since ribs are a Sunday thing) before basting and grilling. We decided to give it a try as a low-effort way to do it, to go with our generally lazy day. They were done after 1h at 325, but we were in WoW in the middle of an instance, so after taking 5 min to run downstairs and re-baste, we just turned off the oven and let them set. >.>

Corn Chowder

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I know I’ve reached maximum density with blogs when I reach the point where I forget to update them.  Well, I’ve remembered this one now, and in honor of that (and of the change in seasons and the cooold day outside, I’m going to share the recipe we’re having for dinner tonight.

It’s rich, it’s thick, it’s totally NSFD (not safe for diet) but it’s totally what the doctor orders on cold, damp evenings.

Corn Chowder

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 russet potatoes (the Mr Potato Head kinds), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups cream
1 can creamed corn
1 cup frozen corn
1 ham steak, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, all to taste

Directions

Cook bacon in heavy-bottomed pot (a dutch oven or pasta pot works well for this) until fat is rendered

Add onion and cook until tender (approx 8 minutes) stirring occasionally

Add potato and bell pepper, sautee 1 minute

Add cream and heat just to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, and soup thickens slightly (approx 15 min) stirring occasionally

Add ham, creamed corn, corn, thyme, water (to desired consistency) and simmer until heated through (about 10 minutes)

Add any other spices to taste.

Notes

As stated above, this recipe, while easy to prepare, is not for the faint of heart.  The first thing most people say is “Bacon AND Ham??” (the answer is yes) and the second is “CANNED corn?” (the answer is also yes) and the third is “You really need TWO CUPS of heavy cream?!”  (again, yes.)

Combined together, this combination is rich, thick, filled with sweet corn taste, with just a bit of a bite of heat from the pepper flakes to stop it from being overwhelming.  Serve with thick slices of bread (sourdough preferred) and watch it disappear.  This recipe is the reason the phrase “food coma” was invented, in all the best ways.

Brief (crafty) updates

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My first batch of roving arrives sometime this week, or whenever USPS Priority Mail arrives.  I’m both terrified and excited.  And have (somewhat) jokingly requested Kaylan come spend some time with me next week to help me get going.  (So yes, the comment was a joke.  But if you want to come, we’ll totally put you up, feed you, entertain you, and talk fiber to you.  rowr.)

Also, EEEEEEE!  Spinning.  Finally using the wheel.  Even if I’m total failsauce at it (which I will likely be while I’m learning) it’s so awesome.

Also, I was totally doing a photo-doc of my baking of Judy’s birthday cake on Friday.  But it died due to the camera-battery gods.  (For the curious, I used these recipes for Yellow Cake and Chocolate Buttercream)  They were really simple, easy-to-make recipes.  I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the cake results.  It ended up pretty dense, possibly because I didn’t have cakeflour and used all-purpose instead.  But the flavor was good, even if the feel wasn’t quite right.  And the frosting… mmm chocolate buttercream.  I could devote an entire post to my love of chocolate buttercream.  Best thing about baking a cake is “cleaning up” the frosting when you’re done.

omnomnom.

Well, here’s a linky to the pictures I did get.  Camera died after the actual assembly of ingredients for the cake, but before (well, during, but I’m out of batteries) the frosting was compiled.  So no finished product.  (Which is just as well… I’m much more good at tasty than I am at pretty, and it was a really messy icing job.)