Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hello again!

Hello after a rather long hiatus!  No real reason for not getting back here since May of 2011 that I can think of.  Unfortunately I do have a history of being rather sporadic at times. Perhaps it was about then I started participating in Facebook and most of you know how addictive that can be.  However, it was a friend's question in Facebook, "By the way, where is your cooking blog?" that sent me to see if I had been deleted or something, but no, here I am!

The fun thing for me to tell you here is that the Kentucky State Fair began today.  I had entered 23 items.  So Gary, my friend, Lori, and I went over this afternoon to check how I did.  Wow!  I am so thrilled!  I earned 12 ribbons on my entries:  6 blue, 3 red, 2 white and 1 pink! More than 50%!  So over the next few weeks, I'll try to get the recipes for these posted, both here and as a note on my Facebook page.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

NOT “Derby Pie®”

6 eggs
1 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
½ c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans
2 - 9” unbaked pie shells

Beat 4 eggs, beat in the last 2. Add remaining ingredients, folding in chips and nuts last. Pour into pie shells and bake for 45 minutes at 350º. Serve hot topped with whipped cream.

Keep refrigerated, if made ahead. To reheat, put in oven at 400º 7 – 10 minutes. If frozen, puncture frozen filling with fork and pour 1 T. of bourbon into punctures and heat.

This was one of the first new recipes I acquired when we moved to this area in 1979, probably May of 1980. Lisa McCoy, now Lisa Gueltzow, was in my SSA training class and also was assigned to the Louisville District office when assignments were made. Lisa was just out of college, a tall (she says she's 5 feet 12 inches tall), beautiful blonde. I was 7 months pregnant with our Elizabeth. After they announced our names to the office, someone asked, who? and was told by one of our co-workers, "the tall girl and the pregnant woman." I always thought if I wrote a memoir of my days as a Claims Representative at the Social Security Administration that would be its title.

We cannot call this Derby Pie® because that name is trademarked by Kerns Kitchen, the originators of the pie. Also, for the record, true Derby Pie® has walnuts, not pecans, and, I believe, does have bourbon in it. However, this is really good and any recipe so easy that makes 2 pies is o.k. in my book! Had to put this in the blog today as it is indeed Derby Day here in Louisville and thus in Kentuckiana. I have a $2.00 bet on Mucho Macho Man to win, so here's hoping I'm a winner! Well, actually I already know I am a winner because I'm blessed with you as my readers!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Salami Pasta Salad

4 c. uncooked medium tube pasta or elbow macaroni
½ pound bulk hard salami or summer sausage, cubed
½ c. minced fresh parsley
6 green onions, sliced
½ c. olive or vegetable oil
¼ c. cider or red wine vinegar
4 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a sauce pan, cook pasta according to package directions, rinse in cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl; add salami, parsley and onions. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Drizzle over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 – 10 servings.

The other day, my friend. Kathy, asked me if I had a good pasta salad recipe. She was asked to make some for the cast party of Beauty and the Beast (at Providence this Spring). She told me she had checked my blog, but hadn't found one. For a moment I could not recall one. Then the light bulb brightened and I exclaimed, "Oh yes I have one we really like!" And this is it.

This came from the 2001 Taste of Home Annual Recipes (page 254). I subscribed to that magazine for a number of years and then usually got the Annual cookbook, so as to not have all those magazines hanging around. I had tried this one and our daughter, Elizabeth really like it. So much so that when she decided she wanted her wedding reception to be a "big picnic" she specifically asked for this salad. What is so great about it for outdoor picnics is that there is no mayonnaise in it to be potentially hazardous to one's health. I very often just use sliced salami, instead of the bulk and dice it up as the recipe calls for. Actually these smaller pieces just mean it is distributed more throughout the salad.

A God-incidence: After sending this recipe to Kathy, I started thinking, "I wish I had a pitch-in dinner coming up, so I have a reason to make this." (Recipe makes too much for just Gary and me!) Well today I got an e-mail that there will be a pitch-in dinner at our pastor's home next Tuesday. Wow! What a way to answer prayer, Lord! Thank you!

May you enjoy this especially when picnic weather is here!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and shredded
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (reduced fat works fine)
1 packet Taco seasoning mix
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (red or green)
1 can Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
8 – 12 oz. shredded Mexican cheese
12-15 small flour tortillas (6 inch)

In large bowl, mix warm shredded chicken, cream cheese, taco seasoning and chilies and stir until melted and creamy and well mixed. You can make this ahead and refrigerate, but it spoons into tortillas much better when warm.

Spoon mixture into a tortilla (in a straight line, down the middle), fold up the bottom about 1 inch, and then roll from one side to the other. Place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, folded side down. Continue with each tortilla, lining neatly in the baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine salsa and Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup, mix completely. Pour over enchiladas in baking dish, covering all enchiladas. Sprinkle the Mexican cheese in an even layer over the soup mixture. (At this point you can refrigerate until ready to bake.)

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes (25-30 if casserole has been refrigerated) to melt cheese. Bake longer if you like the cheese browned.

Makes 12-15 enchiladas, depending on how full you stuff them. You can use bigger (8 or 10 inch) tortillas if you choose, which will cut down on how many you end up with.

I'd been wanting to make these for awhile and just kept putting it off. I went ahead and used cooked turkey I had in the freezer from sometime around or after Christmas. I thawed it out, coarsely chopped it with my Pampered Chef food chopper. I used both white and dark meat and they turned out yummy.

I got this recipe from my friend Shannon G., who used to live in Jeff. She was part of our church's W.O.W. kitchen team; W.O.W. being What's on Wednesdays, which were the Wednesday night ministries - Bible Studies, Choir, children's activities, and dinner (for #3.00) that our fabulous kitchen team prepared each week. Our original team was Donna C.,Shannon, Lori R., and myself. Later when Shannon's husband, Steve, who was in the Coast Guard, was transferred to Texas, Betty P. joined the team.

Shannon always used boneless, skinless chicken thighs as she thought breasts were a little too dry. However, I usually used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and would basically poach them in the oven. (Place in pan with about 1/4 - 1/2 inch water and cover tightly and cook @ 350 degrees until cooked through, about 30 minutes.)

I like to serve these with some tortilla chips and a salad. The chips are good because the filling and cheese soup/salsa topping make a great dip for them. In fact I have actually made the filling, then mixed it with the cheese soup/salsa mixture to serve warm (in crock pot) as a dip for chips at a party.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

White Chili

1 – 49 oz. can chicken broth
3 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped
½ c. each chopped red, green, and yellow peppers
1 – 10 oz. can chopped tomatoes and green chiles
4 oz. can chopped green chiles (I only use 2 oz. and freeze the rest for the next batch of soup)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Dash cayenne pepper
3 – 15 oz. cans great northern beans, drained
3 c. diced cooked chicken or turkey

Combine all ingredients, except cooked chicken, in large saucepot (I use 8 quart) and cook at simmer 1½ to 2 hours. Add the chicken and heat. Great with cornbread.

Several years ago, I went looking for a recipe for white chili. Now you would think with the myriad of cookbooks I own, I would have found one in one of them, but just couldn't seem to. (This also must have been before we were connected to the internet - so make that many years ago!) So I went down to our lovely Jeffersonville Township Library and started looking at cookbooks there for the recipe. After perusing several books, I was ready to give up. I then happened to see my friend, Laura Conner, who worked there, so I asked her, "Do you know where I could find a recipe for White Chili?" She gave me a rather odd look and said, "Yes I do, on my kitchen counter!" It turns out she had just made a batch of white chili the night before! We had a good laugh over that and she called me later and gave me her recipe. The above is basically it, with just a few tweaks of my own.

Now our daughter Elizabeth really likes white chili, but our son prefers my Crockpot Chili, which is a more traditional tomatoes/red beans version. See December 2009 blog.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pineapple Smoked Pork Butt (well sort of)

1 smoked pork butt (I didn't find a smoked pork butt, but did find a smoked pork shoulder @ Walmart)
2-3 large cans pineapple juice
3-4 cloves garlic (optional)
brown sugar

Place smoked pork butt/shoulder in large pot. (One it just fits in without too much extra room is good.) Pour pineapple juice in to cover, or nearly so. Add grated garlic, if desired. Simmer on top of stove, covered for several hours, until bone will wiggle, but not actually come out. Mine was a 10 lb shoulder, so I think I simmered it for close to 5 hours.) Move pork to shallow pan covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. (Reserve liquid.) Pat a thin layer of brown sugar all over and bake at 350 degrees until it forms a glaze.

At this point I pulled the meat off the bones and shredded it, placed in crockpot to stay warm. Add a little of the pineapple juice it was cooked in to help meat stay moist, but not soupy. I served it on Hawaiian Sweet rolls, I had sliced to make sandwich buns. I also had some Sweet Hot Mustard and Cajun Mustard to spread on the buns, if anyone so desired.

I go to the Southern Indiana YMCA 3 - 4 times a week for Water Aerobics. We call ourselves Waterholics. Some days we work very hard at it, some days, we do a lot of socializing as we move about in the water. One of the men in our 8:00 a.m. class, Tony, told us this recipe. I decided to try it and take it to our Sunday School Class Christmas party this past Sunday. I know that is dangerous, to try out a new recipe for the first time when taking it somewhere, but it sounded like a winner. And I've been told now that it's a keeper.

I have always said, "I need the T-shirt that says 'Spoiled Rotten' on the front," since Gary does do exactly that, spoils me rotten. I have another way to prove this, at least our daughter says so. As I said above I purchased a Smoked Pork Shoulder that was a little over 10 pounds. Well, when I went to make this recipe, I discovered it would not fit in my 8 quart saucepot! What to do? After all there was a bone that went from one end to another! Gary, being the amazing hubby he is, states, "I have a brand new hacksaw blade downstairs, so why don't we cut the meat around the bone with the electric knife and I'll saw through the bone with my hacksaw?" Well friends, it worked like a charm! And both pieces fit in the pot and filled it quite nicely! What a guy, what a guy! I'm so blessed!

p.s. I do apologize for the b-i-g gap in my blogs. I do plan to continue with Ky State Fair recipes at some time. Blessings to all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pralines (Just so you know "Prah-leens*")

1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ c. pecans

Put milk and sugars in heavy pot, mix well, and cook (without stirring) until mixture reaches “soft ball” stage (234º). Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients. Beat until cool and slightly thickened, then spoon onto waxed paper. Makes 1½ to 2 dozen.

NOTE: Stirring while cooking will produce a sugary texture.

I actually had decided not to make and enter these after all, since it had been so humid and believe me, it does not work to make candy when the weather is humid! However, the morning of the 16th dawned a beautiful sunny day with very low humidity, so again I thought, why not give making a batch a try? Now I think I had made them once before and they turned out o.k. However, this batch turned out looking just like the Pralines I had seen and enjoyed in New Orleans. (A nice golden brown color, flat except where the pecan halves made them raised) In fact the recipe came from the Cooking New Orleans Style cookbook I had bought in New Orleans when we were there in 2004. I was so happy with them when I packaged them up for the fair! And I am actually very happy they won a ribbon. I do have to say that I am wondering if the Ky State Fair judges have even had a real New Orleans "Prah-leen*," since the first place winner looked more like penuche fudge - pale and thick and gloppy with chopped nuts. I guess they must have tasted a whole lot better than mine, for they certainly were not as pretty.

*The reason I have mentioned this is that we recently met a couple from New Orleans and Karen pronounced the confection as "Pe-cahn Prah-leens." I just want us to get it right, in case we do make it back to "N'Awlins" for another fun time!