Friday, July 30, 2010

Family fruitcakes

OK, here is the 3rd in the trilogy of unrelated recipes...except of course that they are all coming from ME! Sorry Pam, didn't make it before your lake trip, which sounds like fun but not enough to drive that far for a day trip - if I'm going to get carsick, it's got to be for a REALLY good reason!

I have 4 brother-in-laws, all of them peaches, but the one I've had the longest really cracks me up. He's a funny guy, and has all kind of old-timey quotes he throws out in normal conversation without even thinking about it...he looked really puzzled the time I started laughing when he was discussing dirt-biking and a particularly sharply angled hill being "Steeper 'n a cow's face" - his response was "Well, it is!", and I can't fault him for accuracy! It may have been some kind of spidey sense or something, but a couple years ago I got this recipe from my niece, and made him a batch for his birthday - his reaction was quite charming. He said they were his favorite (I knew that), and that his mom used to make him a batch every year for his birthday, but she hadn't the last couple years. BIL SCORE! The only thing that would have made it better for him would have been an ale and a cigar....while he watched a baseball game.

So here is the recipe, but I have issues with the name - this in no way, shape or form resembles the dread "Christmas Fruitcake" that has ruined that name for so many. It does have fruit in it, but not the nasty candied kind that comes in colors usually reserved for tacky stained glass candle holders purchased at your nearby Dollar Tree, or those little suckers that come in a long strand of plastic you're supposed to share with 19 other people with no taste buds. If I told you a couple stories about how those candied fruits were made, you wouldn't DREAM of putting them in something you put in your husband worked at a plant that produced them and he would die before eating that crap. No, this has good dried fruit, and you can choose the combination - just head to your local Winco and peruse the bulk foods's got 'em all!

Mark's Favorite Fruitcake Cookies

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. brandy extract (DO NOT's essential!) ((I MEAN IT))
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 c. flour
1 c. dried fruit, chopped (what kind you ask? See below)
1 c. dates, chopped (the ones I get in bulk are already like pellets)
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (it says nuts, but Mark grows/LOVES the math)

Cream together butter and sugars - my daughter says she read somewhere that the fluffier you cream the butter and sugar, the better cookie you will get - has to do with the sugar completely dissolving or some such nonsense. But her cookies the other night were da BOMB! Add eggs, extract, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon and mix well. Add flour and beat until smooth, stir in fruit and nuts. Drop by teaspoon or cookie scoopfuls on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes; remove from sheet while still hot and cool on rack.

OK, dried fruit. If you find a package of something called a "dried fruit mix", you could use that - it's usually already chopped enough for this recipe. If not, use a variety, which could include regular and golden raisins, currants, dried apples, pears, apricots, pineapple, cherries, cranberries, kiwi, strawberries etc. - you know, dried fruit. Once I used the fruit in a bag of Kirkland fruit/nut mix, but had to separate all the nuts because I just wanted the was a big pain and there were hardly any cherries in the cookies because I kept picking them out to make sure they weren't "bad". But do what you like - but I would not recommend banana chips. Because that would be wrong.

Oh, and this would definitely be a great dessert after the mac and cheese....dried fruit shoots through you like sh** through a goose! Thanks again Mark....;-D

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Krispie Kwickie....

Last night my son had a party at our house for all his friends, complete with a bonfire and sing-along in the woods behind the house. He has an eclectic group of friends, from those that appear to still be in their teens to parents that are older (I think?) than we are, but all have the same common goal: good times. Because we had already had an official birthday party on his actual birthday, I didn't want to make a cake...not to mention it's like a hundred zillion degrees outside this weekend - I devised a plan to make a creation that required no baking, but would make the hearts of the young and the restless go pitter-pat. Worked like a charm......

Krazy Krispy Kake

1 very large bag of generic rice krispies was called in to service for this, along with a bunch of marshmallows bought over the last month or so that had decided to become one giant, sticky marshmallow in each of their 3 respective bags. Then I got creative and this is what I came up with (you will need to make FIVE batches to make the pictured cake):

5 c. rice krispy type cereal
3 c. miniature OR 33 large OR 8 GIANT marshmallows
1/4 c. margarine

(Each of the below require another of the plain recipe, then add the following:)
P-nut butter Chocolate:
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips

1/2 box jello, your choice of flavor

3/4 c. mini m&m's

Rainbow Hippie:
3/4 c. candy coated sunflower seeds

Butter or spray a large cookie sheet (I use the big Costco ones). Melt 1/4 c. margarine (or butter) in medium saucepan, add marshmallows and stir over medium heat until melted and smooth. Pour over 5 c. of krispies and stir until well combined, press in to HALF of the prepared pan with sprayed or buttered hands.

Put another 1/4 c. of margarine/butter in the pan along with another 3 c. marshmallows and repeat, pour over krispies and stir until combined, then stir in m&m's quickly and press into other half of pan.

Butter or spray a second sheet. Melt butter and marshmallows for batch 3, mix in with krispies and stir in the candy coated sunflowers REALLY fast...they melt a lot quicker than m&m's. Press into half of second pan.

Melt butter and marshmallows for #4, when melted and smooth, stir in half a small box of whatever flavor jello powder you like - I used a tropical fruit fusion and it was proclaimed tutti-frutti! Pour over another 5 c. krispies and press into other half of pan 2.

ONE MORE TIME....butter or spray a 9x13 pan. Melt margarine/butter and marshmallows, then add 1/2 c. peanut butter and stir until melted and smooth. Stir into last 5 cups of krispies and mix well, press into final 9x13 pan. Put chocolate chips in small glass bowl and microwave on high 45 minutes, stir to melt all chips. (If not completely melted, put back in microwave 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each until smooth) Spoon into baggie and cut off tip, drizzle over top of 9x13 pan to decorate. Suck remaining chocolate out of bag.

When all are cool, cut each section out of pan, put on large cutting board and cut into 12 squares. Even edges by cutting as needed, share scraps or hide under a dish towel until you can be alone together. I used a square plate, put 16 assorted squares on it, then another layer of 16 on that, then two layers of 9, then two layers of 4 and the prettiest square on top. Just like legos, but tastier! Have grandson proclaimed that "The cake is a lie!", which I do not understand, but it was no lie that they flew outta the kitchen like pigs with wings, baby!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Constipation never tasted so good...

If you didn't already know, eating lots of cheese will bind you up tighter than duct tape holding a 40 in each hand of a teenager with clueless parents and brain cells to burn. Rice and bananas too, but this recipe is only about the cheese - I suggest you include a big salad with this, preferably with lots of spinach, maybe even corn to help encourage the cheese not to form a posse in your colon and hang out there a little too long.

I've made homemade mac and cheese many, MANY times, with varying results, and have decided that baked is not for me - I like it creamy, and whatever I'm doing does not engender that result....I have determined that baked mac and cheese is supposed to be dry, and dry is not what I am looking for. I confess a long time love affair with boxed mac and cheese - I like it Kraft, I like it cheap, I even like Velveeta, those perfect noodles cooked to crap with that bright orange "cheez" is such a comfort...I like it best straight up and covered with fresh chopped tomato, yee-HAW!

This is another "Un-recipe" - I make it but I don't really measure...I will approximate, but it can always be fixed by adding a little more of this or that, so don't worry about specifics...when you get it right, you'll know and you can just add notes to the recipe like I do. And it takes a variety of cheeses to get it right....not always the same, but some are vital if you want it to be REAL mac and cheese - just don't use blue cheese, I know it has it in Kraft but the real stuff makes it taste like mold. Unless you LIKE mold, that is....then have at it. (But you are gross)

Mmmmmmoooooac & Cheese

1 lb. box pasta - pick a pasta, ANY pasta!
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
2 c. milk (whatever kind you have except breast milk, haha)
1 c. 1/2 & 1/2 ( I know that's a lot of fat, which is why I use Darigold FAT FREE...HA!)
3 c. (approx.) shredded and/or sliced cheese: I used about 1+ cup cheddar, 2 big slices swiss, 3 slices american, about 1/2 c. Dubliner and 1/4 c. REAL parmesan...a lot depends on what I have, but always SOME american. Mozzarella is too bland...& smoked will make it smoky (duh).
Salt, white pepper OR cayenne (pick one) and a little garlic powder to taste

Put a big pot of water on to boil, add a couple monster pinches of salt and cook pasta according to the directions - slightly al dente because the sauce will finish cooking it. While that's cooking, saute the onion in the butter until softened, then stir in the flour and continue to cook until all the flour is absorbed and the flour starts to brown. Stir in the milk and half and half and whisk until smooth and starts to bubble - add cheese and stir until melted and smooth, then add seasonings and additional milk or half and half as needed to make a smooth sauce that will put a thick coat on your spoon. If you aren't sure, you can add it to the pasta, then add more liquid after - you will know then. Add seasonings to taste, and if you like stuff like hot sauce, go ahead and ruin it.

Drain the pasta when done, put back in the big pot and dump the sauce over all, stir until well coated. If it's too thin - like if you put it on the plate and the sauce spreads all over your other food requiring you to give it to your husband who is a heathen and doesn't care if all his food is up in each others bizness *shudder* - then continue to stir in the pot and it should thicken as it cools. If not, cook it a little to reduce it, just make sure it still has some creaminess to it. If it starts to clump and look dry, add a little more milk or half and half - a bit at a time until it's where you like it. You should be able to dump it in a serving dish, and have mostly just sauce clinging to the pan...make sure and scrape that out with a rubber spatula so the husband doesn't end up with cheese sauce sideburns from licking out the pot.

Ahhhh....nothing like a bowlful of cheesy goodness to make you appreciate cows - they give at the pump, so show your appreciation and instead of wrinkling your nose and hastily rolling up your windows next time you drive past a dairy farm, moo your thanks to Bossy and her pals - I do! MOOOoooooOOOOOoooooOOOOO!

P.S. - Dubliner is a Kerrygold product that I buy at Costco - I would compare it to a cross between a extra sharp white cheddar, swiss and parmesan and I cannot live without it. Period.

First course, rabbit food

OK, making good on one of the several requests I've gotten - I am on vacation for 2 weeks, but thought I would throw you a bone now and then when I come up for air in my frenzied attempts to squeeze as much fun out of 2 weeks with my family while they're all here at the same time.

My daughter lives in Georgia, a far, FAR ways away from the Pacific NW, and this recipe actually came to me because she lives there - her fave restaurant there is an Italian restaurant called Carraba's, and it's actually very good for a chain. We went there for dinner last time I was there, and the house salad dressing was sooooooo good - she told me that she had the recipe because they shared it online, and sure enough I googled it and voila! I brought it to work for lunch once, and a co-worker who's idea of a compliment is "Well, it doesn't taste like sh**" told me I should bottle it...SCORE!

So here you go - and I think everyone has their own ideas about what a salad should consist of, but I would use romaine, maybe some iceberg (or that salad mix with all the weird stuff at Costco), red cabbage, grated carrot (shush Denice, it's good for you and I grate it so it's really hard to pick out) and some croutons for this one. And sliced mushrooms...yum.

Carraba's House Dressing

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (don't use the powder...bite the bullet and buy a wedge from Costco and grate as you need it - it starts to lose flavor the instant you grate it!)
1/4 c. buttermilk - stop whining, I'll give you a recipe for pancakes later to use the rest
1-1/2 tsp. minced garlic (Hubby doesn't like the aftermath, so you can also use 1/2 tsp. powder)
1/2 tsp. minced fresh parsley (yeah, that rarely happens, sprinkle in some dried if need be)
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl. Yup, that's it - not everything has to be a pain in the ass.

Makes 1 cup

Course Two: Homemade Creamy Mac & Cheese...coming soon to a blog near you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have a couple pests bugging me for recipes - 3 are forthcoming but I'm trying to figure out how to segway from homemade mac n cheese to fruitcake cookies to buttermilk parmesan back soon!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Take 2 cookies and call me in the morning...

Today I went to work like every other day, but cut the day short to attend a "Celebration of Life" for a co-worker. Listening to family and friends talk about this person and the life they led made me think how much we take day-to-day friendships and acquaintances for granted, and how difficult it would have been for me had it been someone I was really close to. I had an unsteady peace with this person, and now feel terrible that I was probably the only person she didn't like based on testimony delivered - my guilt is alive, well and really kicking my ass today.

I am a Catholic of the 60's...not the late 60's Flying Nun, peace and love, Jesus sitting cross-legged in a circle of happy children and cute non-rabid animals kind, but the fire and brimstone and demons with rusty pitchforks and "hell is whatever you hate or are afraid of the most" 60's kind of Catholic. Mom had me convinced that if I didn't straighten up and fly right I was going to spend eternity in a flaming room filled up to my neck in spiders, an endless supply of dirty dishes to handwash, and a constant force-feeding of her nasty fried liver. I don't think I believe THAT particular version quite so much anymore, but regardless think that it's not a pleasant place and I sure don't want to be assigned a room even if "Everyone else is going".

Back to guilt. I can't get away from it, it follows me everywhere and touches every part of my life - Jewish mothers have nothin' on me. So I have two ways to work on it: either pretend it's not there (never works for me, but it does for other family members), or try to make up for my shortcomings in some other way. So last night I made cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. I volunteered to do something for the service that I knew would help, and hope that somewhere, someone is erasing some time out of my purgatory account book...and that hell is NOT making cookies because I'm really tired of that.

This is my favorite cookie...and if you recall a different post, you'll know why....

Molasses Crinkles

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/4 cup flour
Granulated sugar

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and eggs until fluffy. Add soda, spices and salt and mix in, then add flour and beat until combined. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Shape chilled dough into 1" balls ( I use a cookie scoop, or you can use an ice cream scoop (the kind with the little wire that scrapes it out of the scoop) and cut them in quarters. They don't really need to be rolled into balls....they spread out nicely and are soft enough to sort of shape themselves in the sugar. Roll in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet a few inches apart. They do spread a little, so try not to crowd them too much unless you like one big cookie with holes in it. Bake at 375 just until set, 10-12 minutes - and when I say "just until set", it means just what it may think they're still raw. These cookies crack all over the top, and when they are done, you will see just a tiny bit of moistness still in the'll see what I mean when you make them. If you wait until they look dry in the cracks, they will be hard and now chewy...then they are NOT my favorite cookie. Just sayin....and let them sit in the pan for about a minute (unless you want them to fall apart in a delicious mess that will only go down with a big glass of ice cold milk) THEN remove from cookie sheets and cool on racks.

A shout out to the 1978 Betty Crocker's Cookbook...the dirtiest cookbook I own, Kudo's Betty!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"...Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."

Summer TV schedules are pretty sucky - when you're reduced to watching random sections of Godfather I, II, and III over and over on 2.2 because nothing else is on, it tends to creep into your psyche. So while wandering through the littered hallways of my mind trying to think of a title, the fact that this recipe contains pasta AND olive oil made a Don Corleone quote a given - right, ya babbo?

So I made a pasta salad the other night totally on the fly - I love a good pasta salad but this wasn't it. I under dressed it, and didn't have pine just isn't the same without them, but the pine nut farmers apparently think we are made of money so I don't have them on hand anymore. What does a pinenut come from anyway? A really big pinecone? I wonder if there are fir nuts...I would have a never-ending supply. Oops, train of thought took a detour...

So the salad was a bit bland, and became more so the next day after the pasta absorbed the little dressing I used, and son #2 told me that his brother said it was terrible. So when I pulled it out of the fridge today to eat the rest for lunch (waste not, gain another chin), I noticed Son #1 had made his White Balsamic Viniagrette and had left it unguarded in the fridge (without a lid, and in the container that comes with the hand the male species finds nothing wrong with this is beyond my comprehension) . Giving it a quick stir and taste to make sure it wasn't someone's facial peel, I decided to moisten up my pasta salad with it and drizzled some over it. I took a bite, and tiny pinpoints of light appeared before my eyes, like fireflies dancing around my head, and a chorus of angels broke into song....then I coughed and the bowtie cutting off my oxygen dislodged itself and I thought "Wow, this is really good!" So here you go...another "sort of" recipe that you can play with all you like - just chew better than I did ya goombah.

Pasta Salad-a!

1 lb. pasta - radiatore (like tiny brains) or a twisty one the cheese gets stuck in
1 big head broccoli, cut into smallish florets
2 or 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 2" long matchsticks (or use baby carrots)
1 can black olives, sliced in circles, or buy them sliced if you're not cheap
1 cup (at least) of grated pizza cheese (don't bother w/o cheese, it's heinous)
Pine nuts - as many as you can afford to put in

Eric's White Balsamic Viniagrette (make this first)
2 T. honey dijon mustard (you could use dijon and just a little extra honey)
2 T. honey
2 T. white balsamic - Trader Joes, cheap. Eric says white wine vinegar is OK..
2 T. white wine - if you don't have any, Eric said GO BUY SOME!
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh thyme)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. vegetable oil
Onion salt & pepper to taste

Whisk or process with hand blender until emulsified, adjust to your personal taste.

Cook pasta until careful about that "al dente" crap, if you do that for pasta salad it will seem like you're eating rubber tubing. I go by the directions, it's usually pretty close. So if it calls for 7 minutes, set the timer for 5, and dump the broccoli and carrots in when it goes off, then set for another 2 - that is just enough to cook the veggies without them turning into mush. When the timer goes off again, check pasta for doneness (if it isn't, go another minute and try again...veggies should still be OK). When done, IMMEDIATELY dump in colander and run under cold water until completely cold, shake colander a couple times and dump into large bowl A little water is helps to keep the pasta from sucking ALL the dressing into it.

Add olives, cheese and pine nuts, then drizzle half of the viniagrette over it and toss until well coated. Add more as needed, and if you don't eat it right away, add more to it before serving if needed. If you used it all up, you can add some olive oil and/or a little warm water to refresh it - you never know with pasta how much it will take in. And maybe you will have learned a lesson and next time you'll make a double or quadruple batch so you can use it on green salad too...stranger things have happened. It's really good on mixed greens with dried cranberries, glazed or sugared walnuts or pecans, and fresh ripe pear slices too...grilled chicken just makes it ridiculously delicious!

And to "...make you an offer you won't refuse", I have also used half pasta and half small cheese raviolis (get them in the freezer case), and included things like marinated artichoke hearts and sun dried tomato slivers - anyone who snags this lunch out of the work fridge will surely meet the same fate as poor Luca....

Fried Eggs anyone?

It's hot enough on the sidewalk today...if we HAD a sidewalk. After all the bitching and whining about the rain and cold and lack of sunshine, God has graced us with some 90+ degree weather this week - apparently His mid-range switches must be shorted out so we're goin' 60's to 90's in the time you can say "MY BRA IS MELTING!". When it gets this hot, it feels to me like I'm walking in and breathing tepid really slows me down, and ice cold liquids are the answer. Not alcoholic, mind you - that makes it feel like walking in/breathing pudding..gaack. The old man spends way too much time researching stuff on the internet, and decided a while back that artificial sweeteners should be avoided at all costs, and I went along with it. So no more diet soda (waaaaaah!) or diet iced tea, crystal light or sugar free koolaid (meh) for me - pretty much water since I'm trying to keep sugar intake at a minimum because I think it makes me bitchy. ("How MUCH sugar does she eat?!")

I decided last night that I would sacrifice a little of my cheery attitude to SOME sugar, and came up with the following that is quenching my thirst and keeping me going quite well today. It should be said that "stone formers" (that would be you if you've ever had kidney stones, possibly gall stones as well) should avoid tea as it will assist in making pointy rocks in your tubes that don't want to go through without a lot of screaming and histrionics, but I'm thinking an occasional dose won't kill you. But I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV or on commercials, even the kind that tell you Prolixus will make you lose weight in your sleep while you eat pizza and ice cream and bloomin' onions all the live long day, so do what you want....I do.

Arnold Palmer Light

8 tea bags (stop laughing, you are SO jr. high...)
*4 cups water, heated in microwave about 4 minutes
1 can frozen lemonade
Ice...probly about 5 or 6 cups

Put tea bags in hot water and let steep for about 10-15 minutes. Remove tea bags (don't squeeze the bags, that might make it bitter, not to mention it could make you laugh uncontrollably about squeezin' a tea bag), and dump into gallon size pitcher. If it's glass, you may want to use something unbreakable and then transfer it to the pitcher after you add the ice - glass could shatter with the extremes in temperature. Add all the ice and stir until it cools off a little, then dump in the lemonade mix and 4 cans of cold water. Stir until dissolved and nice and cold, then either serve as is, or scoop the ice out so it doesn't continue to dilute the batch. It's not terribly sweet, so if you're a sweet tea junkie you may want to add sugar when the tea is hot, but how much do you really like going to the gym and the dentist? Put a lemon slice in or on the glass, or some mint leaves, or maybe a 5 iron...don't be ridiculous, of course you would use a putter....stay hydrated and enjoy your summer!

*My son "Minimoose the Science Guy" always puts a toothpick in water that goes in the microwave to boil - mine is not a technical description, but it's to keep the water from getting super-heated and blowing up in your face when you open the microwave and try to take it out. I have heard of this with coffee mugs too, so I let him do it - what a sweet boy! He also showed me how to use grapes to make lightning INSIDE your microwave...THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!! Science is cool.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bomb-Diggity it is....

Even tho the only respondent to my question is the fruit of my loins, and I know she is a vegan and will only make this with bean or some weird tofu burrito, I'm posting it anyway because she is RIGHT. Eric's Favorite Burrito Salad was probably born of a wicked good deal at the Reser's Thrift Shop on those 8 packs of frozen mexican meat bombs and a head of lettuce starting to turn brown around the edges, but necessity is the mother of invention. And luckily for me, she was hotter than _______(star of your choice) that night! Simple, almost lazy, but quite delicious - we used to have it a lot, but then I stopped buying them in favor of making them from scratch and forgot about this delightful use of what is (yes, I sadly know this for a fact) the most popular deli case item in Plaid Pantry's existence. So pretend it's healthy because it has lettuce, and remember that the ones with beans will grace your personal space with a musical interlude of indeterminate proportions 4 to 6 hours later...

Eric's Favorite Burrito Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut in quarters and shredded coarsely (romaine or a mix works too)
Shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
6 or so Reser's burritos, your choice (we like beef and bean or red hot)
1 or 2 tomatoes, chopped
Sour cream

Thaw burritos if frozen, I put them in the microwave for about a minute, turning once halfway through. Put a little oil in a large skillet and heat to medium - hot but not smoking, they will burn really fast. Cook burritos in oil, turning now and then until golden brown all over; remove from pan and drain on plate w/paper towels. While cooling, put lettuce on 3 or 4 plates, shredded cheese on that, then using a big knife on a cutting board, cut burrito's lenthwise down the middle, turn cut sides up so the filling doesn't goosh out so bad, then cut crosswise into squares (I use 1.5 burritos per plate, 2 for the big boys). Try not to burn the crap out of your fingers with the filling...but if you do, the best treatment is to stick them in your mouth. Top with chopped tomato if you like, then a dollop of sour cream and however much salsa you like. Thank you Reser's for your lovely processed food - I'm sure that that Santa Ana is rolling over in his grave, but sometime a working girl does what she's gotta do. Adios, mi amigos!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hey you! Yeah, you....sittin' there readin' blogs and stuff - you got any requests? Not like "I wish this chick would just shut up and go away, she's no Pioneer Woman", or "Does she make ANYTHING that's remotely healthy and won't clog your arteries and raise your bad cholesterol just reading the recipe?" More like "I wondered if you had a good recipe for _____", or "I need something new to take to _________ for a _________ party".

Send me a message via "comment" if you have suggestions, requests, or even constructive criticism...I can take it. And I have tons of ideas, I'm just wondering if anyone was looking for something specific. If not, the next one will be Moose's Favorite Burrito Salad. You've been warned.....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Get your drool bib out....

Here's the pic of the Punchbowl Cake a post or two back - I made a sample with some of the scraps and the only word that came to mind was "OINK"....

Friday, July 2, 2010

"You know what would make this better?"

The old man and I both had the day off, so we went shopping....apparently so did everyone else in Washington County and beyond. It started out fun - we checked out the new Goodwill Superstore in Beaverton (very nice, prices seem a bit higher but the store is beautiful), then went out for lunch at Stir Crazy and had some Kung Pao, Walnut Shrimp and Pad Thai, then the shite-fest commenced.

Apparently a train decided to have problems right in the middle of Hillsboro, so our plans to go home that way were stymied - it took us at least a half hour just to get out of town because they had also taped off 1st street in front of the Courthouse. We then decided to go to the Winco on Cornelius Pass, but found that what we always thought was a ridiculously oversized parking lot was FULL...Walt began some creative cussing, then decided we could get what we needed at Freddy's by Sunset. Not much better - remodel in full swing, they move stuff around inside every night to get us used to change, and it was FULL of annoying customers (not us) - I was worried I was going to have to perform the "Spock Hold" on Wally to keep him from driving up the ramp to the pharmacy trailer and start demanding drugs. But we made it - it was dicey at best, but we're home safe and sound and I'm ready to start cooking for the 4th!

We're gonna BBQ on the 3rd due to work schedules, and are doing St. Lois style ribs on the barbie, red potato salad and Corn Thang, and my favorite coleslaw which is supposedly a highjacked version of KFC's. I do not believe it because this is WAY better and creamier than theirs, it's just sort of that STYLE of coleslaw. And I like to serve it immediately so it still has some soggy coleslaw for me!

Momma Moose's Coleslaw

1 small head green cabbage
1/2 C. shredded carrot
2 T. finely diced onion (I use a little onion salt - Walt doesn't like raw onion)
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. seasoned rice vinegar (did you know that seasoned has sugar in it?)
2 T. vegetable oil
Fresh ground pepper if you want

Cut cabbage in half, cut core out and take off outer gross leaves; rinse and slice in 1/4" slices. Turn slices sideways and cut across so you have 1/4" squares - chop it like KFC does, dang it! Put in large bowl with carrots and onion if you're using it, then add mayo and sour cream and make a little well in it, add oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to help dissolve the sugar, then mix well until combined. As always, adjust to your liking - more mayo if it seems dry, sugar or vinegar if too sweet/sour, salt and/or get my drift.

This is excellent on pulled pork sandwiches or in a wrap with steamed rice, grilled or teriyaki chicken OR bbq pork. And Walt always says "You know what would make this better?" we all know the answer...."Sweet Baby Ray's!", so get you some and give it a try!