Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Make Walking Taco's

You all know I am a planner. I have lists for lists. This blog is my creative outlet, as you may know. That being said last night I was sitting there watching my husband play minecraft and it dawned on me…it’s Tuesday, you have nothing prepped for the blog this week. You forgot to do a video and photos on the rainbow frosting what are you going to do!? So I grabbed the tablet – which is what I take all the photos with (Peter bought a tablet when I asked for a digital camera) and I was like please please please let there be some photos on a blog I did not do. There was. One left. The Mexican dish my Aunt makes. If you were surprised that my Aunt made something then you would be correct. My Aunt is not the cook in her family, my uncle is. Now she does cook, just not a whole lot! Now what she calls them and what I call them are two different things, I also make it different than she does so this is my take, and they are Walking Taco’s if you ask me. Walking taco's are a staple at our local fair they usually have meat over Frito's in the pouch the Frito's are put in. So this is my take on Walking Taco's for the home, and on a plate.

What you will need:
1 lb ground beef
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 bottle of creamy French dressing (or Catalina)
1 package of SPICY or Regular Taco seasoning (no mild, trust me)
1 small onion
2 cans of chili beans (I use hot if I’m using regular taco seasoning)
Toppings – sour cream, salsa, avocados, cheese, onions, taco sauce, lettuce, whatever you want really
Dippers: Frito's or corn chip, although people have been known to do Doritos's and other flavored corn chips.

Okay brown the beef – if you will notice I am using the electric skillet – I never use that thing except on this recipe and on Peter’s potato dish. Yup. Okay meanwhile chop the onion when the ground beef is all brown and ready to go add the onion and sauté until fully cooked. Add taco seasoning, a full bottle of the salad dressing (I add a little water to get it all out), tomato sauce, and the beans, stir well, turn the heat down, then add a lid and let it just cook for a half hour or so. You want the flavors to meld and just mix together. This would be a good thing to cook and then add to the Crockpot for later. So then this is how I serve mine. Grab Frito’s or tortilla chips top with the meat mixture, add some onions, lettuce, sour cream, tiny bit of cheese, and some taco sauce, then I stir it all up and eat it. Other people make their meat on the side with the topping and dip their stuff in it. Whatever you want to do is okay with me. I love this dish! It can be sweet if you use the Catalina dressing, and if you don’t add some heat, I made it three times before I got it to where I liked it so this is my take, with the heat that I like. Feel free to play with it anyway you want. As always I am looking for guest bloggers, and ideas, let me know! 

Also I forgot to take a photo when I was you get what Google Images provided

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to make French Toast

I love French things. This is true, oh so true. Been studying French things for years. Je parle français. (I speak French) But alas French Toast is not French. Although it is nice with French bread, especially day old French bread, it is not French. I also love French toast even if it is not French – that is where I was going with that. Now that being said, you may recall my mishap with overnight French toast – I am still peeved at that. Anyway, I was complaining to my Grandmother in law – what else would I call Pete’s grandmother? Found out she loves French Toast! See I knew she was awesome. So she gave me a new tip for French toast. For not only good French toast but also the BEST French toast I will ever eat. I never question Sandy when it comes to two things, Recipes and Catholic things. She tells me her secret, which I will now pass on to you. As I said in the over night French toast recipe it is all in the bread – if it is not good just forget it. So here is her addition to my already awesome recipe.
6 pieces of Cinnamon Swirl bread – you can buy any variation of this, like blueberry swirl –which we did, or the maple swirl, brown sugar swirl, you get the idea this is here Idea the swirl bread – and she’s right. It is good.
2 eggs
1 c Whole milk (I guess you can use 2 % or whatever you have in the house. Fine.)
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of Vanilla – yes this is awesome in it
1/2 tsp of powdered sugar
Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a large bowl, beat this until the cinnamon starts to break down, it wont mix thoroughly that is ok. Then get a griddle or whatever you want to cook on hot. About medium high heat, then add some butter to grease the thing – this is not optional. Now here comes the fun part. The bread – I let mine sit out the night before, you didn’t have to, I just did, and it makes it stale, which I think makes a better French toast. Now dip each piece covering each side in the egg mixture and put it on the griddle or pan and cook until golden brown on each side. Top with some syrup and try not to eat the plate. This has literally been the best French toast I have ever made – I even liked the blueberry bread one. Test subject group Trinity plus Justin did try this. Justin, Derek, and Sara lee all loved the bread and the potatoes and bacon we had with it – this is what happens when you stay the night with us. I make you breakfast – just know you are spoiled, because Peter does not always get breakfast. He also did not on this day because it was a Sunday and he went into work at 5 am. There are many variations you can do with this style of bread. It is already pretty “dry” if you ask me so leaving it out overnight is optional it will be tasty either way. This makes me wonder though, I wonder how this would be with Banana nut bread – or any one of those quick breads – maybe someday I’ll make it! Well ideas and comments are always appreciated! Check back in soon! Message me to do a guest blog!

Friday, May 17, 2013

How to make individual smashed potatoes - I guess that is what I am calling them

There are things in this world I will and will not make a lot of. One of them is potatoes. Oh my word does everyone love potatoes? Seriously, I think we have potatoes with almost every dinner. Do I like potatoes? Sure, if they are fried or baked. Guess what I don’t like, Potato skins, guess what my husband loves, potato skins. Guess what else I don’t like mashed potatoes. You all already knew that. Well I bought a tiny bag of mini potatoes and I thought Peter always complains because I make “fake potatoes” they are potato flakes what do you think they are made of? The first ingredient on the dang package says POTATOES it counts. Anyway I thought oh those will be easier I can just boil those and I wont mind the skin – I hate the skin. Well this was a great idea, but the Trinity and Justin were coming over so I thought you know what I have seen recipes for those individual smashed potatoes I should make those! By the way this is the best title I could come up with  I have no clue what to call them so any ideas would be awesome! This is their story.
What you will need:
1 bag of small potatoes
Olive Oil or butter – guess what I used (I keep forgetting to buy olive oil…)
Herb of your choice
An oven
A pot of boiling water
Okay get your big pot add salt to it – lots and bring to a boil in the mean time rinse those taters. Then throw them in the pot – boiling or not I don’t care. Once they are in the pot add a lid and cook until fork tender – we want these suckers whole so do not cut them. Please. They like looking the way they do! So once they are fork tender strain them then put them on a foil lined greased cookie sheet with sides or your large cake pan because your cookie sheets are busy. Then if you have a potato masher mash each potato down till it is squashed. Or if you are like me and do not own one because you did not want to take your mothers antique ones grab a heavy glass and push them down until they are smashed open. Now add melted butter to the tops of each one then lots of salt – they are potatoes people you know how they are, and lots of pepper, then add some herb of your choice I did Herbs De Provence – they are apparently some French herbs, looks like Rosemary, oregano, and parsley if you ask me. Anyway then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until crispy, mine did not get super crispy I pulled them out too quick. I would have waited but the Trinity, Justin, and Peter were all crowding me in the kitchen. So I plated them put them on the table and then they all wanted cheese and sour cream with them, well here is how it went anyway.
Peter: What no cheese!
Derek: Hey yeah! Why not
Sara: Ooo yeah cheese
Me: Stares
Derek: Well!?
Me: Yes that is just what I want on MY potatoes cheese.
Peter: Laughs
Justin: Oh you’re lactose intolerant aren't you?
Me: You are now my favorite
We did put cheese on the table and a tub of sour cream. So verdict? I’ll make these again – easy enough and kind of tasty. Ah potatoes so versatile. Boil em, mash em, put em in a stew – Po-ta-toes.

Derek "Helping"

I'll Smash it with a hammer! 

Deep in thought

add butter

Toast it up! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

How to make Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies

As most of you know Peter is not a sweets person. So when he tells me Ooo I want you to make “whatever item he just said” I typically jump to the occasion. I mean the man never asks for anything! So last week he asked for puppy chow! You know the chex cereal with powdered sugar – mainly made around Christmas time. So I told him sure! No problem! Super simple and easy to make. Here is how you do it:
9 cups of chex cereal of your choosing – I did rice although you could do any of the flavors
1/2 c. of Peanut Butter
1 c. Chocolate chips
1 1/2 c of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
In a large pot melt the PB and Chocolate Chips. When it is all melted add the vanilla and stir. Stir in the chex and stir to coat evenly. When stired evenly put it in a Ziploc bag, add the powdered sugar to the top and shake, shake, shake! Until everything is coated! Then remove and place in a clean Ziploc bag – since the one you just used has chocolate all over is…what is that. Dirty little bag, now eat! Go ahead I know it’s super rich and delicious – you’re welcome oh and this week we had the following test subjects taste it:
Dalton – loved it
Peter – duh he loved it
Scott – ate a lot so I am going to go with a pass
AAA Cooper – they ate the whole bag
Victoria – loved the powdered sugar oh and chocolate
Me – I would like some more!
So you make some and enjoy! Now what are you all going to make? 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How To Make Tomato Soup - from scratch

Fear not I did not forget you! Okay maybe I did, but just for a moment! I swear those other people meant nothing! Okay I got busy…One a friend had a baby, two I have been having phantom ovary pains, Peter and I are calling it fauvary pains (faux and ovary get it!) anyway so since that happened Monday I don’t really remember Monday…so since I normally post on Wednesday I thought today was Wednesday not Thursday…see the issue! Gosh! I know! Anyway this is a very interesting recipe. It was something I made for my Grandma and Grandpa – apparently colonel sanders used to make soup. Tomato soup at that, so this is his tomato soup recipe (although I don’t know why he made soup when his chicken was just fine). Anyway here is the recipe in case you do not have a can of Campbell’s soup lying around.

1 qt of tomato juice (please remember the gallon man)
1 small onion grated – yes grated
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
1 tsp of salt
¼ tsp of pepper – white if you have it
1 tbsp of sugar
1 qt of milk

So take your tomato juice and grated onion and boil them together for 10 minutes – now strain. Okay I did not strain I figured who is going to care. Guess what not Grandma – so I did not strain but if you want it silky smooth strain. Then melt butter and add flour and make a little fake roux with it. Once it is cooked add it to the tomato juice and bring to a simmer. Cook until it gets thick – like 5 minutes or so. Once that is done add sugar, salt, and pepper. Now here comes the fun part. The milk. You may have heard me talk about tempering an egg. Test subject Tiffanie knows what tempering an egg is, why because she listens this is why she is the favorite  Basically this is where you had some hot to the cold mixture to gradually bring up the temp. I did this with the milk to prevent it from curdling. Then once my milk was warmer I SLOWLY added the milk beating the whole time. Then I cooked this mixture WITHOUT boiling – don’t boil!!! So I cooked this until it was warm and ready to eat. Then I served with a side of my special grilled cheese. Apparently I make the best Grilled Cheese. I would have to like Grilled Cheese to tell you about it. So how did it taste – Grandpa had two bowls and ate all the leftovers the next day. So I am going to go with success! Let me know if you want to write a guest post!