Feb 6, 2016

Spring Salad Dressing

This yummy and very simple salad dressing comes from my sister Emily.

1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (white or apple cider works too)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used prepared chopped garlic)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine above ingredients and serve. This dressing works well with baby spinach or other greens; fruit such as chopped apple, mandarin oranges, or seasonal berries; avacado, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and sugared pecans. For sugared pecans, combine 1 cup nuts and 1 cup sugar with 1-2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium/low heat; cook until sugar melts (watch carefully!)

Jan 19, 2016

Cornbread and Honey Butter

From one of my favorite food blogs, Mel’s Kitchen Café.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk

For the cornbread, add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny – don’t be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Honey Butter
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (This is a modification. You could also add a little cinnamon.)

For the honey butter, whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

Nov 29, 2015

Turkey Gravy

This hardly qualifies as a recipe. It is basically turkey gravy from a mix, though slightly enhanced. But I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it was so easy. When trying to get a lot of different dishes all ready at the same time on Thanksgiving Day, anything to simplify the process is welcome, in my opinion. The recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

2 (1.2 ounce) packages turkey gravy mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups water
2 cups turkey pan drippings

Place the turkey gravy mix and flour into a saucepan, and gradually whisk in the water, followed by the turkey drippings. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer the gravy until thickened, about 10 minutes (it took less than five for me, but this may depend on personal preference).

Fish Tacos

Growing up, I always thought that fish tacos sounded horrible! I think I had imagined something like a whole fish (eyes, skin, bones, fins, and all in a tortilla). The very thought grossed me out. But then when I actually got around to trying them, I loved them! So here is a homemade version that you can throw together very quickly. To be clear, this is less a recipe than instructions for combining already prepared ingredients, but I thought it turned to be both easy and delicious. Fish tacos will definitely be part of our meal rotation from now on.

Frozen breaded fish fillets (whatever you like), baked according to the directions
Chopped cabbage (I just used a prepared coleslaw mix)
Salad dressing (a ranch dressing would probably work, but I used a Bolthouse Farms cilantro avocado yogurt dressing)
Mango salsa (I used a commercial version)
Flour or corn tortillas

And to put this together, I simply cooked the fish fillets according to the directions and then cut them into smaller pieces to put in the tacos. And while the fish was cooking, I heated the tortillas and assembled the other ingredients. Then once the fish was done, I put a few pieces of fish on each tortilla, topped that with chopped cabbage, drizzled it with the salad dressing, and then added the mango salsa. Yum!

Nov 21, 2015

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This is a pie you should definitely add to your Thanksgiving or pie repertoire. It is very easy to whip up and very rich and yummy. The pie is another winning recipe from Chef John over at FoodWishes.com. You can see a video demonstration here.

1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
2 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until pale-colored, light and frothy. Add the milk and vanilla and give the mixture a stir. Blend in the brown sugar, white sugar, and flour. Then add the hot melted butter and blend together. Finally, add the chopped pecans and mix well.

Spread the chocolate chips evenly in the bottom of the pie crust and pour the pecan mixture carefully over the top so that the chocolate chips remain evenly distributed.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and filling is set. If it jiggles when you take it out of the oven, cook it a bit longer. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.