Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Vandals

Hello Everyone. It isn't often that I write on a serious theme, but, our home was recently violated....and at Christmas time. Video surveillance caught these two vandals standing next to my home. The suspect on the left can be identified by the prison tattoo of a tear on his left eye. He goes by the street name "g-bread man" and is known for his handy work in rainbow graffiti. He calls it "ice-in" the place. During the night this crime took place he had one accomplice who managed to elude the camera. He appeared to be scantily clad wearing only 3 large strategically placed green, orange, and red buttons. The only audio that could be deciphered was something about "bite me". If you have seen these scum-bags, please let me know. I eat guys like this for breakfast.
Recipe:One store bought gingerbread house kitOne toddler to place candy in his mouth and then onto the gingerbread house

Chicken Fact

Fact - Alektorophobia - Fear of chickens.
Freak out the Alektorophobiac in your life with this recipe for Chicken and Potato Soup!

2 chicken breasts
6-8 cups chicken stock
2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1/4 cup peas
1/4 carrots diced
1 clove of garlic minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Boil and shred chicken...add rest of is that so scary!

Chili Grudge

Chili Grudge...When I was in the fifth grade my uncle bought me a really, really cool pink jacket. It was like a souped up "Members Only" jacket. It had EVERYTHING. This included several zipper pockets, puffy sleeves with small pleats around the shoulder, snaps, shoulder pads, and well, you get the picture. It was the 80's. So there I was, minding my own business, walking down the hall to return my lunch tray when out of NOWHERE a 6th grader ran into me with her tray spilling chili all over me and my jacket. I was devastated. She didn't even say she was sorry. She just kept walking. I will NEVER forgive her.
Now here is a recipe for chili that didn't come from a grade-school cafeteria. We call it second day chili because it tastes perfect the day after you make it.
1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
2 Tablespoons chili powder *your taste...I think this is a mild chili
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 large red onion diced (save some for garnish)
1 green bell pepper diced
1 large can of kidney beans
3 cans of crushed tomato's
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.
sour cream and cheddar cheese to garnish
Put a little olive oil in a LARGE pot and saute your onions. Don't cook them to long just get them soft. Add your chili powder and cumin, mix it up. Add your ground beef and cook till no longer pink. Add green bell pepper, tomato's, and beans. Let cook for at least an hour. Salt and pepper as needed, or sneak in a little more chili powder or your favorite hot sauce. Chili is one of those things the longer it cooks the better it gets. This is great on a cold day when you have plenty of time to let it sit on the stove all day. Even better when you eat it the second day! Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and a little onion.

W.W.M.D.... The other day I was dipping my biscotti and ran into a dilemma. It broke of and became a mushy glob on the bottom of my cup...and I still wanted it. Would it be impolite to face the ceiling, cup in mouth, for an extended period of time until the crumbs ooz down? What if they loosen and just plop onto your nose...then what? I like to ask myself "what would Martha do?" I know I know, Martha would politely finish the coffee portion and set her cup down...all finished...but, then what. She would wait until everyone had left and then she would gorge herself on Biscotti crumbs, chocolate chips, and marshmallow cream! This, my friends, is why I like Martha. I know that she is secretly a real train wreck therefor validating me as a person. Don't worry Martha. I still respect you.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup or 1 Stick butter

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 t vanilla

3 cups flour

3 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Mix sugar, butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla untilsmooth. Slowly add flour, baking powder and saltmixture. Mixture will be sticky. After ingredientsare well mixed you can add the chocolate chips andcontinue to mix. Divide dough in half. Shape eachhalf into 10 x 3 inch rectangle on cookie sheet withgreased hands. Bake for about 25 minutes until toothpick insertedinto the center comes out clean. Cool for about 15minutes.Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Turn slices cutsides down on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes oneach side. Biscotti should be golden brown whenfinished.

Here's to the Banana...First you take your time picking out a nice bunch and they look really nice on your table for a day or two. Then you forget about them and they begin to turn and rot....maybe draw a fruit fly or two.....and then when they are just gross enough that you probably don't want to touch cook them and EAT them. Here's to the Banana.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cook oats
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. In a separate bowl cream butter, add brown sugar, sugar, allspice, nutmeg and beat till fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add the 1/2 the dry ingredients as well as the sour cream and 1/2 of the banana... mix well. Add any left over ingredients mixing very well! If you like you can add some nuts, but I like to use all of mine for decorating the cake. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake about 30 min and let cook for 5 in the pan.

Cool completely before Icing! Ice with your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting and decorate!

Catch the RiceImagine going to a place where you are forced to sit with a bunch of weird strangers around a potentially dangerous, hot surface while another stranger flips knives in the air and at the same time cracking terrible jokes....and cooks your meal....all for your amusement. "please don't talk to me, please don't talk to me" I say to myself...and of course. Chef: "You, in the corner, want to catch a bowl of rice?" "If you do, your meal is free" Me: "No, that's all right. I'm fine" Chef: "Aw common now, you catch the rice" Me: "No, ummm, no thanks" Chef: "You scared to catch the rice?" "ah ha, don't be scared to catch the rice, it won't hurt you." Me: (in my head of course) No, you freak, I don't want to catch the rice, I'm not scared of the rice, I just don't want to catch your damned rice. Now fix me some chicken and get me a cocktail....I just put up with this crap because you are such a good cook....why! Why can't take out be this good! mmmm...teriyaki chicken. (reality) "O.K. I guess I will catch the rice." ...and you know what? My meal was NOT free. Now here is a great home alternative for when you don't feel like catching the rice.

1 3 1/2 lb chicken
3/4 cups teriyaki sauce (recipe follows)

1 cup shoyu
1 cup sugar
1 3" piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
2 tablespoons bourbon

Stir together shoyu and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and Bourbon and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove and discard ginger and garlic. Sauce will keep in a sealed container in refrigerator for at least a month. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wings under back and tie legs together with kitchen string. With a pastry brush, coat chicken inside and out with teriyaki sauce. Put chicken in a roasting pan and roast for about 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. If you want a darker colored bird, baste more frequently. Chicken is done when juices from leg, when pierced with a knife, run clear. Allow chicken to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Garnish with scallions and spoon small amount of teriyaki sauce over bird. The is from the Saveur Cooks Authentic American Cookbook under Tutu-Man's Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce.

Thats right...Tutu-Man!

"O.K. everyone, it's time to pair off. Let's square dance." Now, don't get me wrong, Cadice and I made a nice pair on the dance floor, but, I never really understood the relevance of square dance to my freshman academic career. Especially in an all girls gym class. Wouldn't it have made more sense for us to sit around a break-room eating lean cuisine while we judged the school secretaries style of parenting and watched passions? I mean, THAT would have prepared me for real life. Now, here is a better pear than Candy and I ever made. Courtesy of Ina Garten....we just love her! Oh and one more thing, this would be excellent with berries if you don't want to use pears!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pear brandy, such as Poire William
2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 x 1 1/2 inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Beat the eggs and the 1/3 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and pear brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile peel, quarter, core and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

First I will pop your eye out and swish it around in my mouth a few times. Then I will put it back in. Your lips will be red and luscious, like your wife's used to be. I will dig your ears out from the back yard where I placed them earlier this year......and when I am through, I will store all of your body parts in your keister. I love you Mr. Potato Head.
Little Johnny

Now, here is a recipe for Potato Salad with Sausage from the cookbook simply titled "French".

1 pound small wazy potatoes
2-3 tbsp dry white wine
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
6 oz cooked garlic sausage, such as kielbasa
For the Vinaigrette
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes and refresh under cold runing water. Peel the potatoes if you like or leave in their skins and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle with the wine and shallots. To make the vinaigrette, mix themustard and vinegar in a small bowl, them whisk in the oil, 1 tbsp at a time. Season and pour over the potatoes. Add the herbs to the potatoes and toss until well mixed. Slice the sausage thinly and toss with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

* This salad is often served in bistros and cafes as a starter. You can also serve the potatoes on their own.

Have you ever held your dogs collar while somebodyelse called his name in the other room? Have you everroasted mini-marshmallows over a candle? Have youever spent the day in your pajama's with a bag ofcheetos and the brat pack? Have you ever made a danceroutine to an ABBA song with your sister?....and youare 30? A tribute to being snowed in. Now here is a festive cookie for all of you northerners caught inthe snowstorm.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Lemony Snippets

Lemony Snippets...I was once given the gift of lemon balm and told to plant it in my yard. The person who gifted me this kryptonite, this lemon balm is now my arch nemesis. Laura Ingalls, I just have one thing to say to you, Miss Beetle only smelled of lemon verbena because she planted a little sprig and it took over her home and got into her sweat glands. At first it is pretty and you pluck a little here and there to make tea or sachet's. Slowly it creeps under the deck and into your yard. The next thing you know it smells like lemons when you mow, when you walk, and when you hang out on the deck for a barbecue. The lemon smell slowly takes over your nose, your dreams, your mind, your life, and when you have had enough, you put the house on the market to sell and you tell the potential buyer about that she can make tea and sachet's. Now, here is a great recipe for lemon bars.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter in mixer till it begins to soften. Add powdered sugar, extracts, egg yolks and egg, and flour... beat until combined. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Spread dough into bottom of pan.Bake for 20 minutes or until done.
While baking the crust make the filling by mixing the following...
5 large eggs2 1/2 cups sugar1/2 cup lemon juicezest from one lemon
Poor this over your crust and bake for another 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. Many people sprinkle powdered sugar over the top, but I find this makes my teeth curl. Enjoy!

Dear Beanie Weenie song Mom, It has come to my attention that you are feeding your children beans and hot dogs from a CAN. I thought perhaps someone should let you know that beanie weenie is neither nutritious, or delicious, no-matter what the little kid in the commercial says. I would also like to suggest that you seek some professional help for your lack of ambition as you have chosen to open a can rather than cut up a hot dog into some baked beans. Thank you.P.S. Check our our recipe for Hericots Verts (that's french for green beans yee haw). Maybe your sunken face, pasty, malnourished children would prefer something along these lines. Don't hate me for my honesty...I do it for the children....sigh.
1 pound French string beans, or regular old green beans if you can't find french.

Kosher salt
1 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Blanch beans in salted water for just 4 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking. When they are cool, drain and set aside.
In a large bowl toss the onion and peppers in 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Toss with spatula every 5 minutes to be sure the vegetables roast evenly.
Just before serving, reheat the beans in a saute pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange on platter. Spoon the roasted vegetables over the beans and serve hot or at room temperature.

My husband was raised on a turkey farm in the middle of an apple orchard. One year, during the hight of turkey season, he and a cousin gathered a number of rotten apples from the orchard, dipped them in mud, found a dark corner of the market so as not to seem suspicious, and attempted to give each customer a free carmel apple with the purchase of any turkey. Crazy little snozwangers. Now, here is a mud free recipe for Apple Crisp.
6 large apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour

Peel and slice apples. Mix with sugar. Place apples into 8" buttered pan. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Mix butter, brown sugar, and flour into a course mixture and spread over apples. Bake at 325 degrees. 45 minuets to an hour.

MAN FOOD...If HeMan, The Incredible Hulk, The Wolfman, and Justin Timberlake were real, they would eat this.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 lbs. beef round cut into thin strips ( any good lean peice of steak )
1/2 lb mushrooms sliced ( optional )
1/2 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
salt & fresh ground pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet heat olive oil & butter. Add and quickly brown & remove from skillet beef round cut into thin strips. Add mushrooms to skillet and brown 3-5 minutes then remove. Add to skillet onion and garlic...brown 3-5 minutes. Stir in tomato juice, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add wine and Parmesan cheese and simmer for 15 minutes. Add meat and mushrooms. Simmer 1 hour covered.
Serve this on a hoggie that has been toasted in the oven with a little olive oil brushed on it. A little Italian seasoning on the bread is also good. You can top with grated provolone or your favorite cheese.
Note: You may wish to drain off some of the oil before adding the tomato juice and other ingredients, but will cook down.

Magic Cookies

Warning: The views expressed in the following blog are not necessarily the views of nice people.My sister and I were in the grocery store the other day when the checkout lady asked us what we intended to make. "Magic cookies", we politely replied. This, of course, caused the clerk to share her story about how she had just made her first batch of fudge last night. We, in turn, politely asked how it turned out. "Good", she responded. "There is still some in that there coke cooler behind you. Go on, try a little." We quickly shot each other a horrified look.....stranger fudge. I could almost taste the dog hair and cat pee."No thanks, we are still full from dinner," we replied. "Go on, try a little, I didn't poison it or nothin.""no thanks.""Go on, reach in there and git ya a piece. It musta been good, everyone else ate it up"Great, now we were dealing with stranger fudge felt up by a number of other strangers reaching for stranger fudge around the final stranger fudge piece that we were supposed to EAT and since she hadn't poisoned it or nothin and we were obviously not diabetic or allergic to nuts as our magic cookie ingredients had given us away, we had no other we ate the stranger fudge. No magic cookie is worth that. Now, here is a recipe for that cookie. It's pretty tasty once you pick the ferret whisker out of your teeth.
1/2 cup of butter, melt and put in the bottem of a 12x7 dish.
Layer the following ingredients in order...
1/2 cups ( 18sq of graham crackers crushed)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups of coconut
1 15oz can condensed milk
Bake 350 15-20 minutes ( light brown on top)
( You can also add butterscotch chips with the chocolate chips for a twist )

Country Chicken N Dumplins

Country Chicken N Dumplins...

Wardrobe:Moo Moo....check


Scarf holding the curlers tightly to your head.....check

House shoes.......check

Red lipstick....check (hey, a girl has to look nice don't she?)

Ingredients:2 large chicken breasts fer boilin2 chicken boullion cubes (that's them little cubes of dried chickin powder)6 to 8 cups water2 chopped carrots1/2 cup peasPlace all ingredients into a large pot and boil. Boil until chicken falls apart adding water as needed. (about 1-2 hours)

Homemade Dumplings
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon parsley flakes, if desired
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk

Mix flour, parsley, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk.
Drop spoonfuls of batter into boiling chicken, vegetables, and stock. Place lid onto pot andcontinue to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Spoon over mashed potato's if you are a northerner, or eat alone if you are in the south......or if you are ugly. Best served at a picnic table in the kitchen surrounded by lawn chairs.

p.s. Just in case your prone to dumplin splatter take a gander at our red check's right nice.

Croissants on Ebay

Our first recipe is croissants. While doing the researchI googled the word "croissant" and was pleasantlysurprised to find that you can buy croissants and anumber of other perishable items on eBay. At whatpoint do you stop going to the grocery and startbuying your food from random strangers? I mean, it'sone thing to seek out a coveted box of Wonka barswhich you don't intend to eat because it is way moreimportant to find the golden ticket, even if they lookreally, no, what did I strangerchocolate!!! NO. Here is a quick list of things youcan buy. Astronaut food, alligator meat sticks, candyshrimp, box of lime Jello, a whole section on poultry,and a real deal on a combo pack of pickled eggs andpickled sausage. I am assuming that all items will bepackaged and shipped by the boogery guy that cleansthe bathrooms at the traveling carnival. Now, here isa real and fabulous recipe from famed chef JamesBeard.
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 t. sugar
3 c. flour
2 t. salt
1 T. unsalted butter
1 t. unsalted butter (separately)
1 c. unsalted butter chilled
Place water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stironce or twice and let stand until the mixture bubbles(4-6 minutes).In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and 1 T.butter. Add yeast mixture and stir with a woodenspoon until all the liquid is absorbed. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball, placeon lightly floured surface, and knead for about 10minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands orsurface, knead in a few tablespoons of flour asneeded. Knead until smooth. Lightly grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon ofbutter. Place the dough into the bowl and sprinklewith a little flour. Cover with a towel and let thedough rise until it doubles in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch the dough down and sprinkle with flour. Wrap infoil. Place in refrigerator until well chilled (about2 hours).Remove from refrigerator and turn onto a lightlyfloured surface. Roll the dough into an oblong shape1/4 inch thick. Place so that the long side faces youhorizontally. Fold dough into thirds creating 3layers. Begin at the right side. Dot only 2/3 of the surfacewith 1/4 of the chilled butter. Leave the last 1/3 unbuttered.Now begin on the left side with the unbuttered end. Lift and fold over the center of the buttered thirdand fold remaining 1/3 to form 3 layers. Roll thedough again into 1/4 inch oblong shape and proceed asbefore until all of the chilled butter is used. Wrapthis in foil and chill for 2 hours.Preheat oven to 350 degree's. On lightly flouredsurface roll chilled dough into square 15 1/2-16 inchby 1/4 inch. Measure off 15" by 15" square and cutwith a knife or pastry wheel. Then cut it into 95-inch squares. Place 8 squares on a large cookiesheet and then refrigerate to prevent dough fromsoftening while you make the first 2 croissants.Cut square diagonally into 2 triangles. Elongate eachby rolling into 1/8 inch thickness. Hold pointopposite the wide base with one hand and with the palmof the other roll the dough from the base. Stretchslightly as you roll. Continue with each square andrefrigerate after each is made. Place on lightlygreased baking sheet. Bake on middle of shelf untilgolden brown. This should take about 20 minutes. Voila!