Tuesday, March 13, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Treats!

So, another holiday is coming up: St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland. When I was growing up, I always assumed that only people of Irish descent celebrated it, but people who aren’t Irish celebrate it as well. It’s a great excuse to make a corned beef dinner, eh? ;)

My children happen to be Irish, through their father, but we’ve never made a huge deal out of the day. However, I was thinking of some special little things I could do for them and of course, food came to mind. ;) Here are three little recipes you can make for your family: Mint Chocolate Chip Shakes for the kidlets; Crème de Menthe Parfaits for the grown ups; and a simple dish for the whole family based on a recipe I found on Pinterest, easy and a great recipe to involve the kids with: White Chocolate Mint Leprechaun Pudding.

So, let’s get cooking!

For the shakes: Measure out the ice cream and place in a blender with the milk; add the green food coloring if the ice cream is white. Blend well. Pour into 2 cups and top with whipped cream and green sugar.

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake
(makes 2 servings)

2 c mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 c milk
2-3 drops green food coloring
(if using white ice cream)
Whipped cream
Green sugar

For the parfaits: Pour out a little crème de menthe into the parfait glass, about 2 Tbl. Place a nice heaping scoop or 2 of the vanilla bean ice cream in the glass. Pour on top more of the crème de menthe so it dribbles down the sides of the ice cream. Add another 1 or 2 scoops ice cream and a little more crème de menthe. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with some green sugar and add a sprig of mint leaves.

Crème de Menthe Parfait

Real vanilla bean ice cream
Crème de menthe liqueur
Whipped cream
Sprig of mint leaves
Green sugar

For the pudding: Pour the milk into a bowl and add the pudding mix. Beat with a wire whisk until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the mint extract and green food coloring and blend in thoroughly. Layer the pudding into the cups, bowls, or whatever you’ve chosen, adding a handful of Lucky Charms cereal, then another layer in the same manner. Top with whipped cream and green sugar.

White Chocolate Mint Leprechaun Pudding
(makes about 3 servings)

1 box white chocolate instant pudding mix
1 ¾ c milk
½ tsp pure mint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring
Approx. 1 ½ c Lucky Charms
Whipped cream
Green sugar

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Biscuits…to the British they are what we would call a cracker, or even a cookie. According to dictionary.com, biscuits are described thusly: a kind of bread in small, soft cakes, raised with baking powder or soda, or sometimes with yeast.

To me they are lovely little accompaniments to any soup or stew, or even just gravy. I’ve made many different kinds of biscuits in my lifetime of cooking thus far, but I have to say that sweet potato biscuits are at the tippity top of my favorites.

They are sweet, but whereas I much prefer other flavors over sweet, I’ve cut down the sugar in them to a more palatable amount, but still retaining that distinctive flavor.

While not so sweet as to be discordant with savory stews, these biscuits are sweet enough to stand alone as a snack with coffee or tea. They’re also a hit at potluck gatherings, and some in the family have been known to let out boisterous whoops of joy upon discovering them on the menu.

So, let’s get cooking! 

The sweet potatoes can be cooked in the oven or the microwave, until soft.
Remove them from their “jackets” with a spoon. No need to mash; they will get enough of that in the mixing.

Using a wire whisk, mix together the hot sweet potatoes, shortening, and sugar.
Add the buttermilk, then stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about an inch thick.
It’s actually easier to just pat it out with your hands, which is what I do.Cut the biscuits out using a cup dipped in flour, or, as I did, simply use a butter knife to cut into squares. 

Bake in a 350° oven for about 13 minutes. And serve. Last night I made them to go along with a delightful beef stew. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 c hot cooked sweet potatoes
½ c shortening
¾ c sugar
¼ c plus 2 Tbl buttermilk
3 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Southwest Egg Rolls

This recipe….so totally different from Chinese egg rolls, but just as scrumptious and addicting!! I found this recipe on Carlsbad Cravings and am I ever glad I did. They are so stinking good you just want to keep eating them! I didn’t really change anything, except I used jarred jalapenos instead of a fresh one. I also didn’t add the avocado. Tastes just fine, believe me!

So, let’s get cooking!

First, cut the chicken breast into very small chunks. Dice the onion, red pepper, and jalapeno small. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the black beans, drain the corn, and drain the diced tomatoes with chilies. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the chicken and onions in the Tbl of oil. Add the red bell pepper, minced garlic, and chopped jalapenos. Cook about a minute. Mix in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes with chilies, rice, and the spices. Remove from heat, cool a few minutes, and stir in the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses.

Set a skillet on the stove to heat up enough oil to fry the egg rolls in. I used about 2 inches or so. Pour some water in a little bowl. To assemble the egg rolls, lay a wrapper in front of you like a diamond. Place about ¼ c of filling about 2/3 of the way down in the middle of the wrapper. Pull up the point near you towards the middle of the filling. Dip your finger in the water and lightly brush it on the edges of both sides of the wrapper, then fold them in towards the middle of the egg roll as shown, pressing lightly to seal.

To finish, lightly wet the top edges of the wrapper, and roll the egg roll towards the remaining point, pressing lightly to seal. Continue with the rest of the wrappers and set aside on a large platter. When the oil is hot enough (test with a kernel of corn or something), fry the egg rolls until golden brown, turning once to do the other side. Lay on paper towels to absorb the extra grease.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Southwest Egg Rolls

oil for frying
20 egg roll wrappers
1 Tbl oil
2 chicken breasts
(boneless, skinless)
1 medium onion
1 medium red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno or jarred equivalent
1 c black beans
1 c corn
1 c cooked rice
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 tsp each—chili powder, cumin, salt
½ tsp paprika
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
1 c Monterey jack cheese

Monday, October 16, 2017

Apple Barbecue Chicken

This recipe from Taste of Home intrigued me because I’ve never seen a BBQ recipe using apples/apple sauce before. It sounded so good, and it really was. The apple sauce gives it a unique flavor and the chicken turned out so moist. The original recipe uses spicy sweet bottled barbecue sauce, which I switched out for hickory flavored sauce, and instead of chili powder I used red pepper flakes.

So, let’s get cooking!

Place the barbecue sauce, apple sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.

Stir to mix well. My lovely assistant chef Miss Megan commandeered the bowl and stirring step.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and smother both sides with the sauce.

Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve with extra sauce for dipping if you’d like. 

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Apple Barbecue Chicken

6-8 pieces of chicken
1 c barbecue sauce
1 c apple sauce
3 Tbl brown sugar
¾ tsp red pepper flakes

Friday, October 6, 2017

One Pot Shrimp Linguine

It’s pasta, it has seafood in it, and it’s a one pot meal….you can’t go wrong with that! This dish was so easy and very delicious. I usually have linguine on hand but the night I made this, I just didn’t, so I used spaghetti. Just imagine it’s flat instead of round. ;-)

What I changed: it called for grape tomatoes but also canned diced, so I just used the diced. I replaced the fresh basil with dried, and switched out fresh grated Parmesan cheese for the feta. I also added some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.

So, let’s get cooking!

Prep the spinach by nipping off the stems. Peel and mince the garlic.

Peel the tails off the shrimp. My lovely assistant chef Miss Megan did this.

Place in a large pot the spaghetti, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently to keep pasta from sticking. This is what it looks like about halfway through.

When most of the water is absorbed, add the fresh spinach and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes. Toss in the shrimp and heat through, maybe another minute or so.

Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Enjoy! ~TMMF

One Pot Shrimp Linguine

1 lb spaghetti or linguine
12 oz bag small shrimp
2 cloves garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dry basil
2 c fresh spinach
2 ¾ c water
1 tsp salt
½-1 tsp red pepper flakes

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Do Nothing Cake

So, a Do Nothing Cake….a cake where you do nothing for it. Sounds impossible, right? Well you’re right, there is work involved with this one. But I didn’t name it, I just tried it out to see what it was like. I found the recipe on Happy Cooking, and like I said I wanted to try it out and see what all this do-nothingness was about.

It wasn’t all that much work after all, and it did taste good. I did make a major change though; it called for 2 cups of sugar and I cut that right in half. I mean, seriously, the cake was sweet enough with a cup of sugar plus the sweet frosting on top. I can only imagine the toothache if I hadn’t reduced it!

So, let’s get cooking!

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and crushed pineapple. Yes, I made that monkey face because that’s what it looked like to me! Haha

Place the mixture into a greased 9 X 13” baking dish and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until tooth pick in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, chop the nuts. I used pecans for this and it was delicious.

For the icing, in a medium saucepan mix together the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. Cook on medium heat to boiling and go for about 5 minutes or so until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and nuts.

Pour the icing over the cake (which can still be hot) and let cool. Serve and Enjoy! ~TMMF

Miss Megan chopping the nuts. 
Do Nothing Cake

1 c sugar
2 c flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
16 oz crushed pineapple, undrained


½ c butter
1 c sugar
¾ c evaporated milk
1 c coconut
1 c nuts

1 tsp vanilla

Monday, October 2, 2017

Korean Beef and Rice

This recipe----THIS RECIPE!!! The first time I made it, it was gone so quickly I couldn’t believe it. The next time I made it, I had to make a double batch so I’d be able to have it twice! It’s that good, and so stinking easy! The only change I made was to double the red pepper flakes. It’s just a perfect recipe to please the whole family.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a pot to cooking for rice. When done, set aside.

Peel and mince the garlic and slice the scallions.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

While the hamburg is cooking, make the sauce by mixing together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Add the sauce to the browned hamburg and garlic, heating for a few minutes.

Serve the saucy beef mixture over rice and top with scallions.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Miss Megan slicing the scallions.

Korean Beef and Rice

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic
¼ c brown sugar
¼ c soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp pepper
2 2/3 c cooked rice
3 scallions, thinly sliced