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Corn Dogs

17 Jul

I think I’ve discovered a new species of fly. I call it: the Hydra-House Fly. I swear, for every fly I swat, three more take its place. Where are they coming from?!!!!

Flies are, unfortunately, a part of summer. Especially in my house, where it is (apparently) physically impossible to close the door behind you. That’s the bad part of summer. The good part? Sunshine, swimming, picnics…corn dogs. This recipe comes from my Grandma. The batter makes for a lighter corn bread that is airy and crispy and all around uber-tasty.

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Ingredients:

2 – 1 lb pkgs hot dogs

20 skewers

1 cup flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp dry mustard

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp shortening

1 cup milk

1 beaten egg

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add milk and ddd. Stir to remove lumps. Skewer hot dogs and dip into batter. *Tip* Fill a drinking glass with the batter and dip the hot dogs down into the cup for better coverage. The batter will also adhere best if hot dogs are completely dry.

Fry in oil until golden brown – about 2 minutes.

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Chipotle Burrito

30 Jan

I made these burritos out of left overs: left over stew beef, left over rice, left over black beans, left over salsa…But these left overs got a pretty fancy make over. Yay for left overs that don’t taste like left overs any more.

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Ingredients:

Chipotle Steak:

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp red pepper

pinch of salt and pepper

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 lb steak

Combine oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Rub spice mixture over steak, along with vegetable oil. Refrigerate while preparing other ingredients.

Rice:

2 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp cilantro or parsley

1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt

Drizzle lime juice and oil over the top of warm rice, sprinkle with 2 Tbsp cilantro and salt. Fluff with a fork.

Pico De Gallo:

4 roma tomatoes, cored and diced small

1 cup finely diced red onion

1 jalepeno, seeded and minced

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, jalepeno, and cilantro.

black beans, rinsed, drained, and warmed

sour cream

tortillas

Heat grill to medium-high. Coat grill with non-stick spray and cook steak about 4 min per side, or to your liking. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 min. Slice thinly against the grain

Warm tortillas and fill with rice, then steak. Top with black beans, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Roll and enjoy!

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Original recipe: www.veryculinary.com/2013/07/22/chipotle-steak-burrito/

 

Italian Meatballs

28 Oct

My neighbor got Mono a couple of weeks ago. I had it the summer after my freshman year of college = no fun. And I didn’t have kids to take care of back then – she has 4. So, I made their family dinner, and asked the kids if there was anything they didn’t like or anything they preferred. There was talk of macaroni and cheese and other kinds of kid favorites, but then their eyes lit up; “Spaghetti and Meatballs!” I love spaghetti – my husband does not. So, whenever I make spaghetti, it is a special treat for me. 🙂 However, I usually just make spaghetti with meat sauce. I have never made meatballs. But they asked specifically for meatballs! It’s always a little scary making something you have never made before with the intention of giving it to someone else. It doesn’t leave much room for error – even though you know that they would never say anything if it tasted horrible. I contemplated just doing my regular meat sauce, but then my conscience would strike and I just didn’t have much choice – I promised meatballs.

I was really pleased with this recipe. The meatballs were like miniature meat loaves, and then of course, there is the ease of the crockpot! Even my husband tried them. 🙂 He’s still not a huge fan of spaghetti, but said the meatballs were pretty good – I take what I can.

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Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand – use your bare hands for best results. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball. Drop raw meatballs into crockpot filled with Marinara Sauce. Cook on high for about 3 hours.

Original recipe found here: http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-italian-meatballs-92095

Italian Crockpot Beef

24 Oct

By far, the best dinner I’ve made in awhile – and that’s saying something because I’ve been using my best recipes lately so I could get them added to the blog! My husband’s work takes them out to lunch every Friday (I made this on a Thurs) and he called after they had had bbq catered: “Your meat was much better.” Score. And it’s crockpot. You just can’t get easier than crockpot. The meat was so-so tender this time around because I didn’t get it in the cooker soon enough – but an hour longer and it would have been fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth kind of goodness. And the fact that I could completely over look the fact that it didn’t shred as well as I would have liked attests to the fact that the taste is so ridiculously good that it really didn’t matter. Mmmmm…go make it.

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Ingredients:

3 lb. beef chuck roast

10.5 oz. beef broth, canned

1 oz. au jus, dry mix packet

.7 oz. dressing mix, dry Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place roast into crock pot and pour the beef broth over the meat. Sprinkle the au jus mix, Italian salad dressing mix, salt, and black pepper over the roast. Cover. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or all day, until meat is very tender. Shred, and place meat on bread of choice (I used Kaiser rolls). Top with Provolone Cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown cheese.

Original recipe found here: http://getcrocked.com/2013/03/11/best-ever-crock-pot-italian-beef/

Deviled Hotdogs w/ BBQ Sauce

23 Sep

I bought a pack of cotton balls at the store the other day – ‘50% more in the bag,’ it said. Jackpot! I love a good deal. Well, now I know their secret…there are 50% more cotton balls in the bag because they cut all the cotton balls in half. So, next time you see that oh-so-alluring come on, turn around. Walk away. It is better to have bought a bag of 50% less cotton balls that are normal sized than to have had to suffer through 50% more teeny tiny cotton balls.

Deviled hotdogs – I grew up on these. I’ve never seen anyone else make them except my mom and grandma. But, for hot dogs, this is about as fancy as you’ll get! And I still love them just as much as I did when I was a kid.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup catsup

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp mustard

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp salt

hot dogs

Combine all ingredients except hot dogs and mix thoroughly over medium heat. Slash hot dogs and add to sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on low, turing the hot dogs occasionally, until hot dogs are cooked through and browned. Serve over rice.

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Cheeseburger Casserole

17 Sep

Sometimes, you just need a no-brainer recipe. I actually had to think hard about this one, because I don’t usually use a recipe! I’m not a dumper, typically – I like to be told exactly what to put in and when – but this one is really hard to mess up and it turns out pretty much the same every time, even if I don’t do it the same every time. This is second only to my Mac and Cheese when it comes to my kids’ favorite meals. Funny how they love the things that take no time and no effort, but if you spend hours and hours making the most fantabulous meal ever…no one will touch it. Alas.

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Ingredients:

Prepared elbow noodles

1 lb hamburger

1 can tomato soup (or equivalent measure of Roasted Tomato Soup)

1/4 cup milk

2 cups corn (frozen or 1 small can of corn)

1/4 lb grated cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix together tomato soup and milk and combine with hamburger, noodles, and corn. Pour into 9×13 baking dish. Top with cheese and bake at 350^F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

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Tacos & Taquitos

16 Aug

I learned a couple of things from my dream last night: first, during a zombie apocalypse, people think you have to have guns and chainsaws and baseball bats…not so. Apparently, all that is required is window coverings. Yeah. Blinds, shades…you pick. Just make sure those zombies can’t see into your hugely awesome house at night and you’re good (I always live in the coolest houses in my dreams). Of course, if you have one of those pesky doors with a window taking up half of it, and you only have one of those cheap paper-like shades, don’t let your two-year old sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night because she’ll tear it down in order to draw a mural and expose you to all kinds of unwanted zombie attention. Second, if your sister happens to have been bitten by said zombies (unfortunately, zombie faces are very hard to distinguish so I’m not really sure which sister it was), don’t feel like you shouldn’t visit her every week, like you would an ailing aunt in a rest home. Just because she’s a zombie doesn’t mean you have to avoid her. You may have to stay a safe distance away – like across the street – and settle for a hearty wave instead of a sisterly-hug but, family is family.

Seriously though, If there ever really were a zombie apocalypse, I would have to be sure to have a stash of corn tortillas. Even when I am bare-bones, Old Mother Hubbard, I can always count on dinner of some sorts if I have corn tortillas – namely tacos and taquitos. Taquitos, I just barely figured out the right technique so that the tortillas don’t split before  you fry them, and I’m very excited about it! If I didn’t just run out of my stash of corn tortillas, we may just be having them for dinner every night this week. Better get to the store, just in case of a zombie apocalypse.

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Tacos:

corn tortillas

1 lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned to taste (I am old school and use salt and pepper) 

toppings of choice – cheese, salsa, sour cream, olives, fresh tomatoes, guacamole…etc

In a small pan, pour in a shallow amount of oil and heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil and fry until edges are brown. Flip the tortilla and brown other side. Remove from oil, form into a taco shape (quickly, before the shell cools and becomes crisp), and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining tortillas – refill oil as needed, but be sure to not make it too deep. Fill with ground beef and add toppings.

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Taquitos:

corn tortillas

prepared filling – ground or shredded beef, chicken, pork, etc.: Salsa Crockpot Chicken

Fill a pan with about 1″ oil and heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil, fry until the tortilla floats to the top of the oil (this happens quickly, so don’t allow it to cook too long or it will be too crisp to roll). Remove tortilla from the oil and place on paper towels. Place filling in the center of the tortilla, then roll using tongs as the tortilla will still be hot to the touch. Again using the tongs, pinch the taquito gently, holding the roll in place, and place into the oil, fold-side down. Fry taquito until crisp, then rotate and repeat on all sides until all of it is crisp. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve hot.

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Teriyaki Stir Fry

12 Aug

I am convinced: head colds are of the Devil. Seriously. You feel so terrible that you don’t want to function, and yet not quite terrible enough to justify it. So, you just end up plodding through your day, grumping and growling and blowing your poor, red nose and coughing pitifully. Not cool. And not conducive to creative cooking. It’s really kind of awesome that there are recipes that don’t require much brain power just in case those nasty head colds strike – they don’t require too much prep, but they taste and look like they did. Huzzah. I would add an exclamation mark at the end of that ‘huzzah,’ but I just don’t have the energy. Sniff, cough, cough. The Devil made me do it.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp oil

1 lb chicken or beef, cubed

vegetables of choice – I am lazy and usually use frozen mixed vegetables, and frozen sweet corn; this time we had some fresh peas from the garden!

In a small bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 Tbsp water and stir into the sauce mixture; set aside. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil and stir fry chicken until cooked through. Add vegetables and cook about 2 minutes more until vegetables soften. Add sauce to wok and stir until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.

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Massaman Curry

23 Jul

I need a new car. We have four kids and our car seats seven. Now, you don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out that we do, in fact, have enough seats to fit everyone in our family – that’s not the problem. The problem is that, in order to fit everyone in our family including their carseats, my two year old and my four year old have to sit next to each other…in the back…alone…and they can touch each other. Heaven forbid. The amount of screaming that comes from that back seat is kind of ridiculous. My kids love each other, just not when they have to sit next to each other. Now for the real problem: I don’t think they make a car that would suit our needs. I like having my oldest next to the baby – she is such a big help when he gets fussy; but in any car layout, besides a big beastly suburban or van, that always leaves the other two next to each other. I made the comment to my sister that maybe we should just drive a motorhome around like my mom did when we were kids (yes – I said motorhome…that was our family car). To which she heartily responded, “Oh no, do not do that to your kids!” I always thought it was kind of cool – there was a special ‘high seat’ that I could see out of the window if it was my turn (we usually fought over it – I even got bit by my little sister one time because she wanted it, but I got it because she bit me 🙂 = Justice). Plus we had a bathroom with us all the time. Can you say ‘convenient?’ But I was young. Apparently, when kids ask you if you’re leaving on vacation every time you get picked up from school, it gets kind of embarrassing. So, I guess motorhome is out. I’m up for suggestions.

And because Thai food has everything to do with cars (is there even such a thing as a Thai manufactured car?) – I bring you, Massaman Curry. I like to make it with sweet potatoes, but it is good with regular potatoes also. You can substitute the chicken for beef as well. Just adjust the cooking time a bit because beef takes longer to stew. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk

2 Tbsp red curry paste

1 cup water

4 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp salt

dash of cinnamon

1 lb chicken, cubed (or beef)

1 cup potatoes, cubed

1/2 cup cashews

Heat coconut milk and curry paste in a pot over medium heat and stir – break up the paste and mix well with coconut milk. Stir constantly to keep mixture from sticking. When you see the red oil bubbling up (about 5 min), add meat and stir to cover meat with curry. Add 1 cup water or enough to cover all the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except potatoes and cashews. Stew until meat is cooked through. Add potatoes and cashews (you can wait and simply top your curry with cashews when you are ready to serve) and let simmer 20 min more. The liquid should be reduced, but if it is very low, add more water. Serve over warm rice.