Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Smokey Soy Sauce Eggs

I am a fan of pickled eggs usually when I make them I use beet juice to get those purple pickled eggs.  I saw a recipe for Soy Sauce Eggs were the eggs are hard boiled for about 10 minutes then cooked in the soy sauce for 40 minutes.  Which sounds great if you are making them for tonight's dinner.  

I decided to make these like I make pickled eggs sitting in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate the whole egg white.  I wanted a smokey flavor to the eggs and added liquid smoke.  

I am really pleased with the flavor of the eggs and after we have eaten the eggs I'm going add another batch of eggs to the jar.

Smokey Soy Sauce Eggs

8 eggs, hard boiled
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thick
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Bring soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ginger and liquid smoke to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, set aside and let cool.  Put peeled hard boiled eggs in a large canning jar poor soy sauce mix over eggs, cover and place in the refrigerator for 7 days before eating.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coffee Talk: Are You A Dipper?

Hello my name is Pam, I am a dipper, I have also raised a next generation dipper, my daughter Anna (my husband will testify to that).  No this is not DP (Dippers Anonymous) this is more of a club for people who love to dip.  I'm not talking about the armature dippers who dip their french fries in ketchup  I am talking hardcore dipper.

Yes I started out with french fries and ketchup, then moved to ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, blue cheese dressing, 1,000 island dressing, shrimp cocktail sauce and when I moved to Utah I became a native when I dipped them in fry sauce (1,000 island without the pickles). I have been know to dip my french fry in a chocolate shake (the salty sweet thing)

Then along came the grilled cheese sandwich which like the french fry started out with ketchup, or dipped in my tomato soup but my favorite dipper for grilled cheese Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Not kidding just a little bit of heaven.

I am not just satisfied by putting ketchup on my burger I like to dip my burger in ketchup before taking a bite.  I have been known to dip my pizza in ranch dressing, dipping shrimp in butter or cocktail sauce they were made for dipping they have a built in handle. 

Don't get me started on coffee dipping, biscotti, shortbread and even a croissant.

Can you imagine how excited I was to learn about Fondu, the ultimate in dipping.  Then to find The Melting Pot Restaurant, a dippers paradise of appetizer, entree and dessert in one place. 

I could go on and on about dipping but I am going to close with my Comfort Dipping.  There is nothing more comforting than to have buttered toast dipped in my hot chocolate, it is my warm and fuzzy blanket of comfort. 

Raising a French Fry to those of you who love to Dip

Until Next Time,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ginger Lime Pickled Cucumbers

My husband does not care for cucumbers, no problem more for me.  I love cucumbers, in my salad, cucumber sandwiches or a bowl of them to munch on.  I love to make quick pickled cucumbers and will make a jar to have on hand for snacking.  I had some fresh ginger and a lime and decided to add it to my pickled cucumbers.  

Those two flavors gave the cucumbers a refreshing asian flair.  Guess who likes cucumbers now - you guessed it my husband.  He ate the whole jar I had one little taste that was it.

Ginger Lime Pickled Cucumbers

1 large english cucumber
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
pinch of turmeric (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
fresh ginger, cut into 8 matchstick size slices
1/2 lime cut into 5 or 6 slices

Cut cucumber and bell pepper in thin slices. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let set for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat add water, vinegar, sugar, turmeric, red pepper flakes and ginger, bring to a boil, boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat add limes and allow to cool.

Rinse cucumbers and bell peppers pat dry getting as much liquid off as possible.  Place in a jar or bowl and add liquid, cover and refrigerate over night.  Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.  If they last that long.

Until Next Time,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick and Easy Dessert

I wanted to make this dessert for Valentine's Day but after the huge dinner we had dessert just wasn't going to happen.  It is nice to have a quick and easy dessert that you can throw together when you spent a lot of time putting together a perfect meal or if company stops by how nice is it to be able to serve them a no frills dessert with some coffee. Plus it looks like you spent a lot of time putting it together. 

Nutella and Fruit Shortcake

1 package Pillsbury Grand Biscuits
8 plus tablespoons Nutella
3 bananas
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)

Cut biscuits almost half way through add a large slice of banana along with a heaping tablespoon of Nutella in the inside of the biscuit.  Gentle press together and place on baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 14 to 17 minutes.

Cut up the remaining banana into fourths add to a bowl along with blueberries, raspberries (if strawberries were in season I would have used them too)  Add sugar and mix together allow to sit. (I usually make this 30 minutes before baking the biscuits.  Just before serving add the Grand Marnier and give it a stir.  Spoon sauce and juice over biscuit serve warm.  Top with whipped cream if you like.

Until Next Time,

Foodie Friends Friday

Jam Hands

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook

My friend Jenny sent me a message and the link to join the virtual pot luck in honor of The Chinese New Year at Diana's blog Appetite For China.  Jenny has made some wonderful dishes from Diana Kuan's cookbook The Chinese Takeout Cookbook that always looked delicious.

I have always wanted to make Chinese dishes at home but frankly I have been intimated by them and I only lived 6 miles from PF Changs.  Two years ago that changed when I moved to a small Southern Utah town that only offers Panda Express.

Between seeing photos of the dishes Jenny has made and missing good Chinese food it was time for me to dive in and start making my favorite dishes at home.

I chose to make Diana's Kung Pao Chicken - I was surprised on how easy the dish was to make and enjoyed the praise from my husband with every bite he took.  I've already ordered Diana's cookbook from Amazon and looking forward to making the Dan Dan Noodles, General Tso's Chicken and I am fascinated by the Chinese Tea Eggs.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coffee Talk: Regional Italian Cooking

I love Italian food and wish I had ask my husbands aunt to give me Italian cooking lessons.   My husband said his grandmother Concetta and Aunt Anna were the bests cooks.  My husband's grandparents were born in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  They were born in a small town Manoppello a Province of Pescara.

I took this writing from Rustico Cooking 

In some ways, Abruzzese cuisine is the undiscovered treasure of Italian gastronomy. While tourists rhapsodize over Tuscan cuisine and Italians wax poetic over Emilian cuisine, few have truly delved into the flavors of Abruzzo's kitchen. Abruzzese cooks are masters at turning simple ingredients (perhaps a handful of freshly plucked beans from the garden plot, gleaming black mussels, golden noodles) into glorious feasts.They flavor their dishes with hot chili pepper, aromatic saffron, fruity olive oil. Pasta is the preferred Abruzzese first course, and none is as typical as maccheroni alla chitarra ("guitar pasta"): sheets of egg dough are cut using a flat rolling pin on a wooden box with strings (hence the name "guitar"). Crêpes (called scrippelle) are rolled around savory fillings, dropped into broths, or layered with cheese, vegetables, and meat before baking. Polenta is usually enjoyed with a spicy sausage ragù or hearty meat sauce. In port cities, just-caught fish is marinated in a vinegary brine, and rich soups are concocted from dozens of types of fish. In the mountains, sheepherding remains a common way to make a living, so lamb, kid, sheep, and mountain goat are mainstays of the diet; wine, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary are favorite flavorings, especially when the source of heat is a lively wood fire. Many families still raise their own pigs, and free-roaming pigs yield flavorful, lean meat and tasty salumi (cured meats). Pastries tend to be unsophisticated: olive oil is often used instead of butter, nuts or dried fruit provide bulk and flavor, and sheep's milk ricotta, a favorite in central and southern Italy, shows up in fritters and sweet cakes.

This region is known for their lamb dishes - well that stopped me right in my tracks both my husband and myself are not fans of lamb.  I can say I have only had lamb 3 times in my life and I know what those dishes were.  They weren't bad I just didn't care for them and I would rather have beef, pork or poultry.  While I was looking for recipes for the region lamb just keeps popping up. 

Since Abruzzo is known as the Queen of Pasta I think I will stick to that making a light pasta sauce of the 3 main ingredients, tomatoes, garlic and basil.  

I will continue to search the internet for more recipes from the region and try them.  Until they make a movie from the area like Under The Tuscan Sun I don't think I will be finding a cook book like The Tuscan Sun Cookbook anytime soon.

While writing this blog post I found out that Mario Batali's grandmother is from the same region.

Until Next Time,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Mexican Beef

I love ethnic food and I'm not sure which is my favorite Mexican or Asian.  The great thing is I don't have to pick a favorite I can have both.  This weekend I had a craving for tacos.  I picked up a couple of roasts to cook in the slow cooker.  Two roasts for 2 people that is a lot of meat.  Yes, but the great thing about this I don't have to worry about what's for dinner for the next few days and I'm not having tacos every night.  I can make enchiladas, tosadas, taquitos, nachos and mexican salad.  I love the versatility of this recipe.

Slow Cooker Mexican Beef

2  3 pound roasts
mexican dry rub (recipe below)
1 carrot, rough chop
1/2 onion, rough chop
1 bay leaf
2  32oz box no salt beef stock
1 cup water
1 tablespoon canola oil per roast

Mexican Dry Rub

1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons San Antonio Style Quick Chili Mix
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.  Keep in a airtight canning jar.

Sprinkle generously with the dry rub on all sides, massage the rub into your roasts. (what you don't use store in airtight container). Let roasts sit for 30 minutes.  Heat a cast iron skillet until hot, heat oil just until smoking.  Add roast, sear on all sides for about 2 to 3 minutes each side.  Do this for both roasts.  Put roasts in slow cooker, add beef stock (if you don't have beef stock you can use chicken stock) In the hot skillet add 1 cup of water to remove bits from bottom of skillet for easy clean-up. Do not throw away water dump it in the slow cooker for added flavor.  Add carrot, onion and bay leaf to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 24 hours.  Remove roasts from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks.

Until Next Time,

Shared with 

Love Bakes Good Cakes
Bless With Grace
Not Just a Housewife
Ladybug Blessings

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sneak Peek

Here is your Sneak Peek - For a GREAT GIVEAWAY

You don't want to miss out on the big announcement start following Living Rancho Delux today

Details coming in a couple of weeks

Do you want to see more.....








Okay, just one more photo




Oh my gosh the Suspense!

I hope you are as excited as I am!

Until Next Time,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hominy Love It or Hate It - Recipe

I really need to go to town and get groceries.  It's been way over a week and it's starting to be slim pickin's around here. I've just dreaded dealing with the snow this week.

 I had planned to make Navy Bean Soup with the Smoked Pork Chops I got from Nueske's instead I decided to go with a simple fast dish that I knew Bill would love.  Bill could eat hominy every night.  I think hominy is one of those items you either love it or hate it.  I have fixed hominy over the past 35 plus years we have been together and never ate it myself until this past year.  I think you just need to find the right way to prepare it.  The smoked pork chops give the hominy a lot of flavor.  

What are your feelings on hominy - The misunderstood Corn?

Hominy and Smoked Pork Chops

2 15.5 oz cans hominy
4 smoked pork chops, diced 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon creole seasonings
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat, add diced pork chops, occasionally stir for 10 minutes.  Add hominy and seasonings heat through.  While the hominy is heating up fry 4 eggs with a dab of butter.  Once eggs are done to your liking plate the hominy and top with a fried egg, salt and pepper to taste.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Snack Season and Recipe

From fall until February we are in snack mode....Football Season, The Holidays, Guests and Parties.  The end of the snack season for me ends with Super Bowl.  This is my last hurrah for the fall and winter snack season, Prosciutto Artichoke Roll-Ups. 

Prosciutto Artichoke Roll-Ups

2 onions, cut in half then sliced
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 package prepared Artichoke Spinach Dip (I used Stonemill Kitchens refrigerated dip)
8 slices prosciutto, cut in half
garlic butter, for brushed the top of the rolls
asiago cheese, shredded

Heat butter and olive oil in skillet add onions and sauté until caramelized golden brown, low and slow about 20 to 30 minutes.

Separate crescent rolls and spread with a layer of artichoke dip, then prosciutto and caramelized onions.  Roll up and place on a baking sheet.  Place rolls in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for approx 15 minutes.  3 minutes before they are done cooking brush with garlic butter and sprinkle with shredded asiago cheese.  Makes 16 rolls ~ recipe can be cut in half.

Until Next Time,

Foodie Friends Friday

Jam Hands

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coffee Talk Tuesday - Cocktails

Today let's talk about Cocktails  

I have to admit I'm not much of a drinker....Let me explain, when I was a kid (maybe 13 years old) my dad had a collection of those decorative bottles filled bottles filled with Whisky down in the basement.  You know those really ugly things like this one.

I had the brilliant idea of taking a tall glass filling it up mixing the different alcohol's from those bottles and drinking it without stopping.  I think I made it half way through the glass.  All I remember was feeling sick and the room spinning around and I could not throw up.  (Teresa if you are reading this do you remember that stunt?) I was lucky I didn't die of alcohol poisoning.  The only good that came of this experience I did not drink as a teen I couldn't even walk into a liquor store the smell of alcohol made me sick to my stomach.  Even as an adult if I can taste the alcohol I won't drink it or drinks like a Bloody Mary will be a Virgin Bloody Mary.

I do enjoy a glass of wine, margarita, Bailey's in my coffee and other fruity drinks.  I love the beautiful cocktails you see on Pinterest and with cute names like The Scarlet O'Hara, Blu Bungalows, Shark Attack, Blushing Bride, I pin them and I don't make them.  

This summer I'm going to try making some of those drinks I pinned.  I can adjust the alcohol so I'm not putting as much as the recipe calls for - that's what I did on the Pink Bikini and I love it.

Here are a few that I'm going to try

Any suggestions on cocktails that are a must try?

Until Next Time,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Comfort Food - Recipe

For the last couple of days it's been snowing, a light snow that was either slushy or it looked like cottage cheese.  We still have a couple more days of snow, we didn't even come close to the amount of snow the east coast got, we will be lucky to reach 6 inches of snow.  Weather like this calls for comfort food and what could be more comforting than Old Fashioned Beef Stew. 

Making this stew is just as comforting as eating it. Putting together the layers of flavor, knowing how your family will enjoy the love you put into each bowl is so satisfying. 

Beef Stew 

3 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into pieces no bigger than 2 inches
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 onions, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
1 32oz box beef broth - low sodium
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon creole seasonings
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
12 small red potatoes, cut in halve
1 12oz bag frozen peas
fresh parsley to garnish

Heat a dutch oven on medium high heat add oil when it is just about to smoking add meat in batches browning and removing from pan.  Salt and pepper each batch of meat.

Add onions sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add wine, deglaze pan scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan.  Allow to simmer 5 minutes.  Add broth, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, creole seasonings and beef stir until well mixed and allow to come up to a simmer.

Place a tight fitting lid on the dutch oven simmer on low for 1 hour.  Add carrots, celery and potatoes cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.  At this time taste for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper. Turn off heat stir in frozen peas and allow to sit for 15 - 20 minutes before serving.  Top with fresh parsley. 

Until Next Time,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sunchowder's Emporia and Recipe

I am all about buying products from small businesses.  Large markets pick the items they are going to sell and if you noticed the choices they give you are very limited from what they were 5 years ago. Another thing with the big stores (not just food stores) everyone carries the same thing, bor-i-n-g.  Where I live it's even worse since we do not have any small specialty stores, so I search the web to find small family businesses that offer what the big stores can not offer unique items and customer service.

My new favorite company is Sunchowder's Emporia they have some of the most incredible jams and in exotic flavors.  Just to name a few Pineapple Tangerine Jam, Blackberry Chambord Jam, Raspberry Chocolate Jam, you really need to check out their Etsy store for their complete line.  The jam I chose for my chicken dish is the Jalapeño Apricot and Wildflower Honey Jam.  

Remember to follow Sunchowder's Emporia Blog Here and Like them on Facebook

Jalapeño Apricot Honey Jam Chicken

4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper


1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 1/2 tablespoons Sunchowder's Emporia Jalapeño Apricot and Wildflower Honey Jam

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper both side.  Bake for 15 minutes turn chicken and bake additional 15 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

For sauce: In a skillet on medium low heat add the white wine,  garlic and butter simmer for 10 minutes.  Add Sunchowder's jam stir until melted into the wine mixture.  Slice chicken on the diagonal place into the sauce covering completely.  Cook just until heated through.  Once plated drizzle with more of the sauce.  Also delicious served as a spinach salad, warm or cold.

Until Next Time,

Jam Hands

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's All About The Food For Me

During the 12 days that we did not have water I did a lot of thinking about my blog.  I have found that I don't have the follow through to blog about all the things I had planned to blog about at the first of the year.   Plus there is not much going on here I would be blogging the same thing over and over.  Every now and then I will throw some non cooking into my blog just to mix things up a bit.

I'm going to stick to what I love and that is cooking.  I did very little cooking while we were out of water and I did miss it.  I decided to make these simple cookies for my husband for his day after his birthday since he does not like cake.  It's a little ironic since the cookies are made from a cake mix.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spice Cookies

1 box Spice Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer.  Form into a little larger than a quarter size balls. Note: cookie dough will spread.  With the bottom of a glass press each ball down.  Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated over for 7 to 8 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before moving the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8oz packages of cream cheese room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vanilla seeds (I used the vanilla bean that I used making my own vanilla)
2 cups PLUS powdered sugar
8oz can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed through cheese cloth

Using an electric mixer mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and vanilla seeds. Add the 2 cups of powdered sugar mix thoroughly, mix in pineapple. If the frosting is too thin keep adding powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you get the consistency you desire. The more liquid you get out of the pineapple the better and the less sugar you will use. Pipe frosting onto a cookie and top with the other cookie.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Even though we still do not have water (day 12) I wanted to bake I'm going through cooking withdrawals. I picked items in my refrigerator and pantry. I threw these ingredients together to make a Pumpkin Monkey Bread.  

1st try....The bread came out very tasty, easy to put together but nothing to look at.  As they say....looking at the photo....I'm keeping it real. 

Pumpkin Monkey Bread

1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can Pillsbury Grand Biscuits, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a monkey bread pan (or bundt pan) with vegetable cooking spray.

Mix the brown sugar and pecans together.  Sprinkle a layer in the bottom of the pan, chop cold butter into small cubes and sprinkle on brown sugar pecan mixture.

Mix together sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  Cut biscuits in half place biscuits in the pumpkin mixture and place on top of the brown sugar pecan mixture, 2nd layer - sprinkle with the brown sugar mixtures continue layering until you end with the brown sugar pecan mixture.

Place in center of oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before turning out onto a dish.  Serve warm


Now that all of this is said and done - Next time I make this I'm changing a few things.

I'm going to cut the biscuits into 4 pieces.  I will chopped the pecans smaller. I will roll the biscuit pieces in the brown sugar pecans before dipping it into the pumpkin mixture.  Omit butter.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Favorite Things: Hand Cream

I guess this really isn't a product review since I have used this hand cream for years it is more a product rave.  I despise hand cream/lotion I don't like the way it feels on my hands.  I get nasty dry skin during the winter and I have tried dozens of lotions and they do not work on my skin it just makes my skin greasy and the alligator skin is still there.

Years ago I discovered L'annine hand cream and it's the first lotion that isn't greasy and works like a charm.  Another thing I love about L'annine a little goes a long way. Since moving to Utah my dry skin has been out of control and no one carries L'annine here. I went to my go-to online shopping Amazon and I ordered 4 tubes one of each scent.  I couldn't make up my mind of which to order since I love all the scents. If you suffer from dry skin you will love this.

I just learned from a friend of mine (Thank you Marilyn) at least two days or longer before flying do not use any type of hand cream that has glycerine in it.  All the bells and whistles will be going off and TSA will get very friendly with you as Marilyn said she felt like asking for a cocktail and a cigarette by the time they got done with her.

Until Next Time,

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