Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork (Crockpot Style)

1 pork butt or shoulder
Rub (I used Jack Stack rub, but any mixture of spices including garlic, salt, and black pepper will work.)
1 bottle of beer
1 onion, chopped
BBQ sauce

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Place onions in crockpot. Coat pork with rub. You can brown in on the stovetop on all sides if you like, but I never do this. Place in crockpot fat side up. Pour beer over roast. Add water to bring the liquid up so that it is level with the roast.  Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 8 hours. I flipped the roast over a little more than halfway through the cooking time. When cooked, shred pork with a fork. Heat BBQ sauce in a pan on the stovetop. Pour over pork. Serve on a bun or slices of bread. Potato salad and BBQ baked beans make great side dishes for the pulled pork sandwiches.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Have a Fiesta Halloween!

This is why I love Fiesta collectors.  Mary, a fellow collector, dressed up her Fiesta for Halloween.  This trio just makes me happy!  And Mary is not the only one who has dressed her Fiesta for Halloween; many other collectors have done the same.  How cool is this? 

Last Blast of Summer Veggies

I love okra, so it is hard to believe that I have never had this salad before.  No surprise that it is from my aunt in Oklahoma.  Okies--yes, I am proudly one of them--are known for their love of okra fresh from the garden.

Okra Salad

4 qt. okra, breaded, fried & drained*
1 small red onion, diced
1 small red or green bell pepper, diced
1 small tomato, diced
12 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
Dash of cayenne pepper

*You may use 2 packages of store-bought breaded frozen okra but fresh is best. If you have an abundance of fresh okra, you may slice it and bread it in a mixture of 3 parts cornmeal, 1 part flour, salt and pepper.  Fry okra in hot oil until browned.  Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the okra while frying. 

¼ cup vinegar
½ cup oil
½ cup sugar

Combine okra, onion, pepper, tomato, and bacon in large salad bowl.  Stir together vinegar, oil, and sugar until sugar is dissolved and pour over okra mixture. Toss gently and serve. This is best if you let it chill for a few hours before serving.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shelly's Pumpkin Roll

My friend Donna has a daughter who loves pumpkin, so this is dedicated to her.  When making this pumpkin roll, go ahead and make two of them.  You use more of the pumpkin from the can, and it will be a big hit, so you will want more than one.

Shelly's Pumpkin Roll

2/3 cup pumpkin (I use Libby's canned pumpkin)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix ingredients with a spoon until well-mixed. Grease jelly roll pan--I used a Wilton 15.25 x10.25 x.75 in. You can line your baking sheet with parchment if you like or just spray it with non-stick baking spray. Parchment makes it easier to remove from pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes until brown and springy (the sides will pull away from the pan).  Turn out onto a powdered sugar surface.  I spread a towel out and then plastic wrap or parchment, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top, then turn it out.   Cool.  


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat with mixer until combined.  Roll the bread, then unroll it.  This will help the rolling process after you have the filling on it.  Spread the filling over bread evenly.  Roll carefully and wrap in plastic wrap to help keep the shape.  Refrigerate.  

This recipe is from my cousin Shelly who has been making them for years.  It is one of my favorite fall desserts.  One of my coworkers Debbie said today, "You don't like cream cheese."  My response was, "I love cream cheese when it is mixed with a cup of powdered sugar and butter!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's a Healthy Dish!

This turkey chili is so delicious.  I was skeptical that turkey chili would taste good, but it was excellent. I will definitely make this again, and maybe next time I will add onions and corn.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a medium saucepan.  Add turkey.  Stirring constantly, cook until well done.  Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Having a big crowd over? Make this Chili Dip!

This recipe came from my friend Lisa.  I think there was a Crock pot Challenge at her work, and this was one of the recipes that was shared.  It is pretty tasty.  I think it has everything in it except the kitchen sink.  I made it for my posse at work, and they all gave it the thumbs up. 

Chili Dip

This is a variation of Ro-tel Cheese dip, but using canned tamales, and much more.   This makes a ton, so invite over a crowd when making this.

1 can beef tamales (wrappers removed) mashed with a fork
1 can chili (without beans)
1 can “chili hot” beans
1 can Ro-tel brand diced tomatoes & chilies
1 lb. Velveeta cheese (cut into chunks)
1 large purple onion diced (really, any onion will do)
1 or 2 fresh tomatoes chopped (optional – use them if you have them)
Spice to taste – any combination of the following will do:
Fresh diced chili or hot pepper
Cilantro (dried or fresh minced)
Hot pepper sauce (Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tabasco, etc)
Ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot and heat until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. I add a small amount of spices before heating and then add more to taste. (I prefer it spicy.) Serve with tortilla chips. P.S. This make A LOT of dip – make it when you are expecting a crowd.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Ultimate Comfort Food

This is a great cool or cold weather meal. It is so comforting; you will feel like you have been wrapped in a warm blanket. The only thing to make it better would be a chocolate dessert afterwards! It is also one of the easiest meals to make.  Put it all in the crock pot, and presto, dinner is ready when you arrive from a long day at work. It's the kind of meal mom made.

Beef Tips

2 pkgs. of stew meat
1 can French onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 pkg. of wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Brown stew meat, and place in crock pot.  Add mushrooms, soups, and milk.  Mix very well.  Cook in crock pot on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours (stir occasionally).  Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes or both!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here comes Fall and Fall tablescapes!

This tablescape has a tan tablecloth topped with a vintage lace cloth. I tried to mix golds, browns, and burgundy.
I mixed Homer Laughlin Ironstone, Amberstone and Cinnabar, plus some vintage glassware.  Pumpkins, gourds, and fall flowers top it all off.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mexican...again? I say, "Why not?"

This recipe was sent to me from Candy Fagerlin.  She said it is a variation of a Tortilla Soup by Rick Bayless.  It is a very authentic tasting soup.  I would probably use less pepper next time.  It did have an overwhelming pepper flavor.  I also added corn because I thought it was a bit too brothy. I couldn't find epazote which was disappointing as I had never tasted that herb and wanted to try it, but I suppose that is the price of living in the midwest; I used cilantro instead.

Tortilla Soup

From Candy: "I generally use grilled or roasted chicken.  I cut my tortillas into thin strips, then quick fry for topping the soup and have extras on the side, so they stay crispy until you want to add more. Fresh limes are essential and add the finishing touch .... now I'm really hungry."

1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded  - Add more or less depending on the heat you like
One 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)  -  I also use fresh garden tomatoes
2 tblsp vegetable or olive oil 
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick 
3 garlic cloves, peeled 
2 quarts chicken broth 
1 large sprig fresh epazote, if you have one  or LOTS of cilantro
4 (about 1-1/4 lbs total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch thick cubes
(Rotisserie or grilled chicken can stand in for the raw chicken breasts,add it at the last second)
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4 inch cubes 
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Mexican melting cheese, or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar 
A generous 4 cups (about 6 oz) roughly broken tortilla chips  I cut fresh torillas in thin strips and quick fry
1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving 

Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds, until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender, along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, but it won't completely puree the chile.)
Heat the oil in a large (4 quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender; set the pan aside. Process until smooth. 
Return the pan to medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote if usiing. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth). 

Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips among the serving bowls. When the chicken is done, ususally about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Pass the lime separately.