Thursday, June 30, 2011

Southwestern Deviled Eggs

I have spent a great deal of my life living in the southwestern United States. I love it here! I love the huge vistas,  the blue, blue sky, the ever changing mountains, and of course, the delicious, party in your mouth food! That's why I love these Southwestern Deviled Eggs. They are full of flavor in every bite. I know you will love them!!

Southwestern Deviled Eggs
6 Eggs
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 chopped Green Onion
Avocado and/or Fresh Cilantro
Place your 6 eggs in a pot of cold water, and place on
the stove. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Start
timing when it starts to boil. After 15 minutes,
put the pot under cold running water to cool the eggs,
and stop them from cooking.
After they have cooled, peel each egg, and then
cut them in half.
Put the yolks in a bowl, and put the whites to the side.
Smash the yolks with a fork.
Add the mayo, spices, and green onion. Mix together.
Stuff the filling into each egg.
Garnish each egg with cilantro or a piece of avocado.

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you enjoyed the side dish for this week.
Tomorrow we will be creating the dessert for the week,
Pecan Bars!!

See you then!!

Gourmet Burger & Dog Bar

 This weeks entree reminds me of where I grew up. We are talking Ohio, a small town, in the country, 45 minutes from a city. It was a great place to grow up. Summer days were filled with playing in the woods, swimming, and whiffle ball. Summer nights were the best. It didn't get dark until 9:30, and we spent every night that we could sleeping outside, playing hide and seek, and if we were lucky, getting dinner right from the grill. It was always hamburgers and hot dogs, with brats thrown in the mix if we were having company.  There is nothing like the smell of dinner cooking on the grill. I love when food evokes such warm, wonderful memories! Don't you?

Gourmet Burger and Dog Bar
Hot Dogs
Sliced Red Onion
 Tomato Slices
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Swiss Cheese Slices
Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Jalapeno Pepper Slices
Pico de Gallo
Yellow Mustard
Dijon Mustard
Honey Mustard
Hard Boiled Egg
BBQ Sauce
Cole Slaw
Cream Cheese
Grill your burgers and hot dogs, and then load up at the bar,
choosing everything you love to make your burger yours. 
There can be no wrong choice.

Thanks for joining me today!!
Tomorrow we will be making a side dish
to go with your burgers and dogs.
See you then!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The "All American Meal" Salad-Ceviche

This weeks salad is Ceviche. I picked this recipe because many moons ago, my husband and I used to live in a small Florida town called Fernandina Beach. Fernandina is a beautiful little shrimping town on Amelia Island.  Shrimpers would go out early in the morning and sometimes in the evening, and they would bring their catch to a small dockside stand where I would go and buy shrimp from them. I couldn't get any fresher shrimp unless I was on the boat. (They wouldn't let me.) Although I know this goes on in different little seaside towns all across our country, for a girl who grew up in a small country town in the midwest, this was an experience I will always treasure.
So, when I think Florida, I think shrimp.
Let's make Ceviche.

2 Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Cilantro
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup chopped Red Onion
1 chopped Celery Stalk
1 chopped Avocado
1 diced Serrano Pepper
Hot Sauce
3 fresh Lemons
4 fresh Limes
1 pound of raw, peeled, tailed off, medium Shrimp
Nacho Chips
Ritz Crackers
Fill a pan with water. Add Old Bay Seasoning, and 
bring the water to a boil.
When the water starts to boil, add the shrimp.
Cook for about 3 minutes, then drain.
As soon as you drain the shrimp, pour the shrimp into 
a water bath. Make the water bath ahead of time by 
pouring ice into a bowl and the filling it with water. This 
will stop the shrimp from cooking almost immediately.
Cut up your lemons and limes. Squeeze the juice into a bowl .
 Chop up the shrimp into bite size pieces. Put the shrimp into
the bowl of juice, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dice the tomatoes, chop the onion, and serrano pepper.
Drain the juice from the shrimp.
Put everything into the bowl with the shrimp, except for
the avocado.
Mix it all together. Sprinkle with hot sauce.
Serve the ceviche on a plate of lettuce with a few chips
or some crackers. Add the avocado.

Thanks for joining me today!

Tomorrow we will be creating our burger & dog bar.
Hope to see you then!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Navajo Tacos as an Appetizer!!

I am calling the menu this week "The All American Menu". My family and I have lived in several different states in the last 29 years, so I picked a few of our favorite foods that bring back wonderful memories for us. They all have a summertime feel about them, so I thought they would be appropriate for this 4th of July week.

     I started off with what really isn't an appetizer. When we lived in Cedar City, Utah we would go to pow wows held by the Paiute Indian Tribe. They would serve these wonderful fry breads filled with hamburger or beans, and loaded down with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  They are called Navajo Tacos, and they are indescribably delicious! The only place you could get one was at a pow wow. And we went to every one!! I made a similar mini version of this delicious specialty to serve as an appetizer for our 4th of July party. I hope you like it!!
 Navajo Tacos
(adapted from
Fry Bread
1 cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Powdered Milk
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup Water
Vegetable Oil for Frying
1 pound Hamburger
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup Chopped Tomato
1/2 cup Chopped Lettuce
Avocado Chunks
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup of Enchilada Sauce 
1/4 cup of Tomato Sauce
(Mix the 2 sauces together)
Brown the hamburger and the diced onion in a pan.
Start heating the oil for frying the bread.
It needs to get to 350 degrees. You can also use a
deep fryer for this. While the oil is heating and the 
hamburger is browning, we can make the dough.
Place the flour, salt, powdered milk, baking powder
and water into a bowl.
Start mixing everything up with a fork. Don't knead the 
mix, but flour your hands, and continue to mix in all the flour.
the dough will be wet on the inside, but floured on the outside.
It should look like this.
Check your hamburger
keep an eye on the temperature of the oil.
Break the dough into 8 different pieces. Pull and shape 
each piece into a flat disk of about 3" diameter. Put the 
disc down in oil, and let it fry for about 3 minutes on each side.
When they are done, pull them out so they can drain
on paper towels.
To build your taco, start with refried beans.
Add the enchilada/tomato sauce.
Add hamburger and onion mix.
 Top it off with lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese,
avocado chunk, and sour cream.
Here is another delicious way that the fry bread is served.
It is sometimes topped with a drizzle of honey and a
sprinkling of powdered sugar. It makes a great dessert!!
If you are planning on serving this appetizer for a party, like I am,
here is a little helpful tip: Once the fry bread is fried, you can
immediately put it in the oven at 200 degrees for about an hour. 
They also refrigerate just fine,and they can be fried ahead
of time and reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Thanks for joining me today! 
Tomorrow we will be making our salad,
shrimp ceviche!
I hope to see you then!


What's to Eat this Week?

Here is our menu:

Monday~     Appetizer~Navajo Tacos
Tuesday~     Salad~      Shrimp Ceviche
                        Wednesday~    Entree~    Gourmet Burger & Hot Dog Bar
                  Thursday~    Side Dish~Southwest Deviled Egg  
Friday~        Dessert~   Pecan Bars

Here is the grocery list for this week:

Navajo Tacos
Baking Powder
Shredded Cheddar

 1 pound Medium-Small Shrimp
4-6 Limes
2-3 Lemons
Red Onion
Serrano Chile
Fresh Cilantro
1 Cucumber
1 Avocado

Gourmet Burger & Dog Bar
Hot Dogs
Buns for Both
Blue Cheese, Provolone,
Pico de Gallo
Mustard, Dijon, Honey Mustard
Applewood Bacon
BBQ Sauce
Cream Cheese

Southwest Deviled Eggs
Ground Mustard
Seasoning Salt
Ground Cumin
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Green Onion

Pecan Bars
Confectioners Sugar
3 Egg
Brown Sugar
Dark Corn Syrup
1.5 cups Chopped Pecans

Thanks for joining me today!

Later today I will be posting the 
recipe and pictures of our Navajo Tacos.

Please join me!!
See you soon!!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week-Mise en Place

What is Mise en Place? It is a french word that when translated means "to put in place". What it means to cooking is often an organized, prepared kitchen that is a pleasure to work in, and a garden for creative ideas. If you utulize mise en place, you can prepare meals that come together in a calm manner, with no last minute frantic search through a crowded pantry, trying to find the elusive ingredient that you know you bought sometime last year,  month, week.

     To me, true mise en place in the restaurant environment is when each station is prepped with the necessary ingredients to serve the breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal with ease. Everything needed should be with in reaching distance from the assigned station, and the ingredients should be ready to use. By that I mean that they should be diced, chopped, blanched, or whatever is necessary to minimize the cook time without sacrificing the taste or quality or your product. The best scenario is that the cook never has to leave the station. Once they leave, things can get hairy!!!

     When you are cooking at home, mise en place is pretty much the same.  When you are planning on cooking something, look at your recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients. When you do, then look at your recipe again and see if there are some things that you can do ahead of time to make the dinner preparation less hectic. Often times, I will be cutting an onion for lunch or a sandwich, and knowing that I will be needing onion for an upcoming meal, I will go ahead and dice what I need while I have the onion out. I don't do it too far ahead of time, just a little. Or, maybe you know you will be making deviled eggs later in the week. Go ahead and hard boil the eggs when, or if, you have some down time.

     Another kind of mise en place I like to utilize is simply gathering all the necessary ingredients out on my counter before I begin cooking, baking, or even prepping. I put everything that is not needed away, so that the recipe ingredients have their own area. The reason is this: I have almost never made a recipe at home where I haven't been interrupted at some point. It may be someone coming into the room, a phone call, someone wants to talk to me,  whatever it is, it breaks my concentration. ( Not real hard to do anyway!!)  As I am using the ingredients, I put them away, if at all possible. If it is not possible, I set them in a place away from the unused ingredients, so I know they have been used. Why? I once cooked in a BBQ restaurant where we smoked all kinds of meats. Some of the meats had rubs on them. One of the rub recipes had 14 different ingredients, almost all spices. They all looked alike when they were tossed in the bowl. If I was interrupted, and I usually was, I had no idea what I had put in last, or what was next. Putting the ingredients away as you use them, eliminates this problem. Also, the best part is, this leaves your kitchen less cluttered automatically. What a bonus!!

So, try to incorporate mise en place into your cooking routine. It will be common place in no time, and you will be so glad you are using it.

Thanks for joining me today!

I hope you will come back tomorrow when 
we will have a menu and grocery list
for next week's meal!

It's the All American Meal !!

See you then!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chocolate Quesadillas

Dessert Day! My favorite part of every meal! This weeks dessert is fun, easy, delicious, and kind of messy! But worth it!!
Chocolate Quesadillas
Makes 4
(adapted from the Hershey Kitchens)
4 Flour Tortillas
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Marshmallow Creme
2 small Bananas (not too ripe)
1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
Confectioners Sugar
Lay each tortilla out so you can work on them.
Divide the peanut butter evenly among the tortillas, 
and spread across half.
Divide the marshmallow creme evenly between the 
tortillas, and spread on top of the peanut butter.
Slice the banana into slices and place on top of the 
marshmallow creme.
Divide the chocolate chips evenly between the tortillas,
and sprinkle them on top and on the side of
Fold the tortillas over . Prepare a frying pan with 
1 tablespoon of butter, heating to medium.
Cooking two tortillas at a time, brown on one side, and then
the other. Remove the tortillas to a cutting board, and slice
into 4 pieces.
Sprinkle quesadillas with confectioners sugar, have plenty
of napkins ready, and enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and the entire Southwestern Menu!

Join me tomorrow when we will discuss the 
Culinary Word of the Week,
and other fun topics!

It's very hot here, stay cool!

Southwestern Spring Rolls!

I love finger food. It may not be elegant, but it is almost always fun to eat. That is what these southwestern spring rolls are. They are fun. They could be served at a party, a buffet, or for the casual meal which we served this week. So let's have some fun!:
Corn Niblets
Can of Refried Beans or our Cowboy Beans
Diced Tomatoes
Sliced Green Onion
Egg Roll Wrappers
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Make an egg wash first. Crack your egg into a small 
bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of water, and whisk together.
Set aside until you egg roll is put together.
Lay your wrapper out so that you can begin building.
Sprinkle cheese on the egg roll. Place it in the middle ,
because you will be rolling with the sides inward.
Top your cheese with the beans.
Add some corn to the pile.
Add the chopped green onions.
Add chopped tomatoes.
 Fold the sides of the wrap in.
Bring the point of the wrap that is at the bottom up and
fold over to the top.
Roll the tucked sides in as you roll the egg roll
up to the top point of the wrapper. You need to
make this a little tight, but be careful of tearing the wrapper.
Dip a pastry brush or finger into the egg wash.
Brush the edges of the top corner.
Double seal the egg roll  top corner on the egg roll.
Fry the egg rolls in vegetable or canola oil.
Turn the rolls so that they can brown all over.
 Make sure not to forget the sides.
Drain on paper towels.

Let's make a sauce to go with our rolls:

Avocado Sauce
1 smashed Avocado
1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon Buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons White Vinegar
Dash Salt
1/8 teaspoon Dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
Dash Dried Dill Weed
Hot Sauce to Taste
Garlic Powder
Put every ingredient in a bowl and mix well.
Smash the avocado.

For rome reason, unknown to me, I have no more pictures
of the finished product. They seem to be lost??!!!

Anyway, it is very pretty and tasty.
You won't be sorry you made these treats.
They can be an appetizer or a side dish, or a snack,
or whatever you want!!

Thanks for joining me today.
Tomorrow, we will be making chocolate quesadilla's
for this menus dessert.
I hope to see you then!