Saturday, July 2, 2011

This Weeks Dessert-Pecan Bars!!

North Carolina is probably one of my most favorite places ever.  My family and I have lived there, it's where my son goes to school, and it is where I feel the most comfortable sense of belonging. I love the people, the natural beauty, and of course the food. When we lived there, my husband and I would go to a different BBQ house every week, attempting to try every one in the state. Ok, it probably wasn't the most realistic or practical goal, but it sure was fun!! My dessert this week is Pecan Bars. Pecans are a large and important crop in the coastal plains of North Carolina, and whenever I eat pecans~I feel warm and fuzzy, like I belong.
Pecan Bars
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon Confectioners Sugar
1 1/4 sticks Butter
1 Egg White

Pecan Filling
1/2 cup lightly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
10 tablespoon Dark Corn Syrup
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
pinch of Salt
3 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
Place the flour in the food processor. If you don't
have a food processor, you can mix the dough in a bowl.
Add the powdered sugar.
Add the butter, and process until the dough comes 
together, about 30 seconds.
Pat the dough into a 13"X9" pan. Come up the 
sides about 1/2". 
Pour the egg white onto the crust.
Tilt the pan so that all of the egg white covers the crust.
Pour the remainder of the egg white out.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Take the crust out of the oven, and cool for 15 minutes,
then place in the refrigerator until totally cool.
Now, let's make our filling!
Place both the granulated sugar and the brown
sugar in a bowl.
Add the dark corn syrup.
Add the 2 eggs.
Add the vanilla, salt, and melted butter.
Add pecans and mix everything together.
Pour the topping over the cooked crust.
Once the topping is covering the crust, place in the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
Set bars on a cooling rack, and let them cool completely.
Cut and Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today!
I hope you enjoyed the All American Meal this week.

Tomorrow we will feature a Culinary Word of the Week!

See you then!!

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, July 1, 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!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

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!!

Wednesday, June 29, 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!

Tuesday, June 28, 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!


Monday, June 27, 2011

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!!