Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Soup

The other day it was raining out and a little dreary.  I wanted cream of broccoli soup and a cheese sandwich.  We didn’t have cream of broccoli soup, but we did have a huge head of broccoli.  I figured how hard can it be to make soup?  Not hard at all, it turns out.








Servings: 6-8
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 20-30 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large soup pot, an immersion blender (or blender, or food processor), a small skillet, a whisk, a wooden spoon, a ladle, serving bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 medium onion (½ cup chopped)
  • 2 + 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups of chopped broccoli
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • S& P to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and croutons for garnish

  1. Wash and chop the broccoli.  I use the stems, too.  Just make sure to cut the stem into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Dice the onion and celery. 
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on medium high and sauté the onions and celery until the onions are translucent.  Stir occasionally.  Everything should be bubbling, bot browning. This should take about five minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli and broth and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10-15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Using the immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  You can use a regular blender, but make sure that you tilt the lid or hold it down with a tea towel.  If you don’t the lid will blow off and make a big mess.
  6. In the small skillet heat the remaining butter and flour on medium.  You are now making a roux. Whisk constantly until the roux is a golden, buttery color. Stir the roux into the soup.  Boil for another minute or two.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the half and half.  S&P to taste.
  8. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls.  Top with cheddar cheese and 5-6 croutons

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Spicy Sausage Balls

More appetizers!  These are delicious.  They are also easy to make and require little time or skill. I have had something similar made with Bisquick.  I didn’t like those as they were dry and pasty.  I think the cornflake crumbs make the difference with these.  The crumbs are slightly sweet and create a more pleasing texture.  You can make these ahead of time and freeze the uncooked balls.  Allow to thaw before baking.

Servings: 20-25 balls
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a mixing bowl, un-powdered latex gloves, non-stick foil, a baking sheet, a paper towel covered plate.
Time:  Prep:  10 minutes    Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound spicy bulk breakfast sausage
  • ½ cup cornflake crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  1. Line the baking sheet with foil.  Pre-heat the oven to 375˚.
  2. This is easiest to do with your hands.  Put on the latex gloves. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with your hands. Make balls using 1 tablespoon of the mixture.
  3. Place the balls, not touching, on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Place the balls on the plate to drain. 
  5. Serve warm. You can offer your guests warm pepper jelly, BBQ sauce, or chili sauce for dipping. 
Spicy Sausage Balls

Jalapeño Bites

Football party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Tuesday afternoon. You don't really need an excuse to make Jalapeño Bites.  This is a fun take on jalapeño poppers.


Jalapeño Bites are a fun take on jalapeño poppers.


Servings: 15-20 pieces
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes   Cooking:  15-20 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, a skillet, a deep skillet, a mixing bowl, a small bowl, a large metal slotted spoon, a plate, paper towels, a spoon, a work surface, an oil thermometer

Ingredients:
  • 3 pieces of bacon
  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup pickled jalapeños
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • water
  • 15-20 wonton wrappers
  • 1-2 cups of oil for frying
  1. Cook the bacon until it is crispy.  Set aside.
  2. Place a paper towel on the plate. Set aside.
  3. Chop the jalapeño peppers as small as possible.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, crumbled bacon, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese together.
  5. Put a little water in the bowl.
  6. Put enough oil in the skillet to fill it about half way up.  Pre-heat the oil until it is 350°.  You will want to monitor the oil temperature and keep it between 320° and 350°.
  7. While the oil is heating, place a wonton wrapper with one corner closest to you as if you were looking at a diamond.
  8. Place 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the center of the wrapper.
  9. Fold two of the edges over, now you sort of have a tube.
  10. Fold the remaining corners in toward the first two.  Pinch the edges to seal, using a little water to act as glue.  Be careful not to tear the wrapper. (If you do, use the smallest piece of wrapper you can and a little water to patch the hole.) Make sure the bite is completely sealed.
  11. Place the bites in a single layer in the hot oil. 
  12. Allow the bites to cook for about 2 minutes and then turn.
  13. The bites are done as soon as they become golden brown.
  14. As they finish, place them on the plate to drain.  You can place the plate in the oven on the lowest setting to keep them warm.
  15. Serve right away.



Enchinadas

Football season is again upon us.  My husband can spend an entire day in front of the TV watching games.  While I don’t enjoy football, I do take advantage and use the games as an excuse to invite people over.  Whenever we have a football watching party, I like to make snack foods so that our guests don’t have to miss any of the game. 

These were very popular.  I call them Enchinadas, because they are empanadas with enchilada filling.  Serve them with a salad and a side of beans and rice to make them a meal. 
Servings:  18-pieces
Time:  Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 30-35 minutes
Hardware:   measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a skillet, a wooden spoon, a can opener, a rolling pin, 2 small bowls, a round cookie cutter, a pastry brush, non-stick foil, a baking sheet

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2-9 inch refrigerated  pie crusts
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 4 ounces can diced green chiles
  • 1-10 ounce can enchilada sauce (or you can make your own)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  1. Line the baking sheet with non-stick foil.  Place the milk in one of the bowls and a little water in the other small bowl. Set everything aside.
  2. Allow the pie crust to rise to room temperature (about 15 minutes) and pre-heat the oven to 375˚.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the ground beef, onions, and diced onions over medium high heat. Stir and crumble until the meat is no longer pink, this should take about 7 minutes. 
  4. Remove the meat mixture from the heat and stir in ½ of the enchilada sauce and the cheese.
  5. Working with one crust at a time, roll out the pie crust out on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it until it out until it is an inch or so larger. 
  6. Use a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or a large, round glass dipped in four to get four or five circles.  Then reroll the left over dough to get three or four more circles.  Don’t reroll the scraps a send time, because the finished product will be too tough.
  7. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each circle. 
  8. Use your fingers to moisten the edges of the dough with water, then fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Crimp the edge with a fork, making sure that the Enchinada is completely sealed. 
  9. Transfer each one onto the prepared baking sheet and poke with the tip of a knife to vent.
  10. Brush each one with milk.
  11. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Serve warm with the remaining enchilada sauce and sour cream for dipping.


Enchilada+Empanada=Enchinadas=Delicious