Archive for the ‘Vegetables and Side Dishes’ Category





Left Over Fried Okra?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014







 photo TheOkieHomeMaker_zpsd701b0ad.jpg



Quick Tip For A Salad




Don’t Forget the New Giveaway!



 photo 1agiveaway_zps99cbdf4f.jpg



Remember that we are celebrating the venerable tomato and to support our favorite tomato packagers, Red Gold Tomatoes, and along with out favorite chili creators, Willis Chili Seasoning, we are having a giveaway that will make your mouth water. The winner will receive a can of Red Gold tomato sauce, a package of Willis Chili Seasoning and a lovely Red Gold Tomato apron to wear while making chili. I know it is summer, but we eat chili all year round and it is one of our summer favorites.


So leave a comment below and on following posts or previous posts and your name will automatically go into the drawing that will be held on August 20th. Good luck!


I just thought I’d give you an idea during this okra season that will give you a little extra umph for your salad. I don’t know about you, but when I fry okra, I have just enough left over that I look at it and say, “Do I REALLY want to keep this? It isn’t enough for more than one person but I sure don’t want to waste it.”


Well, you don’t have to waste it. Put the fried okra in a refrigerator dish or bag and keep it refrigerated. When you make a salad next time, put the okra on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350º for about 8 – 10 minutes (just long enough to heat through and crisp). Instead of croutons on your salad, add the okra. It gives the crispy of croutons but gives more fiber and is really tasty!!


 photo SaladwithOkra_zps85942492.jpg






So don’t throw that little bit of okra out! Enjoy it on your next salad.


And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Happy Crunching!



 photo DoughlightfullyYours_zps6d6bcd4d.jpg

MB
I really love to hear from my readers so please
Click Here To Comment

Scroll to Comment Box


Please join us on FaceBook!!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company


NASE





New Giveaway and Salad Recipe!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014







 photo TheOkieHomeMaker_zpsd701b0ad.jpg



Izza Italiano


 photo PICT0160_zpse59c680f.jpg


It’s tomato season again!! I love, love, love home grown tomatoes. They actually have flavor!! And tomatoes are so good for you. According to Tomatofest.com


• Eating tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste-topped pizza more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard University School of Public Health.
• “The only nutrient that turned out to have significant preventative value (against prostate cancer) was lycopene,” writes Dr. Giovannucci who also found that lycopene was most efficiently absorbed into the body when accompanied by dietary fats (lipids).
• “Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption and results in a two-to-threefold rise in plasma lycopene concentrations,”
• Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products average a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.
• Tomato products are beneficial in aggressive cancers that have also spread to other parts of the body.
• The best food sources of lycopene according to the Tomato Research Council in New York City: ( Amount of lycopene in one ounce) Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup (5 mg); Tomato Soup, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juice (3 mg); Minestrone Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pink Grapefruit (1 mg)
• Lycopene helps women guard against cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, (CIN), tumorous tissue growth in the cervix according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
• Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung cancer cells.
• Tomatoes are good for the eyes. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the blood serum, was found to be the key antioxidant that guards against ARMD ( Age-Related Macular Degeneration), a condition that may cause blindness.
• Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium
• Lycopene is an inhibitor to heart disease.


So there you go…eat your tomatoes and you’ll outlive Methuselah…well…maybe.


New Giveaway!



 photo 1agiveaway_zps99cbdf4f.jpg



To celebrate the venerable tomato and to support our favorite tomato packagers, Red Gold Tomatoes along with out favorite chili creators, Willis Chili Seasoning, we are having a giveaway that will make your mouth water. The winner will receive a can of Red Gold tomato sauce, a package of Willis Chili Seasoning and a lovely Red Gold Tomato apron to wear while making chili. I know it is summer, but we eat chili all year round and it is one of our summer favorites.


So leave a comment below and on following posts and your name will automatically go into the drawing that will be held on August 20th. Good luck!


 photo singletomatocropped_zpse66e9560.jpg



To make you hungry for tomatoes, here is something new that we have tried and love. I can totally admit that I am an Okie country girl. I’ve never been to Italy and, up until recently, I’d never heard of a Caprese Salad (you have to say “Caprese” with your hand slightly waving next to your cheek with your thumb touching your index finger to add emphasis). The daughter, Mrs. Wonderful Mommy, is well acquainted with this salad and rolled her eyes at my delight at my new find, but I had been totally ignorant of this epicurean delight.


Evidently, (and the home school mom is now coming out in me) Insalata Caprese is a salad in the style of the island of Capri and is usually served as an antipasto (first course), not a contorno (side dish). Oh yeah. Wish you could hear this Okie accent butcher THAT! Insalata Caprese is sometimes called Insalata Tricolore, because it is the three colors of the Italian flag – red, green and white. It can include avocado as well. from Foodielady.wordpress.com


We have had an incredible tomato season in Oklahoma with the wonderfully cool weather and my Roma Tomatos have done exceptionally well. I love to dehydrate Romas and, of course, they make superb spaghetti sauce, but they are great just to eat! So, when a friend posted a photo of a Caprese Salad on Facebook, I had to try it. As is usual with me, though, I had to add my own flair! A recipe? I don’t need no stinkin’ recipe. Ha! Usually, only a fine olive oil is drizzled over this fresh vegetable and cheese dish, but I gotta dress it up.


So here is my version of a Caprese Salad.


Caprese Salad



Ingredients:


Red leaf lettuce and butter crunch or Green leaf lettuce
One Roma tomato per person
Package of Buffalo Mozzarella cheese (the very soft, fresh mozzarella)
Fresh Basil leaves
1 Tbsp Olive oil per person
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar per person
½ tsp Dehydrated garlic pieces per person
Salt and pepper


Instructions:


 photo 1browngarlic_zpsa7d83c8f.jpg



In a heated skillet, pour dried garlic pieces onto the dry surface with no oils. Quickly toss around with a spatula until pieces are lightly browned and toasted.


 photo 4oliveoilandvinegar_zpsbfe32992.jpg



Mix olive oil and vinegar with a small whisk and add browned garlic pieces. Set aside. Cut thin slices of mozzarella and tear basil leaves into about 3 pieces. If the mozzarella is large, cut it into pieces that match the width of the tomatoes. Set aside.





With each Roma tomato, carefully slice off the stem end of the tomato and then cut a thin layer, lengthwise, along what will be the bottom in order for the tomato to sit flat on a surface. Carefully make slices across the tomato, about ¼” thick, stopping slicing before you go all the way through the tomato. Gently spread the sections of tomato and insert a slice of mozzarella and basil between the tomato slices at the same time.


 photo 3preparingtomatoes_zpsee63e11c.jpg



 photo 2FinalSalad_zpsafc260c7.jpg



On salad plates, arrange torn pieces of lettuces to cover the plate. Place a stuffed tomato in the center of the lettuce. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette dressing over the tomato, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


 photo 5presentation_zpsc04c6bf2.jpg



Isn’t that pretty?


And just to let you know, we went to a VERY nice Italian restaurant this week and there on the menu, under the salads, was “Caprese Salad”. I smiled very knowingly at the waiter and considered stating, “I know what a Caprese Salad is – (while holding my hand to my cheek with my fingers touching.) I make them alllll the time. I just don’t choose to have one at today.” I’m sure that he would have been duly impressed!




Happy Mama Mia It’s Good


Veggies!



 photo DoughlightfullyYours_zps6d6bcd4d.jpg

MB
I really love to hear from my readers so please
Click Here To Comment

Scroll to Comment Box


Please join us on FaceBook!!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company


NASE





Veggie Popcorn – Is That Redundant?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014







 photo TheOkieHomeMaker_zpsd701b0ad.jpg



I Came. I Saw. I Ate It!





I grew up appreciating a good meal. And I don’t mean a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with potato chips. I mean a filet mignon at La Vendon in Quebec or an authentic meal of Sukiyaki (pronounce Ski-yah-kee) prepared by one of the international students who stayed with us from time-to-time. While others my age were buying Villager clothes (remember those?), sporting around in new Corvettes and swooning over the latest Beatles album, I was being dragged all over the country in, first, a 1959 Nash Rambler station wagon, then a ’66 blue Plymouth station wagon (with a third seat that faced backwards! THAT was safe in a rear end collision) and then a ’71 Plymouth Satellite wagon, all of which could house two adults and four girls, plus suitcases, make-up cases, games, food, drinks, pillows, a grill and maps in relative comfort if we all pretended hard enough, all the while trying new foods like we were searching for gold treasure. In high school, while friends showed off their new Bass Weejun loafers, I, in my Buster Browns, wanted to yell, “Yeah? Well, WE just got a crate of live lobsters in from Maine and they are still waving their claws!” It was all about priorities: Appearance or stomach – decisions, decisions.


And so, I have had a love affair with food that has been passed down from generation to generation (just look at my family cookbook at the website) and which has made it very difficult, as I grow older, to face the fact that ‘food’ and ‘older’ don’t necessarily mesh well. Having a thyroid condition hasn’t helped matters, either, and never mind that aerobics or walking is out of the question at this stage of two broken feet!! All of a sudden, I’ve had to start paying attention to Dr. Oz’s latest diet or researching the Paleo diet, the Fungus Connection, and the South Beach diet, Weight Watchers and, my favorite, Sparkpeople.com, in order to look forward to my twilight years as something slightly smaller than a Beluga Whale. In my research, I have discovered that a Boca Burger has nothing to do with a tasty treat at the sunny beaches of Boca Raton, Florida (can we say, “Ick?”) and that a low-fat, protein shake, no matter how masked by strawberry or chocolate flavoring, is still disgustingly similar to a barium cocktail at your local gastroenterologist. While I love a salad, a perpetual menu of spinach, kale, lettuce and tomatoes renders me boringly unable to carry on a conversation about world affairs because I’m too busy visualizing a sirloin steak with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes.


I have portion control down to a science – digital scale and all. I’m so efficient that if we eat out, I can divide my meal into halves or thirds or fourths and know exactly how many calories I’m NOT getting to enjoy. But with all of my careful calorie counting, organic and all-natural food purchasing, fat/carbohydrate/protein calculating and the purposeful attempt to drown myself in gallons of filtered water (I swear that when I walk, I sound like the tide rolling in at Boca Raton, Florida) I haven’t been able to lose a single pound. In fact, I’ve gained a few more. And I have a bigger problem. I like to snack. Life is not fair.


Four weeks ago, my endocrinologist made a suggestion to try something called the 5/2 Fast. She told me to research it and that she thought it might jump-start my metabolism. I started it three weeks ago and I have to admit that I am feeling really good. AND I have lost three pounds. The kicker is that I’m not having to focus so much on my daily menu. That is really, really, really nice. On Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, I eat normal meals of 1250 to 1500 calories per day (totally lenient span there) and then on Tuesday and Thursday I do a semi-fast of 500 calories per day. That really isn’t as hard as you would think. On those two days, for breakfast, I have one egg, one piece of bacon and a half a piece of toast. For lunch I have an apple or orange and for dinner I have 3 oz of baked or grilled chicken, all of the steamed veggies I want and a small potato or 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes or 1/4 cup of rice. Knowing that I get to have normal food the next day, makes my ‘days of want’ easy to get through! My head feels clearer, although Mr. Fix-It may tell you THAT’S all in my imagination, and my insides feel better too. Really.


As I said, I like to snack and so on my days of ‘fasting’ I’ve come up with a ‘snack’ that I can tolerate. I like crunchy stuff but popcorn, Cheetos and Cracker Jacks just don’t qualify as diet friendly foods. So, I’ve started cutting up celery, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and any other veggie I have on hand and mix those pieces together in a closeable refrigerator dish.


 photo Adddressing_zpsb42b1e33.jpg



Then, I add 1 tsp to 1 tbsp. of a dry dressing mix, like Hidden Valley Ranch, and toss it in with the veggies. I taste to see how much I want. Just a little is needed because as the mixture sits, it absorbs the flavor.


 photo SeasonedVeggies_zpsbd4b000f.jpg






I keep this “Veggie Popcorn” (alright, I realize that popcorn IS a vegetable, but, heh) in the frig and when I get the ‘munchies’, I put some into a bowl or bag and carry it around with me. As great as I was at pretending that I was comfortable, all those years ago and packed into a car like a sardine, I’m still pretty good at pretending I’m snacking too!! I’ll keep you posted on how the 5/2 diet is working. Hopefully, by next time, I’ll be on the cover of Vogue in a svelt Villager dress and Bass Weejun loafers.



Happy Calorie Counting!



 photo DoughlightfullyYours_zps6d6bcd4d.jpg

MB
I really love to hear from my readers so please
Click Here To Comment

Scroll to Comment Box


Please join us on FaceBook!!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company


NASE





Nutrition In A Roll

Friday, February 3rd, 2012





>Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Remember!! Comment at the end (below the blog box where it says in little blue letters, “comments” click on that and it takes you to comments and a comment box) in order to enter our giveaway. Drawing is Feb 13th. This time TWO people win one of the two identical packages – Pie tin set and First Out Pie Spatula. So comment early and comment often because every single time you comment, your name goes into the pot!!


Photobucket



Making Sushi


Growing up, my parents demonstrated to us girls about the precious gift of “hospitality”. Mom and Dad were ready and willing to open our home to anyone who needed a hot meal or a place to stay. Most of the time, that included students from other countries who were attending the university in our town, which was also my father’s place of employment as a professor. From these visits by young people from all over the world, we girls were introduced to new foods and treats that were authentically cooked or, in the case of the treats, provided from stores overseas.


Photobucket

My sisters will kill me – and that’s Mitchiko on the right (1968)



I remember one of the young women, with whom we became very attached, Mitchiko Kawase, loved to tease us and presented us with a bag of little, dried squares that she encouraged us to try. The squares were dark and salty and as we took a taste, she giggled and told us that it was dried octopus. All of us squealed in horror and she laughed hilariously as she told us that it was really seaweed. I’m don’t remember that we were all that much more impressed!


One Japanese food that I love is sushi. I’m not a fan of the raw fish type – more the California roll type – but I put all kinds of stuff in mine and chow down. Mr. Fix-It uses a fork and I use chopsticks. He thinks I’m pretentious! I just think I’m being disrespectful if I use a fork. I thought that in the second of these three posts on some international dishes, I thought I’d share my sushi-making. And you don’t need one of those $19.95 jobs as seen on tv!


Photobucket



You can use a rice cooker or a pot to make your rice. For three large sushi rolls, make three cups of rice. Sushi rice is different from regular rice. It is much stickier. I use a type called Hanmi but you can go to any specialty store and many larger groceries and ask for sushi rice.


Photobucket



Once your rice is cooked, put it into a large bowl. A bamboo bowl is great too. Add two tablespoons of sushi vinegar to the rice. Sushi vinegar has sugar in it and is slightly sweet/sour.


Photobucket



Toss the rice to evenly distribute the vinegar


Photobucket



Photobucket



There are any number of proteins that can be used in sushi. Here, I am using a tempura shrimp and Crab Smart. You can also use scrambled egg that is sliced, fresh crab, salmon, cream cheese and the list goes on. And there is no limit to the veggies! Anything goes.


Photobucket



The crab sticks are too thick and so I cut them in half.


Photobucket



I make a sauce that I will use over the sushi by mixing 1/3 cup mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce.


Photobucket



I mix until smooth and creamy


Photobucket



And put the sauce in a squeeze bottle like is used for mustard or ketchup. This gives me a nice little bead to design on the sushi rolls.


Photobucket



I use cucumbers and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices and cut off the seed area


Photobucket



I square off the ends of each slice


Photobucket



I also slice the shrimp in half after baking it and also slice up an avocado.


Photobucket



A sushi mat is made of either flat bamboo slats laced together with twine or with round sticks laced together as well. I like to use Press and Seal on my mats because it keeps them clean instead of pressing rice down between the gaps.


Photobucket



Sushi Nori is actually kelp seaweed and is full of iodine and is one of the highest plant sources for calcium. It is also chocked full of other vitamins and minerals. Some people toast their nori prior to making sushi by spraying a skillet with a light layer of oil, heating and then placing a nori sheet on the skillet for about 30 seconds and then turning. Others just use the nori straight out of the package.


Photobucket



Place the nori on the mat with the narrower end parallel to the lines of the mat


Photobucket



Place 3/4 to 1 cup of rice on the nori. Place a bowl of water next to your work area. You will want to keep your fingers wet to work with the rice to avoid sticking.


Photobucket



Spread the rice evenly over the nori and press down to make an even surface.


Photobucket



Place crab and cucumber at one narrower end of the nori running parallel to the mat, leaving about 3/4″ of nori showing at the end.


Photobucket



Place the avocado on top of the crab and cucumber


Photobucket



I find it easiest to pick up the roll and start rolling the mat at the end with the filling one full roll and then placing it back onto my work surface to continue


Photobucket



I continue to roll, lifting the top edge of the mat away from the roll so that it does not get rolled up with the sushi. I squeeze the mat with both hands as I go to keep the roll tight.


Photobucket



I am lifting the top side of the mat with the Press and Seal away from the roll as I continue to roll.


Photobucket



I continue to tighten the roll


Photobucket



And Voila! There’s my sushi roll.


Photobucket



I wrap it in a wet paper towel and set aside as I continue to make more rolls.


Photobucket



Now then, you can have the rice on the outside of the roll instead of the nori showing outside. And to do that, first I do the first steps of putting rice on the nori and patting it out and then I lift the nori and rice from the mat and set it aside. I spray the Press and Seal with a little olive oil.


Photobucket



Now, I place the rice package with the rice against the press and seal and the nori on top – basically upside down from the first way I showed you.


Photobucket



I add my center, this time using the shrimp instead of crab


Photobucket



I roll exactly like I showed you above on the first sushi roll and here you have the result


Photobucket



To slice these rolls to get the nice little medallions you see in restaurants, you need a sharp, finely serated knife. I keep my knife wet to cut as well.


Photobucket



Slicing the roll with the rice outside is a little trickier than when the nori is on the outside. Also, I keep my hands wet so that the rice does not stick.


Photobucket



Here are a combination of the two rolls put together. You can see that I squeezed the sauce in a squiggle along the top of the roll and sprinkled with salmon rice seasoning and have carrots and pickled ginger on the side.


Photobucket



This is a roll that was made with the rice on the outside and is served with edamame and tempura onion rings


Photobucket



Here are a few things you can serve with your sushi – Soy Sauce, Wasabe and Rice Seasoning.


I sure hope you won’t be afraid to try making this!! I know it looks complicated, but really, it goes very quickly and you sure will love the results!!



Happy Trying Something

Different!



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

MB
Please join us on FaceBook!!


Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company





Quick Curried Chicken

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011





Be sure to leave a comment

below to enter the

Apple Time Giveaway




>Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Tasty Curried Chicken


It’s cold in Okieland!! Who would have believed this past summer, as we suffered through 60 some odd days of triple digit temps, that we could ever reach 30 degrees! It’s glorious. The sun is shining, we got a little rain yesterday and the air is clear. Good times!


In this cold weather, this wonderful chicken dish is hot, fast and filling. Accompanied by hearty Indian Basmati rice and fried spinach you’ll think you are in Calcutta. Mr. Fix-It loved this dish and ate two helpings. I think you’ll love it too because it is so easy to fix. So here you go:


Quick Curried Chicken



4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes or strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced or 2 tsps garlic paste
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste


Batter-fried Spinach



3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp. soda
1 egg
1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water


Printable Recipe



Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Pour olive oil into large skillet


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Add chicken and cook on medium high until lightly browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove from skillet and set aside.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Add onions to the skillet


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



And garlic. I have found this wonderful stuff at Walmart. It is in the produce section. There are a variety of organic herbs in paste form. How cool is that? It takes two teaspoons of this garlic paste. Cook until onions are tender and slightly clear


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Reintroduce lightly cooked chicken to the skillet with the onion and garlic and add tomatoes. I am using home canned tomatoes here, that I pulsed in the blender for a few seconds. Stir until ingredients are mixed.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Add two tbslps curry powder and stir until curry is mixed throughout. Simmer the mixture for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occassionally, until thickened and chicken is cooked and tender. Start your rice.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



You can find coconut milk at any grocery store. Shake the can and then pour out 1/2 cup. Store the rest in the frig in a refrigerator dish.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Add coconut milk and stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer 10 more minutes, stirring occassionally.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



While the curry is cooking, mix flour, corn starch, tumeric and soda in a bowl and add beaten egg. Slowly add 1/4 cup ice water and stir. Add more water as necessary to form a nice, thick batter like pancake batter. Start a skillet or pan of hot oil about 3″ deep and heat to 350º.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Take a handful of fresh spinach and dip the entire handful into the batter.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



It’s messy, I know. It doesn’t matter if all of the spinach is covered. The object is to make all the leaves of spinach stick together.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Drop battered clump of spinach into hot oil and fry on one side until browned and then turn. Drain on a rack over a paper towel.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Put rice onto plates and spoon curry over rice. Add spinach and a salad and you are done!



Happy International Cooking!



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

MB
Please join us on FaceBook!!


Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company





Yummy Salad

Friday, September 23rd, 2011





>Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Blue Cheese Pecan Salad


Here in Oklahoma, we are EX-CITED! We have a new Sunflower Foods store in downtown Oklahoma City. And Whole Foods will be opening next month. The only thing that could make it better would be for a threesome finished out by Trader Joe’s which appears to be in the works!! See? Okies do have taste. Yes, they do.


Well, Wednesday I ventured into the wild crowd that packed our newly opened grocery and took advantage of a sale of sales. Organic plums for 77¢ – organic celery for 99¢ – organic 2% milk for $3.99 – 5 pounds of Gulf Shrimp for $18.00 – and the list goes on. But, oh my, they had an olive bar!! Give me a plate and call me Greek. I love olives. All olives. And all the things that go with olives like pickled garlic and marinated mozarella! Oh yeah. So I loaded up on olives and the works and left that store with visions of a salad deluxe and boiled shrimp.


Blue Cheese Pecan Salad

1 1/2 cups lettuce, greens and spinach per person
1/3 cup olives of your choice per person
2 Marinated Mozarella Cheeses per person
2 slices bacon per person + 1 tsp brown sugar per slice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tblsp butter
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese per person
tomato slices
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing or Greek Vinaigrette


Printable Recipe



I got home, chopped lettuce and put it into large bowls, one for me and one for Mr. Fix-It and set those aside. I used iceberg lettuce and some fresh spinach, but you can use any greens at all. That’s what I had on hand for this week.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Next, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and added 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I stirred that around on medium heat until a thick liquid was formed. This can take a little while and just when you get frustrated – poof – it all melts!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



I added 1/2 cup of whole pecans and stirred those until they were coated. You don’t want to cook the sauce too long or it will scorch and get too hard.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



I poured the nuts onto a nonstick tray to cool. Once cooled, I tossed them into the food processor and pulsed until they were chopped into large pieces.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Meanwhile, I really did it and sprinkled brown sugar onto strips of bacon. I cooked those in the microwave, but if you want to cook them in a pan, you can start them frying and then sprinkle them with the brown sugar. It gives a crisp, sweet taste to the bacon for salads.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Finally, I piled different olives onto the center of the lettuce and spinach, put two pieces of the marinated mozarella on the edge of the bowl alongside two slices of tomato, piled about 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese over the whole thing and then sprinkled the pecans and crumbled bacon over that. With Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing or Greek Vinaigrette, it is awesome!! I boiled some of the shrimp, made some drawn butter and called it supper!! Mmmm. Mmmm.



Happy Cooking!



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

MB
Please join us on FaceBook!!


Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
THUMBTACK.COM

for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company





Cheesy Hashbrown Bake

Friday, August 26th, 2011





One of Those

Comfort Foods!!




We all know why they call it comfort food. It’s because once you’ve eaten it, you have to unbutton your pants to get comfortable!! We southerners seem to think we’ve cornered the market on that kind of vittles and southern cooking has become synonymous with comfort. Southern comfort is more than just the name on a bottle of alcoholic spirits!


Unfortunately, as Paula Deen has documented, southern cooking can be a little heavy on the fat and sugar and gargantuan on the portions. I have learned to cook with the same flavors, just not quite so much fat, and my portions are drastically cut. “Moderation in all things!”I say. Having to unbutton those pants is not necessarily a good thing.


One of my favorite things for breakfast or as a side, is hasbrowns. Cheesy hashbrown casserole is even better than plain ‘taters. But so many of the casseroles have as much as a stick of butter and then pure cream – you know – the works. In order to satisfy my craving for these spuds laced with cheese, I’ve developed my own way to get the flavor without all the calories. Now, I will say, there IS a difference. You can’t cut out that much butter and cream and still have the same thing. However, this recipe makes me happy and that’s all that counts. Right? It’s all about me -and you too – because you’ll like, I’m sure.


Cheesy Hashbrown Bake


  • 2 pounds or 5-6 cups of hashbrowns either fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter (the real stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup to 2 cups (depends on how cheesy you want it) shredded cheddar cheese (sharp is ok too)
  • Pepper to taste


  • Printable Recipe



    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    I use new potatoes from the garden and shred them in my food processor. Regular Idaho potatoes are fine too, or you can use frozen hash browns.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    If you are shredding your own, put the hashbrowns in a bowl and wash them in cold water until the water runs clear. Pat them dry with a towel and either weigh or measure them.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    In a large bowl, place potatoes, cheese and onions and toss until well mixed


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    In a separate bowl pour chicken broth…


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    add two tablespoons of the butter, melted


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Whisk in the garlic powder


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    And the salt


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    And the milk and pepper to taste.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of potatoes, onions and cheese. Toss until all of the dry ingredients are coated.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    In a 2 quart cast iron skillet or casserole dish, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. spread evenly over the bottom surface of the pan.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Pour the potato mixture into the pan…


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    and lightly pat down the surface.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Bake at 350º covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake 25 to 35 minutes until potatoes are tender.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Serve hot for breakfast or dinner!







    Happy ‘Taters!



    MB
    Please join us on FaceBook!!


    Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    THUMBTACK.COM

    for the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company



    Hashbrowns! Yum!!

    Friday, February 18th, 2011



    Potato With An E….


    Is Misspelled…






    It’s closing in on planting time for potatoes! I love fresh potatoes from the garden and have done posts before on them. I am planning on doing a full bed of the knobby things this year. Usually, we only do a half a bed, but we were out of potatoes too soon this time. And of course, I’ll be drying some of them.


    But I have another favorite way to prepare potatoes for the long haul and I have been asked by reader, Shari, to share it here. Mr. Fix-It loves hashbrowns and it is easy to take a large batch of either garden potatoes or Russets from the store and make hashbrowns to last you a long, long time.

     photo PICT0166_zpsd708dc27.jpg

    First cut up potatoes to fit into a food processor with a grating blade on it. You can also grate them by hand. Red and Yukon golds can keep the skins, but Russets are better peeled


     photo PICT0164_zps989be888.jpg

    Put into a food processor to grate or do it by hand


     photo PICT0159_zps2aa291fc.jpg

    Once the potatoes are grated, put them into a collander that is in a larger bowl and pour water to cover the potatoes. Pick up the collander and swish it up and down. The water will be white and cloudy. Pour that off and do the same process until the water is clear. This washes off all of the starch that makes potatoes turn black.


     photo PICT0172_zps6d7d9da0.jpg

    Lay a large bath towel out on the counter and spread the grated potatoes over the towel.


     photo PICT0175_zpsd7349a9a.jpg

    Fold the edges of the towel over the top of the potatoes and roll the towel up like a jelly roll, pressing as you roll. This squeezes out excess water. When you unroll it, the potatoes will be dry.


     photo PICT0179_zps2c23428b.jpg

    Distribute the grated potatoes among cookie sheets and place in the freezer.


     photo PICT0187_zps73fcfc96.jpg

    Remove from freezer and, using a spatula, lift potatoes off of the cookie sheets.


     photo PICT0182_zps85618288.jpg

    Place in plastic freezer bags


     photo PICT0184_zps97462b4f.jpg

    Bend the bags around to break up the slabs of frozen potatoes. Label bags and place in the freezer.


     photo PICT0316_zps49e9e823.jpg

    Your hashbrowns can now be used in any recipe calling for hashbrowns, even casseroles. To make old-fashioned hashbrowns for breakfast, put 2 – 6 tablspoons of oil (depending on the size of your skillet but barely covering the bottom), either olive oil or vegetable or coconut, in the bottom of a large skillet and heat on medium high. When heated, add hashbrowns to about 3/4 – 1 inch deep and salt to taste.


     photo PICT0317_zps9ff6d4c2.jpg

    Cover with a lid and cook until the bottom of the potatoes is golden brown.


     photo PICT0319_zpsd5cce6d9.jpg When they are browned, cut the circle into fourths to make turning easier and flip sections to brown the other side


     photo PICT0325_zpsd6b145f4.jpg






    Cook until the second side is browned and crisp. Remove from the pan and pat with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Serve as a side dish. And don’t forget the grits!!



    Happy Cooking!



    MB
    Please join us on FaceBook!!


    Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below!



    Thanksgiving 2010

    Saturday, November 27th, 2010




    And We Gave Thanks



    Yep, that’s really Oklahoma in the Fall!!




    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanksgiving is over – it was wonderful for us – and time to move on to the next big meal at Christmas! I think that this time of year is measured as time between meals or maybe, as pounds gained? Whatever, the food just seems to taste better during the 37 or so days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.


    While it appears that everywhere from Colorado to Idaho to California experienced a freezing, snowy Thanksgiving, those of us in sunny Oklahoma felt some nippy temps but still had trees with painted leaves as a background, through the window, to our massive dinner spread.


     photo PICT0643_zpsbe35ed84.jpg



    We enjoyed a houseful of guests, four of whom sported guitars, and so a lovely day was spent eating and then listening to the soulful strains of Hank William’s “So Lonesome I Could Cry”, the harmony of gospel songs and the catchy beat of the eldest son’s original creations. Having two professional musicians in the family, along with a whole slew of amateurs makes for a toe tapping, knee slapping concert whenever we all get together.


    Our dinner consisted of the usual turkey, oiled up and totally covered with smoked paprika, baked in a separate roaster for a much more tender, juicy bird. Cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn on the cob, 7 layer salad and my pasta salad (recipe follows) accompanied the bird of the hour. Just for the heck of it, I decided to see what everybody had to say about the sauerkraut and so I sliced up smoked sausage and baked that on a bed of the kraut. If I may brag, everyone went nuts over it and several ended up carrying home a jar! Yay. I suppose I’ll have to find cabbage at 10 lbs for $1 again and get busy.


     photo PICT0596_zpsc01c06fd.jpg


    I have to admit to a huge, red-faced mistake, however, before I give you my recipe for a pasta salad. My favorite pie in the whole world is pecan pie. I am a terrible American because I can’t stand pumpkin pie. However, because I love my family I do make a pumpkin pie each year and I generously let them have every single bite! For the pie cook, one of the kitchen utensils that we carry at the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ store is the First Slice Out Pie Spatula and it is the handiest little thing. It is placed into the pie plate and then the pie shell is placed on top of it. Once the pie is filled and covered, it is baked and the first slice out is easily achieved by cutting around the spatula and just lifting it up.


     photo PICT0606_zpsad146051.jpg



    Sounds brilliant, right? Well, it is – that is unless a runny, sticky, custard pie filling and large, glass pie plate are involved. It works like a charm for apple or cherry or such in a standard pie tin, but a pecan pie is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. Well, not that pecans and fish have anything in common. Bad metaphor. Never mind. Anyway, it seems that when the sticky, gooey mess that is pecan pie filling is poured into the shell, if there is ANY kind of crack in the crust, some of it WILL seep under the pie shell at the edge where the spatula and crust meet. The baked result is a pie spatula that is adhered to the pie pan with the strength of Super Glue. I sheepishly pried under the spatula with a knife to no avail to get that first slice out and everyone gathered around to watch me battle with my genius utensil, each giving their own suggestions based on obviously more engineering know-how than I possessed. Finally, my dear son-in-law who is so smart, took the knife from my feverish fingers and gently rocked the spatula back and forth until, with a great sucking sound, it lifted off of the surface of the pie pan, bringing strings of oozing mess with it. He popped the mess into his mouth and announced that it tasted like taffy candy. Lovely. My pie was a dug-out disaster, but it tasted like taffy! It may have been the ugliest pie at the buffet, but it DID taste good. So word of warning: The pie spatuala works best in a standard pie pan and make sure that your crust is thick and perfect if you are going to use a custard filling!


     photo 366_zps054040fb.jpg



    Our Thanksgiving Day was just that – a day of thanks. However, for us here at the Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ homestead, every single day is a day of thanks for all that God has provided and for the strength and wisdom He offers. There is good in every situtation, no matter how bad it may look to us. Growth can always be had if one will focus on what God is teaching rather than what the circumstances seem on the surface. We pray that, for you all, this time is one of love, joy and personal growth.


    Pasta Salad

    1 1/2 cups uncooked pasta
    2 tsp olive oil
    3 stalks celery
    1/2 cup sliced carrots
    1 small head broccoli cut up
    1/2 med. onion chopped
    1/2 cup black olives, chopped or sliced
    1/4 cup green olives, chopped or sliced
    1/2 c. mayonnaise (light or fat free is fine)
    2 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
    3 tbsp vinegar
    1/4 cup any type Italian salad dressing
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp oregano


     photo PICT0618_zps73af5de3.jpg



    Cook pasta according to directions. I add two tsp olive oil and plenty of salt to the water.



     photo PICT0619_zps5e6a3667.jpg



    While the pasta is cooking chop all vegetables and set aside.



     photo PICT0621_zps1c2a2189.jpg



    Drain cooked pasta and run under cold water until cooled. Leave in colander to continue draining



     photo PICT0622_zpse1c0795c.jpg



    Place all veggies into a refrigerator bowl with cover. Add pasta and toss. In a separate bowl, mix together mayo, sugar, vinegar and Italian dressing. Here I am using Ken’s brand Northern Italian with Basil and Romano.



     photo PICT0627_zps77c3c3e8.jpg



    Sprinkle parmesan cheese and oregano onto the veggies and pasta and toss.



     photo PICT0633_zpsb8c8adae.jpg



    Pour in mayonnaise mixture and stir so that all elements are coated. Cover bowl and store in frig to marinate for several hours or overnight.



     photo PICT0640_zps230725e2.jpg

    It is always a hit around here! Lots of veggies and a little pasta.



    Happy Cooking!

    MB

    Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment below. And join us on FaceBook!




    Homemade Noodles and Noodlin’

    Saturday, February 27th, 2010



    Come Noodlin’ With Me ♪♪

    (Yes, there IS a recipe in

    here somewhere!)




    Noodle:
    1.noun: dough rolled into thin, flat strips; pasta
    2.verb: “to noodle”; a primative method of putting food on the table, specifically catfish, involving a hapless fish, a soaked human, no fishing pole and two brains of equal size. Also known as “grabblin”, “hoggin”, “doggin”, “gravelin’ or “ticklin”.


    ImageHost.org



    Ever heard of “noodling”?
    From the National Geographic:
    “Some people call it the Mount Everest of fishing. But most everyone else describes “noodling” or handfishing, as just plain crazy”


    The Oxford English Dictionary defines “noodling” as “a stupid person”. Hmmm. Think about that. The sport with the same name requires walking along a riverbank, in the water – no – sometimes under the water, feeling for a fish in places where beavers, snakes and snapping turtles are just as likely to hide and then putting one’s hand into the fish’s mouth where tender skin is no match for razor-like teeth. I might call that less than brilliant!


    While noodling is carried out in most parts of the South, here in Oklahoma, we are proud of those who noodle and hold up Pauls Valley, Oklahoma as the home of the Olympics of noodling – the annual Okie Noodling Tournament. Bob’s Pig Shop is the sponsor with live entertainment and fried catfish making for a fun festival atmosphere. This year’s gathering of the bold and the brave happens on July 10th.


    I grew up with stories about my father’s, my grandfather’s and my great-grandfather’s “noodlin’ ” adventures. My dad shares in his book, Sailing Down the River of Memories, his noodling expertise which was handed down through the generations to him. We are very big on passing on traditions in my family, however, somehow this tradition of risking life and limb and appendages seems to have stopped with my father. Go figure.


    On page 17 Dad shares:
    “I learned to noodle or to fish with my hands. Now, that was an adventure! I’d go into the water and feel along the bank until I found a hole. Then, I’d slowly reach in to see if there might be a fish. Interestingly enough, by moving slowly and being gentle, you can stroke a fish under water and it won’t swim off. I’d carefully put a finger in the mouth and the thumb in the gill and bring the fish up close to my body. Then I put my other hand on the body of the fish so it couldn’t get away and I’d walk out of the water. The adventure was the chance of getting a turtle or a snake – but I never did. You had to be careful with catfish because the whiskers could stick in your skin and really hurt.”

    ImageHost.org

    Dad also tells about his granddad, my great-granddad – Robert Hightower, who taught him how to finesse a catfish.


    “One of the largest fish he noodled was a 28-pound catfish on Spring River at Galesburg. [Missouri] Since that was not a legal way of fishing, Bob told everyone he had landed it with a cane pole. His description of the battle was so vivid no one doubted his word, but the scratches on his arms and fingers told another tale. He told son-in-law, Charlie [my granddad], he threaded a cord through the catfish’s mouth and gill and after tying the other end around his arm, he started for the bank. Something startled the fish and it went downstream pulling him with it. He had quite a battle getting to shore and landing the fish. When he put the fish on a 300 lb cake of ice, its head was at one end with the tail hanging over the other end nearly touching the ground.”


    Robert Hightower is featured in the Then and Now Cookbook


    I hope you enjoy this video that shows that men “ain’t got nuthin’ on us females” when it comes to noodlin’……………






    OK, so the same side of my family whom I discuss above, in spite of the obvious quirky side passed down through the generations to me, also handed down another kind of “noodlin’”- the homemade kind. I was raised on Sunday lunch that included either chuck roast cooked to perfection, shredding to moist strips, or chicken equally moist and falling off the bone. Both were accompanied by homemade noodles gently boiled in the broth from the meats. Before we would leave for church, Mom would put the meat, onions and salt and pepper into a dutch oven with water and would leave it to bake slowly while we were gone. When we walked into the house after a morning of worship, the aroma would be so permeating that the saliva glands had an immediate Pavlovian response.


    Dad always made the noodles and he did so just as his mother taught him. His great-aunt Myrtle, sister to Grandmother, taught Grandmother how to make them. Then, my father taught me. Dad can cut those noodles so thin that the result is delicate and tender. He still makes them when we go home and now, the next generation has taken its place as my children are now making the noodles in their homes.


    Below is the photo recipe for one of our favorite family traditions. I hope you enjoy them as well. Since I never learned to practice the other “noodlin’”, I’m satisfied with my efforts at the pasta variety. However, if you wish to take up the sport, more power to you – and to the fish.



    Hightower Noodles


    1 cup flour
    1 large egg
    Approximately 3 tbsp water
    6 cups broth


    ImageHost.org  ImageHost.org



    Step 1


    Put flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Break the egg into the center and scramble.

    ImageHost.org
    font size=”3px” color=”#000000″>
    Step Two


    Add enough water to make a sticky dough. My dad always said that Grandmother taught to use a large egg, broken at the small end toward the top and then use the larger end filled with water. However, it is my opinion that chickens must have been larger back in those days and so I use 2-3 egg shell measures of water. (about 3 tbsp)

    ImageHost.org  ImageHost.org
    font size=”3px” color=”#000000″>
    Step Three


    Pour the dough out onto a heavily floured Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ and knead in just enough flour so that it can be handled easily.


    ImageHost.org 

    ImageHost.org
    ImageHost.org

    Step Four


    Divide the dough into 4-6 pieces and roll them into balls. Using one dough ball at a time, pat into a circle with your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll the circle out to very, very thin, turning frequently and sprinkling with flour to avoid sticking. Always keep plenty of flour on the pastry cloth.


    ImageHost.org 

    ImageHost.org
    ImageHost.org

    Step Five




    Gently lift flattened circles, as they are completed, and place them on a cookie rack or floured surface such as a counter top, cutting board, a second pastry cloth or a tea towel for drying. Allow to dry at least 30 minutes on each side. If the air is moist, it can take longer. Repeat the process on remaining dough balls.


    ImageHost.org

    ImageHost.org

    Step Six


    When the circles of dough are dry, but still very pliable, roll each one into a very loose jelly roll. Before rolling, you can flour the surface lightly to keep from sticking.


    ImageHost.org 

    ImageHost.org
    ImageHost.org

    Step Seven


    With a good, sharp knife, slice noodles thinly and then run fingers through them to loosen, unroll and separate. Be careful not to pinch the dough as you are cutting, just holding it lightly between thumb and finger.

    ImageHost.org 

    ImageHost.org

    Step Eight


    Bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and gently drop noodles in a handful at a time, stirring lightly with a fork. Cook approximately 15 minutes until tender. You can add canned broth if more broth is needed. Serve immediately over meat.

    ImageHost.org



    Now that’s the way to use the ol’ noodle!! Happy cooking!