12/18/17

Hot Tamales at Year 23

It's my first ever attempt at tamales from scratch. I made green chile chicken this time and used the crockpot, because I didn't want to make a big steamer pot and I had no help.  Perhaps the kid will help next year. He certainly is good at the eating part. Making the filling ahead, and then making the masa dough in the stand mixer was much easier than I thought.

 
 

11/22/17

Thanksgiving 2018

     

It's become tradition to spend Thanksgiving with the inlaws out in Hemet. Which is fine, except that it's going to be like 100 degrees tomorrow, which is a record-breaker (hottest since 1903). Yuck. I'm already sweaty and uncomfortable.

On the bright side, maybe that will make me want to eat less since I'll be sweating my ass off. Save on the carbs somehow.

As a result of this holiday traditional Thursday, I always make a Thanksgiving meal at home on Wednesday because, let's face it, we're all just in it for the leftovers right?

I have tried many methods of turkey prep: dry brine, wet brine, oven bag, high temp/low temp, lift skin and butter, spice bouquet in cavity, stuffed, unstuffed, breast side down & flip, etc.  I am not a fan of the frying situation as the fire danger and skin burn eventuality give me severe anxiety. This year, though, I thought I'd try something I've never done before.  Err I say this, if you have a mayo aversion, leave my blog immediately-- especially if you're one of those sadistic Miracle Whip peeps. 

That's correct, I lathered that baby good in some good' ol Hellman's mayonaisse.  (** listen West Coasters, I'm fully aware it's called Best Foods out here, but y'all got a realize I'm an East Coast girl at heart and I can not get over it being the same damn bottle with some generic food processor's brand. I like to fool myself into believing is was some German grannie that made this personally for me.**) 

Once lathered all over and inside the skin of the breast, I sprinkled it with this dry rub:


Then I cooked it at 325 degrees, approx 15 minutes per pound.

I did not baste it at all, just let is go in the oven and glanced at it with the light, but didn't open the oven. The meat was moist, and the skin was phenomenal!

Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the bird because it was 3000 degrees in my kitchen by the time I was done and I was too sweaty to remember anything.  But it was a nice pre-holiday lunch with a side of pie. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Philly Sticky Buns, or Where are you Flourtown Bakery?

Endorsed by my 14 yr old son: "These are BOMB!"

Every once in a while, you need a taste of home. This is a process, but if you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook and go to it!

PHILADEPHIA STICKY BUNS

For the YEAST DOUGH
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1(1/4 ounce) package yeast
1 egg
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE TOPPING
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup pecan halves (or more)

FOR THE FILLING
1⁄4cup butter, softened
1⁄2cup chopped raisins
1⁄2teaspoon cinnamon


First the DOUGH:
*In a small pan, heat milk just until bubbles form around edge of pan; remove from heat.
*Add sugar, salt and butter; stir to melt butter, then cool to lukewarm.
*Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl; stir to dissolve then stir in lukewarm milk mixture.
*Add the egg and 2 cups of the flour; beat with electric mixer until smooth.
*Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix by hand until dough is smooth and leaves sides of bowl.
*Turn dough onto lightly floured surface ; knead until dough is smooth and blisters appear.
*Place in lightly greased bowl; turn to grease all over.
*Cover with towel and let rise in warm, draft-free place until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  (I proof all yeast bread/doughs by starting my oven, letting it get to 110 degrees then turning it off; set the bowl with the towel covering it in the warm oven to proof for the time stated)

Prepare the TOPPING:
*While dough rises, in a small bowl with spoon cream the butter and brown sugar.
*Spread on bottom and sides of 9X9X2-inch square baking pan.
*Place pecans evenly on top, flat sides up.

Prepare the FILLING:
*Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins together.

Prepare the BUNS:
*When dough has risen, roll dough into a 16X12 inch rectangle; spread with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, the raisins and cinnamon.
*Roll up from long side, jelly-roll fashion; pinch edge to seal.
*Cut crosswise into 12 pieces. (Recommendation: use unflavored dental floss to cut them! Slide the floss under the roll, pull both sides up and cross each other to get a clean cut that knife will not give you)
*Place, cut side down, into prepared pan.
*Let rise, covered in warm place free of drafts until doubled,1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Again, use the heat to 110 and turn off method)

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Bake sticky buns 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

(Note: After cooking, I let mine sit for 20 minutes, then inverted them and they fell off in one large square.)
*Invert on plate, let stand 1 minute then remove pan.
*Serve warm.

This is labor intensive and might be worth doubling to make a 9x13 batch.


11/4/17

Egg Roll Casserole

So sometimes I want an egg roll, but I need to cut out the fried shell and the carbs. This is an option.

Ingredients
1 # ground pork
5 oz shredded purple cabbage (or napa cabbage)
5 oz bean sprouts
5 oz shredded carrots
1 tsp ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
green onions (garnish)

Instructions
Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and oil. Add the veggies and toss. Brown the pork, then add the veggies and stir fry 3 minutes. Pour into casserole dish (13x9) and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve over brown rice or rice noodles.


Taco Seasoning

Photo credit to: http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/del-taco-selling-street-tacos-twice-price-actual-street-tacos/

Oh, street tacos. There is just nothing like street tacos in LA, unless maybe you're in San Diego. I love that I can head on over to Baja Ranch Market down the block and get some Pollo Asado, Carne Asada, or Carnitas at any moment. But sometimes I've got leftover beef or chicken that I need to use up, and then I stir-fry it up with some of this homemade taco seasoning, slice some lime wedges, and heat up those fresh corn tortillas from the local tortilleria. Easy, tasty, gone! The Teen Titan loves them. I keep this on hand for such an occasion.

Taco Seasoning
1T Chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper (eliminate if you don't like it so hot)
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper 


10/21/17

Keto/Low Fat Pepitas (Pumpkin) Muffins


Fall baking before Indian Summer arrives at 100+ tomorrow. 
Come back autumn! Please! 
                                                                

Pepitas (Pumpkin) Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • cup sugar
  • 2 cups Stevia Baking Blend
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pepitas (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, sugar, applesauce, water, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until blended.
  5. Pour into bread or cupcake pans (will make 24-32 cupcakes). Bake at 350 for 25-35 (until knife comes out clean).
Nutrition 34.9g Carbs, 204.3 Kcal per muffin (1 serving of 24 batch)

10/15/17

Gone Keto

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I have not posted in a while, partly because I'm back to work and partly because I haven't been cooking as much. Firstly because of the heat, and secondly because of my change in diet. I've gone the Keto route, low carb, high fat, but not to the extreme. I try to stay under 200 g carbs a day, and I'm working out 3-6 times a week. I've lost 22 pounds since May doing so, and I'm not dealing with blood sugar highs, lows or fatigue. Thus, I'm staying on trend with the Keto-friendly diet and recipes. 

Today I bought a huge and lovely corn bread from Vons- fresh baked in their ovens and it smelled delicious, so I had to have chili. I used a Ree Drummond recipe variation for chili at home, because I have one no-onions eater and I'm trying to stay away from beans and their hidden carbs unless I'm measuring carefully.

Thus:
 1# ground beef (80/20%) browned & drained
1 minced garlic clove
1.5 T chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 T tom paste
1 8 oz can tom sauce
8 oz water/beef broth
1/8 cup shredded cheddar (per serving)

Brown & drain the beef, then add the garlic and spices. Stir to combine. Add the paste, sauce, and broth or water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until reduced to the thickness you like.

Serve with warm cornbread and some cheddar cheese sprinkled on the chili.