Wednesday Links
Cooking Tips , Favorite Things , Recipes / June 27, 2018

The Fourth of July is just a week away! Here are some links and articles to help you get ready. The best way to cook hot dogs and make them perfect every time: I think you will be surprised by the answer. Seven tools to pack when you cook in someone else’s kitchen: Those vacation rental kitchens are always under stocked. For some reason it never occurred to me to just bring my own tools from home. The 23 essential barbecue dishes in America: In case you are travelling over the 4th, here are some restaurant ideas. These lists are always kind of ridiculous, but since mutton from Owensboro, KY (where I lived for a few years) is on the list, I think it has some validity. I don’t even like mutton, but this dish is a local favorite. Everything you need to throw the best 4th of July party: I’m pretty sure you don’t really need anything on this list to throw a great party, but this inflatable indoor/outdoor buffet cooler is pretty festive. Recipe: Best easy Italian pasta salad: Here’s a super quick and tasty dish to take to a 4th of July get together. I hope everyone has a great holiday!  …

Bonus Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Recipes / June 21, 2018

I often see this dish called “Cowboy Caviar.” It’s a great, healthy snack, and the beans make it more filling than regular salsa. Black Bean and Corn Salsa 1 (15.5 ounces) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears) 2 tomatoes, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1/2 cup finely diced red onion 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper Tortilla chips, for serving Combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and serranos in a medium bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the black bean mixture and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with the tortilla chips. My notes: I used this recipe more as a suggestion than an actual recipe. One kid didn’t want bell pepper in and one didn’t want onion. It still tasted good, and I had to do less chopping. Win, win! Adapted from The Beach House Cookbook: Easy Breezy…

Jeanne’s Chicken Enchilada Dip
Recipes / June 20, 2018

I told my son the other day that my favorite food is dip. He told me that dip isn’t really a food. I disagree. Here’s a yummy dip recipe from The Beach House Cookbook. If you also love dip, I have another recipe for you tomorrow. Jeanne’s Chicken Enchilada Dip 3 large bone-in chicken breasts 1 pound cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon paprika 1 (10 ounces) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for serving (optional) 4 green onions, chopped Tortilla chips for serving Place the chicken in a large stockpot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool. Skin and debone the chicken, and shred the meat with two forks. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Beat in the Cheddar, chili powder, hot sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, and…

Bonus Recipe: Deviled Eggs
Recipes / June 8, 2018

Deviled Eggs Serves 6 8 eggs (2 extra in case of peeling trauma LOL) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika Pinch of cayenne 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice About 12 hours before you cook the eggs, pull them out of the fridge, and lay each egg on its side in the carton. This will center the yolks for cooking. Place the eggs in a heavy pot, cover by an inch with lukewarm water, and heat on medium high. Bring to a boil and then add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the teaspoon of white vinegar. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl half with water and half with ice to cool the eggs. When eggs are done, place them in the ice bath and let cool completely. Gently crack the eggs by rolling them against a counter. Place the eggs back in the water to soak for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to peel the eggs. Peel the eggs and cut them in half. Pry…

Shrimp with Andouille & Hominy Grits
Recipes / June 7, 2018

My husband and I both lived in Louisiana for a little while, long enough to become big fans of Cajun food. When I asked him to pick a recipe from A New Turn in the South, it was no surprise when he picked this dish. It was a surprise to how well it turned out. Shrimp with Andouille & Hominy Grits Serves 4 3/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup hominy grits 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter 1/2 cup minced sweet onion 1/4 cup celery stalks, minced 1/2 pound andouille sausage, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes 1 garlic clove, chopped 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers 2 plum tomatoes, diced 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 cup tomato juice 1/2 cup clam juice 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh thyme 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley 1 tablespoon lemon juice In a saucepan, combine 3 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the grits. Place on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a wisk. As soon as the water boils, reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook the grits, using a wooden spoon to stir every 5 minutes for an hour. Stir in 2…

Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops
Recipes / May 30, 2018

I told you that we take brownies seriously in my family. Well, here are some brownies disguised as cookies. Delicious! Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops Makes about 20 cookies 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into about 10 pieces 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 3/4 cup sugar 2 cold large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 cup all-purpose flour Powdered sugar, for dredging Coarsely chop 6 ounces of the chocolate and scatter it over the butter. Finely chop the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and set it aside. Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate with the butter. (I just do this in the microwave.) Stir sugar into the melted chocolate and butter. One by one, add the eggs, whisking for a minute or two after each egg. Whisk in the vanilla and the salt, and then the flour. Stir in the finely chopped chocolate. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Put some powdered sugar in a bowl. Using a medium scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a tablespoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each into a…

Bonus Recipe: Classic Brownies
Recipes / May 26, 2018

I promised in my intro to Dorie’s Cookies, that I would share her brownie recipe. We take brownies seriously in our house, and our favorite recipe is Barefoot Contessa’s. The Contessa’s brownies manage to be super rich and fluffy all at the same time. I will say Dorie’s brownies are more on the traditional, fudgy side, but still satisfied our brownie cravings. In our house brownies don’t have nuts, and they certainly don’t have icing. You could add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to this recipe if you like, but if you want icing you’re on your own. Classic Brownies 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup sugar 2 cold large eggs 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup all-purpose flour Makes 16 brownies Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Melt the butter and the chocolate together. Stir in the sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the salt, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour all at once and gently stir and fold it in. Scrape the batter into…

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Recipes / May 24, 2018

I’m running a little behind this week, and Dorie’s Cookies is a big book. Consequently, I think I am going to try another recipe or two, and then give my review at the end of next week. Today’s cookie would be perfect for Memorial Day get-togethers. It’s really cute and the red strawberries look great with Patriotic decorations. Strawberry Shortcake Cookies FOR THE CAKES 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of sea salt 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM 1 cup very cold heavy cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract FOR THE TOPPING 8 to 12 ounces strawberries, hulled Makes about 24 shortcakes Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two regular muffin tins or use baker’s spray. To make the cakes, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium for about 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is pale and tripled…

Bonus Recipe: Parsnip Puree
Recipes / May 17, 2018

I made this side dish from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook along with the Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs.  Parsnip Puree 2 pounds parsnips (about 6 medium), peeled, sliced into medium-sized chunks 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper In large, heavy pot,combine parsnips with enough cold water to cover. Place over moderately high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 to 20 minutes, then drain. Puree hot parsnips, butter, heavy cream, horseradish, salt, and freshly ground black pepper until smooth. My notes: This is a tasty, simple side dish that is a good change up if you are tired of mashed potatoes.

Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Recipes / May 17, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I let my youngest son pick the recipe, so this week I let my older son pick a recipe for me to try from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. He’s a big meat eater, so of course he picked short ribs. I had never make them before, and I have to say I will definitely be making them again. Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs 5 pounds bone-in short ribs Salt Freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large red onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 bottles dark beer 2 to 3 cups beef stock Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional) Prepare the braise: Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate, and then repeat with remaining ribs. Braise the ribs: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once the ribs are browned and removed from pot, turn down to medium-high and pour out all…

%d bloggers like this: