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Monday, January 31, 2011

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Making your own marinara could not be easier.  Its such a versatile product, too.  You can use it for any pasta dish, a soup base, or just for dipping bread.  I made it for lasagna.  I'll post that recipe later. 

Heat some olive oil in a medium sauce pan and saute some minced garlic and minced onions until they are soft and translucent.

Then add the tomatoes.  You can use fresh Roma tomatoes (those seem to have the right flavor and texture for marinara) or canned tomatoes.  I used some tomatoes that I canned from my garden last summer.  Either open the cans or chop them up fresh.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mayan Hot Cocoa

One of my favorite winter drinks is hot cocoa.  I came up with this recipe when I decided to take a break from the normal hot cocoa mix I would usually turn to.  I like hot cocoa mix.  Its easy, it tastes good, and its reliable.  It always tastes the same.  But I was feeling like I needed some change in my life, and since I haven't won the lottery and I don't like dying my hair, I resided to changing my hot cocoa.  I'm dangerous.  Dangerous, I tell you.  This cocoa has a bit of a bite.  And I like it. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chile Rellenos

I love, love, LOVE me some chile rellenos!  I don't make them very often, but I'm starting to think I should.  They're just too good to not have them in your life at least once a month.   And if anyone participates in the whole "Meatless Monday" craze (we don't), these are a great meatless dish that is so very filling and satisfying that you won't even know what you're missing. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snowflake Bread

I decided since we don't get to see snow too often around here that I could conjure some up in my oven.  That's right.  My oven makes snow.  One flake at a time.  See...
Actually, I just like to play with my food and turn it into unlikely shapes and animals and such.  Given that its January, the middle of winter, and the closest thing we'll get to snow is dense fog, I decided to let my food be part of my "pretty winter" fantasy.  Cause fog isn't pretty. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How To Can Meat Products

Remember that pozole from the other day?  I still have some.  I'm saving it for later.  I canned several jars of it for later days.  If you've never canned before the procedure can seem a little daunting at first.  There are a lot of precautions to take and tools to buy and prayers to be said.  You don't want to do a quickie canning job and end up with botulism.  No fun.  But it really is quite a simple task and with practice, it becomes easy as pie.  First thing you need to do is ensure you have the proper tools.

1.  Jar grabber
2.  magnet-on-a-stick (I'm sure there is a proper name for that tool, but I don't know it and its more fun to say magnet...on-a-steeek)
3.  bubble wand (also, not the proper name.  If you know what these items are called, please tell me.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crock Pot Pozole

I had a serious craving for some pozole and I let it go on for about a week before I got off my backside and whipped some up.  It's extremely easy, especially when you do it in the crock pot, so I had to kick myself for putting it off for so long.  By the time I finally made some, I had eyes about 30 times the size of my stomach and I ended up making far more than I, or my little family of four, could ever eat. 

That left me with a major decision to make.  Do I a) extend an invitation to my family and friends to come over and partake in my delight, or do I b) be greedy and keep it all to myself? I pondered.  Cause folks, this isn't as easy as it seems.  We're talking about pozole, here.  Share it?  Eat it?  Share it?...... Eat it?........

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

I love fried rice.  Its comfort food to me.  But I'm a little opinionated about how it should be prepared...sort of. 

For me, fried rice must have a few specific basic elements.  Once those elements are in place, the recipe can be varied to suit different tastes, preferences, and moods.  This means that when I make fried rice, I almost never make the same recipe twice.  I like to change it up depending on what I happen to have on hand or what I am in the mood for.  However, the recipe always starts the same way.

Here are the "essentials":  long grain white jasmine rice, eggs, carrots, lots of fresh ginger and garlic, and lots of soy sauce.

Anything else is just a bonus.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I got a new baking pan.

Do you love it?!?

I love it! 

The good people at Williams-Sonoma have been reading my diary.  How else would they know to create a pan like this?  Its like they pulled the idea straight from the depths of my baking imagination.  No matter.  The pan is mine now.  I own it and I will take it on its maiden voyage - and you can come along!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lazy Freezer Jambalaya

This is not a traditional jambalaya.  It will win no awards for being authentic, but it is definitely tasty, quick, and a super-cinch!
I decided to call it Lazy Freezer Jambalaya because:
1.  There is very little prep work involved.  Its a real throw together dish.
2.  Most of the ingredients are in frozen form.
3.  Its got Old Bay seasoning in it, contributing to the "Cajun" flavor- therefore, jambalaya

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Perfectly Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

I'm BA-AACK!!!! 

I took a bit of a break from blogging cause things got a little busy around here.  There were parties, relatives to visit, trips to take, etc.  Anyway, I'm back to share more delicious recipes with you starting with this one for my favorite fluffy, buttermilk pancakes. 

I made these this morning and my kids ate a ton.  They're obnoxiously good.  Unfortunately, I was not quite awake when I made them so I forgot to take pictures of the process... but c'mon, its pancakes, not brain surgery.