Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cowboy Crack

A coworker brought this salsa/dip in to work one night and I was hooked! She wrote down the recipe for it and even though I've scoured the Internet looking for it so that I can give credit to the person/site it originated with I can't find this recipe exactly! Lots of variations out there so be adventurous if you like and add some chopped tomatoes or avocado, spice it up with hot peppers.

1 red pepper chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can shoepeg corn drained and rinsed
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
cilantro to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles, to taste

Chop all the peppers and onions. In medium sized bowl mix together the peppers, onion, beans, and corn. In separate bowl mix together the oil, vinegar and sugar and pour over vegetable mixture. Stir well. Add cilantro, if desired, and feta cheese. Stir to mix. Keep refrigerated. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Garam Masala

One of the things I miss about living in a small rural town is the availability of spices and foods that aren't common grocery store staples. Pakistani cooking has taken a back burner so to speak because I can't get my hands on what I need easily. The kids father brings some boxes of Shan spices but not much else. I even tried the mid-sized city 90 miles away and the one store had very little in the way of the spices I needed.

I resorted to mail order. I also decided that I wanted to make my own garam masala like my former mother-in-law made. I asked my ex what the ingredients and ratios were for them. It seems most people that grind their own garam masala have individual preferences for how they like it. For my Peshawari Pathan inlaws it has black cardamom, cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds in it. Black cardamom, for those of you who don't know, gives foods a somewhat smoky flavor. It also has some major sinus clearing aroma when freshly ground, lol.

Here's how I made my garam masala:

6 pods black cardamom
2 sticks cinnamon
1 pinch or 1/8 tsp cumin seeds

I put it in my blender and ground it to powder. I have these great little jars that fit my blender, like canning jars but these were made specifically by Oster. Canning jars will work, too as long as they aren't the wide mouth kind.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mandel Kaffe Kake (Almond Coffee Cake)

I'm making these breads today. It started years ago with my mom making them at Christmas. I love this time of year for traditions. As I was thinking about writing this post I wanted to use the Norwegian words for this bread. While I was searching for a translation online I came across an article about Nordic Coffee Culture. It's evident in Minnesota where a large part of the population is from Nordic ancestors. Here's the link to the article:The Role of Coffee in the Nordic Languages

This has intense almond flavor and makes 3 loaves of bread.

1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs lightly beaten
4 cups flour ( I prefer bread flour)

Almond Filling:
1 cup almond paste
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Blend well

1 egg white, 1 tsp water
slivered almonds

In pan heat milk, sugar (reserve 1 tsp for yeast), salt and butter until butter melts, let cool.

Sprinkle yeast and 1 tsp sugar over warm water, stir and let stand 10 minutes or until bubbly.

To milk mixture stir in yeast, eggs and 2 cups flour until smooth. Stir in remaining 2 cups flour until soft dough forms. On floured surface knead dough until elastic.

Mix almond filling together until fluffy.

Place dough in greased bowl, turn and cover bowl. Let rise until double. Punch down and divide into thirds.

Roll each third into a 30 inch by 4 inch strip. Spread with 1/3 of almond filling. Roll dough and seal edges. Fold in pretzel shape and place on greased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper instead). Brush each pretzel with egg white and water mixture. Sprinkle almond slices on each pretzel. Cover and let rise until double.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Latvian Bacon Buns

 photo A7B4B60C-BDC7-474A-B2EB-1ADD62203007_zps3gn67nzn.jpg
I love traditions, they evoke sentimental memories of family and friends.  Christmas is my favorite holiday and much of it revolves around food.  One cherished memory is of being at my best friends house when her mother was making these buns.  Her mom is from Germany and her father from Latvia. The smell of these buns baking is so good! One year she was asked to make these and provide a recipe for a Christmas bazaar featuring foods from around the world.  She came up with this recipe even though she never used one.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
2 cups milk, scalded
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp shortening
6 1/2 to 6 3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 tsp onion chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine milk, sugar, salt, shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups flour, stir well.  Add softened yeast, stir. Add flour to make moderately stiff dough.  Turn out on lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and satiny (about 8 minutes). Shape into ball, place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk (1 1/2 hour). Punch down. Let rise again until double (45 min.) While dough is rising fry bacon and onion until most of fat has fried out but not crisp, drain. When done, dice bacon until in small pieces. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and mix. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Place dough on floured surface, roll out with rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter with center removed.

Put about 1/2 tsp of bacon mixture in the center of each circle, fold each circle in half and pinch edges together. Place buns on greased cookie sheet (I used parchment that I greased), cover, let rise in warm place until almost double. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each bun with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup milk. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crispy Topped Scalloped Potatoes

Found the recipe for these online after having them at my class reunion recently.  They ROCK!  I thought both my kids would love them, but I have a 3yr old who judges things on how she thinks they look, lol.


1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
5 cups thinly sliced, peeled potatoes ( about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
2 1/2 cups Cheez-Its, crushed to 1 1/2 cups
1 Tbsp butter, melted

1.  In medium saucepan cook onion in 1 Tbsp butter until tender.  Stir in garlic.  Cook and stir for 30 seconds.  Stir in soup, milk, mustard and pepper.  Set aside.

2.  In 12x8x2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray or shortening layer half the potatoes.  Drizzle with half of the soup mixture.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese.  Top with remaining potatoes and remaining soup mixture.  Tightly cover.  Bake at 325*F for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are nearly tender.

3.  Meanwhile, in small bowl toss together reamining Parmesan cheese, Cheez-Its and 1 Tbsp melted butter.

4.  Carefully, remove cover from potatoes.  Sprinkle with cracker mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 325F for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Let stand for 10 minutes.