Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork

This is a go-to at my house. I love eating it in salads, or as burritos in some good tortillas (Carolina's if you have a chance!) with fresh cilantro, sliced avocados, and Kraft Green Goddess dressing (I'm too lazy to make my own dressing, and I think this storebought stuff is GREAT with this)

Pork Loin  (Pork SHOULDERS shred the best. I buy the huge ones from Costco and cut them into four roasts)
  1. Remove Chilies from the can of adobo sauce.
  2. Rinse chilies and can with the coke to get all the sauce. You are using the sauce and not the chilies for this recipe.
  3. Add 1-2 chilies for spice, more if you're daring
  4. Put all ingredients except pork in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour over pork in crock pot.
  6. Cook on low for 7-9 hours until it pulls apart easily. After cooking, shred with forks.

Pretzel Salad

2 c crushed pretzels
3/4 c margarine, melted
3 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
1 c sugar
1 (8 oz) frozen cool-whip topping, thawed
1 pkg strawberry gelatin (6 oz)
2 c boiling water
2 pkg (10 oz) frozen strawberries

1    Mix crushed pretzels, margarine and 3 Tablespoons sugar together and press into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Cool.
2    Mix softened cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold the 2 cups thawed whipping topping into cream cheese mixture and spread over cooled pretzel crust. ( To keep the cream cheese mixture from sticking to your spatula as you spread it, just run it under hot water.)  Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water and add frozen strawberries. Chill until syrupy, then pour over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate. Ccut into squares and garnish with whipped topping and a whole strawberry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella sandwiches

1 loaf sliced white sandwich bread   (**I think I would use Sourdough**)
2 pounds salted fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 ounces (4 T) unsalted butter, softened

1. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (cup?) cut out bread and mozzarella.

2. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Sandwich 1 tomato slice and 1 mozzarella slice between 2 slices of bread. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, mozzarella and bread to use up
loaf of bread.

3. Preheat grill to medium, or heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush outsides of bread with butter. Grill sandwiches until golden brown and mozzarella is soft but not completely melted, about 5 minutes per side.

7-Minute Frosting

1 1/2 cups plus 2 T sugar
2 T light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Heat  1 1/2 cups of the sugar, corn syrup and water in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to medium high, and bring to boil. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook until syrup registers 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into glass measuring cup.

2. Meanwhile, beat whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce to medium low, and add remaining 2 T sugar. Pour syrup into whites in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl. Raise speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ultimate Mac-N-Cheese

7 ounces elbow macaroni

For the bechamel:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups whole milk
 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

For the casserole:
2 tablespoons grated onion
3 cups grated, extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese (try Canadian version from Trader Joe's??)
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
 1/2 cup white panko bread crumbs
 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni for 7 minutes, and drain. While the macaroni cooks, prepare the bechamel by heating the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, and stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Remove from heat, whisk in milk, and return to heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let the sauce boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in nutmeg.
Spread half of the cooked macaroni in an ungreased, 2-quart casserole dish. Top with half of the onion, half of each cheese and half of the salt and pepper. Repeat. Pour the bechamel over the macaroni and cheese. Just before baking, spread the panko bread crumbs on top, and dot with butter.
Cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whipped Topping/Frosting Recipe

I never have whipped cream on hand when I want it - this is perfect to have in my back pocket!

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

    Martha's Lemon Cake Recipe


    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for pans
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 Tablespoon lemon zest
    2 cups sugar

    2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
    1/4 cup plus 2 T fresh lemon juice
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
    2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
    3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
    4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
    5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

    Lemon Curd Recipe

    Makes 2 cups
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces


    1. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
    2. Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
    3. Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.)

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Candy Corn Cupcakes

    1 box plain white cake mix
    1 cup regular sour cream
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup milk
    2 eggs

    Food Coloring (yellow and orange)
    Whipped topping (I think I would use some kind of cream cheese frosting)
    Candy Corn

    Combine cake mix, sour cream, oil, milk and eggs in large bowl. Mix, divide batter evenly into two separate bowls. Color half the batter with a few drops of orange food coloring (or 1 drop red to 2 drops yellow)  Color the other half with a few drops of yellow food coloring. Place cupcake liners into cupcake tins. Fill each liner with 1/4 cup of the yellow batter then top with the orange batter so liner is 1/2 full.  Bake according to package directions. Cool cupcakes completely. Just before serving, top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped topping and a piece of candy corn. Makes 24 cupcakes.