Category Archives: Food

Cranberry Crapsmanship

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Here’s another post confessing to my inadequacies! I used an excellent recipe for cranberry salsa, that’s a delicious combination of sweet and tart that goes perfectly with tortilla chips. Serve it with cream cheese or without — it’s still delicious.

I found the recipe here: Fresh Cranberry Salsa Recipe – Cooking With Karli. Easy enough. I used a blender to chop up all the cranberries, as called for in the recipe. CRAP ALERT: I decided to use the blender to chop up all the other ingredients, instead of chopping them by hand as the recipe called for.

I got a big gloppy mess that definitely didn’t chop the ingredients well. Chunks in a salsa are okay; big strings of onion and large pieces of jalapeno are not okay.

But I made it work. It was messier than if I’d followed the recipe’s directions, but I chopped, chopped, chopped the whole big glob. Next time, I’ll use a food processor or chop by hand. Sometimes, I just can’t improve on a recipe!

New Year’s Day Flop

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For New Year’s Day, I decided to make a dish that isn’t a traditional one in our family. So, instead of the New Year’s Day roast pork and sauerkraut that was served on January 1 as I was growing up, and in place of the southern tradition of black-eyed peas and cornbread, I opted for something different. Why not celebrate the good luck tradition of Denmark with a dish known as ebelskivers?!

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Gingerbread Village

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For the last several years, I’ve created this little Christmas village in a jar using a delicious gingerbread recipe. I made this year’s village yesterday (see photo above). It’s a fun project from Better Homes and Gardens, and if you’d like to give it a go yourself, directions are included at this link: Gingerbread in a Jar | crapsmanship

World’s Easiest Meal!

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Ok, yes, there’s a slight degree of hyperbole in the title of this post. This meal isn’t as easy as a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal, but it’s damn easy for a homecooked dinner.

This is a version of SOS (shit on a shingle) that my mom used to make. You need:

Store-bought biscuits — any kind will do. I like these.

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

2 cups whole milk

salt and pepper

1 jar dried beef

Get your biscuits in the oven and then start the dried-beef gravy. Remove the meat from the jar and cut into small strips. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour. Mix and stir for about five minutes, long enough for the flour to cook some. You don’t need to darken to roux. Then add two cups of whole milk and stir, stir, stir, until the mixture thickens. Add a good amount of pepper but just a little salt. (The beef will salt the mixture.) Add the dried beef, stir, and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Once the biscuits are baked, slice them open onto a plate and cover with gravy. Serve with a bagged side salad or frozen veggies. Fast, easy, and a family pleaser!

Chicken and Dumplings

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The other night, BFF mentioned being hungry for chicken and dumplings. That sent me looking to past blog posts to search for my yummy recipe. After several friends asked for the how I made it, I decided it was time to revisit it on my blog. This is truly a delicious meal for a cool evening.

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Tropical Shrimp Salad

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I made the yummiest salad this week using a recipe from the great cooking magazine, Louisiana Cookin’. (For the original recipe, see www.louisianacookin.com/shrimp-mango-ceviche/.) The recipe was entitled “Shrimp and Mango Ceviche,” but in my book, it wasn’t really a ceviche because it didn’t start with raw seafood “cooked” in citrus juices. Plus, it had mayo, which no self-respecting ceviche should have. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and renamed it “Tropical Shrimp Salad” to better represent what I think the salad should be called.

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Yes, It’s Really a Cheetos Cake!

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My BFF retired last week, and her daughter and I conspired to surprise her with a couple family celebrations. When I asked what kind of cake I should make to celebrate, Daughter said that BFF really doesn’t care much for desserts but she loved Cheetos. I was up for the challenge!

After a quick search on Pinterest, I found a recipe that sounded interesting, maybe tasty, and definitely do-able. (I can’t relocate the original recipe to give credit to the creator.) I started with a 17-1/2 ounce bag of regular Cheetos. I opened the bag and then started crushing the pieces into smaller pieces. I poured the bag’s contents into a large bowl.

On the stovetop, I melted 3 tablespoons of butter and one 10-ounce bag of mini-marshmallows until they were thoroughly melted. (Yes, this is like Rice Krispie Treats.) I poured the marshmallow mixture into the Cheetos bowl, stirred to combine, and then patted it out into a 9X13″ pan, already sprayed with cooking spray.

I could have stopped there, but why not take it over the top? Remember, I’m married to a pastry chef. I had Dan the Man make a marshmallow cream icing (he called it Italian meringue), which I spread over the Cheetos. Dan the Man then used his mega-torch to brown the top. Yum! I then used a second bag of Cheetos to write a message (I tried to fit ‘Congrats’ without any luck), and the cake was now one of a kind for BFF. Surprisingly, it was a pretty tasty treat!

 

 

 

Sopa de Fideo

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Dan the Man bakes bread and desserts for a local brewery. One bar employee, Chris, particularly loves Dan’s desserts, so we spend a lot of time talking about food. As a native Mexican, Chris asked Dan about making her favorite soup from childhood — Sopa de Fideo, or Noodle Soup. Neither Dan nor I had ever heard of it, but I was up for the challenge. I found a recipe to try at https://www.isabeleats.com/sopa-de-fideo/. Read the rest of this entry

Gingerbread in a Jar

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Thanks to a Pinterest post from Better Homes & Gardens, my friends and I each made a charming gingerbread village in a jar. BH&G does a good job of explaining the process (https://www.bhg.com/christmas/gingerbread-houses/gingerbread-house-city/?ordersrc=rdbhg1107752), and the gingerbread recipe is delicious. Here is what BH&G’s gingerbread village looked like. Cute, huh?

Martha, Kathy, and I strayed a little from the directions, and we have some advice based upon our struggles. Read the rest of this entry