Jan 14, 2010

Red Beans and Rice, and Corn Pudding

I often get recipes from http://www.ourbestbitse.com/. It is one of my favorite site! This recipe is from that site. My friend Kate is a Logan, UT girl living with her husband and kids in Louisiana right now. She posted about red beans and rice and I thought, hey I'll try it. My first attempt ended with a mush of flavorless, well, mush. I made two mistakes: 1) cooking it all day. Only cooking it for 5 hours on high worked MUCH better then all day on low. 2) I used Zateran's Creole flavoring instead of Tony's. Second time, used Tony's and it actually had flavor! So check out her recipe here:

Red Beans and Rice

To go with the Red Beans and Rice, I threw together a Corn Pudding. Now, this is different from corn bread. It is tender and soft, yummy and sweet. I got the recipe from Paula Dean, but made some changes - mostly cut the amount of butter in half! I also lessened the sour cream.

Corn Pudding

1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted

Set oven to 350. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a 9X13 casserole dish. Pour mixture into dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden on top.

Pumpkin Pancakes

As a mom, some days I just don't feel like doing much for dinner, but kids still need to eat. I often fall back to pancakes, but there is one problem: what's in a pancake? Nothing much of nutritional value, really. So sitting around my pantry was a can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin). So I thought, hey, why not? Pumpkin is a vegetable packed with nutritional value (my friend Heidi confirmed this by looking up all the benefits of eating pumpkin). I got the base of this recipe from allrecipies.com. Use mine or make your own modifications. This is so much fun!  And I am pretty sure it counts as a serving of vegetables.

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat)
3 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 egg
2 TBS vegetable oil (can substitute apple sauce)
2 TBS vinegar

1. Combine milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes.

2. Sift together dry ingredients and spices.

3. Add to milk mixture, 1 egg beaten, oil, and pumpkin. Mix well.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing only to combine.
Now with regular pancakes I would STRESS about not over mixing at this point. But this recipe is more flexible then regular pancakes, so if you over mix it isn't a big deal.

5. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Oil pan (even my best non-stick needed oil with these).

6. Once hot, pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes each side. NOW with regular pancakes you wait for the bubbles on the up-side. Not with these. I waited too long with the first patch and had a burnt underside.

You can add chocolate chips if you want, although that kind of defeats the health factor. Serve with butter, or whipped cream, or Nutella, or apple sauce, or maple syrup. You can at this point keep them as healthy or not as you want!

Jan 8, 2010

The best fudge EVER... And I never lie!

This recipe is The Lady and Son's Just Desserts by Paula Dean. I remember seeing her make it and rave about it on her show, and it caught my attention because of the MOST unusual ingredient... BUT having made it quite a few times, this is the best fudge you will ever have. Honestly, I recently spend a small fortune on a very small piece of fudge at a farmers market (OK, OK it was last summer not too recent...) and was steamin' mad that it wasn't that great... At least compared to this recipe! So for you Valentine sweetheart, don't bother wasting money on store bought junk. Make this instead!

Chocolate Cheese Fudge by Paula Dean

1/2 LBS Velveeta cheese, sliced
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans personally)
2 16oz boxes confectioners' sugar (or 32oz bag)
1/2 cup cocoa

Spray lightly the bottom of a 9X2 in square pan with nonstick spray.

Over medium heat in a saucepan, melt cheese and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and nuts. In a large bowl, sift together sugar and cocoa. Pour cheese mixture into sugar-cocoa mixture, stirring until completely mixed. Candy will be very stiff. Paula says she has found it is easier to do the final mixing with her hands (I agree). Using your hands, remove candy from bowl and press evenly and firmly into pan. Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, she likes to pat the top of the candy with a paper towel to remove excess oil. At this point you may want to refrigerate until firm, depending on how quickly you want to serve it. Thirty minutes will usually do the trick. Cut into squares.

She also notes: For peanut butter fudge, leave out cocoa and add 1 cup creamy peanut butter. Melt cheese and butter together, then add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Proceed as directed in original directions. If you desire, you can press nuts into the top when you're done.

No pictures sorry :( I last made this at my friend Heidi's house for her family for Christmas. Be sure to wear an apron so you don't ruin your clothes when the butter splats (or you splat the butter because you aren't being careful.... grumble...)