Trash talk

29 Nov

So this Friday will mark a new chapter in my family’s Christmas traditions. We are hosting our inaugural ugly Christmas sweater party. I’m super stoked. 

With a holiday party comes all the food stuffs too. So of course I went directly to the best source of holiday recipes: my mom. Oh my goodness y’all. My mom used to throw some killer Christmas parties. I’m pretty sure she spent an entire month’s grocery budget on the food for said parties too. The smells that wafted through the house, from December 1-25 were heavenly. 

One of my favorite things she’d make was Texas Trash. Basically a homemade Chex mix. I’m sure she included a small amount of questionable ingredients because it was so addictive. Ha ha. And whatever didn’t get consumed at the party would be leftover and only got better with time. It’s great to gift and even better to “taste test.”

Sow without further ado, I give you Cheryl’s Texas Trash  

right out of the oven

   

  • 3C corn squares cereal 
  • 3C rice squares cereal
  • 1C of wheat squares, “Os” cereal (Cheerios), or Kix – I use store brand Tasteeos
  • 1C mixed nuts 
  • 1.5C mini pretzels 
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP Worstchestershire Sauce 
  • 1.5 tsp seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter and combine with salt and sauce. Pour over cereals/nuts and toss until coated. This may seem like not enough butter/seasoning, but just keep tossing. On a sided cookie sheet or roasting pan, spread mixture in single layer (it probably will make two pans). Bake for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. When done, transfer to countertop on paper towels to cool and to allow for any additional oils to drain off. Once cooled, transfer into an airtight container. 

Christmas tins are perfect to put them into and then gift. 
I wish I had some smell-o-vision for you right now. 

It never happened. 

26 Nov

Picking a recipe from Grandma, I mean. I didn’t have pie crust, I didn’t want to thaw any fruit, and I just didn’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. 

So, I opted for a fruit salad with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a honey simple syrup. The plan is to let the kids (and older “kids”) use waffle cones for cornucopia sand fill them with fruit, whipped cream, and/or vanilla pudding. 

I also wanted to make sangria. No particular reason, I just wanted to. It’s a SUPER simple recipe and I used an info graphic from Wine Enthusiast to guide me. Yeah, sure, sangria is basically a wine Hunch Punch, but I am a fairly snobby person when it comes to the red concoction. I tried to find the link to the graphic, but could only find it on Pinterest. 

 
  

I’m not above buying premade Sangria either! Why try to make something that’s already been perfected?! Needless to say, those were my ingredients: $5 Argentinian red wine, $4 sparkling peach wine, $5 Brandy, and $3.98 peach schnapps. I also added pears, apples, oranges and lemon juice, along with a 1/4 cup of OJ. Let’s just say that it smelled much better this morning after it being in the fridge all night.  
Anyway, we are now en route with the least amount of food I’ve ever had to take to someone’s house for a holiday…ever! Whoop! 
Amber’s notes: Be thankful all year, not just during this season. Give generously, love unconditionally, and never be afraid to dance in the rain. 

It’s time….

25 Nov

…to brush off the cookbook and get back to trying out Grandma’s recipes. What better way to do so, than for Thanksgiving?!

We actually had a traditional dinner two weeks ago when my sister and her family were visiting. Tomorrow, we are heading to my stepdaughter’s house for a not-so-traditional meal of lasagna. Who does that?! However, it will be a nice change from all the typical foods at this time of year. 

So, I have a carton of whipping cream already in the fridge. I’m thinking a cream pie, or crust less pie. We will see what Grandma has to say about it. 

Grandma would be proud

19 Jan

I tried my hand at merengue last night. Let’s just say that in the world of baking, a stand mixed would be worth it’s weight in gold if I made these types of pies regularly.

In an effort to become a healthier family, we are starting to cut back on refined sugars and processed foods. So, to use what we already had, I gabbed the cookbook and did. Quick search. I’m not sure why chocolate, but I’m glad I started making it.

It was delicious.

8/31/96- George with his tractor is mowing around my house and chicken house. Lance visited; sprayed wasp nest in carport. 9/3/96- all my 85 3/4 yrs, my family grew sweet potatoes, but I never saw or heard of these beautiful orchid colored blooms w/reddish purple colored throat until this year. YOU LORD ARE MASTER OF THE EARTH. GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR PEOPLE.

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Banana Jasmine Rice Pudding

8 Jan

We had Frito Pie last night for dinner. If you aren’t familiar with that, you’ve probably never been a Texan or been in the general vicinity of a Texan. But that’s pseudo-forgivable and the recipe is super easy. Take Fritos and put chili and shredded cheese on top. Now, some places will try to peddle you some rubbish about jalapeños, onions, or olives on top of these “pies.” They, my friend, are smoking the proverbial crack. This is a simple dish, easy, and tasty. That’s all.

With all that said, I wanted a little more substance with my bowl, so I decided to make a bag of rice. Yes, bag. As in boil-in-the-bag rice. Thank you, Uncle Ben, for taking the head work out of rice. Well, once the rice was done, I realized that no one else would want rice in their dish. But they would eat pudding made from the rice. So began a search for easy rice pudding.

I grabbed the first recipe I found, but needed to make alterations to it because I either didn’t have the ingredients or didn’t want to use them.

So, enjoy this rice pudding. I also included alternative ingredients to suit your dietary whims.

Banana Jasmine Rice Puddin
• 1 bag, cooked, of boil-in-bag jasmine rice
• Approx. 1.75 cups almond milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I’d even cut that back to 1/3 or 1/2 cup because of the banana)
• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
• ***optional 1egg yolk for a more “sturdy” pudding, but tempering it is a pain***
• 2 Tbsp. butter/margarine/butter substitute
• 1 banana chopped or mashed
• ½ tsp. salt

Bring to a boil the rice, sugar, milk and vanilla. Lower to a simmer 25 min., stirring occasionally every 3-4 minutes. Add mashed bananas, salt, and butter (& egg) and cook 2 min more. Let set in fridge.

We topped ours with whipped cream, but you could sprinkle a little brown sugar, cinnamon, or chopped nuts on top. I had a serving this morning for breakfast, but I was a little overwhelmed by the banana flavor and the overtly sweet nature of the entire thing. Next time I’ll cut back the sugar (as I noted above) and I might even cut the banana in half. But it was good nonetheless.

Grandma’s notes: this was not one of her recipes, but I think she’d have made it and it would have been perfect warm, on a cold, rainy day.

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Thank you, thankyouverymuch

26 Sep

I tried to type that in my best Elvis accent.

 

I finally got off my keister and made the canned goods I planned to make!  My two recipes yielded 4 jars of Pickled Squash and 5 of Pear Honey.  If you remember, the pear honey made it into the county fair back in 2012 and sold for $70.  Not Texas State Fair worthy, mind you, but a start for someone who had only been canning/preserving for less than a month!

Anyway, it’s been one of the most popular amongst my friends and was a natural choice when deciding what I wanted to give away as thank you gifts.  The second choice seemed the least time-intensive of most of the pickle recipes and I had yet to conquer the pickle realm.

 

And so, I give you…my goods!

photo(5)Yeah, I know, not the best photo…but it will have to do.  The squash was surprisingly easy to make and I did it first since it took the longest.  You can find the pear honey post here.  I’ll share the pickles recipe because I think canning/preserving is a lost art (though there are many who still do it) and it it easy to do.  You need no special canning equipment other than pots and pans!

 

Pickled Squash

  • 8 Cups sliced squash (think pickle chips)
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 bell peppers (green or red give the best colors)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed

Sprinkle squash with salt and let stand one hour.  Except for the squash, mix everything else and bring to a boil.  Drain water off squash; add to boiling liquid.  Bring to boil again and cook an additional minute.  Then put in jars and seal.  Yield: 5 pints.

Grandma’s Notes: 10/1/99- 52 degrees at 8:45; walked to Lance’s driveway and back.  The four-o’clocks are so pretty since the rain.  10/3/99- Zach came; visited and talked about some of his future plans.  Crocheted, read, and picked up pecans.  I BRING MY LIFE TO YOU LORD BECAUSE I KNOW WHATEVER IS WRONG IN IT, YOU CAN FIX IT, AND I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN.

 

I just realized that the above journal entries are almost right back where I needed them for the time of year.  I guess I planned that just right.

Gotta Get Movin’

9 Sep

Just a quick post as time seems to have quickly flown since we found out we are going to be welcoming our second child in just under 8 weeks (give or take)!  My plan is to make a few of my recipes as “thank you” gifts for upcoming showers and gatherings.

If you want to know what I’m planning on making, there are two recipes I have in mind:
1) Pear Honey and
2) Pickled Squash (a new one for me!)

 

The pear honey, you may recall, didn’t win at the county fair in 2012, but it did sell for $70 in the 4H auction.  Not too bad for a rookie!  I’m looking forward to making the pickles too.  I’ve not yet ventured into the “pickling” realm, but the recipe isn’t too difficult looking.

 

I hope to post some pictures and entries as I make these things.  It should be within the next week or two.

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