Last weekend I had a slumber party. Me, not Grace. Grace was at Nana's. Five girlfriends and I (the guilty know who they are) met for breakfast at our favorite cafe in Marshfield, Uptown Cafe, (we just call it Freda's because Freda owns it) and spent a Saturday and Sunday talking, eating and reading magazines. It was heaven. We finally got caught up with each other and laughed a lot.
We ate an entire pan of brownies (I may have had more than my share) and I made quiche and enchiladas. I didn't tell them until the second helping that I sneaked venison burger in there. They liked them :)
I made homemade enchilada sauce (adapted from All Recipes) and Yummy Quiche (also All Recipes). That site is awesome. Check it out if you've never seen it before. You keep your own online recipe box and print the recipes out in 4x6 cards that you cut and fit right in your recipe box. Very handy!
I wanted to include a few of the recipes from the weekend along with some a couple of other handy recipes I use almost every week.
Look on your store bought packages of taco seasoning and almost all of them have a bunch of preservatives and MSG. This is just spices... most of which you already have in your cabinet. This recipe makes about 1 cup and you'll already have it when you get the hankering for Mexican food.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Makes about 1 cup
4 tbsp chili powder
8 tbsp onion powder
4 tsps ground cumin
4 tsps garlic powder
4 tsps paprika
4 tsps powdered oregano
4 tsps sugar
2 tsps salt
Mix it all up and keep it in a jar with a lid. About 3 tablespoons of mix supposedly equals 1/4 oz. package of commercial seasoning. I just keep adding it until I'm happy with the taste.
Red Enchilada Sauce
Makes about 2 large 32 oz cans worth. (I like a LOT of sauce on mine and add it to the beef and beans too)
2- 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion (tiny really)
1 1/2 tbsps taco seasoning
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
Saute onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add the rest and bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes.
I've posted this quiche recipe before but this time I had one leftover so I cut it into pie sized slices in the pan after it cooled, covered it with saran and tin foil and froze it. Now when I want to take a piece and salad in my lunch. I just pop out a piece, put it frozen in my lunch box (with an ice pack of course) and heat it in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Super YUMMY!
8 ounces bacon ( I used about 3/4 pound of sausage instead)
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, finely diced and drained
2 (9 inch) unbaked 9 inch pie crust
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs, lightly beaten (I usually use 6-8)
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup diced onion (I didn't use the onions)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon and or sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Place crust in a 9 inch glass pie plate (I used the kind with an aluminum pan). Sprinkle bacon/sausage inside of crust. In a small bowl, combine Cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, mushrooms and flour. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, cream, onion and green chiles. Add cheese mixture; stir well. Pour mixture into pie crusts evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes (I covered it with foil the last 10 minutes so the crust wouldn't burn), until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
This was supposed to make one quiche but I used more than 8 oz of sausage so it made two perfectly yummy ones!
These next two are super handy and I use them both a couple of times a week usually. I haven't bought Bisquick in a couple of years now since I found this recipe. I keep this baking mix in a big glass container in our extra fridge and just pull it out when I need it. I usually just add the wheat germ a few tablespoons at a time when I'm making individual things. The other ingredients will last a long time but the wheat germ has a shorter lifespan.
Busy Mother's Baking Mix
5 lb bag unbleached flour (you can add some whole wheat flour but it makes everything heavier)
3/4 cup baking powder (aluminum free)
1 cup wheat germ (you can just add a tablespoon or so as you use the mix if you want)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cream of tartar
3 tbsps salt
Whisk it all together well in a super big bowl (I use my big metal bowl) and store in an airtight container (preferably in the fridge).
Use for the following recipes:
2 cups mix
1 cup milk
1 tbsp oil
Can add frozen berries etc too. Beat together milk, eggs, oil. Add to mix until moistened. Pour 1/2 cup at a time onto oiled griddle.
Same as above but add 1 tsp vanilla and 2 more tbsps oil
Cut Out Biscuits
3 1/2 cups mix
1 stick butter (I use real unsalted butter)
3/4 cup milk
Roll out 1" thick and cut out.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees
3 1/2 cups mix
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup milk
Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes
Okay, this is the last one for today. I used to buy LOTS of refrigerator rolls because they were easy and I like bread with dinner. Finally I figured there had to be a better way and I found this recipe in Mother Earth News. Since then I've bought the book http://www.amazon.com/Artisan-Bread-Five-Minutes-Revolutionizes/dp/0312362919 apparently now they have a website too http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/
I use this master recipe to make dinner rolls several times a week. We all love them. They are different from refrigerated dough but now I prefer them. You can add whole wheat flour but again, it makes them denser so that's up to you. There are LOTS of different breads you can make from this one basic recipe. All I've done is a big round, dinner rolls, rolled it into bread sticks and pizza dough.
Artisan Bread Master Recipe
3 cups luke warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast (1 1/2 pkts)
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt or coarse kosher
6 1/2 cups flour
Mix it all up, cover lightly and let it rise two hours. Then you just put a date on it and stick it in your fridge. You can keep it up to two weeks in there. I just pinch off a dinner roll sized piece, sprinkle some flour on it and roll it into a ball. Slice the top with a serrated knife, slap it on a cookie sheet and bake it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you stick a pan of water in the oven along with it, you'll get a very crispy outside and a chewy inside. No water and you have a softer roll but still chewy. They get pretty hard if you save the leftovers for the next day but if you microwave it for a few seconds it's just like new AND warm again....
We don't usually HAVE leftovers. I fix one roll a piece.
Okay, so that's a lot of cooking but I just wanted to share. Next time I'll share egg noodles and meatballs...
I'm stuffed now!