My Family and their Food Traditions

I come from good cooks. Good cooks and wonderful food traditions.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Best Meal Ever

I kid you not. And I have had some amazing meals. I mean, look at the cooks in my family...especially the one to whom I am married! Bit the one I had last night tips them all. Of course, the fact that I am with my favorite guy, in the amazing city of Chicago during spring break could help serve my senses. But I don't think so.

The foodie I am traveling with (aka favorite guy/hubbie) has all kinds of eateries planned out. It is fun. I just ask where we are eating next, and off we go. It has been a blast.

My oldest asked for a Rick Bayless cookbook for Christmas last year, and so his restaurant was added to our list. Well, actually all 3 of them were added. They are all right next to each other. We went to the Frontera Grill, which is his mid-priced option. We weren't dressed for the fanciest one. And boy am I glad!

So, what did I eat??

Pollo al Cascabel: Adobo-marinated Gunthorp chicken breast, cascabel-hazelnut sauce (cascabels, hazelnuts, white wine). White onion rajas, corn tortitas (queso anejo), ruby streak salad with citrus vinaigrette.

Oh baby!

After my first bite I couldn't wait to load a bit for my sweet man. His reaction was a reflection of my experience. The eyes close, the chewing slows and a gentle deep breath, in and out.

There may have been tears.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Millie's Hot Pickled Eggs

Millie babysat our boys when they were little. They loved her and she loved them.

Simmer the following uncovered for 10 minutes:

4 cups white vinegar

1 cup water

1 medium onion

1 tablespoon salt

Then add:

2 dozen hard cooked eggs

1 16 oz jar of sliced hot jalapeno’s

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (tobasco)

Place in a gallon glass jar being sure the eggs are covered with the vinegar liquid. Refrigerate for a week. The flavor continues to develop over time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates

These appetizers are simple and always a big hit!

24 pitted dates

24 almonds

8 slices bacon

Heat the broiler with rack 4 inches from heat source. Stuff dates with almonds. Cut bacon into thirds crosswise. Wrap each date with a bacon strip. Place seam side down on a slotted broiler pan. Broil until crispy on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn; cook until bacon is crispy throughout, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Artichoke Heart Dip

Serve with favorite crackers. I love Table Water crackers, because the taste doesn’t compete with the dip. We love artichoke hearts, but don't make this dip often. It is quite rich! But when we do, it goes fast.

1 can drained 13 oz artichoke hearts, quartered

1 c mayo

1 c parmesan cheese

Salsa, to taste

1 7 oz can chopped green chilies

Put hearts in round quiche style dish. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the hearts. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quiche Your Way

This was Grandma Wenger’s recipe. The crust is super easy and so good! What strikes your fancy or is leftover in your frig? Put it in your quiche and bake it!

½ c butter

3 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 c flour

Salt to taste

Mix with fork; work into a ball; push into a quiche pan.

½ lb. Swiss cheese—grate into the crust

Add one of the following:

½ lb. shredded ham

8 slices bacon crumbled

1 c crab

1 c slightly cooked spinach & onion

Mix and pour over the above:

3 eggs

1½ c half and half

½ t salt

ground pepper

Bake for 45 minutes at 375°.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Healthy Carrot Muffins

12 Servings

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

⅔ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch fine salt

2 large eggs

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

4 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)

½ cup canned crushed pineapple, drained

Special equipment: 12 cup muffin tin and paper liners

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line twelve ½-cup muffin cups with paper muffin liners.

Whisk the flours with the brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the egg, then whisk in the vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.

Quickly and lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Stir in the carrots and pineapple just until evenly moist; the batter will be very thick. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Turn muffins out of the tins and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

French Bread Topping

Aunt Sheila’s recipe for 2 loaves of French Bread

1 c mayonnaise

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

¼ c finely chopped onion

½ t parsley flakes dried or 1T fresh chopped

Mix all ingredients and spread on French loaf bread that has been cut lengthwise. Broil long enough to melt cheese. This is enough for two large loaves so Sheila cuts it in half when she is doing it just for family.