Monday, February 23, 2009

Microwave Carmel Corn

3 qts. popped popcorn
1 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. light Karo syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Combine brown sugar, butter, Karo syrup, and salt in 4 cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until boiling, then boil 2 minutes. Stir in baking soda and stir well. Put popcorn in double paper grocery bag. Pour caramel mixture over corn and shake. Place closed bag back in microwave, rolled side down. Microwave on high 1 minute 20 seconds. Remove and shake. Microwave another 1 minute 20 seconds. Shake again and pour on foil to cool. Easy and good!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Unhealthy Brussels Sprouts

In the spirit of compliance with Comfort Foods Month, I submit the following. It has been perfected / adapted from a prominent cooking show. The principle upon which its goodness is founded is quite basic:

Vegetables + Fat = Good Vegetables.

Here goes:

1/2 Package of Sliced Bacon, Chopped in 1" pieces
1 Small Onion
A bunch of Brussels Sprouts
Half an 8 oz Pkg of Sour Cream (That would be, yes, about 4 oz).
A handful of Bleu (or Blue or Blu or Blew, whatever) Cheese

Prep Brussels sprouts by trimming stem and outer leaves. Halve Brussels sprouts. Cook most of the way in the microwave or a saucepan with water. Drain

Cook Bacon.
Julienne onions and saute in bacon grease.

Fold Brussels Sprouts into bacon and onions on stovetop, low heat. Add sour cream and fold in bleu cheese.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

un-official declaration:

In the spirit of the February doldrums, I hereby un-officially declare that March should be Comfort Food Month on prattfamilycooking. I recognize my inability to make it official since we all collaborate, but you can help me make it official by participating. You see, our posts have petered out since the holidays, and I really enjoy reading recipes. Especially recipes that are attached to memories. I would also like to encourage more photo posting, but perhaps that can be a theme for another month (April, perhaps? anyone?)

So you have a week to prepare. It doesn't matter how basic the recipe is, it just has to be comforting enough to get you through those last few snowstorms and cold mornings. Perhaps its some form of a warm breakfast. (Has anyone mastered the art of re-heating oatmeal that has already taken the mould of the pan?) Or perhaps you have a summer recipe that keeps your hope for green grass alive? Either way, brush the congealed batter off the pages and prepare to post and partake. I already have 6 or 7 ready to go...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cheese Pie

3 pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 graham cracker crust- 9 ounces
2 tablespoons whipping cream

Heat oven to 450

Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir in 1 2/3 cups mini chips. Pour into crust.

Bake 10 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250. Bake 30 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven to wire rack. Cool completely. Cover; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Place remaining 1/3 chips and whipping cream in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave at high for 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly, then spread over cheesepie. Refrigerate until topping is set.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

French Dip Sandwiches

These are my favorite. Really simple, but really good.

Hoagie buns (one for each person who's gonna be eating.)
1/2 lb roast beef (this makes about 4 sandwiches, if you're stingy.)
1/2 lb of some sort of white cheese (no I'm not racist. if you're feeling really gourmet, buy the deli havarti cheese for 8 bucks a pound)
some butter
1 packet au jus (we find this in the same aisle as the taco seasoning and all of those other little packets with the strange powders. (no thats not a drug reference, although maybe those strange poweders could cure this migraine that I've had for two days.))
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 400. Slice the hoagies and butter each side. Layer roast beef and non-racist cheese on one side of each hoagie. Stick them in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the butter is melted.

Mix the water and the au jus powder in a sauce pan. Really, just follow the directions on the packet. No reason for me to type them out here.

Serve everything hot. Cut sandwiches into smaller pieces for those with smaller hands. If I'm feeling extra healthy (and really, I always should do this to balance out the havarti cheese) I'll steam some green beans and they taste pretty good dipped in the au jus as well.

Why is it called 'french dip' anyway? Did the french invent them? Or is it a fake out, like calling my primary instrument a 'french horn.' (its originally German, after all.) What makes this sort of thing french? Is this one of those mysteries of God that will only be answered after we die?

Can you tell I'm tired?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pepperoni Soup

Large Can of Canned Chicken Broth
Package of Hormel Sliced Pepperoni
Can of diced tomatoes (or - spicy version - can of diced tomatoes with green chiles)
Small Chopped Onion (or 1c rehydrated food storage onions)
Chopped Celery
Season to taste (Basil, Black Pepper)
Macaroni Noodles

Directions: Sautee Onions and Celery in Olive Oil. Dump other stuff in. Simmer.

Variation: Substitute white northern beans for the macaroni. It's actually better and healthier this way, but prepping white northern beans from food storage is an all-night job, so macaroni is easier when you need something quick.

Another Variation: Substitute frozen tailless shrimp for the pepperoni. If you do this, definitely do the spicey version with the green chiles - the onions are overpowering otherwise.

I have been in soup-inventing mode lately. THis is my favorite base so far: A veggie base (carrots, onions, celery) with a broth made from chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Just be sure you get the onions and celery nice and sauteed first. Once the broth is in they'll never soften up.

This one is based on a soup I had once at Sister Thomas's house in the Shingle Creek Ward - Stef and I were invited to a dinner for a Ward PEC planning meeting, and I loved the soup. Always meant to get around to asking for the recipe, it was a minestrone with pepperoni in it, but never did. Finally decided to try to recreate it myself.