Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buffalo Burgers

Mom's critique:  You can add more pepper sauce if you like it more spicy.  This amount in this recipe makes it a medium-hotness.  My husband gave this recipe an A++.  This was pretty easy and can be made ahead.  Even my "non-blue-cheese-loving" son had some blue cheese on it, and said it made the difference.  Final grade: A-

Wade's critique:  I love spicy foods, so for this one I was ready to take on a gallon of spice. When I saw the recipe calling for so little (1/8 tsp.) I grabbed the bottle and put a lot more in. But this recipe is very good it has a unique taste and it gets a : B+

  1 lb. ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Tomato soup
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
4 hamburger buns 

Shape beef into 4 patties, 1/2" thick. 
Cook patties in skillet until browned. pour off fat.
Add soup and hot pepper sauce. Heat to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 mins. or until done. Top with cheese.
Serve on rolls with soup mixture. serves 4.


Pizza-style Pasta

Mom's critique: This is the first time making this, even though it has been in my recipe stash for a decade.  All I can say is WOW.  This was SO SO easy, and so SO good.  If you like a little extra spice, use the hot Italian sausage instead of the mild. This one will be on our regular "do over" list. Final Grade: A

Wade's critique: This is a very easy recipe it requires you to be there the whole time  doing something for the recipe. In total this recipe takes about 28 minutes to make, bake,  and serve. It is really good with raspberry lemonade. This get an : A-

Pizza- style pasta
1(16-oz.) package mostaccioli, cooked and drained as package directs.
1/2 lb. italian sausage 
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1(14 1/2-oz.) can fresh cut diced tomatoes
1 T dried italian seasoning 
2 cups shredded mozzarella 

Preheat oven to 450* F. In nonstick skillet, over high heat, brown sausages and mushrooms about 8 minutes. add tomatoes and Italian seasoning; cook an additional 2 minutes.  Place half cooked pasta on 12" round pizza pan, or in 13x9" baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 c. cheese, then add remaining cooked pasta.  Top with tomato mixture and remaining cheese.  Bake for 5 minutes and serve immediately.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Serves 4-6.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BBQ pulled pork sandwiches

We have had a lot of foreign foods lately and it seems like this is the most domestic food we have had in a while. It is a pretty easy recipe if you have a crock-pot (which by the way are amazing) but good food does take a little time to make, so start this one early. Remember, patience is a virtue.

Wade's critique: This recipe was a very easy but delicious and it didn't take long at all to prep. it but it takes some time for it to cook. This easily gets a: B+

Mom's critique: Very easy prep. The end result was good, but I would definitely go the extra mile and get the sauce she recommends. Our sauce was a bit bland (Walmart brand Honey Bbq sauce). I am also going to use the pickles and coleslaw next time to see how it affects the final product. Final grade: B (but will regrade this one once I try it with a new sauce)

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3 lb. boneless pork shoulder
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Smoked paprika or liquid smoke
1-1 1/2 bottles BBQ Sauce
About 12 high-quality rolls
Thick-cut dill pickle slices

Rinse pork roast well in cold water and trim of excess fat. This is important because sometimes, boneless pork shoulder (and bone-in pork shoulder, for that matter) can take on kind of an icky fishy odor and a lot of that smell is in the juices and the fat. Pat dry. Sprinkle roast with seasonings and place in your slow cooker. Add about 1/2 inch of water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
When the roast has cooked, drain liquid and then return to the slow cooker and shred. Pour enough sauce over the meat so it's well-incorporated but not soupy. Return the lid to the crockpot and heat through.
When ready to serve, slice rolls and add meat. Top with coleslaw and a few slices of dill pickle.

Virgin Mango Colada

After many dinners of nothing but Brazilian lemonade, we decided we should try something different. although my mother didn't like the change from Brazilian lemonade, we looked around and found Mango Colada. We tried it out and rated it.

Wade's critique: The drink was actually quite tasty if you are to add enough mangos, but their was a problem in my opinion. The after taste of the rum extract (which is optional) was too strong leaving a strange taste in the mouth for quite a while giving this recipe a: C+

Mom's critique: I disagree with Wade. I think the canned pineapple (vs. fresh) gave it a somewhat metallic taste, and left me with not wanting a second helping. Next time: fresh pineapple, and double the mango (what exactly is a MEDIUM size mango?? I think ours were too small) Grade: C+

Virgin Mango Colada

1 C chopped mango (about 1 medium mango)
1/3 C cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk)
1/2 C pineapple chunks, including some of the juice or syrup
juice from one lime
1-2 tsp. rum extract (optional)
crushed ice

Combine chopped mango, pineapple chunks and juice, lime juice, and cream of coconut in blender. While blender is running, add crushed ice until desired consistency is reached.

Pour drink into glasses (2 generous servings, 3-4 smaller servings).

Brazilian Lemonade

We had several attempts at making this, the first failed miserably (apparently you aren't supposed to blend up the ENTIRE lime... peels and all).

We tried the recipe from here.

Moms critique:  If you are a fan of Tucanos, and like their Brazilian Lemonade, you will love this.  This is an almost SPOT ON replica of the great drink, and the sweetened condensed milk is what makes this recipe great.  A+

Wade's critique: I thought that this recipe had a very nice taste. If you have ever been to Tucanos, they serve these (although theirs may taste better than this recipe, most likely they have a secret recipe.) This recipe quickly became our families favorite. As a drink it goes along with almost any dinner.  A

Brazilian Lemonade:

4 juicy limes (try and find ones with thin, smooth skins; they're the juiciest and the thin skin cuts down on the chance of your drink being bitter)
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk

Mix cold water and sugar very well and chill until ready to use. This step can be done ahead of time.

Wash limes thoroughly with soap (I just use hand-dishwashing soap or regular hand soap); you need the soap to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you're using the WHOLE lime, baby. Cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8ths.

Place 1/2 of the limes in your blender.

Add 1/2 of the sugar water, place the lid on your blender, and pulse 5 times. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a pitcher (the one you'll serve the lemonade in) and pour the blended mixture through the strainer and into the pitcher. Use a spoon to press the rest of the liquid into the pitcher. Dump the pulp and stuff in the strainer into the trash. Repeat with remaining limes and sugar water. Add sweetened condensed milk; DO NOT leave this step out unless you will die of a horrible sweetened condensed milk allergy because this is the secret ingredient! You may want to taste test it at this point; I used giant, thick-skinned limes tonight and didn't test it and it came out a little bitter. If it's bitter, just add some more sugar and maybe a little more milk.
Serve immediately over lots of ice. This does not keep well, so don't make this in advance (although you can cut the limes, mix the sugar water, and measure the sweetened condensed milk in advance). Serves 4, although I can pretty much guarantee you that people will want more; I usually plan on 1 1/2 servings at LEAST per person.