Sunday, December 31, 2006

the Gift of the Magi

I bet this isn't what you had in mind when you read, "the Gift of the Magi". As you may already know, the Magi are the three wisemen who took presents to baby Jesus. You can read the popular story written by O. Henry here. As you may have already guessed, this bread wasn't one of the gifts. This bread pictured above, is called The Gift of the Magi Bread. Clever name and all, but I received this "gift" and I have to say, it isn't a very wise gift. I know, you probably all think I'm a jerk because it's the thought that counts, or maybe some of you out there love this bread, but I thought that it was fruit cake taken to a whole new level. As previously blogged, I told you about my granny's mayonnaise cake. I thought that was bad, but I would eat that sooner than I would eat this. Look at the ingredients here. So it's basically a glorified banana bread. Honestly, I do appreciate the gift. One of the things I miss the most about living in the university's married student housing is all the gifts and treats we received, especially at Christmas time, from around the world. I tried this bread to be polite, and I was hoping that it would suit me, but as it turns out, it got put on my list of top 10 worst things I've ever eaten. Somewhere between baked quiche with metal flavoring, and octopus jerky. I wish I had a picture of our mangled gift of the magi. This picture almost makes the bread look good.
mandarin oranges-good
flaked coconut-good
semisweet chocolate chips-good
sliced almonds-good
maraschino cherries-Uhm, not so good

Friday, November 17, 2006

pumpkin cookies

I'm an idiot. I prepared a serrano chile with my bare hands yesterday and they are still burning! I've tried everything-milk, baking soda, lemon, and I can't get rid of it. My fingertips are on fire! I even rubbed my eye last night, not thinking. HF said that if I thought this was bad, I probably wouldn't be able to take being pepper-sprayed. He's been sprayed a couple of times for his job. They had HF and a few other guys stand in a line and they walked down the line giving them each a good douse in the eyes with (police-issued) pepper spray. I guess they use more potent stuff? Then he had to make it through some kind of ridiculous obstacle course. Reminds me of Nacho Libre when he spreads the cow poo on Esqueleto's eyes and then he wanders off through the field, blinded. Later that night, there was a knock at our door and HF was standing there looking just awful and squinting with a police escort holding his arm. The officer said, "Does this belong to you!?" I hadn't met this officer before so I was little taken back and I didn't know that HF was receiving that kind of training that day so I didn't really know what to think. Poor guy. Maybe next time I'll have him prepare the chiles, without gloves.

Daisy and I made some pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies today. You know, they weren't all that great. It was probably my recipe. They were super fast low-fat pumpkin cookies.

1 box spice cake mix
1 29 oz. can pumpkin
chocolate chips, if desired
Bake for 20 minutes on 400 degrees.

I can't really describe the taste. They dissolve too fast when you put them in your mouth and it just doesn't quite taste right or how I was expecting. I probably won't make them again unless I have to make something in a hurry for, let's say, someone I don't like very much? Kids like them though and I guess it's a healthier option than other types of cookies or desserts. So then again, maybe I will make them for the kiddos every now and then. Maybe HF will like them too. He's been known to like really poor quality food every now and then.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

best southwest chicken i've ever had

I'm not usually a southwest sort of gal, but you've got to try this. This was SO good. We had this with some friends awhile ago. It was served with couscous and mixed fresh fruit. So so good.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

too much orange

Halloween menu plan: Creamy Patato soup in a pumpkin shaped and colored bread bowl. Maybe I'll post a pic. of the bowl later. They were cute. I wanted to make a cool dessert like a Pumpkin cream cheese roll, but I didn't. That thing is so good and it's kind of fun to make. Of course I leave the nuts out of it. Sometimes I wonder why people have to go and ruin things with nuts. Like banana bread. So much better without nuts! I don't know how many people would agree with me there. Growing up, my parents put nuts in everything. I have a recipe for bread bowls, but luckily our local bakery makes nice soft bread bowls and every fall they make them orange with a little green stem. Very cute. The soup isn't anything fancy at all, but it's easy and it tastes good and I let it cook all day in the crockpot.
Creamy Potato Soup
8 cups diced potatoes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 package (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth
1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup
bacon or cheese to garnish
Combine all ingredients except for cream cheese in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese and stir until blended. Garnish with bacon or cheese if desired. I added carrots and boiled them with potatoes and onions until they were tender. I processed them until they were smooth and then I put it in the crockpot with the other ingredients. Sometimes I just don't like lumps in my soup.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Apricot Chicken

Apricot-glazed chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 c. apricot jam
2 green onions, diced
1/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar

Place chicken breasts in a large zip-lock gallon-sized bag and use a rolling pin to flatten to desired thickness. In skillet over medium heat melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and brown chicken on both sides (About 2-3 minutes on each side). Add remaining ingredients to skillet with remaining tablespoon of butter. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

I used chicken tenderloins so that it would cook faster. I served it with boiled red potatoes that were chopped into bite-size pieces with the skin left on. After potatoes were done boiling in salted water, I melted butter over the top and sprinkled them with fresh parsley. I also made steamed broccoli and served apple crisp for dessert. It tasted like some good old fashioned cooking that was much overdue in this house. My sister-in-law made her chicken with apple cider vinegar and saw raw sugar cane or something like that. She has gotten really good at substituting ingredients for all-natural and sugar-free. We used to eat some pretty scary things over at their house, but lately it hasn't been that bad at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

SPAM meatballs

I made HF Hawaiian meatballs out of Spam tonight. Scary, huh. My mom gave me this recipe she made when she was in college. It sounds disgusting but everyone loves it whenever they eat it. I know SPAM isn't the healthiest thing out there, but if you are going to eat fatty greasy meatballs, you might as well give these a try sometime. They're super easy and super fast. She calls them "Hawaiian meatballs". Supposedly Spam is used a lot in Hawaii. I've had Korean neighbors that use it in sushi.

Also, word to the wise. You really should not buy generic when it comes to SPAM. Once I bought generic when we were living in Kansas City and when I opened the can it was a green and black, thick, syrupy goo. I poured it down the drain while I dry heaved. Now here I am 5 years later after gaining the courage to give it a try once again. Sometimes name brand counts. Anyway, here's how you do it.


1 (12 oz.) can SPAM, mixed into pea-size pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
Mix thoroughly and form into balls. Brown on all sides in frying pan. Set meatballs aside in a 9X13 casserole dish. Drain pineapple juice from a 20 oz. can and pour into a small saucepan. On medium heat combine:
pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Cook until thick then add pineapple chunks. Pour evenly over meatballs and place in 375 degree oven. Bake until bubbly. Serve with rice.
This is definitely a dish that is ugly and unhealthy and would look great in a 1970's cookbook. Please let me know if you try it. Every man that has eaten this loves it. I kid you not.