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Saturday, May 28, 2011
It's finally here. Green goddess dressing. I've been teasing you for days about it. My husband told me it tasted like a chopped up a bunch of vegetables. After taking this as a compliment, I said "Well, I kinda did." It's the perfect combination of fresh and summery with clean and creamy. Your mouth is kept guessing as to just what that kick is......
I think I'm going to dip my pizza in it tonight.
Maybe spread it on potatoes tomorrow.
Ooh, try it on potato salad! I'd bet that'd be goooood.
Tell me what else you come up with.
Let's get started, shall we?
I adapted this from a few different recipes.
You know what I found? Use what you've got.
One recipe called for 1 cup of watercress as the main ingredient. Sorry, no watercress in small town Texas. Another recipe called for 1 cup basil. I didn't have that much. And why would I drive allllll the way to the store to buy new basil when I have this whole bag of Italian parsley sitting in my fridge?
So, I was adventurous. I used Italian parsley instead. It was great.
And, this lucky girl *right here* had fresh herbs from a friend's garden. Ya'll have GOT to grow your own, it's SO worth it. Just keep watering those puppies (that was always my problem).
So you'll need to chop up 1 cup of whatever greenery you have (I used parsley.).
I'm also missing my lemons in this picture. Juice from 2 lemons.
2 T each of mint, dill, and basil. MINT?! Yes, mint! It's so refreshing and wonderful
Some garlic, salt and pepper, anchoives (YUCK), red wine vinegar.... and the base:
1 cup mayo and 1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
~ I used plain greek yogurt and I love how long this has stayed fresh in the fridge.
Anchovies. Have ya'll ever bought anchovies? I hadn't. You peel back the can and here are these skinned little fish packed in there like, well, like anchovies - soaking in EVOO (olive oil for you "non" Rachel Ray-ers). Then, what am I do with a can full of anchovies after I use one measly fish?
Well, I put it in a ziploc bag, into the fridge it went, and now I'm looking for more anchovy recipes.
BUT - MAN is it good. SO worth it. Mom said they also have anchovy paste that comes in a tube, but not it small town Texas. Plus I kinda like grossing out the husband by telling him I threw a raw bait fish in the salad dressing. ~ winks.
Next, pile it all in the blender, mayo and yogurt first, then your herbs, liquids, seasonings, and bait fish. Blend.
Ya'll would be pleased to know I had a kitchen disaster with this one. The blender kept whirring, and not really moving the ingredients around, so I ended up adding a few tablespoons of olive oil to get things moving. As I was pouring the dressing into the bowl, allllllll that fresh squeezed lemon came out the bottom of the blender. Apparently someone, *not I,* didn't screw the blender all the way back together.
I laughed. Oh well.
So yours may need olive oil or may not.
Then make your favorite salad, pizza, potatoes, whatever you've got that you want drenched in creamy Green Goddess Goodness. And feel like a wild goddess you will.
I used those wild baby greens, little orange baby tomatoes, avocado, and those rotisserie chickens from the store. Perrrrfect. Tell me about your creation.
Here ya'll go, have fun with it, and screw those blenders tightly.
1 cup mayo
1 cup plain greek yogurt, or sour cream
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, or basil
2 T basil, chopped
2 T mint, chopped
2 T dill, chopped
1/4 c lemon juice (2 lemons)
2-3 cloves minced garlic (I always go for more)
1 anchovy, or 2 tsp of anchovy paste
2 tsp kosher salt (yes, kosher, it's worth it)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2-3 T olive oil, if you need it
Mince your herbs and garlic. In a blender add mayo, yogurt, then greens, seasonings and liquids. Begin to blend. Continue blending about a minute and a half. Add olive oil if necessary to thin to your liking.
I hope ya'll like it, show me your pictures!
Peace, love, and dressings ya'll ~winks.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
There once was a time when I said I could eat squash every day of my life.
Now I have a garden.
If I see another squash before Fall, it'd be too soon.
Yet the plant still produces.
Aaaaaaand I'm teasing. I have gotten a little tired of squash over the past couple days, which is why the pile of green veggies has been getting taller and taller on my back porch. I need to take another delivery to work. I need to start my own CSA.
I had big plans with my garden. I was going to put up green beans, pickles, squash, tomatoes, carrots.
The squash has been the only plant to yield enough to can and now I'm sick of it.
I've also discovered if I really wanted to can green beans, I'd need an acre, not 6 plants.
Truth be told, I really do love squash, I'm just a little overwhelmed by it at the moment.
Which is why, when a friend gave me a delivery of their accidental Patty Pan Squash, I was delighted to see something other than my green Italian variety.
I decided to make a stuffed squash, and the little Patty Pans are, well, like a pan! Perfect for holding a little scoop of spinach and cheese.
4-5 Patty Pan squash (although I'm sure any variety would do)
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 egg (this can be omitted if need be)
1/4 cup cheese (parmesan or swiss or gruyere or jack, whatever you got)
*Note # 1 - I forgot the egg and it was fine. Don't be like me.
*Note #2 - if you have extra, serve the filling by itself, delicious, as long as it's without egg
*Note #3 - can you tell I'm easy? I'm a very "make it do" sort of girl.
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Next, fill a pot with water, and boil your squash for 5 minutes to soften them.
Drain water and allow squash to cool (which I didn't - all was fine).
Then, slice a small piece off the bottom to help the squash stand on their own, which I didn't.
Cut about 1/2 off the top, and dig out the insides. Save innards for your compost pile.
Next, melt butter and oil and oil and butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
Add your garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add the spinach and soy sauce, and saute until your spinach is tender, 3-4 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Or no cayenne.
Stir in the egg and cheese, stir quickly since it will melt ~ and then stick to your pan!
Spoon the mixture into your squash, sprinkle a little squash on top.
Place in a baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes or until squash is tender, and the filling is set.
Posted by katie at 5/25/2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I am SO excited to give ya'll this book! I've used my copy many a times to help me host a great party, so I HAD to give ya'll the same great ideas.
Williams-Sonoma always has the most special items and gifts, in fact, my sister-in-law wanted me to giveaway their AWESOME "meatball griller." I can't remember the details exactly, but it was something like a contraption to hold your meatballs in place so you could grill them. *gadgets* he hee. But, cool idea nonetheless.
Ya'll are going to LOVE the pictures in this book too! Every time I read through the book, I feel like calling up my friends and throwin' together a little shindig!
But then I just flip through the book instead - cozy on my couch, and maybe whip up some potato salad.
Now ya'll hurry up and tell me about the first party you throw with ideas from this book!
Ok, here are the rules for the giveaway:
Giveaway ends this Saturday May 28, 2011, around lunchtime.
1. Follow the Hill Country Cook on Facebook (see left hand column of blog under Follow Me)
2. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or emailing to 10 of your friends.
3. Leave a comment on this post with SOME way for me to get a hold of you!!
***Note: Many people leave a comment on the post but don't leave a way for me to find them!
- You can include your email and *spell* the @ symbol to avoid spam
- You could include your email on the blogger profile which is attached to your comment
- Or, you could leave your last name and I can find you through Facebook (least reliable)
Posted by katie at 5/24/2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Oh the simple joys of summer. Nothing makes house cleaning easier than a nice cool glass of strawberry lemonade. Well I guess it doesn't really make scrubbing toilets easier, but it sure tastes good as your wiping the sweat from your brow. Don't ya'll wish your husband brought it to you too with that pretty little strawberry sitting on the lip of the glass?
We should all treat ourselves more often and make our beverages with a little fruit garnish.
This recipe is SO simple, I'd slap my forehead for not thinking of it earlier.
All you need is that pretty can of Country Time Pink Lemonade mix.
Next time I'm going to use frozen lemonade concentrate.
And the time after that I'll try Simply Limeade.
mmmmmm I'll bet that's good.
Let's get started.
Isn't this picture beautiful?!
Pour a carton of strawberries into the blender.
Oh, I did take the stems off. Duh.
I also added about 1/2 cup water to give the berries a little liquid to swim around in.
Isn't this picture so NOT as beautiful?! I'm practicing, my friends.
Blend it up.
The Country Time Pink Lemonade jar says to use two capfuls of powder for one gallon of drink, so I decided I'll add the powder in the blender, less stirring - right?
Plus, the kid in me likes blending stuff in the blender, it's like a science experiment.
(hehee, see the soap recipe)
So, add your lemonade powder and blend.
Pour the delicious mixture into your prettiest plastic pitcher. Break out the glass one for company.
Fill the pitcher to the 1 gallon mark with water!
Serve, and taste test!
I'm thinking this would make a great adult beverage over the summer too if you felt like adding some rum or vodka. Just sayin'.
1 pound strawberries, cleaned and de-stemmed
2 capfuls of pink lemonade mix
1 gallon water
Blend strawberries in blender with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Add powdered mix in blender. Blend again. Add to large pitcher and add 1 gallon water. Enjoy!
Posted by katie at 5/23/2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
CORN! BEAUTIFUL CORN! ~I'm singing!~ Quick. Plug your ears. ~ Follow the yellow brick to all the beautiful ears of corn!!!!!!
I debated whether or not to slather these beauties in gorgeous pats of unsalted butter, speckled with coarse flakes of kosher blessed salt and freshly ground pepper..... then I thought NAH - I'll leave 'em al natural. (again, leaving out my use of the french accento mark)
I'll leave them in their golden glory basking in the warm sunlight, steam rising, ready and waiting for my teeth to sink in and grab every last kernel.
Then searching for every said kernel with a toothpick. After failing with the toothpick, finally excusing myself from the kitchen with sweetness and grace, I begin to tear apart my medicine
Without hesitation, I then run back into the kitchen to grab another ear, and do it all over again.
This summarizes my love for corn.
This also explains my frustration after trying many ways to cook corn - only to come back to my mother's way. And my mother's way came from her mother's way who came from her mother's way who came from her mother's way who came from her mother who didn't have corn, but maybe raised maize.
Anyhow. As I tell my students: Keep It Simple,
Begin with a fresh water bath. Bathe the corn in your freshly collected rain water.
Ha. Just Kidding.
Wash the corn after you rip off all the husk and silk.
Running under cold water helps remove these silky strands.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
HERE IS THE KEY PEOPLE:
Add about a 1/4 cup of milk. And a (small ,very small) pinch of salt.
I swear it works, and only very special families know about this little secret.
Place your ears of corn in the pot - the water will stop boiling.
Bring back to a boil, and boil for 3-7 minutes.
My mother pointed out that I should warn ya'll, I promise - no matter HOW closely you watch this, adding the milk always makes the pot boil over. Sad face. But, the corn is so sweet, you won't regret it. ipromise.
And, if you do, I'll come over and help you clean it with my "homemade save the earth vinegar cleaner."
(ingredients: vinegar. water. elbow grease.)
I like mine crisper, so I boil 3-5 minutes.
Others like theirs very soft, so they boil 7 minutes.
Anything after that turns gummy.
On another note, BBQ-ed corn tastes DELICIOUS too!
I'll take a picture sometime and post it.
But, you'll leave the husks ON, and SOAK the whole cob in milk and water for about an hour.
Then place on the grill for approximately 15 minutes.
If you don't soak the cobs, the husk becomes charred. The corn tastes smoky. Not good.
After grilling, peel back the husk, which now makes a great "handle," dip your corn in your vat of pre-melted butter, and dress with salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, MAYO (yes mayo) tastes great, some chile or lime. That's how they do it in South Texas!
I hope ya'll are hankerin' for some fresh summer corn now! I'm makin' me another batch tonight!
Peace, love, and grilling
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Ya'll ready to poop like a goose again? I made that comment when I made my crockpot oatmeal. It's a term of endearment my daddy uses for, uh, "high fiber" foods. ~ giggle
So, a friend had posted about some green smoothies she had tried, check them out here. These looked AWESOME, but I didn't have all these ingredients on hand. I DID have spinach however, and I was excited!! My roommate turned trainer and fitness guru at Zen Pulse would be proud. Annie's always telling me, more fiber, more fiber. OK!!! I'll put the stuff in a smoothie!! GEE WHIZ!
She was right!
It's DELICIOUS! And doesn't taste like spinach! Even though I do love spinach. So give this a whirl and use what you've got around the house..... and drink lots of water.
And make good choices.
And wish for world peace.
And make your bed.
1 heaping cup of strawberries
5-6 ice cubes
2-3 T of yogurt (I was out of my fav greek yogurt, so I used sour cream - it was great!)
3/4 c apple juice
2 T honey
1-2 cups of spinach (I really jammed the stuff in there, and it came out really good)
Blend it all up! Usually the other thing I hate about homemade smoothies, because I don't have the $5,678,412 Vita-mix blender, it oftens melts and gets kinda gross. This smoothie makes two good glasses, so I put one in the fridge to drink hours later. Well, for whatever reason, it was still icy and delicious!
Let me know what other spinach-y combinations ya'll come up with. I'm wanting to try the flaxseed one next. A girl can never have too much fiber. As long as she drinks plenty of water; which I recently learned. Eeek.
Peace, love, and smoothie making :)