Thursday, July 18, 2013

Loaded S'more Dip

I had all the ingredients for s'mores...but no fire to roast marshmallows over.  I don't really like marshmallows, and so the thought of eating a s'more made in the microwave was ridiculously unappealing.  I thought about trying to toast the marshmallows in my toaster oven, but that sounded potentially very messy.  So the ingredients just sat for awhile.  

Then I came across this recipe for S'more Crack Dip
Problem Solved. 

Loaded S'more Dip
5 oz large marshmallows
5.8 oz dark chocolate 
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large spoonful of crunchy peanut butter

As usual, all amounts are approximate due to my inability to measure things.
The chocolate is was 4 bars of Hershey's Special Dark, 1.45 oz each.

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir til melty and delicious.

Dip graham cracker pieces into the molten goodness and eat up.  
Try not to burn yourself...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pot Roast & Tomato Stew

1 pot roast c. 2.5 lbs
2 cans of diced tomatos (your choice of flavor)
a can of corn
3/4 yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic
flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder
barbecue sauce (your choice of flavor)

coat the meat with flour, cinnamon, and cocoa, place it in the bottom of a crockpot
saute the onion and garlic, then add to the crockpot
add a bit of barbecue sauce
dump in the contents of the cans, water and all
cook on high for 7 hours
shred the meat

Goes well with yellow corn tortilla chips

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Basil Dip

Way back sometime in the spring, I bought a basil plant and a mint plant.  I was skeptical about my ability to keep them alive, but hopeful that I would actually remember to water them, and that they would supply me with fresh & yummy leaves to cook with.  I did succeed in watering them on a regular basis, aided by the fact that they sit on my kitchen windowsill where I stare at them every time I wash dishes.  They were doing great, but I was using them so often they weren't producing very large leaves.  Then I went away for 10 days (a friend watered them for me) and when I came back, holy cow!  The biggest, bushiest, herb plants I've ever seen.  Clearly they enjoyed my absence.  And clearly, they needed to be picked through.  I made Mint Icing with the leaves I stripped off the mint plant, and I made Basil Dip with the leaves I stripped off the basil plant.  

Basil Dip

1 1/2 heaping cups of fresh basil leaves
1+ tsp garlic powder
1+tsp mustard powder
1/2 c plain yogurt

Throw the basil leaves in a food processor and chop into tiny pieces.  Add the seasonings, mix it up.  Add the yogurt, process til smooth.  Chill.  

The yogurt gives this dip a bit of a tangy flavor.  If you want it a bit'll have to experiment.

This dip is pretty versatile.  You can enjoy it with crackers, carrots, or whatever it is you like to enjoy with a dip.  You can also mix it with some cold pasta, blast it in the microwave for 30 sec (you want it warm, not hot), and then mix in some chopped arugula.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Mint Icing

The Cupcakes
2 1/8 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 c Guinness
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla

Put cupcake wrappers into the cupcake pan, pour the batter into each cup about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

The Icing
Big handful of mint leaves
c 1/2 c plain yogurt
confectioners sugar
c 1/4 c heavy cream

Put the mint in a food process and chop well.  Add the yogurt, mix it up.  Add confectioner's sugar to taste.  If your icing is too thin, add heavy cream and whisk until it thickens.

The inspiration behind using mint for the icing today:
This plant is taking over my windowsill.  And I thought I'd have trouble keeping it alive...I do wish it would put more effort into growing big leaves and less effort into growing long stems...I found a stem that was about 3 ft long the other day.  I keep breaking off the really long ones but it doesn't seem to deter the plant from continuing to reach out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pantry Raid Tuna Casserole

I found a show on Netflix once called Pantry Raid.  A chef showed up at people's houses and showed them how they could make a meal out of whatever they happened to have in the fridge and pantry.  It was fun to see what he would come up with.  When I returned home from my trip to RI, I didn't have a whole lot of food in the house, and I certainly didn't feel like grocery shopping after being in the car all day.  So I raided the pantry.  The fridge was pretty bare, since I always try to empty it out before I leave if I'm going to be gone for much more than 3-4 days.  So, my only choice for meat was tuna fish, since I always keep a couple cans of that in stock.  And I always have pasta as well, so I figured I could make some sort of a tuna casserole.  But of course, there was no milk or cream in my fridge.  (Well actually, there was, as it seems I forgot to dump them out before I left.  Neither was even remotely edible though.)  But it occurred to me that I probably had a can of cream of mushroom soup somewhere in my cupboards, so I searched until I found it.

Tuna Casserole, Pantry-Raid Style

3/4 box of elbow macaroni
1 large can of tuna
1/2 bag of frozen peas
shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c flour

Cook the pasta.  While it is cooking, put the soup in a pot, and then add one can-ful of water.  Add the butter and flour.  When it is hot, add the cheese, stir well.  Add the peas to the pasta when you think it has a few minutes left to cook.  Add the tuna to the sauce.  Drain the pasta, then mix everything together.  Put it in a baking dish, sprinkle some more cheese on top, and bake at 375 until the top is browned (about 30 min).