Monday, November 29, 2010

Grandpa Branham's Peppered Pork Tenderloin

Oh man did I get a gem this weekend.  When I arrived at my brother's house he had a special treat that had been slow cooking all day waiting for us!  He asked me if I had ever remembered eating Grandpa's poor boy sandwich before.  I remember eating so many things at his house but I couldn't place this dish...until I put it in my mouth...this was one that taste just like their kitchen.  Some foods just take you back!  Grandma and Grandpa LOVED pepper rings, and this dish is so easy and simple to make, you all have to try it!
Dad and Daine (my brother) say that Grandpa made this one up himself, which doesn't surprise me!  He knew good food!

This is all there is to it:
In a crock pot, place 1 pork tenderloin. (Daine bought the biggest one he could find to feed 12 people).
Over the top pour 1 large jar of mild pepper rings.  Let this cook all day and then just stir it to pull it apart.  He served it up Poor Boy style on a hoagie bun.  It didn't need another blame thing on it - it had so much flavor, but you can dress this sandwich up any way you like.  I know Grandpa would have!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

 These cookies are a large, chewy, yet crunchy treat.  Packaged beautifully they would make a great gift! They are delicious and special!  My husband is a self proclaimed research nerd, and he is the one who dug out this recipe.  He received Cook's Illustrated for his birthday from my Mom last year which sent him running to the library to find back issues.  Their test kitchen's will make 175 batches of cookies to find the perfect one, and my sweetheart agrees that this is the perfect chocolate chip cookie! 

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teas. baking soda
14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teas. salt
2 teas. vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2.Heat 10 Tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes.(Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned.) Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.  Stir remaining 4 Tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.  Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.  Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in Chocolate chips and nuts, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, each about 3 Tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop).  Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (smaller baking sheets can be used, but require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until the cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool.  Cool completely before serving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is my brother's favorite cake, or one of them anyway! I made this for the holiday weekend. I hope you enjoy it.
When baking this cake you can make it as cupcakes and bake it at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Or if making it into a 13x9 you will need to bake it for much longer.  Your times will vary depending.  Always just check the center of the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

3 1/2 cups Grated Carrots
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 20 oz  can of DRAINED Pineapple

Mix all together and Bake at 350 until done!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick of butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Blend this all together and frost the cake after completely cooled.

This is a very runny batter.  That is normal for this recipe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

California Sisters Salad

I promised you that I would bring you this amazing salad recipe, and here it is.  While spending time with my parents this weekend they have taken the Spiced Pecan Strawberry Salad to an amazing place.  While in California they were served this amazing version. The dressing  It is actually completely different except for the greens, strawberries & spiced  pecans!
So here is is the totally kicked up version!

For your salad greens, do a rough chop of Boston Lettuce and combine with a container of Baby Greens.
Thinly slice some red onion, paper thin if possible.
Slice up a fresh Pineapple, Several Kiwi's, and a pint of Strawberries. (not pictured here but also a part of this salad are Fresh Blueberries).
Make up a triple batch of Spiced Pecans.

Now for the dressing:
Combine 1 Cup Mayonaise
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Poppyseeds
1/4 cup of Strawberry Preserves (or simply fruit strawberry's)
Mix all these together very well and refrigerate before serving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turnberry Sandwich

This is my favorite turkey sandwich! (This week anyway!) We had a Deli in Iowa that was just nummy!  Everything there was delicious.  They served this sandwich and It is perfect for Holiday leftovers!

Using your favorite wheat berry bread, on one slice spread softened cream cheese.
Layer with yummy leftover turkey.
On the opposite slice of bread, spread on cranberry sauce. Stack it all together and eat up! YUM!
So delicious!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Apple Butter it is!  This is from a little lady we always stayed with  in Goshen, Indiana on choir tour. Her Apple butter rivals Cracker Barrel's and Silver Dollar City's.  It is my favorite, and I am picky about my apple butter!  She just bought apple sauce at the store, & it doesn't matter if it's a major brand or not.  She washes the jars that it comes in...yep, you heard me...and puts it right back into those same jars!  With those same lids!! And they seal.  They really do!  (And if they don't, well...those are the jars that you stick in the refrigerator and eat!   We rarely ever have one that doesn't seal.  You just wash the jars, and have them good and hot, (I put them in the oven for a few minutes on a cookie sheet tray, this gets them to the temp. that they need to be, plus it sanitizes them too.)

4   50oz. jars of apple sauce
5   lbs. brown sugar
3  tbs. cinnamon
1  tbs. cloves
1 1/2  cups apple cider vinegar

Put these ingredients in a large roaster pan.
Stir well, and bake in 350 degree oven for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Put into hot clean jars, and top with the lids that you have cleaned, and warmed in a pan of hot water. 
Close tightly, and leave sitting on a towel, out of drafts.  When they cool, they should seal. (you know, the tops will sink down in the middle.) Just make sure that you do not touch the middle of the lid while they are
trying to want to REALLY know that they have sealed on their own, and you cannot know
that If you've poked it down yourself!   
Easy, Easy, Easy!

You can make these pretty by washing off the labels (you might need some Goof Off) and you can tie a pretty ribbon around the top.  You also can put this apple butter in regular canning jars that are cleaned and prepared the same way.
I got the notion a couple of years ago after tasting Williams Sanoma's Pumpkin butter, that it could also
be made the same way, with canned pumpkin, adjusting the spices (adding ginger to the mix), and
tasting it to adjust the flavors before it was baked.  I haven't tried it as of yet, but I know it could be
done!  And man, wouldn't that be good?????  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

 When I was a little girl my grandparents lived in Conway Arkansas.  They had a fabric store downtown on Main Street which was very close to a yummy shop called Ed's Bakery.  Among the many yummy things they served was a phenomenal Macaroon.  I have been trying to find a recipe that resembled theirs for quite some time.  I think this one that I made up taste like what I remember.  I would love to have some of my Arkansas family members make this (that remember Ed's Bakery) and tell me what they think. 
Here is what I did:

In a Food Processor I put a small bag of coconut and 1/3 cup of flour.  I did a small chop on these to just make the coconut a bit smaller.

Next I took three egg whites at room temperature and beat them until soft peaks  formed.  Then I slowly added 1 cup of sugar while still beating with my electric mixer. 

 Next I folded in the Coconut flour mixture and added a splash of Vanilla.  
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes on Parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
Eat up these are yummy!

Strawberry Freezer Jam

 Strawberry Freezer Jam is another example of something that is so simple yet amazingly delicious.  I suggest you put this on your Hungry Momma French Toast!  My Mother in Law gave me this recipe and I have been making it for years! The first thought of Freezer Jam intimidated me, but now knowing how simple this is - ANYONE can make and enjoy this!

Ok - catch this because if you blink you may miss how easy it is....

I use frozen strawberries (I can get about one batch per bag)

Make sure that your strawberries are completely defrosted.
Smash berries!
Mix Together:
2 cups berries
4 cups of sugar

Bring to a boil and stir at boiling stage - 1 minute:
1 box of sure jel
3/4 cup of water
Mix the hot sure-jel in with the sugared berries and stir for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into your containers -and wait 24 hours before freezing - or enjoy in the fridge up to three weeks - if it last that long!

Because these are made with Strawberries from the Freezer section you can make this delicious treat any time of the year - and it always taste like July!!

This is also a wonderful Gift Idea!  Just let your friends or family know to put it in the freezer if they don't plan on using it right away.  More than likely they are barely going to walk out your door without sticking their finger in it!

Caprese Salad

This is one of my favorite appetizers to eat and to make. It is always a hit with my girlfriends and as impressive as it looks, it is so easy.  My first time to eat this was at a restaurant down the road from my house in Iowa.  I was immediately hooked, and when I went back within just a few days to have this yummy deliciousness again - they had removed all fresh mozzarella from  their menu.  I was so desperate - it sent me on a mission to recreate the dish at home.

Here is how you make this -
Slice fresh mozzarella into thin slices.  (Its easy to find at Costco.) 
Slice Roma tomatoes into thin slices.
Using fresh Basil, break off several of the leaves and roll them up, then do a thin slice of these and set aside.
Taking a french baguette, cut it on the diagonal and brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with Garlic Salt. DONT WALK AWAY - it toast very quickly.  Now repeat on the opposite side of the bread.

Dressing: Using a Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix and Cruet is your bouncing off spot!  Taking the Cruet that often comes with these dressing packets, fill to the V line - with Balsamic Vinegar.  Fill to the W line with Water. Fill to the O line with Olive oil, then fill on up to about 1/2 inch from the top with HONEY!

Assemble the toast onto a large tray - stack with a slice of cheese, & then tomato. Sprinkle your Chopped basil all over the top. Drizzle the dressing on and you have one Happy, no longer Hungry Momma!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grandma Branham's Tacos

Grandma's tacos were so delicious.  Simple to make but unique in the fact that - she loved basil.  I think I have told y'all this before.  One time when we were all together after Grandma passed away, my mom tried to go back to her own way of making taco's.  It nearly caused total anarchy.  Dad and I had to do a little altering to bring back that flavor that reminds us of her.
These are easy to make and can be on the table in 15 minutes or so (depending on how many sides you plan to put with it.)  When I need a quick fix for supper, I usually have everything in the pantry to make these.  
One thing not pictured here on this taco that Grandma always had on hers - BANANA PEPPER RINGS!  YUMMY - they are so perfect on her taco - with sour cream, cheese!  Near perfection in my opinion. I substituted Joshua's Guacamole this time since I was out of the peppers. 
The process is simple, so here you go:

 Brown 2 pounds of Hamburger meat.
Salt and Pepper real good
Add 1 Tablespoon of Minced Onion

Continually chop your hamburger so that it is broken up very well.

 Drain in a colander.
 Add 18-20 shakes of Tabasco.
 2 teaspoons of Cumin Powder

2 teaspoons of dried Basil

2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
 1 (8 oz  can) tomato sauce. (You can do two cans - this makes the leftover meat better in my opinion).  We are a house divided on how much sauce should be on the taco meat - so I will let it be your call!

Stir well and cook on low until your shells are fried and sides are on the table!

Grandma always had flour shells and she always just gave them a very quick turn in hot oil. Layering them with paper towels in between.  This removes the excess oil as well as keeps them hot until you serve them. 
We usually do a little of both types of shells Flour and Corn.

(FOR DESSERT) Fry the corn ones very hard and crispy (nearly burnt) and serve them with honey and salt  - they are  amazingly yummy this way!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spice Cake

Here at the Hungry Momma we apparently LOVE cake!  So many recipes here!
This is for my Daddy - He LOVES LOVES LOVES this spice cake.

Mix together these dry ingredients:
2 cups of Flour
1 cup of Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Beat together for 2 minutes:
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup Buttermilk

Add and beat 2 more minutes:
3 Eggs

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. 
Nuts *optional

 Bake at 350 - about 35 minutes (possibly less depending on your oven)

1/2 - 3/4 cup Butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup of Shortening
Pinch of Salt
1 lb Powdered Sugar
Vanilla and enough half and half to make it spreadable - add it a Tablespoon at a time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toasted Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe goes well on many cakes, but is posted here to go with The Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake.

1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) pkg of powdered sugar
1 cup of chopped pecans

Toast your pecans in the oven at 375 - just watch them it doesn't take long for them to get that yummy toasty flavor.

Beat the first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. 
Stir in the pecans after they have cooled! 
You will need three cups of the icing for the Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake.

Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

Blame it on her roots that my oldest who just turned 10 wanted a Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake. She likes to eat grown up foods like this - it isn't something most kids would choose for a birthday cake. Her friends were less than impressed that I had worked forever on it.
I will tell you that this cake is a labor of love.  The first time I ate it was at my sweet Friend Leah's house.  Leah is one of the biggest givers I know.  She wanted our time together to be special so she slaved over this cake for us to eat when we were passing through Oklahoma one time.  I had never had it before and was so delighted with my very first bite.  It was like I had died and gone to heaven.  Why does cake make you feel this way?  Good cake anyway?
You will also need to pull up the post Fresh Orange Curd, Glazed Pecan Halves, and Toasted Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting.

You will need to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours.
Yeild: Makes 12 - 16 servings
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups of sugar
5 large eggs separated
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked  coconut
Fresh Orange Curd
3 cups Toasted Pecan Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut lightly toasted (optional)
Glazed Pecan Halves (optional)

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Gradually add sugar, beating well.

Add Egg yolks one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Add Vanilla; beat until blended. 

Combine flour and soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Stir in one cup of Flaked Coconut.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. 

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between each layer.

Spread the remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of the Cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on the top of cake will be very thick.)
If desired, loosely cover cake and chill 8 hours.  Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.

Spread 3 cups Toasted Pecan - Cream Cheese Frosting on the sides of cake
reserving remaining frosting for another use. 
Sprinkle Toasted coconut over the top of the Fresh Orange Curd.
Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around the top edge of Cake. If desired store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.