Thursday, April 29, 2010

Best Dutch Oven Potatoes

Not only did we serve delicious ribs in our dutch oven... we made some yummy potatoes...

Best Dutch Oven Potatoes
½ pound bacon, diced

1 small onion – cut the way you like (strings or diced)

15 medium potatoes; peeled & sliced

Baby carrots - 1 small bag

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can beer - any will do
2-3 cups shredded cheese - we like cheddar

Heat a 12" deep Dutch oven using 18-20 briquettes bottom until oven is hot.
Cut bacon into 1 inch slices and place in oven and fry until brown.
Add onions, stir and cook until onions are translucent.
Add potatoes and carrots.
Pour beer over potatoes & carrots and stir until all potatoes are coated.
Cover and cook 60 minutes using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 12-14 briquettes top heat.
Stir pot gently every 15 minutes.
I'm telling you, if you want to impress someone.... make these! They are the best you will eat. Yummy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dutch Oven Ribs

We love dutch oven, so... I stole my mom's two dutch ovens and then we bought one so we can cook all kinds of yummy things. The most popular dutch oven size is a 12". I recommend this because you can make just about anything in it and most recipes are for a 12" size.


We are using a 10" for dessert and the new one we bought was a 12" deep one because we wanted to roasts and things like that where deep is best.


I recommend a coal chimney. It starts the coals super fast and is really easy. Just crumple up some newspaper and stick it in the bottom, set it down, put your coals in the top, light the newspaper in several places and wait. I think we waited about 10 minutes and they were ready.

For coal placement.... double the dutch oven size and put even number (give or take) on top and bottom. So for 12" - 24 coals - 12 on top and 12 on bottom. Most things take 10 on bottom and 14 on top, so you don't burn the bottom.

We made the sauce ahead of time and just poured it on when the rest was ready to go.


Orange Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cloves garlic; minced

2 Tbs. tomato paste

1 cup orange marmalade

2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs. dijon mustard

1 medium onion; minced


Stir to mix.

Heat on stove top until sauce boils. Simmer on low for a half hour.


Orange Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs

5-6 lbs. boneless pork spare ribs

3 sweet yellow onions; thickly sliced

2 liter bottle Coca-Cola

2 cups Orange Barbecue Sauce


Trim most of the fat from ribs.

Place ribs in a large bowl and pour coke over them until they are covered.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and allow, marinate 12-24 hours.

Pour liquid off ribs.


Place one layer of ribs in a 12" deep Dutch oven.

Place a layer of onions over ribs.

Repeat process until all meat and onions have been used.

Pour barbecue sauce over the top of ribs and onions.

Cover and cook 90 minutes using 12-14 briquettes bottom and 12-14 briquettes top heat.

We cooked the ribs for about two hours, it made them even more juicy and tender. When you cook for more than an hour you have to change coals after and hour. The coals are still hot but won't be for long so you need fresh ones for that last hour or so.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is quite possible one of my favorite meals! It is really easy to make and you can use just about any ingredients you like!

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless

Thin slices ham - about two per piece of chicken

Blue cheese (you could use any cheese you like… swiss, guyere, provolone, whatever!)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup bread crumbs (I just use already seasoned, it’s easier)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

Extra-virgin olive oil



Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

We have this fancy meat tenderizer from Cabelas, so I run it through that until the chicken is 1/4-inch thickness.


Lay one piece of chicken on a piece of plastic wrap.

Lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast.

Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto.


Tuck in the sides of the breast.

Roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap.

Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log.

Repeat with remaining chicken.



Season the flour with salt and pepper.

Mix the bread crumbs with melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown.

Beat together the eggs and season.

(The flour, the eggs and the crumbs are all seasoned.)


Remove the plastic wrap.

Lightly dust the chicken with flour.

Dip in the egg mixture.

Gently coat in the bread crumbs.

Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the chicken onto it.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until browned and cooked through.


Yum!

Sorry no finished pictures, we were too hungry and I forgot!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Easy Breakfast

Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like eggs, I just think they taste so weird and the texture... yuck! The man loves eggs, so fried egg sandwich it is!

Get your bread ready.
We like these flat bun things (if you haven't tried them, do!)
I put mayo and steak sauce.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan.
Fry up your egg.
Put some cheese on it.

Pile it up and enjoy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cooking in an RV

And so the season begins. Off to Idaho Falls for the weekend.
Hoping to cook up some yummy goodies in the RV.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mmmm.... Cupcakes!

It is no secret that in our house we LOVE sweets! I can't go a week or less without baking something delicious! I can't help it I love to bake and the man loves to eat. We make a good combo!

I have been wanting to make
this for a while. They just look so delicious. Then the man says he's craving my amazing Boston Cream Pie. It's really good, I promise! So instead of the recipe I've been craving, I decided to use her idea and make Boston Cream Pie cupcakes! Yum!

First thing to do is make the cupcakes...
Normally, I would use yellow cake if I wanted an easy Boston Cream Pie, but I didn't have one and French Vanilla sounds just as good.

This recipe just uses a plain old box mix, but instead of making it the way the box says, I make it a bit different. It makes the cake more rich and creamy. I found this a while ago and it tastes great. You can use the same general idea on any box cake mix and it tastes wonderful.



Cupcakes
1 Box French Vanilla cake mix

3 Large eggs

1/2 Cup butter, melted (use butter)

1 Cup water

Preheat oven to 350 Melt butter in microwave then add to cake mix eggs and water in a large bowl.

Fill your cupcakes, use papers, it's just easier. Bake for 20 minutes.

Fresh from the oven, I want to eat now, please!

(I like the little "poof" on top so I tend to fill my cups a little more than most people. And since I'm filling them, more room for custard!)

Need help ma?!

While the cupcakes are baking or cooling make the custard...

Custard Filling

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups milk

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla



Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan.

Combine milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into sugar mixture.



Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.

Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.



Be patient, it feels like it will never thicken but it does.


Cool to room temperature. Or put in the fridge for a bit.



Now, time to assemble.
Cut a cone shape out of the center.
Do NOT cut all the way through!

Fill your hole with the custard and put the top on as best you can.

The frosting will cover it so it doesn't need to be perfect.
I recommend cutting a point off the cone to give the custard more room.

Once they are all together you can put the frosting on however you choose...
I like to save making frosting for very last, so it's extra fresh, so I waited till everything was cool and filled and ready to go.


More help. Laying in between my legs, hoping the mixer bowl might just fall on the floor.

Chocolate Frosting
My mother makes the best chocolate frosting so I'm choosing to do that. However, you could a glaze, which is what I do on the actual Boston Cream Pie. I just feel like eating left over frosting, let's be honest.


1/2 Cup packed cocoa
2-1/4 Cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 pound butter (I use one stick butter one stick margarine)
3-4 Tbsp cream or milk (I just happened to have heavy cream on hand)


You should sift the sugar and cocoa, I don't, mainly because I don't have anything to sift with.

Cream the butter, nice and good. You don't want lumpy frosting.

Stir in the sugar/cocoa mix 1 cup at a time.

Here's the tricky part... You need to use the milk to moisten it... you might need all 4 Tbsp, you might not, whatever you think looks good. My trick... taste it! You want it thick, don't add too much milk.


Some people prefer to pipe frosting on top, I prefer the "blob" method!


Make sure you store these in the fridge!! The custard has to be refrigerated!
I decided to use my new zester tool (thanks mom!) and shave up some chocolate on top!


Yummy! The man was sure happy when he got home!


Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!

Dinner tonight!

Pulled Pork Tacos

Coleslaw Queen

When I was growing up I thought that my mother was the Queen of Coleslaw.
She had a special gift for this dish. I remember that she was the one in charge of the coleslaw when our church had a Ham & Bean dinner.
She would cut the cabbage by hand in fine little slivers and had a green diner-style coffee mug that she used to measure and mix the dressing in. And even though I watched and helped almost every time she made coleslaw, I have never been able to duplicate the taste.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stuffed Strawberries!

This looks delicious!! I'm headed to Costco and may just have to buy strawberries to do this for UFC tonight!! Yum!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/stuffed-strawberries/38545.html

I tried to post the video... wouldn't work... sorry!

Friday, April 9, 2010

And the cooks are...

So, there are several cooks in the family besides myself...

Jennifer (our daughter) is famous for her chocolate cookies and won 1st place at the Pro-Am Chocolate Festival when she was in 8th grade - beating out the adults! She is older now, but still baking - this year (2010) she won the Brownie division in the same Chocolate Festival. Maybe we will get lucky and she will post her recipe.

John (our son) also cooks - when he is not doing photography. He likes do do Dutch oven (he won a prize for his potatoes while still in Boy Scouts) and grill. He has worked as a Baker's Assistant at an artisan bakery and in the kitchen for Winter Camp at Camp Perkins, LOM. He lives in the Boise area with his wife Jessica, daughter Aspen and Hailey the chocolate Lab.

Steve (my husband) and Zoe the yellow Lab, are the official taste testers here at our house.

Eggie

My new recipe to try today was an Eggie. I heard about it on Martha Stewart Radio and found the recipe on her website.
I modified it a bit... I used half of an English muffin, skipped the garlic butter and did not add the green onion (scallion).
Steve ate it up for breakfast without complaint!

Crazy Puppies!

So I told my mom to start a blog cause I wanted her to do The Daring Baker. Which I will be signing her up for today. But now she's gotten the rest of us into it so.... we'll see what happens.

The name Cooking Tailz... Why? Well we like cooking... duh! We all have dogs who Love to sit in the kitchen and be underfoot. They are helping right?! Cleaning up spills, taste testing and watching!

Who knows what we will end up baking and sharing, because we are all great cooks!

You saw the first two helpers, well the next two are even more trouble...

Miss Dixie
She looks all sweet and innocent, but let me tell you... TROUBLE!! I still love her though, she is good, most of the time, and is the best snuggler! She makes she she always sits pretty so she can have treats from what I'm baking.

Mr. Moose
He's still just a pup and is even bigger now than when this photo was taken last month. He's going to be the best duck dog and is a big lover. He sits in front of the stove when I cook and is always in the way. He's a sweetie though.


Truth is they love each other and I for sure love them!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First there were two...





Zoe & Hailey


We love to help our humans when they are in the kitchen cooking!