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What to do with Leftover Peeps

An evil ending to a sweet Easter. Got them off the clearance carts at the grocery store. My #1 use for Peeps after Easter is s’mores (not an original idea, obviously). My children are in awe of me while older children are either terrified or think I’m the coolest adult present.

So, first I broke the head off of a $0.25 chocolate bunny…

I broke the package open of the purple bunny peeps and stuck the two onto a fork over open flame…

Once I’d melted their faces and set them on fire a bit, I blew them off and ended it by putting them into the iron maiden (graham crackers and my teeth).

As Baby says, “Ta Da!”

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Throw in the Skillet Quiche

IMAG0545I’m not a fan of quiche so me making such a dish is unusual in its self. It was a lot harder than I expected and I started cooking when I was tired. There was a lot of timing issues I’m still not sure how I’d handle: fry bacon, make pie crust/bake pie crust, boil water, cook veggies, and mix the flour into the eggs. Whew! I’m tired all over again talking about it.

I’ve adapted the recipe from the “Classic Quiche Lorraine” and “Individual Quiche Casseroles” recipes in Section 10, page 203 in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 1981 and added a bunch of things. I used the pie crust recipe as-is from Section 13, page 288.

Single-Crust Pie

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening or lard

3 to 4 Tablespoons COLD water

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In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening/lard till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat till all is moistened. Form dough into ball. On a lightly floured surface flatten dough with hands. Roll dough from center to edge, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll onto a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold under extra pastry. Make a fluted, rope-shaped, or scalloped edge. Do not prick pastry.

To keep crust in shape, line the un-pricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake in a 450 F degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove foil. (I had a bubble but poked it and it went away.) Bake 5 to 7 minutes more or till pastry is nearly done. Remove from oven; reduce oven to 375 F. (The original recipe called for 325 F but it was too juicy so we turned it up and it worked like a charm).

Throw It In The Skillet Quiche

Preheat oven to 325 F. (I had my my oven on to cook the pie crust so I had to let it cool down)

4 slices bacon

1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup spinach

1 cup of shrimp (I had about 4 handfuls of frozen, breaded shrimp)

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups milk

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella but the original recipe called for Swiss)

Ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Rosemary

1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Marjoram

1/4 teaspoon Parsley

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mostly I stuck with the directions in preparing the recipe. If you buy a prepared crust from the store, great. It will save you some messy hands. If you would like to make mini quiches, have at it – just ensure to use boiling water around the little crocks/pans and they should be done in about a little less than half the time.

“Cook bacon till crisp; drain, reserving 2 Tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon, set aside.”

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“Cook mushrooms, celery, and onion in reserved drippings till tender; drain.” (I set the water to boil and totally forgot to chop the veggies.)

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“Beat eggs, milk, flour, and salt.”

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“Stir in cooked vegetables, bacon, and cheese. Drop in shrimp. Stir.”

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“Turn into pie crust. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.”

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Pour cheese mixture into HOT pastry shell. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. I’m not sure if placing boiling water in the oven made a difference or not? Probably unnecessary, huh? I was getting a little harried in the kitchen and just did it anyway.

Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes or till a knife inserted near center comes out clean and doesn’t appear juicy. Quiche is firm. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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We had some of the cornbread I made the other day with the quiche. For my first time making it, and screwing around, it filled the house with the best scents of savory pie crust, eggs and herbs & spices. I dislike both mushrooms and onions but found them to be savory and the foil that made the recipe so good. Remember I didn’t chop any of the veggies? It didn’t make a difference, so if you are a kind of throw it in cook like me, you know how to adjust the amounts given in this recipe.

I think Amarah’s looks the most like my quiche, what do you think?

Back of the Box Recipe: Cornbread

Photo1252I had grand plans Sunday for some recipes but the computer was cleaned and cleaned of my blog cookies so only pieces of the website are showing up, making posting impossible. But I’ve managed to figure out some cookies so that I can post again.

Reviewing the ingredients for Cornbread, reminded me I needed to mix up a batch of baking powder (1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tarter, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch [for stability, eliminate if you are only making enough to use immediately].

CORNBREAD (adapted from Aunt Jemina Corn Meal recipe)

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten

1 cup corn kernels, canned is easiest but yes, you can use frozen or fresh (THIS IS MY ONLY ADDITION TO THE RECIPE)

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease 8 or 9-inch pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Photo1249

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Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If you find the mixture too wet, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour until it’s a bit thicker). I used the same pan I use for cream corn souffle and it puffs up like a popover in this picture below, huh?

I didn’t have any canned corn to use and as I often use frozen corn, I adjust the temperature and cooking time. Lowering the temperature to 375 degrees for UP TO 1 HOUR, it cooks to this:

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I haven’t frozen this recipe but I’m sure you could with varying results on when you use it. I’d say freeze and eat within a month. Um..better yet, make this recipe as muffins and that’ll do the trick.

You can also add herbs and spices to make it more savory even spice it up using yummy items like black beans, onions and Jalepeños! What’s your take on what to include in your cornbread?

Check out these fabulous link parties for delicious entrees and desserts to go with!

Cranberry-Orange-Almond Shortbread Wedges

This is such a great recipe! It’s a recipe I’ve adapted from the Ginger-Cranberry Shortbread Wedges the No. 33 Issue of the Gold Medal (as in flour) Holiday Cookies & Candy issue (looks to be 2001?). To be honest I’ve never made the recipe as printed – I don’t keep crystallized ginger on hand, so I substituted orange flavoring and orange zest.

This is how I make Orange-Cranberry Shortbread Wedges:

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Photo Credit: Ginger-Cranberry Shortbread Wedges, No. 33 Issue of the Gold Medal Holiday Cookies & Candy issue

2/3 Cup butter, softened (it’s almost 11 tablespoons, by the way)

1/3 Cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons orange zest

1 Tablespoon orange flavor

1 1/3 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 Cup dried cranberries, rehydrated

1/4 Cup almond slivers

Topping:

2 teaspoon sugar (this is to sprinkle on top)

1 Tablespoon orange zest

Photo11691. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Make sure you have enough ingredients.

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This is how I soften butter in winter…

Mix butter, powdered sugar, orange zest and the orange flavor in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Try to remove as much liquid from the cranberries and coat them with some of the flour so they don’t bleed as much into the dough. Stir in flour, almond slivers and cranberries. It should be like cookie dough, not too sticky. Flour your hands for the next step to make it easier to shape.

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2. Shape and pat dough into 9-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar and zest. It should remind you of a small wheel of cheese Smile If you don’t feel that talented, just make shape into a square or rectangle.

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3. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet on wire rack. Cut into wedges as thick as you like.

Notes from Wyoming: I really love a versatile recipe that doesn’t flop with additions or substitutions. I share those the most because they are flexible enough not to frustrate a once-in-a-while baker who tends to have oops moments and can challenge an experienced baker who likes to use exotic or amazing quality ingredients.

If you’d like to try the original recipe which calls for 3 T finely chopped crystallized ginger, leave out the orange flavoring and zest. It also uses dried cranberries as opposed to the juicy cranberries I used.

Another substitution I’d like to make in a future recipe is to swap the cranberries for lychee (lee-chee) a popular Chinese fruit. If you can believe it I saw it as a “snack” on Ni Hao, Kai-lan at Lulu’s sky house but has been offered in the buffet at my favorite Chinese food place. It is spelled many different ways but it looks like a white cherry with a texture/meat like a pear, and tastes like a blending of several different fruit’s flavors (banana, cherry, pear, maybe mango?). You would not use dried (quite bitter tasting), but fresh as the substitution since the canned version are very juicy from being packed in liquid.

Mid-baking I realized that I’d forgotten the almonds, they did taste good sprinkled! Oh well, here’s the photo:

Photo credit: wyomingstorygirl

If you “Try It Out” let me know if you went with the “Original”, “Wyoming’s” or “My Own” (let’s hear your changes.)

I’m linking at 

Barn-Hop

What’s Up Doc? Eating Bunnies

I always thought that Bugs Bunny deserved to get shot by Elmer Fudd and cut up by the witch. So arrogant! I hated they way he tricked Daffy Duck all the time.

****SPOILER ALERT: Scroll to the Bottom for End Result!****

bunny

I happen to like just about anything that moves … for my dinner plate. I’ve had chocolate covered crickets (delicious! Like Nestle Crunch Bars with legs. And YES, I will get some and do ‘em up here someday soon) and fried rattlesnake (yes, it looked like bacon and tasted like a cross between that and chicken satay) so it’s not a stretch for me to say to my husband “what’s up Doc?” is for dinner. Our bunny is courtesy of a barter of Elk for bunny a few months ago. Our friend raises them as a 4H type project in her backyard.

My little friend is considered a “young fryer”, quartered so there are many recipes I’m not able to try for a lack of…parts. My son just wants their paws! I can just imagine the number of ants in his room from dead things as he gets older. lol.

Anyway, let’s get to it. How to cook this little guy?

If I had broth, I’d have done something simple tonight like this rabbit and dumplings from Food Network

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However, I’m going with a no-recipe dinner. We’ll start with a creamy wild rice soup thickened with added mushrooms, potato, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, celery, and onions. I’m going to braise the rabbit and then tenderize it, finishing it off to complement the soup. This is definitely a pantry clearance type of soup – but these veggies are great!

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INGREDIENTS

Here’s my made up recipe, feel free to adjust it to your taste, as my “amounts” are approximate:

1 fryer (young) quartered Rabbit, thawed

2 T butter

1/4 C onions (or as much as you like) sliced, diced, minced, whatever

1/4 C celery sliced, diced, minced, whatever

UP TO 5 C milk (it’s broken down into 3 steps in the recipe)

1 can sliced mushrooms

3/4 C mixed, cut broccoli and cauliflower (no stems)

1/2 C mixed peas and diced carrots

2 BAKED potatoes, cut into bit sized pieces

Herbs & spices (I used a lot of my McCormick Gourmet bottles) – Marjoram, Sage, Thyme, Coarse Black Pepper, Rosemary.

HOW TO MAKE SOUP

Photo1112Okay, since the soup will take the most time, I’m starting with butter, onions, and celery. Heat on low (so the butter doesn’t burn).

Once the butter is melted and the scent of onions and celery mix in the air (trust me, even with a stuffy up nose, I can smell it!) add 1/4 Cup of the milk.

Photo1113Give it another minute or two, add your peas, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower. Don’t worry too much about adding additional liquid, the water from the frozen veggies will be perfect. If you used fresh veggies, then you should add up to 1/2 Cup milk or water to balance.

Photo1115At this point you’ve cooked the veggies about 15- 20 minutes and it’s time to add your soup mix. Also add up to 3 cups of milk or cream (if you like more “soup” use at least 3 cups or more” You can add more if you need. Don’t use water because it won’t taste right. I used Shore Lunch brand Creamy Wild Rice Soup. I get it at Menard’s but you can order it from plenty of places if your grocery store doesn’t carry it. It’s a big bag of soup, I cut it up into smaller serving sizes. 1/4 cup dry mix = 1 cup soup. *I had a 4 serving amount in a baggy but if you use your own dry soup mix, make sure it has a thickening – cornstarch or flour – so that it becomes thick. Photo1114The Shore Lunch instructions say boil it about 20 minutes til thickened.*

Since your potatoes are already baked they don’t need a lot of time in the soup. Just don’t forget to add them!

Maintain the heat at the same level unless you notice it starting to scorch on the bottom, if so, turn it down a bit. Continue to simmer, giving it a stir every few minutes, until it becomes noticeably thicker (or whatever desired consistency for soup you like if you aren’t pairing it with anything else).

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COOK THE BUNNY

While the soup is doing its thing, time to begin your rabbit. I suggest a cast iron skillet, but whatever skillet you find is a good braising, browning pan is the one to use. Add several tablespoons of oil to your pan. Very important is the pan must be HOT to get the right browning.

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As you can see I season these little guys right on the wrappings after I’ve rinsed them off. Photo1111

Next, you want to make sure they get some oil on them before placing them in the skillet or because of the fat they’ll stick to the skillet and you’d have a yucky spot. Now add 1 CUP Soy Sauce, broth, or wine and 1 CUP of water. And cook at a simmer.

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Add more water as needed I only needed another cup.

Simmering!

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Flip them over when they get nice and brown. Use your thermometer to check the pieces as they cook. They are just right at 160 degrees to take out of the pan. The meat will continue to cook during ‘rest’ and will hit the magic number of 165 degrees. The smaller ones will cook fastest. You are cooking them just right if your thermometer moves quickly to the magic number. I had a moment where the smallest pieces weren’t showing the increasing on the thermometer so I turned my heat up slightly.

Kids Plates

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Adult Entrees!

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Like what you see? Check out my other recipes for Elk and Lamb.

I’m linking up at the following places …

http://asouthernfairytale.com/

Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 3 with Farm Fresh Eggs: Poached

I knew yesterday how I wanted to cook my eggs today! POACHED. This series reminds me of the scene in Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts character Maggie tries to find out how she likes her eggs. Trying out each until she found the one she liked best.

It’s my favorite way to have eggs ad I haven’t had poached eggs (made in a double boiler type) in years because most cooks poach them directly in water and I don’t like watery poached eggs. My Big Boy decided my method to my madness was so interesting he wanted an egg too.

I was kinda hungry but looking more forward to poaching, I guess. I filled one of my double boiler pans with water, placed the poaching mini pans plate on, and put in one of the mini pans. Well, I put in one because I could only find one. My kids love these mini pans and I’m always trying to locate them.

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Being high altitude it takes longer to boil water. At approximate height comparable to Denver it seems to take FOREVER. But it eventually does…so I slid in my egg.

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and waited…

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and waited…

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*sigh*

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So I put a lid on it. I should have before but I wanted to watch (the kid in me). That did the trick to get the rest of it cooked. Then I began to worry about whether the yolk was cooked too. So I let it bubble some more.

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Finally I poked it with a fork and it kept the fork. haha. Like good chili. So I flipped it out, or tried to, shoulda coated it with something beforehand. It turned out alright looking.

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It was pretty good tasting but I needed to cook it longer to make the yolk cooked perfectly to my taste. I think the lid would have come in to play more here…another day, another egg.

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Guinness Book of World Record Attempt: Casper, Wyoming, U.S., World’s Largest Potluck!

Find out more below! Want to participate?

Help fight poverty in Natrona County, Wyoming, Interfaith of Natrona County will be attempting to set the record for the World’s Largest Potluck, as a “Fun” fundraiser to increase assistance to our clients. We need 808 entries to beat the record and must be one dish per person. It can be an appetizer, salad, side dish, casserole, entrée, dessert or beverage.

On its Facebook Page Rev. Dee Lundberg said, “We are asking folks to limit their dishes to like one of those 8×8- ish aluminum pans with the cardboard cover, so that you don’t have to retrieve a dish later and we can work within the amount of table space we have. Safeway, Albertsons, etc deli items are permissible and maybe even desirable (keeps them sealed and safe).” For further consideration on food safety.

Join us at the Parkway Plaza, Sunday, February 26th from 1-5 PM. Cory & the Crew and Anastasias Fault will perform.

THE MOST IMPORTANT GUINNESS RULE IS:

We need ALL of the participants to be there all at once for a full 30 minutes.

  • Please plan to be there from at least 2:00-3:00. . . .You can come before and leave after. . .or. . . come then and stay around for fun, music and every kind of food you could imagine. Only those people (and dishes) who are there in a 30 min time frame (which will be sometime between 2:00 and 3:00) can be counted towards the record.
  • Unopened excess food, safe for redistribution, will be dispersed the day of the event, to local agencies serving those in need.
  • Since 1982, Interfaith has been helping those in need in Natrona County by providing emergency services such as shelter, food, clothing, prescriptions, case management, and skills for self sufficiency. Hunger and homelessness is on the rise here, as everywhere.
  • Any individuals of businesses who would like to help us by sponsoring, please let us know.
  • Everyone is welcome to come eat and enjoy the music whether or not they bring a dish, and we will rely on the generous free will donations of those who can afford it to make this event a success.

Please contact Rev Dee Lundberg if you would like to help.

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