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Cable Car Chocolate Brownies

Photo1298 (2)The picture you see contains this recipe as originally printed on the sides of the metal canister. The final product I made is adapted using the recipe from 25 years ago by San Francisco based Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, aptly titled “Cable Car Chocolate Brownies”. Although they post the equally delicious Empress Chocolate Cake, I couldn’t locate this brownie version among the others.

These turned out very different than what I remember and I attribute that directly to having made some adaptions that I hope replicate for you! I normally use Ghirardelli cocoa powder for brownies even buying their 4 pk. Triple Chocolate brownie mix from Sam’s Club. Unfortunately, Big Boy made a mess and I needed a cheap replacement at the time and what was on sale was Hersey’s. Tonight I dug out this recipe for brownies because it’s simple for me and quick. This recipe at times seems to be hard to find, but you can also find it slightly different here.

Ghirardelli’s Cable Car Chocolate Brownies

2 eggs

¾ C sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ C melted butter or margarine

¾ C Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate* (SHOULD BE NOTED AS “SWEET”!)

2/3 C unsifted flour

¼ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

½ C chopped walnuts*

Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter. Sift Ground Chocolate with flour, baking powder, salt. Stir into egg mixture; add nuts. Spread into greased 8 or 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. For extra chewy brownies, use 8-inch pan and less baking time. For cake-like brownies, use 0-inch pan and longer baking. Cut into squares.

 Now the original recipe is great, but this is what I did:

  • I had no idea when I used Hersey’s UNSWEETENED Cocoa that it would give the brownies such a deep, sultry coffee like taste. Next time I’ll try it with both types of cocoa to try for a better balance of chocolate and coffee richness.
  • I also omitted the walnuts (I know, shocking since I have several pounds) but used the last of my chocolate chips that probably amounted to less than 1/4 cup.
  • Add in what you like – both the original version of the recipe and my adaptions result in a very thick mix, you could add up to 3 tablespoons of milk or equivalent “rich” substitute to thin it out slightly.
  • I have a convection setting on my Frigidaire oven (considered a commercial setting for residential use) so I used it. When I’m not paying attention using convection at the typical temperature called for in a recipe is a burnt disaster. Remember when using the convection setting, use the temperature at 325 degrees F. I let the brownies bake for 25 minutes, letting them cook themselves at rest outside the oven.

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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!

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!****

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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/

Cream Corn Soufflé

It is the accompaniment for Hubby’s birthday dinner and although the original recipe uses 1 can of creamed corn, you would quickly find out you’d wished you had QUADRUPLED the recipe. This delicious dish is actually called a corn pudding on the old recipe I have, but it really cooks as a soufflé: don’t peak!

Stokely Van Camp’s Cream Style Golden Corn…Real Corn Pudding

I’ve doubled the original recipe for you because it makes a great 1 cup serving. Makes about 6 servings in my house but the recipe says it serves 8-10!

  • 2 cans Stokely’s Finest Golden Cream Style Corn (any cream style corn will do)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, MELTED
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 large eggs, SEPARATED
  1. Boil Corn and milk together for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the corn burn on the bottom (it is the one thing that happens most often to me!) Photo1080 (2)Photo1083
  2. Stir in butter or margarine, sugar, salt, pepper, and beaten egg YOLKS. Photo1082
  3. Beat egg WHITES (but not too stiff) and fold into Corn mixture. (I once beat them to meringue stiff and they baked right out of the baking dish which then fell as it cooled!) Photo1086Photo1085
  4. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole.Photo1087

Bake uncovered in a moderate oven (375 or 400 degrees F – winter/snowy areas use higher temp, summer use the 375 at highest) for 35 minutes. There will be a nice golden browning and the serving “stiff, but juicy to the touch” when you cut into it.If you notice it is still liquidy, cook longer even to 1 hour. This is one of those dishes that you MUST let sit or it will “run”. (Do NOT PEAK WHILE IT IS BAKING, or it FALLS!!)

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http://asouthernfairytale.com/

Turn the Mundane into Exotic–Foodie #2

Take a simple piece of wild game, like an Elk roast, and turn it into a roast meat hoagie and Au Jue!

It is easy to make, without a lot of intervention from you. Prep to oven is less than a minute and if you’re like me 45 minutes is about your limit in “waiting.”

The 2 things to remember about wild game meat/poultry is always wash off excess blood (or in some cases “draw” out the blood by marinating it in French dressing, vinegar, wine, or even milk) and not cook it more gently than you would beef or other store bought meat due to its lower ratio of fat. It cooks really fast so I recommend cooking it to what you’d normally call rare with some blood. If it’s a large piece of meat, slice several cuts into it so that the middle (which usually cooks the slowest in large cuts) is exposed to the cooking process and keeps the ends from overcooking before the middle gets close to being done.

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If you see any area on your wild game that is very dark red, almost black, cut it off, it is too saturated with blood to draw out without having a bad taste. Trim off any silver skin and hard fat, season your wild game as you would any kind of meat. I like to use soy sauce mixed with water for “broth” to provide the salt seasoning. That broth ends up being my Au Jus after skimming.

Put it in the oven at 375 degrees and according to how you like your meat, mooing vs. dead dead dead, cook at least 35 minutes. I don’t cover it but about 20 minutes in I turn it over and when I left it rest I turn it back over so that it gets to absorb some of the saltiness during cooking.

I know…vague? But what you are looking for is just a bit underdone of what you like. In your poultry, you need to ensure that it meets the temperature so use a thermometer.

Slightly undercooking your meat is also helpful for when you want to cut a hunk off for when you reheat leftovers in the microwave – they won’t leave you with dry meat. Also, let your meat sit for about 10 minutes so the juices stay in the meat better during slicing. Letting the meat sit also allows it to cook just slightly to perfection. If it’s still too pink for you, nuke it about 1 minute for well done.

Slice up just like you would for a steak hoagie and apply all the goodies you like! Sorry for not posting a photo of the sandwich because I was too hungry so this is the last photo:

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How do you like your wild game –

Exotic or made so it passes as “beef”?

I’m #393!
Hop #49 and I’m #221
fingerprints on the fridgeI’m #436!

Saved: Red Velvet Massacre

Yesterday, I made The Pioneer Woman’s red velvet cake as cupcakes and my baking powder was flat – so were my cupcakes! It wasn’t her recipe, it was my ingredients but I needed an alternative for Big Boy’s cupcakes FAST. I searched for a recipe without baking powder to save me a trip to the store if possible today until later. Wow – now I understand the importance of “tags” in a post!!!!

Honestly? I could cry. I am hopelessly depressed when a recipe goes wrong. Do you feel the same way too? I was so depressed I let my son tear the things (which tasted horrible, by the way) out of the muffin pan and let the dog “clean” them up.

I came across White Whimsy who posted the recipe she uses for Red Velvet Cupcakes: (here is the recipe copied from her blog), if you try them please go to her page, leave a comment [I suggest, ‘thank you’], and follow her.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. red food coloring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 24 muffin tin cups or fit the cups with paper liners. (Wyomingstorygirl says: grease the paper liners because I hate cupcakes/muffins that stick!)

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In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs.  In a small bowl, make a paste of cocoa powder and food coloring; blend into creamed mixture.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Beat in buttermilk, vanilla and water. (Wyomingstorygirl says I didn’t have buttermilk so I put 1 Tablespoon into just under 1 cup of milk – sours it perfectly if you let it sit for a few minutes. Also, I didn’t have apple cider vinegar, so I used regular vinegar) In a small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda; fold vinegar mixture into cake batter just until blended. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin cups.

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Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the pans cool on  a rack for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pans to cool completely.

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Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.  Beat together frosting (recipe follows) until smooth and creamy.  Spread frosting on cupcakes.  Serve promptly or refrigerate.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

I’ll have to update with frosting after they’ve cooled. I’m going to keep it simple with a toothpick decoration of a tiny heart and white frosting not quite as fancy as White Whimsy’s. I’m typing one handed so that I can enjoy a cool, unfrosted one right now.

 Smile YUM…because really I want to be that mom that everyone asks “what did she bring?” in anticipation…not fear!

I'm #356

Hop #49 and I’m #177
fingerprints on the fridgeI’m #437!

An Oldie But Goodie Cookie: Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

IMAG0360One of my all-time favorite, reliable sugar cookie recipes is from Betty Crocker. (See photo on your right to try the recipe!) It’s the go-to sugar cookie my Mother used when I was a child to make rolled out sugar cookies. It’s the recipe I made for Big Boy’s preschool class Valentine’s Day party. I decorated them like flowers since I couldn’t find a heart cookie cutter.

This recipe is older than I am, hence the modifications to the recipe in my Mom’s handwriting! I like to work with room temp butter and lard (formerly I used shortening for a balance of crispy and soft cookie. I use Watkins’s vanilla flavoring and put the salt and baking powder in before the flour. At sea level I didn’t have to adjust the amount of flour I used by about 1/2 cup more plus the flour used when rolling it out, but I have had a lot of mixed results at high altitude with spreading (the butter/lard mixture) even when I’ve chilled the dough. It doesn’t end up tasting too floury for me. They are good plain or decorated!

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Making cookies was a special activity my Mom shared with me, and we baked cookies at least once a week. I have tons of wonderful memories of us baking and using this recipe. She grouped similar or holiday cutters she put in colorful bags we’d get at Hallmark when we bought stationary items. Orange for Halloween and Thanksgiving, Red for Christmas, Pink for Valentine’s Day, Green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. After Thanksgiving passed, we’d begin baking, almost spending 2 weeks straight making batch after batch of cookies for Christmas plates we’d give to neighbors, friends and family. Some of our cookie cutters were handmade and were from the 1920s, there is even one she made in shop class in high school! Baking was a special thing for us and I miss that with her. Baking and cooking is an activity I love sharing with my Big Boy and Baby. I hope my children remember our baking times as fondly as I do with my own Mom.

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Do you have special memories with a loved one baking or cooking?

Do you have a favorite recipe used in that special time together?

Here are some more of the decorated ones …

Flower power!

using homemade frosting for "sandwiches"

I’m linking to some great Valentine’s treats & ideas this week! Seriously, wow – how may Red Velvet recipes are there? All yummy!

I’m #30
I’m #359!
In Hop 49 I’m #118
fingerprints on the fridgeI’m #438!

Foodie Friday! Homemade Flour Tortillas

A couple of days ago I was reading the 30-day Thrifty Challenge: The Food We Bought over at True Food Movement and clicked on their link about the USDA’s Food Plans, Cost of Food/Cost of Food at Home. I was amazed! My husband is complains that our food bills are too high, but when I clicked on December 2011, then on January and February 2011, I found that we are very frugal!

I did this, you might want to too – check your receipts from your last shopping trip – did you spend more than $100.00 in one shopping trip? Most of it in processed foods? Yep, I’ve been there; I’ve done that too. We are preaching to the choir here when we talk about wanting to eat healthier, get fit, and save money. But where does the dime drop? For my family it’s already dropped, but it’s still spinning. Will we be able to commit to healthy, fit, frugal lifestyle and Tweet like Charlie Sheen with #winning! or have one of Katy Perry’s epic fails? Popular culture is a big influencer because we our visual and seeing the same thing over and over becomes “normal.” Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, with no internet, you know what I’m talking about!

Several bloggers have been writing about these issues lately under healthy eating, frugal living, but isn’t this really more about a lifestylechange? In my new life as a permanent stay at home mom (SAHM), I’m realizing that when I “read the label” I’ve don’t like the 20+ ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. I mean, really, how hard is it to pronounce an ingredient like “flour”? Everything else are additives, stabilizers, color restorers, anti-caking agents, and preservatives.

Today I want to share with you my alternative to buying flour tortillas by making your own using this recipe from WikiHow Make Flour Tortillas. After getting to this part in my writing knowing that you can substitute other kinds of flour (like wheat) with this recipe I decided to bust out my wheat flour. You would need to adjust the amounts of flour and water in the recipe with trial and error – so don’t do what I did –  use all 4 cups of wheat flour! Results were mixed; it may be due to the age of my wheat flour, humidity in my home (or lack thereof) and/or the time of year, as I had to add a lot more water for the dough to have the right consistency. Next time I will incorporate white flour with the wheat to give it the smoother texture I prefer with the white flour tortillas. Biting into one of these wheat ones takes courage because several remained a bit dry even after cooking, but with some smear they are fine just not rolling. Oops.

I’ve seen other online recipes that pare the white flour down by half, less salt too, but use more baking powder, but I liked this combination of amounts the best. Again, it might be the age, humidity level, or season, but I end up using about 1-1/2 cups total water. You don’t need anything special with this recipe like a tortillas maker, a Comal (a special skillet for tortillas), or even a rolling pin.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

    • 4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 cup lard or butter or vegetable shortening
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup warm water

Step One:

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Start with 2 cups of flour into the bowl, then baking powder, the shortening (I’ve never used lard in my baking, can you believe it? More about that, later). Add the remaining flour. Time to get your hands dirty! Dig in and start smushing the dry ingredients together until they are crumbly, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you’ve made pie crust dough, then you should have a similar texture at this point.

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Step Two:

Add the salt into the water, swish with a spoon or whatever is handy, even your finger. Photo846 (2)

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Pour into the dry ingredients. Um, at this point I’d like to remind you to remove your hand jewelry least you end up like I did – forgetting! Mix until you have a nice dough. If it’s too dry, add more water a little bit at a time; if it’s too wet, add some flour. You should be able to get the consistency pretty quick.

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Don’t spray it with cooking spray or anything. Now is the time to heat up a skillet on your range over HIGH heat. You want your pan nice and hot! Think like the “hot” for pancakes – a pan too hot burns the pancake before it bubbles and a pan that isn’t heat hot enough will bubble but not brown.

Step Three: Test Tortilla

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Pull a handful of dough for your test tortilla and put it on a surface, no need to flour it first as it won’t be that tacky/ sticky. Photo857I find there hasn’t been any difference where I roll it out, but I use my rolling pin or you can use a can of refried beans, if you’re in a dorm room you know, whatever is handy. Photo863

Depending on what kind of style of tortilla you like, thick or thin is how you should roll it out. I like mine very thin (Sonoran style, I’ve been told) so when you roll it out, thick or thin, you can stack them on top of each other since they don’t stick to one another.Photo859 If you made a tortilla that is too big for your skillet, you’ll have smaller tortillas or get your biggest skillet out so that it can accommodate larger tortillas.

Turn the heat down to MEDIUM under your skillet. Your pan should be nice and hot now, so go ahead and put your tortilla in the skillet. It may take longer for your test tortilla to cook than that rest, so don’t worry, as you can adjust the heat once you get the hang of it. It will develop brown spots as it cooks, and the tortilla becomes stiff when it is ready to flip. If it’s floppy when you start to flip it, then it’s not ready. If you smell burning, then turn the heat down a bit. You can peak – it’s not a soufflé! It should look like this when you flip:

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If you are lucky, most likely your 2nd or 3rd tortilla will develop bubbles as it cooks. That is lucky!

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Um… too big of a bubble…

POP!!!

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If your test tortilla worked out perfect, repeat your methods. If it didn’t work out quite like you thought, then change it up. Here is a photo of a white flour tortilla I made last week and it was good! When I began trying to calculate the nutrition information for this post, I discovered the vegetable shortening had some of those ingredients I didn’t understand, so I bought lard at the store a couple of days later to try the next time I make these!

There are lots of things you can do with this dough, you can add herbs or spices, and be as creative as you like! Have you made tortillas before or experimented with flavors? Leave me a comment or include a link of your own recipe in exchange. Enjoy!

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