November 08, 2008


I thought I'd also post the guacamole recipe I think I'll never forget, to go along with the margaritas.

you'll need:

ripe avocados -- at least 1 per person (always make more than you think you need)
red or white onion, chopped finely
fresh jalepeno, chopped finely (optional)
cilantro, chopped roughly
garlic, minced
fresh-squeezed lime juice

(all ingredients to taste)

dump everything in the bowl at once and mix only at the end. if you overmash the avocados they will get banana-y, so just stir it until evenly mixed. 

it can sit in the fridge with some tightly-wrapped saran wrap for a half hour or more, but feel free to skip this step and eat immediately on some blue corn chips.

Perfect Margaritas

I can't believe I'd ever forget this recipe, but am posting it here in case I do. 

The key thing to remember is 2 to 1 to 1: two parts tequila, one part liquor, one part fruit juice. Serve on lots of ice, and in a rim-salted glass if possible.

The best version so far:

2 shots of Partida 
1 shot of Cointreau
1 shot of fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice (this should be about 2/3rds lime, 1/3rd lemon)

Drink -- preferably along side some homemade guac and chips -- and don't plan on driving anywhere anytime soon.

Sid's Enchiladas

4 tbs (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
corn kernals from 3 ears, or 10 oz. frozen box
20 oz. fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
12 oz. shredded monty jack
2 cups lowfat sour cream
black pepper to taste
12 6oz. corn tortillas

1) preheat over to 400 degrees
2) melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat
3) add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and corn
4) add spinach and chili powder
5) cover and cook for 20 mins., stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted
6) stir in 1/2 cheese, mix until melted
7) add sour cream and pepper, mix well
8) remove from heat and cool slightly
9) brush tortillas w/ oil on both sides
10) spoon 1/3 cup of mixture into the center of each, roll
11) sprinkle with salsa and cheese
12) bake, seam side down, for 15 mins

March 30, 2008

grandma nettie's meatballs

Okay this is directly transcribed from an index card that I think my sister wrote when she was like 11. I haven't tried it yet, although it looks like it's leaving out some of the specifics (like, the actual cooking part is a bit vague).

All I remember about these meatballs is that my grandma would give me little pieces of the raw, ground meat mixture (with raw egg to boot!) to eat while she was cooking. Eek.

2 pounds of chopped meat
small end of hard, stale italian bread (3-4 inches long)
garlic powder (quarter teaspoon) or fresh garlic (1 piece?)
dash pepper
no salt (unless wanted)
parsley quarter teaspoon - or more
romano cheese to taste 1/2 cup altogether
1 egg

soak bread. tighten (take all water out). mix all ingredients into bowl. knead with hands.
add bread crumb, as much as neded. add cheese, optional.
knead 100 times. taste. add whatever is needed, and cheese.
after mixing, shape into meatballs 2x2, cook on medium heat until brown.

February 24, 2008

Turkey Chili Recipe

Tasty Turkey Chili Recipe

This easy chili made with ground turkey not only tastes good, it's also heart healthy and designed for kids to make. Feel free to make it ahead and reheat. It's even better the next day.


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1-1/4 pounds fresh ground turkey (ground without skin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 (14-1/2 ounces) can diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
  • 1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14-1/2 ounces) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 to 5 green onions (scallions)


Peel and chop onion with the help of your assistant.

Pour oil into Dutch oven or large saucepan. Place pot on burner. Turn heat to medium. Heat oil for 1 minute.

Add onions to hot oil.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, for 5 minutes, or until onion is almost clear.

Add ground turkey to pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up large pieces. Brown turkey for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in garlic powder or garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and cumin until well combined.

Open cans of pinto and black beans. Pour both into large strainer. Place strainer under cold running water. Rinse beans thoroughly and drain.

With wooden spoon, stir beans, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, chicken broth, and corn into pot. Heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until thoroughly hot, stirring often.

Rinse and slice green portions of green onions. (Save the white part for Mom to use another time.) You should have about 1/2 cup.

Stir green onions into pot. Remove from heat. Ladle hot chili into bowls. Serve with green salad and cornbread.

I like to cook all the spices first and then put the turkey in. Also, the turkey should be seasoned beforehand with salt and pepper. Last time we cut up a chipotle pepper and threw that in with the spices, plus used a couple of teaspoons of the adobo sauce to season the turkey. Highly recommended.

December 16, 2007


8-12 lemons, washed, preferably organic
3 1/2 cups everclear or other neutral high-proof alcohol
2 cups sugar

zest lemons with a vegetable peeler or microplane zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. (reserve lemons for another use.) put zest into a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and add alolohol (there should be enough to cover the zest, but if not, add more alcohol.) set aside in a cool, dark place for 2-4 days. (the higher the proof of alcohol, the faster the zest will be extracted.) when zest turns pale and alcohol has a deep yellow color, strain through a sieve or cheesecloth, and store in another glass container. discard zest.

combine sugar with 4 3/4 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear, about 10 minutes. allow to cool.

pour syrup into lemon-infused alcohol (mixture will turn cloudy) and sample it. adjust flavor to your palate by either diluting with water or adding more alcohol in small amounts. the pour liquor into two clean, dry 750ml bottles, using a funnel. set aside for a week to allow liquor to mellow. store in the freezer and serve ice cold.

December 17, 2006

cold cut bread

a holiday classic. and so easy.

get pizza dough and if frozen let it thaw

use around 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of each of the following:
genoa salami
swiss cheese

roll out the dough to be roughly pizza-sized

layer each type of cold cut, making separate rows for each but overlapping slightly

roll it up, fashion into a horseshoe, and secure with toothpicks

bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until brown

you can put pretty much anything inside. it's hard to go wrong.

December 02, 2006

Rudolph's Antlers

Hard to go wrong here. So cute.

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch flavored chips
3 ounces chow mein noodles
12 maraschino cherries
  1. Combine semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the top of a double boiler. Heat over hot water until melted, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in chow mein noodles.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and shape into 2-inch ''V''-shaped candies.
  4. Cut maraschino cherries in half and place one half in the center of each candy.

Makes 24 pieces.

Grandma's Swignin' Eggnog

6eachegg yolks
2cuplight rum
2cupwhipping cream

Beat yolks until light. Add sugar and mix well. Add milk and rum. Mix well, then chill for at least 3 hours. One hour before serving, whip cream and stir into chilled mixture. Return to refrigerator for an hour. Serve in punch cups and dust with nutmeg.

NOTE: This stuff is POTENT, even if you reduce the rum by half. brandy, dark rum or bourbon may be substituted for the light rum. If you prefer a nonalcoholic eggnog, leave out the alcohol altogether. With or without alcohol, this eggnog is very rich and very good.

November 05, 2006

Sesame-encrusted Tuna

The tuna is supposed to be deep red and firm to the touch, although we don't really feel comfortable asking to poke the fish before we buy it.

The sauce:
1 medium scallion, with the green part sliced into little rings and the white part minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2-1/2 tsp. sugar (although this is probably optional. at least use less.)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

The fish:
Dry the tuna really well with paper towls
Coat it with vegetable or light olive oil (about 1 tsp.)
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper
Coat with sesame seeds

Heat 1 tbs. oil on high heat until you see little wisps of smoke
Put the fish in, and swirl the pan around to get the oil underneath
Set the timer for 30 seconds, then turn down to medium
Cook 1-1/2 minutes until there is a golden crust on the first side
Flip and cook for roughly 1-1/2 minutes on the second side (depending on thickness) for rare
Up to 3 minutes for medium rare but no more than this is recommended

Slice immediately and spoon the sauce over it. Eat!

30-minute turkey chili

Courtesy of the Food Network:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt*
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound ground turkey
1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes—crushing them through your fingers into the skillet—along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

Food Network Cook's Note: A skillet's larger surface area reduces sauces faster than simmering in a saucepan.

*We added only a teaspoon of Kosher salt and it seemed to be enough. Also, we added a dash or two of cumin.