Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pioneer Woman Rocks!

Okay, I think I am in love with a woman, the Pioneer Woman to be exact. Her recipes are full of butter, sugar, fat, calories and pure yumminess. The most recent recipe I have tried is Apple Dumplings with Mountain Dew.

I was oh so lucky to be invited to a delicious dinner where they were served by Jen (the most awesome quilter, cook and just all around cute person I know). She sent me home with 4 leftover dumplings (one for each member of our family). The next night I ate all four with a giant scoop of ice cream all by myself. I may have given Tom one bite. I later made them for Tom's family and then we had them on Easter.

I made a few small alterations to Pioneer Woman's recipe which I think make them even more divine. Instead of using 1/8 of an apple in each dumpling, I use closer to a 1/4 - 1/3 of an apple. I also added chopped cranberries with the apples.

This is the simplest recipe ever.

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I use 4 apples)
2 cans crescent rolls (you know, the ones in the can)
2 cubes butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1- 8 oz can Mt Dew
Wrap each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in greased cake pan. Melt butter. Add sugar and stir slightly. Add vanilla. Stir a little. Pour the pure yumminess over the dumplings. Pour Mt. Dew around the edge of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

I ate them last night with light ice cream and it made me feel better about eating them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cafe Rio Salad

So here is the promised Cafe Rio Salad recipe.

Cafe Rio Pork
5-6# pork roast
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire
1 can tomatoes (with chiles)
1/3 c ketchup
2 T liquid smoke
1 small can green chiles
2 T cider vinegar
2 T garlic
Put it all in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can also use leftover kalua pig and just add the ingredients with the cooked meat and cook on the stove for a 20 minutes or so.

Cafe Rio Rice
3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 small can green chiles
3/4 t salt
1 T butter
1/2 onion, chopped
3 c rice, uncooked
Boil water. Blend cilantro, chiles and onion in a food processor. Add to boiling water. Add the rest and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Cafe Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch packet made (i just use regular ranch in the bottle)
2-4 tomatillos
1/2 - 1 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice from 2 limes
few drops tabasco
Process all ingredients in a food processor.

To make the salad:
Place a warmed flour tortilla on your plate. Add rice, black beans, pork, romaine lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo and dressing.

I have also heard of making the pork with a can of coke. Does anyone else have a recipe for cafe rio salads? I would love to try out another.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

A happy St. Pat's Day to all my peeps.
We enjoyed a festively green meal: corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, peas, green Kool-Aid, green salad and of course green Jell-O with green grapes and green peeps for dessert.

A fun day for us all.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kalua Pig

Photo from Aspen Caterers (www.aspencaterers.com/food.html)

One of my very favorite things to make is Kalua Pig. I learned to make it while I cooked at BYU. We had a lot of luau's there. Anyway, this is the simplest and yummiest of recipes. It is best if you serve it with Panipopo (Samoan coconut bread).

Kalua Pig
1 - 5 to 6 lb. pork roast (butt, shoulder, whatever is cheapest)
2 T liquid smoke
1 T sea salt

Combine ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 or so hours. The fattier the meat the better. It will just fall apart. Shred with two forks. Taste and add more liquid smoke and sea salt to taste. Serve with sticky rice and panipopo.

Fresh or frozen bread dough to make 18 rolls (I make a 2 # batch of dough in my bread maker or use Rhodes frozen rolls)
1 can coconut milk
2/3 c sugar
1 T cornstarch

Let rolls rise in a cake pan. Meanwhile combine coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Pour over risen rolls (be generous) and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with Kalua Pig.

Next week I will post the recipe for my version of Cafe Rio Salad. It is a great way to use up leftover Kalua Pig or to make from scratch.