Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes

Prepare a white cake mix according to the box directions for cupcakes. Allow to cool before frosting. You could also make a large cake and use the same frosting.

7 minute Frosting from Betty Crocker

(which should not be called 7 minute frosting because it actually takes 9 1/2 minutes! just wanted to point that out ;0)

2 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or 1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and water in top of double boiler. Beat on high speed 30 seconds with electric mixer. Place over boiling water (water should not touch bottom of pan); beat on high speed 7 minutes. Remove pan from boiling water; add vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer on high speed. Fills and frosts two 8- or 9-inch layers or frosts a 13x9-inch cake.
Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut.

* I also added a small splash of coconut flavoring to the icing along with the vanilla. These were served at a board meeting and were a big hit. They were quick and easy to make and transported very well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Simple Meat Loaf

What you need:
1 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg
13 to 15 Ritz Crackers, crushed
Tony Chachere's original Creole Seasoning, to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Form into a loaf and place in pan. Cook, covered with foil at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook till juices run clear.

My meat loaf, served with sauted yellow bell peppers, baby bells mushrooms and onions. A cucumber, tomato, and purple onion salad topped with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing and strawberries.

For the next day, slice leftover meat loaf for sandwiches.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homemade Tamales


1. Wash and soak 1 seven ounce bag dried corn husks overnight.

2. Take 10 large dried ancho or chili Nuevo Mexico peppers and remove stems, split open and remove seeds. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes. Pour juice and peppers into blender and pulverize. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard debris that is left in the strainer. Put juice aside for later.

3. Brown 4.5 to 5 pounds of 80/20 ground beef.
1 large onion, pulverized in blender
1 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
About two cups pureed, strained chili peppers
Mix well and set aside.

4. To make your Masa you will need:
8 cups Martha White Self Rising Cornmeal
2 cups lard or Crisco
Remainder of pureed, strained chili peppers
Place remainder of pureed, strained chili peppers to a large measure cup and add water so you have 8 cups of liquid. Place liquid mixture into a large pot and bring to a low boil. With a whisk, begin adding cornmeal. When all cornmeal is added, continue to whisk and add the lard or Crisco. Mix until well blended.

5. To assemble your tamales: Pat corn husk dry and spread two heaping tablespoons of masa in the middle of the husk using a plastic putty knife. Then put one heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture in the middle. Pick up the sides of the husk and bring together so the masa forms around the filling. Roll the side together and fold the bottom over.

6. Cooking: Stand tamales upright, with folded end down, in a steamer and steam for about an hour, replenishing the water as needed. Serve hot plain or add a red or green enchilada sauce.

7. Freezing: Wrap in foil, we do a dozen per package, then place in a freezer zip lock bag and seal well. Thaw and steam as needed.

Hot tamales at 9:20 in the morning....we couldn't wait!

Here is a great video about making tamales from a child's point of view. It takes you through each step. They use pork instead of ground beef.

Monday, April 5, 2010

*Amber's Orange Glazed Ham

1 large to medium bone in ham butt

1 can orange soda (not diet)

brown sugar, about a cup

Place ham flat side down in a large roasting pan and pour orange soda over. Pack brown sugar all over the ham. Cover with foil and bake at 300 to 325 degrees for 2 to 2.5 hours. Remove foil and begin basting every 15 to 20 minutes; letting the ham cook for another 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat begins to seperate.