Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cinnamon Waffle Sauce



My cherubs love cinnamon.

Seriously love it!

Anytime I can add cinnamon to a recipe, I always do!


When I saw this recipe, I thought it would be great.

I actually thought it would be a bit different then how it turned out.

But to my surprise, I was very pleased with the outcome.

I did make a little change to the original recipe, but that's because of our love of the cinnamon flavor.

This is wonderful poured over warm waffles or pancakes.

By warm, I mean warmed up!

On busy school mornings, we just take the waffles I made from the weekend and reheat in the toaster.

Cinnamon Waffle Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp good quality cinnamon (I used siagon cinnamon)

Place all of the ingredients in a heavy sauce pan over high heat.  Continue to stir until the cinnamon is dissolved in the mixture and the mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium/medium heat and continue to simmer until the mixture reduces until the it is thick and syrup-like, but still pourable. 

I didn't want to over-cook the mixture or burn the sugar, so I reduced until the mixture coated the back of the spoon.

Remove from heat and allow to cool before placing it in a container.

Use immediately;  store any remaining sauce in the refrigerator.

Reheat in the microwave when needed (being careful not to bring to a boil when re-heating.)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Homecoming Mum



I did not grow up doing mums in high school.

Honestly, it must be a Texas thing.

And as the saying goes, "Everything in Texas is always bigger!"


Mums . . .

honestly, I don't get it!



I'm not sure what the fascination with it is!

I'm learning with my boy cherub.

This is the second year that I have made a mum for his homecoming date.

Now, for the record, I want to do it for him

and for her.

But that doesn't mean that I understand what it is all about!

For those of you who don't do mums at your high school,

just google "images of homecoming mums"

Seriously!  Go do it!  Open another tab on your computer and look!

You will d.r.o.p. y.o.u.r j.a.w!!! 

Last year, a friend of mine taught me how to make the mum.

I am thankful that she is working with me again.

She has made several over the years and, while it isn't hard, I just want to make sure that I remember.

Mums require lots of stuff.

Ribbon.

Mum.

Ribbon.

 and pizazz!


By the time the mum is done, it is kind of heavy.

But it's all in the name of high school fun.

The tradition is that the couple exchange the mum and garter on Thursday and then they wear their decor to school on Friday for the homecoming parade and then to the homecoming game that night.

You might ask what do they do with it after Friday night?

Great question!

It's a memento that hangs in your room collecting dust.

Yep!

That's the life of a homecoming mum.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Claude's Marinade

Image from the internet


I think this is my very favorite marinade right now!

I love it for it's deep flavor that makes the meat taste like it took hours to achieve the taste.

I've been using this marinade for several years,

but it wasn't until recently that I have become enamored with it.

As in, I use it all the time.

Lately, every piece of chicken gets dunked in this marinade.

Not dunked . . . soaked!

I've told you my marinade method:

come home from the grocery store and divide my meat into gallon ziplock bags based on what I'm going to be using it for.

Those things that need to be marinated, gets the marinade thrown in the bag right away,

then off to the freezer it goes.

My theory:  it marinates while it's going into a deep freeze

and it marinates more while it's thawing out!

It's a win-win situation for everyone!

Back to this marinade, I've always purchased a small, normal size bottle.

I use it on chicken, beef, and in beans.

The last time, however, that I was at the store, I noticed they sell it in a gallon sized container!


I was "marinade happy!"

So happy, that I created a sandwich spread for the marinated grilled chicken sandwich we ate!

I'll share that too!

If you're looking for a new marinade, try Claude's Brisket Marinade;

it's found on the aisle with the ketchup, bar-b-que, and other condiments.

Claude's Mustard Spread

A spoonful of mayonnaise
1 small squirt of mustard
1 tsp. Claude's brisket marinade
chopped green chilies (if you have them . . .I had them, so I used them)

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until blended.

Spread on a toasted bun and top with grilled chicken (that's been marinated in Claude's!)




Friday, September 12, 2014

Cuban Picadillo




 My boy cherub turns 16!

I think I'm ok with it. . .

the driving part, that is!

Is he qualified to be behind the wheel?



NO!

None of us where . . .

but it's a right of passage, huh?

Is he walking out to a car, sitting in the driveway, with a big bow tied to the top of it as his present?

NO!
That's only in the movies,

or in other people's lives,

but not in ours!

It wasn't in mine when I turned 16.

It surely wasn't in the Mr.'s,

therefore, it is not in my boy cherub's!

We are celebrating his 16th birthday though,

and have been for a week now!

He kind of likes it that way!

Tonight, even though it isn't his birthday,

we are having his family birthday meal.

You know, where you can pick whatever you want for dinner, even if it doesn't go together?

This year, he picked Cuban food.

I'm a little shocked!

Not by the Cuban food, but that it isn't random!

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are all gluten free (because of him),

and he knows I haven't had the time to adapt our family recipes yet . . .

or maybe it's because he has a strong attraction to the Latin world.

Whatever the reason, I'm ok with it!

The first thing I did was to call a friend who knows Latin food!

She gave me this VERY easy recipe,

along with a fantastic Tres Leche cake recipe, which I will be posting next!

Here is for your tasting pleasure!

Cuban Picadillo

 2 cups onion, diced
2 cups green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef
1 -14oz can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup green olives, chopped (this is ALOT of green olives -- reduce to your preference)
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to taste)

Sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil in a large pan. Sauté until the onion is softened, then add the garlic and ground beef and cook until the meat is browned.
 
Add the tomato sauce, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add olives and raisins and simmer 5 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over white rice and black beans.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple Raisin Bake



When the kids went back to school, so did I!

What I mean by that is that my subbing schedule picked up right where it left off!

I really enjoy being able to sub and particularly love subbing at our school!

However, on the days I sub, breakfast is a little less "prepared"  then on the days I do not.

I've confessed it before, but I feel the need to confess again:

most of the time, the morning breakfast routine is managed by the Mr.

There are days, however, that I contribute greatly to the success of it!

Last week, on a day I didn't work, was one such experience!

This recipe will be great for company, school-morning breakfasts, or Saturday brunch!

While I made it gluten free, I believe that all purpose flour would be just as great!

Apple Raisin Bake

1 large apple, washed, cored, and sliced thin (I used Granny Smith)
1/3 cup raisins
3 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup gluten free flour (or regular, all-purpose flour)
2 TBSP melted butter
Preheat oven to 350. 
Using a pie plate, spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a bowl, place sliced apples, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon and toss to coat.  Arrange apple slices in the pie pan in a fan shape, over-lapping apples and filling in the entire plate.
Bake 15 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
While the apples are cooking, whisk eggs, milk, flour, and melted butter together.
When the apples are cooked, increase oven temp to 450 and carefully pour batter over apples and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  The batter will fill the pie plate, so be careful!

When it is done, the "pancake" will puff up over the pie plate, but mine did not spill over the sides!

Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and my cherubs like a bit of syrup poured on the top!

This reheated great for the next morning . . .when I was working!