Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crappy Day Pizza

Well, here I am barely into the new year and I have skipped a week of my resolution to try a new cookbook recipe each week. But, the weekend is near and I have some stuff planned, so recipes will soon your way come.

In the meantime, today was a crappy day and when Mr. D finally walked in the door at 6:45pm, he saw the look in my eyes of a woman on the edge. He started scrounging for something to feed the kids who, for some reason, expected dinner. We had part of a loaf of homemade bread and he decided to slice it and make little homemade pizzas. They were pretty darn good. Bread - then tomato paste w/ pizza spices sprinkled on top (preferably an all-in-one like the magnificent Penzey's Pizza Seasoning - Penzey's has awesome herbs and spices and they are not more expensive than the regular ones at the grocery store: Okay, where was I? Bread, then tomato paste, then pizza spices, topped with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Cooked for 6 minutes on 400 degrees, then another 5-ish on low broil.

The far left are cheese breads for little Ginger who won't eat anything pizza-like, which is redonkulus. And the pizza ones are sitting on top of a cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet so that when they cooked they didn't get all soggy on the bottom. Hate soggy bottom.

Peace, Love, and Crappy Days,

~ HD

Mom to Fred and Ginger
Wife to Mr. D
Patron of Penzey's

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hey, Hey, Paula... I Like Your Beaufort Shrimp Pie

We drove through Savannah this summer and spent a couple of days. Having read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" with my awesome book club last year, I could not wait to hit the spots related to the book. I went to the gift shop that is dedicated to the book and its history and I got this cookbook: Dining in the Garden of Good Eats: Cooking with "The Book" That Made Savannah Fanous by Deborah and Shane Sullivan. It is full of history, maps, stories, and trivia as well as recipes. The recipes are primarily from the many, many restaurants in Savannah. As I flipped through the book looking for something to make (and passing over all the fabulous dessert recipes....sigh....), the ones that sounded best and most likely to please the whole familia were from none other than Lady and Sons...aka, Paula Deen's restaurant. (This is not the recipe that I wrote of earlier that requires grits - I'm still on the lookout for those.) So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Beaufort Shrimp Pie:

Beaufort Shrimp Pie

½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups cooked and peeled shrimp
2 cups milk
2 eggs
Salt and pepper
3 strips bacon
2 cups soft bread crumbs

Saute the onion and bell pepper in butter until soft. In a casserole dish, make layers of the shrimp, bread crumbs, onions and peppers. Beat together the milk, eggs, and salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the shrimp. Cut each strip of bacon into 4 pieces. Lay bacon on top of the casserole and bake at 325 degrees until the filling is set and the bacon is brown. Serves 6-8.

I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer from a couple of months back, and it was perfect for this - it's already cooked, I just had to take the tails off and rough chop. The only problems were that the recipe doesn't state what size casserole dish and it doesn't say how long to cook it. So, I used a pan that's a little smaller than a 9 x 13 and it seemed to work okay. As for the cooking time - I started out 18 mins.....then added 12 more.....then added 10 more....then gave up on the bacon browning and turned on the broiler (low) for 3-4 minutes. So, in the end, it was 40 minutes  plus a few under the broiler. It turned out perfect. I don't think the bacon would have ever browned on it's own at 325 degrees, at least not until the whole thing had turned crispy.

It was a big hit with Mr D and I - and little Ginger, who loves shrimp, liked it too. But my son only ate the parts that weren't shrimp, so he was not a big fan. I would definitely make it again, especially if shrimp was on sale. It would be really good for a brunch.

As I started layering in the dish:

All ready to go in the oven:

And done!:

Here is a link to the Savannah book the recipe was in:

Peace, Love, and Dinner,


Mom of Fred and Ginger
Wife of Mr D
Supporter of Anything w/ Shrimp and Bacon

Saturday, January 2, 2010

International Bean Dip, My New Love

Well, if you saw the previous post, you know that I was supposed to post a recipe from my cookbook fromo Savannah, GA. I had a wonderful recipe picked out, one that I thought would be simple - and yet, it turns out it is far from simple to find any kind of grits in this town that are not instant. I need stone-ground, yellow grits. I called or went to 8 stores (count 'em!) and got nowhere. So, I'll be near a Whole Foods next week and will try there. In the meantime..................

I made the inexplicably-titled, yet fabulously-tasting, International Bean Dip from page 16 of this wonderful cookbook: The Recipe Hall of Fame (Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley, Editors).  

This cookbook is actually a collection of top-rated recipes from other "hometown" kind of cookbooks. International Bean Dip is credited to the cookbook Cook 'em Horns.

Here's the recipe:

International Bean Dip

1 (15 oz) can refried beans
4 oz cream cheese, softened
12 oz sour cream
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/2 (12-oz can) Ortega salsa
1 (1 1/4 oz) packet taco seasoning
1/2 (4-oz) can diced green chili peppers
1 dash oregano
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese or longhorn cheese or cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except grated cheese in ovenproof dish. Sprinkle top with grated cheese. Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees. Serves 15.

The only changes I made, or weirdnesses to note, were:

- It says a "bunch" of onions, but sure it didn't mean the tops and bottoms of a whole bunch. I did the white ends and a couple inches up on the green stems.

- I used Pace Picante - I looked at the Ortega in the store and it was picante (not huge tomato chunks) just like the Pace I had, so I didn't buy more. I thought it might have meant the Ortega taco sauce, which is thin and not chunky, but it only came in an 8 oz bottle.

- I did not think the shredded cheese should be on for the whole hour in the oven since it wasn't covered or anything. So didn't put the cheese on until halfway (30 mins) into it, and I think it was perfect.

Here is a picture of everything in the bowl before mixing.

After mixing, in the pan:

And hot out of the oven:

This bean dip was so good, I can't even tell you. BOTH kids liked it and Mr. D promised to do the dishes out of sheer appreciation for my culinary genius. Mr. D and I ate it with tortilla chips and the kids preferred it inside tortillas like a burrito. I thought it might be a little light on the bean flavor since there was more other stuff than beans, but it was still beany enough to know it was bean dip. This final picture of it out of the oven shows the top got browned, but the sides and inside were still light-colored. I can't wait to take this to a potluck or to have it on the menu the next time I cook Tex-Mex for company.

Beans, Love, and Dinner,


Mom of Fred and Ginger
Wife of Mr. D
Deliverer of Delicious Dip

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

With the New Year comes New Year's Resolutions. So, meet my cookbook shelf:

That's right, the whole dang shelf is cookbooks - so many that they've spilled over onto` the window seat to the right. Even behind the doors there is nothing but cooking magazines, recipe boxes, and folders filled with handwritten recipes and recipes printed off the internet. So, my resolution is to cook one new thing from these cookbooks (and not the internet, which is where I head first these days) each week. That's my goal. My stretch goal is three things per week. We'll see. Of course, in the Peace, Love, and Dinner spirit, the recipes chosen must be something that hopefully the whole family will eat, thus increasing my repertoire.

I'm starting with a cookbook I got on vacation in Savannah this year. I'm going to decide what to make tonight, so come back this weekend to see how it turned out.

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season and here's to 2010!

Peace, Love, and Resolutions,


Mom of Fred and Ginger
Wife of Mr. D
Collector of Cookbooks