March 23, 2011

Green Fluff Salad

What other names do you know this salad by?
So far we have: Green Fluff, Green Stuff, Green Goo, Watergate Salad, Pistachio Fluff....anything else???

1 Large tub of Cool Whip, thawed...but barely (I use light whipped topping)
1 large can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 small boxes of pistachio pudding (I use sugar free if I can find it)
1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained)
mini marshmallows (use the amount you like...we use about 3 cups)
shredded coconut (optional...but I use about 1 cup if I'm feeling coconutty)
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let sit overnight for best flavor.
  • Sprinkle crushed pistachios on top if you want the extra knowledge of what type pudding it is made the crunch & bit of salt is nice.
  • Serve as a "salad"...or a dessert. 
This makes quite a big can cut it in half, but be might end up with unhappy green goo eating kiddos who really wanted a scoop the next day. Its the perfect size batch for a potluck!!!

March 21, 2011

"Braised" Cabbage

Why does cabbage get such a bead reputation?
Do all people assume its tastes yucky, its stinky and like most cruciferous you gas?
Is it because when you cook it, it turns into a soggy mess?
Is it because the only way you are used to cabbage being used is in cole slaw?

Well you're all wrong.
Cabbage is awesome!!! If you cook it the correct way!!!

Braised Cabbage:
2 small green cabbages (small = medium to large grapefruit sized. If you can't find some that small, then peel down 2 large ones a bit)
Corned Beef liquid (from the crock pot after CB has been cooking for 4ish hrs)
Corned Beef Glaze (see corned beef post...make a double batch!
  • Peel off the outer cabbage leaves & cut each cabbage into 1/4's leaving the core to hold each 1/4 together.
  • Place cabbage into a large casserole dish cut sides up.
  • Using a large ladle or spoon take enough cooking liquid from the crock pot & pour over the cabbages till there is about 1/2-3/4" of liquid in the casserole dish. 
  • Spoon a bit of glaze over each 1/4 of cabbage.
  • Cover with saran/plastic wrap.
  • Microwave on high for 15 minutes. (Yes in the microwave!!!)
  • Cabbage is done when a fork can be easily inserted into the core section...but it shouldn't be mushy.
This dish can be made with brussel sprouts also. Its so good. 
If you are opposed to the microwave...then cover with foil & place into a 350 degree oven for about the same time.

March 20, 2011

The Perfect Glazed Corned Beef (& Carrots)

The Perfect Corned Beef:
1 large crock pot
1 Corned Beef Brisket (flat cut, not point cut)
1 yellow onion (cut into 1/8th's)
warm water (enough to fill your crock pot 1/2 full)
pickling spice (a packet usually comes with the brisket, or the spices are already mixed in with the meat in the package...if not then you need about 2 Tbsp of pickling spices which can be found in the spice aisle)
1 bag of baby carrots...the big size bag (not Costco sized)
  • Plug in the crock pot & set on high.
  • Add water to crock pot.
  • Place brisket into the water. (Fat side up or doesn't matter really, just don't trim it off. I actually rotate mine during the day since I'm home.)
  • Place onion & pickling spices into the water.
  • Cook on High for 4-6 hrs. (6hrs is awesome)
  • Pull brisket carefully out of water & place into a casserole dish. (You may want to use 2 slotted spoons or spatulas...not tongs.)
  • Add 1 full bag of baby carrots to the crock pot. 
  • Let carrots cook about 30 minutes...till done.
  • Glaze the corned beef using below recipe while the carrots cook.
Corned Beef Glaze:
1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove & discard any remaining fat from the brisket.
  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. (Adding more or less of any ingredient per your taste.)
  • Pour over the top of the brisket in the casserole dish.
  • Cover pan with foil.
  • Let cook in the oven approximately 30 minutes while the carrots cook in the crock pot.
  • Slice & serve.

March 18, 2011

Champ (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

This makes a big ole' batch. Be prepared for leftovers...unless you are feeding a crowd. I use leftover champ for potato pancakes the next day...or 3. The garlic is a less traditional addition, but tastes awesome. The sour cream isn't traditional either...but it helps make these extra creamy.

5lbs Red Potatoes (washed, not peeled & cut into 1/4's)
1 large bunch/20 green onions (whites & greens diced)
3 cloves of fresh chopped garlic (or 1 Tbsp powder)
buttermilk (enough to cover the diced green onions in a bowl)
16oz sour cream
1/2 lb salted butter
salt & pepper (to taste)

  • Boil potatoes till done.
  • Drain potatoes well in a colander.
  • Put butter, garlic, onions & buttermilk into the hot pan that you boiled your potatoes in.
  • Add hot potatoes back into the pan.
  • Mash potatoes into the buttermilk, butter & onions.
  • Add sour cream & mix well.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste. 

Irish Soda Bread

4 c. ap flour (plus more for the raisins & flouring the board)
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (diced)
1 3/4 c. cold buttermilk (shaken well)
1 extra-large egg (of course we use fresh brown eggs from our chickens)
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 c. raisins (currants are more traditional...but they don't carry them in a lot of grocery stores)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (350 if using a convection oven). 
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil (shiny side down).
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. 
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  • With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. 
  • Combine the raisins with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
  • Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. 
  • Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. 
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
  • Cool on a baking rack. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.