Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hush Puppy Muffins

The Hubs whipped these up the other night to accompany some fish tacos (is it still a taco if you use a lettuce leaf)?  They're a nice healthier alternative to fried hush puppies, but still with that yummy hush puppy flavor.

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped ( suggest half white onion, half green onion)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp parsley
olive oil in a mister (or olive oil spray)

Heat the oven to 350F.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. 
Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers (because we are all about easy cleanup), and then lightly spritz the muffin papers with olive oil (this helps prevent sticking to the muffin wrapper, and also seemed to help the part inside the wrapper get crispy as well).
Divide the batter equally among 12 muffin cups,and then lightly spritz the tops of the batter with olive oil as well. 
Bake for about 12 minutes or until brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  

Serve warm with fish....tacos? Lettuce wraps?  Whatever. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Blackberry Chipotle Freezer Jam

My cousin sometimes lets us come raid the blackberry bush at their farm when they've got a surplus.  I was itching to make some freezer jam, but didn't want to make plain ol' regular boring blackberry jam.  No...I wanted to do something INTERESTING.
...in retrospect, I really should have split the batch, and been boring with half and then played with the other half, because now I have 6 pints of INTERESTING jam when I would occasionally really like some regular ol' blackberry freezer jam.  But not to worry. I'll share the recipe for both, so you can learn from my mistakes.
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 jars):
4 cups crushed blackberries (you can use a potato masher or pastry cutter, but I'd shy away from a food processor, otherwise you'll end up with puree. A few pulses with a stick blender might work well.)
4 Tbsp Instant (no cook) pectin (or one 1.35 oz packet)
1.5 cups  Sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice


Combine the pectin and the sugar and mix well, then add the lemon juice and the blackberries, and stir well until fully incorporated.  At this point, if you're making straight up regular blackberry jam, you can go ahead and divvy these into half-pint jars.  Let sit at room temp for 30 minutes, at which point it should be soft-set. Then you can put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer for later.

However, if you want to ramp things up a bit, then add the following to the mix:

1/4 tsp Chipotle powder (per jar)
1/4 tsp Cumin (per jar)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (per jar)
1/4 tsp Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
a pinch of smoked salt (per jar)

I'm providing these as "per jar" ratios so that if you want, you can make a full batch of the base, and then make the Chipotle version in one or two of the jars.  Just make sure you label them appropriately! 
The Chipotle version is pretty versatile. It makes a great grilled cheese (like this one), or you can put it in a Crockpot with a pork tenderloin for a delicious dinner. And of course it goes great on a biscuit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Mom's Meatloaf

"Really Bobbi?  MEATLOAF?  This is what your blog has come to?  Where are the Cajun recipes? Is there something unique about this meatloaf?  Does it at least have like, alligator or ground shrimp and Cajun seasoning in it?"

Nope.  It does not.  But it doesn't need to.  Because there's something special about a recipe that comes from your mom.  
Even if it *technically* doesn't come from your mom, because it's actually from Betty Crocker's "Dinner for Two" cookbook, circa 1960s. 
Because your mom got this as a wedding gift when she got married in 1974.

And because your mom used to make it all the time.  Possibly once a week, even.  These are the flavors of your childhood.
And, because it's one of the first things your mom taught you to cook.  You remember smooshing all those ingredients together with your bare mitts inside a burnt orange Tupperware bowl.

You remember it being served with potatoes au gratin and sweet peas.  And having meatloaf sandwiches with the leftovers for lunch.

And you also remember it because, while you don't make it nearly as often as your mom did, you did make it while your son "helped" you cook.
Because spices make great towers.

And even though there's absolutely nothing sexy or unique about meatloaf, and it's incredibly difficult to take Instagram-worthy photos of a meatwad... there is absolutely something special about sharing recipes and moments with your kids.

*Note: my recipe varies slightly from the original, just because I like more veggies in it.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4-6 servings)
1 lb Boston Burger (80/20 mix of ground beef & pork)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, celery salt, and dry mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 cup BBQ sauce (we had Fiery Habanero in the fridge, so that's what we used--added a really nice level of heat)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and smoosh 'til combined. Don't overwork--just mix until everything is integrated.  If you mix it too much the meatloaf will get really tough.  Then plop into a loaf pan...
...then top with BBQ sauce...
My attempt at getting an action shot.

Spread evenly across the top and then bake for 1 hour.  Use a kitchen thermometer to monitor for when it hits 160F and you'll ensure that you don't overcook it--nobody likes dry meatloaf.
Serve with potatoes & peas (or rice and watermelon, because that's what you have on-hand).