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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spicy Southwest Slaw!

This "Southwest Slaw" is really good when you want something a bit different from a creamy more traditional coleslaw.   This is also a good alternative when you are watching calories and fat intake, because it's dressed with a dressing made with fat free ingredients without giving up flavor!   I like to serve this as a topping for tacos also!   Here is what you will need:
3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced fine
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin (include some of the green blades)
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Boil the corn on the cob until just tender.  Remove and cool.  You can also grill the corn on the grill until slightly charred, if you happen to be grilling out.     After it's cool, with a sharp knife, cut the kernels off and into a large mixing bowl.  If you don't have access to fresh corn, you can substitute a 10 oz. bag of frozen corn, cooked and cooled.  
Add the  jalapenos,cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and cilantro.   When seeding and dicing fresh jalapenos, you might want to wear gloves and DO NOT rub your eyes. 
In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey, and other seasoning.  Pour over the vegetables and toss well.  Cover and refrigerate.   This is best when it sits for a couple of hours. Toss again before serving.

This is so fresh tasting and great with grilled foods or even seafood! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brown Sugar Bourbon Pound Cake!

This is a really simple pound cake with a Kentucky influence (the 1/2 cup of, but it makes a very elegant presentation.   This pound cake is good served by itself or with a scoop of ice cream or some nice sweetened fresh fruit!   Here is what you will need for this cake: 
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
5 large eggs
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup good bourbon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (for topping)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
Beat the butter and shortening with an electric mixer.  A heavy duty stand mixer works best for this cake.  Gradually add the brown sugar and white sugar and beat until it's creamy.  Add eggs one at a time and beating after each addition.
In a separate bowl stir together the evaporated milk and bourbon.   In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
Add the flour mixture and the milk/bourbon mixture a little at a time to the butter and egg mixture, alternating between the two and ending with the flour.  Add in the vanilla and beat on low just until it is all blended.   Do not over mix this cake or for too long. 
Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray that has flour in it.  I prefer Baker's Joy.   You can also grease it with shortening and then flour it.   I just have the best results with the Baker's Joy and it's much easier.    Pour the batter in the pan and place on the center rack in a 325 degree oven.  Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. 
 Turn out onto a cake plate and when it's completely cool sprinkle the top lightly with confectioners sugar.
Serve plain or...
Or with fruit or a scoop of your favorite ice cream!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sausage and Wild Rice Casserole!

This "Sausage and Wild Rice Casserole" is a really tasty dish that can be served as a main dish or as a side with other main courses.   This is very similar to a dirty rice and I just love it.   Feel free to adjust the seasonings to make it as mild or spicy as you like.  Here is what you will need for this casserole: 
2 lbs. ground sausage (use 1 lb. hot and 1 lb. mild for a spicier flavor)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red or green bell pepper, diced
1 (6 oz.) box long grain and wild rice mix ( we used Uncle Ben's) Do Not Cook
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can water
2 Tbs. chopped Pimento (optional)
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (we used Tony Chachere's)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown the sausage in a skillet and then drain excess grease.  Use all mild for a less spicy flavor or one of each for a spicy taste.
In a large bowl, mix the sausage and all of the other ingredients.   Leave the rice mix uncooked, but use the rice and the seasoning packet.
Pour into a 3 quart casserole dish you have sprayed with nonstick spray.  Cover tightly with foil and place in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  
Remove foil and serve immediately!  This is great served with chicken or pork or as a main dish with a salad!