Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tamale Pie

  Awwww, Sunshine! The Winter season has been nothing to complain about here in the South this year but oh this sweet sunshine that has presented itself so cheerfully today makes me even more ready for spring :) I don't know about you but it seems often during this part of Winter, after the holidays and before it's warm enough to do any real work outside not to mention slightly too early for "Spring cleaning", I get a little restless and even bored. The "Winter menu" routine begins to seem a little mundane and we start living off of the "what do you feel like eating" rut. My hubby requested this recipe for lunch today and really, I don't know why I did not make it more this season...

Tamale Pie

  Quick and simple, almost a complete meal in one dish. But first, let me give you a few other recipes that I personal use instead of the commercial types. Make these ahead and this dish really comes together fast!

Mexican Seasoning Mix
(did I post this before???)

1 T. Chili powder
1 1\2 t. garlic powder
1 1\2 t. cumin
1 t. onion powder
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1\2 t. paprika
1\4 t. oregano

  You can double this recipe as many times as you want and simply mix it together and store in a glass jar for all of your Mexican dishes :) * Photo shown is of seasonings before stirred together.

Enchilada Sauce

  This recipe came from my dear sister in-law over in the western states. I truly love it! There were a few spices I added for my personal preference but being as I was never actually able to find the bought version at our local grocery store (yes, I can be a little blind when looking for specific caned goods) I was so happy to be able to make it at home, and I'm sure it's better too :)

6 T. olive oil
1\4 c. flour
3 1\2 t. chili powder
1\2 t. garlic powder
1\2 t. onion powder
1\2 t. cumin
1 (15-16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1\2 c. water

  Heat oil at medium heat in a small-medium sized pot. Stir in flour and cook til browned (about 4 minutes). Add seasonings (I try to pre-measure then pour in all together) and stir till blended. CAREFULLY stir in tomato sauce, it will splatter a little. After the sauce is incorporated, stir in water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Cool and store in glass jar, refrigerate.

  Now for...

Tamale Pie
(8 serve)

1\2 c. cornmeal
2\3 c. flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1\4 t. salt
4 T. olive oil
1\3 c. milk
1 egg, lightly whisked
1\3 c. salsa
1 1\2 c. freezer corn (or canned)

  Preheat oven to 400*. Mix together 1st 5 ingredients (dry). Add milk and egg stirring just till incorporated. Fold in corn and salsa then pour into lightly oiled 12" cast iron skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till set and very edges are lightly golden. Meanwhile, fry up:

1 lb beef burger
1\2 lb mild sausage
(or all burger)

  Season with Mexican Seasoning Mix (recipe above) to taste. You could even throw in a diced onion to cook along with the meat if you like. Once cornbread is done, poke several times through with a meat fork and spread with:

1 c. Enchilada Sauce (recipe above)

Lower oven temp. to *350.
Layer on the meat and drizzle with an additional 1\4 c. or so of Enchilada Sauce.

  Sprinkle on some shredded cheddar cheese to satisfy your cheesy preference, cover with foil best you can (I like to spray the inside of the foil with a little oil to keep it from sticking to the cheese). Return to oven and continue baking for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with chopped lettuce, sour cream and salsa!
And any other of your favorite taco toppings....

 I hope this gives you something to break-up the mundane 
(if you struggle with that like me :)\


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crispy Fried Dill Pickles

  Despite the fact that we live in the South :) I do not make many fried foods. Sure I enjoy french fries on occasion and if I am going to order a chicken salad I prefer fried chicken to grilled, simply for the crunch but for at home it is a very rare thing.... well... maybe till now ;)

  You see, there is this restaurant in town that for an appetizer serves fried.dill.pickles. Crispy, flavorful fried dill pickles... with ranch. I have never been a fan of dill pickles alone or on sandwiches for that matter, but when I was a young teenager my mom and I used to attend an occasional scrapbook workshop some evenings and on the way home would stop for some fried pickles and a drink at a local fast food. I had not seen them anywhere else until I moved here to Tennessee. Of course I had to try them....

  They were everything and more that I had hoped for! I wonder if I could make these at home? Well, I attempted once and decided, no, they could not. at least not anything to compare to Fresh Market. It has been several years since that 1st attempt and today I am here to say YES! Delicately crispy crunchy fried dill pickles can and indeed are worth it to make at home! You have probably found out by now, if you have been following my blog very long, that I can be quite passionate about food :)

  I am very conscious about flavor, texture and the whole experience of what goes into my mouth and what I serve to others. Now this does not mean that everything I make or serve it "wowing" but I do not easily settle until a recipe at least "wows" my taste buds. And these... well... after a few tweaks from the original recipe, wowed my hubby and settled in my mind that I do not need to convince him to a trip to Fresh Market when I am craving fried pickles :)

  OK, enough of my babbling, on to.......

Crispy Fried Dill Pickles

-24 oz jar sliced Dill Pickles
-box of Panco Breadcrumbs
-oil for frying

  First off, drain liquid from pickles and in a single layer line up on paper towels to dry. Pour about a 1\2c. breadcrumbs into a bowl and set aside. *NOTE: Breadcrumbs do not stick as well to batter if too wet so you will be adding breadcrumbs as needed in the dipping process. Begin heating oil to *375.


1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. paprika
1\2 t. pepper
1\2 t. garlic powder
1\2 t. onion powder
1\2 t. salt
pinch of ground cayenne (opt)
1 c. milk
1 egg

  Combine flour and dry ingredients in a bowl. Lightly beat egg and add to milk, then slowly whisk into dry mixture. Set aside for about 5 minutes. Dip each pickle slice into batter then into breadcrumbs to coat. Fry in small batches (my fryer could do 10 at a time for single layer) for 2-3 minutes or till nicely golden. Drain on additional paper towel, serve with ranch or honey mustard.

*This is a lot of pickles for just our family, so I made some and put the rest of the batter into the fridge and made more another day. Turned out great both times :)


Monday, January 19, 2015

CTMH -- Snow Haven

The most recent of CTMH winter packets, Snow Haven!

Available: 1 @ $7.00
(layout shown of kit completed)

Accented with Glitter Paper Snowflakes
and shiny Silver Sequins!
A great lay-out for any winter activity...
like making Gingerbread Houses :)

Contact me or leave a comment for purchase!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

CTMH -- Dreamin'

Available: 1 @ $9.00
(layout shown of kit completed)

This paper packet is one of my favorites from the past!
 I saw quite a few beautiful family photos floating around
FB last year, get yours scrapbooked while fresh
in your memory :)

Simply beautiful Autumn layout,
accented with Metal Charms and 
glittery paper flowers.

Contact me or leave a comment for purchase :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

CTMH -- Unforgettable

Available: 1 @ $6.00
 (lay-out shown of kit completed)

A simple but elegant layout :) 
Adding Brads and 3D tape to the flowers
makes for great texture and dimension!
I love how the colors made my pictures blend right in!

Contact me or leave a comment for purchase!

CTMH -- Typeset


Available: 1 @ $8.00
(lay-out shown of kit completed)

A great one for "School Days" or just about any
fun event children have! I used mine 
for a day they had at the park.

Some Features: Canvas Shapes (love!)...

...Bronze Brads and Washi Tape.

Have you used Washi Tape??? I was skeptical of it to start with
but now that I have tried it I find myself seeking any
ways to use on MANY of my lay-outs!
A great way to add additional color and trendy patterns
to your art without "over-doing" it :)


Available: 1 @ $7.00
(layout shown of kit completed)

>>>Title not included, open for adding your own!<<<

Contact me or leave a comment for purchase!

CTMH -- Expedition

Available: 1 @ $8.00
(lay-out shown of kit completed)

This is a fun layout to use for boys! 
As you can see in the photos,
I used mine for a birthday party my boys had...

Some features: Bronze Glitter Glue, 
Gold Chevron Washi Tape,
Various Wild Animal Stickease*, Brads and 
Cocoa Ribbon.

Contact me or leave a comment for purchase!