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Tuesday round-up and Recipe Club

December 13th, 2011

Deer angel

(Photo by Steve Rawley.) (Everyone in our neighborhood went crazy with the big ornaments on their outdoor trees and shrubbery this year. Also those oversized, fake wrapped “presents.” Whoa. We put up a few lights. They looked nice. The end.)

* You ever send a note to a friend, then realize it was their work e-mail and pray like heck that it didn’t go into a general delivery mailbox? Because it was personal?

* Uh, no. That never ever happens. Whoops. (Edited to say: It all turned out okey-dokey. Thank the e-mail gods.)

* I usually don’t get all that into the holidays. I want to, but I hold back. Or I give up. They can be a let-down, and also expensive. A costly bummer, some years. Also, the kids and I often have differing opinions about how to make a holiday “successful.” I don’t want to give away any family secrets or anything, but their version? Much more expensive than mine.

* This year I kinda have the holiday spirit. Weird, right? Nice and weird. Did a little shopping yesterday, we’re figuring out menus for Christmas Eve and Day, and I’d like to do something special for New Year’s Eve, too.

* My girlfriend N signed me up for a recipe chain-mail. I’m not crazy about chain-mails, but you know I love recipes! I’ve done them in the past, without much luck. But this time? Score. (ps I’m sending around the Chocolate Volcano Cake for my recipe.) I’ll share them with the Internets, so you can play along at home:

Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber
2 or 3 green onions
sweetener (I use Splenda) or sugar

1st: put 2 tbsp mayo in a mixing bowl, add 1 or 2 tsp. of Splenda or sugar and mix up thoroughly
2nd: add about a tsp vinegar and blend well, then add another tsp of vinegar and again blend
3rd: slice cucumber very thinly and mix into sauce
4th: clean and cut 2 or 3 green onions (only just into the green part) add to the cucumbers and
refrigerate for an hour or so.

You now have a delicious, refreshing salad all ready to enjoy!

Fish Tacos and Cilantro Coleslaw

25 min | 5 min prep
4 tacos

* 4 frozen battered fish fillets
* 4 8-inch flour tortillas
* 1/4-1/3 head green cabbage
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 green onion, sliced or minced
* 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno or serrano chili , to taste
* 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed or 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bake fish fillets according to package directions.
2. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven to heat.
3. Or heat them at the last minute in a microwave in plastic wrap.
4. Shred or chop the cabbage.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage with all the remaining ingredients.
6. Cut each hot fish fillet into 6-8 pieces, then pile into a hot tortilla with lots of slaw.

and… last but certainly not least:

Mackinaw Island Fudge

All the way from Michigan! “It’s a good one,” according to the nice woman who e-ed this to me.

4 cups of sugar, 1 cup milk (whole works best), 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup butter, 1 & 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 12 oz. chocolate stars candy (I use Brachs), 12 oz. chocolate chips, 12 oz unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix sugar, milk, and vanilla in a pan. Add butter and bring mixture to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Then add chocolate a little at a time, stirring constantly so you get a smooth batter… add nuts if you wish… line a 9×13 glass pan with parchment paper for easy lifting… pour mixture onto paper… chill thoroughly…. cut into whatever size pieces you wish and enjoy!

And now, for the free advertising for Kroger. (Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, etc.) (Please see disclaimer.) They’ve re-worked their Private Selection line, and sent us coupons for free samples. It’s pretty good. We tried the Pizza Margherita. It was a little watery because they used cherry tomatoes, but other than that, good, with pesto and mozzarella balls. Crust was crispy, thin and tasty. If they work on the recipe a little more, they’ll nail it. We also gobbled up the appetizers — a spinach pesto puff, mushroom phyllo triangle and feta and sun-dried tomato phyllo roll. These were from the “Mediterranean-Inspired” hors d’oeuvres collection. OK, I like salty snacks, and these had just the right amount of flavor, salt, crunch and grease. They have a whole new line of desserts, too — blueberry peach panna cotta, pineapple upside down cake… yum.

Bon appetit!

— wm

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