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11  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Fruit Salad! on: September 14, 2008 01:04:54 PM
Yes, fruit salad is exciting to me Smiley  I've been living in Istanbul for about three weeks, and one of the nicest things about living here is the produce.  On Saturdays there is a small fruit and vegetable pazar (bazaar) literally across the street from my apartment.  I went yesterday with one of the other new teachers to buy fruit and make this yummy salad.

The salad consisted of nectarines, pears, strawberries, blackberries (which were super tart and needed sugar), and my favorite, fresh figs.  I've never had a fresh fig before.  They just aren't to be found in WVa.  It was so delicious that I think I might have to go back next Saturday.  I don't know more than a few simple sentences yet, but I intend to work on it.  Classes start on Tuesday.

12  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Grilled cheese with a difference on: July 25, 2008 11:43:53 AM
For one sandwich you will need:

two slices of bread
2 slices of American cheese
2 slices ham or turkey  and/or 2-3 slices bacon
blanched broccoli spears, patted dry and sliced lengthwise

Order of ingredients:
bread, cheese, broccoli, meat (if using), cheese, bread.

Assemble the sandwich and place it buttered side down, in your skillet.  Place a piece of foil over the sandwich and cover the foil with an oven-proof plate or a smaller skillet.  Weigh this down with a heavy can.  This is for people who don't have a pannini press!  If you have one, by all means use it.   I just press my grilled cheese sandwiches and cook them on low heat, then flip them.  That way the cheese melts before the bread gets too crispy.

If anyone tries this, let me know if you like it.

13  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Chile Relleno Bake on: June 20, 2008 04:14:17 PM
I had a hankering for some Mexican food last night.  My friend was over and he agreed it sounded good, so I invited him back today for some Mexican-style food.  This isn't traditional, but it's still going to taste good. It smells divine in here right now.

I used:
 3 poblano peppers, cut in half and seeded
1lb extra extra lean ground beef
2 - 3 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/3 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Colby-Jack cheese blend
green enchilada sauce

Cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the ground beef and brown it.  Drain it if you need to, then stir in the taco seasoning.

In a baking dish, but a couple spoonfuls of your enchilada sauce. Then put down your peppers.  Fill them with the ground beef mixture. Top with some cheese and more sauce.  Cover and bake at around 400 until the peppers are tender.

He had better get here soon because it is smelling goooood and I am hungry.

Sorry for the lack of accurate measurements.  I'll work on those.

14  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Crock pot roast with mushroom gravy on: June 06, 2008 12:50:06 PM
Hello, all.  Are there any venison fans on the board?  I'm going to a sweat lodge today, which will be followed by a potluck. I had a small deer roast in the freezer and decided to take that.

This is very, very easy. 

1 venison roast (or beef)
1 package onion soup mix
Enough water to cover the roast

Cook the roast in your slow cooker for abot 6 hours.

On the stove, cook one package of sliced mushrooms until tender.  Add the oniony meat broth to the skillet, along with about 1/2 cup milk.  Check for salt, add pepper.    Make a slurry of corn starch and milk and add to the broth. Simmer until thickened.   Take the roast out of the crock pot and pour the gravy over the meat.
15  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Mask questions on: May 27, 2008 11:20:49 AM
I would like to know if it is possible to add extra decorations to a latex mask.  Can I paint on it?  If so, with what?  I guess acrylics would be my best bet, as anything greasy would break down the latex.   Also, can I glue doodads to the mask without the glue affecting the latex itself?

I am planning to get a skull mask and decorate it to look like a sugar skull.  I have found some really groovy latex skull masks online, but I don't want to spend the money on it and end up ruining it.

This is the one I want:

16  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Kinda like lo-mein on: May 27, 2008 09:25:12 AM
This is a recipe I whomped together years ago and I made it again today.  It's very easy and tasty.

You need: 

1 package of beef tips (my package was about 3/4 lb)
1 - 1 1/2 cups stir-fry veggies, frozen
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped (or you can use the same amount of regular onion)

soy sauce or teriyaki
ground ginger
crushed red pepper

Enough cooked spaghetti for however many people you're feeding.  (This is a really informal recipe with little measuring).

Cook your beef, garlic and onions. Season to taste.   When you're cooking your pasta, add the frozen veggies in during the last 3 or 4 minutes of cooking time.  Drain.    Toss with the beef mixture, making sure you have enough soy sauce to coat the noodles.

You could also use shrimp or chicken, and probably tofu in place of the beef.  Or some pork.  It's a flexible concoction and really good.

17  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Have any of you ever tried... on: May 07, 2008 07:13:50 PM
Soy milk with black sesame paste?  Some of my students are from Korea, and one of them brought me a couple of little boxes (like the little Hi-C boxes with attached straws) of soy milk that has black sesame seed paste in it.  It's from a company called Vegemil.  I don't have Korean letters on my keyboard so I can't give you any of the information on the box, and I wasn't able to find any English information on the website (www.vegemil.co.kr). I do know that the box does say Vegemil in Korean, but I can't read the rest Wink

 It's a very interesting taste, especially if you like sesame.  She (student) buys it at a Korean market in Centerville, VA.
18  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Peet-zah! on: May 02, 2008 06:50:16 AM
I made pizza last weekend.  Okay, so I bought the crust, but I whomped together the toppings myself, and it was really tasty.

First I brushed the crust with some olive oil and sprinkled it with crushed red pepper and garlic powder. I added sesame seeds around the edge.

The topping was a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, garlic and onion.  I used one container of sliced mushrooms, a 10-oz packaged of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry, of course), 3-4 cloves of garlic, and about 1/3 cup finely chopped onion, all seasoned with salt and pepper.

The cheese was Provolone:

I baked it according to the instructions on the tube of Pilsbury dough until it was golden brown and delicious. Smiley

I've been trying to take decent pictures of my food for a while, but these are the first ones that turned out all right.  Thanks for looking.

19  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate filling ideas/recipes? on: April 04, 2008 07:52:37 PM
Hi, all.  I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or recipes for fillings.  I like to make molded chocolates and I found some molds that I want to buy.  I thought, though, that instead of making them solid chocolate, I could put some kind of filling in the center.  I know you can buy fillings but what I am looking for is something kind of plain that I could flavor myself.  Help?  Thanks! Smiley
20  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Non-dessert apple recipes?I on: February 22, 2008 09:47:49 PM
I need a potluck recipe that includes apples. Any ideas?  There are tons of dessert recipes that use apples and I imagine most people will be bringing variations on apple pie, cake, brown betty, etc.  I would rather have a main dish or maybe even a side dish that focus on apples.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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