Honey’s Gingersnaps

It’s been a long time since I posted a recipe; or really, anything, to be totally honest.

My aunt recently sent me a couple of my grandmother’s recipes, including the one for her gingersnaps. It’ one of those things that brings back strong memories of childhood and holidays, and I wanted to share it.

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Slow-cooker Tostada Meat

A friend of mine asked me for this recipe. I’m putting it here so that it is easier to find should I need it again. The magazine page is getting a little worn. (This was originally found by my wife in Family Circle magazine. May 2008 pg. 204)

(To make actual tostadas, add cheese beans, lettuce, salsa, etc to a tostada shell along with the beef. The meat is also good in a variety of other applications…)

What you need:

1 1/2 lb. boneless beef round
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

What you do:

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place 3 tbls of the lime juice, the carlic, jalapeno, onion, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne in a slow cooker. Place beef on top and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

Remove beef to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, shred with fingers or using two forks. Place shredded beef in large bowl. Add remaining tbsp of lime juice and liquid from the slow cooker (along with solids –this is where I differ from the magazine – not a huge thing, but whatever.) to the shredded beef.

At this point, you can use the beef in tostadas, tacos, burritos, salad, whatever. 🙂

Honey’s Cranberry Sauce

It’s that time of year again: “The Holidays”

In the spirit of giving and sharing, I would like to share my recipe for cranberry sauce. This sauce is easy to make, and is WAY better than that canned “Jellied Cranberry” stuff you see in stores.

It’s based on my grandmother’s recipe, but I’ve made a couple of minor adjustments in the last couple of years. Most cranberry sauce recipes you’ll find use water and sugar to sweeten the berries. My grandmother used apple juice in place of the water and sugar. What you end up with has a much more complex flavor, and is healthier, too.

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French Onion Soup

I wanted to make French Onion Soup the other day. The recipe below is the one I used. The only modification I made was to use wheat bread and a blend of Gruyere and Provalone for the topping.

In my opinion, this recipe is way better than your standard restaurant fare. It makes enough to have leftovers for a couple of days. I think next time, I’m going to make a vegitarian adaptation.

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Roasted Beet Borscht

We had an international pot-luck at work today. I chose to make something that I’ve never made before, and haven’t had since I was a kid. (My dad made it a couple of times. As I recall I didn’t like it, but then again – it was probably one of those “eeewww something different” things all kids do.)

I saw a good recipe for borscht on a food network show, (which is when I said to myself “I know, I’ll make THAT for the pot-luck!”) and grabbed the exact recipe from their website. The only modification I made was to substitute vegetable broth for chicken stock. I wanted to give as many people as possible the chance to try it, so I thought going vegetarian would be a good idea.

The soup was very well received. I’ve had several compliments and a couple of people have asked for the recipe. I’ve sent it out to those that have asked, and I figured I should blog it too.

Here is my (Vegetarian) Roasted Beet Borscht
(can I really call it mine if all I did was change one ingredient?)

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Modified Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin was one of the first recipes I tried out in the slow-cooker. The version you see below is far from traditional, but it captures the essence of what I love about the original.

While you don’t strictly need to brown ingredients before adding them to a slow-cooker, doing so brings a richer flavor to this dish.

One note about wine: Don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. Cooking will intensify the flavors in the wine. If you use a cheap wine that you don’t really like the flavor of, you won’t be happy with the final dish.

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I bought a crock-pot a couple of weeks back, so I could submit an entry for the chili cook-off at work. I’ve been using it quite a bit since. I wish I had gotten one of these a long time ago.

I’ve done a braised chicken, a roast beef, (well braised beef, really) Coq Au Vin, chicken and dumplings, and 2 batches of chili (I did a test batch before my final entry for the contest as I was adapting a pressure-cooker recipe, and wanted to make a couple of other changes, too.) So far, I think my favorite was the Coq Au Vin. Tonight I’ve got corned beef (sans cabbage) lined up.

The thing I like best about cooking with a crock-pot: Throwing everything in to it in the morning, and basically forgetting about it until dinner time.

The thing I like least about cooking with a crock-pot: Having to wait 7 more hours to eat dinner when it smells SO GOOD right now. 🙂