Tasty Tuesday–Carrot Fritters

I adapted this recipe from Mount Vernon’s website…their recipe is for a more sweet carrot fritter, and I wanted something a bit more savory…no matter how you look at it, though, they’re basically carrot donuts!

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed carrots
  • vegetable oil for frying

Mix together flour, baking powder, egg, salt, lemon juice, and carrots. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Carefully drop mixture by spoonful into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, turning once. Drain, sprinkle with additional salt, and serve.

Tasty Tuesday–Perfect Party Punch

I don’t have a lot of occasions to make punch (really, just for confirmation celebrations), but when I do, it’s the perfect punch. I’ve been making it so long, I don’t even remember where or when I found the recipe, but I sure am glad that I have it! I think the lemon juice is what makes it really special, and the Jell-O is another unusual and delicious addition!

  • 2  1/2 cups white sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 3 oz. packages strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 46 oz. can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 2-liter bottles 7-Up or Sprite

Bring sugar, water, and strawberry Jell-O to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for three minutes. Stir in the pineapple, lemon, and orange juices. Divide mixture between two containers (I like to use a bundt pan to get a nice ring shape) and freeze.

Combine one container of frozen juice mixture with one bottle of soda in a punch bowl and allow to become slushy (you want to prepare this at least an hour before you plan on drinking it). Repeat with remaining portions, or save for another event.

Tasty Tuesday–Eggnog

I know…Christmas is over. And I know…eggnog can be kind of controversial. It seems you either love it or you hate it. But here, we love it. I’ve made it several times since Christmas because we enjoy it so much. Over the past few years, I’ve tried to perfect my recipe, and I think I’ve finally got it just the way I want it.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 10 whole cloves (more if you like the taste of cloves as much as I do!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine milk, cloves, 1 tsp. vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Raise heat and slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.

In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until fluffy. Slowly whisk hot milk mixture into the eggs. Pour back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about 1 hour.

Stir in cream, 2 tsp. vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight.

Tasty Tuesday–Spiced Buttermilk Waffles

We have made A LOT of waffles this year. Right now, one of our favorite kinds is a spiced waffle of my invention (more or less). It’s the perfect warm treat for a cool fall day!

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. hawaij (if you can’t find this spice blend, you can mix and measure from 1 Tbsp. ground ginger, 1 Tbsp. ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon…this blend is also great in coffee!)
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. melted butter
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients, and then slowly incorporate into dry ingredients until just blended. Cook according to waffle iron instructions.

Tasty Tuesday–Basic Fried Rice

I’m no expert on Chinese food, but I do know what kind of fried rice I like, and I’ve been trying to replicate my favorite fried rice for almost two decades now. I’m not claiming it’s authentic, but it is tasty, and it reminds me of the restaurant I used to like to eat at before it closed!

  • 3-4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 cup julienne carrots
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or to taste)

Heat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the diced onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is fragrant Add the garlic, ginger, white part of green onions, and carrots and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 Tbsp. of oil. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs until almost set, then add to vegetables in bowl. Break the eggs up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil. Add the rice to the pan and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil, adding an additional Tbsp. of oil if necessary. Stop stirring, and then let the rice cook undisturbed until its gets slightly crispy, about 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the remaining green onions, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Transfer to the bowl. Stir all the ingredients together with the rice, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve.

Tasty Tuesday–Potato-Parsnip Soup

I’m always on the lookout for a new soup recipe, and when I saw one for a potato-parsnip variety, I was intrigued, because I both really like potato soup and the flavor of parsnips. I made a few changes so it would suit us a little better, and in the end, it was a huge hit (and also a very pretty meal!)!

  • 2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Crème fraîche or Mexican crema, bacon bits, and chopped chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss potatoes, parsnips, onion, and garlic with olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in oven for about 40 minutes.

Combine vegetables with broth in large stock pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree in blender or with immersion blender until smooth.

Return to pot and combine with milk and cream and add salt and pepper to taste; heat though without boiling.

Garnish as desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Chocolate Malts

It may be getting colder outside, but it’s always time for a good old-fashioned malt!

  • 24 oz. chocolate ice cream (1/2 carton)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp. malt powder
  • 3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour in glasses and drizzle with additional chocolate syrup, if desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Super Simple Shredded Slow Cooker Chicken for Tacos

This recipe is so simple, it really doesn’t even need to be written down, but it was a huge hit with my whole family, and took very little effort, so I thought I’d share. It’s not only great in tacos, but also an excellent quesadilla filling!

  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup taco seasoning
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

Place chicken in slow cooker and cover with taco seasoning and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low 8-10 hours or until cooked through. In last hour of cooking, shred chicken and return to slow cooker, mixing with sauce.

Tasty Tuesday–Fruit Smoothies

This has been the year of the small kitchen appliance. There was the Soda Stream. And the waffle maker. Plus the omelette maker. But I’m not sure any small appliance has gotten more use than our new Ninja blender, which I was very excited to get, because I pretty much burned out the motor on our old, faithful Osterizer.

Our favorite thing to make in the blender is smoothies (although it has gotten plenty of use making soups and sauces, too!). And while we may not be into healthy green smoothies, our favorite recipe is easy to make and delicious, and there are so many options…we love trying new combinations of yogurt, fruit, and juice!

  • 16 oz. yogurt
  • 4 cups frozen fruit
  • 2 1/2 cups juice

Place all items in blender and mix on high until smooth.

Tasty Tuesday–Marinara Sauce

I have a confession to make. I’ve bought canned/jarred spaghetti sauce for years, but I don’t really like it. It doesn’t matter which kind we tried, I always thought it was too sweet, and didn’t have enough flavor. So I decided to try making my own. I already make excellent bolognese sauce (which takes all day to cook, so it’s not a an everyday occurrence)…how hard could it be? After tinkering with recipes a bit, I came up something I (and everyone else in the house) really like! Oh, and did I mention that the recipe is super easy? I call that a culinary victory!

  • 29 oz. stewed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley (or 4 tsp. dried)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • One large white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine

In a blender or food processor, combine the first eight ingredients and blend until smooth.

In a large skillet, sauté onion with salt in olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with wine. Add tomato sauce and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve on your favorite pasta.