Monday, July 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

Ok, so I (Aaron) really like southwestern tex-mexy (is that a word?) type food. Tamale pie is one of my favorites. I have been looking for an easy and tasty tamale pie recipe for a long time, (i've tried a BUNCH, but they were always "missing" something) but never really found one. . . until now. I was flipping through this month's (August/September 2010 issue) Taste of Home, and there on the contest page this first-place award winning Tamale Pie in the SLOW COOKER jumped out and slap-a-lapped me in the face! Who would have thought you could make Tamale Pie in the slow cooker?? Those of you who know me know that the crock pot and I have a very special relationship. It's awesome. Throw all your ingredients in the pot in the morning, no dishes after dinner time, the house smells great all day, tasty food, no fuss (especially if you use those coolio slow cooker liners)! So we had this tamale pie tonight and it was DEE-LISH, and it wasn't missing anything! The best part is that it uses a ton of pantry staples so that most people have on hand! :-) Hope you all enjoy!

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained (we didn't have this, so we used one 14-1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes and one small can of mild diced green chilies).
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 pkg. (8-1/2 oz.) corn bread/muffin mix (we used "Jiffy" corn muffin mix)
2 eggs
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend (we had cheddar jack on hand, worked great)
Sour Cream and additional minced fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cumin, salt, chili powder and pepper. Transfer to a 4 quart slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, enchilada sauce, onions and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through.
In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired.

Source: Taste of Home (August/September 2010)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gretchen's Amazing Potato Salad

So, my sister-in-law, Gretchen Haws, has been making this potato salad for nearly every Haws gathering I can remember. It is slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and SO good. Usually, i'm not a huge fan of potato salad, but this one is a winner! Thanks, Nikki, for digging out Gretchen's recipe for us!! :-)

10 red potatoes, cubed and boiled (if you don't have red potatoes, russets work fine too, just remember that russets are larger and you will need fewer potatoes.)
8 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small can sliced olives, drained

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup sugar

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together, pour over salad and toss. Store covered in refrigerator until serving.

Source: Gretchen Haws

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Easy Entertaining Idea: Trifle Bar!!!!!

This year for the fourth of July, Heather and I wanted to try something different and delicious for a dessert. A while ago, I read in Taste of Home about the idea of a trifle bar. I thought this would be fun. So we tried it, and it was a HUGE success for our barbecue, and very delicious! Plus, it was so little work, it made the day even better! For those non-triflers out there, according to google, a trifle is defined as: "a dessert dish made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or, more recently, gelatin, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers with fruit and sponge on the bottom, and custard and cream on top." We put out individual serving dishes for our guests, along with dishes of brownie cubes, angel food cake cubes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, vanilla pudding, and cool whip, and let them go to town. Since this was 4th of July, we went with the red-white-blue thing, but you can let your imagination go wild! Here are some suggestions:

Frozen (or homemade) pound cake cubes
Chocolate Cake cubes
Angel Food Cake cubes
Brownie Cubes
Yellow Cake Cubes
White Cake Cubes

Banana Slices
Mandarin Orange Segments
Kiwi Slices

Vanilla Pudding
Chocolate Pudding
White Chocolate Pudding
Cheesecake Pudding
Banana Cream Pudding
Favorite jam or jelly
Chocolate or Caramel Sauce

Whipped Cream/Cool Whip
Raspberry Whipped cream (if you want to get extra fancy!) To make raspberry whipped cream: take one 10 oz. tub of frozen sweeetened raspberries in syrup, thawed, blend in blender for 30 seconds until pureed, strain and discard seeds, and stir in one 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip, and voila! Instant raspberry cream! :-)