Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Casual Christmas Eve

Our Christmas dinner will not be until Saturday. Schedules and other commitments keep us from all getting together on the 25 th but none of us mind having another celebration. We will be one short, sister Doodles is coming but her hunky husband is working, so we'll do without him this year if he promises to come next.

Lil bird and her fella will pick up Doodles at the airport and bring her this afternoon. I have a small dinner planned with tamales as the featured player. This will be a prelude to our Saturday celebration. We are getting together with our dear extended family tonight for dessert and a round of presents.

Last night my husband and I were invited to a Pajama Party for Christmas Eve. It was with our dear extended family, a new boyfriend and his brother, sister-in-law, and seven-year-old son. It was fun to share all the excitement about Christmas that comes with a little person.

Dress was very casual; what you wear to bed and food was breakfast, of course. We had waffles with a variety of toppings and sausages. I made a Green Chile Quiche. I'd not made it in a while but it's one of those recipes that I drag out ever so often. This "bullet-proof" recipe, meaning it's difficult to screw up is not for anyone on a diet so all you healthy cooks, turn away.

Oddly enough the recipe calls for Mocha Mix which is something like fat free half and half but non-dairy. Why they use that I have no idea because with the cheese and cream cheese it's already a cholesterol nightmare. Cut yourself a small slice, if you can it's also quite yummy.

As for wearing pjs to a party, I highly recommend this. When you go home you just have to climb in bed, how great is that?!

Green Chili Quiche
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Mocha Mix (This is something like fat free half and half but non-dairy)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
4 oz. chopped green chilies ( I use fresh but you can use canned)
1 1/2 shredded Swiss cheese
1 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
about 1/2 teaspoon salt if you use fresh chilies
unbaked 10" pie crust

Cut cream cheese in cubes and full the bottom of the crust. On top of cream cheese add the chopped green chilies. Mix the two shredded cheeses together and add to pie pan. Beat eggs, add Mocha Mix dry mustard, and salt and pour over the cheese. I gently push the cheese under the egg mixture. Bake 400 for 15 minutes then turn oven down to 375 for 1 hour or until done in the center. Best to let it cool for at least 20 minutes so it easy to cut.

I usually put foil around the edges of the pie crust until the last 30 minutes to keep the edges from getting too brown.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And the tradition continues

Go check out this very same blog I did exactly a year ago. I just love this soup and I will continue to make this every Christmas eve cause it is so good. Sorta like the tradition of the broccoli casserole we do for Thanks giving. http://pbetouffee.blogspot.com/2006/12/christmas-eve-lite.html Wish you all a very Merry and a very Happy!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Holiday treat

I have received these little toffee cookie gems as a gift, for several years now. And this year the recipe accompanied the item. I could not believe that saltine crackers were used in this tasty treat.

Some people use saltine crackers others use graham crackers which I did. These taste something like a heath bar. I'm sure you could use the white chocolate morsels, or the butterscotch. And the nuts could vary as well. But whatever and however you make them you'll love em.

I made these last nite to tuck into a gift basket....Perfect!!!


  • 4 ounces saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
  3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chocolate; as inspiration

Sure, some artists work in oils, or pastel, or watercolor but I thought I'd try something a bit different. Chocolate is my new medium and, as you can see, this piece is performance art. It all came about while I was melting chocolate in a glass bowl over water. Like a ninny I lifted the bowl, steam escaped and scalded my hand, and I dropped the bowl on the floor. What did I do? I called my sister Doodles to commiserate while I waited for the chocolate to cool enough to clean up. It was one of my favorite bowls I broke.

Kitchens are dangerous places and though I'm aware of the physics of boiling water producing steam, I was in a hurry. Since the holidays create more activity in the kitchen make sure you take a little extra time do things carefully.

What's been your worst kitchen disaster?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Excellent leftover meal

I am not big on leftovers but I had a very hefty piece of roast beef I was contemplating what to do with. Leftover beef soft tacos came to mind but that is pretty much a usual thing around this household.

While cruising around all my favorite food blogs I came upon KaylynsKitchen blog on her Leftover Roast Beef Italian Stew. Her photo caught my eye but the recipe kept me there.

Following is the original recipe - my changes are in red

1/2 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped (or more) I used red pepper because that is what I had on hand
1 T olive oil
8-10 oz. leftover roast beef or steak (about 1 1/2 cups diced beef cubes)
2 cups beef stock (or 1 can beef broth plus a little water) I used the low sodium
1 cup slow roasted tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes) I used the fire roasted Muir Glen
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 T dried basil
garlic your choosing
1 cup mushrooms, cut in large chunks I had sliced mushrooms
1-3 T chopped fresh basil (or frozen chopped basil.) I used the frozen very handy

Cut onion and green pepper into 3/4inch pieces, and roast beef and mushrooms into 1 1/2 inch pieces. In heavy dutch oven type pot, saute onions in olive oil for 3 minutes, add green pepper and saute 3 minutes more. Add beef, stock, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and mushrooms, reduce heat to very low, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if desired. Add fresh basil when stew has cook to desired consistency and cook 5-10 minutes more. Serve hot.

I also had some warm crusty Italian bread that was perfect for soppin the juices.

And no I didn't take a photo - go look at Kaylyn's, looked just like that but different bowls. This is very tasty for a cool nite meal and so very easy.

Thanks Kaylyn ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quick Snack

Heart of the Matter is asking for entries this month for recipes that are quick and easy and, as always, Heart Healthy. I have just the thing, a quick little snack that appeals to children as well as adults. I use Lebneh cheese, a soft yogurt cheese similar to cream cheese but with less fat but you can use fat free cream cheese.

Apples with Dip
8 ounces Lebneh cheese, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1/2 cup orange juice
4 apples, cored and sliced.

This makes enough for 4-6 servings.

Drizzle orange juice over the apples to prevent browning and combine the other ingredients until smooth. Serve the apples ice cold.

Monday, December 03, 2007

December Food Bloggy Pets

There seems to be some confusion about our Food Bloggy Pets of the Month.
The reason we do this is to:
  • Get new people reading your blog
  • Get new people reading our blog
  • See some adorable pix of dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, birds, (you get the picture)
So, to make this work all you need to do is:
  • Post your photo of your pet on your blog, hopefully with a food related entry
  • Have a link to PBE on that post
  • Send us the permalink; the link that goes just to that entry
  • Send a small photo of your pet for our page
  • PBE will post all these links and photos together for all to see
  • Visitors to our site click to find a wonderful new Food Blog
  • You get to share the love of your life
  • We get to see some furry faces. Or feathered, or scaly. We are still waiting for someone to produce a reptile photo.
Here are December's Food Bloggy Pets.

This is from Christine at La Vida Dulce. We are going to forgive her for not following the plan because she's been gone from blogging for a while and we did miss her postings. Here is a post about her new kitteh. I love the pix, "I shall allow you to photo but I shall not look at your camera."

This is Penny Lane, our found/adopted Siamese kitty. When she first arrived, she had to be hand-fed, so tiny and frail. The thought of someone tossing her out like a piece of trash in the street still breaks our hearts.

Michael and his friend Ethan found her, brought her in and of course, I couldn't say no. She allows us to live in this house, and this photo shows off her feline attitude. Her nickname is Monster, named after the Charlize Theron character in the movie.

Since her arrival, all of the male pets have either met their demise or were chased off. She is a scrappy little fighter and it is a challenge to keep her inside the house. The only one safe is the iguana, but she has her eye on him. However, being a fickle female, she can be coaxed with the sound of the pop top from a little can of kitty food that gets mixed in with the dry stuff. All of a sudden she's all sweetness and purrs.

Her saving grace is that she's an excellent bug catcher, no need for Black Flag or Raid around this place. But we just love her!

Peanut Butter Étouffee section of Food Bloggy Pets

These two sweeties, Max and Multi, live with Maltese Parakeet and her main squeeze. They just happen to be Maltese Terriers. Coincidence? Lil bird's great-grand-dad did come from Malta.

Multi can look very sad when he wants to. Looks like he's trying to melt into the floor. Max, on the other hand, is looking suspiciously at the camera. He questions everything. "You are taking my photo for some reason and I'll just have to find out."

Ah, this cat has the life, right? You can be assured this guy, Buddy the Cat, is treated like royalty. He has his own 28 ft. fifth-wheel trailer. Here he is resting after traveling 18,000 miles this year.

Driver and food provider are our very own Doodles and her hunky husband. You can read all about this Buddy's adventures at Tombstone Tumbleweed.

Last, but hardly least, is Buddy the Dog. This pretty scruffy looking snap of him was taken by Doodles while we were all camping in November. He says, "You could have washed by face for the photo."

While he's an even tempered pooch he is looking a little serious here. Possibly he's thinking of Boycotting Burger King.

Remember, if you want to get in for January, send you permalink by the end of December. We need more pets!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The e-mail lines are now open

Food Blog Awards nominations are open until Wednesday, December 5 so if you have a blog you'd like to nominate click on over to Well Fed Network for all the info.

This really isn't a veiled request for a nomination. We've been slackers this year when it comes to posting but we promise to step up the posts. There are some pretty sophisticated Food Blogs on the 'net these days. If you visit one regularly you should nominate them.