Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lucious Lemon Cookies

So something I have been wanting to try for a very long time...and that is Cake Mix Cookies. I've always heard it can be done so I looked on the trusty internet (god bless Al Gore) and found a plethera of recipes. I picked the most common one and went with it and created a super yummy cookie. I'm sure that I will make this same cookie with a variety of cake mix flavors and toppings, but this one is perfect for summer. Lucious Lemon Cookies 1 box lemon cake mix 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Comine all ingredients above, the mixture will be very thick! Spoon onto a baking stone or baking sheet sprayed with Pam for Baking. Bake for 10-14 minutes, mine baked for 12 minutes exactly on both the stone and the baking sheet. Remove from baking vessel quickly after removing from the oven and let cool on cooling wrack. Cookies will be very, very soft. Once completely cool, frost with a can of Lemon (or any flavor you pick) frosting and top with your favorite topping or sprinkles. I used lemon zest, gold sugar sprinkles and pink and white candied hearts (yeah don't ask, I found them in my baking cabinent). Personally I love the gold sugar sprinkles! Here is a pic of all the options I had tonight...counter decoration, lemon zest, pink and white hearts and gold sugar sprinkles.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Huckleberry's Hideout - Broken Bow, NE

So every summer it is tradition for the Tobin and Acklin Roping crew to go to Broken Bow, NE for the USTRC (United States Team Roping Championship, for my non-roping friends, it is an organization for team ropers). We go there for a number of reasons: 1) it is usually a great roping put on by CS Cattle and crew (can’t forget the crew because they are the feet on the street), 2) they run two arenas, everyone ropes their first steer in the first arena and then you rope your second and third in the second arena which really speeds everything up throughout the day, 3) we stay in a motel that is also a gas station, Pump and Pantry, that has actual keys to put in the doors (and when you come home drunk and leave the key in your door overnight no one enters your room and it is still safely there waiting on you in the morning...or so I hear) and 4) Huckleberry’s Hideout, a great restaurant/bar owned by wonderful people. Huckleberry’s Hideout is owned and operated by Jeremy and his wife. They started another restaurant in town and have since sold it and moved on to Huckleberry’s. Huckleberry’s is in an old school house or an Elks lodge type place. Very rustic furnishing, varnished wood tables and bench seats or metal topped tables and basic chairs with d├ęcor that is cowboy and rural America appropriate. On Friday night of this particular trip we got in a little late, but stopped by for a drink….or many, it just so happened that some of our Missouri/Kansas buddies were there and there was karaoke (yes that is a picture of my dad and I singing Karaoke)and keno so we entertained ourselves until we heard the phrase last call. Saturday night was a little different, after we spent a long day at the arena we were hungry, hungry people so we loaded up with our crew and met Monica and Roy Pankau to enjoy a great dinner. Lucky for us, and the rest of the patrons, Jeremy put us in a back private room because our party continued to grow throughout the night. Dinner that night was pretty amazing…blackened ribeye steaks, baked potatoes (or sweet potato for mom or rice for Teri), garlic bread and garden salad…it was one of the best ribeyes that I have had in a long time, seasoned to perfection. So if you are ever in Broken Bow, looking for something to do, a place to eat, drink and be merry…check out Huckleberry’s Hideout, it will be well worth your time. Oh and here is some roping video to round out the weekend, Barry Boos and I ended up 4th in the #8...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Faux Burgundy Mushrooms

As part of a group dinner with friends last night I made Faux Burgundy Mushrooms to accompany wonderful corn-fed steaks, grilled asparagus and goat cheese mashed potatoes (recipe to come later this week). They are faux because they are made with Pinot Noir instead of Burgundy wine. I thought they were super yummy, rich and meaty. Faux Burgundy Mushrooms 1 stick of butter ½ white onion chopped 2 – 8 oz containers white button mushrooms 1 – 8 oz container baby portabella mushrooms (whole) 1 bottle pinot noir (or you can use burgundy if you like to spend a lot of money but then you wouldn’t have to call it Faux) 1 can beef broth Beef bouillon (2 cubes or 1 tsp paste) 2 cloves of garlic minced 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce In a large stock pot on medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onion, cook until starting to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms tossing to coat in butter and let cook down for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are starting to soften (toss gently so you don’t break the mushrooms, you want them to look pretty and whole when you serve them). Add all remaining ingredients, less one glass of wine you’ll want to pour that in a glass and drink it while you are waiting for all this to cook down, cover and bring to a rolling boil. Let the pot boil for 15 minutes and turn to a simmer for 2.5 hours. Remove lid and continue to cook allowing the liquid to absorb and evaporate for 1 to 2 hours depending on how much time you have or how much liquid is left. Before serving if your pot has too much liquid you can combine a teaspoon of corn starch with a teaspoon of liquid from the pot in a small dish and add it to the pot to thicken up the liquid/sauce. Serve immediately with your favorite hearty meat and simple vegetable sides.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Captain's Blue Balls

I have many cookbooks, especially cupcake books, but I also like entertaining books (not that I get to entertain much in my dinky apartment, but they are good for ideas for other things). Anyway, one of my favorite books I’ve purchased in the last two years was “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence” by Amy Sedaris, if you haven’t seen it you need to check it out. She is out of control, this book is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach considering some of her recipes are a little old fashioned and combine crazy ingredients that don’t look appealing.
One of those recipes that jumped out at me that I recently made for an event was Captain’s Mouthwatering Bite-Size Blue Ball Cheese Balls. These were easy to make, can be made ahead, rich and decadent, especially when topped on a Ritz cracker or your favorite cracker. WARNING, YOU MUST LIKE BLUE CHEESE...I think that the recipe name would indicate that but it is always important to put warnings like this in blogs.
Captain’s Mouthwatering Bite-Size Blue Ball Cheese Balls
1 cup grated cheddar cheese 4 oz cream cheese 2 oz crumbled blue cheese 2 tbs butter 1 tbs chopped green onions ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tbs white wine or milk (I used milk) ¼ cup chopped walnuts
Bring all cheeses to room temperature. Beat with mixer. Add butter, onion (optional), Worchestershire sauce and milk or wine, continue beating. Chill overnight. Shape mixture into tumor-size balls. Roll in chopped nuts. Let stand 15 minutes. Spread on a Ritz or other cracker.