Cooking tamales in a pressure cooker

I did it.  I succumbed to the peer pressure.

I bought a pressure cooker.  We don’t do anything half assed, so we bought a giant 10 quart so we can feed our herd.

First, we used it to make the pork roast for our tamales.  Because it’s Christmas eve, and tamales.  It’s tradition and shit.

Once we had all the tamales rolled up and ready to steam, we realized that as usual, we went a little overboard and had more tamales than would fit in our two giant steamers.  So I pulled out the pressure cooker and tested a batch.

 

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We didn’t have enough to fill the giant 10 quart pot, so I stuffed some aluminum foil around the edges to keep them upright.  Then I added three cups of hot water to the bottom of the pot and cranked that puppy up.  I clicked pork and then adjusted the time to 22 minutes.  I honestly didn’t expect them to be done.  But they were.  I was wrong.  I can admit it.  It doesn’t happen often so it’s all good.

 

22 minutes later and I had perfectly steamed tamales.  Not dry, not undercooked, just right.  I was seriously impressed.  We had already invested a few hours into this, so any time savings is worth it.  So now we know.  Yes, you can steam tamales in a pressure cooker.  But seriously, what can this thing NOT do?

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Food in Mugs

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I hate baking.  And not just because my last name was Crocker.  That means I should love baking, right?

I also hate sweets.  Which should mean I weigh a whole heck of a lot less than I do.  But I don’t.

So when my kids ask for a dessert, I break out one of my mug recipes.  That way, they can get which ever dessert they want and I don’t have to hear any complaining about why they didn’t get to pick this time.  Mug recipes also prevent the lingering of desserts in the pantry.  And I know a whole lot of Moms who need to not have that sort of thing lingering around.

I got tired of telling my girls how to make their favorite mug recipe, so I put it on a mug for them so they always have the recipe handy.  All they do is mix in the ingredients on the mug and microwave for 75 seconds.  (where to buy a mug)

Now if only I could get them to clean up after themselves.

Here are a few of my favorite mug recipes

Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie

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Apple Pie Mug Cake

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Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

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Nutella Mug Cake

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Brownie In a Mug

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Salted Caramel Mug Cake

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Mac and Cheese in a Mug

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Peanut Butter Cookie Mug Cake

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Pizza in a Mug

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Peppermint Popcorn

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I’m going to post a month of homemade Christmas ideas, so I’m getting an early start.  I’m not sure I can do 31 posts in 31 days, so I’m cutting myself a little slack.  I plan to post gift ideas, decorating ideas and my favorite holiday recipes.

This idea is so yummy.  My kids have eaten almost half of it already and it made a really gigantic batch.  Even for my oversized family.

 I started by popping about 20 cups of popcorn.  I made it on the stove top because I didn’t want to use those microwave bags.  They are really buttery tasting and I didn’t really want that mingling with my peppermint.  I might splurge and get myself one of those air poppers so the kids can make it themselves without all the oil and preservatives.  Plus it’s cheaper this way.  I used half a bag that cost me 80 cents.

 I took half a box of peppermint candy canes and unwrapped them and put them in my mini chopper.

 Beware.  It’s really loud and sounds like glass breaking.  I wanted it fairly small, but if you want your peppermint a little chunky, then go for it.

 I melted a few squares of white chocolate bark in my microwave and mixed in the crushed peppermint.  DO NOT put the crushed peppermint in the bowl when you microwave the chocolate.  You will get a giant glob of peppermint that takes a day to soak out of your glass bowl.

No, I wouldn’t do anything that stupid.  Why do you ask?

 I poured the popcorn out onto two big sheet pans lined with parchment to make clean up easier.  I used a spoon and just drizzled the chocolate peppermint all over it.

 Yummy!  But to me, it just looked a little bland.  It tasted heavenly, but you couldn’t really see it because the white on white just blended in.

so…….

 I decided to grab two blocks of chocolate bark and melt that also.  Then I drizzled it over the top.

Now that is gorgeous.  And more chocolate just makes everything better.  While the chocolate is still melted, you can add more peppermint.  Wait for it to dry, then break it apart.  It will keep for a couple of days in a well sealed container.  Or two days because your heathens eat it all.

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Mildred and Dumplings

I got tired of not being able to go into my chicken yard without a weapon.

Plus, we got some new girls.  To replace the ones the coons got.  And they are pullets, still five weeks from laying.  Big ole Mildred would have killed them for invading her space.  So Mildred had to go.

Mildred and Dumplings was delicious.

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Carrot Cake Jam

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So I decided to make a big batch of carrot cake jam.  It’s actually difficult to make a small batch.  Plus, some people feel like canning is a big ole pain in the butt, so making a big batch and putting several jars up to keep is definitely the way to go.

I love carrot cake.  You know that saying, I love you like a fat girl loves cake.  Well, this girl loves carrot cake that much.  So now, I can have carrot cake without making the cake.  And it’s making this fat girl happy.  Fat and happy.

Start off by grating the carrots.  On the fine side.  Yes, it will take a while.  Unless you have a fancy food processor that someone who will remain unnamed loses the attachment to make it grate the carrots for you.

It ends up more like carrot mush.  But in this case, mush is good.

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots

1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped pears

1 can (14 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 package dry fruit pectin

6 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional) (it’s not really optional, I was just being nice)

Combine carrots, pears, pineapple (including the juice),

lemon juice and spices in a large, deep stainless steel

saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil;

cover and reduce heat. Boil gently 20 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Measure sugar; set aside.

Whisk pectin into carrot mixture until dissolved. Stirring

frequently, bring to a boil over high heat. Add sugar.

Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil;

boil hard 1 minute. Stir in pecans. Remove from heat;

skim foam. Ladle into hot jar to within 1/4 inch of top

rim. Remove air bubbles by tapping the jar gently. Wipe

the rim to make sure you get a good seal and then put on lid and ring.

Hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Voila, manna from heaven.

It made five jars.  One of them didn’t seal, so I opened it back up and ate copious amounts.  Then I made some toast so that I didn’t look foolish eating by the spoon.  Once you open them, you need to keep them in the fridge.  The ones that seal will keep for a months in the top of your pantry.

Haha.  As if they will stick around for months.

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