Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Carnitas recipe

I absolutely love almost any form of carnitas … or most any form of pork for that matter. What can I say, I am the daughter of two Iowans. ­čÖé

The absolute best way to cook carnitas is as follows:


1 pork roast (about any size. We usually buy one that’s at least 4 pounds – the leftovers are so good)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 limes

1 bunch of cilantro

3 springs of green onions

2 tsps Sea salt

1 tbsp Sesame oil

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsps pepper

1/2 white or yellow onion, cut into pieces

Cut one pork roast into chunks (say about 2 inches by 1 inch). Do not trim away most of fat, as this is part of the cooking process. Marinate for at least 4 hours in a large ziplock bag. For marinade: combine oil, the juice of two limes (save the rind of 1/2 lime), garlic powder and minced garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 bunch of cilantro roughly chopped, and chopped green onions and pour into bag, shaking to ensure pork has been covered.

Fill stock pot about 1/2 full of water, throw in pork and marinade. Throw in rind of 1/2 lime, chopped onions, and remaining cilantro. Put stock pot on boiler, on high heat, and bring to boil. Turn down heat to medium, turn on fan on range hood, and let cook uncovered for about 2 hours. Water should evaporate, leaving only the melted pork fat at the end to cook the pork in. Before serving, remove any remaining fat on the pork. Cooked pork will be sinfully delicious and melt in the mouth.

You can serve any way you like, but our favorite way is on warmed tortillas with fresh cilantro lime rice, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and pico de gallo.


March 26, 2010 at 6:44 am Leave a comment

Apple cinnamon raisin French toast casserole

Brunch is quickly becoming one of my new favorite meals to make, and this is the perfect recipe for it. It is based off this recipe, with a few tweaks.


1.5 sticks of butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups milk

6 eggs

1 loaf cinnamon bread (I used Pepperidge Farms)

2 cups raisins

2 large granny smith apples cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Melt butter, and mix in brown sugar, raisins, apples and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Layer on the bottom of greased 9X13 pan.

Cut loaf of bread into small (approximately 1/2 inch X 1/2 inch) pieces, and layer on top of fruit mixture.

Whip eggs, remaining cinnamon and milk in a separate bowl until well mixed. Pour on top of bread, ensuring all pieces are moistened. This may require you to press down some bread.

Cover, and place in fridge overnight. In the morning (or evening – breakfast foods shouldn’t be kept only for morning :)), place in oven and bake at 375 degrees, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve warm with butter and syrup. And some sliced strawberries or other fruit. You know, to balance out the 1.5 sticks of butter.

March 23, 2010 at 6:55 am 2 comments

Easy leftover recipe

There are a few things in life I am incapable of making anything but a huge amount of. Soup. Pasta. Mashed potatoes.

So yesterday, I stared at a large amount of mashed potatoes, and wondered what to do with them. Then, of course – Shepherd’s Pie!

This is easy, cheap, and if you cook a lot, you probably already have the ingredients in your freezer/fridge.

I made this in a bread pan since there are only two of us, and we didn’t need even more leftovers. But you can just increase the amount to any size.


2 tbsp butter

About 4 cups of mashed potatoes

2 sprigs green onions

4 uncooked Grands biscuits

1 cup shredded cheddar

2 leftover cooked burgers, or about 1/4-1/2 pound of meat

1 cup whole mushrooms

Use 1 tbsp butter to heavily grease pan. Spread mashed potatoes to fill 1/2 the pan. Add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top. Layer mushrooms and green onions on top of this (cut up mushrooms into pieces first). Layer meat on top of this. (We had 2 leftover bison burgers, and I laid these on top uncooked. However, you could layer crumbled up cooked burgers, or ground beef, turkey, chicken … anything you have in your fridge) Flatten biscuits and spread on top. (It took 4 for me, but if you are using a larger pan it will take more) Cover as much of the top as possible. Break up remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces, and lay on top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until top is golden brown. If you used precooked meat, the casserole will probably be done in about 20-25 minutes. If you use raw meat, it will take up to 45 minutes.

March 22, 2010 at 11:33 am 1 comment

Turkey, apple, mushroom cheddar meatballs

Want a delicious, flexible, relatively  healthy version of meatballs? Try these tasty morsels.

What you need:
1 pound ground turkey
1 green apple
3 sprigs green onions
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
6 large, whole mushrooms
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp fresh cracked Pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup Sour cream onion crackers
2 eggs

In large bowl, mix chopped mushrooms, diced green onions, diced green apple, crushed crackers, and all remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Line two 9X13 cake pans with aluminium foil, spray with cooking spray. Form large meatballs – should be between the size of a golf ball and tennis ball. Mixture should be enough to make 24 meatballs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until meatballs are turning brown and cooked all the way through.

We ate ours with homemade barbecue sauce one night. Leftovers were used in baked pasta for one meal, and wrapped into biscuit dough with some cheese another night. Yum.

March 16, 2010 at 6:14 am 1 comment

Homemade focaccia recipe

The crafting posts will return at some point soon, but I’ve been on a bit of a cooking kick recently. And anything made from scratch qualifies for this blog, so enjoy the food posts for a bit. ­čÖé

What you will need:

2.5 – 3 cups flour
1 package active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup very warm water
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 sprig green onion from garden

Mix one cup flour, sugar, salt, garlic powder and yeast in a bowl. Add olive oil and cup of very warm water. Mix with electric mixer for 2-5 minutes. Stir in additional flour (1.5-2 cups) until dough forms and leaves the side of the bowl

On lightly floured surface, knead dough for 6-8 minutes, until dough is elastic. Grease bowl with olive oil, and put dough in bowl. Turn so that all sides of the dough are greased. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until dough has doubled in size┬á – about 1 hour.

Gently push dough – if indentation remains, dough is ready. Divide into two, and place on lightly greased pizza pans or cookie sheets. Stretch dough to desired shape, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap. Brush dough with olive oil, and then sprinkle with grated cheese. Cut green onion into small pieces and sprinkle on top of dough.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Variations: You can put any yummy toppings on this bread. It would be perfect for some fresh herbs from the garden – think basil, rosemary, thyme, dill, oregano – anything. Carmelized onions or fresh tomatoes would also be delicious.

March 15, 2010 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Homemade pickle recipe

If there’s one food in the world I can eat every day, it’s pickles. I will be tempted to buy any kind of pickles at a farmer’s market, Amish market – whatever. I can’t resist the siren call of pickled cucumbers.

It’s always been a goal of mine to make refrigerator pickles, but for one reason or another I never got around to it. Oh my goodness … these are worth the effort. And, it’s not even that much effort – awesome. I am anxious to make these this summer with fresh cucumbers from the garden. And to try it with green beans, too.

You will need:

Four or more large cucumbers (more if the cucumbers are smaller)

One bell pepper

One large onion




Mustard seed

Garlic powder

Dill weed

Celery seed

Step one: Cut cucumbers into desired-size pickle chips. I like really crunchy pickles, so I cut thick slices (1/3 inch). Cut bell peppers into small, bite-sized pieces. Cut onions into long, skinny slices.

Throw all vegetables in one big bowl, throw in one tablespoon of salt. Toss vegetables. Now, let them sit for one hour. This will draw out some of the extra water. After one hour, put into desired containers. (Because these are refrigerator pickles, no need to sterilize containers. Just wash out well with soap and water. You can even use leftover glass jars from other items – we used a leftover pickle jar and two salsa jars, cleaned out of course.)

Then, put two cups white vinegar, four cups of sugar, and your spices in a sauce pan. For my spices, I put 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsps mustard seed, 1 tsp dill weed and 1 tsp celery seed. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking as you go to dissolve the sugar. Let boil for about one minute, then remove from heat. After you let it cool for a minute or two (no longer), pour into containers all the way to the top. Put lids on containers. Let sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so to cool, then put in fridge. Pickles will be ready after four hours in the fridge, but even better the next day.

Start to finish, it takes about 5-6 hours for pickles, however actual working time is only about 15 minutes. And trust me, these will be the best pickles you have ever had. Sweet, sour, crunchy, salty, garlicky ….. the best snack ever.

March 14, 2010 at 10:20 am 1 comment

Thrifting Thursdays

So before you declare a triumphant return from the almost dead … you should probably make sure you have triumphantly returned from the almost dead. Alas, still fighting some sort of illness off. However, I wanted to make a very special post for Thrifting Thursdays. This probably doesn’t completely count – as it was a gift, and not a thrift – but I think it fits.

This, along with the beautiful quilt featured in an earlier post, was one of the most meaningful wedding gifts we received. Matt’s aunts gave me, collectively, this Pyrex bowl that belonged to his grandma, who unfortunately passed away before I could meet her. This came along with a copy of a family recipe book they had put together. Each of the grandkid’s wives receive one of the grandma’s bowls as a wedding present. What a neat tradition. It was especially neat in our case as I collect Pyrex bowls just because I like them – and this one obviously means so much more. Matt’s grandparents didn’t have much, and his grandma cooked all of the meals for her very large family. They had a huge vegetable garden and his grandma used everything they grew, canning much of it to make it through the long South Dakotan winters. I’m sad I never got to meet his grandparents on that side, as I would have loved to seek their gardening advice. However, I am thankful that thanks to his kind aunts, a piece of his grandma will always be a part of our kitchen.

See other great vintage items here.

March 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm 12 comments

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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