Monday, February 3, 2014

Venison Wild Rice Soup

We are not hunters in general. This year my son decided he wanted to learn how to hunt. Luckily, we have a few good friends that are avid 'hunters'. He is learning many lessons about conservation and land management in the process. Well, he also got his first deer this fall. That means, we have a bit of venison to eat. I have never cooked with venison before, so this year will be a year of learning and experimenting in the kitchen.

So, tonight I made venison wild rice soup. I think it turned out relatively good. My hubby liked it too. As for kid friendly, my middle child that is most adventurous of the 3 ate it well. My son ate just the meat - with the sauce wiped off. My youngest wouldn't touch any of it (yes, she is going to be hungry tonight). In general, my kids are rather picky, so you will have to judge kid friendliness of this recipe.

Family rating: 3.25 of 5

WARNING: you may want to half this recipe - we had a ton left over. I will be cutting it in half next go round. But, if you have a big crowd, go for it!

2 lbs venison stew meat
4 cups chicken (or beef) stock
4 cups water
1 package long grain wild rice
1 cup wild rice
3 TBSP onion flakes
2.5 cups dry milk
2 TBSP corn starch
3oz cream cheese
4 oz light sour cream
salt/pepper to taste (~1 tsp each)
garlic salt to taste (~2 tsp)

In the beginning...

I just threw everything (expect the last 4 ingredients) into a large pot, mix. Bring contents to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer for 1-1.5 hours. You can add some more water or stock if you want to thin it some. Cook a little longer if you want it thicker. At the end, I put in the last 4 ingredients. The meat was wonderfully tender. I only cooked for about an hour. If I let it cook a bit longer, the wild rice would have curled nicely and had been more tender. You may need to adjust the liquid. Next time...

The end result...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Parmesan Knots

This recipe is from the Frank family. If you are interested in a recipe that is not all sugar, you are in luck! These little babies are always requested by my husband. They really could be used any time of year - but for no specific reason, we only make them at Christmas time. Most of the Frank family wonders why, but no one ever breaks from tradition. Well, this year, I broke from tradition! I just made some this past weekend - and they were devoured.  

3 cans Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits
1 1/2 cups oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oregano ( I sometimes use less if I'm using the powdered)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
Cut each biscuit into thirds.

Roll and stretch each piece into long round strip and tie into a knot.

Bake as package directs...until golden brown.  As soon as the knots are out of the oven put them into the oil mixture to soak up the flavors.

Drain then on a cookie cooling rack set on a paper bag lined jelly roll pan.

These can be made ahead and frozen.
To serve:  Warm in the microwave or they can be reheated in the oven at 350* for 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Crochet Fun

I have been playing around with the crochet again. Here are a few projects I have done recently.

Owl hat.

I used basically this pattern.

Fox hat. 

Because my youngest LOVES 'What does a fox say' so, I made her this hat. However, my middle child has decided she likes it better than her owl hat, so they switched. I kind of made up my own pattern. I used this pattern as inspiration, but didn't like the way it was shaping up with this specific yarn (it is a cotton yarn, which I would not recommend for this project, it is too stretchy). I did a basic hat with ear flaps (much like the owl hat), but added a peak by doing a combination of half double, double, triple crochet and then reversed. There are lots of fox patterns available for free on Ravelry if you need more detailed directions.

Tunisian Crochet
And, then I decided it was time to do some more Tunisian crochet.

My little one chose this yarn (Cascade Pacific, Caribbean) from Twisted Knitter - our local yarn shop.  For this, I used the Tunisian knit stitch. I followed instructions from My Tunisian Crochet. This is a great blog that has great videos and tutorials. It is how I am learning. This was my first attempt with this specific stitch. I really like working in the round, but you need a double hook for that. When working in the round, I use both the outer and inner yarn strands (one for the lead, one for the chase). This cowl took less than one skein. If you want to make it a little bigger for an adult size, one skein will do it! I actually like the way it rolls - which is what tunisian crochet will do naturally. If you want to try this and don't like the roll, make sure to use a yarn that you can block later.

Have you been working on any projects lately? 

Later gator!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pretty Party Cookies

This is a Carson family recipe. If you like chocolate and marshmallows, this is for you. I have also heard these called stained glass chocolates.

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1 bag colored mini marshmallows
aluminum foil

1. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave. Stop every 30 seconds or so to stir.
2. Fold in marshmallows until fully covered.
3. Make 2 sheets of foil about 15"long for each. Dump half the mixture onto each foil sheet into a log. Fold foil around mixture to seal in a log formation.
4. Refrigerate for a few hours until firm. Slice and enjoy. These don't have to be refrigerated but are less messy if they are cold.

This is seriously simple and yummy! These are also great for birthdays.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

3-layer bars

These are from the Frank family and are my hubby's favorites. These are time consuming, only because you have to keep waiting for things to chill. This is a good one to do in steps and make other simple cookies in between steps.

Mix together in a bowl:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup finely chopped coconut ( Bakers flaked coconut works well)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Mix together in a double boiler:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (don't substitute)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Cream butter, sugar and egg.  Cook in double boiler until egg is cooked and slightly thick (5-6 minutes).  Pour over crumb mixture.  Mix well and press into a greased 9"X 13" pan to form first layer.  Chill for an hour or so.
Mix together:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter softened (don't substitute)
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Spread on crumb layer.  Chill again until powdered sugar layer is firm.
7  Hershey bars (I usually use milk chocolate chips) (original recipe called for 5 cent Hershey bars) and spread over powdered sugar layer.  Chill and cut into squares.  Store in refrigerator.