Monday, October 12, 2009

Here we come a wassailing

In a recent phone conversation with my sister we talked about spiced cider/wassail. Don't worry, we also talked about fun, juicy stuff too. But we spent a significant amount of time pitying the throngs of people who spend this crisp season drinking sub par fall drinks. Apple juice with melted Red Hot candy? Seriously? Prepackaged spice mix dumped into microwaved juice? Don't even get me started. Sarah and I grew up with heavenly nectar-ish Wassail. Our grandmother passed the recipe to Mom and she passed it to both of us. It's great for cold nights, dreary mornings, and is an excellent source of vitamin C for the sniffles that often accompany this season. So put down that mug of sad-slightly-spiced-blandness and warm up your percolator!

Mamaw's Wassail

4 cups apple juice (I use Simply Apple)
2 cups cranberry juice (cocktail is okay)
1 cup orange juice (Simply Orange plus calcium for us)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (allow some of the pulp into the mixture)
1/2 cup sugar (raw is yummiest)
1 teaspoon WHOLE cloves
1 teaspoon WHOLE allspice
5 sticks cinnamon

Pour all juices and sugar together into percolator. Place the spices in the basket. Allow mixture to percolate for at least an hour for best taste.

If you don't have a percolator you can use a stock pot and simmer the wassail over the stove. Put the spices in a tea infuser and allow mixture to simmer and slightly boil for an hour. Enjoy in your favorite mug, preferably with a special someone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oklahoma-made Texas Quiche

I'm newly rededicated to this blog. Some sweet folks on Facebook commented about it and so I guess I should probably show it some love. For those of you who do not blog you should know that commenting on a post is the fuel that feeds a bloggers soul. I'm not fishing for comments here, but it's rather disappointing to put yourself out in a blog post and have 0 comments. Enough about that though and onto some quiche.

My favorite lunch spot in the WHOLE WORLD is The Peach Tree in Fredericksburg, Texas. They are famous for their quiche and peach mimosas...oh my. If you've never eaten there and live within reasonable driving distance you need to run, not walk, and order lunch. Seriously, stop reading this and GO. (While you're in Fredericksburg you should definitely stop at The Rather Sweet Bakery, owned by Dan Rather's sister, and order a piece of Key Lime pie or a Hello Dolly bar. Life-changing desserts.) Anyway, this Texas Quiche is one I've slightly adapted from The Peach Tree Tea Room Cookbook. It's impossible to go wrong with this recipe, especially if you use a heavy Pampered Chef pie plate. Feel free to play with the ingredients too. You can sub out the same amount of almost any veggie and protein and have the same delicious end results. Also, I apologize for not having any pictures of this meal. Once you have a taste you'll understand why it never lasts long enough for photo ops.

Texas Quiche
1 1/2 cups unsifted unbleached flour
*I often use 3/4 cup unbleached flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, just a healthier option
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons CHILLED butter
*not margarine, real unsalted fatty fat butter, trust me on this one
5 tablespoons ICED water
*Just fill a glass bowl with iced water and dip your tablespoon into it.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees.

1. Mix flour and salt in bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in shortening and butter until crumbly.
2. Add ICED water, a little at a time, mixing with pastry blender until well blended. I've found that it's best to add a little extra water if the weather has been particularly dry. Roll dough into a ball. Place dough into a plastic bag and gently press into a flat disk. Seal bag. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. This allows the gluten to develop in the dough.
3. On floured board, carefully roll dough to fit quiche pan. Roll dough onto your rolling pin and unroll into quiche pan, carefully trimming dough, and rolling edge under to for a rim. Flute the edge.
4. Put a layer of foil over dough and fill to the top with either pie weights or dry beans. This prevents crust from puffing up or shrinking.
5. Bake crust for 15 minutes.
6. Remove beans and foil, prick crust bottom with fork several times, and bake 10 more minutes. The crust is now ready for filling.
*This is my favorite crust recipe, and I use it for everything from quiche to chocolate pie. It's easy, predictable, and flawless every time.


Texas Quiche
*This filling actually makes enough for two quiche (quiches? quichi? not sure what the plural is). You can either make two crusts and take one to a friend OR freeze the unused filling for the next time you have a hankering for quiche. I usually opt for the first option. It's a great way to turn casual acquaintances into BFFs.

1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
2 small carrots, sliced thin
2/3 cup chopped chicken breast
1 tablespoon butter
10 eggs
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
*You can use regular pepper, but the white keeps the quiche pretty and light in color.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon comino or cumin
2 teaspoons sliced pickled jalapenos with juice
2 1/2 cups canned evaporated milk
*I like to use reduced fat, it works just as well.
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
*Please don't ever use the pre-grated cheese, it's just nasty.
1/2 cup canned green chiles, drained and sliced into strips
Garnish: Sour cream, (or low-fat Greek-strained yogurt like Fage, subbing this for sour cream in all instances helps with calorie intake. I can't tell the difference.), black olives, and cilantro

1. Saute mushrooms, carrots, and chicken in butter until chicken is done and carrots are soft.
2. Beat eggs in blender with white pepper, salt, comino and jalapenos and juice.
3. Add evaporated milk to egg mixture.
4. In prepared crust, place 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese on bottom. Layer with mushroom, carrot, chicken mixture. Add green chiles over the mixture. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese over the top.
5. Pour half of egg and cheese mixture over the layered ingredients, filling only to just below the top of the crust's rim.
6. Bake in oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes or when knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown.
7. Allow quiche to cool and set for 15 minutes for easiest slicing. Garnish each slice with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt), a few black olives and cilantro.

The quiche will make your house smell like heaven on earth. When we first moved into our new place I made this and it made us all feel like we were home. This dish is great by itself, or served with a dark leafy green spring mix salad. I highly recommend a peach mimosa along with it. For my very Baptist readers go ahead and just pour yourself a tall glass of OJ, you'll be okay too. The best thing about making quiche for dinner is that it's great with coffee the next morning for breakfast. It reheats well for lunch leftovers too. You'll be the envy of the lunch room! Comment, email, or call if you have questions. (979)204-9607

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Like WonderBra

To be WonderBra, to be supportive, to uplift...
that's my goal for the week, the semester, the year, our lives together.
When I started planning our meals for this week I decided to make five days of Josh's favorites. His first week of law school would be filled with intense reading, new classrooms in a new school surrounded by people he's never met. What would be better than coming home each night to his favorite, familiar smells wafting from the kitchen? Here is my plan for the week:

Monday - Shrimp Creole with Salad and Crusty Whole Wheat French Bread
Tuesday - Crab Cakes with Baked Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday - Barbecued Ribs with Black-Eyed Peas and Potato Salad
Thursday - Reuben Sandwiches with chips and various dips
Friday - Lasagna Rolls with Salad and Garlic Bread
Desserts - White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies & Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake

I've decided to blog about Monday's dinner, Shrimp Creole. On my first trip to Frost to meet Josh's family I enjoyed this delicious meal. It reminds me of new love, nervous first meetings, and the butterflies that accompany the first kiss with your future spouse. Magical.

All you need to make your own Shrimp Creole is

1 pound of medium shrimp
1 medium onion chopped, about 1/2 cup
2 stalks of celery chopped, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of butter
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups hot cooked rice

First defrost, peel and devein shrimp, set aside.
Cook rice according to package directions.

Saute butter, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, parsley, paprika, ground red pepper, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Combine cold water and cornstarch, stir together.

Stir cornstarch mixture and shrimp into skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until shrimp turn deeper pink.

We enjoyed our Shrimp Creole with salad and crusty French Bread with Boursin cheese.
Thanks to my sweet husband for the flowers, he's quite a WonderBra himself.

Ava enjoying her yummy dinner

Note the "Crimson and Cream" colored Fiesta dishes in honor of OU.

Dinner was completed with Josh's favorite cookies, White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut. Simply mix up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and substitute white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts for the chocolate chips. Yum!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Oh so much has happened since I last blogged here. I promise that this little neglected spot is going to be more active now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. Catch up with our happenings here and then scroll down for a Lockett family favorite meal. My goal is to feature one of the meals I cook each week, with recipes and tips to go along. Enjoy!

The Meal:
Summer Vegetable Pasta with Citrus Sauce, French Bread
Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Summer Vegetable Pasta
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

8 ounces dried tri-color rotini pasta
(I buy the vegetable pasta with spinach, tomato, and beet flavored pasta)
2 cups asparagus, cut in one inch pieces
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(To cut calories, spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and omit oil.)
1/2 cup whipping cream
(You can do this with milk to cut a few calories, but it's not as creamy)
2 teaspoons lemon zest

1st - Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot
2nd - Saute asparagus, squash, zucchini, and garlic in olive oil in large skillet
3rd - Drain pasta and return to large pot
4th - Add vegetables to pasta
5th - Pour whipping cream and lemon zest into skillet and cook until thickened, and reduced to about 1/3 cup
6th - Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables, stir well

French Bread
from The Peach Tree Tea Room Cookbook, Fredericksburg, TX

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups unsifted unbleached flour
1 cup unsifted whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Extra virgin olive oil

1st - Dissolve yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water.
2nd - Combine the flours and salt in stand mixer fitted with bread hook attachment. Add yeast mixture to mixing bowl.
3rd - Allow mixer to knead dough until completely combined, and no longer sticky. Scrape edges as needed
4th - Brush inside of large bowl with olive oil and place dough inside, brush top of dough with olive oil, cover with towel and allow to rise one hour.
5th - Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured cutting board. Divide into two parts. Shape each part into a long narrow loaf.
6th - Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover, and let rise about 30 minutes.
7th - Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Serve one loaf of bread with dinner, but save the second for making this fantastic bread pudding.

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding
adapted from Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons, Too cookbook

1-pound loaf French bread, cut into cubes
(or any bread you have around the house, seriously, I've even made it with whole wheat bread and no one knew the difference.)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Hershey cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

1st - Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
2nd - Place bread cubes into baking dish.
3rd - Wisk together next 10 ingredients and pour them over the bread evenly.
4th - Sprinkle chocolate chips over entire baking dish.
5th - Smoosh bread with back of a large spoon, forcing it to absorb liquid, allow to stand for 20 minutes.
6th - Bake the pudding for 1 hour, or until set, serve warm with vanilla whipped cream.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
my own version, thank you very much

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer bowl fitted with wisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form.

This whipped cream is heavenly on coffee or hot chocolate too!

Questions, food victories? Please share and comment below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mini Apple Strudels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup diced Gala apples
1/2 cup thawed apple juice concentrate, undiluted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
2 ounces (1/4 cup) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 large egg

12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Cooking spray
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine apples, concentrate, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Beat sugar and cream cheese until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in apple mixture and set aside.

Have a blue-eyed cutey help grind your graham cracker seems to make these pastries even sweeter. Unroll phyllo dough and place one sheet on counter. Cover remaining dough with towel to avoid drying. Spray single sheet of phyllo with cooking spray, then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and sugar.

Place another sheet of phyllo on top of crumbs/sugar layer. Continue process until three sheets of phyllo have been sprayed and sprinkled. Use a large, sharp knife to cut phyllo lenthwise in 2 inch sections.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple mixture near the end of each phyllo strip.

Roll phyllo strip around apple mixture and place seamside down on baking sheet.

Continue preparing phyllo layers and rolling pastries until all apple mixture is used. Save phyllo dough in an airtight bag in refrigerator for next time.
Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Enjoy these treats guilt free, only 81 calories or 2 Weight Watcher points!

***On a side note, Josh made this incredible dinner while I was baking the strudels.