Saturday, February 13, 2010


Submitted by Melissa Maxwell


2 Tbs oil

1 onion

1 green pepper

3 cloves garlic

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 greeen onoins

2 celery stalks (or not)

1 Family Size package Zataran's Jambalaya Rice Mix

2 lbs total of chicken, andouille sausage and shrimp

Preheat large saucepan on medium heat. Chop onion, green pepper, garlic and celery. Saute in oil while preparing other ingredients. Cut sausage into 1/4 inch pieces and chicken in 1/2 inch cubes. Add all remaining ingredients, except the shrimp, and cook on medium. After rice is cooked (about 20 minutes), add shrimp and green onions. Serve warm.

Curing Cabin Fever

Those of you who couldn't make it to our last cooking club meeting at Shauna's, here's what you missed:
(Shrimp on the barbey!  In the snow!  In February!)

Shauna was an awesome host and we had a great time.  She put her Jamba Juice experience to use and made some delicious smoothies!  Spinach Smoothie, anyone?
Yes, you read that right.  I was more than a litle skeptical about it.
It really just tasted like bananas and cinnamon.  Then I remembered I was drinking spinach and I was done.

This was definitely one of our tastiest cooking club meetings, yet!  I can't wait to try everything.  We did discuss cooking briefly.  We talked about taking one day out of the week to prepare for upcoming meals.  If you get the prep work out of the way, you're more likely to make something delicious and nutritious.  We talked about meals that freeze beautifully and came up with: lasagna, chili, meatloaf, marinated pork chops, browned ground beef, and many casseroles.  If you have any other suggestions, be sure to share it with us in a comment.  Also, frozen cooked meat works best if you let it thaw on it's own and not in the microwave. 

See you next month at Mandi Cooper's home.  Details to come!

Homemade Samoas Bars

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

Cookie Base:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.


3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

12-oz good-quality chewy caramels

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp milk

10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.

When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).

Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.

Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 30 bar cookies.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

(Sorry this is the only picture I got of the delicious shrimp.  I was too busy eating.)

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

3 cloves minced garlic

⅓ c. olive oil

¼ c. tomato sauce

2 T. red wine vinegar

2 T. chopped fresh basil*

½ tsp. salt

¼ cayenne pepper**

2 pounds shrimp, peeled & deveined***


Mix marinade ingredients in a zip top bag. Add shrimp and mix until it’s all coated. Refrigerate for 30min. – 1 hr. mixing once or twice.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque.

*I used 1-2 tsp. dried basil

** I used 1/8 tsp. black pepper and a few drops of Tabasco Sauce

*** Pre-cooked shrimp works too

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pudim (Brazilian Dessert)

Submitted by Beth Johnston

There are a few ingredients that seem weird, but the Brazilian lady I got it from swears by those 2 ingredients. Also the cooking technique is key/crucial, so I will do my best to explain. So the actual title is Pudim....according to Jeff a 'd' followed by a vowel turns to a soft 'g' sound (or 'j' or 'sh') and the 'im' turns to more of a 'in' or an 'en' sooooo, the pronunciation is something like poosheen. Can you tell I don't speak a lick of Portugese!! Anyway, here is the recipe..... (it might seem like a complicated recipe, but it really is quite easy, just a little time consuming)

*1/2 c.-3/4 c. white sugar

*1/2 slice of white bread, in cubes

*4 eggs

*1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) I think the can is about 14 or 15 oz.

*1 can regular milk (2% fat or higher) Just fill the swtnd. cndsd. milk can with regular milk.

*Sprinkle of shredded (not the powder kind) of parmesan cheese. (I think I added less than a tsp.....just a sprinkle in the top of the blender) this is the ingredient she swears by, but I don't see how it could make much difference. :)


In a small saucepan start heating the sugar on medium'ish heat. This takes a while, but eventually the sugar will liquify and turn to a syrup....but in a moments time it can burn so don't heat on too high of heat and watch and stir closely. Once it goes liquid and all the sugar is dissolved, it will turn a differnt color, a sort of amber/gold color. At that point it is done. Pour it into your flan pan immediately (I just used a 9 in. pie plate and it worked great). It will harden and crack, but that is fine, just make sure you have it in the pie plate before it gets hard. You actually want it to harden so it doesn't mix with the custard batter.


In a blender, blend the bread until it is in crumbs. Add the eggs and blend well, but don't over blend. Add sweet milk, milk, and parmesan cheese. Blend until mixed well, but again, don't over blend. Pour egg/milk mixture into the pie plate that has the syrup coating on it. Cover pie plate with foil.

To bake it you are going to use the Water Bath Method

This is the easiest way I have found to do this. Set a 9x13" baking dish in the preheated oven and then gently set the pie plate down inside the 9x13 baking dish. Then add cold water to the 9x13 dish until it is about 1 in. up the side of the pie plate. Gently push the oven rack in and start baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a fork comes out clean. The original recipe said 45 min.-1 hour, but mine took about 1-1/2 hours to bake. To check it with a fork just tear a hole in the top of the foil. You don't want to take the foil off from the edge because it could get water in your flan and that isn't good. If it needs more baking time after checking it don't worry about replacing the foil, just let it cook with the foil that is already there.
Once it is done just lift the pie plate out of the water bath and let it cool in the pie plate. Once it is cool run a knife around the edges and turn it out (upside down) onto a plate and put it in the fridge to cool completely. The hard coat of sugar will be liquid again and will run down the sides of your flan. Yum, yum.