Friday, May 20, 2011

Carrot Raisin Nut Bread

So Ashley and I have a restaurant that we will go to on occasion, Mimi's Cafe. It's a place that kinda has a French/New Orleans style flare, the food is okay, but they have these muffins and bread that are pretty amazing. We enjoy the carrot raisin nut loaf that they bring to your table at dinner. When we first tried it we both enjoyed it so much! Well I found another recipe in the Todd Wilbur cookbook Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2. In the book he has come up with a recipe for Mimi's carrot raisin nut bread, and I made it last night. The recipe makes two loafs, so as is customary with the excess baked goods at our house the second loaf went to work, where I passed it out as I could to the crew. All loved it! I got multiple thumbs up from every one! If you want just the recipe for the carrot raisin nut bread, you can purchase that from Todd Wilbur's website. Over all a hit in our home, and at my work, will be doing this again!

One of the lessons I learned was about molasses, not an ingredient I can remember ever using before. It has a very interesting smell, and I was not sure what molasses was. Ashley looked it up for me while I was cooking then I looked it up myself, it is actually a by-product of processing sugar or sugar beets. Interestingly there was an explosion in 1919 in Boston that apparently killed 21 people, according to the molasses actually exploded, though the article does not indicate how but alludes to the fact that Boston's streets were covered in molasses, and we thought traffic could be slow in Austin. The other thing that the article stated was that molasses was originally the sweetener of choice for Americans until WWI when we Americans switched to processed white granular sugar. A few other interesting tid-bits, but you will need to read the article yourself. Hope you enjoy the recipe, the bread, the book, and the lesson! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pork Tacos...

In an effort to save money this week we are eating from the pantry and freezer. Last night I looked and found half a very large pork loin roast that I purchased and cut in  half a few weeks ago then stored in a seal a meal bag and froze.

Once the loin was completely defrosted I realized what I really wanted was something with a Mexican flair. So out came the trusty crock pot... Took an onion and cut it in half and sliced and placed in the bottom of the crock pot. Then laid the pork loin on top of the onion. Sprinkled it liberally with cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and coarse ground black pepper. The poured on top of the roast a can of medium red enchilada sauce, and beef broth up to half the roast, covered and cooked on high for 5-6 hours.

Once done I shredded the pork after removing the top layer of fat. Then added juice and onion from the pot to taste, we don't like it real soupy so not all of the juice. Then salted to taste. Took some pseudo fresh tortillas that were warmed on the range, smeared some refried beans on half, added a touch of cheese, then put the pork on the half with cheese and beans, folded over and ate taco style, without lettuce and tomato, as we had a delish salad to go with! This is absolutely something that we will be having again, and a wonderful new made it myself recipe.

If you try it let me know what you think.. I see burritos, and enchiladas, and taco salads, and quesadillas in our future.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Who does not like fresh hot donuts? I know I do, and I know my husband does. So today I thought I would make him a special treat before he headed out to work. When I was a kid my mom made the best donuts, they were either covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar. When she made these it was my favorite treat, for those of you wondering they are SUPER easy too. What you need:
1 or 2 canisters of refridgerator biscuits, you know the pillsbury type that come in four rolls for like 2.17
Hot oil. (either in a fryer, or deep pot/skillet)
powdered sugar
cinnamon and granulated sugar

Now heat the oil until hot, and by hot I mean hot. Poke holes in each of the biscuits with your fingers, stretchign the dough so the hole stays once in the hot oil then plunge the biscuit into the oil. Cook on one side until nice golden brown then flip the donut (key here which I failed to do was to ensure the oil was not so hot the outside cooked quickly and the inside did not cook all the way through, still working on that some times.) Once the donut is cooked take it out and put it in either the sugar or the cinnamon sugar mix, and make sure the whole thing is covered. Then eat while warm and enjoy.

No like I indicated, some of my donuts did not cook all the way through. This is always dissapointing to me when I have a cooking problem, but they do happen. So even if they don't get done all the way through they actually are still edible. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

How many times have you gone to Red Lobster just for those yummy biscuits. We went last week because I had a desire to have those biscuits. While there we began talking about the fact that I have so many different recipes for those biscuits, there are so many copy cat ones on the Internet as well as in books. So I dug out one of the books that I have; it is Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur and tried them. It requires Bisquick which I had in the pantry. They were easy, quick and delish. I think they are pretty close to perfect, the mix was a bit older, but still worked and I wonder if the mix was fresh would they have been as flaky. Really they are yummy, if the mix is not the issue, I think an addition of extra butter would make them perfect as in just like the ones at Red Lobster; now mind you the ones we had tonight were "perfect" even if different. I encourage anyone to make them! Along with the biscuits we had ham, Blue Box Mac and Cheese, and vegies. All very yummy.