Sunday, May 11, 2008

more crowd-pleasers...

I am at my parents' house right now, celebrating all things mom, and while looking through her immense cookbook collection, noticed an old spiral-bound book put together by my elementary school district as a fundraiser. One recipe, for crab dip, has been made many many times, and is *almost* as popular as my mom's spinach dip. (It comes off the back of the Knorr vegetable soup mix box, but try telling that to the thousands of people who have promised my mom their first-born children if she would just reveal the secret of the miraculous spinach dip.) Back to the crab dip. This is my personal favorite, and the only reason I don't make it more often is because if I have it sitting around I won't even try to pretend to put it on vegetables to make it more "healthy" - I'll just take a spoon and eat is straight. Not so great for the arteries.

Another recipe I dug up is the marinade for flank steak. This comes from a book called "Sunset All-Time Favorite Recipes" - my brother and I used to pore over this, looking for recipes we could make with the ingredients we had in the house. This was before either of us could drive, of course, and sometimes we would call my mom at work with questions such as "Mom? Do we have light brown sugar hidden somewhere?" Or "Hey Mom, were you gonna use the green onions for anything tonight?" Anyways, this marinated flank steak makes everybody go crazy.

Crab Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 lb fresh crab meat (we use canned crab meat and it still kills)
1 c mayonnaise
0.5 c sour cream
0.25 tsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (very important!)
0.25 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend. (That last step rarely happens.)

Flank Steak Marinade

0.25 c soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vinegar (I like apple cider)
1.5 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger (or 1.5 tsp ground ginger)
0.75 c olive oil
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Mix all ingredients, and pour over a 1.5 lb piece of flank steak in a shallow dish. Alternatively, put everything and the steak in a large ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the next day.

You can grill the meat, but we always broiled it so that it was nice and brown and charred on the inside and pink and juicy on the inside...

Monday, May 05, 2008

crunchy granola

You wouldn't believe the number of times I try out a recipe I that I have tweaked somehow because I'm either missing an ingredient or don't want to use real sugar or something like that, then completely forget what I have done so that next time I go to make that recipe again, I have no idea what I did the last time that made it taste so good.

That ends here. I just had dinner yet I am restraining myself from inhaling handfuls of granola that just came out of the oven. And now when I finish it in three days, I'll be able to come back here and see what I did so that I can make it again.

Oh, I suppose now you can make it too. :)

Crunchy Granola

2.5 c rolled oats
1.5 c pecans
1 c puffed kamut cereal
0.25 c sunflower seeds
0.5 c pumpkin seeds
0.25 c sesame seeds
0.25 c brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ginger
0.5 tsp salt

Mix all of these ingredients well in a large bowl. In a pyrex measuring cup, mix together:

0.33 c agave nectar
4 oz unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil

Then pour over dry ingredients and mix together.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 50 minutes, mixing the granola around every 15 minutes or so. After 50 minutes it should be nice and brown. It will be a teeny bit soft, but will get crispier as it cools down.