Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grape Dumplings

Grape Dumblings are a traditional (Cherokee) Native American desert dish, super easy to make as well as magically delicious. 

This recipe is 2 servings but could easily be doubled +. 

    1 c Flour
    1 1/2 t Baking Powder
    2 t Sugar
    1/4 t Salt
    1T Shortening
    1/2 c Grape Juice

    Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt. Add shortening. 

    Add juice and mix into stiff dough. 
    Roll dough very thin on floured board and cut into strips 1/2" wide (or roll dough in hands and break off pea-sized bits). 
    Drop into boiling grape juice and cook for 10 - 12 minutes

    1. Pour grape juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

    2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

    3. Add shortening. Mix well.

    4. Add juice and mix into stiff dough.

    5. Roll dough very thin on floured board. Cut into 1/2" wide strips. Or roll dough in your hands and break off into pea-sized bits.

    Drop the pieces of dough into boiling grape juice and cook for 10 - 12 minutes.

    Fish out all your little dumplings and place in bowl - with the leftover juice add a thickener made with cornstarch slurry and add a little sugar if you like but don't go crazy with it, once thickened pour over top of your dumplings and serve. Its great served with vanilla ice cream!

Steam Fry

Steam Fry is a traditional Native American dish. .
A friend had posted on Facebook asking if any of his Southern Native friends knew the recipe.
Being a Southern Plains Native - I had never heard of Steam Fry so, I went on a little mission to find it.
I asked my Dad as well as several of my fellow Southern Natives and they came out of the woodwork telling me how to make it. Why have I not had or heard of this glorious dish before?

As with most Native recipes - the "recipe" for Steam Fry is just a little bit of this - a little bit of that and technique varies. There are also variations on what to serve it with - Fry Bread, ontop of sliced bread, with a side of fried taters.  Of course typically it is made on an open fire in a large cast iron pot but some told me they made it the oven or low and slow in a slow cooker or roaster oven.

I chose to make it in a slow cooker. Low and slow. Let me repeat that - low and slow.
Did I mention.. low and slow?. Don't rush perfection. Trust me.

So, I took a big package of beef stew meat and placed it in the slow cooker, seasoned it with garlic powder, salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and a few shakes of some steak seasoning. I added 3 cubes of beef bouillon (I highly recommend Knorr brand Beef Bouillon which you will find in your ethnic/Hispanic food section - it is a much higher quality and less salty version of your typical bouillon cubes)
I added water until it just covered the meat.

Again let me repeat - low and slow. Put the lid on - and walk away. Take a nap, do some laundry - twiddle your thumbs but just leave it alone.
I cooked mine on low for 9 hours and it was very tender.
Low and slow. This is key.

After the 9 hours I used a slotted spoon and fished out all the chunks of meat and set those aside in a bowl.
Now, I was told to make a gravy with this broth with flour but, I'm not a fan of flour based gravy's - corn starch is my favorite thickener. So I made a cornstarch slurry and added it to the crockpot and whisked it in. Its hard to say exactly how much to use, just make a small batch up and if its too thin - make some more. Now add your meat back in and serve it up! 

I served it with mashed potatoes, hot rolls and green beans slow cooked with bacon.
Happy Happy miserable bellies.

mic drop.
walk away. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Blues..

It was pretty hard for me to get into the spirit of Christmas this year and I really don't know why.
Usually I have my Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving but this year I debated about even putting one up.
I wonder if its because we're still childless? I know a lot of other infertile couples who struggle during the holidays because of "empty backseat syndrome". But, after going on 8 years of this - I've kind of become numb to it. So no, I don't think that is quite it.
Is it because we live a couple hours from all of our friends & family so the likelihood of anybody even seeing it (other than us of course) is slim to none?
We swore we were doing Christmas at our house this year but, we can say that til we're blue in the face but that doesn't mean its going to happen. So, again we will make the trek to our hometowns and spend it with family.
This year I simplified our decorations. Usually it looks as if Christmas threw up all over our home. Including a mini tree in the bathroom. Not this year. Just the basics.

Merry Christmas everybody.
I hope everyone has a blessed year and safe travels.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hello Hello..

I know its been forever and I keep saying that I'm going to start blogging again but, life gets in the way. 

I think I'd like to change the blog up a bit and not just be about cooking. 
Crafts, DIY, my beadwork, freebies, photography and causes I'm interested in. 

Besides my part time weekend job where I am a security guard I also run 2 side businesses and am the full-time home manager (aka house wife). 

Heres a beadwork piece I just recently completed 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY Resin Texas Rangers Coaster

I made this coaster for my hubby since he's a huge Rangers fan.
Using a sticker that he already had - I used a standard round coaster mold that I had gotten from Etsy.
I use Famo Wood resin that I purchase at Lowe's. Its a 2 part resin. And I used my own glitter blend of a dark blue halo-gram glitter with a little silver halo-gram glitter for some added sparkle. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Resin Coaster take 1

I made this coaster just so I could try out the mold but I ended up liking the way it turned out.
Stickers are from Hobby Lobby, glitter is also purchased from Hobby Lobby. Was a blend I came up with, hologram glitter in white, light blue, blue green and some chunky blue glitter. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My BooBoo (My nephew) is fixin' to be 4 years old.. He's so super incredibly smart and I just love watching him play and explore because you can just see the little wheels spinning in his head. He's going to do big things in his life and I can't wait to see what that might be.

He is my absolute favorite person to photograph.
This picture was taken in my Mom's back yard when he was resting from playing ball with my husband.

This boy right here was born 5 weeks early due to my sister having several complications so he spent some time in the NICU but now as you can see he's grown to be a healthy & happy boy.

Auntie Lou loves you, B!