Monday, October 26, 2009

Foods of Durham Past: Pigs in a Blanket

I can't believe this was my dinner.

I had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch so I had to make a salad to complement my fat wrapped in butter in order to get some sort of vegetable in my diet today.

I'm not saying these aren't tasty. They are. Meat? Good. Cheese? Good. Rolls? Good. Just a lot of fat and cholesterol. But a perfectly acceptable lunch for kids.

This post is for my cousin Liz, who requested it a long time ago. Mom did make these a lot when we were little. I was lazy though, and just threw the cheese in the "blanket" and rolled them up, whereas Mom would slice each individual hot dog and wedge a piece of cheddar in there.

Because I'm me, I had to fancy them up a bit and use lil smokies and crescent rolls instead of regular hot dogs and Rhodes rolls like Mom used to use. Lisa gave me that idea a couple years ago when I called her not knowing exactly how to approach this hors d'oeuvre when I threw my Pictures and Pitchers of Water party. Of course, the pigs in a blanket went really fast. As did the Jell-O Jigglers. Mmmm...I should make those again too.

Eat again? Yes.
Make again? I have to because I have tons of lil smokies left.
Feed to friends? Will you eat them? Please?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Foods of Durham Past: Latkes

Much like pumpkin seeds, latkes are somewhat of a family tradition at the Durham home on Halloween. I remember the first time Mom made them when we were in Sandy. I liked to watch her make new things. Little did I know, these weren't new.

As Mom just informed me in her comment on my previous post, latkes were a Halloween tradition way back when we lived in Orem. Apparently they were a bribe to get my dad to take us little kiddies trick or treating. I guess he really liked them, and she didn't like to make them enough to make them often enough for him. So they were a good bribe. So the bribe continued for several years while we were in Sandy.

(Random memory: I remember these frying while we prepared to go trick or treating. We were watching a repeat of Highway to Heaven (what was that show about?) And then Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was on later. That's all).

So what are latkes? They're a Jewish potato pancake. What makes them different than hashbrowns? Well, the shredded potatoes are mixed with eggs and minced onion. They are served with sour cream and applesauce. I love them. I made them last year for a Halloween party we had here at our house on Apricot. Maybe you came. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you remember. Maybe you don't. That's OK. I guess.

I would eat them again, I will make them again (wish I could use these as a bribe for something) and I will feed them to friends.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Foods of Durham Past: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Each year when Halloween came around and it was pumpkin carving time, my mom made sure we kept all the seeds so she could roast them. These are very tasty, and kind of addicting. It's important that you keep some of the "goop" to roast with the seeds. It makes them better.

I actually roasted these for a pumpkin soup recipe I made for some friends last night. I've never used a fresh pumpkin for cooking before and I wasn't sure whether there are certain pumpkins that are better for cooking, or baking or whatever. One recipe specified small pumpkins. I began to wonder if small pumpkins have a better taste -- kind of like zucchini starts to taste bland and bitter if it gets too big. Anyone? I never found out. I just made soup with a big pumpkin. It tasted OK.

But the seeds...the seeds are awesome. These have olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt and then I roasted them for about 40 minutes in a 300 degree oven. I can't believe this is the first time I've ever made them on my own.

Would I eat them again? I wish I had more. I'm eating them sparingly.
Would I make them again? Anytime I have a pumpkin I will.
Would I feed them to friends? I did last night and they seemed to like them too.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Foods of Durham Past: Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

I know, it looks like a I took a picture of a crumb doesn't it? This teensy portion pictured here is Carri's from last night when I got home. I wouldn't let her eat it until I got a good photograph for the blog. She kept asking "Can I eat my cake yet?" So I thank her for her patience.

My mom asked me to make this cake for dessert last night (she had guests over for dinner). I'm going to give the same speech that I gave to my dad and brother. Here is what I think makes this cake so good: it's not too sweet. Granted, I usually cut out some of the sugar in most cakes and desserts these days, but even before I started making that adjustment, it wasn't too sweet. Carter loved it and was asking what I did different because it didn't taste the same as when Mom made it. He thought I added less oatmeal. Nope. Less sugar. And I used dark chocolate Hershey's cocoa instead of regular (I was so happy when I discovered there was such a thing).

I like tasting the flavor of my dessert, rather than simply tasting sweetness. Some things I can't enjoy because it just tastes like sugar to me: napoleons, white frosting, pixie sticks, most hard candy.

Anyway, this dessert has a great flavor and texture. There's no need for frosting because you get richness from the tons of giant chocolate chips you put in it (actually, I bought "giant" chocolate chips for the first time and I think it really worked for this recipe).

I had a piece for breakfast. And after my lunch. And after work.

This recipe will be around for a long time. And I recommend the dark chocolate cocoa powder (if you like dark chocolate). First time I used it. I'll send you the recipe if you want it.

I'm not even going to answer the 3 standard questions because I think it's fairly obvious.

This was going to be one of my last Durham Food posts, but I've had a couple requests so I'll do a few more. Carter can't believe that I haven't made chocolate eclair cake yet. It was a favorite growing up, but ever since I became a grown up, I can't do it. It's too sweet. So if I'm going to make that I'm going to need 8-12 people to come eat it for me. You're welcome to volunteer.