Monday, November 24, 2014

MANLY Gift for a Guy

Like any siblings my brother and I have a long history of love and hate.  Now that we are both adults, we are pretty good friends.  But there was a time when firestorm was the norm.  He would wrap up empty boxes and give them to me for my birthday.  He would hide my dolls or hang them from the ceiling.  Hit me with hockey pucks.  You know.  That typical brotherly love.  And of course I was the perfectly innocent angel baby sister who played the, "Who me?" card and got him into trouble whenever possible.  Flat Stanley was my favorite book as a child.  Why?  Because my brother's name is Stanley.  And ohhh how I longed for a bulletin board to fall off the wall and flatten him.  So I could roll him up and mail him in a tube somewhere far away.  His birthday is tomorrow and thankfully, he's not flattened.  He's coming over for dinner and here's the little gift I put together for him.  He's a guy's guy so tools and gadgets are perfect for him.  I found the Stanley hat a while back.  Not only is it a great brand of tools, it's double the fun because it has my brother's name on it.  I used the hat as a little gift basket and added a few Stanley-brand products to it.  If you don't have a Stanley in your family, or if your Stanley was flattened in a tragic bulletin board accident that's okay.  I still think this makes a great MANLY gift for any guy in your life that's handy and likes tools. 
All wrapped up and ready for my
brother's birthday...
A Stanley hat complete with a
bottle opener in the brim.
That's pretty MANLY right?
Some Stanley gadgets for his workshop...
Use the hat as a basket and add some
shreddy stuff.  But don't make it too cute.
We want it to be MANLY.
Happy Birthday Brother!
Still one of my favorite books.
But I'm glad my Stanley isn't flat.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Greg's Party Potatoes

My husband LOVES Ro-Tel Tomatoes.  LOVES THEM.  Like he should have married them instead of me love.  He'll put Ro-Tel in almost anything that calls for tomatoes, peppers or green chiles.  But most importantly in his world its the uniting of Velveeta Cheese and Ro-Tel Tomatoes that makes the planets align.  If you said Peanut Butter & Jelly he would say Velveeta & Ro-Tel.  I think he thinks it is a food group in and of itself.  Or at least a condiment.  Most people would have salt, pepper and ketchup.  He has Ro-Tel.  So what happens when you turn him loose with my mother's old recipe for gourmet potatoes?  He omits the cheddar cheese and adds Velveeta and Ro-Tel.  Then he thumbs his nose at my mother and takes a giant bow.  Actually he didn't do that, he served them to her, she loved them and now we've got an updated twist on an old family favorite.
Greg's Party Potato Party
Melt butter in skillet and saute green onions
until tender.  Add drained tomatoes
and saute another few minutes.
Add this mixture to par-boiled, cubed potatoes.
Add Velveeta cheese.
Add sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until hot and bubbly.
(And don't let your husband take the pictures
for your cooking blog, or you wind up
with only a few steps photographed. 
Oh well, it tasted really good and he
gets brownie points for innovation!)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Parmesan Wings

I wanted something different from traditional hot wings the other night, so I whipped these up.  And called them, "Parmesan Wings" only to realize they are not wings at all.  They're drumsticks.  Or what the bag referred to as "drummettes."  I had no idea chickens had "drummettes."  Obviously I am not well-versed in my chicken parts.  That's okay, that's a little gross so I will be content in my stupidity.  These hearty little "drummettes" make a great appetizer or main course.  Something a little different from the traditional hot wing.  They're coated in ground up Funyuns.  The best part about that is the leftover Funyuns.  I can't help it.  I'm hopelessly addicted to crap food and these were a tasty excuse to buy a bag.  Also they're baked so I like to pretend they are healthy.  Like the baking part cancels out the fact they're dipped in butter and rolled in Funyuns.  Hey this is The Devilish Dish. I never promised you healthy, JUST TASTY.
Anything coated in Funyun
crumbs is good stuff.
The Line-Up
Combine Funyun crumbs with flour.
Add salt.
Add Parmesan cheese.

Season with paprika and oregano.
Rinse drummettes, and pat dry.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Dip each drummette into buttermilk.
Roll in Funyun mixture.
Quickly dip in melted butter.
Place on a baking sheet.
(I put them in a casserole dish, and they were
too close together to get really crisp.)
Bake until brown and crisp!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spaghetti Casserole


A while back I tried out a new casserole on the family.  Mr. Devilish Dish exclaimed, "This tastes just like gourmet Spaghetti-os."  I'll take that as a compliment, I love Spaghetti-os.  There was a flavor he couldn't quite identify.  It's the addition of a can of tomato soup to the spaghetti sauce mixture.  It adds the slightest sweet flavor to this dish.  A perfect combination.  And a little bit more "gourmet" than Spaghetti-os. 
"like gourmet Spaghetti-os..."
The Spaghetti Casserole Party
Combine spaghetti sauce
and tomato soup.
Add milk and set aside.
Place cooked spaghetti in casserole dish.
Top with beef mixture.
Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
Cover with sauce mixture. 
Bake for 1 hour.
Let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day of the Dead Margarita Cupcakes

I just love Dia de los Muertos.  Translation:  The Day of the Dead.  Despite the spooky name, it's actually quite a festive holiday.  Cheerful, yet reverent in honoring those who have gone before us. The holiday combines the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead with the Catholic holidays of All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day on November 1st and 2nd.   The calaveras, or sugar skulls represente a departed soul, and are typically placed on a home ofrenda (altar)  or gravestone to honor the departed.  Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style with lots of color and glitter.  When I saw these gummy sugar skulls, I knew right away we would have a special dessert in honor of Dia Day Los Muertos.  Margarita cupcakes seemed appropriate.  I added a lime butter cream frosting, flavored with fresh squeezed limeade.  Like a margarita, I sprinkled them with a bit of flaky sea salt. And like a sugar skull, I sprinkled them with colorful sprinkles before finishing them off with the gummy that is almost too cute to eat!

Fun and Colorful!
The detail on the gummy skulls is adorable.
Celebrate the day with a margarita cupcake!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mom's 9-Day Coleslaw

My Mom has made this coleslaw for as long as I can remember.  It even says at the bottom of her recipe, "Good for days."  It's a great make-ahead dish for potlucks, cook outs and barbecues.  For our first tailgate of the year, we played Louisiana Tech.  Sometimes we try to get cute and have a theme to our tailgate.  We thought Cajun-style food was only appropriate.  A big pot of Jambalaya, sausages, some grilled pork chops.  I volunteered the side-dishes.  I normally make creamy coleslaw because that's what Mr. Devilish Dish likes.  This is the version I prefer, because it's the one my mom makes and the one I grew up with.  Well, let's just say when I took it to our tailgate it's the version EVERYONE prefers  Seriously.  I had more complements on this super simple slaw, than any of the (sometimes) elaborate things I've made for tailgate.  Whether your bunch likes creamy or tangy, give this one a try.  I'm betting you'll win some of the creamy coleslaw lovers over to the tangy side!
My very favorite coleslaw.
And not just because it's my Mom's recipe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Greek Stew over Couscous

I think we've all figured out by now that Mr. Devilish Dish is a carnivore.  I've told you several times how his favorite phrase may as well be, "Where's the beef?"  Little Devil on the other hand would probably survive eating only pastas and grains.  I've never seen a kid put away more carbs in my life.  One of her very favorites is couscous.  If you haven't tried couscous before, it's granular semolina (the same kind of wheat often used to make pasta) that is moistened with water and rolled into tiny bead-like pellets.  It's roots come from North Africa, but it's so versatile you could use it almost anywhere you'd want to serve rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.  It's great as a side dish by itself, but when you pour something rich and hearty like Greek Beef Stew over the top, you really have a winner!
Try something new tonight!
The Line-Up!  So simple and all in one pot!
Here's a great tip:  Add your salt, pepper
and flour to a zip top bag.
Add the beef cubes and shake to coat. 
Simply toss the bag away.  No mess!
Enjoy!

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