Myrtle Dip

What, like that’s not a descriptive name?

Kiddo’s Aunt Myrtle (hands seen in picture) made this for me this weekend. We may or may not have eaten it sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace and a chick flick. Ahem.

Myrtle Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 can RO*TEL, drained
  • 2 cans Super Sweet Yellow & White corn (see picture)

Instructions

  1. Drain the corn and RO*TEL, then stir together in a shallow dish (that’s a double batch in a lasagna pan in the picture up there), then pinch off chunks of the cream cheese and scatter over the RO*TEL/corn mixture; bake at 350F for 15 minutes
  2. Carefully remove from oven and stir together so it’s all incorporated; return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The end!

Y’all know how I love me some easy recipes. Plus, this is really great hot and really great cold. New Year’s Eve anyone?

Enjoy!

Apple Craisin tart

First, I must apologize if my pictures look… off for a little while. My favorite lens met its maker on Christmas Eve. Well maybe not its maker, but at least the hardwood floor.

<<observed moment of silence>>

ANYHOO. The tart.

I’ve been wanting to try this tart dough recipe for a while now because who ever heard of melting the butter first? I figured it was definitely worth a shot. And it was great! A totally new way to make it, and totally fun to play with.

Definitely read through David’s instructions before making this. He is, obviously, the expert here, and has lots of great information in that post. But here is what I did:

Apple Craisin tart

Ingredients

For the crust
    • 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (canola works great)
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour
For the filling
  • 4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup craisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410F
  2. Put butter, oil, water, sugar and salt in an oven-safe bowl
  3. Place in preheated oven and let cook for 15 minutes till mixture is bubbling and the butter is starting to brown a bit at the edges
  4. Remove from oven (carefully! It will sizzle) and dump in flour (mixture will sizzle more here), stirring quickly to combine. As David says, it’s not usual practice to have a hot mixing bowl on the counter so keep reminding yourself not to grab the bowl with your bare hand
  5. Plop the dough into a tart pan or cast iron skillet (because, hey, any excuse to use cast iron) and pat it out a little with your spoon; wait for it to cool enough to handle, then use the heel of your hand and your fingers to gently press into place on the bottom and up the sides. At this point David recommends blind baking for 15 minutes, then cooling, then filling. I hate blind baking. So:
  6. Bump oven temperature up to 425F
  7. Toss thinly sliced apples in lemon juice to prevent browning, then add in lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and Craisins; stir to evenly coat everything (I used my hands)
  8. Spoon into unbaked dough and bake for 15 minutes at 425, then lower oven temp to 350F; cook for another 25-30 minutes or until apples are super soft and crust is browned
  9. DO NOT CUT RIGHT AWAY. I know, I know. But you have to let it sit long enough for the juices to thicken up or it’ll just run everywhere
  10. Cool, slice, then foist upon your neighbors to prevent yourself from eating all of it straight out of the pan

 

Who wants potatoes?

Ohai. I dropped off the face of the earth for a little while, there.

Not really, but I did go to Disney World with a now-four (!) year old for his birthday.

Can I make it up to you with some goodies?

Betty Crocker sent me this pack through My Blog Spark and it’s pretty fantastic. The Yankee loves him some instant mashed potatoes so he was quite pleased. My favorite thing to do with them? Use the roasted garlic flavor for making these yeast rolls — voila, roasted garlic bread!

Who’s up for your own prize pack? My Blog Spark will send you two boxes of Betty Crocker Boxed Instant Mashed Potatoes (one Roasted Garlic and one Homestyle Creamy Butter), a serving bowl, a trivet and a serving spoon. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me how you like your mashed potatoes. As-is? With lots of butter? Cheese? Chives? Lay it on me. I’ll pick a winner via Random.org after midnight, Tuesday the 21st of December.

Taco sauce

I looked around at a lot of different taco sauce recipes and none of them seemed exactly right to me, so I kind of cobbled together my own according to what I had on hand. Very tasty!

Taco sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes or so until all the flavors get to know each other pretty well
  2. Store in fridge, cute jar label optional.