Thursday, January 15, 2015

Southern Slaw Dogs - Florida Style

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I grew up right in the heart of central Florida, but I now LIVE right in the heart of central Missouri!  This time of year, I ESPECIALLY miss "home" more than ever.  Probably it has something to do with the winter lasting so LONG, that trees are just gray sticks this time of year, and of course there is ice, snow, cold, gray, and very little sunshine.  But, I would have to say it also has to do with not only weather, but differences in food and family.  Pretty much, I just miss everything about being HOME.

When we moved here from Florida back in the day, we didn't make much of the difference in how Missourians ate compared to our native Florida.  But as I age I really miss the meals available to me that I have associated with certain memories.  One of those memories is that I always remember the lunches we had when I was growing up.  First of all, we NEVER at out.  Lunch involved either peanut, butter & jelly (no potato chips), hot dogs and pork -n beans, tuna or egg salad sandwiches.  

When we had hot dogs, my mom ALWAYS had slaw for them.  Seems like most people ate "slaw dogs" where I come from, whether at home or in a restaurant.  Slaw just was always available as a condiment for your hot dog.  But definitely don't order anything like that around central Missouri.  Been there, done that!  LOL.

In addition to my mom's delicious slaw for dogs, I have a favorite little dive restaurant in my home town in Florida.  It's called "Dairy Ranch".  Yep, years ago someone bought an old Dairy Queen building and reopened as "Dairy Ranch".  It's been there as long as I can remember and every time I'm "home", it is one of the first places I go for lunch. Dairy Ranch isn't big on atmosphere but the food is great!  The same little lady has been working there since the beginning of time and I'm sure she is related to the owner.  The bathrooms?  They're around back and you have to ask for a key LOL. Their specialty is delicious burgers, fries, onion rings, soft serve ice cream, and SLAW DOGS!  The buns are toasted, the dogs are salty and the slaw is perfect.  

Last night my husband was out at his bowling league and for supper I decided to treat myself to a little bit of slaw dog heaven.  It was delicious!  I definitely wanted to make sure that I posted this recipe as it is one of my favorite foods to eat in the ENTIRE world!  Crazy, I know.  It was ALMOST like being home.  Without the Florida weather, right?

You should know this isn't regular cole slaw.  There is no vinegar in this slaw.  It's just a combination of finely, hand grated cabbage, some mayo and mustard.  That's it.  It's thick and serves as the perfect topping for a salty dog on a toasty bun, slathered in ketchup and mustard.  Mmmmm-Mmm!

Since I can't go to Florida to visit, here's how I make my own SLAW DOGS - At Home My way:

Slaw for Dogs (Central Florida Style)
  • 2 cups (approximately) green cabbage - finely grated with a hand grater (not bagged slaw mix-it won't work right)  
  • 2 rounded Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 rounded teaspoon yellow prepared mustard


Instructions:

Grate the cabbage on a regular hand held grater.  Use the side that you grate cheese with.

Stir/combine with the mustard and mayonnaise.

Now, to make a SLAW DOG:

  • Place hot dog in a toasted or untoasted hot dog bun
  • Top with big mounds of slaw.
  • Add some ketchup and mustard.
  • Get plenty of napkins.  It's gonna get a little messy...

Some memories along for the ride here:



This is my favorite Dairy Ranch meal - fresh from Central Florida!  Their onion rings are to-die-for!!!!


My uncle C and me!  We love Dairy Ranch and took this
picture right in the booth when I was there in October!  "Selfie, Uncle C!  Smile!"



Enjoy!


Gina
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What to do with all of that TURKEY? Turkey & Dumplings

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my house complete with lots of family, delicious food, and the best thing we had? - Lots of baby holding!  We have several new baby blessings in my husband's family and thankfully we all got many turns at loving and snuggling the newest additions to our family.

But now... Thanksgiving is over.  I still have too many freshly washed, empty casserole dishes and pie plates to return and no energy left to deliver them after I get home. The tables and chairs have been folded and put away.  I have washed and stored the table cloths and fall decor.  What else do I have left?  Lots of leftover TURKEY!!

I vowed this year to use up that precious turkey so last night was meal #1 of turkey leftovers.  So far, I made broth with the bones and was able to freeze several servings of turkey for later, saving some turkey for the dumplings and enough to make turkey salad (like chicken salad) for a few lunches this week.

My husband carved and deboned our smoked turkey on Thanksgiving and placed the carcass directly in a bag in the the freezer for "later".  Later was yesterday!  

I dumped the carcass in my crockpot and covered it with water before leaving for work yesterday morning, replaced with the lid and turned turned the knob to LOW - knowing it would make a deep and rich broth from which I could make many wonderful meals.  That took a total of about one minute.

Last night when I got home from work, I made a hearty pot of turkey and dumplings.  It was delicious!  Here's how I made Turkey & Dumplings - Remaking Leftovers Into Something Wonderful - AT HOME MY WAY:





Turkey & Dumplings 

  • 4-6 cups - Turkey Broth 
  • Leftover turkey chunks
Dumplings:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lard, margarine, butter
  • 2/3 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk
Instructions for Dumplings:

Mix all dry ingredients, cut in the margarine/butter/lard, using a fork until all crumbly and well mixed.  Add milk and stir with a large spoon.  Using hands, knead a little and form into a disk.

Cut in half and roll each half on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin - to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 3" x 3" squares.  Use as many as you wish. Unused, uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a cookie sheet and bagged for the freezer for another meal.


Turkey & Dumpling Instructions:

Bring broth to boil in a pot on the stove.  Drop in the dumplings and simmer. Stir only  once or twice.  Try not to stir much.  After about 15 minutes, drop in the chunks of turkey.  Stir to incorporate. Slow simmer for about 15 minutes.  



To thicken, mix:
  • 1/2 cup COLD water
  • 4 Tablespoon flour
Mix until completely smooth in a small cup and then pour into the boiling pot of meat/dumplings.  Stir.  Simmer 10 minutes or so , stirring occasionally, until thick.



*Also pictured, Seasoned Green Beans.


Enjoy!



Gina
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip - Oat Muffins

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Breakfast-breakfast; what to have for breakfast?  This morning as I lay in bed, my tummy was already growling - hungry before I even stepped a foot out of bed.  Not a good sign LOL.

My best plan of action is always muffins.  They mix up fast and I like them well enough that I don't miss the super size chocolate frosted and vanilla cream filled long john donut that I'm really craving (shhh...)!

Back to the muffins... I LOVE pumpkin everything.  I especially love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and bread.  I tweaked my normal pumpkin chocolate chip muffin this morning and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you.  I subbed out 1/2 cup of the flour in the recipe for oats  so that I would get a heartier muffin.  I prefer muffins that taste like a muffin and not like a cupcake, ya know??  These muffins have the perfect texture now.  Perfect!

Anyway, these muffins are DEEEEE...LICIOUS!  They are lightly spicy and have all the delicious tastes of fall that we are all craving right now.  

Here's how I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins AT HOME MY WAY:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
Oat Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I omitted because I didn't have any)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs (well blended)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 of 15 oz can of pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 °.

Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients, including pumpkin.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Add chocolate chips and stir to fully incorporate.

Spoon batter into paper lined or sprayed muffin cups/tin.  I fill mine almost completely full.  

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until lightly browning.

Note:  These freeze well for later!  Great for packing in lunches.  Or take some out of the freezer the night before if you need a few for breakfast!

They would also be great for potlucks!



Enjoy!


Gina
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