Sunday, September 1, 2013

Coconut Rice Pudding

I was reading Martha Stewart a while ago, and she had a recipe for coconut rice pudding.  I was intrigued.  I wanted to make it today, but I was concerned about the eggs in her recipe.  I often find pudding made with eggs has an eggy flavor which I don't like.  Plus, she only called for 1/2 c. coconut milk.  That didn't sound like nearly enough coconut flavor.  After looking around, I decided to make my own recipe.  Here it is.  I think it turned out delicious.  5 out of 7 Abbotts concurred.  Well, you can't win them all.

Coconut Rice Pudding

1 1/2 c. cooked rice (from 1 c. uncooked, I think)
1/2 c. coconut
1 can cream of coconut
whole milk to make 4 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Measure the cream of coconut, add the whole milk to equal 4 cups liquid.  Combine the rice, coconut, liquids, and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, turn down to low/med. low to keep a slow simmer.  Cook for 40-45 minutes until it looks like pudding, stirring often. (It will be a little loose when hot, but will thicken up as it cools.)  Stir in the vanilla.  Cool and refrigerate or serve warm.

Look for cream of coconut in the mixed drinks section of the grocery store.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Let's Salsa

It's finally that moment at my house.  The moment when 5 lbs of tomatoes is sitting on my counter, fresh from the garden.  Now I can make salsa and go to my happy place.  MaryRuth told me she didn't have Mom's salsa recipe, so here it is along with a salsa I came up with.

Mom's Salsa

2-3 jalapenos, seeded and diced
5 lb tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb tomatillos, chopped finely
3/4 head garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped finely
2 limes, juiced
2 TB salt
2 tsp vinegar

If you've gone through all the work to actually follow the directions and chopped everything finely, you just have to mix it together at this point.  Let's say you're lazy and have a food processor; process everything until finely chopped.  You can store this in the fridge for 2 weeks, if it lasts that long.  One note, the tomatoes give off a lot of juice.  You can keep it in your salsa, or you can strain the tomatoes after you chop them.  I like it both ways.

Guacaverde Salsa

1 lb tomatillos
1/2 package prepared guacamole
1 tsp salt
1 TB lime juice
1/2 jalepeno
dash chili powder
dash cumin
1/4 c diced onions
handful of cilantro

Process the tomatillos and jalepeno in the food processor until finely chopped, drain, reserving juice.  Mix tomatillos and jalepeno with the rest of the ingredients.  Add juice until desired consistency is reached--I usually aim for thin guacamole.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Hot Sandwiches

One of our favorite things to eat this time of year is hot sandwiches.  It's warm, so it's comforting, but it's a sandwich, so it's also light and summery.  Also, no matter what my kids like, I can customize the sandwich for them.  Hannah's not fond of provolone, so she has cheddar or Monteray Jack instead, for example.  Here's how I work it: I have the kids tell me how they are making their sandwich that evening.  While they are getting their bread ready, I cut the meat into strips and cook it in a skillet.  I can do two or three sandwiches at a time.  When I flip the meat over, I put on the cheese.  When the cheese is melty, I put the meat and cheese on the sandwich.  Another way would be to make the sandwiches and put them under the broiler to toast.  I've also wrapped them in tin foil and taken them with us for a picnic.  Here are three really good sandwiches.

Philly Cheesesteak

rolls or hoagie rolls
roast beef
provolone cheese (cheddar, if you're from that camp)
onion, sliced thin
red pepper, sliced thin
sandwich spread

For this sandwich, saute the onion and pepper first and set it aside.  Then when you're making the sandwiches, add it to the meat so it warms up.

Reuben Sandwich

rye bread
swiss cheese
sandwich spread or thousand island dressing

For this sandwich, squeeze the sauerkraut dry before you put it on the sandwich, or it will make the sandwich soggy.  I also like to make this sandwich and toast it like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Primanti Bros sandwich
(Who?  The Primanti Bros have a sandwich shop, I think in Philly.  I saw this on Lidia's Italy and had to try it.  The kids were skeptical at first--fries on a sandwich? But, after I tried it and told them how good it was, they tried it and liked it.)

Italian bread (white sandwich bread works too)
capricola (or if you want something cheaper and more familiar, ham)
provolone cheese
cole slaw
french fries
sandwich spread

Yes, you put all this on the sandwich.  It's really a meal in itself.  And also really yummy.

Sandwich Spread

pepper, fresh cracked if you can get it

Mix together equal parts mayo and mustard, add the pepper.  You can tweak this to have more mayo or more mustard flavor depending on what you like.  I usually make 1/3 to 1/2 c. for our sandwiches.

Cole Slaw
This is a variation of what Lidia did for the Primanti Bros. sandwich.

1/4 cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste--about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed

Whisk together the vinegar, oil and sugar.  Add the seasonings and mix together.  Toss with the cabbage and carrot.  One way to keep the cabbage from diluting your dressing is to mix it with 1/2 tsp. salt and let it sit in a colander for 1/2 hour or so.  Rinse it and wring it dry in a towel before you add it to the salad.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Ham

I have Mom's ham soup recipe.  It's really good.  It just has an unwieldy name.

Cabbage-Apple-Ham-Dumpling Soup

1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. sliced celery
2 Tbsp. oil
2 lbs. (8 cups) shredded cabbage
2 lrg. red apples, diced
3 c. julienne ham
4 c. chicken broth (I always want more.)
1 c. water
5 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage

In a large soup pot saute onion and celery in oil until tender.  Add cabbage, cook and stir 5 min.  Add remaining ingredients, except ham.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 min.  Add ham and dumplings (see below).  Cover and cook 15 min.

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. oil

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl.  Combine milk and oil.  Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Drop from tablespoon atop soup or stew.  Cover tightly; let mixture return to boiling.  Reduce heat (don't lift cover).  Simmer 12-15 minutes.  Makes 10 dumplings.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


" Would you like something to drink? Perhaps some ham?" -FTT Cinderella

We had ham for Christmas dinner and it was delicious. I found this recipe on for a 

Brown Sugar Glaze. 
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp water

Mix everything together. Score the outside of the ham and rub the glaze all over it. If you have a spiral cut ham, you can put it in between the layers a bit. Bake until heated through, according to times and temp on the label. I had a bunch of glaze left over so I was able to pour it over the finished ham and dip it a bit.

After a big ham dinner, inevitably there is a lot of ham left over. One thing my mom would make with ham is:

Ham and Noodle Casserole
Brown cubed ham in butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add a can of cream of chicken soup, a soup can of milk, 1 tsp. curry powder or to taste and parsley until it looks right. Mix it all together and heat until warm. Add a small carton of cottage cheese being sure to temper it. Warm through and serve over noodles. We would use egg noodles but you could also use shells or some such.