Mama Ingle Time!

Before another holiday season slips away from us, I wanted to share with you two of my Mom’s recipes that she has been making for Christmas, well, since I can remember and I’m 29-ish.

As mentioned in this post, I said I would be camped out by the fireplace eating my Mom’s party mix (aka Texas Trash) and veggie dip and guess what, that’s exactly what I did for days little lambs. If I was stranded on a deserted island my top three choices would be my Mom’s trail mix, veggie dip – with the typical accoutrements of veggies and fritos – and her okra, well and a bottle of wine. No, no please no water or anything of sustenance like that, I do have my priorities. The thing about all three of these dishes is that they inspire “zombie” eating where you find yourself standing over the bowl or plate shoving it into your mouth and then kind of snap out of it like “whoa, yeah, I just ate my weight in veggie dip.”

So in honor of Mama Ingle here are her splendid trail mix and veggie dip recipes, I hope they can find a happy place in your hearts, homes and tummies as they have mine and my family’s.
P.S. My Dad won the “Christmas Checkers Battle” fair and square. Whatever Dad!
P.P.S. Dad, like Dumbeldore’s Phoenix I shall rise from the ashes in 2010 and earn back the title!
P.P.P.S Meagan (my niece) “Dumbledore Clap!”


Mama Ingle’s Party Mix aka Texas Trash
Serves 12 or more (or just me if it’s me eating it)
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter or margarine in large roasting pan in oven. When melted, add two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and combine. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoned salt and 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder then gradually stir in 3 cups of Corn Chex Cereal, 3 cups Rice Chex cereal, 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal, 1 cup of mixed nuts, 1 cup of pretzels (thin sticks) 1 cup of garlic-flavored bite-size bagel chips broken into pieces (optional). Mix until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Spread over paper towels to cool. Store in an air-tight container.


Mama Ingle’s Vegetable Dip
Serves 12 or more (or just me if it’s me eating it)
1 large container sour cream
2 cups Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dill Weed
1 teaspoon of Beau Monde Seasoning
1 teaspoon of Accent
Dash of Onion Salt
1 tablespoon of parsley flakes
Tabasco Sauce (to taste)
Combine all ingredients and store in refrigerator. Serve with assorted cut up vegetables or chips or crackers or pizza or sandwiches or on a BIG spoon, ok, I might have added those last three. One other note my Mom and I discussed, it’s the holidays people so don’t try skimping with low or no fat versions of this as it just doesn’t taste as good at all. Hey, you can make up for it in the New Year!

Lucky #7!

Y’all I just wanted to say how honored I am to be included in this fine, fine list of The Austin Chronicle’s Top Austin Food Blogs. OMG! I didn’t even know people read my blog so you can imagine that I’m very stunned and so appreciative. Thanks Kate Thornberry, and I do hope I can meet you soon to thank you in person too. I have such a passion and love for cooking and this just makes want to keep going and going and going! Thanks to those who read my humble little blog and the Austin Chronicle. Happy New Year to you and yours!

“My, My That Was Good!”

Those were my exact words friends as I finished my plate of Greens and Eggs Migas from the cookbook Simple Fresh Southern by the Lee Bros. who are, you guessed it brothers, hailing from South Carolina and are food/wine/travel journalists. For someone who works in the food industry I had not come across the Lee Bros. yet but if this recipe and the gentle cookbook they created is any testament to their talent then shame on me.

I wanted to test this recipe for two reasons, one they called this dish “Austin-Style” and of course anything featuring my home city I’m drawn too and two it has eggs. Well and three, I love having breakfast for dinner. Gosh, I could eat the most important meal of the day three times a day!

Lee Bros. Cherry Tomato Soybean Salad

According to the book: “migas means ‘crumbs’ in Spanish, and the roots of the dish can be traced to the Old World, specifically to Portugal and Spain.” For this dish you actually make the Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo first and then incorporate it into the migas. I loved this so much. It is easy, quick – even with two recipes if you think about it – and the flavors are absolutely awesome. I’m going to stop talking now and let you see for yourself with the two recipes below from the cookbook. Thanks boo for the awesome cookbook, this rocked!

Greens and Eggs Migas
Serves 4
Time: 25 minutes, preparation, 10 minutes cooking

1/2 cup canola oil
Three 6-inch corn tortillas, cut pizza-style into 8 triangles
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
8 large eggs, beaten (obviously I culled this recipe down for just moi)
4 ounces, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 recipe Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo, warm (I saved the rest of this for breakfast tomorrow!)
Fresh or store-bought salsa, for serving

Heat the oil and one of the small tortilla triangles in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until the tortilla sizzles vigorously. Add the remaining tortilla pieces and stir them in the hot oil until they become crispy and browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted metal spoon, transfer them to a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and set aside.

Pour off the oil, and add butter to the skillet, and when it’s completely melted and frothing, add the onion and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the eggs and the tortilla chips, and scramble until the eggs are curdy but still moist, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover, and cook just until the cheese melts, about 45 seconds.

Divide the collard greens with poblanos and chorizo among the 4 warm serving plates, and top each portion with eggs and spoonfuls of salsa.

Lee Bros. Brandied Plums

Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo
Serves 4
Time: 5 minutes preparation, 15 minutes cooking

2 teaspoons peanut or canola oil (I used canola)
8 ounces of fresh chorizo, casings removed, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces; or 4 ounces cured chorizo, kielbasa, or other smoked sausage, finely diced
3 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced into thin 2-to 3-inch strips (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 pounds collard greens (about 1 bunch), ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (1 packed quart)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet or saute pan set over high heat, and when it shimmers, add the chorizo. Cook, chopping up the (fresh) sausage with the back of a spoon, until the sausage has rendered most of its fat, about 2 minutes. Add the poblanos, and continue to cook until they have softened slightly and the chorizo is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, half the collards, the salt, and 2 tablespoons water to the skillet. Cook, turning the collards with tongs and adding more greens as those in thee pan wilt, until all the collards are in the skillet. Continue to cook until the collards have softened and become dark green, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and continue to cook the collards, turning them occasionally, until the vinegar has completely evaporated and the pan is dry, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, if necessary, and divide the collards, poblanos, and chorizo among 4 warm serving plates. Serve immediately.

It’s Simple Really

It has been said on this blog tons of times, I love magazines and Real Simple has held an organized, gentle and special place in my heart for years now. Each issue is informative and inspirational and I keep them around for years to revisit say when I need to remind myself of the essential spring cleaning routine or the best way to pack a suitcase; I love their little “aha!” moments don’t you? I also wish I could afford the clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry they feature each month but I digress.

I always loved their food section because they had really simple recipes that never seemed to lack on flavor or originality…until a few years ago. I found myself reading the magazine from front-to-back but would skim the food sections because nothing tickled my fancy. Saddened was I to see that I was never inspired to try any of their recipes, until last month when a grilled cheese with fruit chutney recipe caught my eye. When I tested it, it tasted great. “Humph” I thought to myself “could I be falling in love all over again with Real Simple’s recipes or are they just playing games with my food loving heart?” Well there are no broken hearts here as I tested three new recipes from the January issue and they all gave me the old Real Simple razzle dazzle that I loved so long ago.

Coming back from traveling for the holidays, I was quite happy at my foresight to choose these three recipes that were super easy to execute and they all really rocked in their own way. The Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros for a late-lunch was awesome and reminds of the Tex-Mex version of the much loved Italian-style eggs baked in tomato sauce. Next, the Seared Tilapia with Mango and Watercress for dinner was YUM. The dressing on top of the tilapia mixed with the mango, spicy watercress and red onion was so simple but delicious. This will be a healthy, quick recipe I can turn to again and again. Finally, for lunch the next few days I made this Kale and White Bean Soup which was simple, delicious, and healthy and it features Kale. I love Kale. Can I please get a t-shirt or mug that says that?

Thanks Real Simple for the delicious recipes and I can’t wait to see your February issue! I couldn’t find any of the recipes online (sigh) so I posted all three below, who loves you?

Seared Tilapia with Watercress and Mango Salad

Real Simple, January 2010

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

4 tilapia fillets (about 1 1/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise
Kosher Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 cups of watercress (from 1 to 2 bunches), thick stems removed
1 mango, cut into small pieces
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Season the tilapia with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the tilapia and cook until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil and the remaining tilapia.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, ginger, crushed red pepper, the remaining 1/4 cup of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Divide the tilapia, watercress, mango, and onion among plates. Drizzle with dressing.

Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros

Real Simple, January 2010

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 16-ounce jar salsa (2 cups – I used the Frontera brand by Rick Bayless)
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
4 large eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup of cilantro
4 small four tortillas, warmed (I actually used corn)
1/2 cup of sour cream (I used the “light” version)

In a large skillet, combine the salsa and beans and bring to a simmer.

Make 4 small wells in the bean mixture. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and slide it gently into a well. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat, 3 to 5 minutes for slightly runny yolks.

Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Divide among plates and serve with tortillas and sour cream.

Kale and White Bean Soup

Real Simple, January 2010

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup small soup pasta (4 ounces; such as tubettini, ditalini, or orzo – I used orzo)
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (8 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (2 ounces), plus 1 piece of Parmesan rind (optional)
1 loaf of country bread, warmed

Heat the oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary, 8 cups of water, and the Parmesan rind (if using – I used); cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the Parmesan rind. Stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan before serving. Serve with the bread.

What Do You Get When You Combine a Figure Skater and Bacon?

No, not a greasy triple axel or savory Salchow, you get Bacon Corn Muffins with Savory Cream Cheese Frosting of course! As I mentioned in this post, I was trying out a few recipes to cook for my family for our Christmas appetizer smorgasbord and after seeing Brian Boitano make these on his show, What Would Brian Boitano Make, I decided I really, really wanted to give them a try. Y’all, these were a hit! My mom and big sis kept giving me lots of compliments on how great they tasted and I most certainly loved them too.

These were actually really simple to put together except I had to cook the bacon in the oven waaaay longer than the recipe calls for since my Mom’s oven sucks. Her birthday is coming up in January and I’m really hoping she gets a new one (Hint, hint Dad). Also, I didn’t have a piping bag so I just had to spoon the frosting on, and as my sister Gelana pointed out, please take them out of the muffin tins before you frost them…silly me.

I highly recommend these muffins and think it would be a new year’s eve party insta-hit as it is a crowd pleasing, fun and unique recipe. If you haven’t watched the four episodes Food Network has so far for What Would Brian Boitano Make, you should take the time, it has a lightness and sense of humor to it that so many Food Network shows are missing; I can’t wait to watch the new episodes in March 2010.

And now, the South Park song that started it all.


Seasons Eatings

Wanna bet $100 that I’m not the first food blogger to use that phrase this season? Well, whatever little lambs because that’s my plan the next few days, spending time with my family and eating yummy food. Also, I will fit in some awesome cat naps plus sitting by my parent’s fireplace with an array of my Mom’s veggie dip, trail mix, chocolate cake and warming-up for the annual “Christmas Checkers Battle” against my Dad. You’re going down this year Dad!
I’m also helping my Mom cook this year and offering up two dishes of my own for the Christmas smorgasbord, so if anything tickles mine and my families tastebuds I’ll let you know. For Christmas, my gentle bestie The Boo got me the Momofuku and The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern cookbooks. My reviews to come as soon as next week. YAY and thank you Boo!I wish all of you and yours a warm, relaxing, gentle, snuggly, cuddly, family-and-friend filled holidays and a safe and very happy new year. Thank you for reading my little blog and cheers to a wonderful 2010.

The Prettiest Guacamole in the Room

I have been testing, testing and testing away dear readers and sadly none of the recipes I’ve tried have made the cut to share with you…until tonight. I’m getting ready to head back to East Texas for Christmas so I chose super simple recipes the next few days because well it’s the holidays and my nightly meals shouldn’t be too much trouble this time of year.

I made this Mango Pomegranate Guacamole recipe tonight and to turn it into an entree, I layered baked tostadas with the guacamole, canned (and rinsed) black beans with a little bit of sour cream. What a simple, vegetarian, healthy and DELICIOUS dish. With the addition of mango and pomegranate, the textures and flavors bounced off each other very nicely and the colors made the guac pop. This is an amazing twist on guacamole and you could serve at a party, to your kids, or by yourself while watching Antiques Roadshow. I’ll admit it, I love Antiques Roadshow. I just saw an 18th Century North American Indian Burlwood Bowl get appraised for $40,000 – 60,000. It’s a bowl. That’s insane. And awesome.