Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ace Hardware's Crock Pot Cook Off.

I just received an email from one of the ladies at Ace Hardware with an album of pictures of today's event. I would like to thank Ace Hardware and the ever-so-nice people there for doing this for the community. The proceeds from this event go to the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.

Ace Hardware's Crock Pot Cook Off.

This morning I got up bright and early to finish the final prep work for the crock pot cook off. I have my 4 quarts of venison chili and 2 quarts of my other chili which I will be blending together.
I have assorted peppers, green onions, and my trusty check list.
I heated the chili up first on the stove top
then transferred it to the crock pot. While the chili was heating, I chopped green onions, parsley, cilantro, jalapenos, and grated cheddar cheese for my accompaniments. I already had my creme fraiche and corn salsa ready.
And I believe we have the beginnings of a chili-scape. We left home about 10am. It was 56 degrees and drizzling.
Parsley, jalapeno, cilantro, green onions are out.
Rosie's feeling good about it.
It was a nice turnout.
And all for a good cause - The American Cancer Society.
Now, I've got my creme fraiche, cheddar cheese, and corn salsa out. Check out my salsa dish. It's in the shape of a chili pepper.
I'm ready now. My seasoned tortilla chips were the last things I put out since by this time it was pouring and I didn't want them to be soggy.
Don't you like my miniature grocery carts? And the chili pepper lights?
Thank you, Aunt Sandy. Because of you and attenshun to detail, I had many, many compliments on my chili-scape. WHOOT!
A proud Rosie with her 'scape. Oh, check out the earrings Mr. Hawthorne made for me. Now tell me that doesn't look delicious.
It's blowing and pouring like crazy. And the temperature has dropped to 44 degrees. Check out the kid with the goggles and mask.
Sadly, Rosie didn't win anything, although she certainly deserved to. My chili was excellent. And please try my recipes. Here's Chili #1. And Chili #2. And I thank all of you for your support.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Preparations For The Saturday Morning Crock Pot Cook Off At Ace Hardware.

Tomorrow's the day. The day of the crock pot cook off. Remove Formatting from selection
So today, I'm getting things in place. Tying up loose ends, making check lists, and lists to check my lists. I have my cold cooler ready. I have my hot hotter ready. Last Saturday, I made Batch #1 of chili, with venison as the base. On Sunday, I made Batch #2 of chili. I froze both batches. On Wednesday, I transferred the frozen chilis to the refrigerator to thaw out. Tomorrow morning, I'll heat up 4 parts of chili #1 with 2 parts of chili #2 on the stove top, pour into the crock pot, and take my chili to Ace Hardware.
Today, I made a few accoutrements for my chili. First, seasoned tortilla chips.
I sliced my tortillas into twelfths. Store bought tortillas on the right. Homemade tortillas on the left. Melted a stick of butter.
Added in my seasonings: 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp cayenne 1 tsp Sazon Goya con cilantro y tomate 1 tsp Sazon Goya con azafran See here for Goya seasonings.
I brushed the triangles with my seasoned butter.
Sprinkled on a bit of chopped cilantro. And baked in a 275 degree oven until lightly browned and crisp. Next, my seasoned creme fraiche.
Yesterday, I had made a pint of creme fraiche. (Upper right corner in picture above.) Very simple. 1 pint heavy cream 2 TB buttermilk 2 TB lemon juice Mix ingredients, cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate. Now, I'm going to season my creme fraiche with green onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest.
I only used two green onions, not the three shown. And one jalapeno, not two, shown. Grated zest of 2 limes. And cilantro.
Juice of one lime.
Lime juice gets added to creme fraiche.
Cilantro goes in.
Green onions.
And the rest of the green stuff.
Lookin' good.
Mix together, dip a chip in, and it's divine. You can taste every flavor. And it's very greeny. Next, I'm preparing my corn salsa.
1 large can diced tomatoes 1 can corn 1 can green chilies some canned jalapenos from my garden cilantro lime juice and the package of seasoning from a Taco dinner kit
Drain the 'maters.
Add the drained corn.
Add the chilies.
Add the juice of one lime.
Add the cilantro. You could add parsley if you're not fond of cilantro.
Stir in the seasoning packet from the taco dinner.
The seasoned creme fraiche, the corn salsa, and the tortilla chips are wonderful. Tomorrow, I need to grate cheddar cheese, chop some jalapenos and cilantro, and slice green onions for other additions to my chili. NOW, you KNOW Imonna have a crock-scape tomorrow. You'll just have to wait and see. Or will it be a chili-scape?
But until then, I'll just give you a hint. What's Mr. Hawthorne doing here?
Why, I believe the dear man is making Rosie some chili earrings!
We'd gone out Thursday morning on a search for scape items. I found some plastic chili peppers, then I went to a bead place where they had the earring thingies. Mr. Hawthorne got out his Dremel and drilled a tiny hole in the peppers, then strung them with copper wire and attached them to the ear thingies.
He's wearing his magnifying glasses with visor. He means business. Those are not bolts in his head.
Ta daaaaa. My earrings. Now, if that's not love, I don't know what is. Thank you, Mr. Hawthorne.
My earrings. Wish me luck, all! I'll be wearing my lucky underwear.

What The Hawthornes Have Been Eating.

The Hawthornes were in a festive mood yesterday so we had fiesta food for lunch.
Shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion for toppings.
I fried up one of my homemade tortillas, added some seasoned hamburger meat, topped off with the toppings and my creme fraiche with corn salsa. A very nice lunch.
Dixie's vet was coming to visit this afternoon, so she had a bath this morning. She's partial to Suave's Refreshing Waterfall Mist Shampoo and Ocean Breeze Conditioner. She always likes to look her best for her vet. Here's Dixie after her bath. She has a routine. After her little nap, I blow-dried her fur, brushing in the opposite direction. She likes the backcombing. Now her fur is very soft and she smells delicious. Let's go on to today's lunch. We'd bought chicken wings on sale at Harris Teeter.
Mr. Hawthorne chopped off the tips and saved them in a freezer bag for stock.
I made a cut around the top of the bone, then scraped the chicken meat down to form a little ball.
I pulled the meat down the bone.
And here's my little chicken drummette ready for the marinade.
Chicken on the left and buttermilk/Texas Pete marinade on the right.
Let the chicken soak for about an hour.
Mr. Hawthorne has the chicken marinating in the middle, his seasoned flour (all purpose flour, semolina flour, Cajun seasoning, cayenne papper) on the left, and the chicken frying on the right. I didn't have the heart to tell him he's got his stuff in the wrong order. Put the marinade on the far left, then the flour. Sheesh!
About 7 minutes in the fryer.
Chicken drumette, potato salad, and greens from my garden.
The chicken was perfectly cooked. Crispy on the outside. Moist, juicy, and tender on the inside.
Potato salad with mayo, boiled eggs, celery, red onions, sweet pickles, pickle juice, brown mustard, and roasted red peppers.
These wings were delicious.