Monthly Archives: September 2012

5k fan giveaway winners Announced

First off….a HUGE thanks to all of you that make Modern Mrs Cleaver so much fun! This page wouldn’t exist without you, and I would just be a woman in the kitchen with nobody to try her recipes.

{Collective awwwwwwwwwww}

So here are the winners from yesterday’s prize giveaways. The winners were selected by a high-tech process (not really). Names of correct commenters were assigned numbers, then using a random number generator (random.org) a number/winner was chosen! The only way it could be more random, is if my kid would have chosen the winner….which he is known to do from time to time 🙂

Giveaway #1- Louisiana Spice Rub: NANCY JO POOLE SMITH-BABBITT is the winner with the correct answer to the 14th word of the Grinch Song….CUDDLY

Giveaway #2- Fuzzy Blue Socks & Glow Bracelet- NANCY SMITH is the winner with her Acronym of kitchen: Keep It Truthful Clean Happy Energetic Neat

Giveaway #3- Rooster Oven Mitt Set- TERRI BETZ  is the winner with the correct answer to “The most spoons balanced on a face”….Guiness Records recognizes Aaron Caissie with 17 spoons, although it has been challenged and passed.

Giveaway #4- Sur La Table Pastry Cutter- TARA BROOKS is the winner with the correct answer to “The American Pie Council says which pie is #1″….APPLE

Giveaway #5- Salsa Bowls & Calendar- MARGIE KIRKMAN is the winner with the correct answer to “Add the year the Wizard of Oz was released, to the year John F Kennedy was elected, to the number of windows in the Statue of Liberty’s crown, to the number of seasons Dukes of Hazzard was on air”……3,931

Giveaway #6- Sur La Table Butter Warmer & Chopsticks- SUE KULONGOWSKI is the winner with the correct answer to “What was the Supreme’s original name”….THE PRIMETTES

Giveaway #7- Pink Fuzzy Socks & Glow Bracelet- MONA DAVIS is the winner with the correct answer to “What tv series was the quote Danger Will Robinson, Danger from”…..LOST IN SPACE

Giveaway #8- Set of 11 Sur La Table Cookie Cutters- MADONNA PATTERSON is the winner with the correct answer to “What country is responsible for over half of the worlds vanilla supply”…..MADAGASCAR

Giveaway #9- Sur La Table Citru Reamer- RHONDA MURRAY is the winner with the correct answer to “What was June Cleaver’s maiden name”…..BRONSON

Giveaway #10- Toe Socks & Glow Bracelet- MIPPY is the winner with the correct answer to “What did Disney name the 3 Little Pigs”….FIFER, FIDDLER, and PRACTICAL

Giveaway #11- Fall Scented Candle Set- JESSICA CARLSON is the winner with the correct answer to “In the movie 16 candles, Samantha had a crush on what boy”….JAKE RYAN

Giveaway #12- Green Oven Mitt Set- REBECCA CORBEILLE is the winner with the correct answer to “In the Green Mile, what character did Tom Hanks play”….PAUL EDGECOMB

FINALE PRIZE- Sur La Table Vintage Inspired Apron-

Ok this one had me laughing for hours….and then I read the comments and laughed more! Then I read this one certain comment and laughed hysterically, so did my husband! THEN….I DIED LAUGHING when this person was (again randomly) selected the winner!! OH HOW FUNNY!

MARY PLUT is the winner of the apron…Her family thinks she is NUTS after counting a total of 35 DI and DOO sounds at the beginning of the Mrs. Robinson song.

Oh Mary, I don’t think you’re NUTS dear! I think you’re determined and good for a giggle or two 🙂

Winners need to submit their mailing addresses via email to modernmrscleaver@yahoo.com to claim their prizes.

I hope you enjoyed our day of nonsense and silly prizes!

To all who choose to spend a moment of time with me or my recipes, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It brings me joy to know that somewhere out there, a pot is bubbling away with my recipe inside….That a family is gathered around a table, enjoying something that I drempt up one night.

Modern Mrs. Cleaver is more than just a page to me; it’s a lifestyle, a moral way of being, and truly a passion to share and passdown love through food! You guys make it GO….Thanks to the moon and back.

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver

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Tex-Mex Triple Stack

Let’s think of comfort food for a moment shall we…..

Okay long enough- Because I’m dying to share this with y’all!

Now, let me be honest for a moment- I try my darndest to eat “most of the way” right, I eat smaller portions of things that are not so healthy, et cetera et cetera…..

But sometimes folks, you just have to put the “comfy pants” on for your favorite comfort food dish! You all know what I’m talking about right? The pants with the elastic waistband….the 5 year old sweats that are “broken in”….the drawstring jammie bottoms…

We all have a pair, and I’m not afraid to use them every now and then!

My main man Aristotle taught me to “Seek moderation in all things”….Oh I seek it Aristotle, and I have no problems finding it!

Alrighty….Let’s get this show underway!

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Cajun Chicken Alfredo {and a 17 year old in the kitchen}

One is fantastic…..One is potential hazardous in the kitchen!

I’ll let you sort out which is which

Let’s start with a little pep talk regarding Alfredo: I’ve been to numerous restaurants and watched as plates of Alfredo were delivered to tables. The pasta was SWIMMING with a thick white sauce that pooled around the plate. This is NOT my idea of goodness. {just an opinion-I’m full of em}

I don’t want a little noodles with my sauce! I want noodles that have a silky cheesy sauce that delicately coats them, a perfect marriage of pasta and sauce!

Now a pep talk of 17-year-old boys: They are 17-year-old boys- enough said! 

I’ve been dying to teach this young man how to cook, and despite numerous attempts, he just didn’t WANT to learn. He’s the kid that heats everything on HIGH “cause it get’s done faster”.

Since I refuse to send a child out into the world that can’t cook…I attacked it as only a menacing and conniving mother can.

~His favorite meal~

Ask any kid if they want their all-time favorite meal and they’re going to say YES. Ask them if they want to make it and you might get a no, as I did. Tell them they can’t have it unless they learn how to make it……YEP I’m that kind of momma 🙂

So after he “so eagerly” volunteered to make Alfredo, we hit the kitchen and began laying out ingredients and pans. I discussed the importance of “low and slow” vs. “high is faster”. I discussed it a total of 3 times!

We decided on Cajun Chicken Alfredo….feel free to omit the seasoned chicken if you want classic alfredo.

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Apple & Ale Braised Short Ribs

Do I need to say more?

I LOVE to play around with seasonal flavors and wanted to try an appley ale sort of flavor.

I found a Pumpkin Ale at the store the other day and stood there with it in my hands….”contemplating”

Those that know me have seen this many times. Those that don’t, pass me in the market and wonder “What is that lady doing standing there, staring at the ceiling, with a beer in her hands?

I’m creating folks, and it happens everywhere! It’s like a SHAZAAM moment, and I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing and focus or I’ll get sidetracked and forget.

So to my supermarket gawkers… Do not be afraid, I’m not as crazy as I appear. I’m just a really big FOOD NERD with a side order of creativity!

Back to me and this ale- I’m going to give you a glimpse into my thought process. Hold onto to something, it’s a bumpy ride!

{This all happens in the grocery aisle, beer in hand, staring quizzically at the ceiling}

~Pumpkin ale….Pork and apples are great fall flavors, but overdone.

~I want the appley flavor but not pork….too too standard.

~I want short ribs! Pumpkin ale or apple?

~Why choose? Both flavors…wow too much? No BRAISE- it’ll mellow!

~Over mashed potatoes with lots of gravy and veg.

~There’s a lady looking at me….WHY?

~Ohhhhhh!

That’s me in the store, if you see me or someone like me doing these such things. Smile or wave, let us know it’s ok to be a geek!

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Baked Brie Appetizer

Baked Brie is one of those things that’s so easy a caveman could do it…..

Well if a caveman had brie…or an oven…or a palette craving soft delicate cheese!

When you combine baked brie with caramelized onions and roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread……

Flavor Town Baby!

Let me show you how easy this is to put together. Fancy enough for guests, simple enough for a light dinner with a glass of wine.

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Harvest Bread w/ Caramel Drizzle

There are a lot of flavors that I would LOVE to put in a bottle and smell year round….FALL FLAVORS are among my favorites!

As far as seasonal breads go….there are typically two sorts. Sweet breads and Non Sweet breads. This one falls delightfully right in the middle. It’s not an over the top sweet spongy bread, nor is it a plain nut bread. It’s just AMAZING and deserves its own category.

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Buttermilk Biscuits w/ Curry Gravy

CURRY GRAVY???

Yes curry gravy!

Now before you mentally grab your favorite “old-fashioned” gravy recipe and hang on for dear life shouting…“Uh uh, I’m not making any changes to MY gravy”……

Let me explain: I’m a good old-fashioned gal in a lot of ways, INCLUDING MY GRAVY WAYS!

I don’t touch those little gravy packets or mixes at the store….I’m a bacon grease saver and proud of it. I make milk gravy like my Gram-maw did and serve biscuits fresh from my rolling board, not from the store. I won my husband when I made gravy like “His Gramma” did!

But sometimes folks, you just have to play with your food. That’s how this curry gravy came about. I had massive amounts of trepidation serving this to my husband, as he’s SO fond of classic milk gravy. However I marched forward with that plate of biscuits and curry gravy and he SWOONED…(In a manly way of course).

Now there are also plenty of folk who say they HATE curry. Let me ease your fears…this is NOT the curry flavor you HATE! When you learn to balance the flavor of curry, and make it a NOTE in the dish and not just shove it someone’s face….it becomes something altogether amazing.

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Chicken Sliders w/ Avocado Cream

I wish I could explain to you how my “New Recipes” come to fruition….

How the idea starts as one thing and by the time I’m done it’s about 180 degrees off where I started!

Yesterday I was in the mood to create something new and I gotta tell ya, these amazing little sliders I made are NO WHERE NEAR what I THOUGHT I was going to make. I’m glad I took the mental detour because I’m quite proud of these little bites!

Now let me say this….If you have read my blog for any length of time, you KNOW I am not a product pusher or name brand brow beater. However you will notice that I DO highlight a brand in this recipe. I have not been paid or rewarded in any way for doing this, nor does the company even know that I’m going to rave about them.

In my opinion, when something works and works well, you talk about and share the info!

When I moved to Texas and first visited the grocery chain HEB, I discovered a spice brand called “Adams Reserve”. There was a chef doing a food demo with some of this company’s spices. I was intrigued, and upon talking to the chef, learned that the company only ground and bottled their spices when retailers ordered them. That the company took great pride in the quality of their product.

I’m a food geek and I had to give it a try. Ohhh Mannn! I had picked up a bottle of Smoked Hickory Sear-n-Crust and fell in love. I have used it on SO many things and can’t wait to keep exploring the “Adams Reserve” line of seasonings. There products, to my knowledge, are only sold in Texas stores, however you can order online as well.

Ok, now back to my recipe 🙂

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Chicken Strips…..I’ll brag on it!

There are a few meals in my arsenal that I oftentimes wonder if they aren’t TOO simple to post. If someone won’t read the recipe and say, “What’s so darn special about THAT?”

But let’s not forget simplicity folks….Simple CAN often be the best way. Some dishes don’t need a bunch of fancy footwork or ingredients.

If you ask my teenager what his favorite meal is, it goes a little something like this….

“Ohhh HANDS DOWN… fettuccine alfredo! No wait, I like that carbonara stuff you make more. Actually it’s probably chicken strips…OR those fried pickle thingies!”

Now what do you notice? Those are all insanely simplistic and easy! While I’ve yet to nail down his FAVORITE meal, I delight in the fact that his favorites are all “MY MEALS”. It pleases me to no end that he takes pictures of his dinner plates and sends them to his friends….

(Slightly weird until he reminds me that I post pictures of my food to a bunch of strangers) 

While I really enjoy cooking things that are challenging, and plating things with a finesse, there is a simple joy in making something simple, something timeless that will hopefully look the same in 50 years as it did in the past.

So here’s my chicken strips….They’re crazy simple and I’ll brag on em’ until the day I die!

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Special Occasion Salsa

This isn’t your average salsa…..

This isn’t even really good salsa……This is the kind of stuff you write home about! The kind of salsa you make for special occasions!

So what was our special occasion last night? The planets aligned and roma tomatoes and corn were on a great sale. In OUR minds, that’s special enough!

If you’re having company over for an upcoming football game, or need something to take to someone else’s house…..This salsa WILL ALWAYS get noticed.

I suggest serving it right out of the food processor if ya can, but the next day is delish too 🙂

I don’t often cede my kitchen territory to other humans, it’s how I am, but when my husband says he wants to make salsa….I clear out. Well, when I say I clear out, what I REALLY mean is that I hover over his shoulder and take pictures, tell him where things are at in the kitchen, and show him new tricks with oven roasting corn (I’ll share that tidbit in a sec)

So let it be noted…..My Ward Cleaver took over the kitchen and is sharing his crazy good salsa with you. I couldn’t help myself and was dying to fiddle, so I fried up some fresh tortilla chips to go with it.

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