Sunday, July 4, 2010

Favorite Foods for the 4th (or any other day)

As I'm sitting here watching the fireworks (on TV...more about that in a minute), I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes with you. Most of these I find online, though some are from magazines, and some are from friends.

The Pioneer Woman has quickly jumped to the top of my favorites list. Paula..who?

Quick background: I was not born in Texas. Therefore, I love PORK BBQ. Not beef. and that's nearly sacreligious here in Texas. The hunt for a good pulled pork sandwich here in Texas is almost pointless.

Then, one day... It happened. I stumbled across P-Dub's Spicy Shredded Pork Recipe (in her uber yummy cookbook).

I've blabbered on and on about the Spicy Shredded Pork several times on Facebook. You should really try it sometime! It's tender, flavorful, and still goes great with your favorite BBQ sauce.

This recipe cured my craving for pulled pork. I no longer seek it out, knowing I can MAKE MY OWN (rawr!).

Here's another - meatloaf. I know I know - I heard you groan from here. STOP THAT! Stop it RIGHT NOW.

Meatloaf is not "mystery-loaf". Or it shouldn't be...(sorry mom...). Use this recipe for P-Dub/Pastor Ryan's Cajun Meatloaf, and your family will no longer fear the loaf. I PROMISE.

I feel obligated to make this PSA: this recipe makes a kajillion servings. I cut it down to 1lb ground beef and 1lb ground pork, and it fits in 1 loaf pan nicely. Cut the veggies and spices too. You're welcome. I didn't have that much freezer space either.

And what's a meal without potatoes? I know, I can't imagine it either! (thanks for backing me up on that one!). P-Dub's Perfect Potatoes au Gratin will have your family weeping with joy.

Another Texas thing is salsa and chips with (nearly) every restaurant meal. I attempted P-Dub's Restaurant Style Salsa, with mild success. I'll be trying again soon!

Okok, so you're as much of a P-Dub fan as I am, and have already salivated over her recipes. Here are a few favorites I've found elsewhere:

I saw this one in Women's Day magazine: Meatball Souvlaki under the heading "easy beef recipes". And IT IS. The sauce (greek yogurt + mint) is divine. Add in the zuccini and onions, and mmm mmm!
I need to make this one again soon.

I was trying to find you a link to the Hot Artichoke Dip that my friend Kerrie has shared with me. It's a huge hit at any gathering, and easy-peasy! I hit up my friend, and here's what I got back. that's right, a kajillion recipes. (yes, kajillion is my word of the night). So here's the recipe, in all of it's simplicity and glory:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4oz to 8oz montery jack or mozzarella cheese (I like more cheese, some people like less)
1, 4oz package cream cheese (see where this is going?)
1 small can artichoke hearts, quartered or halved
1 cup mayo
4 oz (or more) parmesean cheese (sure, the shake-it-on kind works just fine)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or a chopped up garlic clove if you prefer)

The most difficult step is separating the artichoke heart pieces. You throw the whole thing in a pie-plate or small casserole, stir it up, and bake. For about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Uh huh, that's it. If you want to get all fancy, throw in some spinach, or chicken, or lump crab meat, or mushrooms. Whatever blows your skirt up!! I serve it up with fritos, and some hearty bagel crisps.

Another friend gave me her Texas Caviar Recipe. The linky is a recipe that is pretty close to it. Great with fritos, corn chips, etc.
Clearly, I'm a cook, and not a baker.

Fireworks on TV: apparently in my old age I've developed a phobia of crowds, traffic and mosquitos. Therefore I choose to watch fireworks on TV. This year I'm enjoying Washington DC, NYC, Houston AND Boston. 4 instead of 1! WHOA

Tell ya what, in honor suviving the first half of summer without melting, or floating away, I'll do a giveaway. All you have to do is post a link to your favorite recipe, cookbook, or share a recipe of your own in the comments. I'll choose at least 1 recipe to make next weekend, and the lucky winner will get the Goddess's The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. Contest closes on Friday, July, 9th at 3pm CT. Winner(s) will be announced on Saturday, July 10th.

It's a new day to cook!


  1. Loved the run down!!! Gotta try a few of those...just to reminesce a little...your smoked sausage lasagne is to die for!!! Remember that one? hit recipe for the 4th this year was Strawberry Pretzel oldie but goodie..should have made two 9x13 pans!

    2 c. pretzels, crushed
    4 tbsp. sugar
    1/2 - 3/4 c. butter, melted
    8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1/2 c. sugar
    8 oz. carton Cool Whip
    1 lg. box strawberry Jello
    2 c. boiling water
    2 pkgs. strawberries (frozen), thawed and drained

    Mix pretzels, 4 tablespoons sugar, and butter together; press into bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes; cool. In mixing bowl, fold Cool Whip into cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Spread over cooled crust. Dissolve Jello into boiling water. Add strawberries to Jello and pour over cream cheese. Chill and let set. Cut into squares to serve. Serves 12.
    ENJOY sweetie! D. Spurrier

  2. Oh, Allie, we could eat dinner together every night! :) I think its blasphemy to eat meatloaf without a side of potatoes. We might as well have watched fireworks from home. Gavin freaked! Live and learn. Love your new blog header!!

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  4. Rachael Ray's Florentine Meatballs are a fave around here. We usually just eat them with a salad. We're weird like that. We also eat strawberry shortcake as a meal. Anyway, here's the recipe:

  5. I love this pudding topped fruit salad recipe for big family get togethers. It's a hit with the adults and the kids:

  6. Rachel Ray's Meatball Subs!! I love these! They are delicious and perfect to grub on while watching a football game!
    A word about the 5 minute marinara: I make mine a few hours before meal-time and let the marinara simmer. It's fine in the 5 minute version, but letting it simmer for a few hours really brings out the flavors.

    Living out in the boonies, I can't always find the flat-leaf parsley, and the recipe is fine without it. I throw in a bit of dried parsley flakes.

    So, did I win?

  7. Here is my favorite food for July 4th or any day. It is one of my most requested recipes from my BFF. She can't get enough of it. Even if I don't win, you will be thrilled to have this in your recipe box. It is perfect for summer when vine tomatoes and fresh basil are plenty. This recipe is also featured in the "More Pugs in the Pantry" cookbook from Pugsavers Pug Rescue.

    Rebecca's Artichoke Salsa with Baked Pita Chips
    1 (6 1/4 oz) jar marininated artichoke hearts
    1 small can chopped olives
    2 T. red onion, chopped
    3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
    1 clove garlic, pressed
    2 T. fresh basil leaves, snipped
    salt and pepper, to taste
    4 pita bread rounds

    Drain marinade from artichokes, put aside. Put artichokes into a bowl after chopping. Add chopped olives and chopped onion. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Add pressed garlic. Add snipped basil. Mix gently. Stir in reserved marinade a little at a time, if mixture is not wet enough. Serve with baked pita chips.
    For baked pita chips, cut each bread round horizontally in half. Cut each half into 8 triangles. Arrange triangles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
    Recipe makes 2 cups of dip and 64 pita chips.

  8. Fast, easy, delish:'S%C2%AE-REDHOT%C2%AE-BUFFALO-CHICKEN-DIP-RE1242

    Or if you are looking for something more "main course" style:,1739,159184-233194,00.html

  9. I've started planning and precooking parts of meals a month at a time. It sounds like I'm nearly domesticated doesn't it? They're all planned out on my calendar and all ingredients are in the house. The up side is we don't eat the same thing for at least a month.

    Last month I made a massive batch of meatballs - I threw in some Italian seasoning with the recipe. We can have them with pasta, with gravy, in calzones, as sub sandwiches. What can I say? I live with 2 picky children.

    Another suggestion is to marinate your meats as you freeze them.

    Lisa (akc0104)