Liz’s Righteous Cabbage

Liz’s Righteous Cabbage: The Mind Changer

Years ago (when I was a teen) my mother did some part-time work at a convent. She helped all of the nuns with cleaning, organizing and cooking. One day, Mom came home with a head of cabbage and told me that we were going to do it the way the nuns did it. She was so excited to show me how to do it and claimed that it was just so delicious. She gave me the directions and we served it as a side for dinner. It was a huge hit among all of the family members and became something that we did more often.

To this day, I have changed many minds about their feelings toward cabbage with this simple recipe. I get it; cabbage is just one of those things. Up until we discovered this recipe, cabbage was just another ingredient in caldo  and was definitely underutilized in our household.

As most of you know, I am not one to give out really top secret family recipes (i.e. tamales – Grandma would kill me), but I figured – this is a recipe that came from nuns and nuns are very sharing (or should be). I can’t argue that it is actually something that my family came up with; therefore, it is fair game.

Without a doubt in my mind, this is one of my easiest, healthiest, and tastiest recipes; just ask my friends. Other than all of the chopping involved, it requires very little effort. The original recipe (from the nuns) called for butter, but once I discovered that this recipe is just as tasty with olive oil, it became protocol to save the butter for other decadent little things.

I have finally decided to put this recipe up on its own, because so many of my friends continue to ask for it. Now I can refer them to the site. This recipe calls for some Dutch Oven Lovin’. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, just use a pot with a secure lid.

Cabbage Post-Its Recipe
IMG_0720This is what it looks like before it cooks down all the way.

cabbage

This is how it should look when it’s done. I don’t think I added tomatoes to this batch.

Sometimes, I like to do this cabbage with bell peppers, jalapenos, hatch chiles or poblanos; if you would like to do this too, just add the peppers in when you start the onions.

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Hand-Dipped Chocolate Strawberries

It’s that time of year again, when you walk through the grocery store and there is a station for fresh hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. They smell great, they look great, you can’t help yourself because you know they are going to be amazing.

However amazing they are, they can get quite expensive! Let’s face it, 4 might not be enough, especially if you have to share. The steps of making these hand-dipped, decadent goodies are very simple, much less expensive than purchasing some, and can be a treat to more than 2 people.

These are great for parties or work well as gifts for family and friends. I also like to do these around Mother’s Day, as Moms are usually suckers for chocolate and strawberries. The upside of knowing how to do this is that you can have them year-round and not just for Valentine’s Day or other special occasions.

pretzels and strawberries

As pictured, you can do this same thing with pretzels. I prefer to use honey wheat pretzels.

Chocolate Strawberries

A similar version of this was originally posted by Sous Me Alchemy on 2/19/2012.

Fruit Bouquets and Where the Hell Has DL been?

Sorry to say it, but I do not regret the hiatus that I have taken from blogging. My life has been filled with a beautiful mess. My boyfriend, Kyle, and I rescued a dog from a terrible living condition in November, just before Thanksgiving. On December 10th, she popped out puppies, six to be exact. It was very crazy and the timing was not so convenient, since we left for NYC on the 14th.

Needless to say, with surprise puppies, a trip to New York, and starting a new (and awesome) job, life has kept me insanely busy. Our time has been completely consumed with many great life experiences, but has left us wondering where all the time has gone. Don’t get me wrong, I still cook on daily basis, however, there has just been no room for blogging. Now that we have found homes for all of the puppies, we are going to have a little bit of extra time on our hands.

Our trip to New York was pretty awesome. We were hosted around by the best, we saw so many cool things, we ate a lot of good food, and the competition went pretty well too. We didn’t actually place, but Dutch Lovin’ was one of the Food Republic’s Top 5 Picks. Other articles with coverage from the competition can be found herehere, and here. We made a lot of good contacts and had a lot of positive feedback on our dish. All in all, it was great fun and a huge success.

In other news, The Food Experiments are making their way back to Austin and the theme this year is smoke. As Texans, we are all very thrilled. I know I am at least! Unfortunately, I will be doing this competition without Kyle, but his replacement is going to do great. Kyle decided that he didn’t want to do it this year, as his birthday is March 12th and always very close to the competition. Kyle makes a good point, “I don’t think I should have to work so hard before my birthday.”

My new partner this year will be Pat, a very good friend of mine. Pat and I met years ago when we worked at Which Wich? together. Hands down, he was one of the hardest workers I have ever met. When I got a job at the Wine Cellar as a gourmet chef, I eventually got Pat a job there too. We were both professionally trained by Master Chef John Lopez. I have no doubt that he and I are going to do really well. We are looking forward to great food and a lot of fun. The experimenting has already begun and the creative juices are definitely flowing.

Now that we are semi-caught up, I made this pretty cool fruit bouquet for my boss’ birthday yesterday. I thought I would share it with you. I find that it is very easy to do and much less expensive than an edible arrangement. Plus, it’s more meaningful when you put the work in yourself.

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I built them starting at the bottom and in this order:

1. 5 Blueberries

2. 1 Kiwi Half Moon

3. 1 Cantaloupe Triangle

4. 1 Pineapple Chunk

5. 1 Strawberry, Cut Like a Rose

Valentine’s Day is just 2 days away, there is still time to make your own chocolate covered strawberries. I will be posting a recipe for that later today from the old website…stay tuned.

Tortilla de España (Spanish Omelette)

Anyone that knows me pretty well can tell you that I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal to make, especially on the weekends. A little over a week ago, I had a close friend, Michelle, come over for brunch. I decided that I would make us a Tortilla de España, or as we would call it, a Spanish Omelette.

Michelle and I were introduced to this dish while in Spain for our study abroad back in the summer of 2006. Once I learned the technique from reading a Spanish recipe book, I was sold on making many forms of it.

Traditionally, this is a dish made with onion, potatoes, and eggs. The technique is very similar to a frittata, but the Spanish Omelette is finished in the pan, where as the frittata is usually finished off in the oven.

When I first heard “tortilla” in Spain, as a Texan, I immediately thought of a flour or corn tortilla. I quickly learned that the tortilla was pretty much the signature dish of the country and was nothing like tortillas in Texas. It was one of the many culture differences that intrigued me. We often ate a pie-like slice of Tortilla de España at least once a day as part of the meal. In all honesty, I don’t think we got tired of it either.

When we left Spain, I told Michelle that I would learn how to do it, and I did. Now, I like to play with it and often times put my own spin on it. This version is very similar to the traditional recipe, but I like to add roasted garlic to my potatoes. Also, I like to garnish it with cheese, tomatoes and avocados.

If you have ever made a frittata, I invite you to get ballsy and make a Spanish Omelette. The risk of not flipping your omelette over onto a plate correctly can result in a pretty good mess and having to start all over again. I was scared the first time I did it, but once you do it a couple of times, the fear will go away.

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Spanish Omelette Recipe

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Pumpkin Empanadas

This recipe is strictly a baking empanada. There are other recipes for fried empanadas and they usually come filled with meat, cheese or veggies. Kyle and I have done fried empanadas before and I am sure we will post a recipe for those sometime in the near future.

The great thing about empanadas is that there are so many varieties. I have had them before with different kinds of filling, including: sweet potatoes, pineapple, cherries and apples. However, I have only made the kind that I prefer the most and those are pumpkin empanadas. You can pretty much fill your empanadas with any same filling that you do for pie.

I had someone just tell me the other day that she tried making empanadas and her dough didn’t come out the way she anticipated. I assure you, if you use this dough recipe and follow the directions, your empanadas will come out great. Remember to egg wash them so they will come out golden brown. You may not be able to do these with fresh pumpkin until next year, but you can certainly try them with any other kind of filling.

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Empanadas Recipe

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Pumpkin Cake

As promised, here is another one of the many goodies that I did for pumpkin season. I have done a pumpkin bread before and it came out a little too dense for my liking. I decided to do a cake because I like how moist, airy and fluffy it is compared to bread.

Also, this is the recipe that I used for the pumpkin Halloween Cake Balls. For those, you can just follow the same directions as the Eyeball Cake Balls. I decorated the pumpkins with orange-colored white bark and green-colored white bark for the stems. Make sure that you add the food dye to the bark before you melt it down though.

This pumpkin cake is going to become a tradition for me during pumpkin season now. These cakes were made with the Fairytale pumpkin. I wish I had some right now; they were so delicious.

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Pumpkin Cake

Don’t forget that you can click on the image to enlarge it.

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Pumpkin Basics

So, I do realize that it has been (almost) a month since I have last posted. As you can imagine, I have been super busy. To make up for lost time, I am giving myself until next Friday to catch you up on several pumpkin goodies that I have been making. I hope this is a deadline that I can meet without excuses!

Today, I will only feature the seeds. Over the course of the week, I will be posting my pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake and pumpkin empanadas. I would like to post the pumpkin cheesecake, but I never took photos of it.

As an avid fan and believer of pumpkins, I cooked a total of six this season; three were Fairytale pumpkins, one was a Cinderella pumpkin, and the other two were pie pumpkins. This year, I realized that the Fairytale pumpkin is my absolute favorite.

If you happen to be like me and have a stash of cooked pumpkin stored in the freezer, then try some of these recipes. If you happen to still be a canned pumpkin user, then I hope these recipes will change your cooking method for the better. Cooking your own pumpkin is super simple and well worth the (small amount of) extra work.

Boiling, steaming, roasting and baking are all effective and common methods of cooking pumpkins. Choosing your method is entirely up to you. I usually boil my pumpkins and it’s quite easy to do.

I attempted to do pumpkin seeds about four times this season and the following recipe was by far the best batch.

Halloween Cake Balls

Happy Halloween! I made these in honor of Halloween and they came out pretty tasty. The coolest thing that I like about cake balls is that you can change the type of cake, frosting, and coatings for different combinations. These can be made for all sorts of occasions/holidays. Cake balls are really easy to make, but the eyeballs were a little time consuming because of the decorating involved. 

[Click on the recipe to enlarge it.]

I also did little pumpkins with a homemade pumpkin cake (recipe coming soon). These were a whole lot more complicated because the cake was made from scratch and the coating required food coloring. I learned the hard way that you cannot add the dye to the coating after it is melted. You must add liquids (i.e. liqueur, food dye, vanilla extract, etc.) to the bark before it starts to melt down. Otherwise, the chocolate will break and become clumpy. The second time was the charm on these and it was well worth it.

Once again, Happy Halloween! I hope these have inspired you to do some for your next party.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Hello! I do apologize for being so out of touch this past month. Working a new job and keeping up with life has kept me very busy!

The Cocktails and Mocktails Recipe Challenge was a lot of fun and a great success. Dutch Lovin’ came in a very close second place and could not have done it with out your help. Major thanks to all of my (very big) family and friends for all of your support. We are thrilled to have been apart of our first ever (and hopefully not the last) online recipe challenge for Marx Foods.

In other news, Kyle and I have booked our trip to New York for The Food Experiments‘ National Championship, sponsored by  the Brooklyn Brewery. We are very excited, as this will be our first time to ever go to New York. The competition will be on December 16th. Please, tell all of your friends that are in the New York area, because we are going to be cooking up something extra special. The experimenting will commence this weekend.

As for the cookies, I made these a couple of weeks ago as a gift for a friend at work. They were super delicious and honestly, the most decadent oatmeal cookies that I have ever made. Don’t let the picture fool you; those are definitely dried blueberries. Someone did mention to me that there were a lot of ingredients and I concur. However, every ingredient is worth the flavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Happy baking!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies[Please click on the image to enlarge the recipe.]

Avocado Pudding

This was my first time making avocado pudding and I was definitely impressed. Kyle said that he has had an avocado pudding before, but he said mine was better. So glad that his palette was rocked, sometimes he is the hardest to please. Regardless, this is a nice treat and kids will love it too!

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