Monthly Archives: November 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Baking Frenzy

We’re going to visit family for the holidays. My older son, the buttermilk pie lover, thinks it can’t be Thanksgiving if he doesn’t get buttermilk pie. The recipe makes two, so there are two pies in the freezer waiting to be packed. The younger son’s girlfriend requested pecan pie, which also happens to be my favorite, so I baked a pecan pie yesterday. I buy ready-made pie crusts, because –well, you know why. And there are 2 pie crusts in each package. I made 3 pies. I had a pie crust left over. So I made another pie. The fudge pie is baking as I type.

Also, since the buttermilk pie recipe didn’t use up all the buttermilk I bought, I baked a recipe of my no-flour cornbread so we could have some for dressing, or whatever. (We may need to take a separate pan of gluten-free dressing for those who can’t eat white bread.) My cornbread recipe calls for buttermilk. I didn’t have quite enough, so I also soured a cup of regular milk to go in it.

Let’s see–I had all these pies, and I was saving them to eat at Thanksgiving, or while we were visiting relatives, but I wanted something sweet, so I mixed up a little package mix of chocolate chip cookies. (I took a few to the Brit at the paper, who has something of a sweet tooth.) And then, I really needed to make some dessert for the fella, since he can’t eat the pie crusts. (He can eat the fudge & pecan pies, and if I’d thought to sub cornstarch for flour in the buttermilk, he could eat those. But he can’t eat the crust–and I know I can sub crumb crusts–but they’re not as good with these really sweet pies…) So I made gluten-free brownies from a mix last night. They look and smell pretty good.

And then–Mama gave me her bread machine. It was just taking up room in their laundry room. She hasn’t used it in two years (maybe more), and I know she won’t think about using it again. So I said thankyouverymuch, and brought it home with me. And it is now baking a loaf of gluten-free bread.

When I plugged it in, all the lights started blinking at once. So I started punching buttons. After a while, those lights stopped blinking, and another set of lights came on. I kept punching buttons. I hit stop, start, menu, timer–sometimes I got a beep, sometimes I didn’t. Eventually, I hit some right button, because the timer lit up, and the lights stopped blinking, and only a few lit up, and when I punched a button, it didn’t beep at me, and something happened when I hit the button, like the program changed. I think I have all the settings right. I punched the Start button, and it is actually working. The dough got all stirred up. I ought to have a loaf of GF bread in another couple of hours. Cool!

The fella doesn’t eat many sandwiches, but he might like to, if he had bread. He does love French toast for breakfast, on the mornings he eats breakfast. We’ll take it with us to his folks’ because he eats breakfast during the holidays. I’m hoping this works.

The thing is–I really do enjoy baking good things to eat for my family during the holidays. I don’t bake much the rest of the time, because my family is nearing an empty nest, and the boy still living at home is the one who would have Halloween candy left over at Easter. Not much for sweets. So when I fix special things for him, they tend to be pot roast with herbs or shrimp enchiladas.

(Oh–and I have a blog post at “My Book, The Movie” about who I would/did cast as the main characters in New Blood. Go read it. It’s fun. 😉 )

And since I’m in a baking, sharing mood, and everybody on the internet is sharing recipes, it seems like, I’m going to share my easy-peasy not-from-scratch shrimp enchilada recipe, and the famous buttermilk pie recipe (which came from a Southern Living cookbook.)

Easy-peasy shrimp enchiladas

1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can green chili enchilada sauce
8 oz. grated cheese
12-14 corn tortillas

Mix the cooked shrimp with the Alfredo sauce and chopped green chilis. Spoon sauce with 2 to 4 shrimps in each tortilla, add cheese, and roll up enchilada style in a 13×9 baking pan. When all the tortillas are used/you’re out of space in your pan, pour any remaining Alfredo sauce over the top. Pour the can of green chili enchilada sauce over it and top with any remaining cheese. (If that doesn’t look like enough cheese, add more!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Till the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

You can use shrimp frozen raw in a bag (you have to cook it & usually peel it), leftover shrimp from those rings they sell in the grocery store, or leftovers from a shrimp boil. It’s all good. (But the fresh leftovers are the best, of course.) I like the Alfredo sauce with cheese, but it’s all good. We eat corn tortillas because of gluten issues, but if you really want, you can use flour. (I think corn are better.) I did not specify a type of cheese, because I have used Monterrey Jack cheese, mild Cheddar cheese, and a mix of both. You could probably even use Mozzarella, if you really wanted to. It’s all good. I just used what I had. (Jack cheese with peppers would be good, if you want to spice it up more. This is pretty mild.) This is easy to fix, and you can use whatever you have on hand…

If they don’t have green enchilada sauce in the stores where you live–I am so sorry you have to live in a place that doesn’t know what good eating is, and you can probably find some in a specialty store. I buy the store brand here… Can y’all even get green chilis at all? Not jalapenos. Hatch or New Mexico green chilis. They’re not as hot as jalapenos but have lots of flavor.

Okay. Now for

Mary’s Buttermilk Pie
which is from The Southern Heritage Cookbook series in the Pies and Pastry book c 1984 by Oxmoor House. I keep a bookmark on the page.

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour (can sub 3 Tbsp cornstarch to make it GF)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 unbaked 9-inch pastry shells (GF for those who need it)

Combine butter, sugar, eggs, flour/cornstarch, buttermilk and water in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well.
Pour filling evenly into pastry shells. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pies before slicing. Yields two 9-inch pies.

(I usually have to bake them closer to 60 min. to get them done, but that may just be my oven.)

Remember, this makes TWO pies.

It’s Been a While

I’ve been out of town. I blogged about it here.

I guess that’s why it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since I posted a blog. Because I did. Just not here. Oops. Sorry, y’all.

And when I got home from coping with all of that, I had medical stuff, plus Ian at the newspaper wanted me to work extra last week, so I did. Then I had a thing Saturday, and… well, it was just really, really busy.

So, anyway–I did have some pretty good news today, after weeks of running like a crazy person. Heart’s Blood, the book that’s coming out right before the new year, was given 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Reviews and named a Top Pick! in Science Fiction & Fantasy.

I’m not sure why it wasn’t in the Paranormal Romance section, since it’s published by Tor Paranormal Romance, but there were only two Top Picks in SF/F. Less competition. 😉 Anyway, I still don’t know what the review actually SAYS, but it’s a Top Pick, and I’m happy.

Today is the boy’s birthday. My baby is getting old. He’s 23. (He should graduate next spring? A nasty chemistry course has popped up that he may have to take in summer…) Anyway, we had a card, and a nice dinner (pot roast with herb gravy & Real mashed potatoes with lots of butter), and then a pineapple cheesecake. I’d never made it before, but it was GOOD. Yum. And we watched Star Trek on DVD.

Even in this new version–I like Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott the best. Karl Urban and Simon Pegg. Rowr.

Seems like there was something else cool I could tell you–Oh! I got the excerpt for Heart’s Blood up on my website. Go check it out. :)

Now I think I am going to go dissolve in my bed.

Something to Talk About

That’s what I need. A subject for my blog. The weekend was far busier than I wanted it to be. I really wanted a lazy weekend, but the fella wanted to Do Stuff. We went to the Wings Over Houston air show and saw the Blue Angels we missed in San Francisco. We hurried home to be there for trick-or-treaters, and got exactly four kids, in two families–two kids each. Then we went over to friends for drinks and snackies. It was fun, but I was ExHausTed.

The week has flown by. I feel like I’ve been working all week, but I’ve only gone in two days. I have to go to the parents’ house tomorrow to go with Mom through some doctor stuff, and won’t be home again till Monday. Then I have doctor stuff of my own. Ugh. All of which makes the week feel VERY short. Because I haven’t Done Anything. At least I don’t feel like I have.

The boy introduced me to an online game. (Bad boy!) It does allow for lengthy breaks in which to do one’s business.

Also, I was smacked in the head with a new story idea, and since I need to send the chapters I’m revising out for a read, I think I’m going to take part of November to do a me-style NaNoWriMo (I don’t sign up, don’t log in words, etc. because I don’t do them on a computer) and see what I can do with this. Especially since I’m going to be out of pocket for 5 days. I woke up this a.m. with scenes and dialogue floating through my head, so I really think I’m going to have to. For a little while at least. Then maybe it will leave me along. Maybe I can write it episodically.

So. This is a very short post, because I’m having a short week. Or maybe it’s a long one. I don’t know. I feel rather brain dead. Next week doesn’t look to be much better. The Brit at the paper wants me to work 3 days to make up for the other person being out half a day–but I have this doctor stuff, and I’m not sure I’m going to feel like it. We will see. I may only want to come in ONE day. Ah well. I’ll hang in. Y’all hang too.