Saturday, February 1, 2014

Seahawks Super Bowl Spirit.

From the armpit of 49ers country, the Anderson family is preparing for a Seahawks win in Super Bowl XLVIII tomorrow. We have Seahawks plates, Seahawks napkins, blue and green cupcakes, blue and green skittles, all the yummy tailgatin' fixins and this delicious little cocktail.

Budweiser may have an awesome happy-tear-inducing commercial this year, but it's worth the extra time to have a drink option besides beer.

This fab spirit comes to you out of our kitchen, but is based on a Coastal Living recipe passed on to me by my Mom.

1/3 part blue Curaçao
1/3 part silver or white rum
1/3 part chilled soda water
Dash of lemon juice
Mint for garnish

Combine rum and Curaçao in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Cover and shake vigorously.

Pour into glass.

Add soda water and lemon juice.

Garnish with mint and cute straw (I got mine here.)

Chanel the Spirit of 12 and cheer as loud as you can for the Seahawks!

(Without spilling your drink, of course.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gallo Pinto de Nicaragua

While the midwest and Northeast endure their second "polar vortex" of the season, we folks in NorCal are enjoying pleasant sunshine with high temps in the mid 60's (sorry to brag). Even though it is still technically winter, I am so over the rich baked dishes that come with the holidays. Today I have a delicious recipe that will have you dreaming of Spring Break "south-of-the-border."

This dish comes from my cousin Tara Leung. She truly is a world-traveler with roots in Northern Washington and a life (with hubby and twin toddlers in tow) in Dhaka, Bangladesh (via Spokane, Seattle, Mexico & Boston). She has also traveled throughout Central America including Nicaragua, where she discovered this common cultural fare.

Tara also loves to lead worship and church and photograph her adorable twin boys throughout their many adventures. The rest of the family is blessed to check out all her great photos online since a trip to Bangladesh is, you know, not your average journey.

Gallo Pinto is essentially just rice and beans. Add a few more ingredients and you have an inexpensive, tasty weeknight dinner. For a complete Nicaraguan meal, serve with a side of boiled eggs, a hunk of cheese and a sliced avocado. ¡Buenísimo!

3 cups cooked white rice
3 cups cooked red beans
1 medium onion (diced)
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.

Saute onion until golden brown (8-10 minutes).

Add rice and beans. Stir and heat through.

For best flavor, crush the beans with a wooden spoon as you stir, working them into the rice.

Give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BBQ Baked Beans

What is a bar-b-que without great baked beans? This recipe is "semi-homemade" as my mother's favorite Food Network star Sandra Lee would say; fill up your crock pot around noon and it will be ready in time for dinner!
From my wedding last summer.
My dad's cousin Danielle Doolittle is the one to thank for this recipe. Let it be known that she is a born-and-bred Washingtonian, but these beans combined with her love of homemade enchiladas would suggest otherwise. I guess you don't have to be from Texas to make excellent BBQ and Mexican food! Dani collected this recipe from family friends in Spokane, but the corn is totally her addition and adds some nice color and texture. Before this gal was married, she used to babysit me and my brother when my parents went on long trips. Now that I'm [mostly] a grown-up, I'm so glad we can be friends!

2 28oz cans of Bushes Honey Baked Beans
3/4 cup of Hunt's Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
1 Medium onion
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 lb bacon
2 tsp. Hellman's Dijonnaise Creamy Mustard
1 small can mexi-corn

*note: you can substitute any other brands you might have on hand. We used Sweet Baby's Rays BBQ sauce and generic mustard*

Cut bacon into strips and fry until crispy

Finely dice onion

Mix all items in slow cooker.

Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.

Serves 6+

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

If you're not a big fan of pineapple, this cake is sure to change your mind! This comes from my Great Aunt Jeanette Gullikson--my mom's mom's sister. Christmas Eve at her house is always full of food and crazy games and tons of cousins. Jeanette was born in Bonneville, WA the same year the Bonneville Dam was built. She said the town where it stood in that day no longer exists; at some point they raised the dam to where the city would be underwater, which meant everyone in the city had to move to higher ground! Her dad worked on the dam and once it was finished, he moved on to his next bridge-building project. Their family moved all around the state of Washington, following his work. Eventually they ended out on the Olympic Peninsula where Jeanette  graduated from Clallam Bay. She remembers her mom giving her this recipe when she married her husband Ralph--to this day it's his favorite! Uncle Ralph & Aunt Jeanette have a really cool hobby/job: beautiful ceramics! You can see some of their work here. When it comes to lace draping, Aunt Jeanette is the best in the biz!

2 Tbl butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Pineapple slices (fresh or canned are both fine)
16-20 oz of crushed pineapple chunks
Maraschino cherries
1 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup pineapple syrup (the juice from your pineapple chunks!)
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 egg

Melt butter in your pan.

Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter. Don't worry about making it look perfect; the yumminess will spread out during baking.

Place pineapple rings over the brown sugar. You may have to cut a few to make sure the pan is well-covered.

Place cherries inside and between the rings. I'm a big fan of cherries, but feel free to add as many as you see fit!

Sift dry ingredients together.

Add shortening, egg, lemon peel, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice & mix well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Impress-your-inlaws Halibut!

Knock that family dinner out of the park with this super easy baked halibut! It's perfect for having company over and you'll definitely be asked for the "secret recipe." Don't tell them how simple it is!
This recipe comes from my paternal grandmother Jean Christopherson (from whom I get my middle name!). Here's what she had to say about her cooking and baking experience:
Me and Grandma, circa 1990

Born in Colville, WA, but raised in Seattle, Jean first learned how to cook in her Home Economics classes in the Highline School District. Her favorite dish they learned to create was Cabbage Au Gratin. She liked watching her mom in the kitchen as well, but didn't participate much. This recipe was from her friend from church Shirley, who made her living as a professional cook! Beyond the kitchen, my grandma loves to garden (even pulling weeds is enjoyable, she says), crochet and take walks with her husband. Back in the day she loved to deer hunt in the mountains of Eastern Oregon. She said that more than the actual hunting, she loved being in the woods, smelling the pine and admiring God's creation around her. Following up a long day in the woods with a cup of cocoa around the campfire was a must. We definitely think alike on that aspect!

Halibut filets (for as many as you're cooking for)
1 white or yellow onion
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
2 cups of chicken broth
Italian seasoning & lemon wedges for garnish

Slice onions and place in bottom a glass or ceramic baking dish.

Pour chicken broth about 1/2 inch deep over onions.

Lay halibut filets over onions.

Slather the mayonnaise on top of the fillets.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Remove foil from baking dish, turn your oven on broil, and cook another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the fish, to see that it doesn't burn, but turns a nice golden brown color.

Sprinkle Italian seasonings and lemon juice on top. We also broiled some asparagus with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Get Your Salsa On.

Just after we got married last summer, the hubby's brother got married to a super awesome gal named Maddie. Neither of us have biological sisters, so we were thrilled to finally be sisters-in-law! We like to leave out the "in-law" part though. I'm also very glad to add her family to my extended family. Her momma is Cuban and has added some wonderful Latin flavor to my recipe book. When I talked to Maritza about her salsa recipe she laughed and told me that salsa isn't actually Cuban, it's Mexican! She was born in Cuba, but moved at an early age with her family to California and later Arizona. Her father was a minister (which helped in the immigration process from a Communist country!) and his church population in Arizona was predominantly Mexican--hence the salsa!
Maritza learned to cook from her mom who was always busy whipping up a delicious meal for family and friends from church. These days she and her husband Ron are very involved in their church from singing with the little kiddos to hosting a small group in their home for high school students.

Handful of cilantro
1 white onion
16 oz can of whole canned tomatoes with basil and oregano (or other yummy spices)
16 oz can of whole canned tomatoes (plain)
Small jar of sliced jalapeños
1 tsp of salt


This recipe is very follow-your-gut. The measurements aren't super specific, so feel free to add or subtract things you do or do not like.

Remove cilantro leaves from stems.

Cut onion into large chunks.

Pulse onion, cilantro and jalapeños in food processor or blender until you have small, bite-sized pieces. The amount of jalapeños you use depends on your wuss-level. I am a major spice wuss and we added about 15 slices. If you're super macho, feel free to add the entire jar.

Scrape mixture into medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

Pulse tomatoes two or three times in food processor or blender. The tomatoes will break up very easily, but you don't want to make soup.

Add tomatoes to your mixing bowl, add salt to taste and mix all together.

Enjoy with chips and your beverage of choice!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bomb.com Banana Bread

Of course my first recipe has to be from my lovely mother! She has been making this recipe all my life, and while I do not eat it anymore (I've developed some weird banana intolerance like my dad) I love making it for my husband and friends. From what I hear, it's pretty bomb.com. Completely fool proof too! The other day I dived into the recipe without checking to see that I had all the ingredients. Turns out I didn't have enough white sugar (so I substituted some brown sugar) or enough eggs (so just added more bananas!). According to the Hubs, it still tasted great! Add chopped nuts or chocolate chips for an extra special treat!

Me and Mom! Photo Credit
2 Cups All purpose flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 & 1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Shortening
3/4 Sugar
2 Eggs
6 Tbl buttermilk (or regular milk is fine too)
1 Cup Bananas (ish...just put a bunch in there)

Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy

Mix together dry ingredients and add in batches. In between batches, add milk and eggs.

Lastly, dump in those bananas (I find they're best when they've been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks and the peels are totally black. Just make sure you let them thaw!)

Grease a bread pan and fill with your concoction.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Even if you insert a knife and it comes out gooey, it's probably done. Those are just the gooped up bananas. If the top of the bread is golden, so are you.

Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from pan and let cool another ten minutes on the rack.

Husband's favorite way to enjoy: cut off a big slab and spread some butter on it. Yum-o!