Saturday, January 21, 2017

Green Onion Cakes - or - The way to my man's heart is through his stomach.

Green onion cakes. 

Just saying those 3 little words out loud,
will get my husband drooling.
And nagging for me to make them.
And good wife that I am, I get busy in the kitchen.


If I want some too, anyway.

This is actually a Chinese bread, (also known as Scallion Pancakes, or  Green Onion Pancakes) but my family loved them so much, that I used to make them all the time, even if I wasn't making a Chinese meal.  
They're great with soups or stews, as a side with salads, or simply on their own, with a dipping sauce.
In my opinion, they're the perfect accompaniment to just about any meal.

And, they were also my kids favorite go-to snack for after school.

~~~~ Green Onion Cakes ~~~~


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup boiling water

1 cup green onion, chopped finely

optional: a handful or two of diced cooked bacon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon softened butter to brush on dough, or you can  brush on bacon grease instead, if you're using bacon.

 vegetable oil for frying


 Combine salt and flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the hot water into the flour while stirring. It's kind of like making biscuits from scratch... the dough should start to pull away from the bowl, as you mix it.  (you can add additional flour or water as needed, until you have a semi-smooth "dough ball".

Then, on a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and silky... adding  a little flour as needed, to achieve a smooth consistency.   

I usually use a large piece wax paper or parchment paper for kneading the dough and rolling it out, because I hate the sticky mess that you have to scrape off the counter... and then it gets all under your finger nails and it messes up your good scratch-er sponge as well)  

I'm all for short-cuts.

Then, just let it rest in the bowl for a few minutes, covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, while you chop the green onions. And crumble the bacon, if you're using it. Crumbled bacon with the green onions is my favorite way of making these, but for a quick addition to dinner, I usually don't bother. 

Once you have your chopped green onions ready,  take about half of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface.  Brush on half of the butter or bacon grease, and then sprinkle half of the onions over the entire greased surface.   You can kind of "flatten the green onions in", using your rolling pin, if you want to.  (it keeps them from escaping, when you start to roll the dough up)

From the wide edge, roll the dough by hand, kind of "jelly-roll style", keeping it as tight as you can.  If you can't... well, no biggie.  This stuff is versatile. (I've even just pinched off large walnut sized pieces by hand, and then flattened them, but they're not as "purty and swirly looking" as the jelly-rolled ones

Once you have your roll... ermm... "rolled", pinch the open seam closed, and try and shape it so that it's fairly even.  Even if you have to squish it a bit.

We're going for taste here.... not perfection.

Cut the roll into about 8 equal pieces,  flatten them slightly, then one at a time, dip each piece lightly in a bit of the left-over flour, and then roll them into a circle...

Once you're done with the first 8 pieces, repeat with the other half of the dough and green onions.

That's it.

Now fry them.

 Heat the oil in a skillet to about medium, and then fry each cake one side at a time, until it's golden brown.

 I  usually fit 3 or 4 at a time in my big 12 inch cast iron skillet, because I like to push and turn them around a bit, before turning them over... for more even color. 

Once they're golden brown, drain them on paper towels.

That's it.

We had them with salad tonight, but the left-overs are good cold, for snacking, too! ( I know this for a fact, because I'm trying to type with greasy fingers right now. But shhh...)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Snow Cream

Well, we got our first really cold temps here in the North Georgia Mountains, and we were blessed with SNOW!

 Lots and lots of it!
(okay, 4-6 inches is a lot when you were only used to getting a minuscule dusting in Northern California)

So what does a presumably sane person do when they're freezing their cute little patootie off because of the approximately 8 degrees Fahrenheit temps?

Why, we make SNOW CREAM of course!

I've made it many, many times, but the dear Husband had never had it before, so I took myself outside, risking frostbite and the potential of having several of my digits freeze plumb off, 
 and I scooped soft powdery snow into a big old metal bowl until I couldn't stand the cold anymore.

(for some reason, I simply can not "do" gloves, and I only resort to shoes when absolutely necessary... which somewhat limits the amount of snow I am actually capable of scooping)

So, once I had the bowl filled, I stuck it in the freezer while I assembled the rest of the ingredients. Or, when it's a mere 8 degrees outside,  you can just leave it sitting outside until you're ready.

So here we go with the recipe:

About 6-8 cups of fresh snow
1+ teaspoon of Vanilla extract
sugar to taste (approximately 1/4 cup more or less)
1 can of evaporated milk

Now, with this recipe, nothing is exactly "exact" and you can play with it as much as you like. 
 Substitute maple syrup / chocolate syrup / or any other favorite flavorings for the vanilla extract if that's what you want to do.  
I like maple syrup, so that's what I went with.
And I like sweetened condensed milk,  so I went with that too.

Which means that the recipe I just shared with y'all above, 
is totally "tweak-able".

Snow Cream is meant to be FUN, so just go with what you have,

 Once everything is ready, just drizzle your "flavoring" over your snow, and stir it in slightly. (I use a big metal spoon as shown above)
Then start adding your condensed milk (or plain or evaporated milk), and keep stirring until everything is completely incorporated.

That's all there is to it. 

After about 5 minutes of stirring everything in, this is what you end up with:

The heaping bowl of snow only made about 2 good sized bowls, but when it's freezing outside, I really don't want to put very much "cold stuff" in me at a time!

Plus, Snow Cream is so ridiculously simple to make,
 that as long as you have access to clean fresh snow,  you can stir up more... any time you want!


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