Monday, February 28, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms & Giveaway

I started making stuffed mushrooms after my cousin brought them to a family get-together.

But she doesn't remember making them.

That happens sometimes, doesn't it?


Light the corner of my mind....

(Can't help it...I'm sentimental!)

Reminds me of my childhood and my cousins at Bachan's house.

I have such wonderful memories of Bachan's house. We used to gather there at least twice a month. Sometimes it was every weekend. I still feel close to my cousins even though we don't see one another as often as I'd like.

And my cousins still make the best food!

My cousin doesn't remember making stuffed mushrooms.

But her sister remembers her making them.

And so does her husband.

She made them with bacon inside the filling, I'm making them these days with the bacon on the outside.


1 large package of mushrooms



Cream cheese




1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Clean the mushrooms by wiping off any visible dirt with a clean kitchen towel.

Snap the stems off the mushrooms and set them aside.

Place the caps on a baking sheet.

There's a monster one there on the left!

Dice the onions and garlic. 

If there are some people that aren't crazy about onions, saute the onions in a little olive oil until they're soft.

Otherwise, add them raw to the mixture, they'll cook in the oven.

Dice the waterchestnuts.

And the mushroom stems.

Cook the spinach until it is barely done.

I press a bowl into the colander to squeeze out as much water as I can.

Squeeze any remaining water out of the spinach and then chop.

Chop the spinach into small pieces--first horizontally and then vertically.

This is about four slices of bacon, diced.

I like the maple bacon.

I used to use a pound of bacon for a tray of mushrooms, adding it into the stuffing mixture, but since I became a vegetarian, I'll make a few mushrooms with bacon for my omnivores.

Cook the bacon to how you like it.

Fatty or crispy.

Drain on paper towels.

When I first became a vegetarian, it took a couple of weeks before I stopped wanting meat.

And then a few months later, I had a dream that I ate bacon.

I had that dream twice!

Crush some breadcrumbs.

Here, it's Mrs. Cubbison's Seasoned Dressing. It's what my mother always used, it's comfort food.

Add 1 cup to the mixture.

Soften a block of cream cheese in the microwave and add it to the mixture. That's going to bind everything together.

Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

I saved a little to sprinkle on the top of each mushroom.

Add a generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper, salt & maybe some chili flakes.

Mix well.

Now you're ready to stuff the mushroom caps.

Spoon a scoopful of mixture into the caps.

Smooth and press the mixture, piling it a little high onto the mushroom cap.

About like that.

Tuck that wayward piece of spinach to tidy it up.

For your omnivores, roll the top in the bacon bits.

Press them into the cream cheese a little, so they'll stick.

I only made a few with bacon.

Sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes.

When the mushroom caps become a little wilted, they're done.

There will be a little liquid on the bottom of the baking sheet, so use one with a rim so it won't dirty your oven.

That's it, you're done!

You can fill them with anything you like, anything that strikes your fancy.

The bacon looks good.

But I didn't eat any!

I wonder if I'll dream about it tonight...

Last week, I got a call one evening from Sue.

"I'm at Nijiya. Walk me through finding what I need for Egg Rolls!"

I wonder if I'll get any calls for these.


My cousin Channie was the Camp Director of all us cousins.

That's me with my head turned.

I was paying attention.

My brothers were not.

Sometimes Channie would have crafts for us to do. Our craft room was Uncle Mas's bedroom, way in the back of the house, away from the adults.

Chan would bring all the materials and give patient instruction.

Here's Tim with his totem pole.

This is my favorite picture of all us in front of Bachan's house.

(That's me in the pink on the left.)

Uncle Art must be taking the picture, and I don't know where my cousin Brian is, but he and Uncle Mas are also missing.

Whenever I go by the house on California Avenue, I think of my grandmother working in the yard and my grandfather sitting by the window in the kitchen, with the little hole in the screen so he could pay the Helms man for bread.

I think of Sunday dinners with my cousins.

I think of my cousins Tim and Brian waving "bye" to Lassie on my grandmother's new color TV set, then we'd all go outside running around playing "Last Tag" until we would be exhausted and our cars would be pulling out the driveway.

I was going to start singing the rest of The Way We Were (because it got me reminiscing about Bachan's house), but I almost forgot!

Today we're having our first GIVEAWAY!

Those that know me also know that I am a crafter.

In the spirit of The Pioneer Woman, and in the spirit of my grandmother--who could have made these pot-holders, I'm giving away six sets of pot-holders that I made myself.

All you have to do is answer this question in the Comments section below with a sentence or two, or simply give us a shout out...

What is your fondest childhood memory that has to do with food?

Winners will be chosen at random by my son on Wednesday.

'Just a little 'thank you' for all the encouragement since I'm new to blogging.

No printable recipe for this one yet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oven Baked Pork Ribs

The Name Game.

These ribs frequently change their name.

First they were Chan's Ribs.

Then they became Karolyn's Ribs, then Sue's Ribs, then Dani Tucker's Ribs.

Maybe you'll want to make them and they'll become yours!

Want to see them a little closer?

How's that?

Start out with a package of Pork Loin Backribs.

I got these at Costco and they would easily feed 8 people.

Maybe more.

There's three racks of ribs in a package.

Start by cutting the ribs apart.

Then you're going to put them in a large pot.

Cover with water and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Are you thinking--

You're going to wash away all the flavor?

That's what I thought at first, too.

I love watching the cooking shows were they show the ribs being cooked in a big smoker with a huge wood pile next to it and different kinds of wood chips soaked in beer.

I'm going to have to get Bryce to post his ribs recipe.

Make these ribs on the days you can't cook all day next to your smoker.

While the ribs are simmering, you're going to make the sauce.


1 cup shoyu 
(that's soy sauce for the uninitiated)

1 cup sugar

1 cup barbecue sauce

pinch garlic powder

That looks like about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.

Boil the sauce ingredients until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Skim the foam off the ribs and discard.

After 45 minutes, remove the ribs from pot and put them in a large roasting pan and pour the barbecue sauce mix into the roaster.

I use my turkey roasting pan.

As you're putting the ribs in the pan, coat them with the sauce.

And line them up.

After they're all lined up, use a turkey baster to baste the ribs. 

Tilt the pan in one direction so all the sauce runs to that side. It makes it easier to fill the baster.

Give them a good baste.

Don't worry, they'll get there.

Put them in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven.

Cook them for 30 minutes, basting again every ten minutes.

First 10 minutes.

They're starting to get there...

Give them their first baste.

This is after the second baste.

Baste them one more time.

And they're done!

We also had a side of macaroni & cheese, some crisp baby green beans and a garden salad.

And, of course, rice.

Rick & Jessica came over for dinner tonight.

Jessica said the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and...

(Wait for it...)

The best ribs she's ever had.

 Try them!

You have my permission to change the name when you give out the recipe.

(Insert your name here)'s Ribs

The Naaame Game.


No printable recipe for this one yet.