Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mango Shaved Ice--the most delicious dessert of the summer!

Happy Birthday to my brother!   Handsome Dan I hope you had a great birthday!  Okay his birthday was really a few days ago but I did make this on his birthday in honor of him.  I did develop this recipe just for him,  and I've never developed a recipe for anyone ever before. 

So what does his birthday have to do with 
the most delicious dessert of the summer?  

He and his cute wife are currently living in China.  A while ago they posted on their blog about their favorite dessert in China.  Here is what they had to say: 

It's a finely shaved ice pile with fresh, very fresh mangoes on top with what we think is sweetened condensed milk and mango syrup on top.
Here they are eating said shaved ice: 

Now after I read that description I decided that this was a food I needed to eat. And since I'm not traveling to China anytime soon I better make some myself. You can read more about their adventure in China on their blogs here and here.

 It turns out that Mango shaved ice is actually pretty simple to make.  And it is just as delicious as they said it was.  It is my new favorite summer desert. It only takes a few minutes to make, it is made with things I have on hand, and it is cold and refreshing. I think you will love it. Everyone I have served it to so far has.

Mango Shaved Ice--the most delicious dessert of the summer
Serves 4
Note:  If you don’t have your own Shaved Ice Machine you could try purchasing shaved ice from the local stand without any flavor and then hurrying home to add your toppings.

6 cups Shaved Ice 
1 cup Freeze Dried Mangoes
1 cup warm water
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1.      Rehydrate the mangoes in the warm water. This will take about 5 minutes.  You know they are hydrated when they are soft all the way through.  Drain
2.      Layer in a cup (or as they do in china on a plate) 1 ½ cup Shaved ice, 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, and ¼ cup mango.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy Food Storage Style

Have you tried the Thrive freeze dried meat yet?  I am in love with the sausage.  Okay well I always love sausage, but this sausage is precooked and shelf stable. So I can have sausage in anything in just a few minutes. No more running to the store to get sausage, no more splattered kitchen. I've been using the freeze dried sausage for a while now and we recently decided to give it the biscuit and gravy test.  It turned out wonderful!  I might never buy fresh sausage again.  

Start re-hydrating the sausage before you start the biscuits. It will be ready to make into gravy by the time the biscuits are in the oven. 
 The gravy recipe has a range of sausage in it. That is because my husband and I can't decide on how much sausage should be in it.  I think it is gravy with sausage, he thinks it is sausage with gravy.  So measure accordingly.

Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup cold buttermilk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps.

2. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.

3. Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Sausage Gravy
2 1/2 cups water  (save excess water in cup after re-hydration is complete)
1 1/2 cup to 2 1/2 cups sausage

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 cup reserved water

1. To rehydrate sausage place sausage and water in a large skillet (the pan you want to make the gravy in).  Heat over medium heat to rehydrate. About 5 minutes. 

2. Remove from heat and drain excess water into cup.

3. Cook sausage for a minute to dry it (water makes the gravy clump) add oil and cook for another minute.  Add flour, stir and heat over low heat until the oil and flour form a roux.

4. Add milk, reserved water, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Additional water may be necessary if gravy is over-thickening.  Remove from heat and serve over biscuits.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bigger is Better

Shelf Reliance is offers a variety of THRIVE foods in many shapes and sizes.  Each size fits a different need I (you) have.

Mylar Bags-- just the right size to stash in my purse or diaper bag. Perfect for on the go snacking.

Pantry Cans-- perfect for storing in the kitchen pantry.  Pantry cans are approximately the same size as a small coffee can and hold about 2 1/2 cups of product. 

#10 cans-- or gallon size. The #10 can contain plenty of servings of healthy THRIVE food that you can use daily to whip up a variety of tasty homemade meals.

But what about the things I really need a lot of?  Can I buy it in an even bigger size?  Yes (very soon).

I'm so excited about these bigger sizes.  For those of us with hungry boys living at home this is the perfect solution.

I don't have any specifics yet. But I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza Waffles

The idea is simple. Make pizza, but instead of cooking it in the oven cook it in the waffle iron.  We tried it and we love it. 
Tips for success:
1.  Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray before each pizza
2.  This is a messy project.  Some of the toppings and dough are going to leak out.  Place your waffle iron on a cookies sheet to contain the mess. 
3.  When rolling out the pizza dough you want it to be the same height as the waffle iron and twice as wide.  You are going to fold the dough over the top to create a pizza pocket. 
4.  Be sparing with the sauce. If you add too much sauce then it leaks through the pizza dough and burns on the waffle iron. 
For this recipe you will need Pizza crust, pizza sauce, and toppings.

Pizza Crust:

1 1/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

  1. Pour hot water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast to dissolve. Add sugar, salt,  oil. Stir to combine
  2. Gradually add flour.  Mix well. Knead in mixer for 5 minutes.  The dough should be firm not tacky and soft to the touch.  Let dough rest in bowl for about 5 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
I really like this recipe for pizza sauce. It is from and uses tomato powder.  The recipe is easy to make and tasty.  
photo credit:

To Assemble:

1.  Divide Pizza dough into 5 balls.  Roll each ball into an oval.  The dough need to be the same height as the surface of the waffle iron and twice as wide. 
2.  Place the pizza crust on the waffle iron. 
3. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings.  (We especially love the freeze dried sausage)
4.  Fold the extra dough over the top to form a pocket.  Close the waffle iron and cook until crust is set (this depends on your waffle iron mine took about 4 minutes)
5. Enjoy! We loved these dipped in extra sauce or in ranch.