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  1. Friday, October 9

    Cooking with Evaporated Milk

    I have two yummy recipes to share with you today! One involves chocolate, the other cheese. Hey, I never said they were healthy recipes. Yummy, people, yummy. Carnation recently sent me a $50 gift card for groceries and some free Evaporated Milk to try in a few recipes. The “mission” was to use evaporated milk in one of my own recipes that calls for milk, and to try out a recipe of theirs. I accepted the mission and proceeded to choose the least healthiest recipes possible…and enjoyed every second of it. (Ironic since one of Carnation’s selling points is that there is more nutritional value per ounce in evaporated milk versus regular milk. So much for that!)

    fudge1 web

    First, I tried Carnation’s recipe for Fudge (recipe below). I’ve gotta say, it’s good. And it was EASY. I followed the recipe verbatim…but next time I make it, I’m going to use a higher quality chocolate. Regardless, it was a nice, simple recipe and tasted good.

    twice baked potato web

    For my own recipe, I used evaporated milk in Twice Baked Potatoes (recipe below). The mashed potato filling was mighty fine…Cate couldn’t keep her fingers out of the bowl. And I know that cheese has nothing to do with evaporated milk…but that part was pretty darn good too.

    So, there you have it! Mission complete. In case you are wondering what evaporated milk is, it is fresh milk that has been carefully cooked to remove half the water content, upping the protein and calcium content per serving, and creating a creamier texture. Click here if you want to read more about it.

    And now, the recipes!

    Carnation Famous Fudge
    Cuisine: Dessert
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ⅔ cup (5-oz can) evaporated milk
    • 2 T butter
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups mini marshmallows (I had big ones, so I broke them up then measured and it came out)
    • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts (I nixed the nuts)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
    2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full roiling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    3. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours until firm (I just left it on the counter and it got plenty firm). Lift from pan, remove foil and cut.

    Twice Baked Potatoes
    From Jane Maynard
    • 4 baking potatoes
    • ¾ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    • 4 tablespoons evaporated milk (or more if needed)
    • shredded cheddar cheese, optional
    • chopped green onion, optional
    1. Wash potatoes, poke holes with fork. Bake on rack, unwrapped at 425 degrees 40-60 minutes, or until soft all the way through. Cut lengthwise and scoop out potato (I have to hold the potato with an oven mit while I scoop). Mix potato with all the other ingredients, except the cheese, and mash with a potato masher or pastry blender. Spoon potato back into the potato skins, place in casserole dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 or so minutes, or until lightly browned. Top with shredded cheese and bake a few minutes more.


  2. Wednesday, July 8

    Soo-Wee Sauce for Baby Back Ribs

    Remember the amazing ribs Nate cooked on the 4th of July? The recipe is from the Weber’s Way to Grill cookbook that I {stereotypically} gave to Nate for Father’s Day. Hey, it worked, I’m already benefiting from the book!

    Anyway, the recipe for cooking the ribs is LONG and involved, so I’m just going to share the wonderfully delicious sauce that went with the ribs. I will give a quick overview of the process…the ribs cooked on the grill for HOURS, Nate put a divider in the grill with water under the ribs and coals on the other side, he added hot coals throughout the cooking and he used hickory wood chips for smoking. As for the sauce, when the ribs were cooked, he took them off the grill, laid them on foil, smothered them in the sauce and wrapped the ribs up in the foil for about 30 minutes. Delish!

    Soo-Wee Sauce for Baby Back Ribs
    Sweet and spicy sauce for ribs!
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    • 1 C apple juice
    • ½ C ketchup
    • 3 T cider vinegar
    • 1 T soy sauce
    • 2 tsp molasses
    • ½ tsp pure chile powder
    • ½ tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
    • ½ tsp dry mustard
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
    • ~1 T honey (this is our secret ingredient”¦we added to thicken AND sweeten the sauce)
    • RUB
    • 2 T kosher salt
    • 2 T paprika
    • 4 tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
    • 4 tsp pure chili powder
    • 2 tsp dry mustard
    • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1. Mix ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes (we simmered longer). Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste if needed. This is NOT a thick sauce, but it was perfect for the ribs.


    The Weber cookbook is a great resource for grilling…click here to check it out!

  3. Friday, April 3

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza

    Remember Lindsay?  I think it’s about time I start sharing some of her recipes with you!

    chicken tortilla soup |

    Today it’s Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza! I’m going to start adding the word “Extravaganza” to the end of all my recipes.  It’s just so festive! (Aaron is Lindsay’s husband, by the way…who is one of the maybe five male commenters on this site.  Thanks, Aaron!)

    Lindsay actually fries up her own tortilla strips for the soup. She is WAY more gourmet than I am.

    Lindsay has the most beautiful spices.  She puts them all in matching containers.  And how cute is her bowl of salt?  I always feel like I’m in the audience of a cooking show at her house.

    I no longer live next door to Lindsay.  I so miss our afternoons of her cooking and me photographing.  Those were the days… 🙂

    And now, for the recipe!

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza
    A little spicy and a lot delicious!
    Recipe type: Main Dishes, Soup
    Cuisine: Mexican
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • olive oil
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
    • ½ bag frozen corn
    • 1 large chicken breast
    • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
    • 1 lime (one extra for garnish)
    • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    • 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • cayenne pepper
    • chili powder
    • cumin
    • salt and pepper
    • cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
    • sour cream
    1. Sautee onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic, green onions, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. Sautee until fragrant (a minute or two). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.
    2. Grill up chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (You can also pan-fry it, but it won’t add the smokiness that the bbq does). Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup. Try the soup and add more seasonings according to taste, if needed. Add lime juice and cilantro.
    3. In large fry pan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt. You may do this with oil or cooking spray. (For a shortcut, use tortilla chips instead).
    4. Serve soup garnished with avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and a lime wedge.


  4. Thursday, September 11

    Featured Recipe: Caramelized Onion & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

    Today’s recipe comes from reader, Kate. It was on her menu a few weeks ago and I stole it shamelessly. Nate and I really enjoyed this dish, and it is super easy to prepare. Plus, it’s so pretty!

    Featured Recipe: Caramelized Onion & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
    From Robin to the Rescue by Robin Miller, via TWFD reader Kate
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
    • 12 oz spinach fettuccine (Kate note: I always use regular fettuccine or whole wheat spaghetti with great success)
    • 1 Tbs olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
    • 2 Tbs sugar
    • 1 cup sliced roasted red peppers (Jane note: I just bought a jar of these at the store)
    • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup vegetable broth (Kate note: I usually use chicken b/c i have an open container in my fridge)
    • salt and fresh ground pepper
    1. Cook pasta and drain. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sugar and cook, stirring a couple of times until the onions are golden brown and carmelized, about 10 minutes (Jane note – took longer for me). Stir in the red peppers and vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and pasta and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and serve. The sauce will thicken up a bit upon sitting for a minute or two.
    Kate note: I am only making this for 2.5 of us so I usually make half the pasta, but a full recipe fo the sauce. It’s so good and we like it really saucy! Enjoy!

    Jane note: I had a 9 oz package of spinach fettuccine”¦and I thought it was too much pasta for the sauce, so go with Kate’s tip of just doing 6 oz of pasta (half the recipe), but the full recipe of sauce. Also, I’m going to throw some chicken in here next time – I think that would taste good. Great dish!