Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Perfect Coleslaw


I finally found the perfect coleslaw. I could barely read the ingredients on the torn and faded pages of the old book I found it in, but it’s perfect. And I’m happy.

A little sweet, a little tangy, and just a teeny bit creamy.

Plain and simple.

First, we’re going to get us a bag of coleslaw mix.

Then we’re going to throw out that gross little pouch of “sweet and creamy” dressing.

I buy this bag because the only coleslaw bag without dressing is a 48 oz. party size.

I don’t need no “party size” of nuttin’!

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing that grosses me out more than gross coleslaw.
I always hated coleslaw ’till I found this recipe.
It was always soggy, sickly sweet, bleck.

But this coleslaw – this coleslaw tastes like…. veggies. So… fresh!

Easy, peasy.

Mix 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Add in a teaspoon of sugar, one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and a tablespoon of dijon mustard.

Stir that around with a fork.

Then add in  a pinch of poppy seeds, and celery salt.

Be careful with celery salt, it’s powerful.

Look at that.

Gorgeous, darling.

Give it a toss, and serve it up!

And you’re done!
Could it have been any easier? I don’t think so!

This is definitely one of my go to quick fix sides, and it’s light and refreshing.


~Peace, Love, and Slaw ya’ll

Print Print Save Save

Perfect Coleslaw

Yield: serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes chill time

Total Time: 45 minutes


8.5 oz coleslaw mix
4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
pinch of poppyseeds
pinch of celery salt


In a bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, mayo, mustard, poppy seeds, and celery salt. Whisk with a fork, and pour over coleslaw.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potatoes


I heart sweet potatoes as much as my 6 month old nephew. I’d grind ’em up and eat them in everything too, if I could, just like he does.

I could seriously snack on this little treat all day long, and one wouldn’t feel guilty like one does when one is poppin’ M&Ms.

I’ll tell you, I could eat Grandma’s baked sweet potatoes every day till Christmas with that sweet orange glaze and little puffed golden marshmallows, but my hips and glycemic index would probably beg to differ.

I don’t even know what a glycemic index is. Or if I have one.

I was glad to adapt this recipe from Ol’ Granny. And if I know what’s good for me and that size 6/8, I’d probably better stick to it.


Start with some sweet potatoes. Prob half a ‘tater for each person, depending on what else you’re cooking.

I make one whole ‘tater for myself, because I really snack on it all day long.

Did you know sweet ‘taters are, like, the new “super food?”

I guess it doesn’t count when covered in sweet orange glaze and golden puffed marshmallows.

But don’t worry, I’ll be sharin’ that recipe come November too.

Just dice those puppies up.

Toss a tablespoon of olive oil over them and mix them around.

I also covered the pan in foil (recycle!) for easy clean-up.


Sprinkle with coarse grain Kosher salt.

Oooh. Sweet and salty.

Bake at 400 degrees roughly 40 minutes, or until tender.


How’s THAT for easy weeknight side?

Peace, Love, and Roasting ya’ll!

~ I’ve been having a lot of fun with my iPhone hipstamatic app. Go ahead and share your favorite Instagram or Hipstamatic apps on The Hill Country Cook’s Facebook page too! I’d love to see them. I’m addicted.

While we’re feeling warm and fuzzy and friendly, ya’ll are also more than welcome to post pics of recipes from the site you’ve made, recipes you think I should feature, or cooking tips. Join the party! 😉

Print Print Save Save

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Yield: serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of Kosher salt


Wash sweet potatoes and dice. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Spread 'taters in a single layer on the pan. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees F, 40 minutes, or until tender.

While baking, don't turn them too much. This allows the sugars to carmelize and makes for a nice (but soft) crunch.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pocket Pies


Wooowwwwww! Doesn’t that look delicious??

I’m very, very excited because this is my guest post for the Texas Farm Bureau! They have a brand new site, Texas Table Top, which celebrates all the great food, places and people that the Lone Star State has to offer.

So…. the latest trend in the foodie industry is homemade pop tarts.

Here is a delicious recipe, easily formed into any shape, pop tarts, pocket pies, or even try cookie cutters!

This post is a bit lengthy, so I have step-by-step photos, a video, then the recipe at the bottom.

So, if you’re visual, look at the pictures. If you’re interactive, watch the video.

If you’re already bored, skip to the recipe at the very bottom.

Ya’ll tell me your favorite pocket pie filling. Ok, ok, let’s just get to cookin’.

Put a pie in your pocket!


In a food processor, we’re going to add flour and baking powder. If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter or fork will work just fine. Make it do.


Add in COLLLLLLDD shortening. I like Butter flavored Crisco, and I stick it in the freezer for a good 30-45 minutes before I use it.

PULSE, don’t blend, until it reaches a “coarse cornmeal” texture. If you blend the mixture, it will become smooth, and then make very tough dough.

Ha HA! Pioneer Woman was right! Enter the freaky pink alien hand! It really does look like coarse cornmeal.

We have successfully “cut” our shortening into our dry mixture!

Then we’ll slowly add our wet (Very COLLLDDD) ingredients through the pour spout in the top.

I want you to try something.
Hold a camera in one hand, pour liquid slowly, pulse your mixture at the same time because otherwise it will get soggy, and then snap the picture as the milk is pouring in.

It’s really difficult!

So, the mixture will JUST come together in the processor, enough for you to easily form it into a ball.
We’re going to separate it into 3 balls, wrap in plastic, and let the dough rest for 30 in the fridge while we make our filling.

For the filling, try to find locally made jam. It really makes a difference. I found jam from the Austin Jam Co. It was perfect. This jam tasted as though you were biting into a fresh peach, not goopy and too sweet like store bought jams I’ve tried. Austin Jam Co. also makes a wide variety of pepper jams, I’ll have to try a recipe with those next.

Mix 1/4 cup of local jam, and fruit. I diced 2 ripe Fredericksburg peaches.

After the dough has rested, sprinkle some flour on your work surface….

Pat down your dough, and sprinkle with more flour….


Put some flour on your rolling pin and begin making long, even strokes from the center, trying to maintain an even shape and thickness. Flip and turn if necessary.

Hmmm…. looks like Greece!

Using any container you have, I chose a 4 cup Pyrex bowl, but a salsa or sour cream container works great too, cut your circles.

Depending on the thickness of your dough, you’ll get between 6 -9 pie circles.

Place a spoonful of your filling mixture in the middle….

Mmmmm, mouth watering yet?

Dip your finger in water, and run along the edge of the pie circle, then fold over. Dip your fork in water too, then crimp down the edges. Crimp them well; those pie pockets want to pop open!

Lookin’ good! Pop those babies in the oven, 350 degrees 10 – 15 minutes until they’ve reached golden perfection…..

I tried to make Texas shaped pocket pies, but my cookie cutter was too small. Sad.

While they’re baking, make the glaze. Powdered sugar, a little milk, and vanilla.

Oh look, there’s that lovely reflection of my shirt again. I swear I don’t wear pink all the time.

I really don’t even like pink.

Spread a spoonful of glaze over those beauties…… Wow. Impressive, right?

And serve!

Ya’ll will be happy, carefree, and filled to pocket pie heaven! Try making them with cherry, blackberry, soon I’ll be making chocolate.

Here’s the video, and a recipe to follow:

Peace, Love, and Pies Ya’ll!

Print Print Save Save

Pocket Pies

Yield: 10 pocket pies

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter-flavored Shortening, Chilled
1 cup Milk, Chilled
¼ cups Jam, Any Fruit Flavor
1 cup Your Choice Fruit, Diced
½ cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract


Begin by chilling your shortening and milk 30 minutes in the freezer before using them.

Next, place your flour, baking powder, and salt into a food processor. Add shortening, cut into small cubes. Slowly "pulse", until the shortening and flour mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Slowly add the milk mixture through the tube in the top of the processor. Pulse until the mixture just comes together into a ball. You may need more or less milk depending on the humidity.
Once the mixture comes together, separate it into 3 balls, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes before rolling out.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Use 1/4 cup of local jam, and 1-2 cups of diced fruit. Mix these ingredients together and set aside.

When you're ready to roll out the dough, sprinkle your work surface with flour. Pat out one ball of dough gently, sprinkle with flour. Use a rolling pin, and make long even strokes from the center, trying to achieve an even shape and thickness.

Use a small glass bowl, or large yogurt or sour cream container, cut your pie circles, approximately having a 5 inch diameter.Depending on the thickness of your dough, you will be to make between 6-9 pie circles.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Add a tablespoonful of filling. Using a wet finger, outline the edge of your pie circle with water to help it stick. Fold over the pie in half. Use a fork to crimp around the edges; crimp well!!

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. While they're baking, make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make the desired consistency. Spread a spoonful of glaze over each hot pie.