Well, I had a wonderful weekend and I know all of you did too because the blog scene was absolutely dead, which I thought was great! :)
I am so excited to have my first guest blogger! I keep trying to get my friends and family to be a guests on my blog when they make yummy things. So, finally, I have a guest. YAY! My first guest is...... Misti!
Misti is my co-worker and she made a wonderful pre-fourth of July feast for our department at work on Thursday.

Thanks Misti-Everything was sooo amazing! The floor is yours.....

Hey everyone!
Last week, to celebrate our Independence Day, I made a meal for my friends in the office. Since I am from Texas I chose to make barbeque with some traditional side dishes and a Spicy Mexican Salad. Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal so Ivy said it would be awesome if I detailed my work here for her fellow foodies. So here we go:

Now, when cooking I stick very close to the recipe and when all of the ingredients are put together, I taste a make appropriate adjustments to match my hopes for the dish when I started to make it in the first place. With this in mind I am going to include the recipes as written then an explanation of what I did (right or wrong) to make it my own.

Spicy Mexican Salad (serves 11)
· 1 (10 ounce) package chopped romaine lettuce
· 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
· 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
· 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
· 2 tomatoes, chopped
· 1 (16 ounce) package corn chips
· 1 (16 ounce) bottle Catalina salad dressing
1. In a large bowl, combine the romaine, cheese, pinto beans, black beans, and tomatoes.
2. Add the corn chips and enough dressing to coat; toss and serve.

Since I was making this for lunch at work I need to make sure it wouldn’t be all wilty and soggy. My solution was to put the lettuce and tomatoes together into the severing bowl. In another bowl I mixed the two beans. I pre-shredded the cheese and placed it in a sandwich bag and just kept the dressing and tortilla chips in their respective packages. When it was time to serve I mixed into the serving bowl the beans, cheese and Catalina salad dressing. I then recommend to the guests that they crumble up the tortilla chips and put the salad on top.

Best Green Bean Casserole (serves 6)

2 (14.5 ounce) cans green beans, drained
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place green beans and soup in a large microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and heat in the microwave on HIGH until warm (3 to 5 minutes). Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and heat mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer green bean mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with French fried onions and remaining cheese.
3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese melts and the onions just begin to brown.

Instead of using just Cheddar cheese I used the mixture of cheeses recommended for the Spicy Mexican Salad, I also added cumin. Instead of using the regular Cream of Mushroom Soup, I used the one with roasted garlic. I figured the flavored soup would be more interesting and using the cheese for the salad would tie the flavors together for a better flow to meal.

Misti’s Mashed Potatoes (serves 10)
7 medium sized potatoes
2 ½ cups Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
1 cup Country Crock butter spread
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Peel potatoes, quarter, and place in large pot and bring to boil.
2. Allow potatoes to simmer until tender.
3. Drain potatoes and place into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add Butter and cheese blend, and then start mixer on low speed.
5. After ingredients have blended turn up to high speed and begin to pour in the milk. Add the milk slowly. Be sure to add just enough to keep the mixture moist (not runny).
6. Once the right consistence has been reached, allow the mix to continue for about 3 minutes. As it’s mixing you can take this opportunity to add the salt and pepper and taste as it mixes.

Pulled Pork Barbecue (serves 10)

· 4 lb pork roast
· 2 onions, sliced, divided
· 1 onion, chopped
· 5 or 6 whole cloves
· 2 cups water
· 16 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
· Salt and Pepper to taste
Place one sliced onion at the bottom of Crock Pot.
Stud pork roast with cloves and season with salt and pepper.
Place roast in slow cooker on top of the sliced onion. Cover with the second sliced onion and add enough water to fill Crock Pot two thirds of the way.
Cover and cook on low 8 to 12 hours.
Remove roast. Remove and discard cloves, bone and fat as well as any water, onions and grease remaining in pot.
When pork roast is cool enough to handle, use a fork or your fingers to pull it apart until the entire roast is shredded.
Return the pulled pork to the crock-pot. Mix in the chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cover.
Heat on high for 1-3 hours or until the onions are soft.

This I did not improve upon, except that I used my own BBQ sauce made from scratch (found below).

Horseradish Barbecue Sauce (makes 3 cups)
· 1 cup melted butter
· 1/2 cup cider vinegar
· 1/2 cup ketchup
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
· 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
· 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
· 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and allow sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Now, when I make any kind of sauce that is supposed to be spicy, I must allow it to sit overnight in the fridge so that it has the chance for all of the spices to mix and be as potent as possible. Since I was making both pork and chicken for my friends at work, I made two batches of the sauce. In the first batch I used stick butter and in the second batch I used butter spread.

Overnight the one with the stick butter separated overnight and created a solid layer at the top of the bowl. I ditched it and made a new batch out of the butter spread. The fact that it will separate means to me that all the ingredients are mixing together to make the most potent sauce, so my suggestion is to make the sauce using your favorite type of soft butter.

Well, that is about it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read not just my posting, but Ivy’s blog in general.

Have an Amazing Day!



Jenn said...

i love the guest blogger idea. Misti is great. Where do you work Ivy???

Manali said...


Everything is looking great, and yes I am the witness of the food. It tasted even better.
Thanks Misti for the great food and thanks Ivy for publishing.


Michelle said...

I've thought about adding horseradish to a BBQ sauce but haven't tried it yet. But your sauce sounds fabulous!