Great Tastes

I have a bookcase of cookbooks and cooking magazines! It started as a shelf... then spilled into two and on and on. As we moved around the country and world, I wanted some of the local flavor to be part of our everyday life. So the collection began innocently.

I can remember going to a county fair in Utah (Hill AFB) with Dale. We saw the food stands and there were tacos. (Didn't have them in NYC area where I grew up.) We ordered 2 tacos - pronounced take-ohs. Oh yeah, we were newbies to the area! As we took our first bites - meat, cheese and lettuce took flight all over, I recognized the idea of local flavor and had to capture the phenomenon.

My Fort Rucker OWC cookbook is so worn, stained and earmarked that I have to tenderly pull it from the case. It has the very best meat marinade. I have the page from a Howard/KobbeOWC magazine for banana and peanut salad - a very Panamanian flavor.
There are some recipes that I look at and wonder... why? Iceland had some nasty ways of preparing preserved fish. I think they are reserved for a truth or dare party!
I would like to share some of these great tastes.

Do you have a local treat? Send us your recipe and connect it to your installation.


  1. This is my favorite thing to make and my kids can get involved too. WARNING: IT CAN BE TIME CONSUMING, BUT SO WORTH IT!

    3 cups unbleached flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt
    4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard
    about 1 1/4 cups warm water

    Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

    Add vegetable shortening or lard. Or use a combination of half lard, half shortening.
    Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned
    way and use your hands.

    Next add warm water a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. You do
    not need very hot water.

    Coat your hands in flour so dough does not stick to you.
    Knead the dough for a few minutes.

    Now you will pull off pieces of dough to form about 12 small dough balls.
    Let them
    rest for at least 10 minutes, longer if you like.

    This is a good time to heat up the comal. You will want to set it at medium to high
    heat. If it is too hot the tortillas will cook too fast and burn.

    Now you can roll out the dough with your tortilla rolling pin or palote. It is a good
    idea to dust each ball with a little flour just before you roll them out. Lay the palote
    in the center of the dough ball and roll up, center and roll down. It is good to lift the
    dough and turn it. Again, rolling pin in the center and roll. Roll them out fairly thin.

    Lay your tortilla on the hot comal. It takes just a few seconds to cook. Flip to the other
    side. When they are done it should have lots of nice brown speckles. Place them in a
    towel. If you would like you can use a tortilla warmer to keep them warm longer.
    They are ready to be served!

    **NOTE my family loves this so much that my husband now whips them up on demand. You can also make extra dough balls, keep them in the fridge and pull them out when ever you want a quick snack:)

  2. Creamy Italien Chicken:
    Tasty&quick my kinda cooking...lol

    4 bonless, skinnless chicken breasts
    1 package Italian salad dressing mix
    1/2 cup water
    8 oz cream cheese
    1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
    1 can (4oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained

    Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Combine salad dressing mix and water; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and soup till blended. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cook one hour longer, or until chicken juices run clear. Serve over rice or pasta.

  3. I got this one from a 'myspace' friend --- and it is YUMMY! We are having it tonight.

    Incredible Potato Casserole

    Grated potatoes combine with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and cream of mushroom soup in this soothing baked side dish. For a quicker version, substitute frozen hash browns.

    Prep Time: 20m
    Cook Time: 1h 20m
    Ready in: 1h 40m
    Yield: 8 Servings
    6 medium potatoes
    1/4 cup butter
    1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
    1 pint sour cream
    1/3 cup chopped green onion
    1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
    2 tablespoons melted butter
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.
    Place whole potatoes in their skins into a large pot of boiling water; cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove potatoes, and discard water. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, and grate into a medium bowl.
    Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in soup; cook until soup begins to bubble. Remove from stove, and mix in sour cream, green onion, and cheese. Stir in potatoes. Pour mixture into casserole dish.
    In a resealable bag, shake together the cornflake crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
    Bake in a preheated oven 45 minutes.
    Nutrition Information
    Servings Per Recipe: 8
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 472 cal Total Fat: 30.5 g Cholesterol: 71 mg
    Sodium: 562 mg Carbohydrates: 39.3 g Fiber: 4.1 g
    Protein: 11.6 g


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