Gang-Up Challenge! - A Glimpse of Me Blog at - 193977

A Glimpse of Me

Gang-Up Challenge! 
Sep. 6, 2010 8:47 pm 
Updated: Sep. 8, 2010 10:18 am
After quite a delay, it's finally here!  The results of our latest Gang-Up Challenge!  We had quite an interesting list of ingredients this time, so I was excited about creating a dish with them.  One of the ingredients, mamey fruit, was subject to a recent recall, so it was almost impossible to find.  I was disappointed about that, because I was really looking forward to trying it.  Oh that I know it exists, I can look for it after the recall is over!

Now, on to the recipes!

Our first recipe comes from  Jodi (I'm sorry if this isn't your AR name, Jodi!).  Here's what she had to say about the challenge:  "I'm so glad I decided to participate in this challenge, it was fun and creative, I love that!  I must say I've never worked with some of these ingredients so I really doubted I'd end up with something edible lol but not only was it edible, I really love it!  I'll guess most recipes will come out similar, but it might be my own narrow thinking on how we often have some of these items, I'm really curious to see how everyone did."

In a second e-mail, she added:  "I want to add to what I already emailed that my picky step son asked for seconds on my challenge recipe, I was so flattered and honored, moreso than my husbands and sons compliments because they're easier to please - that was the highlight of trying this challenge so far, besides pulling it off when I lacked the confidence because of my unfamiliarity with some ingredients to having it be something he especially liked was more than I could have ever expected :)"
1 c Quinoa cooked in beef broth*
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 lb green beans
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 white potato, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp cilantro
1-1/2 tsp ground ginger**
1/4 c light mayonnaise
1 can low fat, low sodium cream of chicken soup
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c grated asiago cheese
1-Cook the Quinoa per box instructions, using beef broth instead of water.
2-Brown ground beef, drain
3-Add diced onion, green beans, chopped jalapeno, diced potato, garlic, crushed red pepper, cilantro, ginger. Cook approximately 15 minutes until potatoe starts to soften
4-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
5-Mix mayo, cream soup and cheddar together
6-Pour quinoa into a 9x9 oven pan, layer over the bottom
7-Pour beef mixture over the quinoa
8-Pour soup mixture over the beef
9-Top with grated asiago
10-Bake for 30 minutes

*broth is my first swap for mamey, couldn't get it because all my store sells is what was recalled
**ginger is my second swap for jicama because my store doesn't sell it, but because they told me it was a root I thought ginger might be a good item to swap it for.

Next we come to LMF's creation!

"Result: the mamey sauce was really good.  I froze the leftovers and will absolutely make it again.  It went really well with the beef and I have to imagine it would go well on any savory dish.  The beef casserole was also very good.  Everyone ended up taking seconds of it.  The quinoa was just ok.  The asiago cheese didn’t really fit in with the other flavors of this dish.  If I were to make this again, I’d make the quinoa on the side and nix the cheese altogether.  All in all, this got the family’s approval."
Island Spiced Beef
Mamey Sauce:
2  teaspoons  olive oil
1  cup  peeled, seeded, and chopped mamey
2  tablespoons  diced onion
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced
1  garlic clove, pressed
1  cup  water
1/2  teaspoon  salt
Sauté mamey, onion, jalapeno, and garlic for 5 minutes.  Add water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.  Pour into a blender, cover, process until smooth.  Add salt
Beef casserole:
1 lb of ground beef
1 onion cut in ½ inch slices, minus 2 tablespoons
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of garam masala
2 sweet potatoes, cut into disks
A handful of green beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Sautee ground beef until brown.  Mix in cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and garam masala.  In a casserole dish, layer sweet potato on the bottom (enough to cover, reserve the rest), followed by onion, and finally green beans.  Pour ground beef mixture over it.  Top with remaining sweet potato slices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put in an oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes at 400°. 
Jicama Quinoa
1 cup of prepared quinoa
¼ teaspoon of chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup jicama, chopped finely
2 tablespoons of asiago cheese
Cilantro to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the directions.  Add asiago and chili pepper flakes to hot quinoa.  Stir until blended.  Add cilantro, jicama, salt, and pepper.
To serve:
Put a scoop of quinoa down on a plate.  Top with beef mixture.  Garnish with cheddar cheese and cilantro. Drizzle with mamey sauce.
The next participant was Dog Fish Head.  My computer wouldn't open the e-mail with her recipe, so I'm copying it from her blog:
I deleted Mamey fruit and jicama
Ingredients in order of appearance
Cream of Chicken Soup
Ground Beef
Jalapeno peppers
Asiago cheese
Bob Evans mashed potatoes
Chili pepper flakes
Green beans
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Soak 1 cup of quinoa in cold water for 30 minutes.
Drain (see pic as to how I drained it).  Hint; I used a paper towel in a sieve and then poured the quinoa in to drain.
Add to casserole dish along with Cream of chicken soup and 1 cup of water
MW high (covered) 4 minutes, remove and stir then MW again 4 minutes, remove and stir, MW 2 minutes, remove, stir and let sit. MW more if needed.
Fluff with fork.
Brown 1 lb ground beef and add ½ cup chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves pressed and 2 T diced jalapeno peppers (I did 3 DO NOT DO 3)  S/P to taste.
Layer ground beef mixture on top of quinoa/chicken soup mixture.
Sprinkle asiago cheese over ground beef.
MW Bob Evans mashed potatoes per instructions.
Add 1 T mayo and 2 T chili pepper flakes (maybe 1 T-dish was getting very spicy!) to mashed potatoes.
Spread on top of asiago cheese.
MW dish to warm up and then add decorative green beans and sprinkle cilantro and shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top (see final pic).
What shall we call this?  Shepherd’s Pie Inca Version?
Last, but not least, my own creation!  Once again, I had a lot of fun with this challenge, even though I was disappointed at not being able to get mamey due to the recall.  I decided that the recall was beyond my control, so I allowed myself to omit one ingredient and add one ingredient besides not using the mamey.  I omitted the jicama, because apparently it's out of season and I couldn't find it at the three stores I looked for it.  I added a little bit of olive oil.  My kids and I LOVED this!  Both of my daughters told me they definitely want me to make it again, and I agree; however, I will use ground turkey instead of ground beef, because beef and I don't get along very well.




1 Tbs olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt to taste


1 pound extra lean (7% fat) ground beef
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, minced
½ medium onion, minced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup potato flakes
Pinch red pepper flakes


1 can low-fat, low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 can green beans, drained, reserve liquid
1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed
½ jalapeno (remove seeds & veins if desired)
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
Salt to taste
Asiago cheese curls for garnish


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the diced onion and jalapeno and sauté until onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté a few minutes more, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the quinoa and stir to combine, then carefully add the water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and add salt to taste.


While quinoa is simmering, combine all meat patty ingredients.  Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form meat mixture into six patties and place them in the preheated skillet.  Cook until browned, then flip and brown the other side.  Pour the sauce over and around the patties, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer approximately 10-15 minutes, or until meat patties are cooked through.


In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add reserved liquid from green beans as needed to get a smooth, semi-thin consistency.
To assemble:  Place a bed of quinoa on the plate.  Top with a meat patty and extra sauce.  Garnish with Asiago cheese curls.
All in all, I'd say this was a successful challenge!  Great job, ladies!!  Give yourselves a pat on the back :-)

Dog Fish Head's Gang-up dish
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Jodi's Gang-Up dish
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LMF's Gang-Up dish
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Keri's Gang-Up dish
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Sep. 7, 2010 1:23 am
I don't recall being on the challenge was posted. I missed it. But, I had to look up on Google images what mamey fruit was. I have not come across that in my local grocery stores! It might be worth trying to find when it comes back on the market!
Sep. 7, 2010 5:43 am
Love seeing everyone’s ideas! This was a great challenge!
Sep. 7, 2010 6:02 am
Thank you Keri - this was fun, I really enjoyed participating! And trying new foods (I never had quinoa before).
Sep. 7, 2010 7:53 am
Everyone did a great job! Looks like a lot of fun!
Sep. 7, 2010 7:54 am
Amazing success!! I love quinoa and I will have to google mamey fruit as well. What does is taste like
Sep. 7, 2010 3:36 pm
Awesome job people! I couldn't of done that, you are all quite creative. I have never heard of Mamey fruit either. You learn something new every day! Way to go !
Sep. 8, 2010 7:21 am
Thanks for getting my recipe in here! Now I feel like part of the gang LOL!
Sep. 8, 2010 10:18 am
You're a very welcome part of the gang, DFH :-)
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About Me
I have loved cooking since I was a young girl helping my mother make dinner or bake cookies during school vacations. My favorite class in elementary school was "Nutrition", because we cooked almost every day. I have two daughters who love cooking and baking as much as I do and my husband is even getting interested. He recently started making bread from scratch and he's doing an awesome job of it! We share our home with pets of all different kinds, including birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, a rat, snakes, frogs, a tarantula, and a turtle. We also provide foster care for a local dog rescue, taking in abused, neglected, abandoned dogs and giving them a safe, loving environment to live in until they find their "fur-ever" homes.
My favorite things to cook
Rosemary garlic roasted chicken with roasted garlic gravy; Skillet cabbage; Almost any baked goods; Anything I can make in my slow cooker! Somewhere around September 2008 I decided I was going to start baking all the bread my children and I eat. I'm COMPLETELy loving it and my kids like to brag that "my mommy MADE this bread!" Their favorite is when I make bread items that aren't your traditional loaf of bread, like hamburger buns, bagels, and soft pretzels.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For several generations, my father's family has made a "family tradition" dessert item at each major holiday. At Easter, it's Italian Cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese and anise flavoring (published as "Italian Cheesecake II", if you'd like to check it out). At Thanksgiving, it's "Roly Polies", which were invented by my great grandmother when she had leftover pie crust dough she needed to use up. My absolute favorite, though, is Christmas, when we make Birds Nests. These are made out of walnut-sized balls of a sweet pie crust type dough rolled out very thin. Then we cut slits in the dough without cutting through the edge, gather every other strip, twist them up into a jumble, and then deep fry the pastries. When they are cooled, we sprinkle them with powdered sugar. It doesn't matter how many we make, they all get eaten!
My cooking triumphs
I managed to make decorated sugar cookies for Christmas 2008 that turned out awesome!! I've NEVER gotten sugar cookies to turn out good looking enough to warrant decorating them. They always turn into shapeless blobs. This particular time I reduced the amount of butter in the recipe by 25% and chilled the cut-outs for 15 minutes immediately before baking them. They turned out beautiful!
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at making Fairy Food candy (also called seafoam candy) was a disaster! I tried cooking it too quickly over too high of heat, so it burned, smelling up the entire house for DAYS. Thank goodness I still had enough ingredients (and courage!) to try again, and everyone at my family's Christmas gathering was impressed with my second attempt. I conveniently "forgot" to tell them about the first batch :-)
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