tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-249520619124481562022-01-19T11:45:02.241-08:00Texas-to-MexicoDescriptions, photos, recipes &amp; commentary of Life for a Texan who has lived both North &amp; South of the Border.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.comBlogger290125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-8955768069693803262012-02-27T14:34:00.037-08:002012-02-28T16:18:58.715-08:00Work & Travel While Desperately Seeking Paleo Foods<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ylHnPl7aY0E/T0vY-iT_zfI/AAAAAAAAGU4/LdAWhfKqU00/s1600/Malai+Restaurant+Dallas.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ylHnPl7aY0E/T0vY-iT_zfI/AAAAAAAAGU4/LdAWhfKqU00/s200/Malai+Restaurant+Dallas.jpg" width="133" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Malai Kitchen, Midtown Dallas</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-weight: bold;">Determination:the process of something typically by calculation or research.</span><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">First &amp;&nbsp;foremost&nbsp;always travel with a plan. When we lived in Mexico if travel plans weren't in place, wild adventures could occur! It is not so different here in the states. On a personal note there is also less self recrimination when you planned for something if it doesn't work out. I for one try and attempt some self restraint &amp; sticking to a schedule, a diet or plan of some type. &nbsp;Second, if things don't work out then go to Plan B &amp; <i>Carry &nbsp;On.</i>&nbsp; (ie: Get back into the swing &amp; keep plowing ahead.) &nbsp;I had to travel to Dallas last week for work. While traveling with a fellow Crossfit/paleo eating co-worker we thought we would keep each other on track. &nbsp;We actually did help each other out in many aspects. &nbsp;It always helps to have someone in your corner who understands why you don't want bread, dairy, rice is a grain, etc..... The first night in Dallas I met two friends I hadn't seen since living in Monterrey, N.L. &nbsp;We dined at a wonderful Asian restaurant <a href="http://malaikitchen.com/">Malai Kitchen</a> in Midtown Dallas. The restaurant is a fusion of Thai &amp; Vietnamese cuisines with several&nbsp;variations similar to other Asian&nbsp;&nbsp;cuisines. Finding Paleo eats was no problem there and my friend was a dedicated&nbsp;vegetarian of many years therefore; she too had great choices. &nbsp;The staff was great at&nbsp;accommodating&nbsp;all of our &nbsp;different dietary needs. &nbsp;With a menu full vegetable &amp;&nbsp;protein&nbsp;choices it worked for each of us. I had a wonderful Tom Yum Gung with Black Tiger Shrimp which was sheer heaven. There was an eggplant house appetizer which was so good I am still trying to find a recipe for it.&nbsp;</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;The first morning of our trip however was another story entirely. &nbsp;We are always fed very well at these events so we assumed that breakfast was served &nbsp;at our destination the first morning. Seriously don't ever assume when it comes to food &amp; travel. &nbsp;Take control of specific food requirements. After a few days of semi off the grid eating &amp; drinking I was glad to get back into the swing of things at home. Poor food choices on the road make me more determined to eat healthy &amp; plan better the next time around.</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bYwhtqn4pkg/T0vgzzYT_QI/AAAAAAAAGVI/HhH-Siux4Dg/s1600/Bi+Bim+Bap+for+Dinner.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bYwhtqn4pkg/T0vgzzYT_QI/AAAAAAAAGVI/HhH-Siux4Dg/s320/Bi+Bim+Bap+for+Dinner.jpg" width="320" /></span></b></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Leftover meat, egg &amp; veggies make a quick meal.</span></b></td></tr></tbody></table><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">This past weekend I was determined to cook our Paleo foods &amp; feel great (*Did I mention I managed to sit next to 2 folks fighting the late Winter Flu in a stuffy&nbsp;conference&nbsp;room the entire trip?) With throbbing head, scratchy throat &amp; my packs of Emergen-C, I carried on. &nbsp;Wanting to cook, yet spare shoppers my germs; &nbsp;I sent Mister Tx2Mx to the store for a couple of essentials. One of the dishes I made was&nbsp;reminiscent&nbsp;of the Korean meals a friend of mine used to make in South Florida. &nbsp;The use of protein &amp; eggs in Korean food is incredible. I always admired her way of cooking &nbsp;eggs crepe thin &amp; then slicing it up into delicate bits adding such flavor to the meals. I am a very long way from her skill set however I did try &amp; replicate Bi Bim Bap. The very name is meant to imply leftovers or mixed with rice/rice noodles however the Paleo version certainly doesn't rely on rice or noddles. I opted out of rice &amp; doubled up on the veggies. The efforts&nbsp;yielded&nbsp;a very nice protein packed meal using leftover venison loin, cooked egg along with &nbsp;multiple&nbsp;vegetables. Cooking the dish in a stainless wok made the process super fast. If I'd had a bowl of this for breakfast in the Big D, I'd have been one happy camper. &nbsp;Next time Plan B may include where to find the Korean food trailer &amp; will certainly include a return visit to Malai Kitchen.</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tgU-hHJBsiA/T0vnQIWCxcI/AAAAAAAAGVU/pXRPmg8UNy0/s1600/Bowl%2Bof%2BBim%2BBam%2BBap.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tgU-hHJBsiA/T0vnQIWCxcI/AAAAAAAAGVU/pXRPmg8UNy0/s320/Bowl%2Bof%2BBim%2BBam%2BBap.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">A bowl of &nbsp;Paleo Bi Bim Bap is a quick fix for dinner.</span></td></tr></tbody></table><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Paleo Bi Bim Bap</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">8 oz. Sliced Leftover meat: tenderloin, roast, steak, chicken, etc.</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Egg, I used 1 egg</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">8- 10 oz. of each Vegetable; I used Carrots, Chard, Cabbage &amp; Bell Peppers</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Korean Spicy Sauce or chili flakes to taste</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 tsp. garlic </span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">rice vinegar or lemon juice to taste</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">coconut or grapeseed oil (with a splash of sesame oil for good measure)</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">dash of sea salt</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">sesame seeds</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Cucumber sliced or grated; used for garnish </span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">*Kimchi is often served with this dish</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Slice up all veggies, meats &amp; then scramble egg. Coat the wok or skillet with as few tablespoons of oil as you need, a well seasoned wok won't require much. Cook egg(s) quickly over med high heat, turning to coat the bottom of the wok or skillet. Slice the egg into thin strips &amp; cover to keep warm while preparing the rest of the meat &amp; vegetables. Quickly cook vegetables &amp; garlic adding in the more dense vegetables first to cook them a little longer &amp; finally ending with the chard or leafy vegetables &amp; then adding the meat which is pre-cooked &amp; only needs to be reheated with the rest of the dish. Toss in dash of salt &amp; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place this in serving dish with eggs over top of meats &amp; vegetables then garnish cucumber and Korean Spicy Sauce* Kimchi or Siracha Sauce. This dish can be expanded easily to accomplish feeding many with very few ingredients. Multiplying the egg or veggies can expand this meal quite easily. There are so many versions of this dish, be creative &amp; add what you have on hand. &nbsp;This recipe&nbsp;yields&nbsp;2 large adult portions for more just multiply&nbsp;ingredients.&nbsp;</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">*For true Korean Kimchi check at the local Asian Market</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">**Korean Spicy Sauce can be easily made at home:</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">5 Tbsp Kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">2 tsp minced garlic</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 tsp sesame oil</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Mix all ingredients thinning out with water if it is too thick, store remaining sauce in refrigerator. </span></b>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-30831589061404165032012-02-14T10:15:00.000-08:002012-02-19T21:58:25.314-08:00Granola: a Lovin Spoonful for Heart Health Month<span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><b>February is American Heart Health month. It’s true that heart disease can be genetic, but often it is not. Cigarette smoking, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and hyperlipidemia are other factors that contribute significantly to heart disease risk. </b><br /><br /><b> With the many choices we make food wise during the day the best way to start a healthy day is with a good foundation at breakfast. &nbsp;Along with the regular breakfast items we eat at our house I recently added a Paleo Granola recipe. </b><a href="http://bytes-from-texas.blogspot.com/" style="font-weight: bold;">Bytes from Texas</a><b> tried a granola recipe that she was raving about &amp; let me know that Mexican vanilla is the deal breaker, basically. With a good quality vanilla very little is missed out of the "old school granolas" which when bought at a store in the prepackaged boxes (on that long cereal aisle) contain large amounts of sugars, grains &amp; extra preservatives none of us need. &nbsp;There is no risk of high fructose corn syrup when you take a small amount of time to make your own granola. I have made 3 batches of this recently &amp; in fact have seen the Mister eating a handful of my granola now versus some of his previous less healthy alternatives. &nbsp;I made mixed up my first granola &amp; tossed in pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) &amp; put in dried bits of apricot. &nbsp;Logically you may say it is easier to pick up a box but this recipe is healthier, easy &amp; seriously cheaper when you buy small amounts of nuts &amp; fruits in the bulk foods area of your local grocer. &nbsp;Enjoy this recipe, it's a small joy to make your first recipe of homemade Granola &amp; realize it's been that easy all along. &nbsp;Buen Provecho, my friends!&nbsp;</b></span><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Gq2of5sq0RI/TzqgwiS_FtI/AAAAAAAAGUw/YJEaj7xElxY/s1600/Lovin+Spoonful.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Gq2of5sq0RI/TzqgwiS_FtI/AAAAAAAAGUw/YJEaj7xElxY/s400/Lovin+Spoonful.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">For a Heart Healthy &nbsp;start to the day try this with coconut or almond milk.</span></td></tr></tbody></table><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Paleo Granola<br />2 cups toasted coconut (unsweetened)<br />1/2 cup pumpkin seed kernels<br />1/2 cup sliced raw almonds<br />1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds<br />3/4 cup agave syrup*<br />1/3 cup coconut oil<br />1 tsp Mexican vanilla (or very good quality vanilla)<br />1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries<br />1/2 cup dried apple, roughly chopped<br />1/2 cup pecans or nuts of choice<br />Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Combine oats, pumpkin seed kernels, chopped almonds, and sunflower seed kernels in a large bowl.<br />In a saucepan on the stove, melt together the agave, coconut oil and vanilla, stirring occasionally, until combined.<br />Pour agave mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat.<br />Spread granola mixture into baking pans (metal pans cook faster than glass). Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. I spread mine on foil on the counter for several hours or overnight so it cools well, then store in airtight container. <br />Enjoy granola with coconut milk or almond butter or fruit! *I have made this with or without the agave, it is as good without as with the syrup. </span></b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gW9QfLQwHQ8/Tzqe7dsM_7I/AAAAAAAAGUo/HwLR-rgOUyQ/s1600/Paleo+Granola.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gW9QfLQwHQ8/Tzqe7dsM_7I/AAAAAAAAGUo/HwLR-rgOUyQ/s400/Paleo+Granola.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Any fruit or nut mixture will work, try new combinations.</td></tr></tbody></table>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-71868804325868337402012-02-12T10:02:00.000-08:002012-02-19T21:59:15.537-08:00Scotch Eggs Anyone?<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-drqKvQf40Ec/Tzf-Su8frAI/AAAAAAAAGUg/x8YwlArHEvY/s1600/Scotch%2BEggs%2Bwith%2BSiracha.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-drqKvQf40Ec/Tzf-Su8frAI/AAAAAAAAGUg/x8YwlArHEvY/s200/Scotch%2BEggs%2Bwith%2BSiracha.jpg" width="200" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Scotch Eggs, portable &amp;&nbsp;quintessentially&nbsp; British</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">What is a Scotch Egg many might ask? I've been a fan of this British food item since I was a student &amp; traveled to the UK many years ago. I remember the puzzled looks on my American travel companions faces. My first Scotch Egg was crisp on the outside, it had a well cooked egg at the center &amp; was altogether delicious. Back then it was a typical fare for corner pubs, well known food halls such as Selfridge's or Harrod's &amp; small corner grocers across England. Jump forward to 4 years ago when my daughter &amp; I attended the Celtic Festival in Austin Texas. My daughter was turned off when I purchased a Scotch Egg from a pseudo British food tent. I do admit the same food tent sold "Gator on a stick".... however it was every bit as tasty as I remembered eating across the pond in my youth. She refused to partake in the tasty bit of Celtic fare &amp; made jabs at what odd bits of meats may have been inside the tasty tidbit. Who can blame her when the establishment sold other odd meats?</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">The Scotch egg has quite the history though. Fortnum &amp; Mason’s archives show that it invented the Scotch Egg first. Back in the 1730s, Fortnum’s was hard at work creating foods to suit its well-heeled customers, whose far-flung families could only be reached by long-distance carriage rides. Mind you, the ultra portable Sandwich wasn't on the foodie scene till 1762 and food to travel with were in demand. Fortnum’s came up with a number of ideas, including wrapping a hard-boiled egg; which in those days was probably a pullet’s egg in sausage meat with a coating of breadcrumbs. Substantial, tasty and full of protein, it was an excellent way to stave off hunger pangs. The name, by the way, has nothing to do with Scotland; "scotched" was merely another word for processed. In the 21st century the Scotch Egg has come into a more accepted &amp; even regaled status. In Japan "skotchi eggu" are a staple of Japanese new year. As is typical when a simple food spends centuries on the culinary journey, the newer versions take some exciting detours. The British foodies now report the use of vegan sausage, exotic ostrich meat &amp; venison as well as foi gras wrapped around Scotch Egg. However you may enjoy this portable&nbsp;protein, it's worth a taste even if for the first time! I made mine without the use bread crumbs though the substitution of almond meal makes the outer crust quite crisp &amp; gives a very nice texture.&nbsp;</span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-v_5pB8X49uM/Tzb5Of2wN-I/AAAAAAAAGUM/kGilBx1ShGo/s1600/Scotch+Eggs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-v_5pB8X49uM/Tzb5Of2wN-I/AAAAAAAAGUM/kGilBx1ShGo/s400/Scotch+Eggs.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Scotch Eggs</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">4 boiled eggs, shelled &amp; chilled</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 lb turkey or pork sausage *see below recipe if you don't buy prepared sausage</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">2 cups Almond meal</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 raw egg for the wash</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Dip the shelled boiled eggs in water then lightly coat in almond meal. Wrap the entire Egg up inside 1/4 of the sausage meat. I flattened the sausage with my palm then wrapped the egg up in the sausage smoothing the meat around the egg evenly. &nbsp;Once all 4 eggs are covered in the sausage meat, beat the raw egg, use a brush to coat the outside of the sausage wrapped eggs &amp; then roll them in the almond meal. &nbsp;Fry in medium sized skillet over medium heat in about 1/2 inch&nbsp;grape seed&nbsp;oil till browned on the outside (10-15 min). &nbsp;Transfer to plate with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. &nbsp;When all scotch eggs are warmed they are delicious but they are just as tasty when they are chilled. I enjoy mine with mustard but I've seen them eaten with Siracha sauce,&nbsp;</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; outline-color: initial; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; text-align: left;"><br style="outline-color: initial; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial;" /></span><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FEHSwtEYDiw/TzfzoLwJyxI/AAAAAAAAGUU/4QJZ2IB0o-g/s1600/Scotch+Egg+in+process.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FEHSwtEYDiw/TzfzoLwJyxI/AAAAAAAAGUU/4QJZ2IB0o-g/s320/Scotch+Egg+in+process.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Wrap sausage around the boiled egg, then roll in almond meal.</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; outline-color: initial; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 22px;"><b><br /></b></span></span></span></div><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">*For making your own sausage or mince:</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 lb ground lean pork or 1 lb ground turkey</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">½ teaspoon salt</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">1 teaspoon rubbed sage</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">½ teaspoon red pepper</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">½ teaspoon thyme</span></b>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-3160568666775867422012-02-04T14:29:00.000-08:002012-02-04T15:16:12.944-08:00Homemade Soup Day, Let's Celebrate<b>Hearing that National Homemade Soup Day was arriving I was wondering what Winter soup I'd make to have for a tummy warming treat for me &amp; the Mister. I have to admit I'd eat soup almost any day of the year but we've had an unseasonably warm Winter here in Texas. I had to find just the right soup recipe to make since our temperatures have been so moderate of late. I have enjoyed African Peanut Soup many times &amp; like the spicy quality as well rich creaminess of that dish. In an urge to avoid legumes right now at our house I opted for a more veggie based soup version with a slight nod to my favorite African Peanut Soups of the past. I used homemade pumpkin puree I had from oven roasting a Fall pumpkin. The flavors from oven roasting are slightly different from the canned version so if given the opportunity to use fresh please try it! Bowls up &amp; enjoy National Homemade Soup Day today, February 4. </b><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jS-AelOMCDo/Ty2uH7hKi_I/AAAAAAAAGUE/ele2Jm-tXdE/s1600/Pumpkin+Soup+for+Homemade+Soup+Day~.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jS-AelOMCDo/Ty2uH7hKi_I/AAAAAAAAGUE/ele2Jm-tXdE/s400/Pumpkin+Soup+for+Homemade+Soup+Day~.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><b><br /></b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>Pumpkin Soup</b><br /><b>1 medium onion</b><br /><b>2 stalks celery</b><br /><b>4 cloves garlic</b><br /><b>2 teaspoons grapeseed, coconut or olive oil</b><br /><b>2 cups chicken or vegetable stock</b><br /><b>1 large can of whole tomatoes, do not drain</b><br /><b>1/2 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter</b><br /><b>1 (29 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (*or process your own pumpkin &amp; freeze ahead of time in Fall)</b><br /><b>1- 13.5 oz can coconut milk</b><br /><b>1 teaspoon chili powder</b><br /><b>1 teaspoon smoked paprika</b><br /><b>1/2 teaspoon curry powder</b><br /><b>salt &amp; pepper</b><br /><b>Directions:</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>Finely mince the onion and celery.</b><br /><b>Either use a garlic press for the garlic or mince extremely fine.</b><br /><b>Melt the oil in your stock pot and sauté the onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft.</b><br /><b>Add the stock, followed by the remaining indgredients, whisking the mixture so it remains smooth.</b><br /><b>Simmer for about 20 minutes and serve.</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>I served this soup topped with toasted pumpkin seeds &amp; a sprig of fresh rosemary. I tossed the seeds with 2 tsp oil &amp; stirred in Wasabi Fumi Furikake seasoning &amp; roasted for 25 min @ 350 stirring every 5 minutes. The seasoning adds a different kick to the pumpkin seeds. Glad I tried it, I will certainly be utilizing the seasoning again. *Fall pumpkins never go to waste in my house. &nbsp;We roast, stuff &amp;&nbsp;re-purposed&nbsp;our pumpkins if not for us then for our wild critters. &nbsp;See the&nbsp;re-purposed&nbsp;pumpkin below.</b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kHRYwF1Ielg/Ty2tgxfs86I/AAAAAAAAGT8/Pv6lgCfQFPo/s1600/Back+yard+pumpkin+repurposing..jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kHRYwF1Ielg/Ty2tgxfs86I/AAAAAAAAGT8/Pv6lgCfQFPo/s320/Back+yard+pumpkin+repurposing..jpg" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Fill a pumpkin with bird seed for a critter treat!</td></tr></tbody></table>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-57406479967249273872012-01-17T14:04:00.000-08:002012-01-17T16:19:28.898-08:00Salmon Patties & Fish Stories<b>As a kid my adventure loving folks moved us from San Antonio Texas where the average summer temperature often registers in the triple digits to Alaska where the lengthy winter months are cold &amp; temperatures average well below freezing. The trade off for such a harsh winter besides the spectacular beauty &amp; unbridled spirit of the 49th state is the abundant fish &amp; game. Alaskans were doing sustainable living long before it was the "in" thing to do. Once my father discovered Salmon fishing it became a family event during the Salmon fishing season. Coming from Texas where the fresh water fish no where near approached the size of Salmon it was a new frontier in the kitchen. My parents canned salmon, baked, bbq'd, broiled, smoked &amp; made salmon a regular part of our diet. At times it seemed as though we'd eaten oceans of Salmon &amp; fought of swarms of Alaskan mosquitos all summer long. &nbsp;My fondness for salmon wore off probably just shy of my pre-teen years. As an adult I gained a new enjoyment of Alaskan Salmon, quite possibly because Texas is a very long way from Alaska &amp; absence does make the heart grow fonder. &nbsp;No longer able to roll out of bed on a Saturday morning for an early fishing run as we did all those many years ago I'd do just about anything to relive those days again. &nbsp;Instead I have to depend upon a good source of wild caught fresh or canned salmon when I feel a yearning for Salmon coming on. &nbsp;The salmon pattie recipe I make is closely linked to Martha Stewart's Asian Salmon Pattie recipe <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/337336/asian-salmon-patties?czone">here:</a> &nbsp;She uses fresh salmon however I often have a can or two of salmon on hand. What I like from Martha's recipe is that she uses no cracker or bread crumbs as many recipes do. &nbsp;This recipe lets the egg become the binding agent &amp; the flavors of ginger give a nice Asian hint without overwhelming the pattie. Not if but when I travel to Alaska again, I'm going Salmon fishing &amp; I will enjoy it even more as an adult. Till then I'm having a Salmon Pattie &amp; remembering all those fishing trips of my childhood~</b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ANiOKeTI4Nc/TxXltNYXSxI/AAAAAAAAGTg/SDOBZTJCX10/s1600/First+Alaskan+Salmon+Summer+1970.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ANiOKeTI4Nc/TxXltNYXSxI/AAAAAAAAGTg/SDOBZTJCX10/s320/First+Alaskan+Salmon+Summer+1970.jpg" width="214" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b>Salmon &nbsp;fishing, a family event (our &nbsp;poodle "Jacques" is even &nbsp;there for the photo)</b></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><br /><b><br /></b><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XiooEs9X22U/TxXWgZv7unI/AAAAAAAAGTM/9AW4LatdBfQ/s1600/Salmon+Pattie.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><b><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XiooEs9X22U/TxXWgZv7unI/AAAAAAAAGTM/9AW4LatdBfQ/s400/Salmon+Pattie.jpg" width="400" /></b></a><b>Alaska Salmon Patties</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>3- 6 oz cans of wild caught Alaskan Salmon</b><br /><b>2 eggs, beaten</b><br /><b>3 Tbsp diced green onion tops</b><br /><b>1 tsp dried dill</b><br /><b>1 tsp fresh minced ginger</b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-O0s2F1kVMgM/TxXkmIU41pI/AAAAAAAAGTY/XQ0_lfw0OWc/s1600/We%2Bwere%2Bthe%2BSalmon%2BGirls.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><b><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-O0s2F1kVMgM/TxXkmIU41pI/AAAAAAAAGTY/XQ0_lfw0OWc/s400/We%2Bwere%2Bthe%2BSalmon%2BGirls.jpg" width="300" /></b></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b>My sister &amp; I were quite the Salmon fishing duo back in the day there alongside our family VW Vanagon.</b></td></tr></tbody></table><b><br /></b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>1 tsp fresh ground black pepper</b><br /><b>pinch of sea salt &amp; pinch of celery salt</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>Drain Salmon well, loosely mix in the rest of the ingredients careful not to break up the salmon too much. &nbsp;Cook in large skillet over medium high heat in oil of choice. &nbsp;Drop Salmon mixture by spoonful into hot skillet. Let cook thoroughly turning over once so each side is golden brown. If you turn or touch the patties too much as they are cooking they tend to fall apart. &nbsp;Just place them in the hot skillet, leave them alone till brown around the edges &amp; then turn gently. A total of about 5-6 minutes should do it. Serve warm with lemon wedges, green onion tops or a dollop of hot Asian Siracha sauce as I did. </b>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-80709421832649021942011-11-22T18:22:00.000-08:002011-11-22T19:55:30.762-08:00A Texas to Mexico Paleo~Style Stuffed Squash<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R4Lv2gINeuM/TsxidHSzyWI/AAAAAAAAGS4/bJ7Ja7i4woQ/s1600/Uvalde%2BCounty%2BEvening.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R4Lv2gINeuM/TsxidHSzyWI/AAAAAAAAGS4/bJ7Ja7i4woQ/s400/Uvalde%2BCounty%2BEvening.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">As our family prepares to head to South Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday where quiet relaxing vistas will keep us spellbound for a few days &amp; give us all a certain spiritual nourishment. This fall I've been so enamored with the selection of winter squashes &amp; pumpkins I've seen. I've seen more variety &amp; colorful selection than ever. Not for the first time this season I have cooked with Carnival Squash. It is a mild, squash in the size range of an Acorn Squash. &nbsp;I enjoy baking Carnival Squash with savory spices however many cooks bake these with a much sweeter result using winter spices such cloves, cinnamon &amp; agave or honey. The colorful skin makes this a nice centerpiece till you are ready to use it regardless of how it is baked. My version of the stuffed squash gives a nod to the hunter-gatherer diet paying attention to exclude<span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: white; line-height: 19px;">&nbsp;grains, legumes, dairy products, salt &amp; refined sugar. <b>*winter squash are:</b></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: #ffffd3; line-height: 16px;">Fat-free and sodium-free, a three-fourths cup serving provides fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron and thirty calories. Darker colored squashes have the most beta carotene.</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: white; font-size: large; line-height: 19px;">&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="background-color: white; font-size: large; line-height: 19px;">&nbsp;</span></b></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><br /></span></span><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-i0IstcGr630/TsxSAkHFcbI/AAAAAAAAGSs/j2n0chSe4NU/s1600/Carnival%2BSquash.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-i0IstcGr630/TsxSAkHFcbI/AAAAAAAAGSs/j2n0chSe4NU/s400/Carnival%2BSquash.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">Carnival Squash are a colorful winter squash sometimes labeled acorn squash.</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3jpJI8swgrc/TsxQxargCDI/AAAAAAAAGSY/d5aosGa2n_o/s1600/Carnival+Squash+with+Mushroom%252C+Red+chili+chicken+Stuffing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3jpJI8swgrc/TsxQxargCDI/AAAAAAAAGSY/d5aosGa2n_o/s400/Carnival+Squash+with+Mushroom%252C+Red+chili+chicken+Stuffing.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">&nbsp;Creamy mild flesh of the squash makes a nice complement to the spicy chili sauce</span></td></tr></tbody></table><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">Stuffed Carnival Squash with Mushroom &amp; Red Chili Chicken</span></b><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">2 Carnival Squash, halved, seeded, rubbed with 1 tablespoon oil</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">1/2 lb ground chicken</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">1/2 lb lean chicken sausage (I found mine at Sprouts, remove casing if it has casing)</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">1/4 diced onion</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">1 tsp minced garlic</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">8 oz white mushrooms, sliced</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">*1/2 cup Red Chili Sauce made with Guajillo chilis see recipe link</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><a href="http://lunch-box-for-one.blogspot.com/2011/09/red-chili-omelet-chopsticks-spoon-or.html">Recipe here</a>&nbsp;from previous blog post on *Lunch Box for One</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">2 tablespoon chopped flat leave parsley</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">Bake the 2 Carnival Squash cut into halves @ 375 for 25 minutes or till crispy golden around edge &amp; flesh tests tender. &nbsp;Set aside &amp; &nbsp;prepare Mushroom &amp; Chicken stuffing. Saute onion &amp; garlic in skillet till translucent, add the chicken sausage &amp; ground chicken. Cook till chicken is no longer pink &amp; slightly&nbsp;browned. &nbsp;Add in mushrooms, cook till tender then add the Red Chili Sauce, mix, add parsley &amp; remove from heat. &nbsp;Spoon into Squash halves &amp; return to 375 oven for 10 minutes till heated throughly. &nbsp;Serve immediately. &nbsp;Any leftover stuffing I serve alongside the filled squash halves.</span><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f3qiy6lDEL0/TsxRiPc5llI/AAAAAAAAGSg/MtEqJ3TO9yw/s1600/Mushroom+Red+Chili+Chicken+Stuffing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;"><img border="0" height="228" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f3qiy6lDEL0/TsxRiPc5llI/AAAAAAAAGSg/MtEqJ3TO9yw/s320/Mushroom+Red+Chili+Chicken+Stuffing.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">Leftover Mushroom Red Chili Chicken Filling is good alone</span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></td></tr></tbody></table>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-61529399008372291942011-11-21T17:20:00.000-08:002011-11-22T18:46:19.072-08:00Paleo Wedding Soup & a Devilish Egg Appetizer<div style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"></div><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">When I'm lucky enough to have true farm fresh eggs, I find a variety of ways to fit them into meals at our home. Eggs aren't just for breakfast as anyone in my house can tell you. Eggs are a<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #615c55;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;low cost cost way to add a naturally good source of vitamin D &amp;&nbsp;protein. This past</span></span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #615c55;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;weekend I ma</span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #615c55; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large; line-height: 20px;">de both a soup as well as a quick dozen Deviled Eggs using some of my farm fresh eggs my mother brought me from Uvalde County in South Texas. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eDvSoPSnuxw/Tsr3FORf0YI/AAAAAAAAGSI/8oouzsAFQZc/s1600/Eggs%252C+fresh+from+the+farm.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eDvSoPSnuxw/Tsr3FORf0YI/AAAAAAAAGSI/8oouzsAFQZc/s320/Eggs%252C+fresh+from+the+farm.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">This soup gets the name as a "married soup" since it is a marriage of meat &amp; greens. The traditional name is actually Minestra Maritata &amp; the origins are both Italian &amp; Spanish, whatever the origins are the soup is a perfect Fall meal. Many recipes use bread crumbs to make the meat balls but if you have fresh meat, add the egg &amp; chill the meatballs prior to dropping them in the soup they will be fine. I've even baked my meatballs to get them nice &amp; brown when I have time. Many traditional recipes for this soup soup have streaks of egg-and-cheese scrambles borrowed from the Roman egg-drop soup Stracciatella. The egg adds a certain hearty quality which makes this a very nice one dish meal.</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gqeTuGpF6BA/TsrzIcnA2BI/AAAAAAAAGR4/fbYRZckYZ7s/s1600/Italian+Wedding+Soup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gqeTuGpF6BA/TsrzIcnA2BI/AAAAAAAAGR4/fbYRZckYZ7s/s400/Italian+Wedding+Soup.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Primal Italian Wedding Soup</span></b><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Meatballs:</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1 small onion, grated</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1 large egg</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1 teaspoon minced garlic</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">8 ounces turkey or chicken sausage</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">8 ounces ground turkey</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Freshly ground black pepper</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Soup:</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">12 cups low-sodium chicken broth</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1 pound spinach, coarsely chopped (1 pound of kale is a good substitution)</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">2 small&nbsp;turnips, diced into 1/4 in pieces</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">2 large eggs</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish*</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Salt and freshly ground black pepper</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Directions</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">To make the meatballs: Stir the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the sausage &amp; turkey. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and spinach, turnips and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the spinach or kale is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. *Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired. We didn't have this but it is traditional garnish for the soup. I am almost certain no one else puts turnips in Wedding Soup but I had some garden fresh turnips &amp; thought they would be a nice addition to the soup.</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-04l4GR1gOk4/Tsr5fK8ynMI/AAAAAAAAGSQ/czJTWqH5g10/s1600/Deviled+Eggs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-04l4GR1gOk4/Tsr5fK8ynMI/AAAAAAAAGSQ/czJTWqH5g10/s320/Deviled+Eggs.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Devilish Deviled Eggs</span></b><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">6 Eggs, hard boiled</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">2 Tablespoons&nbsp;Mayonnaise</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">3-4 Tablespoons Jalapeno Mustard* (or any spicy version you prefer)</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">2 teaspoons diced fresh oregano</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1 teaspoon minced garlic</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">1/2 teaspoon finely minced shallots or white onion</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">dash of sea salt according to taste</span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><br /><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;">Cut boiled eggs into halves lengthwise, scoop out inside reserving whites on platter. Mash &amp; break up all lumps in the hard boiled egg yolks, then add next 6 ingredients. Garnish tops of eggs with extra oregano leaves or sprinkle with dill or any fresh herbs you may enjoy. *I used <a href="http://www.woebermustard.com/p_sandwich-pals.shtml">Woeber's Jalapeno Mustard&nbsp;</a></span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-75927448635422149762011-11-06T11:00:00.000-08:002011-11-22T18:47:13.486-08:00Yes, Soup Weather again! Hlelem a versitile Tunisian Soup is back on the menu.<b>At the first sign of a cold front in Texas I believe across the United State a loud cheer could be heard coming from this Southern State. Texas had record heat &amp; drought this summer. Hottest, driest, longest since 1885 in fact Wichita Falls had 100 days over 100. As a state it certainly felt like we simmered &amp; stewed all summer long (at times in our own skins...). Salads and lighter cooler meals have been the order of the season for months. This past week when temperatures dropped to freezing overnight it felt like it was okay to drag out the soup pots &amp; dust off the crock pots once again. What is nauseating to think of when it is 109* is downright cheerful when the temperatures seem normal once again. I always feel better when I can make a pot of soup. Earthy, rich &amp; soothing soups make me feel comforted &amp; tend to remind me of soups my mother would make when I was a kid. This is a traditional Tunisian soup inspired by Martha Rose Shulman's version from her Mediterranean Harvest recipes. Some of you know this is not my first post of Hlelem,&nbsp; I've actually made it before with all the beans however I'm on a eating lifestyle now which departs from some of the legumes &amp; pastas so I've changed things up a bit. For vegetarian diets this is good with vegetable broth, for those who want to add a lean protein; I expanded this soup on day 2 with lean ground meat. Enjoy &amp; be soothed as I was.</b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--syuaPfokDk/TrbO3idroKI/AAAAAAAAGQM/5tGSfJ4GwyA/s1600/Hlelem+Soup%252C+Tunisian+Vegetable+Soup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--syuaPfokDk/TrbO3idroKI/AAAAAAAAGQM/5tGSfJ4GwyA/s400/Hlelem+Soup%252C+Tunisian+Vegetable+Soup.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Hlelem soup hits the spot on a cool fall evening.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Hlelem (Tunisian Vegetable Soup)</span><br /><br />yields 2 quarts<br /><br />2 tablespoons olive oil<br />4 teaspoons garlic, minced<br />1/4 cup celery stalk, large outer veins trimmed, diced<br />1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded, diced<br />3 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, diced<br />1/4 cup onion, minced<br />1 quart chicken broth<br />6 tablespoons tomato paste<br />2/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained*check below for my new substitution without legumes<br />7 cups Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces, leaves shredded, lightly packed<br />1/2 cup angel hair pasta or fideo, dry, approx. 1/3 c.<br />1/2 tablespoon red curry paste or Harissa<br />Salt, to taste<br />Freshly ground black pepper, to taste<br />1/4 cup parsley, chopped<br />1/4 cup radishes, grated<br />wedges of lime or lemon <br /><br />Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.<br /><br />Combine 1/2 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid with the broth, reserved bean liquid, and the tomato paste to the pot. Slowly stir getting the tomato past lumps worked out or till well blended and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.<br /><br />Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add chickpeas or alternative veggies such as butternut squash*, the Swiss chard, and the pasta. Simmer until the pasta and chard stems are tender, about 10 minutes.<br /><br />Add the Harissa and stir until blended. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped parsley, radish &amp; serve with a wedge of lemon or lime. <br /><br /><b>*I added 1 cup diced butternut squash instead of the chick peas although the chick peas are more traditional in this soup.&nbsp; Also I would now omit the fideo pasta to cut out the gluten. You can add whatever vegetables are local or seasonal. Rutabaga &amp; Sweet potato are nice winter/fall substitutions.The radishes as a garnish add a nice zesty punch.</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><b><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZFbXTg7xuRY/TrbYE5yE39I/AAAAAAAAGQY/PUJQJ60WsaU/s1600/Harrisa.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZFbXTg7xuRY/TrbYE5yE39I/AAAAAAAAGQY/PUJQJ60WsaU/s400/Harrisa.jpg" width="267" /></a></b></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><b>A spicy addition to Hlelem Soup this is very similar to Red Curry paste.</b></td></tr></tbody></table><b>Harissa comes in small cans and can be found in a lot of supermarkets and Mediterranean groceries. It is a Tunisian hot sauce or paste usually made with hot chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil.&nbsp; I also added lean ground meat the second day to this soup.</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>For my previous Hlelem recipe in the Crock pot please check <a href="http://texas-to-mexico.blogspot.com/2011/02/soup-weather-takes-me-to-north-africa.html">here </a>for my previous blog post.</b>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-90561854961741841462011-10-30T21:01:00.000-07:002011-11-22T18:45:58.308-08:00Finding my Sunny Side Up!<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UxhmbGTZJes/Tq4chxWNhDI/AAAAAAAAGQE/sbvCh4TLdjo/s1600/Jello%252C+Recovery+Mode.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UxhmbGTZJes/Tq4chxWNhDI/AAAAAAAAGQE/sbvCh4TLdjo/s400/Jello%252C+Recovery+Mode.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Jello no matter what the flavor gets old in a hurry!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><b>&nbsp;</b>I had unexpected surgery 2 weeks ago &amp; it has truly made me reinvent my meals so I can tolerate some of my favorite foods.<b>&nbsp; </b>My doctor told me next to nothing about post surgery diet and I've been on my own with figuring out what works for me right now. I've had oceans of Jello &amp; yards of saltine crackers so I'm just trying to hit my stride on the culinary side. I guess I'm searching for my <i>sunny side up</i> as it were! Still sore &amp; dealing with stitches I'm getting the hang of what works &amp; what still has meal appeal to me as well as my family. I had already pared down my dietary meanderings omitting foods such as bread, all dairy foods, red-meat etc. Having said that I'm sticking pretty close to the straight &amp; narrow when it comes to eating fruits, veggies &amp; lean proteins. I hate people who preach about the new blah, blah, blah diet that they love which really made them who they are, Zzzzz....&nbsp; Having said that though I'm feeling pretty good about a few new recipes I've added &amp; thanks to a couple of good blogs I'm finding that many of the best things are still in the que for meal preps. I found Sarah Fragroso's <a href="http://everydaypaleo.com/">Everyday Paleo</a> to be very helpful. I'm not saying I will stick to a strict Paleo diet but she has some great recipes &amp; I think a Texas to Mexico kitchen can only improve with a little Paleo restructure. <br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2p9CBHhPYBY/Tq4Z6uJZh0I/AAAAAAAAGPg/tbE6wR_LwE4/s1600/Halloween+Egg+Muffins.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2p9CBHhPYBY/Tq4Z6uJZh0I/AAAAAAAAGPg/tbE6wR_LwE4/s400/Halloween+Egg+Muffins.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Egg Muffins are a good choice for weekend brunches.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><b>Egg Muffins</b><br />1lb Ground Turkey or turkey/chicken sausage<br />3 cups fresh Spinach (packed), cleaned &amp; chopped<br />1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved<br />mushrooms, sliced<br />32 oz carton Egg Whites*<br />1 tsp. cayenne<br />Sea Salt and Pepper to taste<br /><br />Preheat oven to 375. Cook Turkey, season with cayenne, salt &amp; pepper to taste. Set aside turkey, wilt spinach in skillet. Try not to over cook, I just toss spinach in skillet till barely wilted &amp; remove from heat. Into the bottom of muffin cups (you may use silicon muffin liners or just use a vegetable oil spray in the muffin pan) I spooned a Tbsp of meat into each muffin tin, layer in veggies then pour in egg whites leaving 1/3 inch space at top so egg muffins can rise as they bake. Bake at 375* for 25 min or till they are slightly browned &amp; spring back when touched. Cool slightly &amp; serve. These are good stored &amp; I've even frozen them &amp; heated them in the microwave for a quick breakfast.*I did not use the entire carton of Egg whites &amp; you can also use 12-14 whole eggs in place.&nbsp; Experiment with different veggies &amp; type of egg product. ie: egg beaters, whites or whole eggs.<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NEs775-Yd-A/Tq4bclB-pfI/AAAAAAAAGP8/orBiaEENYho/s1600/Egg%2BMuffins%252C%2BLayer%2Bin%2BMeat%252C%2BVeggies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NEs775-Yd-A/Tq4bclB-pfI/AAAAAAAAGP8/orBiaEENYho/s320/Egg%2BMuffins%252C%2BLayer%2Bin%2BMeat%252C%2BVeggies.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Any favorite Veggies can be used. I've used Asparagus &amp; Broccoli</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fyIQVegc3_o/Tq4aT4lizgI/AAAAAAAAGPo/0j_V9VjmdDM/s1600/Egg+Muffins%252C+Hot+out+of+the+Oven.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="142" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fyIQVegc3_o/Tq4aT4lizgI/AAAAAAAAGPo/0j_V9VjmdDM/s200/Egg+Muffins%252C+Hot+out+of+the+Oven.jpg" width="200" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This recipe is easy to bake for the work week ahead. </td></tr></tbody></table>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-65201394894291049732011-08-15T22:45:00.000-07:002011-08-16T05:03:57.918-07:00Homemade Prickly Pear Sauce, Minus a few Stickers!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Feq4jTOPVAk/Tkn-MSvVeMI/AAAAAAAAGNg/DwZbt96pZhs/s1600/D%2527Hanis+ruins%252C+St+Dominics.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Feq4jTOPVAk/Tkn-MSvVeMI/AAAAAAAAGNg/DwZbt96pZhs/s320/D%2527Hanis+ruins%252C+St+Dominics.jpg" width="213" /></a></div><br />For the first time in several years I picked fresh Prickly Pear fruit. As I drove up the rural ranch road out in Uvalde County I was struck by the colorful "tunas" dotting the tops of the Prickly Pear. Considering the number of cactus plants I saw, it is no wonder I was compelled to pick 10 pounds of Prickly Pear Tunas so I could make Prickly Pear Sauce. This prickly pear sauce recipe a friend gave to me years ago. It was from a cookbook he had with old recipes from Mexico. I've also found it several times since then on websites &amp; in several cookbooks. It can be easily increased. <br /><br />The Prickly Pear fruits are very sweet/tart.&nbsp; Depending on the level of ripeness the sweet factor can be more to the tart side. When I lived in Mexico the street vendors used to peel the fruits &amp; sell bags of them for about 20 pesos.&nbsp; Considering the areas I see Prickly Pear growing in Texas &amp; across the Southwest there is no end to harvesting opportunities. Be cautious though; as I picked the fruit out in rural Uvalde County my mother mentioned that rats liked to build nests at the bottom of Prickly Pear Patches which also tend to attract snakes.&nbsp; The morning I picked the fruit last Monday I noticed a nest almost 4 feet wide at the base of one of the Prickly Pear.&nbsp; I was alert &amp; walked very carefully.&nbsp; Seriously, I thought: "no snake will cheat me out of a Prickly Pear Sauce".&nbsp; I was also of the mindset if that proved wrong I could sprint quickly without spilling too many fruits!! <br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LpYzBunFaL8/Tkn78nU11_I/AAAAAAAAGNc/6jHcKRJ_0tQ/s1600/Prickly+Pear+Patch.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LpYzBunFaL8/Tkn78nU11_I/AAAAAAAAGNc/6jHcKRJ_0tQ/s320/Prickly+Pear+Patch.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">To harvest&nbsp; Cactus fruit&nbsp; wear heavy-duty protective gloves.</td></tr> </tbody></table><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b>Some of the health benefits associated with prickly pear:</b><br />Immune support<br />Diabetes<br />Obesity<br />Helps manage cholesterol<br /><br />Some of the nutrients found in prickly pear cactus:<br />Flavonoids | Pectin | Vitamin A | Vitamin B | Vitamin C<br />Once peeled the Prickly Pear can be eaten either fresh, frozen, or cooked as I have into a sauce which makes a nice marinade, basis for a colorful salad dressing or my personal fave: add a colorful kick to a margarita.&nbsp; The raw fruit tastes somewhere between kiwi or strawberry with a slight acidic tang.(Use gloves &amp; tongs to handle the fresh tunas &amp; when all else fails pick those tiny stickers out with tweezers. The times I have handled the tunas I've always had a few get into my finger tips.)<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PbrU_CVjifs/Tkn41mKrLII/AAAAAAAAGNU/VFBODXo60G0/s1600/Prickly+Pear+Sauce+canned.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PbrU_CVjifs/Tkn41mKrLII/AAAAAAAAGNU/VFBODXo60G0/s320/Prickly+Pear+Sauce+canned.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Prickly Pear Sauce also adds a tangy kick to Margaritas!</td></tr> </tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bXz0dclvohQ/Tkn5-VIrVmI/AAAAAAAAGNY/hJb5L5UKxFg/s1600/Tunas.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bXz0dclvohQ/Tkn5-VIrVmI/AAAAAAAAGNY/hJb5L5UKxFg/s320/Tunas.jpg" width="240" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b>Nopal (Prickly Pear) Sauce</b><br /><br />*16 fresh prickly pears<br />*1/2 Cup sugar<br />*1 Tbs. lime juice<br />*1 Tbs. orange liqueur<br /><br />Remove rind from prickly pears by cutting off both ends and running a slice down both sides. If ripe, the rind will pull off easily. Chop prickly pear into 1-inch pieces and place in a blender. Blend on medium-high until you have a puree. Strain through a cheesecloth or a food mill, this will remove almost all of the tiny stone like seeds. Reserve both the juice and puree. Put 2 cups of the prickly pear juice in a medium-sized saucepan with the sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup of pureed prickly pear, the lime juice &amp; orange (or lemon) liqueur. Stir well. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. **Once we reduced the sauce by half &amp; it thickened slightely it was put into pint canning jars &amp; processed in a water bath for 15 min. Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-27734237011641442702011-07-25T21:09:00.000-07:002011-07-28T20:16:40.422-07:00Keeping Cool with Los Cocos Fruit Ceviche<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TeTQpr4WQgo/Ti45OAu2yVI/AAAAAAAAGKw/8r2yM6f3DFs/s1600/El+Sol.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TeTQpr4WQgo/Ti45OAu2yVI/AAAAAAAAGKw/8r2yM6f3DFs/s400/El+Sol.jpg" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Summer heat is setting records in 2011</td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;The scorching sun has sent the summer temperatures well over 100 for more than 41 days, only considered cool in a "I survived that kind of way",&nbsp; I'm all for prepping meals with little or no oven time right now. To heck with conventional cooking, please don't turn up the heat.&nbsp; The Summer of 2011 could almost be considered the Summer of Ceviche for our family. We've had many endless variety in this popular Latin American dish. This fruity Ceviche version is named after one of my favorite Fruiteria stands in Monterrey Mexico. I've only had fruit cups there at Los Cocos but if they had a Ceviche with fruit it would taste&nbsp; something like my version. Make a Ceviche with whatever seafood is on hand and be liberal with choice of fruits. Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices &amp; spiced with chili peppers. Our family enjoys Ceviche &amp; it seems like the perfect way to cool things down at the end of a long hot day. Follow it with a crisp wine or cold Mexican beer &amp; it's a meal. Salute!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6pg_-2L-nA8/Ti42cIiw2VI/AAAAAAAAGKk/Qtbd5KHAMt0/s1600/El+Tropical+Ceviche.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6pg_-2L-nA8/Ti42cIiw2VI/AAAAAAAAGKk/Qtbd5KHAMt0/s320/El+Tropical+Ceviche.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b><span class="pp-place-title">Los Cocos</span></b><b> Fruit Ceviche </b><br />1 pound medium-size raw shrimp, shelled and veined<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NAfIdHANcLI/Ti42r5mx6VI/AAAAAAAAGKo/GuNypcicJWc/s1600/El+Tropical+Fruit+ingredients.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NAfIdHANcLI/Ti42r5mx6VI/AAAAAAAAGKo/GuNypcicJWc/s320/El+Tropical+Fruit+ingredients.jpg" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced<br />1/4 cup diced yellow onion<br />1 jalapeno, minced<br />1/2cup lime juice, divided in half <br />3 tbsp ketchup<br />1 tablespoon olive oil<br />1/4 cup orange juice<br />1/4 cup chopped cilantro<br />1 cup melon, cubed<br />1 avocado, diced<br />2 kiwi fruit, skinned &amp; diced <br />1 cup pineapple diced, juice reserved<br />1 orange, cut in sections and diced, juice reserved<br />Salt and pepper**<br /><br />Directions<br /><br />Blanch the shrimp in boiling water until no longer translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain &amp; quickly cool down in iced water. (Chill shrimp approx 30 min) <br /><br />Combine the shrimp, red or yellow pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, and 1/4 c.lime juice in a large bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain off most of the liquid.<br /><br />Whisk together the olive oil, ketchup, all citrus juice, and cilantro. Pour over shrimp and add diced avocado, melon, (add all fruits at this time), orange pieces &amp;&nbsp; pineapple. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.**Fruit juices are natural tenderizing agents so remember to prepare approx. what will be consumed in given meal.&nbsp; The shrimp tend to keep tenderizing with the fruit juices &amp; become mushy in more than 24 hrs.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-88657705244380666502011-07-20T22:22:00.000-07:002011-07-21T06:32:23.052-07:00Tortilla Espanola, in Spain it's a Spanish Omelette~<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eaohw99LGjA/TiZYmRLZzjI/AAAAAAAAGJw/Py2MXOtJUew/s1600/Tortilla+Espanola+plated.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eaohw99LGjA/TiZYmRLZzjI/AAAAAAAAGJw/Py2MXOtJUew/s320/Tortilla+Espanola+plated.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>In Mexico Tortillas are disks of either corn or flour flat bread to be served with food tucked into them.&nbsp; In Spain a Tortilla is an entirely different matter. The Espanola is an egg dish filled with potatoes &amp; served either hot or cold.&nbsp; It may be served as an appetizer in a Tapas bar or a main dish at home.&nbsp; My first education about the Spanish Tortilla was in a Miami Beach Tapas restaurant believe it or not. (at last count Miami has at least 8 Tapas restaurants) My husband had lived in Spain &amp; was thrilled to find a Tapas restaurant &amp; introduce the family to one of his favorite foods.&nbsp; Since then I have been captivated by this easy mainstream dish from Spain. Tales of this dish differ on where the Tortilla Espanola originated however all seem to agree that it dates back to the early 1800's. Historically speaking it was said to gain popularity during wartime as a way to feed a crowd with few handy &amp; wholesome ingredients. The dish is both easy &amp; quick to put on the table. <br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XDtAbMJkvqA/TiZYz8OcIUI/AAAAAAAAGJ0/M9qtHXDfsrw/s1600/Tortilla+Espanola.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XDtAbMJkvqA/TiZYz8OcIUI/AAAAAAAAGJ0/M9qtHXDfsrw/s320/Tortilla+Espanola.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><b>Tortilla Espanola ~ Spanish Tortilla</b><br />6-7 medium potatoes, peeled<br />1 whole yellow onion, sliced<br />5-6 large eggs<br />1 cup Spanish Chorizo, sliced into rounds <br />3&nbsp; cups loosely chopped Swiss Chard<br />2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying<br />Salt &amp; Pepper to taste<br /><br />Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8" thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook.<br /><br />Peel and chop the onion into 1/4" pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture.<br /><br />In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn, next add chorizo slices &amp; cook 3-4 more minutes or till sausage browns slightly.<br /><br />Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.<br /><br />Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon. <br /><br />Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a medium, frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.<br /><br />When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Add chopped swiss chard &amp; use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes. If chard needs wilting more broil it for 1-2 minutes or till nicely wilted. <br /><br />Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve a wedge of the Tortilla with sliced pickle, marinated mushrooms, fruit or a piece of crusty bread &amp; a glass of wine.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-57084689567380252312011-04-06T16:30:00.000-07:002011-04-06T17:52:47.575-07:00Comfort Foods take us down memory lane.<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wLe5o5wibSc/TZz3HAIcrDI/AAAAAAAAGEw/V8OWrGhnRjs/s1600/112+Riverdale+Drive.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wLe5o5wibSc/TZz3HAIcrDI/AAAAAAAAGEw/V8OWrGhnRjs/s400/112+Riverdale+Drive.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Familiar house numbers on Nana's San Antonio home. </td></tr></tbody></table><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Comfort whether it pertains to a place, a food or feeling one gets taking a trip down memory lane. It's something that makes us all feel an emotion about the person place or thing.&nbsp; Last year my Nana's house sold in San Antonio Texas &amp; it was a bittersweet feeling.&nbsp; Good because the family who bought the home knew my grandmother &amp; loved the property. Bittersweet in that the empty house brought back so many memories that somehow would never again be so visceral or so easily touched.&nbsp; Emotions &amp; memories are like that.&nbsp; Touching on something deep within which somehow make us connected to that which we are from.&nbsp; Comfort foods are like that also.&nbsp; Comfort foods connect us to a person or event which gets relived even in a tiny form when we experience it again.&nbsp; I recently found a new twist on an old favorite.</span><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L7kdV7X-F1w/TZzMrchSLyI/AAAAAAAAGEs/92D-TCDjrSw/s1600/Mac+%2526+Cheese.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L7kdV7X-F1w/TZzMrchSLyI/AAAAAAAAGEs/92D-TCDjrSw/s400/Mac+%2526+Cheese.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Ground Smoked Chipotle Pepper adds a smoky quality </td></tr></tbody></table><br /><span style="font-weight: normal;"></span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h3><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">So normally I don't just take a recipe I find in a food magazine then just revamp &amp; repost.&nbsp; Something within me yearns for a little more creativity but, how can one really improve on something as great as mac &amp; cheese? The recent cover dish on the March issue of <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/bafoodist/2011/03/pimiento-mac-and-cheese.html">Bon Appetit</a> has been in my focus since I saw it.&nbsp; B A food writers have an entire article dedicated to mac &amp; cheese.&nbsp; True, mac &amp; cheese is what every red blooded American kid grew to love &amp; crave no matter what era you grew up in post World War II.&nbsp; Even if it was that familiar blue box of Kraft Macaroni &amp; Cheese &amp; it somehow made an episode of the Brady Bunch last a wee bit longer. (Ha! Guess I'm dating myself with that one...) I left behind my boxed macaroni &amp; cheese some years ago when I realized homemade mac &amp; cheese is better than anything pre-packaged.&nbsp; My version of the Pimento Mac &amp; Cheese has a bit more heat in it than the original version may have.&nbsp; I found a nice ground smoky chipotle pepper.&nbsp; At it's outset it has a nice smoky scent imparting a nice touch of hot. Whether you want to play with the recipe as I did or just make the mac &amp; cheese ingredient for ingredient it's by far one of my favorite macaroni &amp; cheese recipe's I've had in some time. I also opted to roast my red bell pepper since I like the flavor of roasted bell pepper. Can't wait to see what strikes my fancy in the April issue. Bon Appetit! </span></h3><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>Pimento Macaroni &amp; Cheese</h3><div class="ingredient-set"><ul class="ingredients"><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1 </span> <span class="name">7- to 8-ounce red bell pepper. (After roasting seed &amp; cut into 1-inch pieces.)</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">2</span> <span class="name">garlic cloves, halved, divided</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1/2</span> <span class="unit">cup</span> <span class="name">panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">3</span> <span class="unit">tablespoons</span> <span class="name">unsalted butter, room temperature, divided</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1/2</span> <span class="unit">cup</span> <span class="name">freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">3/4</span> <span class="unit">cup</span> <span class="name">drained mild Peppadew peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1/4</span> <span class="unit">teaspoon</span> <span class="name">ground chipotle chiles</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1 1/4</span> <span class="unit">cups</span> <span class="name">(packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">1</span> <span class="unit">cup</span> <span class="name">(packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella</span> </span></li><li><span class="ingredient"> <span class="quantity">8</span> <span class="unit">ounces</span> <span class="name">medium shell pasta or gemelli</span> </span></li></ul></div><ul class="tips"><li class="tip"> <h3>ingredient info</h3><div class="text">Peppadew peppers are available in jars or in the deli section at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and from <a href="http://www.peppadew.com/homepage/">peppadew.com</a>. <br /><br />Look for <i>panko</i> at supermarkets and at Asian markets. Ground Chipotle Chile peppers are available in the spice section of supermarkets and at Latin markets.</div></li></ul><div class="preparation instructions"><h3>Preparation</h3><div class="prep-steps"><ul><li class="step"><span class="instructions"> <div class="text">Broil or roast in the oven the garlic &amp; red bell pepper. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.</div></span></li><li class="step"><span class="instructions"> <div class="text">Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.</div></span></li><li class="step"><span class="instructions"> <div class="text">Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor. Add Peppadews and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove; then add cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Blend until sauce is smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.</div></span></li><li class="step"><span class="instructions"> <div class="text">Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8-cup baking dish (or 6 individual dishes). Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot. Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.</div></span></li><li class="step"><span class="instructions"> <div class="text">Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes (15 for individual). Let stand 10 minutes.</div></span></li></ul></div></div><div style="background-color: transparent; border: medium none; color: black; overflow: hidden; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;"><br /></div>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-29549993564221929382011-03-21T11:11:00.000-07:002011-03-21T17:34:31.996-07:00Mexican Pickled Onions-Cebollas Curtidas, Perfect Side for Tacos<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JxM5Qznmaig/TYeIuIPh6FI/AAAAAAAAGC8/ws0hxrMRzY8/s1600/DSC00057.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JxM5Qznmaig/TYeIuIPh6FI/AAAAAAAAGC8/ws0hxrMRzY8/s400/DSC00057.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Simple Onion becomes Brilliant in Cebollas Curtidas</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-H1KPv88EYQU/TYeHKkdXb9I/AAAAAAAAGCw/-6m41KQGN6w/s1600/DSC00069.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="132" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-H1KPv88EYQU/TYeHKkdXb9I/AAAAAAAAGCw/-6m41KQGN6w/s200/DSC00069.JPG" width="200" /></a></div>The ways in which simple foods take on a magic every day in Mexico are truly endless. I first tried Cebollas Curtidas at a street taco stand in Torreon Coahuila &amp; was so overwhelmed by the street tacos that I just knew every single part of that experience was grand.&nbsp; It was later when I saw the colorful onions again &amp; knew I had never tasted onions quite like the Mexican Pickled Onions. They were sweet, spicy &amp; altogether unexpected. In the Yucatan they use oregano &amp;&nbsp; chilis habanero in these onions. I suspect that the jalapeno addition may be more of a Northern Mexico style but the citrus juice makes these onions a side dish to be remembered. I have also heard these are a menu item all through Latin America from Guatemala to Ecuador.&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><b>Cebollas Curtidas, Mexican Pickled Onions</b><br />2 medium red onions, thinly sliced (approx. 4-5 cups)<br />1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 med. limes)<br />2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice (5 med. oranges or 2 med. grapefruit)<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QvpfuopVHTo/TYeILBZdB2I/AAAAAAAAGC0/jxXUOYSsZuY/s1600/DSC00061.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QvpfuopVHTo/TYeILBZdB2I/AAAAAAAAGC0/jxXUOYSsZuY/s320/DSC00061.JPG" width="213" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Don't forget to use non metal containers</td></tr></tbody></table>1/3 cup of white wine vinegar<br />1 tablespoon granulated sugar<br />1 teaspoon sea salt<br />2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled &amp; halved <br />1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed &amp; very thinly sliced into rings<br /><br />Directions:<br />1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add onions and blanch for about 15 seconds. Drain well and set aside.<br />2. Combine lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and salt in a large nonreactive bowl, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add blanched onion slices and jalapeño, and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. **the brine can also be seasoned with peppercorns &amp; bay leaves.<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GNC9xVfBFLg/TYeGlodbtgI/AAAAAAAAGCs/6FJUxlXfKEE/s1600/DSC00073.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GNC9xVfBFLg/TYeGlodbtgI/AAAAAAAAGCs/6FJUxlXfKEE/s320/DSC00073.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cebollas Curtidas are perfect for Shrimp or Veggie Tacos</td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;We enjoyed the Mexican Pickled Onions with Shrimp Tacos this weekend but the onions are delicious over any taco which has fresh roasted meats or veggies.&nbsp; I first tried them on Potato Tacos.<br /><br /><b>Shrimp Tacos</b><br /><br />1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil<br /><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Q_1Nxwg2QQ0/TYeQUqR4syI/AAAAAAAAGDA/S2VdObJz3LI/s1600/DSC00064.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Q_1Nxwg2QQ0/TYeQUqR4syI/AAAAAAAAGDA/S2VdObJz3LI/s200/DSC00064.JPG" width="200" /></a>2 cloves garlic, finely chopped<br />1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined<br />Salt and freshly ground black pepper<br />1 teaspoon minced green onion<br />1 liberal dash of cholula hot sauce or favorite sauce<br />1 each red bell pepper, green bell pepper chopped<br />8 corn tortillas, warmed<br /><br />Saute garlic, bell pepper 2 min over medium heat, add shrimp, season with salt, pepper &amp; hot sauce. Serve immediately with Pineapple, Cebollas, Curtidas, Avocado, shredded Radish &amp; Cilantro (also<br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"></div>cheese if you please). Enjoy &amp; Buen Provecho!<br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zWr1Kn_jrU8/TYeIdZaQlGI/AAAAAAAAGC4/YYZnFtVtKeQ/s1600/DSC00059.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="265" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zWr1Kn_jrU8/TYeIdZaQlGI/AAAAAAAAGC4/YYZnFtVtKeQ/s400/DSC00059.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">*Blanch the Onions for 15 seconds to keep the color &amp; crisp quality.<br /><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com13tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-35011593082193670212011-03-20T07:22:00.000-07:002011-03-20T14:50:31.385-07:00Gumbo Shooters, powerful sip of Soup.<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-uofOoRFZjE0/TYYMz-FozxI/AAAAAAAAGCI/W4xfN3hS4U0/s1600/DSC00040.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-uofOoRFZjE0/TYYMz-FozxI/AAAAAAAAGCI/W4xfN3hS4U0/s320/DSC00040.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><b>Did the last time you had something in a shot glass make you feel less than virtuous?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><b> </b>Try serving up your favorite soup in a shot glass. No virtue promised here but no roaring headache the next day either! I hosted Bunco night here recently &amp; served Gumbo one last time. I wanted to serve Gumbo since our cool nights are long gone here in Texas &amp; won't return for several&nbsp; months.&nbsp; I had a New Orleans theme going for my friends &amp; fellow Bunco players.&nbsp; Normally I serve rice with Gumbo however with tiny servings I didn't think rice was necessary &amp; not one person noticed the absence of said starch.&nbsp; I prepared the Gumbo ahead of time &amp; kept it warmed in a crock pot during the festivities.&nbsp; I recommend the 2 oz wide mouth Duralex shot glasses.&nbsp; They are reasonably priced &amp; have enough space for a good sipping Gumbo!&nbsp; Les c'est le bon temp rouler! <br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Wod6RdMWc1Q/TYYJZOrFoLI/AAAAAAAAGCE/myocDHuwQq8/s1600/Gumbo+Shots.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="266" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Wod6RdMWc1Q/TYYJZOrFoLI/AAAAAAAAGCE/myocDHuwQq8/s400/Gumbo+Shots.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Duralex 2 oz shot (wide mouth) glasses hold a nice sip of gumbo&nbsp; </td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: arial black;">Chicken &amp; Sausage Gumbo Shooters</span></div><div></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">1/2 c. butter</span></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">1/2 c. veg. oil</span></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">1 c. flour</span></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">Make a roux from the butter, veg. oil &amp; flour in deep <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1300629249_1" style="border-bottom: 2px dotted rgb(54, 99, 136); cursor: pointer;">dutch oven</span> or gumbo pot. Once your roux is deep brown or copper penny color then add &amp; saute:</span></div><div></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">1 sm. onion, diced</span></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">1 med. bell pepper, diced</span></div><div><span style="font-family: arial black;">2 lg. stalks celery, chopped</span></div><div></div><span style="font-family: arial black;">Once the vegs are cooked add <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1300629249_2">1 quart chicken stock</span> or warm H2O. 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp. <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1300629249_3" style="border-bottom: 2px dotted rgb(54, 99, 136); cursor: pointer;">black pepper</span>, 1/2 tsp. salt, *Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning to taste. Add 4 lg. skinless chicken breasts. 1 pkg. (1 link) smoked beef or pork sausage. Simmer till the meat is cooked well. Remove this from, the gumbo &amp; chop up chicken and dice up sausage. Add this back into the gumbo, keep simmering. Add 1 frozen pkg. okra. Add one small bunch of <span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1300629249_4">green onion tops</span>, chopped. Once this comes to a low simmer turn it off &amp; serve in small shot glasses.&nbsp; Use&nbsp; a small size ladle to make the Gumbo transfer neat &amp; tidy.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: arial black;"><a href="http://www.tonychachere.com/">*Tony Chachere's</a> is a popular season salt from Louisiana, even when living in Mexico I could find this spicy seasoning.&nbsp; </span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-10306627343531792412011-03-14T19:58:00.000-07:002011-03-15T04:24:49.071-07:00It's Officially National Pi Day!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Yauj_YjjaBQ/TX7F8fvGD_I/AAAAAAAAGBY/rE1VpKHxpL8/s1600/Black+Bird+Singing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Yauj_YjjaBQ/TX7F8fvGD_I/AAAAAAAAGBY/rE1VpKHxpL8/s320/Black+Bird+Singing.jpg" width="256" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Four &amp; Twenty Blackbirds</td></tr></tbody></table><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Yauj_YjjaBQ/TX7F8fvGD_I/AAAAAAAAGBY/rE1VpKHxpL8/s1600/Black+Bird+Singing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><br /></a><br /><b>3/14, 3.14: The Celebration of ratio of the circumference of a circle or <i>Hold that Pie Chart</i>....what better reason to celebrate the Glorious Pie? Really, do we need a reason?? Apparently the House of Representatives made it officially Pi Day &amp; they never make mistakes do they? Check out the<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day"> Wikipedia Pi Day link!</a> Why did the photo of the Pi guy make me smile? </b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>What about that blackbird pie poem from childhood?&nbsp; Pie has been national past time for literally centuries, there are volumes written, childhood poems glorifying them but the end result is still the same. One of my daughters likes to call the fruit pies: "hot mushy fruit". Whether you enjoy a creamy custard or hearty apple pie it can be a satisfying experience paired with a cup of coffee &amp; lingering conversation.&nbsp; It may not sound exciting but no dessert brings back memories for me like a family pie recipe. Having said that I thought I'd share a quick Fresh Blueberry Pie which had even the least likely of pie fans at our home eating this pie &amp; wanting seconds.Our blueberries have been so delicious here. I've been buying those pints of berries &amp; eating them over yogurt &amp; cereal more often than not however they are perfect for sauces &amp; desserts. Hope you enjoyed your Pi Day!</b><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-af1yOZM4n2Q/TX7TfFQuPQI/AAAAAAAAGBc/Gz5diVXRUkw/s1600/Blue+Berry+Pie.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-af1yOZM4n2Q/TX7TfFQuPQI/AAAAAAAAGBc/Gz5diVXRUkw/s320/Blue+Berry+Pie.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Fresh Texas Blueberries </td></tr></tbody></table>Fresh Blueberry Pie<br />2/3 cup sugar<br />2 tablespoons cornstarch<br />2/3 cup water<br />4 cups fresh blueberries<br />2 tablespoons lemon juice<br />1 tablespoon Con Olio Lemon Balsamic Vinegar<br />1 teaspoon melted butter<br />1 teaspoon ground cinnamon<br />1 cup sifted all-purpose flour<br />1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder<br />1/2 teaspoon salt<br />1/3 cup milk<br />2 tablespoons melted butter<br />2 tablespoons equal parts sugar &amp; cinnamon<br />17.3 oz box of Puff Pastry, thawed, 2 sheets<br />In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in water. Bring to a boil; stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. Add blueberries, lemon juice &amp; vinegar. Line a lightly buttered deep dish (9 inch) pie pan with 1 puff pastry sheet. Pour blueberry mixture into the crust then layer the top of the fruit with the second layer of puff pastry, loosely fold both crust at the edge to loosely seal the edges. Lightly crimp drizzle melted butter &amp; sprinkle with sugar &amp; cinnamon. Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Enjoy! <br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Need more diversity in your pie?</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>The king was in his counting house counting out his money,</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>The queen was in the parlor eating bread and honey</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>(**eeks! Not certain why this poem make it into the bedtime repertoire of so many children.)</b></span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-61234296725270375072011-03-09T22:12:00.000-08:002011-03-10T04:49:49.259-08:00Buzzing about Kale<a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-j_gBX5yFoiY/TXhjZwqHhqI/AAAAAAAAGAU/RVZVERBCJGw/s1600/Kale+%2526+Potato+Chips.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-j_gBX5yFoiY/TXhjZwqHhqI/AAAAAAAAGAU/RVZVERBCJGw/s320/Kale+%2526+Potato+Chips.jpg" width="213" /></a><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WX_UcRAn958/TXhj0AnGZ-I/AAAAAAAAGAc/kMo_ePfyZtw/s1600/potato+chips.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="143" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WX_UcRAn958/TXhj0AnGZ-I/AAAAAAAAGAc/kMo_ePfyZtw/s200/potato+chips.jpg" width="200" /></a><b><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></b><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: small;">I'm not exactly sure why it took so long for this veggie to regain popularity.&nbsp; Kind of like the tall girl in the back of the dance class, kale hardly had a second glance for a very long time.&nbsp; In the past 18 months I've heard a great deal of buzz about kale. Not to detract but this modest member of the vegetable kingdom needs more than a second glance almost as much as .....Bacon! (don't hate about the bacon note but seriously can we shift gears for a moment here? Enough foodie talk about bacon...besides what hasn't been written about bacon recently? )&nbsp;</span></b><br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: small;">I've always been a proponent of greens in all textures &amp; varieties. At times I am certain my family has been rather skeptical at one more dish of anything of the "green" variety.&nbsp; In the past 2 years it seems like foodies everywhere are singing the praises of kale &amp; chard. In the United Kingdom kale was widely popular during World War II because of the ease which it was grown in Victory gardens &amp; the nutritious benefits the greens added to the wartime rationed diets.&nbsp; kale has <span lang="en-us">192 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin c </span><span lang="en-us">as well as minerals like iron, niacin, potassium and phosphorus.</span><span lang="en-us"> Not loaded with nitrates &amp; fat, kale is low in calories &amp; good for us too.&nbsp; Many folks out there are touting the a</span></span><span lang="en-us">nti-cancer agents found in Kale. </span></b><b><span style="font-size: small;"><span lang="en-us">When I first heard about Kale Chips I couldn't imagine baking kale &amp; having it keep any flavor.&nbsp; I was impressed by the time I saw Giada de Laurentiis turn kale into a crispy side dish although it might be considered an appetizer.&nbsp; Served with a side of the lemony mayonnaise &amp; I could be in heaven in less time than it takes to toss on the olive oil &amp; throw a serving of kale in the oven. Giada has a genius for knowing her audience &amp; somehow tossing sea salt over the EVOO enhances kale making it perfection.&nbsp; The big taste test came when the kale chips were brought to the table &amp; my husband started raving about them.&nbsp; A real hit for certain.&nbsp; Recently, I've also been rather enamored with Whole Foods selection of Kale Salads.&nbsp; Check here for a modest recreation or twist on my own <a href="http://lunch-box-for-one.blogspot.com/">Kale Salad</a> which is also posted on the <a href="http://lunch-box-for-one.blogspot.com/">lunch box blog here: </a></span></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Potato &amp; Kale Chips</span></b><br /><span style="font-size: small;"><b>Chips:</b></span> <br />3 large Kale leaves <br />Extra Virgin Olive oil, for drizzling <br />Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper<br />* 1 (8-ounce) medium white potatoes, unpeeled<br />* 1 (8-ounce) medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled<br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">Mayonnaise:</span></b><br /><br />* 1 cup mayonnaise<br />* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a large lemon)<br />* 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 a large lemon)<br />* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper<br /><br />Chips: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.<br /><br />Remove the thick stem from the kale and discard. Cut the leaves into 2 to 3-inch pieces. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well. Arrange the kale in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy and slightly dark on the edges. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.<br /><br />Using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife, slice the white potatoes and the sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer (without overlapping) on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue to bake, checking every 2 minutes until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes longer. Season the chips with salt and pepper, to taste.<br /><br />Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.<br /><br />Transfer all the chips to a large bowl and serve with the mayonnaise.<br /><br />Cook's Note 1: Some potato chips will cook faster than others. Remove the chips from the baking sheets as soon as they become brown and crispy.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AkDtRs3idxE/TXhnAVWsU7I/AAAAAAAAGAg/FCx_JfKGaXc/s1600/Savory+Kale+Salad+with+Blood+Orange.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AkDtRs3idxE/TXhnAVWsU7I/AAAAAAAAGAg/FCx_JfKGaXc/s320/Savory+Kale+Salad+with+Blood+Orange.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Savory Kale Salad </td></tr></tbody></table>Cook's Note 2: The recipe can be doubled or tripled.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com15tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-45082965135130216252011-02-09T19:47:00.000-08:002011-11-06T12:17:48.142-08:00Soup weather takes me to North Africa<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Sl24TG7Ddvw/TVNfENVMH4I/AAAAAAAAF8k/7HRE2mFP1ro/s1600/Hielem+soup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Sl24TG7Ddvw/TVNfENVMH4I/AAAAAAAAF8k/7HRE2mFP1ro/s400/Hielem+soup.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dqPvhQSrU5E/TVNfS0K0OwI/AAAAAAAAF8o/d6U-lXsmKHw/s1600/Crockpot+Hielem.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dqPvhQSrU5E/TVNfS0K0OwI/AAAAAAAAF8o/d6U-lXsmKHw/s320/Crockpot+Hielem.jpg" width="320" /></a>In a very literal way I've been away for far too long.&nbsp; I've taken many weeks away from blogging to take care of family business, say some tearful goodbyes. Through all of that I continued cooking those comfort foods which make those near and dear feel warm, loved and special.&nbsp; Okay..... not all of those meals were for others but you get the idea!&nbsp; Some of those meals were at the end of very long days when we were lucky to be eating a meal at all. We've all had those days.&nbsp; I was so happy on those days to come home to a meal in my Crock Pot.&nbsp; A&nbsp; new favorite soup for me is Hlelem, it's a Tunisian bean &amp; vegetable soup.&nbsp; The word Hlelem actually comes from the hand rolled pasta which is found in this soup in from North Africa in Tunisia. I used Spanish Fideo which is easily found in the states the Latin section of most grocery stores. I did make a few changes to this recipe but found it to be a healthy &amp; comforting soup. We've <i>all </i>had long stretches of cold days this winter &amp; warm soup is a good go-to for me. I've dreamed of hoping a plane for a warmer destination more than once.&nbsp; I might be dreaming of Africa or the South Pacific on those days but I will still put a south of the border spin on a soup like this by kicking the spices up a notch.&nbsp; I have utilized this cookbook many times in the last few months.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Your-Mothers-Cooker-Recipes-Entertaining/dp/1558323120"> "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker"</a> cookbook.&nbsp; by Beth Hensperger. I can recommend many of the recipes &amp; always am looking for ways to shorten time in the kitchen on a long work day.&nbsp; <br /><b>Hlelem</b><br /><b>1-15.5 oz can garbanzo beans, undrained</b><br /><b>1-15.5 oz can butter beans, undrained</b><br /><b>1/2 cup chopped celery leaves + 1 rib chopped celery</b><br /><b>1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley</b><br /><b>1/3 cup tomato paste</b><br /><b>4 cups chicken or vegetable broth</b><br /><b>2 tbsp olive oil</b><br /><b>1 small yellow onion, chopped</b><br /><b>1/2 cup fideo or crushed angel hair pasta</b><br /><b>1 bunch green swiss chard leaves &amp; stems, leaves shredded &amp; stems chopped</b><br /><b>1 to 2 tbsp Harissa</b><br /><b>2 tbsp hot sauce (optional) </b><br /><b>salt &amp; pepper to taste</b><br /><b>lime wedges for serving.</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>Place garbanzos &amp; butter beans with their liquid, celery leaves, parsley, tomato paste &amp; broth in slow cooker, stir to combine. Cover &amp; turn the setting to low.&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>In a small skillet heat the olive oil over med heat.&nbsp; Add the onion, celery &amp; cook, stirring a few times until softened about 5 min. Add to the cooker, cover &amp; cook on low for 4-5 hours.&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><b>Stir in pasta, then pack in swiss chard; it will cook down. Cover &amp; cook until the pasta 7 chard stems are tender to the bite, 30 minutes to 1 hour longer on low or 10 to 15 min. on high. Stir in Harissa &amp; season with salt &amp; pepper.&nbsp; Serve hot with lime wedges.&nbsp; I enjoy the flavor of lime over the traditional lemon for the flavor.&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Onzs-r3kZec/TVNeNUNob4I/AAAAAAAAF8g/BjmVkF-NPQM/s1600/Harrisa.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Onzs-r3kZec/TVNeNUNob4I/AAAAAAAAF8g/BjmVkF-NPQM/s200/Harrisa.jpg" width="133" /></a><b>Beth Hensperger has a recipe for Harissa however I found it in a can recently after a friend of mine showed me where to find this traditional North African ingredient in a local Halal meat shop.&nbsp; She actually took some to my daughter for a house warming gift.&nbsp; It is a very spicy version of a tomato paste.&nbsp; </b><br /><br /><br /><br />**While I loved this my husband did feel his was in dire need of "meat". Obviously this defeats the purpose of a "Meatless Monday" meal but to each his own.&nbsp; It was actually quite tasty with some shredded roast &amp; in my opinion would be good with lamb in it as well.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-45275992148224664752010-11-18T05:25:00.000-08:002010-11-18T05:41:48.515-08:00A Berry Good Sauce for the Holidays<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUlOuYvHwI/AAAAAAAAF0g/WhjsfG517Og/s1600/Cranberry+Simmer.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUlOuYvHwI/AAAAAAAAF0g/WhjsfG517Og/s320/Cranberry+Simmer.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cranberries on a slow simmer.</td></tr></tbody></table><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUkw871LCI/AAAAAAAAF0Y/_LlYUmZL7hQ/s1600/Cranberries+as+the+rest+of+us+see+them....jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUkw871LCI/AAAAAAAAF0Y/_LlYUmZL7hQ/s320/Cranberries+as+the+rest+of+us+see+them....jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cranberries as most folks know them.</td></tr></tbody></table><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUk_W4Jy9I/AAAAAAAAF0c/Hpx8TGaM4f4/s1600/Cranberry+Sauce.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TOUk_W4Jy9I/AAAAAAAAF0c/Hpx8TGaM4f4/s400/Cranberry+Sauce.jpg" width="266" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This sauce makes a nice holiday gift too</td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;As Thanksgiving approaches I am trying to take the proactive approach &amp; make as many things ahead as I can so I am not in a rush on the day of our big feast. No holiday meal would be complete without homemade Cranberry Sauce. I've had an infatuation with cranberries since I was a kid.&nbsp; We lived in Alaska for several years &amp; we used to enjoy picking wild berries as a family.<a href="http://www.alaskawildberryproducts.com/education/alaskan-foods.html"> Alaska has endless varieties of berries</a> &amp; actually more than one variety of cranberry.&nbsp; My mother used to make jams, jellies, syrups &amp; baked goods with the fruit.&nbsp; The wild cranberry is much smaller than the variety we often see in the store which are commercially grown for sauces &amp; juice. Whichever you are most familiar with this sauce is both simple &amp; perfect for holiday entertainment.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b>Lemony Cranberry Sauce</b><br />1 (12- ounce) bag cranberries, fresh <br />3/4 cup white sugar<br />3/4 cup water<br />1/4 teaspoon salt<br />1 Lemon juiced &amp; seeds removed then dice pulp<br />1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest<br />1/4 cup of Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur*<br />1/8 teaspoon, fresh grated nutmeg<br />1 whole cinnamon stick**<br /><br />Rinse cranberries, place in large saucepan along with water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon pulp, lemon zest. Bring berry mixture to a low boil, once the berries start to burst then reduce heat to slow simmer.&nbsp; Add Lemon Liqueur, nutmeg &amp; whole cinnamon stick.&nbsp; Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.&nbsp; Once the mixture has a syrup like texture &amp; all the berries are soft then remove from heat &amp; cool to room temperature.&nbsp; I like to make this 1 week before holiday meal.&nbsp; It keeps for 2 to 3 weeks &amp; tastes better a few days after it sits chilled.&nbsp; Leftover sauce freezes well. *Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur also has an orange liqueur which is good for this recipe.&nbsp; **The cinnamon stick can be left in till served as it imparts a slight spicy flavor.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com16tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-82659182741242852212010-10-28T11:35:00.000-07:002010-10-29T05:42:39.244-07:00Tuesday Tacos, true Gulf Coast Flavor!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMm8cSYp-8I/AAAAAAAAFzc/vcxQeYtJp_Y/s1600/Fish+Tacos+with+Pomegranite.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMm8cSYp-8I/AAAAAAAAFzc/vcxQeYtJp_Y/s320/Fish+Tacos+with+Pomegranite.jpg" width="320" /></a></div>I see fish tacos as a very Baja Mexico creation, in recent years I have noticed them appearing many menus across Texas as well.&nbsp; The fish can be grilled, fried or seared but however it is prepared they are almost always enjoyable.&nbsp; I used to rate a good Tex-Mex restaurant on the enchiladas &amp; salsa alone, now I guess the establishment had better be on the game with the Fish Tacos too! The fish must be super fresh.&nbsp; We are fortunate to have fresh Gulf seafood nearly at our fingertips here in Texas.&nbsp; (You can substitute any fresh fish of choice.) I added one of my favorite fruits to these tacos.&nbsp; We are just now finding fabulous pomegranates here in the markets.&nbsp; I even have some small pom varieties in my garden however they are not ready yet to eat. This week on Tuesday we had Fish Tacos with a twist of course. The combination of Pomegranate &amp; Jalapeno give these Fish Tacos a real star rating in the Texas to Mexico household.&nbsp; Like most tacos they are pretty fuss free &amp; easy to prepare. They make a perfect dinner for a night of things that go bump in the night &amp; trick or treating!&nbsp; Enjoy my friends &amp; buen provecho!<br /><br /><b>Gulf Coast Fish Taco</b>s<br />1 1/2 lb *Gulf Sea Bass, *any fish of your choice is great<br />1 Pkg Louisiana Fish Fry<br />2 cups vegetable oil<br />1 cup Guacamole<br />1 cup chopped cabbage, either red or green<br />1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded &amp; diced<br />1 Pomegranate, Seeded<br /><b>Fish Taco Sour Cream dressing</b><br />1 cup sour cream<br />1/ 4cup milk<br />2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice<br />1 Tbsp garlic powder<br />1 Tbsp oregano or cilantro, chopped fine either dry or fresh<br />Pepper &amp; Salt to taste<br /><br />Fry Fish dipped in to the Louisiana Fish Fry,&nbsp; in 1 1/2 inches of oil, I used favorite cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook time for fish while frying: 4-5 minutes, turning once during the frying process. The fish should have a crisp texture on the outside &amp; have a nice golden color.&nbsp; The fish should easily flake once it is cooked. (do not over cook) Drain the fish on paper towels, keep warm in oven preheated at 225*.&nbsp; Heat corn tortillas thoroughly, on comal or griddle. <br /><br /><b>Assemble the Fish tacos</b> placing a layer of guacamole on the bottom of the tortilla, add few tablespoons of cabbage, piece of fish, top with Sour Cream Sauce (recipe above) then sprinkle liberally with the pomegranate seeds.&nbsp; I served this with Spanish Rice &amp; also garnished that with the red pomegranate seeds.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMm7C2XEJHI/AAAAAAAAFzY/d8wwgppyXNI/s1600/fishfry.gif" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMm7C2XEJHI/AAAAAAAAFzY/d8wwgppyXNI/s1600/fishfry.gif" /></a><b>&nbsp;Louisiana Fish Fry is our favorite fish fry.&nbsp; When I attended college in Louisiana these products earned my eternal favor!&nbsp; What goes better with Gulf Seafood?&nbsp; If there is a product out there I haven't found it yet but still open to try new things! Let me know what your favorite Fish Fry is?&nbsp; </b>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-13330278200999533752010-10-23T08:48:00.001-07:002010-10-23T16:58:35.919-07:00Family pizza night kneads to start with the right dough.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIlH48MbI/AAAAAAAAFyg/GE_tq7nYqJU/s1600/Family+Pizza+Night+At+Laurens.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 134px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIlH48MbI/AAAAAAAAFyg/GE_tq7nYqJU/s200/Family+Pizza+Night+At+Laurens.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5531274201207157170" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">I've heard interviews which quote New Yorkers as saying that the secret to great crust is the water in New York. I really don't know about that "true-ism" but the water here seems to work out quite well when we have Family Pizza Night in Texas. I believe the real secret to great crust is the joy one gives or receives in feeding a crowd & satisfaction of a yeasty crust filled with favorite toppings. We recently had Pizza with <a href="http://bytes-from-texas.blogspot.com/">Bytes from Texas</a> as she used some Foodbuzz Tastemaker products from Fresh Express. The pizza toppings she used were wonderful (especially the BLT!!) & I took the pizza dough over providing the 2 crusts. New York or Texas it is all the same when sharing food with those you love. Last evening we made homemade Focaccia bread which we made using a variety of fresh local ingredients & is posted on our <a href="http://freshfromtheheartoftexas.blogspot.com/">Fresh from the Heart of Texas</a> blog. Fall is in the air at the local Farmer's Market & we are sure to find more tasty toppings for both Pizzas & Focaccias. For your own Pizza night try the Pizza Dough I prefer.</span><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIH73RUrI/AAAAAAAAFyY/iSPZHG37QOo/s1600/Homemade+Pizza+Crust.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIH73RUrI/AAAAAAAAFyY/iSPZHG37QOo/s400/Homemade+Pizza+Crust.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5531273699762721458" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIHYnqWbI/AAAAAAAAFyQ/Y5x7iaICBY8/s1600/Homemade+Pizza+Dough+mixing.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMIHYnqWbI/AAAAAAAAFyQ/Y5x7iaICBY8/s400/Homemade+Pizza+Dough+mixing.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5531273690302011826" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;"><br />Pizza Dough for 2 Pizzas</span><br />1 pkg. active yeast*<br />1 1/4 c. warm water<br />2 tbsp. cooking oil<br />4 c. flour<br />1 tsp. salt<br />1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)<br />1 tsp. <br />Dissolve yeast in warm water, stir in oil. Sift flour and salt together and stir into first mixture. Knead for 15 minutes, loosely cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk.(Approximately 2 hours) Makes 2 pizzas. Divide dough in half, work with 1/2 the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into circle/ball then either stretch into the round pizza shape or roll with a floured rolling pen. Place onto a bread baking stone which has been lightly dusted with cornmeal or lightly oiled pizza pan. Either way this crust is a very light New York style crust. Add your sauce and desired topping. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. <br />*Proofing the yeast: for this recipe I proofed my yeast, I dissolved the yeast, water, sugar, salt & 1/4 cup of the flour for the recipe into a small glass bowl & let it rest 20 minutes. This proofing created a nice spongy yeast mixture which assured me the crust would rise well. When taking this step remember you have already used 1/4 cup of the 4 cups of flour & adjust accordingly. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMHUl03kaI/AAAAAAAAFyI/UVM97g02Eao/s1600/Homemade+Pizza+Yeast+Proofing.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TMMHUl03kaI/AAAAAAAAFyI/UVM97g02Eao/s400/Homemade+Pizza+Yeast+Proofing.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5531272817673736610" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">Hungry yet? Don't forget to check out the Focaccia at <a href="http://freshfromtheheartoftexas.blogspot.com/">Fresh from the Heart of Texas</a>!</span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-59858710818705204192010-10-19T08:29:00.000-07:002010-10-20T15:46:00.171-07:00Natchitoches meat pie, the original hot pocket.Think comfort food to in the 1700's in Louisiana & you might well be dreaming of the Natchitoches Meat Pies; that's pronounced (NACK-uh-tush) for those less familiar with Louisiana names & places. These tasty meat pies are a hold over from the early Spanish settlers in the Louisiana territory. Which is to say they were similar to beef Empanadas & were taken literally across the Spanish empire by early settlers. We often dined on Empanadas in Mexico which were very much like these "north of the border" meat pies, hence my addition of Chohula hot sauce to my meat pies! These days you are likely to find the meat pies at the New Orleans Jazz festival, a football game or at a boucherie deep in the heart of Cajun land. Sometimes they are called Cajun meat pies but whatever one says about them they are a crowd pleasing, taste tempting pastry filled with meat & spices. Natchitoches meat pies are great for a main dish with a salad or as an appetizer. They need nothing other than a napkin to catch any filling which may tumble out however I made an easy Avocado dip we thought was perfect for these treats. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL3AlcCPSMI/AAAAAAAAFwE/j80GyxVk4c8/s1600/Natchitoches+Meat+Pies.JPG"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL3AlcCPSMI/AAAAAAAAFwE/j80GyxVk4c8/s400/Natchitoches+Meat+Pies.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529787666894112962" /></a><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">Natchitoches Meat Pies </span> <br /> <br />for meat filling<br />1 1/2 lb ground beef<br />1 1/2 lb ground pork<br />1 c chopped green onions<br />2-3 cloves garlic<br />1 tbsp salt<br />1 tsp red pepper flakes<br />1 tsp coarse black pepper<br />1/2 tsp cayenne pepper<br />2 tsp Sherry vinegar<br />2 tsp hot sauce, Cholula, Tabasco, etc<br />1/3 c flour<br />Combine all ingredients except flour & cook till meat breaks up and is no longer red. Sift flour over the meat mixture , mix well, remove from heat. Drain meat into a colander, cool to room temp.<br />Crust:<br />2 2/3 c flour<br />1/3 heaping solid shortening<br />1 lg egg<br />3/4 c Milk<br />Vegetable oil for frying pies<br />Sift flour, use pastry cutter&cut shortening into flour. Mix in egg & milk. Form dough into a ball. It will be semi sticky.<br /><br />Flour board and rolling pin. Rolling out about 1/3 of dough at a time roll about 1/8 in thick. Cut into 5in circles (use coffee can or similar size) To assemble pies place heaping spoon of filling dampen edge of pie dough with an *egg wash & seal shut then prick each top twice. These can be frozen or fried in deep fat fryer at 350 degrees. Drain on paper towels, serve warm. *Yolk of 1 egg + 1 tsp H2O, beaten & then brush on the inside edges of dough before pressing edges shut & crimping. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL2_qsoWW5I/AAAAAAAAFv8/IewGxG-TCHw/s1600/Natchitoches+Meat+Pie+Prep.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL2_qsoWW5I/AAAAAAAAFv8/IewGxG-TCHw/s400/Natchitoches+Meat+Pie+Prep.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529786657736645522" /></a> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;"><br />Avocado Horseradish Dip</span><br /> 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and pits removed<br /> 2 Tbsp Milk<br /> 16 ounces sour cream<br /> 4 Tbsp prepared horseradish*<br /> 2 tsp garlic, peeled & coarsely chopped<br /> 3 green onions, chopped (or)<br /> *1 small shallot can be used <br /> juice of 1 fresh lime<br /> 2 tsp Cholula hot sauce<br /><br />Place all ingredients in blender or food processor & chill before serving. *I use the prepared horseradish found in the deli, do not use a horseradish spread which is more than horseradish. It is less pungent & has less bite to it for this recipe. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL2-8QDS5NI/AAAAAAAAFv0/-Fja7XIkF4c/s1600/Avocado+Horseradish+Dip.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 228px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TL2-8QDS5NI/AAAAAAAAFv0/-Fja7XIkF4c/s320/Avocado+Horseradish+Dip.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529785859791054034" /></a><br />This dip was so good we even tried it with chips & veggies. Oh, the possibilities any dish with an avocado presents...Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-30605890781406419282010-10-14T07:47:00.000-07:002010-10-15T04:08:00.439-07:00The "un-birthday cake"<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcwk3BQPwI/AAAAAAAAFvg/qbsDmR0ZYzE/s1600/Jackie+blows+out+that+candle.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 222px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcwk3BQPwI/AAAAAAAAFvg/qbsDmR0ZYzE/s320/Jackie+blows+out+that+candle.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5527940477423206146" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">A very merry unbirthday to you</span><br /><br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcupltxDTI/AAAAAAAAFvY/eIKv9VNmaho/s1600/Jackie%27s+unbirthday+cake.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 267px; height: 400px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcupltxDTI/AAAAAAAAFvY/eIKv9VNmaho/s400/Jackie%27s+unbirthday+cake.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5527938359654157618" /></a><br />Our youngest daughter has always been the "un-birthday" cake girl! When she was little she would stick her fingers in the frosting & pose for those cutesy photos parents have of their toddlers. You know the pics with the fingers dripping with sugary sweetness. In truth though when she was able to express her opinion at birthday events she never wanted a birthday cake. She was <span style="font-style:italic;">that kid</span> at a birthday party who didn't want a sugary piece of birthday cake loaded with frosting. The "un-birthday cake" girl ate Cookie cakes for years. Now that she is older she actually has a little more variety in her dessert repertoire but still manage to keep it simple. When she had a birthday this week I stumbled upon a great idea for a small gathering birthday celebration. Why not make a loaf pan sized birthday cake? Our family tends to have a birthday every 4 weeks in the summer & fall. We get overloaded on cake to be honest. The smaller sized cake seems like the perfect way to celebrate & have our cake too! Why did it take me so long to come up with this "small un-birthday cake" idea? <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcjVxuf73I/AAAAAAAAFvQ/vEpawl_SpjI/s1600/lemon+Pound+cake.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcjVxuf73I/AAAAAAAAFvQ/vEpawl_SpjI/s400/lemon+Pound+cake.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5527925924653166450" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">Lemon Pound Cake</span><br />1 2/3 cups all purpose flour<br />1/2 teaspoon baking soda<br />1/2 teaspoon baking powder<br />3 large eggs<br />1 cup sugar<br />3 Tablespoons salted butter, softened<br />1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract<br />1 teaspoon pure lemon extract<br />1/2 teaspoon Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur<br />Juice from two medium lemons (approx 1/3 cup)<br />1/2 cup vegetable oil<br />Preheat oven to 350 degrees.<br /><br />Grease & flour a 9x5 loaf pan well. (I used a Nordic Ware loaf pan with many nooks & tiny spots) make sure to get the entire pan greased & floured so the cake will have nice clear definition.<br /><br />In a medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder. <br /><br />In mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream butter. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice and oil until mixed well. <br /><br />Gradually add dry ingredient mixture to your mixer and blend until smooth. <br /><br />Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until wooden skewer comes out clean. Edges should be golden brown & will continue crisp upon cooling.<br /><br />Let cake cool before spreading the icing over the cake.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;"><br />Ingredients for Lemon Liqueur Icing</span><br />1 cup plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar<br />2 Tablespoons whole milk<br />1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract<br />1/2 teaspoon Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur<br />For icing blend powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract & Lemon Liqueur until creamy. Ice the top of your cake and let the icing drip down the sides of your pound cake. Let icing set on the pound cake before slicing. <br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcfW46pCFI/AAAAAAAAFvI/ys3HWUW4VSQ/s1600/Paula%27s+Texas+Lemon+Liquor.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 214px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TLcfW46pCFI/AAAAAAAAFvI/ys3HWUW4VSQ/s320/Paula%27s+Texas+Lemon+Liquor.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5527921545716500562" /></a><br />When making a flavored Pound Cake try using a local liqueur. Austin Texas has many local flavors but this one really caught our interest & has so many possibilities. Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur also has a delicious Orange Liqueur.Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com10tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-24907144434019573802010-10-08T09:13:00.001-07:002010-10-08T11:46:24.366-07:00Brave Potatoes on family Tortilla night.<span style="font-weight:bold;">In Mexico the simple tortilla is at times a spoon, a plate as well as bread. The contribution of the tortilla to the cuisine of Mexico is irrefutable & there is really no way to describe the flavor of a handmade tortilla hot off the stove. Whether you enjoy corn or flour the one thing you should do if only once is to try making your own tortillas. </span><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9QsVFoz0I/AAAAAAAAFuc/3cDjzwTwa_4/s1600/Tortilla+assembly+line,+tortilla+combo.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 266px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9QsVFoz0I/AAAAAAAAFuc/3cDjzwTwa_4/s400/Tortilla+assembly+line,+tortilla+combo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525723990312144706" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Last weekend we had family Tortilla night. <a href="http://bytes-from-texas.blogspot.com/">Bytes from Texas</a>, (one of my daughters) served up a menu of Fajitas, roasted corn & my Patatas Bravas all of which required fresh tortillas. The highlight of the evening was when my daughter's boyfriend made flour tortillas the way his Grandmother taught him to make them. Nothing was measured, everything was by feel & touch. It was almost therapy watching him figure it out with a pinch of this & a handful of that. His flour tortillas were perfect. I on the other hand used Masa Seca for my corn tortilla dough. Masa in Mexico means "dough". The true masa is made from field corn, called maiz blanco or "cacahuazintle" which was dried, treated with a lime water solution, then ground. For a few dozen tortillas I will always start with a quality Masa Seca. The masa can be used for corn tortillas or for tamales. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9M9wCG32I/AAAAAAAAFuU/k6Y_nq-LcdQ/s1600/Tortilla+keeper.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9M9wCG32I/AAAAAAAAFuU/k6Y_nq-LcdQ/s400/Tortilla+keeper.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525719891556360034" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9LQWxWceI/AAAAAAAAFuM/LjZle9FDrl4/s1600/Tortilla+assembly+line,wooden+tortilla+press.JPG"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9LQWxWceI/AAAAAAAAFuM/LjZle9FDrl4/s400/Tortilla+assembly+line,wooden+tortilla+press.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525718012169449954" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight:bold;">Flour Tortillas</span><br />3 cups unbleached flour<br />2 tsp. baking powder<br />1 tsp. salt<br />4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard<br />about 1 1/4 cups warm water<br /><br />Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.<br /><br />Add vegetable shortening or lard. (Or use a combination of half lard, half shortening.) <br />Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned way and use your hands.<br /><br />Next add warm water a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. You do not need very hot water.<br />Knead the dough for a few minutes.<br /><br />Let the dough rest a few minutes then divide the dough into 12-15 golf ball sized round balls. Heat the comal (griddle) to medium high heat. Roll out with a rolling pin or press the tortilla dough between two pieces of wax paper & press in a tortilla press. <br /><br />Lay the tortillas on the comal & cook for brief 20-30 seconds or till they brown slightly. As the tortillas cook they will develop brown specs on the tortilla. Wrap the cooked tortillas in a fresh tea towel & keep warm in a basket or tortilla keeper till all the tortillas are cooked. <br /><span style="font-weight:bold;"><br />Corn Tortillas</span><br /><br />2 Cups Maseca Corn Masa mix<br />1/2 teaspoon Salt<br />1 1/8 Cup Water<br /><br />**Use the same process as above for the flour tortillas but keep in mind that the corn dough will be more dense to work with. There are very good instructions on almost all masa packages. The reason many people use pre-packaged masa is that finely milled masa is perfectly ground for making corn tortillas.<br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9JKsLIdZI/AAAAAAAAFuE/fPFH_UXLIrA/s1600/Tortilla+assembly+line,+he+rolls+that+dough+very+thin.JPG"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9JKsLIdZI/AAAAAAAAFuE/fPFH_UXLIrA/s400/Tortilla+assembly+line,+he+rolls+that+dough+very+thin.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525715715812259218" /></a><br /><br />The process of tortilla making can be a family experience. There is something for everyone to do.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9H6CvP0NI/AAAAAAAAFt8/aGLRoccjpYg/s1600/Tortilla+Night+Mosaic.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9H6CvP0NI/AAAAAAAAFt8/aGLRoccjpYg/s400/Tortilla+Night+Mosaic.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525714330299912402" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> This potato dish is unique to Spain. Often served with a simple glass of wine in as a tapas dish in bars throughout Spain. It is as commonplace in the countryside as it is in the big city restaurants. The potatoes can be eaten as a side dish or appetizer with toothpicks on small plates. The "Bravas" or Brave title comes from how brave one may have to be to eat this spicy potato dish. However you decide to try this dish remember both the heat & the amount of paprika are up to the discretion of the chef! It is a great addition to any Mexican meal. <br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9Gj0ZB8dI/AAAAAAAAFt0/eJZXg4CbriA/s1600/Patatas+Bravas+for+dinner.jpg"><img style="float: right; margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9Gj0ZB8dI/AAAAAAAAFt0/eJZXg4CbriA/s400/Patatas+Bravas+for+dinner.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525712848979882450" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Patatas Bravas</span><br /><br /> * 3 Tbsp olive oil<br /> * 4 - 5 Lg Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut to 1-inch cubes<br /> * 2 tablespoons minced onion<br /> * 2 cloves garlic, minced<br /> * Salt &amp; Pepper<br /> * 1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika<br /> * 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce<br /> * 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme<br /> * 1/2 cup Ketchup<br /> * 1/2 cup mayonnaise<br /> * 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar<br /> * Chopped parsley, to garnish<br /> * 1 cup olive oil, for frying<br /><br />In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cook until the onion is soft. Turn off the heat, and add the paprika, and thyme, stirring well. Transfer to a bowl and add the ketchup and mayonnaise, sherry vinegar &amp; Tabasco or preferred hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.<br /><br />Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet fry the potatoes in 1 cup olive oil until cooked through and golden-brown, stirring occasionally. Drain the potatoes on paper towels, check the seasoning, add more salt if necessary, and set it aside. (*if you wish to use other vegetable oil it is fine but the olive oil imparts a nice flavor on this traditional dish. )<br /><br /><br />Keep the potatoes warm &amp; pour sauce over them while warm. Serve immediately.<br /><br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9FdEGmpWI/AAAAAAAAFtk/ker4IQgxjVI/s1600/Pappas+y+Huevos.JPG"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 267px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TK9FdEGmpWI/AAAAAAAAFtk/ker4IQgxjVI/s400/Pappas+y+Huevos.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5525711633426851170" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">If you are lucky enough to have any left the next morning be brave &amp; serve them with eggs &amp; tortillas.<br /></span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-24952061912448156.post-4176204010781122092010-09-12T22:19:00.001-07:002010-09-19T12:30:12.914-07:00Who, why and the simple Torta.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3WE09J18I/AAAAAAAAFr0/TLYLmaXJ5xE/s1600/1940%27s+Frosty+Freds,+San+Antonio+Texas.jpg"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; width: 400px; float: left; height: 300px; cursor: pointer;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5516300497021687746" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3WE09J18I/AAAAAAAAFr0/TLYLmaXJ5xE/s400/1940%27s+Frosty+Freds,+San+Antonio+Texas.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3THaEJtfI/AAAAAAAAFrk/iLU9CiD-ih4/s1600/el+mercado.jpg"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; width: 300px; float: right; height: 400px; cursor: pointer;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5516297242808006130" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3THaEJtfI/AAAAAAAAFrk/iLU9CiD-ih4/s400/el+mercado.jpg" border="0" /></a> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">I am competing in the<a href="http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog"> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Project Food Blog</span></a> Challenge by Foodbuzz, for our first challenge, each competitor is asked to create a post that defines us as a food blogger. My blog was born out of Expat need to blog &amp; therefore reach out to others from a quiet spot in a desert in Northern Mexico. Most of you read this in my previous "Blogiversary" post. That certainly doesn't describe the reasons phrases like demi-glace, stock, reduction or taste before you season have impact for me or have had meaning most of my life.<br /><br /><br /><br />The main &amp; simple reason can be narrowed down to a place &amp; 2 people who have had profound effect at how I look at food. I lived as a child in a fabulous city which was &amp; still is a cultural hodgepodge of sights &amp; flavors. Most people who visit San Antonio Texas today have visited "El Mercado" in downtown San Antonio think of it as a fun touristy attraction which has restaurants &amp; shops. It is now more commonly known by the gringo name of "Market Square". When I was a child it was the very encapsulation of food &amp; where people actually shopped for vegetables, fruits &amp; seasonings in a true farmer's market setting...long before farmer's markets were "trendy". There was even a wonderful shop in El Mercado which till the early 1980s still sold chili powders, cumino &amp; other authentic Mexican seasonings as well as hierbas. We could also find the standard fare one would see in a Mercado south of the border in Mexico. El Mercado made a leap to prosperity at some point in the 1970s with Urban Renewal some of those more simple traditions by the wayside. I still enjoy going to El Mercado, the experience though never fails to dredge up memories of going there as a child even if I am partaking of those touristy margaritas &amp; ogling the colorful pinatas. San Antonio for me is all about the food. San Antonio is a big part of my Food heritage.<br />My earliest memories as a child are of my Grandfather(check out the vintage photo of him serving customers at Ft. Sam in San Antonio, Texas, late 1940's). He worked most of his life in restaurant business in San Antonio Texas. He would have the entire family over for Sunday dinner. His meal repertoire was simple &amp; yet truly wonderful. He would made an incredible Yankee pot roast, though I hardly think he called it that. As I grew older he told me how to reduce, thicken that roast gravy or even darken it with coffee if need be. He also made large pots of old school Italian Spaghetti Sauce much like the old fashioned Brown Sauces from the 1940s. My Grandfather would strain the sauce, correct the seasoning &amp; then strain it again. Granddaddy was a very practical man but he always tossed out the bits &amp; pieces we now keep in our contemporary Spaghetti sauces. Back then every process he used was like a slow, methodical dance step in the small kitchen. My mother on the other handmade made use of everything she had. She truly must have lived that phrase in the kitchen "waste not, want not". She used everything at her disposal, never throwing out a key ingredient, which created a continual feast. She made flavorful cornbread with grains of corn, jalapenos &amp; cheese. That is common enough now but in the 1960s it was cutting edge &amp; unique. She made frijoles &amp; chilis which were legendary. When our family moved to Alaska she learned how people there lived off the richness of the land &amp; cooked accordingly. As part of that experience our family would go out collecting mushrooms &amp; berries where we learned what was ripe, flowering or non edible. We ate the best fish &amp; game my father would bring home as is still commonplace in the 49th state. In this day it is rare when I am lucky enough to encounter a morel mushroom or a high bush cranberry but knowing the differences in such things at a young age made me the cook &amp; food blogger I am today. The travel to or living in other countries as an adult has just been the cream on the coffee. Travel changes you, people touch you but it is the flavors which feed your soul.<br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3PadpznkI/AAAAAAAAFrU/OLe4V3lj98I/s1600/Mexican+Torta.jpg"><img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; width: 400px; float: left; height: 267px; cursor: pointer;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5516293172142251586" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3PadpznkI/AAAAAAAAFrU/OLe4V3lj98I/s400/Mexican+Torta.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3NKxIq6BI/AAAAAAAAFrM/485B0Sg8d0g/s1600/Torta+openfaced.jpg"><img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; width: 200px; float: right; height: 134px; cursor: pointer;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5516290703470815250" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V-DYLEPcx5M/TI3NKxIq6BI/AAAAAAAAFrM/485B0Sg8d0g/s200/Torta+openfaced.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br />To celebrate the start of Project blog I thought I'd post an easy recipe of a typical Mexican street food. Between Texas &amp; Mexico so many of these foods could sum up who I am &amp; my inner foodie philosophy. I love simple, hearty &amp; food which make an impression on the palate. Those very impressions don't have to be expensive or extravagant to hit the mark. These simple sandwiches became very popular in Mexico around WWII. (I have checked this story out with several sources &amp; all say the same thing) They are a very hearty sandwich which truly could keep a hungry working man or woman going for hours till the traditional late evening dinner hour in Mexico. While we lived in Mexico I marveled at how many varieties of these sandwiches I saw &amp; how virtually any street corner might have a Torta vendor show up mid-day with a steady stream of customers well into the late afternoon. I am so glad I discovered the original "Belt-Buster" south of the border! Is there anything more portable or satisfying as a simple Sandwich?<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">How to make a Torta:</span><br /><br />Use Bolillos Rolls found at a Latin American Market<br />2) Cut it in half, scoop out a little of the actual bread. (the roll can actually be toasted)<br />3) Spread the bottom half with a thin layer of refried beans<br />4) Layer sliced or shredded cold pork or beef. Leftover roast is perfect for this sandwich.<br />5) Use any or all of the following ingredients for the filling:garnishes such as guacamole, tomato, diced sweet white onion, jalapenos, chopped cilantro. lettuce.<br />To this squeeze lime &amp; add a squeeze of mayo or Mexican. Give yourself time to finish this meal &amp; plenty of napkins or share this generous sandwich.<br /></span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"></span>Deehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06189313580249955642noreply@blogger.com12