Saturday, June 28, 2014
I've been making enchiladas a lot lately because my little sister goes crazy for them. The recipe for the mole sauce is from My New Roots and the enchilada recipe is one I've been making forever. The mole sauce recipe makes a lot. I recommend using it right on a roasted sweet potato or any roasted veggies really.
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1- 15 oz can whole, organic tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. ground chipotle
pinch of cayenne, if desired
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp. tahini
4 Tbsp. water, divided
1½ Tbsp. lime juice
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another couple minutes. Add all spices and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add tomatoes into the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a blender. Then add the pitted dates, cacao powder, tahini, lime juice and a couple tablespoons of the water. Blend on high, adding water to thin as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste.
10-12 large whole wheat tortillas
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mole sauce
lots more cheddar cheese, for the topping
Saute all the veggies over medium heat in a large saucepan until cooked through. Then add the yogurt and beans and stir into the veggies. Add the cheese and mix gently until melted. Add mole sauce and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add a couple scoops mole sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add about 1/4 cup veggie mixture into each shell and roll into a burrito. Stack enchiladas to fill the pan. Pour plenty of mole sauce over the enchiladas and top with plenty of cheese. Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes until the cheese on top is nicely golden brown.
Serve with hot sauce, fresh cilantro, plain yogurt, and guacamole.
Most of the strawberries were eaten fresh for Kelly's graduation party. My family goes nuts for fruit. One of the things I miss most about Vietnam is all the amazing tropical fruit. I have to say summer in PA really makes up for it! Coming up is blueberry season (I even bought 2 bushes for my parent's house!)! Also peaches and cherries.
This recipe was found on Cooking up a Story! Such a cute blog name.
Makes enough to fill one half-pint mason jar
4 cups ripest strawberries, whole
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 vanilla bean, split
1 tsp dried lavender flowers
1 tsp chopped fresh lavender leaves
A note on the lavender: I like to add excessive amounts. If you don't, just cut back some. Also go crazy with herb combinations! Rosemary, mint, thyme, etc.
Set a small plate in the freezer to chill. In a wide saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for about 15 minutes. Then pull the plate out and add 1/2 tsp jam onto the cold surface. Tip the plate. If the jam runs slowly, it's ready. It really depends on how set you want the jam to be. The slower the jam runs, the thicker the jam will be. If you want it thicker, just cook it longer.
When it gets to a consistency you like, pull out the vanilla bean. Then you can blend the jam if you want it to be smooth. I made 2 batches, with whole strawberries and one with pureed strawberries. Then pour into a sterilized mason jar.
I don't bother to process the jam. We keep it in the refrigerator and eat it within 2-3 weeks. You can use it to make great strawberry ice cream and brownies.
Also Rex likes my Surly as much as I do. I need to get him to stop chewing the tires though.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Anyways, I have not had time to blog since we just got a puppy! His name is Rex and we are so, so in love. He is super sweet. He is also a trouble maker. He broke out of his crate three times. He even met Twilly already! They are friends as long as Laura doesn't pick up Rex or pet him...
I found this recipe by Googling the best veggie burger in the world. I chose a post by that exact title on A Cozy Kitchen.
8 ounces beets, roasted and peeled
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, washed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, washed and drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup rolled oat flour (make your own in a food processor)
1/2 medium red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sumac (substitute lemon zest if you don't have sumac)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
Throw everything except the chickpeas and black beans in a food processor and pulse just until all the ingredients are chopped a little more and incorporated. Then pour into a large mixing bowl and mash the beans into the mixture with a fork. It takes some work. I tried to do this all in the food processor but it makes the texture too mushy.
Shape the mixture into 6-7 patties and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set. You can even make this a day in advance.
To cook: Fry on both sides until lightly brown (about 1-2 minutes on each side) in some coconut oil.
Serve with strong cheese, ketchup, mustard, salad greens, tomato, and sliced onion. Lots of garnishes aren't necessary since the veggie patty is so flavorful. Or you can upgrade with a fried egg on top!
Thursday, June 19, 2014
It's Kate here, and as always, I have a sweet tooth recipe.
I think, subconsciously, I'm against anything and everything about strawberries. As a kid, I ate so many of them one summer I broke out in hives. I never ate them again until adulthood, because I was told I was allergic. I think my small, 3-year-old body simply couldn't handle five pounds of strawberries, or however many I ate. I don't even remember it happening. Turns out, I'm not allergic. At least, not when I don't eat my own weight in them.
Anyway, there are extra steps to making strawberry jam, verses other jams, like blueberry or blackberry. First, cutting the stems, coring them, and cutting the strawberries takes forever. Count on it taking hours, especially when working with locally grown berries, which aren't the ginormous berries found at most grocery stores year round. (I don't want to know what's done to them for them to be that big.) Basically, I never knew how big strawberries were supposed to be until I started picking and canning them. Picked strawberries are tiny, usually about double the size of a blackberry. Sad but true. Also, strawberry season is very short compared to most other fruits, only a week or two, so take advantage of the berries while they're around! Picking season here will probably be over by the end of this weekend.
Other extra steps when making strawberry jam include clearing foam that forms on the top of the jam when its cooking down. The foam needs to be scooped up constantly. This doesn't happen when cooking other fruits.
Lastly, when putting the stuff into jars, popping the air pockets with a sterilized pointy item, like a butter knife. Just go around the inside edges a few times to eliminate that problem.
I'm sorry for all of the snide comments. I'm a complainer by nature. The finished project, however, is delicious and worthwhile. And when canned via water boiling, it can keep for a year or more, without refrigeration. That always amazes me. It's magic. Even better, it's completely customizable, and I know exactly what goes into it, unlike the store bought stuff. I usually like putting in less sugar than what recipes call for, because the jam tastes tangier and fruitier that way. (And it's not super sweet.)
Anyway, here it goes:
Recipe adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserves
Yields about six 8 oz jars (have an extra jar or two ready just in case)
• About two quarts of sweet, sweet strawberries
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 6 tablespoons (or one box) pectin
• 4 cups sugar (original recipe calls for 7 cups)
Wash strawberries; drain. Remove stems. I like my jam with pieces in it, so I just crush the strawberries with a potato masher while they're cooking. Combine strawberries, pectin and lemon juice in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into sterilized hot jars, leaving 1/4 headspace. Attach two-piece. Again, lids need to be sterilized. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Once removed from canner, leave jars sit undisturbed for 24 hours. After a day, check seals by pushing the lid. If they stay in place, without flexing up or down, they're sealed. If they move up and/or down, the container hasn't sealed, and you can either water boil it again with a new lid or refrigerate immediately to eat.
For clarification's sake: Jars and rings can be used countless times. Lids, however, when water boiling to preserve, can only be used once.
Side note: My favorite part of the canning process, besides the food of course, is hearing the pop of the jars after taking them out of the canner. That means they're sealing! I'm probably just weird.
Also, please please please, if you've never canned before and plan on trying it out, read up on it first. Ball is the saint of canning, so you can read more about how to do it the right way here. While a canning pot helps, things can be water boiled in a large pot just fine. It's just good to be educated about it, since botulism is a very rare but dangerous risk if not done properly. It's most common when canning foods with low acidity (not so much strawberries with lemon juice), but still, it's better to be safe than sorry.
On a brighter not, here's the glorious end result:
Have you ever canned before?
P.S. You can also view this recipe on my blog, Thriftburgher.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
Today I went to the first First Friday at the Frick concert of 2014 with my sister, mom and grandparents. My family's been going since I was in elementary school, and I've tried to go at least once every summer. So many more people go now! The whole Frick property is packed with people and their crazy fancy picnics. The headliner concert of the Three Rivers Arts Festival was the same night, and the place was still packed.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
RHUBARB ROSEMARY LEMONADE
Adapted from the Merry Thought
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 sprigs rosemary
1 cup lemon juice
garnish with more rosemary & lemon slices
Monday, June 2, 2014
During the few weeks we've been living together I've already made this recipe twice, with the second time being our first time having a friend over for dinner at our new place! It was also a go to for dinner's in Pittsburgh. Finally, I'm sharing the recipe.
1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped (use the other half as garnish)
1 teaspoon lime juice