Sunday, June 30, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Meatless Monday: Bean and Cheese Burritos: Bean and Cheese Burrito You can create these filling, healthy burritos in minutes. The beans and cheese have protein, the salsa is a d...
|Bean and Cheese Burrito|
In the summer, I just use the microwave.
I put refried beans, cheese and tomatoes in a large flour tortilla. If you have good luck, you may have a muy consada tortilla (very happy.)
Rolling the burrito is a skill. I tuck the long ends, roll from one side to the other, kind of like baby bunting. Then I put salsa, and cheese on top. I cook them two at a time on a dinner plate in the microwave on medium for four minutes. Cooking times vary with microwaves, so keep an eye on it.
|Looks kind of like a blueberry burrito, but those are black beans.|
I chose to make mine with black beans. Everything else is the same. It was surprisingly filling and delicious.
Mexican food is very versatile and hearty.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Barbeque or Cookout?: So, you call it barbeque or cookout? We've always called it barbeque. Maybe its a western thing. Mesquite wood, secret re...
So, you call it barbeque or cookout?
We've always called it barbeque. Maybe its a western thing. Mesquite wood, secret recipe barbeque sauce.
I'm surprised there's not a cooking show called Barbeque Wars.
Here in the desert, don't have to worry so much about bugs--Avon's Skin So Soft is a great insect repellant, BTW. If you are a vegetarian, don't ever feel left out. Apparently anything can be barbequed.
|The All-American Tofu dog.|
|My SoCal hibachi. A little grubby, but efficient.|
Grilling over an open fine, keeping connected with our Neanderthal ancestors.
Here's some music to barbeque by:
God Bless the USA, and anything by the Boss.
I'm proud to be an American - American Soldier Tribute
Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A.
Okay, you can call it grilling if you like.
Friday, June 28, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Flower of the Week: Moss Roses (Portulaca) 6/28/13...: These vibrant flowers are fascinating for kids. Moss Roses are photosensitive, closing at night. One plant will have many blossoms of var...
These vibrant flowers are fascinating for kids. Moss Roses are photosensitive, closing at night. One plant will have many blossoms of varying bright colors that surprise you in the morning when they open. Bees and butterflies love them. And, they are easy to grow. But, they don't have any special fragrance.
|Diverse colors on these cheerful blossoms.|
The plant looks sort of like ice plant. A kid can break off a piece of this plant and stick it in a pot and water daily. Moss rose is very resilient and will grow easily.
These cuttings were stuck in the planter just several days ago and are producing blossoms.
That's a long, lean sunflower stem in the center pot.
The bright blossoms are a magnet for butterflies and bees.
Little known fact: moss roses also attract fairies to your garden.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Keeping Butterflies, Bees and Hummingbirds Happy I...: This is a Cabbage White Butterfly on my flowering mint today. It is not supposed to be in the desert! Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds...
|This is a Cabbage White Butterfly on my flowering mint today. It is not supposed to be in the desert!|
|Catering to the hummingbirds and butterflies.|
So we have many baskets full of both flowers hanging or in borders.
The flowers are regularly visited by generations of Anna's hummingbirds that live and nest in our yard. The mom hummingbirds use spider webs to make the nest. They nests are so tiny, a little larger than the size of a computer key.
|Baby hummingbird in our Fruitless Mulberry tree.|
|Painted Lady on Rabbit Brush, grows naturally here.|
Our home is in a rural area, so I can't take much credit for attracting the birds, bees, and butterflies. But I try to make them happy.
I'm glad to report our bees are very active and productive.
I found this great site today. Maybe you would also like to participate.
|Thank you, Friend Bee, for pollinating the apricot trees.|
The apricots have been delicious!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Snacking During The Game: No, I wasn't actually at the game. In the background, that's my large picture of the most beautiful baseball field ever, home of t...
Here are the rare treats we had.
Grilled Beef Panini
|Prior to cheese.|
|My humble grill.|
1. sliced sourdough bread slathered with jalapeno ranch dressing, top and bottom
2. sliced tomatoes
3. barbequed thin-slice beef (chuck steak) dappled with mustard
4. grated mild cheddar cheese
The thinly sliced chuck steak was grilled and saved from the day before.
2 ripe avacadoes
2 tbs sour cream
Quacamole dip mix (until I create my own)
We also had gourmet Hank's Root Beer purchased at a locally run shop, Overland Meat and Deli here in Apple Valley, CAL. Buy local.
|Happy to shop local here.|
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Auntie Melanie's Oatmeal with Strawberries--Make I...: Fresh strawberry, fresh oatmeal, fresh summer's day. Where's my spoon? You don't need a picnic basket for this--make your de...
|Fresh strawberry, fresh oatmeal, fresh summer's day. Where's my spoon?|
Auntie Melanie's Oatmeal
3/4 c old fashioned oats
1 tbs butter
1/2 c milk
Quick way: I combine the ingredients in a microwave-proof bowl, and stir. I cook in the microwave at medium heat for 90 seconds. Stop and stir. Another 120 second should do it.
Then you can cut fresh strawberries on top--or other favorite fruits. Boy, are we blessed or what?
No big production, step outside to listen to the birdsong, feel the breeze, and absorb a little Vitamin D from the gentle morning sun. Enjoy your moments.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Yummy Creation: Butterfly Tuna Salad: I was hankering for some tuna--so on a hot summer's day I concocted some kind of cold almost-salad but not quite salad. Here's ...
Butterfly Tuna Salad
1 lrg can (10 oz.) tuna
1 c bowtie (butterfly) pasta
1 small tomato
i small onion
1 sprig fresh parsley
2 tbs alfredo sauce
2 tsp raspberry dressing
1 tsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
Boil pasta in water for about 12 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Pour the raspberry dressing over the pasta. Mix the tuna, tomato (chopped small), onion, alfredo sauce and salt in medium bowl.
Place the tuna mixture over the bowtie (butterfly) macaroni in your favorite bowl. Sprinkle shredded parsley and parmesan cheese over top.
This is very refreshing on a hot day--and full of protein and nutrients.
Fresh is fun. How great to to have an excuse to go outside and pick your own food. Sunlight, breezes, scents from the garden--just what the doctor ordered.
The onions are so easy--though I have been having a battle with our huge local ravens over my tomatoes. I've brought them in to ripen early.
Now they're going into the Butterfly Tuna Salad.
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Meatless Monday: Black Beans and Rice: We all probably have several days during the week that we go meatless. But it is a good thought to make it deliberate and specific. We sa...
But do we lose anything doing that? Not really. For example, take today's recipe for meatless Monday: Black Beans and Rice.
Great taste and texture. Excellent protein and nutrients. Beautiful color, more deep purple than black. Smells inviting. Simple preparation and cleanup. Ingredients could not get easier to find. Saves well if there are leftovers. It even freezes. So, let's go!
This recipe is good for two adults.
Black Beans and Rice
1 c black beans
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground chili pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 small onion
1 large clove garlic
Step 1: Boil black beans in 2 qt. saucepan with 1 1/2 qt. water until tender, about 1 hour.
Step 2: Add other ingredients, cook until well integrated into beans, about 20 minutes.
Prepare one cup rice according to instructions. (You can prepare rice while Step 2 of Black Beans is combining.)
Pour beans over rice. If you like, you can sprinkle cheese on top. We liked grated Medium Cheddar.
Friday, June 21, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Flower of the Week: Daylily 6/21/13: Daylily These are daylilies--I am so glad I planted the bulbs in the autumn. So simple but absolutely exquisite. They pose on tall stalk...
Thursday, June 20, 2013
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Gazpacho-- Will Appear in MzTeachuh's E-Book: Soup...: A summer's day with nice, cool gazpacho. If I don't have all the necessary ingredients in my garden, I shop for the rest. A nice...
|A summer's day with nice, cool gazpacho.|
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Stuffing Or Dressing?: Dressing, ready for the oven. Why do we have two names for what seems to be the same food? There is a difference in the preparation of ...
|Dressing, ready for the oven.|
There is a difference in the preparation of the ingredients that makes one stuffing and one dressing.
Stuffing is cooked in the poultry cavity. Dressing is cooked in a separate container. Seems obvious, huh? But I still had to research to be sure.
I made dressing with a turkey dinner this week. Since I usually make stuffing, I researched different ways to do prepare dressing. It wasn't fancy, but it turned out really hearty and delicious (at least we thought so.)
1 packet Mrs. Cubbison's Seasoned Stuffing mix
(I know I copped out, but next time more original)
1 c broth,
I used turkey broth
(fruit juice was also suggested, which intrigued me; I'm checking that out.)
1 small onion
1 c chopped celery
2 cloves fresh garlic
3 tbs fresh, chopped parsley
3 tbs chopped fresh sage
1 medium potato cut into very small pieces
2 tbs butter
The ingredients are mixed, almost like tossing a salad; place in a 2 qt. oven proof container. Dot the mixture with butter. Place uncovered in a 375F degree oven for about 35 minutes.
This side saves well in the refrigerator, and freezes well. We had dressing with open-faced hot turkey sandwiches, plus whipped sweet potatoes and cranberries. The bits of potatoes and crunchy celery really added a lot to the dressing.
|The dressing is hiding between the mashed sweet potatoes and the cranberries.|
Here are links to the stuffing recipes I've already put up:
Roasted Chicken with Basil-Rice Stuffing
French Bread Stuffing With Mushrooms and Thyme
I've moved parts of my herb garden indoors for the winter. I am blessed with a large, sunny, southern-exposed window in the family room near the kitchen, so I am developing an indoor garden area. It is very cheerful and convenient to snip what's needed for a special, fresh addition to a recipe. I've discovered that some grocery stores sell living herbs that can be planted at home, so I've incorporated some cilantro and chives which should be very pleasant in a Mexican omelet.
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Unusual Thanksgiving Sides Show (delicious all yea...: Sweet Potato Pie, mmmm, y'all. Traditional Thanksgiving foods might just be traditional for your family, but not to your next door ...
|Sweet Potato Pie, mmmm, y'all.|
Sweet Potato Pie, for example. Until we lived in the South, I'd never even seen it. We just had regular sweet potatoes or yams. We were missing out.
Here is the rather informal way to make Sweet Potato Pie.
|I need only one can.|
|Mash it good.|
The sweet potatoes (or yams) are mashed and layered in a 9 inch round ceramic baking dish. I layer 3/4 c brown sugar with 1/2 c crushed walnuts. Then, pineapple tidbits cover the top.
|These weren't at the First Thanksgiving.|
|Ready for the oven.|
The oven is preheated to 350 degrees, and I cook it for 30 minutes. Removing the dish, I add marshmallow on top, and cook it in the oven at the same heat for about seven minutes.
|Not at the First Thanksgiving, either.|
Is it a side-dish or dessert? I don't know, but we eat it warm on the main plate with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries just as though it were just regular, unglamorous yams. But it is a treat.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
I was prepared to be such a radical and bake an apple pie rather than a pumpkin pie. Well, I was requested by my sister to bring a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. That's even more radical. So my kitchen was kind of pineapply today. I don't really know who in our clan likes this (we have new family members) but I'm game to try new things, especially when it sounds a little like Alice in Wonderland.
Here is the recipe. I think I need better skills with the removal, but, as they say, we're just going to eat it anyway.
1/4 c butter
2/3 c packed brown sugar 9 slices pineapple in juice (from 14 oz can)
9 maraschino cherries without stems
1 1/3 c white flour
|Pineapples will see you on the flip side.|
1/3 c shortening (I used butter)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 c milk
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees in 9 inch square pan; melt butter in pan in the oven. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.
2. In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 39 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake, remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.
|Maybe not as perfect looking as the cookbook pic, but just as tasty!|
Vivaldi Autumn The Four Seasons High Qualityhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7hGiZ579cs
MzTeachuh's Enjoying Cooking and Gardening: Mini Maple Cupcakes With A Berry Surprise: So much to give thanks for. A little flavor goes a long way. These little cupcakes are good for small kids, and those with a delicate a...
|So much to give thanks for.|
1 cup all -purpose flour 2 oz each of fresh blueberries,
1 tsp baking powder blackberries, raspberries,
1/4 tsp salt cranberries
|Tin for 24 mini cupcakes.|
1/2 tsp maple flavor
3/4 stick (6 tbs) softened butter
1/2 c plus 1 tbs sugar
1 large egg
You will need cupcake liners, too. There many festive ones this time of year.
1/2 c powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
food coloring of your choice
Put the oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about four minutes. Add egg and beat until just combined. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just combined. Divide batter among muffin tins, til half full. Place a berry into the center of the cup; I alternate one row of each to keep track. Then be sure to cover the berries with the same amount of batter. Bake until the tops are pale golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Invert cupcakes onto a rack and cool completely.
For glaze, mix milk and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. If you desire colors like mine, start with green. Drip one third of the glaze in a diagonal pattern over cupcakes. Then add red, and mix. Drip another third of the glaze in a diagonal pattern over cupcakes. Add yellow, and mix. Drip the remaining glaze over the cupcakes. The berries in the middle are a nice surprise. These go well with tea.
|This is actually leafy dirt.|
Here is our leaf mulch heap. We have large fruitless mulberry trees, a huge maple, and volunteer cottonwoods and some kind of volunteer elm. I know, I should find out its name.
So, in the summertime, lots of shade, in the autumn, lot of leaves to mulch. We are truly not fancy mulchers, obviously. But our leaf pile of about five years has biodegraded into a good base for a walled-in garden we haven't used for awhile. Got to start somewhere reclaiming the wilderness.