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Friday, July 17, 2015

Baked Chimichangas and Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice


Tonight's dinner was fantastic. Pinterest helped me crack the code to Restaurant-style Spanish Rice!


Spanish Rice

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Method: Stove Top


Ingredients:

1 cup raw regular white rice
1/2 can small 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground oregano
2 cups water
1/8 chopped fine onion
1/8 cooking oil doesn't matter what kind

Preparation:
1. You want to make rice in a heavy bottomed frying pan and have a tight fitting glass lid. Place cooking oil in pan with raw rice, use a medium heat to brown the rice, then add the onion making sure all rice/onion is coated with oil. When rice has turned white you add the 1/2 can of tomato sauce, it should be sizzling by this time.

2. When the rice and tomato sauce are sizzling, you add the 2 cups of water and all the spices, stirring until well mixed. When rice mixture is bubbling you lower the heat to simmer, covering with glass lid. cook on low heat for 15 minutes. DO NOT LIFT LID!!!

3. When the 15 minutes are completed, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and use spatula to turn rice from bottom to top. Rice is done and ready to eat!

4. As you can see the rice should be dry...not sticky (too much water) or gummy(someone lifted the lid)Not bright red(whole can of tomato sauce)or almost white(too little tomato sauce)there is also no brown onions or brown rice(browned too long)



Oven-baked Chicken Chimichangas


1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (or baby spinach)
3/4 cup salsa
8 oz freshly shredded monterrey jack cheese
7 flour tortillas (Taco-size, about 8 to 9")
Vegetable oil or olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, scallions, black beans, and cilantro. Add the salsa and cheese. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Brush 4 tortillas on one side very lightly with water then place them in a stack on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the tortillas. Microwave the tortillas for about 25 seconds. This heats the tortillas enough to make them pliable.

Remove one tortilla from the kitchen towel and rewrap the others to keep them warm. Add 1/3 cup of the filling to the center of the tortilla. Wrap the chimichanga like you would a burrito. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla up over the filling then roll it starting from the bottom to completely enclose the filling. You should not roll the chimi too tightly or the tortilla will tear (or later burst during baking). Place the chimi seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other tortillas – heating additional tortillas in the microwave when needed.

Brush the tops and sides of each chimi with some oil. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes or until the chimis are golden and crispy. Serve with additional salsa, sour cream, or pico de gallo.

Alternative Preparations:
1) Use freshly grated 2% sharp cheddar. Regular cheddar is also tasty but releases a lot of oil when it melts. Pepper jack cheese works great for those who appreciate things on the spicy side. Feeling naughty? Use 12 oz of cheese. It's really tasty that way but increases the caloric content and level of saturated fat considerably.
2) Make it vegetarian! Instead of chicken, add some red bell peppers, corn, and additional black beans.
3) Use whole-wheat or low-carb tortillas.
4) Instead of regular salsa, use salsa verde. It's really tasty this way!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Hope you have an eventful and safe 4th of July. I will be at home comforting a dog that is more scared by fireworks than anything else.








I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tomato, Basil and Mushroom Pasta



Tomato, Basil and Mushroom Pasta

4-6 chicken tenders
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 large basil leaves, chopped
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup beef broth
¼ cup butter
1 pkg. linguine
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Toss tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, start pasta water boiling—cook pasta according to package directions. Grill chicken in a little olive oil—add garlic. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter; once they start to brown a bit, add broth and reduce until liquid is nearly gone. Add to chicken. Add roasted tomatoes to chicken and mushroom with juices. Add remaining butter and basil. Sauté and add some of the pasta water if necessary. Drain pasta and toss with chicken. Serve with Parmesan cheese and extra basil on top if you like.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tiptoe through the Tulips

I created this tablescape in honor of my friend Monica who just celebrated a birthday!











Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Grilled Chicken Salad






Grilled Chicken
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Radish
Cheese
Avocado
Carrots
Honey Mustard Dressing

Toss and Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ready for St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a little early)!
 
I have always enjoyed St. Patrick's Day. When I am off work on that day, I like to make St. Patrick's Day Lemon Cupcakes. Hopefully, I will get to do that this year and post the cupcakes. For many years, I have attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Kansas City. Sometimes, it is a bit chilly, but always fun.
 

This table setting honors the Irish with the colors of orange and green.


The white plate is vintage Homer Laughlin, the Debutante Line.


The table runner was discovered at a thrift store--it was brand new! It always amazes me some of the stuff people get rid of. One man's trash is another man's treasure.


The disk pitcher is Poppy Fiesta released last year, and notice how that color matches the original "red" Fiesta which began production in the 1930s. A new color of Fiesta comes out in just a few days, and I can't wait!


I chose my gold chargers because green and gold are great St. Patty's Day colors.


The green dishes are vintage Jadite, and the glassware is from my grandmother. These are my favorite glasses.


I wanted a little more green, so I placed some Depression Glass plates in the Christmas Candy pattern under the jadite vase and rooster.



What would St. Patrick's Day be without a toast! This decanter set is a beautiful pale green, and I love it. I think it might be Tiara glassware.


A few festive shamrocks scattered about the table help with the holiday vibe.


The green napkins came from a thrift store. They were already pressed, YAY!

I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Cheery Valentine

I think I am longing for Spring, and this table brings a note of color and cheer even though we still have snow on the ground.

 I used Vintage Turquoise Fiesta, Post-86 Flamingo, Scarlet and Rose. The turquoise coffee pot is vintage. One of my favorites!

 The glassware was found at a thrift store. They have little bees on them close to the rim.


Vintage creamer and sugar.
I used two sizes of heart bowls in Flamingo and Scarlet.


Post-86 Rose vase.


The mugs are new; the saucers are vintage.

 Bulb candle holders make me happy.




I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch and My Romantic Home.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marinated Flank Steak with Mushrooms



Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Recipe
--from Simplyrecipes.com
Ingredients
Marinade Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Other ingredients
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
Method
1 Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
2 Using olive oil soaked onto a paper towel, coat the grill rack of your grill with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.  (I used a grill pan and seared the steak on the stovetop for a few minutes, and then put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 5-6 minutes.)
3 Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks.
How do you know if the steak is done? The best way to tell is to poke it with your fingertips. While the steak is still raw, test it with your fingers; it will be quite squishy. That's what a very rare steak feels like. As the steak cooks the muscles contract and firm up. Touch the tip of your nose and that's what a very well done steak feels like.
4 Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.
5 Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons butter
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 sprig thyme
½ cup beef broth
salt
pepper

Preparation:
Melt butter in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook on medium until mushrooms begin to cook down. Add salt and pepper and thyme plus beef broth. Simmer until the broth reduces.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sautéed Spinach with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes



Sautéed Spinach with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:
4 slices bacon, diced
¼ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz. bag of spinach
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Directions:
Toss tomatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry bacon over medium heat. Remove bacon and then sauté onion and garlic in bacon grease. Add spinach and butter. Heat until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with roasted tomatoes and serve.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Kitchen is a Chinese Restaurant Tonight!

Tonight, I made a delicious dish from the Pioneer Woman's website.



I saw snow peas in the grocery store, and they spoke to me.  Well, they didn't really "speak" because that would be weird, but they definitely got my attention.  

They were so green and looked so crisp and tasty, I knew I had to buy them and make something delicious.

I used Ree's basic recipe, but I added sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. I also added garlic and less ginger. My version is below.

 


Beef with Snow Peas, Asparagus and Mushrooms

Ingredients

1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain

1/2 cup Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed

3 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal

16 oz. sliced mushrooms

4 or more spears of asparagus, sliced on the diagonal

Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup beef broth, optional

Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

 

Preparation Instructions:

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. Set aside.

Sauté the mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. You can add a little beef broth also to add extra flavor.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and asparagus and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas, asparagus and mushrooms. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

 Serve immediately over rice.