Saturday, October 23, 2010
Just in case you haven't caught on, I'm in love with pablano peppers. Tried my Chile Relleno Casserole, yet? Or the yummy side, Green Pablano Rice? Here's something surprisingly different: Pablano Vinaigrette. Get some major green in your diet with this vinaigrette thanks to the pureed pablanos and leafy green spinach, and drizzle on your favorite salad or even carne asada. It would be extra fantastic atop steak or chicken fajitas. I was in the mood for steak taco salad. So I used this amazing carne asada recipe found here, and put on top of some mixed greens, cheese, tortilla chips, pico de gallo, sour cream and avocado. Note: this dressing is on the sweet side. If you want more tang, replace some of the oil for more vinegar, and add a bit of sriracha. I tailored some of the dressing in that way to suit Brian's taste buds. I liked the honey sweet dressing just as it was. Thank you to pablanorecipes.blogspot.com for supplying this awesome dressing recipe!
Roasted Pablano Vinaigrette
2 pablano peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
1/4 medium red onion, chopped
2 T. fresh lime juice
3/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. spinach
2 tsp. honey
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a blender, combine the pablanos, onion, and lime juice and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil slowly until emulsified. Add the spinach and blend until smooth. Add the honey and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 1-1/2 cups.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Do you remember the mouth-watering pudding cake I made using this fabulous cookbook? Well, this book also contains a number of other irresistible confections including Three-In-One Chocolate Chip Cookies. The recipe is basic, with differing directions for either a) Giant Cookie b) Medium-Size Refrigerator Cookies or c) miniature cookies.
I love the idea of a giant cookie. Because it's dense. Like me. :o) And it's quick, and easy, and fun. My pampered chef round baking stone does the trick, and it turns out perfect each time. I either cut into wedges or squares.
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Cups Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips (we only use about 1/2 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips...we prefer less chips in our cookies! Oh, but there is just something special about using mini chips!)
There are a number of different ways you can personalize this recipe. It would be fun to spread the cooled cookie with frosting and sprinkles and serve in place of a birthday cake. I've added crunched candy bars, butterscotch chips, walnuts, even oatmeal (just blend old fashioned oats in your blender or food processor until super fine, then use in place of some of your flour). Thanks to my sweet friend Rachael, I tried whole wheat pastry flour in place of the white flour and now love it that way best. I have used whole wheat bread flour in recipes before, but never before the pastry flour. Even finer, this flour creates a wholesome and smooth taste to the cookie pizza. Rachael and I were born with the same taste buds, so when she said it was good, I believed her. I now stock the kitchen pantry with whole wheat pastry flour. I love collaborating with friends! Thanks Rachael! :o)
Directions: Prepare dough. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12X5/8-inch round pizza pan with foil. (I lightly spray with cooking spray.) Pat dough evenly into prepared pan to within 3/4 inch of edge. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool completely; cut into wedges or squares. Decorate as desired. Makes about 8 servings, if you are a total cookie hog. Otherwise, we get at least 12-16 slices out of this.
I loved it!
Green Poblano Rice
1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
The flavoring: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the broth and chiles, bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are very soft. Pour the chile mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the salt.
The rice: Wipe the pan clean, add the oil and heat over medium. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.
Add the warm (or reheated) chile liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking. If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish, decorate with cilantro sprigs and it's ready to serve.
Friday, October 15, 2010
In honor of Liv's 7th birthday (someone please tell me I am dreaming and the last 7 years DID NOT rush by in a blink!) I asked her a few questions to capture her view of the world as of right now.
But can I first say how much fun Liv is to us all? How she really "gets the ball rolling" around here with all her ideas? How she motivates even Chester to be a better person...er...dog? The things I love about Liv are endless. I love how I can just look at her and "see" the wheels turning inside that head of hers, and how she will let go of any and all favorites to instead bless someone else, and how she is absolutely passionate about her friends, and the same with her roll of duct tape. I love every quirky and normal thing about her.
So, that said--I'd like to continue. Thank you for allowing me my happy tirade.
1) Liv, now that you are 7, reflect for us back to age six. What did you like best about being six?
I got a new bike. It's a Gary Fisher and it's faster than my other bike. It has a front brake and a back brake and it has gears. It's purple. I like purple a lot.
2) You have your whole 7th year in front of you. What do you think it will be like?
A whole new life. I'll be older and I'll get to do more fun things. Like....more Math subjects.
3) What will you learn as a 7-year-old?
I'll learn more about not messing up my room. My room is messy....like a teenager's room just exploded.
4) What is your favorite food?
5) What is your favorite thing to do?
Play with my sisters. They're fun to play with. They make me not lonely.
6) What would you like to be when you get older?
A mom...then I get to give my old toys to my children and I'll make food all on my own, and I'll get to play with them.
7) What's your advice to a younger person, like Holland, who will turn 6 in the next year?
It's fun to be 6 because you get to do older stuff--you get taller and get to go on better rides at the fair.
8) What do you think you can do to make a difference in this world?
Clean up! You can look around you and pick up garbage and make this world a new place. A beautiful place!
9) What do you think God wants you to learn this year?
There are friends--all around the world--for me.
Friday, October 8, 2010
My food crush with pablano peppers began the Spring of 1996. Brian and I were dating, and he took a business class at Boise State University. The assignment? Immerse yourself in a local business, critique, and draw up a suggested business plan designed to boost productivity. Lucky for me, Brian and his comrades were assigned a business and did a mighty fine job. So fine, that a local Mexican restaurant hosted a thank-you dinner. And because I was the girlfriend of one of the students, I apparently deserved to be a part of the fine dining experience.
In a small bowl, mix the eggs, flour, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the chile and cheese mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Finally, pour tomato sauce and sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese on top and bake 25-30 minutes more. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Ole'!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Great job team Sharhinoma! (ShaRhinoMA = Kristin the Shark, Brian the Rhino, Tulug the Puma--doesn't that give you the best picture of Brian? A rhino, crashing through the trees of Ponderosa? Love that image. :o) They got 3rd place for their co-ed relay team.