|I asked them all to be trapped animals :)|
|I loved seeing all the kids climbing around together.|
|Our sleeping twinners :)|
|Man they are dropping like flies!|
Okay, I know, I don’t have amounts. That’s mainly due to the fact that the amounts will vary based on how much you want to make. I usually use a whole bag of beans, a head of cabbage 3 to 4 cucumbers, half an onion, 4 or 5 tomatoes, and 3 or 4 limes when I make this for the family. To start, cook the beans in a 2 to 1 ratio of beans to water just like rice. Don’t drain the beans when they are done. In a large skillet/frying pan put a small amount of oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion to the oil. This should be cut into strips, but left relatively large. When the onion has started to soften, but before it’s completely done, add the bean/water mixture. Be careful when adding the beans as the oil will be hot. Mash the beans and let them simmer down to a thicker consistency. Add salt to taste. In a separate bowl, combine shredded cabbage, sliced cucumber (I usually quarter the slices as well so that they fit in the tacos better), and diced tomato. Add the juice from the limes, and mix everything well. Prepare the tortillas by frying them in a small amount of oil. Take the tortillas, and put a small amount of beans in the bottom, then top with the salad mixture. If you like, you can top with pico de gallo, or you can also add chicken or beef, but these are great just vegetarian style as well.
Pico de Gallo (see below)
Half a head of cabbage, shredded
1-1½ lbs salad shrimp (the small kind)
2 cucumbers, sliced then quartered
This is the salad that I made for the pot luck birthday party in February. I don’t know if anyone really liked it or not, but thought that I would put this up anyway. This is simple, especially if you already have some of the pico de gallo made. I usually add the whole batch of pico, but if you think that it will be too much you can add less. This can be eaten with chips, or you can use romaine lettuce to make a “boat” and fill it with the ceviche as well. You can also substitute chicken instead of shrimp if you are against the slaughter of small sea creatures, or just don’t like the way they taste :)
Pico de Gallo
8-10 medium sized tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
About half a bunch of cilantro
Chop everything a small as you can. If you prefer a milder salsa, use only one jalapeno, and clean out the seeds. Using both jalapenos with seeds and pods will make a VERY hot salsa in most cases. Add salt to taste.
Muscle Beach Lemonade
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
7 cups water
1 cup sugar
Mix lemon juice water and sugar till totally dissolved in 2 qt pitcher. Cut lemon rind halves in fourths and add to the pitcher. Add ice to the top of the pitcher and chill.
Banana Banana Bread
Original recipe yield:1 - 9x5 inch loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
We followed another readers advice and baked at 300 degrees for 1 hr and 15 minutes for less brown crust. We liked it! I left the other info, just to give you more options. Another tip that sounded good that we planned to try was sprinkling brown sugar over the top before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
As usual, I included the changes I made. These are the cookies I made for Cameron's blessing.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
I also added a few chocolate chips just under half a bag I think...
Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.
Pumpkin Cookies from Thanksgiving
This is exactly how I made them :)
½ cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups pumpkin puree almost a whole large can
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
About ½ bag chocolate chips
About ½ cup butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the margarine, vegetable oil and sugar.
Beat together the egg, vanilla and pumpkin.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; combine with pumpkin mixture and stir in chips
Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (I used my cookie scoop and flattened the top to make them uniform and small) Be careful not to overbake.
Slow Cooker Taco Soup
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 oz) black beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours. Laura also sometimes adds a can of rotel tomatoes. (they are tomatoes mixed with chilies. This would make the soup a bit hotter) Also, Laura uses the frozen costco super sweet corn instead of canned.
Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 lbs of chicken breast fillets
½ cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina (it’s a corn flour)
3 cups water
1 cup enchilada sauce
16 oz velveeta
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
Garnish: Shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips, pico de gallo
The Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
8 asparagus spears
4 mozzarella cheese slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
3 cups Madeira wine
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp black pepper
1. Heat up 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap then use a mallet to flatten the chicken to about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper.
2. Sauté the chicken fillets for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken has browned just a bit. Remove chicken fillets from the pan and wrap them together in foil to keep them warm while you make the sauce. Don’t clean the pan. You want all that cooked-on goodness to stay in the skillet to help make the sauce.
3. With the heat still on medium, add two tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about two minutes. Add the Madeira wine, beef broth, butter and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce reduces to about one quarter of its original volume. When the sauce is done it will have thickened and turned a dark brown color.
4. As the sauce is simmering, bring a medium sauce pan filled about halfway with water to a boil. Add a little salt to the water. Toss the asparagus into the water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears. Drop the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. The asparagus should be slightly tender when done, not mushy.
5. Set oven to broil. Prepare the dish by arranging the cooked chicken fillets on a baking pan. Cross two asparagus spears over each fillet, then cover each with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Broil the fillets for 3 to 4 minutes or until light brown spots begin to appear on the cheese.
6. To serve, arrange one or two chicken breasts on each plate, then spoon 3 or 4 tablespoons of sauce over the chicken.
Makes 2 cheesecake factory sized portions which he said is equivalent to 4 sensible sized portions. Also, in the description he said that they serve this with mashed potatoes on the side for those of you who haven’t had it before. So you will have work those in to the recipe too. J
P.S. I have substituted a combination of grape juice and chicken broth in another recipe like this because I was afraid the grape juice would overpower it. But maybe you could just use the juice straight across. Todd said it is a sweet sauce, I have never had it…