Monday, March 23, 2020

Portabella Mushroom Tacos


I love tacos. My hubby and I thought it would be awesome to see if we could do a meatless Monday  and Portabella mushrooms have a great meaty texture. These were awesome! Didn’t even miss meat! We topped with avocado and salsa and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

Portabella Mushroom Tacos

3–4 large portobello mushrooms caps
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large onion, cut into thin slices
2 large sweet bell peppers, cut into thin slices
juice of 1 lime
tortillas
taco toppings such as avocado, salsa, hot sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, black olives, cilantro,      cheese, sour cream, etc.

Directions: 
  1. To prepare the mushrooms, rinse them under water and rub your fingers along the dark “gills” on the underside to remove the gills. Remove any debris or dirt. Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the prepared mushroom slices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the Worcestershire or soy sauce. Then add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan.
  5. Add the marinating mushrooms and all of the accumulated juices into the hot pan. Add a little more oil if needed. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, 4-5 minutes.
  6. Returned the vegetables to the pan and cook until heated through. Cook until the vegetables are to your liking without overcooking. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  7.  Add the juice of one lime and stir to incorporate.
  8. Remove from the heat and serve as you do other tacos, in a tortilla with all the toppings. Also makes a great topping for taco salad.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Sour dough start

I love home made bread. I have been restricting my baking  / eating carbs over the last year due to trying to eat healthier. One diet I followed and found very successful allowed you to have whole grain or sourdough bread since it digests slower... and is more healthy than other kinds of bread. I read a book last month, that was about a baker and it sparked something in me, that baker in me that had felt squashed lately, so I thought why not, life is too short to squash the real you. I have always wanted to try a sour dough start and making the different things you can make with it. So I watched You tube videos and looked up recipes for a sour dough start. I reccommend looking up you tube videos for hints. But I found this recipe and it worked great!!! REMEMBER!! Sour dough starts take time and becomes a "pet" so to speak. Mine is named Borris... and he continues to come in handy. But he took a good two weeks before he was ready to make anything from him. You notice the elastic around my jar? I use it to mark where my starter is right after I stir and feed him. Then I can see how much he grows and bubbles.... Good luck! I'll post a great Sour dough bread recipe later. Today I"m trying English muffins! Yum!!


Sour Dough Start

Ingredients:

To begin your starter

*See "tips," below
To feed your starter
  • scant 1 cup (113g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (113g) cool water (if your house is warm), or lukewarm water (if your house is cool)

  • Instructions

    1. Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.
    2. Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there's no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours. See "tips," below, for advice about growing starters in a cold house.
    3. Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (4 ounces, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it's cold).
    4. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
    5. Day 3: By the third day, you'll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It's now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 4 ounces starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it's thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.
    6. Add a scant 1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup water to the 4 ounces starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.
    7. Day 4: Weigh out 4 ounces starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.
    8. Day 5: Weigh out 4 ounces starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You'll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little "rivulets" on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn't risen much and isn't showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. Note: see "tips," below.
    9. Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 4 ounces (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Hate discarding so much starter? See "tips," below.
    10. Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 8 ounces, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you've made enough for your recipe plus 4 ounces to keep and feed again.
    11. Transfer the remaining 4 ounces of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you'd like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you're storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.
    12. Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; we recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water once a week.

      Tips from Bakers

      • Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful... But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you'll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it's not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don't have to actually discard it if you don't want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. There are quite a few recipes on our site using "discard" starter, including pizza crust, pretzels, and waffles, and even chocolate cake.
      • Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than in all-purpose flour.
      • Want to put your starter on hold for the summer, or as you go on vacation? Here's how: Drying your sourdough starter.
      • Should you use bottled water? Unless your tap water is so heavily treated that you can smell the chemicals, there's no need to use bottled water; tap water is fine.
      • A note about room temperature: the colder the environment, the more slowly your starter will grow. If the normal temperature in your home is below 68°F, we suggest finding a smaller, warmer spot to develop your starter. For instance, try setting the starter atop your water heater, refrigerator, or another appliance that might generate ambient heat. Your turned-off oven — with the light turned on — is also a good choice.
      • One of our readers offers the following thoughts about the duration of everyday feeding, which we think is great advice: "Conditions vary so widely that 7 days can be far too little. I've learned the key is to watch for a dramatic and consistent rise in the jar — at least doubling between 1 and 4 hours after feeding. This could be 7 days or less after you begin, or it could be three weeks (for me it was 12 to 14 days).

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pad Thai Egg Roll Bowls

I have been trying to eat healthier this winter, from trying Keto, to trying low carb, to more  plant based. But lately I like just eating healthier with less fat and less carbs, no processed foods and not too much sugars and watching my portions.  I ran across this recipe here but I tweaked it just a bit. I found I like adding the Chile-garlic paste to the sauce and again to the turkey as it cooks to add more flavor rather than at the end for a topping. I also buy the Jenni-O ground turkey in the tube. It has a texture more like ground beef than staying separated like some ground turkey I have used before.
We loved this and I'll definitely make it again and again.

Pad Thai Egg Roll Bowl 
yield: 4 SERVINGS prep time: 10 MINUTES 
cook time: 15 MINUTES total time: 25 MINUTES
Ingredients
Sauce:
  • 3 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste 
  • 8 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Remaining Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch (about 6) of green onions, chopped (whites only, save the chopped greens for the topping!)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
  • 2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • black pepper
  • 14-16 oz of bagged coleslaw mix 
  • Toppings:
  • chopped greens onions (the leftover green part from above)
  • cilantro 
  • Cashews, toasted (toast in 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet for aprox. 7 minutes.)
  • lime wedges

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile-paste and honey. Remove 2 Tbs and set aside. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining sauce.
  2. In a small pan, scramble your eggs over medium-low heat, then set aside and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with olive oil cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Cook the whites of the green onions until softened, then add the garlic and the ground turkey. Season the ground turkey with some black pepper, a teaspoon or 2 chile-garlic paste and add 2 Tbs of soy sauce to the pan. Break up the meat with your spatula as it browns.
  4. Once the turkey is fully cooked, add the coleslaw mix and the 2 Tbs of sauce that you had set aside earlier (the portion without the cornstarch) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Add the remaining sauce (the portion with the cornstarch) and the eggs and cook until the coleslaw mix has just slightly wilted. I like to transfer it to a serving dish so it doesn't continue to cook.
  5. Serve with lime wedges (I love that extra squeeze of lime at the end!), the greens of the green onions, cashews, and cilantro. 
  6. Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Chocolatey Chocolate Cookies


I LOVE cookies and Chocolate. Lately I have LOVED Dark Dark chocolate... Not really into Milk chocolate these days --it's just too sweet. I saw this recipe on Bon Appetit one day and just HAD to try them out for some of my Christmas cookies this year. You can find the original recips Here but I changed mine just a bit. Just used different chocolate. I did half a dark dark chocolate bar and half dark chocolate chips. I have the Cacao %'s below in the recipe. Feel free to change to what ever you have or like. I also always use salted butter and cut back the Salt in the recipe to take that into account.  These were a great cakey cookie and Chocolatey. Perfect to counter balance the sugar cookies I made as well. Enjoy!

Chocolatey Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients:

2 large eggs
2 -2-oz. bittersweet chocolate bars (preferably 65%–75% cacao) I used a Ghirardelli 86% cacao chocolate bar —I love dark chocolate
1 cup dark Chocolate Chips (the highest % of cacao you can find--mine were 53% Cacao) Set aside about 1/4 cup to place on top of cookie dough balls.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla paste or extract

Directions: 

Hint: Your 2 large eggs need to be at room temperature for this recipe. If they aren’t, put them in a small bowl and cover them with hot tap water. This’ll bring them up to speed quickly.

Coarsely chop 2- 2-oz. chocolate bars. You want them to be bigger than normal chocolate chips (aim for 3–4 times the size)—this creates the chocolate puddles. Set aside. 

Cut 2 sticks butter into large pieces. Cook in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until it foams, then browns, 7–9 minutes. (Watch carefully since browned butter goes from brown to black in the blink of an eye.) Immediately scrape into a large bowl and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

While butter cools, whisk 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour and 1 tsp. baking soda in a medium bowl to combine. Press ⅓ cup cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl (this eliminates those pesky lumps), then whisk again to combine.
Add ¾ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 1 tsp. kosher salt to browned butter. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir vigorously to combine. Add 1 large egg and whisk vigorously until incorporated, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining 1 large egg, then whisk in 1 Tbsp. vanilla paste or extract
Switch back to your spatula or spoon to stir in dry ingredients just to combine. Mix in the 2 chopped chocolate bars and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips. (Remember to save some to place on top of cookie balls before baking. I saved about a 1/4 cup)
***Let dough sit at room temperature at least 1 hour to let flour and cocoa hydrate. The dough will thicken as it sits. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape dough into ping-pong sized balls (about 3 Tbsp.). Arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 3" apart. Lightly press a 3 or 4  of remaining chocolate chips on top of each dough ball.
Bake cookies, until edges are just set but centers are still soft, 8–10 minutes. Don’t over bake!! I baked mine for 8 and they were perfect.
Remove from oven and carefully tap pan on stovetop to deflate and flatten cookies. Let cool on baking sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Or eat warm…. who can resist a warm cookie!
Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie


I love pumpkin pie, but we always have left overs that never get eaten. So this last Thanksgiving I thougth I"d give a pumpkin Chiffon Pie a try. It's just as good as regular pumpkin pie,  but lighter. And you can't go wrong with a graham cracker crust!  Might have to make this every year. 

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

INGREDIENTS
Crust:
12 graham crackers
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled

Filling :
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2½ tsp.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 (scant) cup granulated sugar
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 large egg yolks
¾ cup whole milk
1¼ cups unsweetened pumpkin purée (from one 15-oz. can)
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Whipped cream 

RECIPE PREPARATION
Crust
Preheat oven to 325°. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until broken down into fine crumbs (you should have about 2 cups). Set aside 2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs for serving. Add sugar and salt and pulse just to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Transfer to a 9½"-diameter deep pie dish. Using a measuring cup, press crumbs firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust until fragrant and edges just start to take on color,  about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Filling and Assembly
Stir gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg, a scant ½ cup sugar, and ½ tsp. salt in a small saucepan. Whisk egg yolks and milk in a small bowl to combine, then whisk into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (but do not let it boil), about 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin purée and remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl and chill until cool, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add a scant ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, 5–7 minutes.
Mix one-third of egg white mixture into chilled pumpkin mixture until smooth. Gently fold remaining egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions until incorporated, but don’t overmix.
Pour filling into graham cracker crust; smooth top. Cover and chill overnight.


Top with whipped cream or dollop each piece with whipped cream when serving.



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Chili Colorado

I LOVE Chili Colorado..... Had it for the first time at a restaurant in California with my hubby's family... have craved it ever since... but wanted to make my own. I watched a you tube video on the Bon Apetit channel and gave it  a try. This uses dried chiles that you can find in the Mexican food section of most grocery stores or specialty stores. This is sooooooo good! you can serve in a bowl with tortillas or on a plate with Mexican rice and beans. We like to break pieces off the tortilla for a scoop... YUMMO!


Chili Colorado

5 dried Ancho chiles
2 dried pasilla chiles
2 dried guajillo chiles
3 cups chicken stock
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2 " pieces
Vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Mexican Oregano (if you have Italian oregano that's ok too)
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take the dried chili's and remove the stems and seeds. You want soft pliable chiles, like a dried raisin. If they are dry and brittle they are too old and will be flavorless. (Throw those out.)
Bring the chicken stock to a boil then cover your chiles with it in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let steam for about 30 minutes until the chiles are plump and tender. 
Next you put the soaked chiles and all the soaking liquid into a blender and puree until very smooth.

Season your cubes pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven pan, heat a couple of Tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the pork shoulder and brown all sides. You want to do this in two batches. If you over crowd the pan, the meat will steam instead of get a good brown caramel color on it. Remove the first batch to a bowl and do the same with the rest of the cubed pork. 
Add all the pork back into the pot, and add the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, chopped sage and oregano. Stir that around over medium heat until very fragrant (about a minute)

Next, add the 5 cups chicken stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Then add the chile puree and simmer another 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender and your sauce is a rich thick mahogany red color. 
Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this in a bowl with tortillas on the side. I like to garnish with diced avocado and a bit of  plain cole slaw mix.  you  can also serve along side some Mexican rice. We like to use the tortillas like scoops by breaking off a small piece and scooping into the chili colorado... sooo goood. 


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Improved Key Lime Sugar Cookie Bars

I made these for an office party recently and tweaked my recipe.... SOOOO good!

Have I told you lately that I love anything Key Lime flavored?? It seems lately that everyone is talking about making different flavors of Sugar cookies, and Betty Crocker has frosting flavorings and all this talk made me think, 'Why not try to make a different flavor of sugar cookie with my favorite sugar cookie recipe?".  So I thought I would start by trying a Key Lime flavor.... Oh my goodness these were good! I made them with my sister when I went to visit last week (she lives in Arizona).. and that is why I hadn't posted recipes for a while. We didn't care if they weren't in perfect square shapes just that they tasted good. Needless to say they didn't last long. I like to use a little citric acid dissolved in the lime juice, just seems to give it more of that lime tartness that is hard to get unless you add a ton of juice, and then your dough would be runny. You can get citric acid at most Pharmacies, it's behind the counter so you have to ask for it. It's highly worth it. We made them for St. Patrick's day, but Easter is coming so whip up a batch and enjoy!

Key Lime Sugar Cookie Bars
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter (no substitutions), softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups all-purpose flour1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl add your sugar and lime zest, rub the zest into the sugar until it becomes fragrant. Next,  add your butter and cream until light and fluffy--about 2 minutes.
Add egg, flavorings and mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add slowly to the butter mixture and mix to combine.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Plop your cookie dough out onto your cookie sheet and press to the edges with fingers so the dough covers the bottom of the pan (if your pan is really big and you want thicker bars don't go all the way to the edges.)
Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes or longer until the middle is well set and the edges start to turn slightly brown. The baking time really depends on how you like them and how thick your dough is. If you like them more chewy bake less time, for more crispy bake a little longer.
Cool completely before icing.

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3Tablespoon lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed) add 1 teaspoon citric acid  and dissolve in the lime juice
drop or two of coconut extract
1 drop green food coloring

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until well combined. Add the salt, vanilla extract, lime juice mixture, and drop of green food coloring and mix until very smooth. Add more powdered sugar if too thin, you don't want the icing to run off the bars.
Frost the sugar cookie bars and add green sprinkles or toasted coconut or leave then plain. Then cut into squares and enjoy!  (I did)..........YUMMO!
                                                         

Portabella Mushroom Tacos

I love tacos. My hubby and I thought it would be awesome to see if we could do a meatless Monday  and Portabella mushrooms have a grea...