Wednesday, September 28, 2011

~ Quinoa and Black Beans ~

Another use for Quinoa!  I love it and this is really pretty healthy.  It can be used as a salad or a side dish, served warm or cold. 

      1 tsp vegetable or olive oil
      1 onion, chopped (purple onion adds color)
      3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
      3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
      1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken broth)
      1 tsp ground cumin
      1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
      salt and pepper to taste
      1 cup frozen corn kernels
      2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
     1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.              
Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

You can add other ingredients such as green chilies, bell pepper, chopped chicken and garnish if you choose with avocado and sour cream.

I'm joining ~

Thursday, September 22, 2011

~ A Different Apple Pie ~

FORWARD: This is a rerun! If you read my previous post, you'll know the "why". :-)

This is one of the best apple pies ever! It's made a little differently but that adds to the overall flavor. I'm posting the original recipe and noted my changes along the way.

1 recipe pastry for a double crust 9" pie ~ I allowed the frozen crusts to thaw as I mixed the rest.
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced ~ I used 6 apples and you can see it was plenty.
I added cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice...more cinnamon than anything! Did not have Apple Pie Spice on hand.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. (I used a whisk to ensure there were no lumps & continued using it after adding the water & both sugars. Once the mixture was smooth, I stirred with a wooden spoon.) Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. (As you will see, I did not do the lattice work crust.)

3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft. I covered the pie in foil after the first 15 min as it was already browning. I also baked it an hour at 350'...apples were still not tender. I then turned the oven off and left the pie inside, covered until the oven cooled. Perhaps I used too many apples?? ;-)

First, the peeling/coring/slicing of the apples ~

All peeled and tossed with a small amount of lemon juice to help prevent early browning.

Now, the bottom crust ~

I used Marie Callender's frozen pie crusts ~ 2 in a package. Let me tell you, they are the closest to homemade that you will find....and so much easier! I really stuffed the apples in here ~ :-)

Be SURE and have your pan/cookie sheet lined with foil! Hopefully will avoid spills & running over. Now, pour the liquid ingredients over the apples....and be very careful as it is hot and tends to run every which way. I moved some of the apples around a bit with a fork in this process.

That part is done! Now we add the top crust. I cut 3 apple shapes out of the center of the 2nd pie crust to vent as well as placing the little apple shapes on top as decoration.

I used the tiny cutters I had from Williams-Sonoma.

I brushed milk over the entire top crust and sprinkled with sanding sugar...helps the browning and a prettier crust when baking is complete.

All done and your kitchen will smell like heaven!

I am so NOT a photographer so some pics came out larger than others. You can tell those that are blurry didn't publish well. :-(
I do hope that you will try this! I know you'll find it as delicious as we all did.
I will be joining ~

~ How Do You Do It? ~


How do you manage to do all sorts of crafts, painting, cooking, baking, decorating, shopping and blogging?  Especially those with kids ~ wow, I can't even imagine! I seem to be having a time management problem big time! It's embarrassing to admit this 'cause it's just me here. I don't have to cook for someone else although I do share a lot with my kids. Perhaps it's the change in seasons?  I want & need to clean out closets and toss/donate. I have some fall decorating I want to do, crafts...even sewing...and I love to bake this time of year.  I want to browse blogs and see what each of you are up to and respond.  I could spend hours on the computer but that's not "a good thing" is it?  Well, it isn't if I want to accomplish other things.

It just blows my mind that others can post daily or often along with accomplishing a jillion other things. I realize I have to create my own schedule but at the moment, I'm stumped. This week I've had Dr. appts, scheduling future appts, a bit of a reaction to the flu shot that I had and a few other things. Nothing huge but I feel like I'm treading water and not getting anywhere.    I'd love for you to come over for coffee or a glass of wine and talk to me about this. :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

~ Your Past ~

 This is great ~ especially for those of us that might be a bit more mature.  I hope you take the time to enjoy it!

The screen is going to fade to black; have your glasses on, [ ;-) ]  and follow the instructions below.
You'll be pleasantly surprised with this one. Type the year only!! Then click the question (?) mark!
Sit back and enjoy!!
Click: Birth Year

Saturday, September 17, 2011

~ Saturday Smile ~

As I was lying on my couch pondering the problems of the WORLD,
I rapidly realized that I don't really give a HOOT.
It's the tortoise life for me! (Read on...)

1. If walking/cycling is good for your health,the
Postman would be immortal.
2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks
water and is fat.
3. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
4. A tortoise doesn't run, does nothing...yet lives
For 450 years.
I'm retired, go around me!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

~ Technical Problems ~

Normally, I would blame this issue on me ~ the most UNtechnical person ever.  However, I do believe it is AT&T and/or Blogger.  I know I had emails this they are all gone and I didn't delete them.  A random post showed up and I did delete it.

Bottom line, if you emailed me and no response, I apologize!  Will be checking this out. Hope you're having a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

~ Low Fat Chicken Tamale Casserole ~

This is another 'old' recipe from Cooking Light.  It's easy and great for kids too. I'm sharing the original recipe with changes I've made in red.

1 c. (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided (I like to use Pepper Jack too.)
1/3 c. fat-free milk  (I normally use 2% all the time.)
1/4 c. egg substitute (Can use 1 whole egg)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn (I use whole corn...I think the cream style is too sweet.)
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained (I use 2 cans or a bunch of fresh Hatch chilies.)
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream (I use low fat along with other garnishes)

Preheat oven to 400'.
Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. I bake this a bit longer to ensure it's done.  Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with your choice of sour cream, avocado slices, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, limes, etc.
I'm joining ~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

~ Pre-Lit Branches ~

I know this is late notice, however, I just found an email from Kirkland's and they have a sale going on today, Wed, 14th.  They also have the pre-lit branches many of us admired over at Becca's as a part of her fall decorating.  You need to order them online so check out their website and go crazy!  Can't wait to get mine ~ 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

~ We Will Never Forget ~

This is a commercial Budweiser did for 9/11. They only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it. They just wanted to acknowledge that horrible day and pay tribute to America and it's heroes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

~ Happy 9-10-11 Everyone! ~

And it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  :-)  It will be warmer today but still not that triple digit stuff we've had for months and it's cooler at night.  Yay!

Have you ever made an Ice Cream Cake?  My gson's birthday is on Monday and that is his request. I've ordered them but never made one.

It's been a crazy week here. A long-term family friend passed away and the services were yesterday. The family is doing well and that is a huge blessing!  She had been ill and had dementia so it truly is a blessing for her to be in a better place now.

I hope each of you are happy and doing well!   Let's all pray that there are no terrororist attacks this weekend. Hopefully, the memorial services tomorrow will go as planned with no problems.

Monday, September 5, 2011

~ Ramblings ~

~ I hope that everyone is having a safe, fun & happy Labor Day!  It was in the high 60's this morning and forecast for this afternoon is low 80's. I wish you could see how happy and excited I am!!  I'm jumping up and down ~ yeah, right.  :-)  Seriously, this is like a piece of Heaven after 68 days of triple digits.  We almost tied or broke the record of 1980 for 69 days of triple digits. Knowing Texas, I'm sure the heat will rise again but at least we've had this wonderful break!

~ Have you ever lost a sewing machine?  Or a large, framed print....poster size?  I have torn this place apart looking for both!  In case some of you are wondering if I've completely lost my mind, I moved twice last year...last time in late Nov.  It was unexpected and very fast. Anyway, I had some special items stored in one closet and I honestly thought the sewing machine was in there. I had it boxed up nicely. The print?  I thought it was in the back of that closet too.  I had placed 2 large mirrors there but have moved them since.  Anyway, I cannot imagine what happened. They are not in my storage closet either. My family and I have used the movers several times and they are very reputable....I know everything was out of the former place...just cannot figure this out. I'm in the mood to sew with no machine and no answers.
~ What type of smart phone do you have?  I'm thinking of changing and I'm really not sure which one to choose. Any suggestions are most appreciated!

~ Please pray for everyone in Texas that has been or might be affected by the raging fires. So many homes have been lost and the firefighters are exhausted.  One of cousins lives in Austin and had to evacuate their home yesterday.  So many in harm's way ~

Thursday, September 1, 2011

~ Mexican Botano Platter ~

This is a very old "Texas" recipe from along the Texas-Mexico border.  Botano means snack or appetizer. It is like a fajita appetizer and serves at least 12. It is a great accompaniment to a mexican style dinner, adding spanish rice, warm flour tortillas, etc.  Use as a snack for watching football or just having guests for drinks and appetizers.  A great margarita or icy cold beer is the perfect drink to add!

2 pounds beef skirt steak
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts and thighs
Use can also use shrimp if  you choose ~ just don't overcook.
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt to taste
lemon pepper to taste
~ Use any of your favorite seasonings.
1 medium green bell
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 c. refried beans (Using black beans is really good!)
1 (16 ounce) package shredded mexican cheese
Sour cream, chopped tomatoes and sliced jalapeno peppers to garnish
Your favorite guacamole!
The original recipe called for frying quartered tortillas in hot oil, however, you can use your favorite tortilla chips and save lots of fat and time.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rub beef and chicken with fajita seasoning and 2 teaspoons garlic powder. Cut beef and chicken into 1-inch strips, and set aside. (You can season meat and marinate overnight.)     
In a saucepan, warm refried beans over medium-low heat   
Lightly spray a skillet with olive oil or vegetable oil and heat to medium heat;  stir in beef, chicken, bell pepper, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes; then stir in cilantro. Sprinkle fresh lime juice over all.    
Layer the tortilla pieces along the bottom of a large baking dish. Spread refried beans evenly over tortilla pieces.  Spread meat mixture evenly on top of beans and sprinkle cheese over all.

Bake in preheated oven until cheese and beans are bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and drop sour cream and guacamole by tablespoonfuls in various places across the top. Sprinkle tomatoes and jalapenos on top.

This makes a LOT. I recommend serving all condiments on the side and allow guests to garnish as they choose.  Ole!

I'm joining ~