Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chile Rellenos and Halloween

I realize I haven't posted in awhile but I've been a little stressed! Too many personal things going on and lots of ups and downs in our lives. After a lot of pondering and a lot of baking on Friday, I decided to make chile rellenos tonight. Have I made them in the past? Nope never but I love them. So I found a recipe, talked to my sister-in-law and gave it a shot. The biggest surprise? They worked! The only pic I have of them is on my phone so you have to go to Facebook to see them but they taste amazing. However, be sure to get all the seeds out if possible and the membrane. It's super spicy and the salsa only added to that fact.

The longest part of the whole thing is getting the chiles charred and peeled. I do recommend using toothpicks to hold them shut as well. But they tasted great! I also learned that egg whites whip up really fast in a KitchenAid mixer. Like insanely fast and it's a good thing. Once I peeled the chiles, the tricky part was getting the seeds out. I'm trying to think of a better way to do this like maybe take out the seeds first and then char them but I don't know if that will work. I'll have to ask my husband when he gets home.

It's almost Halloween, and we have our Halloween party at school on Friday. The thing about my school is we not only have a party, we have a costume parade. And it's a big deal. I've never been at a school like this before so my first year at the school it was a shock to me. Well, this year we've decided us teachers need to dress up. I'm still trying to piece my costume together so I'll be sure to post pics of the teachers since I can't post the kids. I am excited though cause I get to wear several costumes. I've always enjoyed Halloween. I mean who doesn't love free candy? Can't wait til we have kids so I have an excuse to get the candy. In the meantime, we use my husband's niece and nephews. Which is great! We get to hang out with them and enjoy free candy. Because kids shouldn't have too much candy right? We get to go out to Trunk or Treat Friday night with a dinosaur, a devil and Darth Vadar. My mom should be happy to see us.

Compromise is a wonderful thing I'm learning. Slowly but surely things are coming together for us. And I'm learning more about myself each day. Stay tuned until Friday when you get to see pics of Halloween! I'm off to write a syllabus now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chipotle Sour Cream

I'm not sure who I can really blame for my new addiction. I guess it could be my dad since he's the one who called me and told me I needed to buy this sour cream for chili. But then again, I use chipotles in tinga and I love the smell and flavor.

I made chili last week with chipotle sour cream and it was amazing. So today I made taco soup. Whatever you think of as taco soup, it may not be my recipe. My taco soup is more or less me throwing in whatever looks good to make a soup with taco seasoning. I think it's pretty tasty however the verdict is still out on what my husband thinks. He's busy doing an emergency paint job for a dear friend who texted me while I was teaching her son at school today. So yay hubby for helping out a friend. I will let you know what he thinks of the soup however.

Here's my recipe and the final product. Feel free to substitute whatever you would like to add or cut down on the spiciness.

1 lb of ground beef (you can use shredded chicken as well)
1 can of corn or small bag of frozen corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans (put in any kind of beans, as much as you want. They are great!)
2 to 3 cans of Rotel tomatoes with chilis (I like regular or spicy)
1 package of taco seasoning
chopped jalapeños
Chipotle sour cream and cheese for garnish

Brown the ground beef. Drain and rinse well. Put into a pot along with all ingredients except sour cream and cheese. Add extra water if needed to thin out the soup as much as you like. If you want to add a lot of water, you may need to add more taco seasoning. Heat through. Add sour cream and cheese to garnish. Add lots of sour cream for lots of spice! It's amazing. really and truly amazing! I'm on my second bowl but don't tell my husband!

See how amazing it looks? I would have added the cheese but that would require having cheese in my house. Which I don't. I will tomorrow but today we're going cheeseless.

Now excuse me while I look for other ways to use this wonderful sour cream! If you have any ideas let me know! This is what I'm doing as I postpone preparing for parent teacher conferences and my observation tomorrow at school

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wonderful Day

So I made chili last night. My husband told the guys he works with that he was bringing them lunch today and it would be chili. He didn't tell me this until he got home from work. Luckily, I still haven't learned how to cook for only 2 people. I still make food like I'm living with my parents and siblings. Funny because when I lived alone, I had no problem cooking for one person and having leftovers the next and that's it. Which means we had a lot of chili. I wish I had pictures of the chili because it was amazing. He called to tell me the 3 of them ate almost all of it! We're talking a pretty big pot of chili. And then tells me he loves me and thinks I'm wonderful. What a good man I have!

I find it interesting how hard it is for some men to say I love you. For me it's easy. I tell everyone I love you I guess. But my husband isn't that vocal. However, I do know he loves me. He mows the lawn. He even does dishes! So for that, I make him as he calls it, "la galleta grande." Or in other words, a pizookie. And I will make them everytime he asks. Because he can't eat it by himself. So I need to help!
The yummy pizookie before it's baked. I use an 8 inch cake pan for mine since I don't have a pizookie pan (hint for Christmas my friends!). Doesn't it look good?
After about 7 minutes in the oven it comes out. I guess I could have let it cook a little bit less. Then we have my favorite picture of all:
The final product. It took us about 10 minutes to eat the whole thing. It was amazing! And I plan to make plenty more of them. Everyone should enjoy a pizookie. It makes life so much more bearable!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More on Pizookie

It's been quite the chaotic last few days. Really and truly. But things are winding down and all shall be well again. Conference weekend really helped me out cause I was able to focus on the most important things.

My husband asked me tonight "When are you going to make that giant cookie again? The one you made on Sunday?" That's his way of saying he likes it. And a pretty high compliment from him. When he asks me make something again it gives me permission to make it over and over again. And my life becomes easier! So now I'm on a mission to make more pizookies. I need a smaller pan however in order to make them more often. If they're smaller that means I can eat more right? So I'll be making pizookies tomorrow night and taking pictures. Then you can all experience the joy of a pizookie. Well, at least through pictures. And then you'll have a recipe.

I may not be the most amazing cook but I can at least make my husband happy. He wants chili tomorrow night so if it turns out ok I'll post pictures. However I promise to post on Friday night or Saturday morning so you can all join me in the adventure of making taquitos!

I have to say I have some pretty amazing friends. Every day I'm learning more and more about what a true friend is. Yep I may be getting close to 30 but it's taken me a long time to learn about friends. There are some people you only spend time with because you work with them. You say hi and talk about surface things but that's where it ends. There are others that you spend time with because you've known them a long time. You get pretty deep and they know a lot about you but still something is missing. And then there are friends who you might know for a long time or only a short time but they truly understand you. The kind of friends you can tell anything to. And you might not get to talk to them every day, but you know they're thinking about you and vice versa. People that you can bare your very soul to and not feel ashamed. They tell you like it is and you aren't afraid of their response. You respect it and listen. Those are the friends who lift you up and make you happy. These are the friends I'm grateful for right now. People who stand with me even when I feel like I'm going crazy and the world is crashing down around me. They may not understand everything going on in my life but they listen and let me cry.

I've had to let some friends go recently. It's made me really sad because I thought they were truly people I could depend on but it turns out they fell through. Or rather they were only superficial friends when I thought they weren't. But I love my real friends. Each one of you is amazing and thank you so much for all of your help right now!!! Especially my DD girls. You are more amazing than you'll ever know.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pizookies, Soup and rolls

Another cold, rainy day here. I never ever thought I would be blogging about food but it seems I spend a lot of time doing that. Cooking is more of a hobby for me. I'm not amazing by any means but I enjoy doing it. So since the dear husband had to work again today and I was home watching conference, I decided to make a huge meal. I wish I had pictures but I'll do the soup pictures for you tomorrow I promise.

Conference was amazing as it always is. I find it interesting that there's always always something I need to hear. Newly married life is wonderful but there are some down moments. Especially when we're going through some challenging times. And both of us can be quite stubborn and think we know best. I guess I've always felt like I should always have the right answer. Well, news flash: I don't! I know shocking right? In this case, I do have the answer but from listening to conference, I can't force my will upon another person. Not only that, but I also have to keep that eternal perspective in mind. I know my husband will come to that knowledge eventually but right now it's frustrating. In the meantime, I continue loving him like always and know that mental illness is just that, illness. Right now I'm looking for support groups around here for myself.

So now that you all know more than you probably wanted, let's talk about my dinner plans! Hubby mentioned last night that I haven't made dessert in quite awhile. He's right cause we're both trying to lose weight but when I pointed that out he just looked at me like I was crazy. So I needed a dessert for today. But first dinner. It's cold here although it's supposed to be warmer later this week and I'm hoping that's true! I decided to go with that fabulous potato soup recipe I posted a little while ago. This time though I used four cheese instant potatoes and it made the soup even more amazing! Creamy and extra cheesy! But I also wanted bread and seeing as it's Sunday I knew I would need to make bread. Since I had potato flakes I decided to use a recipe a companion taught me on the mission. Rolls using potato flakes. You don't really have to wait for them to rise too much so it's perfect. They turned out amazing and soft! Then a pizookie! My poor husband got home exhausted from work and decided he only wanted dessert. Luckily this amazing pizza cookie mixes up really fast and cooks even faster! There are no pictures of that because as soon as I took it out of the oven and put the ice cream on top, my husband devoured almost all of it. Now he's asleep poor guy. I'll be joining him in a few moments as soon as the Amazing Race finishes.

Tomorrow you get to see pictures of the rolls and soup. Maybe I'll even mix up another pizookie just so I can take a picture.

Again, be patient with everyone and everything. Heavenly Father loves each of us and knows what we need and when we need it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chilaquiles and Conference

Lately my husband has been working late which leaves me home a lot by myself. And it means I decide to try cooking new things. He told me Thursday that he would have to work all weekend, and at first I didn't believe him. Then he said "no estoy bromeando amor" and I realized yep I would be alone Conference Weekend. Which is fine cause I can watch Conference in English instead of Spanish. But I did ask him to leave last night open for the two of us. Instead of going bowling like we had planned, we had an impromptu trip to get ice cream from Bruesters and then he said he didn't feel like bowling. Ummm Ok so what should we do? He told me just to drive so I did  and we decided to take a little drive to the DC temple. It was nice being down there at the Visitors Center pretty much alone except for the sister missionaries. And he was shocked that there wasn't a single one there yesterday who spoke Spanish. We were both shocked actually. But we walked around, watched some movies and came home to relax. That was when he asked what I was making for dinner tonight. I gave him two choices: chilaquiles or chili. He of course chose chilaquiles. So I had a task for today while watching conference. And I even have pictures!

What are chilaquiles for my non-Mexican friends reading this blog? Only the best Mexican comfort food ever. I guess it's usually a breakfast food, but I've never actually had it for breakfast. Everytime I've had it, it was always for dinner. And since hubby likes it at dinner with bistec just like I do, it worked perfectly. Basically it's homeade tortilla chips cooked in a salsa verde with bistec on the side, and topped with sour cream and cheese. Sounds weird and looks weird but I promise you it's amazing! And there are lots of variations. You can make it with hardboiled eggs, top it with onions, serve it with French bread (which is a lot of carbs in my opinion). Here's our recipe.

First you need to cut the tortillas into large pieces or triangles (you can also buy tortilla chips but you need to get really thick heavy ones and I can't find them here). You can also use tortillas that are kind of stale and old.
See how nice they look? Next you need to fry them in oil until they're crispy and lightly brown. Or dark brown as I usually end up doing. Once you take them out of the oil, put a little salt on them while they're still hot and put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel. You'll be frying them in batches unless you have a huge skillet or fryer.
Once you get nice crispy chips, you get to make the salsa. Now, I'm not putting any measurements here because well, I only cook with measurements when I'm baking. So you need to wash some tomatillos and jalapenos. Put them in a pot and cover them with water. It depends on how spicy you want to make your salsa and you also want enough to make a lot of liquid. Since it's only two of us I didn't use very many.
I should have added 2 or 3 more jalapenos to make it spicy for us. It wasn't spicy at all actually once it got soaked up by the tortillas. Put these on to boil until everything is nice and soft and isn't bright green anymore.
After they get to this point, let them cool a little bit and then put them into a blender without any of the water. You also need to add a clove or two of garlic and salt to your liking.
Once it's all in the blender turn it on and let it get all liquidy! See, no water needed. But really, this should have been fuller. So make another batch if you need to. Once you have that wonderful salsa verde ready to go, take a large skillet and heat a little bit of oil. Add the salsa to the skillet let it "fry" for a few minutes. Once it starts to boil some, turn the heat down and start adding the chips.
It'll be nice and bubbly.
Here are the chips being added to make it yummy and delicious. Make sure you turn the heat down and let it cook and soak up the salsa. You can add some more water if needed but it's also a good idea to make more salsa if you need to.
This is what it looks like once everything gets soaked up and tasty. Next you need some really thin steaks. I use beef milanesa. Put a little seasoning on them and cook them in a pan.
They only take a few minutes to cook so watch closely. Once you do that, put the chilaquiles on a plate, add a piece or two of steak (I tear mine into pieces), top it with cheese and sour cream. Now, normally you use queso fresco but my husband isn't a huge fan of it so I use regular shredded cheese.
And then just mix it all up and it's amazing! This is the best dish ever seriously. And since my husband ate all that was left, I figure it was pretty good.