seasons of cooking?

2012-11-09 18.25.24

In our house usually the oldest daughter at home is the kitchen manager. She is responsible for planning meals, grocery lists, keeping inventory, and keeping the deep freeze, kitchen fridge and pantry in order. I let her pretty much organize the kitchen as she likes.  She is also the supper cook and chief baker. Our method has worked well for many many years and produced very well trained expert domestic wives with well fed husbands. Smile 

However each time ones gets married we hand the baton to the next and it always is fun to see the changes that come about as the next one settles in.

Each daughter has had her culinary specialties. And we gets lots of fun variety. Southern, Italian, Mexican, and then there is Georgia’s fire breathing can’t get hot enough Mexican. We purposely plant 5 rows of peppers in the garden for her. I am tellin ya, my girls can COOK Smile!

But hey, Momma likes to cook too! So in between sharing with the next in line, I have gotten to cook a few new things myself.  I thought I would share one of my newest creations. We call them taco cups. Here is the general idea.

I usually make pinto beans in the crock pot once a week and make enough for a couple meals. So  I already had these made. In a big skillet I  put 2 pounds of ground beef and a diced onion and a handful of diced peppers. I cook the beef and such till well browned and then add in about 8 cups of pinto beans, they are cooked but not mashed. I then add either 2 cans of diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh ones. I keep all that at a low simmer. Then I take a dozen corn tortillas and lightly fry each in a small amount of oil until pliable. Then I take my 12 cup muffin tin and put it upside down on the counter. I place each tortilla over the cup and bend the edges down, tucking them however they will fit. Then take another muffin tin and place over it and press down gently. You could smaller muffin tins but I have the big ones so this works well for me. Then put them in the oven and bake until crunchy around the edges, usually around 20 minutes at about 350. Then you remove and place your tortilla cups on plates. Fill with the meat/bean mixture, top with mexican blend shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with crushed red pepper and garnish in between with shredded lettuce and more diced tomatoes.

Yummy. Great for a crowd. This made enough for 12 cups. 1 or two cups per serving unless you work on a farm, or you are a fast growing youngin.

fiesta bean dip and chips ~menu idea

Here is another of our great menu ideas. It is frugal, and yummy at the same time, you will get my my Fiesta Basics ebook for the recipes.

You will need

  • refried beans
  • grated cheese we like the Mexican blend
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • diced onions
  • diced tomatoes or salsa
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • optional is cooked ground beef
  • optional is cooked rice
  • corn tortillas

Prepare your refried bean however you like, adding optional items if desired. For each serving, add beans then cheese then each topping as desired, usually after the cheese we add onions, sour cream, salsa then a spoon of guacamole and some cilantro. Remember anything fresh and green makes it look gourmet. We serve this with corn tortillas that have been cut in 1/4 ‘s and fried in hot oil and are served still warm.

This dish is a meal in itself.

This is just a menu idea would you like to see it made into an ebook with step by step instructions and pictures?

Creatively Simple – How to Make Homemade Chimichangas

We moved from Southern California to Tennessee in the late fall of 1993. It was a wonderful new place except for one thing. We had grown up on Mexican food. Not American style fast food Mexican but authentic, miles from the border California style Mexican food. There was no good Mexican food in Tennessee. So I made it myself. Then I taught my daughters. Then we had more daughters and they learned to cook better than me. And they got better and better. And now that there are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Tennessee, we still can’t find one that tastes as good as our daughters cook. So I followed Georgia around the kitchen with my camera just to get this incredible information for you!

Chimichangas are similar to fried burritos served on a bed of lettuce and smothered in sauce.

If you like this book you will probably also like my Creatively Simple – How to make Fiesta Basics – Salsa, Guacamole, Beans and Rice.

This is just one of a series of Creatively Simple “How to” ebooks approx 23 pages with lots of pictures  ebook download

not just a recipe, but a very detailed How To ebook with step by step instructions and lots of pictures  $4.95 regular price

NEW Release special for a limited time only $2.95

Creatively Simple – How to Make Homemade Taquitos

Creatively Simple – How to Make Homemade Taquitos

We moved from Southern California to Tennessee in the late fall of 1993. It was a wonderful new place except for one thing. We had grown up on Mexican food. Not American style fast food Mexican but authentic, miles from the border California style Mexican food. There was no good Mexican food in Tennessee. So I made it myself. Then I taught my daughters. Then we had more daughters and they learned to cook better than me. And they got better and better. And now that there are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Tennessee, we still can’t find one that tastes as good as our daughters cook. So I followed Georgia around the kitchen with my camera just to get this incredible information for you! There will be lots of upcoming books on her incredible Mexican recipes.

This is just one of a series of Creatively Simple “How to” ebooks approx 20 pages with lots of pictures  ebook download

not just a recipe, but a very detailed How To ebook with step by step instructions and lots of pictures  $4.95 regular price

AND MY First Things First ebook I send to you with every purchase!

NEW Release special for a limited time only $2.95

chili relleno improv

At our house we love Mexican food. I should say LOVE. We are sort of part Mexican, not by heredity but geographically, we are from California. Add to that I have this cooking thing in my blood, if I can imagine the taste I can make it. Well, last time I said something about all the wonderful peppers in my garden someone suggested we make chili rellenos. That was a thought I could not escape. But none of our peppers were the kind big enough to stuff. So what is my big  tip? Improvise!

What we came up with is a chili relleno casserole of sorts. First we start the sauce, in your blender add 5 squeezed fresh tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion diced, and 1 red bell pepper diced,  puree. Pour into sauce pan and turn on med. Then into a bowl add the other half diced onion, and 12 to 15 chopped peppers. We used some sort of chili pepper (I forget all that we planted) bell peppers and several jalapenos, yes we like to live on the edge.

Then go back to your blender and add 3 fresh eggs, whip till frothy, then add one and a half cups flour, a T of baking powder and 1 cup milk, blend a little more until well mixed.

Then take a large skillet an add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, heat to frying temp. Pour in the batter, and add peppers on one side (think stuffed omelet). Then add 2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheese.

Turn your pan down and cover. Meanwhile your sauce should be bubbling and thickening.

When you have determined your batter is done, use a large spatula and flip empty side up on top of stuffed side. Again think omelet. Cover pan back up and leave on low until inside is thoroughly cooked, or take out of pan and microwave a bit more if the outside is cooking before the inside.

Then serve on plate with sauce spooned over it. This has the same flavor as a chili relleno and is absolutely addictive! Even when Hannah adds too many jalapenos and you are breathing fire. They like it that way around here. You could roast the peppers first but we like the not-all-the-way-cooked fresh taste.

chimichangas

chimichangas are just basically fried burritos with toppings

  • flour tortillas
  • filling, our favorite is shredded beef and rice but we have also used cooked ground beef and refried beans
  • cooking oil
  • shredded mexican blend cheese
  • mexican red sauce
  • shredded lettuce
  • sour cream
  • diced cilantro
  • diced tomatoes

Your amounts will depend on the size of your crowd and the size of your tortillas.

Put enough cooking oil in a skillet to well cover the bottom and heat. Warm your filling to serving temp. Take a tortilla and add enough filling to cover a strip down the middle. Not as full as you would a taco. Fold the bottom and top in toward the middle but not as far as to touch. Then roll the sides in. It should look long and like a roll. Then place in the pan with the fold side down. Fry until golden brown then turn and cook on other side. You want your oil hot enough to fry but not so hot that it burns right away. The point is to make your tortillas crunchy. When done remove and place on paper towel.

To serve we make a big presentation with these. On each plate make a bed of lettuce then add chimichanga, then red sauce then shredded cheese, then dollop of sour cream, then diced tomatoes and then diced cilantro. The toppings make this a gourmet dish.

budget fajitas

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion cut in strips
  • 1 bell pepper cut in strips
  • 2 jalapeno peppers cut in strips
  • 3 T. fajita seasoning
  • homemade corn tortillas
  • toppings- grated cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, lime slices or juice, cilantro
  • 3 cups cooked rice (optional)

 

In a skillet on med heat cook the ground beef, onion and peppers with the fajita seasoning until the meat is cooked. You can add the cooked rice to stretch it a bit further if desired. Serve in fried tortillas and add toppings as desired.

This is one of those meals that can be really budget or a little more extravagant according to what you add on top. We use what is handy or on sale. Not as tasty as steak but will do 🙂 . This makes enough to feed my big crowd.

stuffed quesadillas

these are really easy, you will need

  • cooked filling, leftovers are great, meat, veggies, rice etc.
  • tortillas – corn or flour
  • extras like diced onions and/or tomatoes, and/or chili peppers
  • grated cheese, Mexican style is best
  • vegetable oil
  • toppings, sour cream or guacamole

Warm your skillet and add a small amount of oil, just enough to cover the bottom. Take a tortilla and on one half add filling and cheese and any extras, not too much, you are going to fold over the half without anything onto the filled half. It should no be so full that the stuffing is falling out. Then place in skillet and fry until golden brown, turn carefully and fry the next side. The cheese should be getting oozy. Cut into quarters with a big knife or pizza cutter and serve with salsa and toppings. Really yummy and really easy. Our favorite is to use our jalapeno chicken and rice.