Friday, July 22, 2011

Spicy Black Bean and Sour Cream Enchiladas

2 cans Black Beans, Drained (15 Oz Each)
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ cups Chopped Onion, Divided
½ whole Lime, Juice And Zest
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
½ cups Sour Cream
1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, Divided
1 can Green Enchilada Sauce (16 Oz)
1 can Mild Green Chilies (small, 4 Oz Can)
1 package Small Corn Tortillas (10 To 12 Tortillas Per Package)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine black beans, garlic and about half the chopped onions.
  • Next, add the lime (juice and zest), cumin, onion powder, chili powder, cinnamon, sour cream and about one third of the shredded cheese to the mixture. Combine well.
  • Spoon the filling into the corn tortillas (one at a time) and roll them by hand. Try to get them as tight as you can and then place them in a baking dish, seam side down.
  • Pour the green enchilada sauce on top so that it coats each tortilla.
  • Top with the remaining cheese, onions, and here is where you’ll add the super spice! I topped mine with a handful of the pickled jalapeno slices but if you’d prefer milder spice, use the mild green chilies listed in the ingredients list instead. Add as much as you want to suite your taste. This is your meal so make it however you like.
  • Bake in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish (or anything you have that’s long and rectangular) for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and tortilla edges look crispy and brown.
  • The flavors in the filling were great! I loved the lime and cinnamon together.
  • I didn't use a couple ingredients from the original recipe (cilantro and jalapenos). See the original recipe if you want to know where to put them.
  • Corn tortillas are annoying. Even though we warmed them a little in the microwave, they tended to crack when rolling. Great flavor, but if I wanted this dish to look better, I'd go for flour tortillas.
  • Be sure to drain the beans well. The sour cream tends to make it a little runny as it is.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Canning Cherries

Cherries are only $1.98/lb this week, so the time is right to try canning some! I've never done it before, but it was very easy. I started with 13 1/2 pounds of these:

Subtracted this:
(And with the help of this, it really didn't take long at all.)

By the end of the afternoon, I ended up with nineteen of these:
I used this recipe with the extra light syrup.

  1. Syrup (I needed 2 batches): heat 1 cup sugar with 4 1/2 cups water.
  2. Pack cherries into jars.
  3. Pour hot syrup over.
  4. Seal jars.
  5. Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes.

Gratin of White Asparagus

  • 4 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 15 white asparagus spears
  • small bunch of lemon thyme, leaves only
  • generous 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 3 1/2 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp minced curly parsley
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush a gratin dish with a little of the melted butter.

Trim the asparagus, slice the spears in half lengthwise, and lay them in the buttered gratin dish. Sprinkle with most of the lemon thyme leaves, saving a few for garnish.

Now put the crème fraîche and mustard into a heavy pan and place over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat slightly and let bubble to reduce by about a quarter. Season the reduced mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, put the bread crumbs in a bowl, add the Parmesan, parsley, and some pepper, and toss with your fingers to combine.

Pour the mustardy crème fraîche over the asparagus, then scatter the crumb mixture on top, distributing it evenly. Drizzle over the rest of the melted butter. Bake the gratin on the middle shelf of the oven until the top is crisp and golden and the cream bubbles up around the sides of the dish, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves and serve.

Notes: I substituted sour cream and skipped the reduction step. I made this in the morning, and then reheated it for dinner by placing it in the oven, turning it to 200, and then turning it off once it was heated and letting it sit until dinner time.

Lemon and Herb Crockpot roasted chicken

  • one thawed and skinned whole chicken
  • one head of garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh rosemary
Skin the chicken; rub it inside and out with a bunch of salt and pepper. Peel garlic and place whole cloves into the cavity. Slice the lemon arrange, along with rosemary on the bird. Do not add water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Notes: I left the skin on, as mine was frozen when it went in, and only used one (rather thinly-sliced) lemon. This was super yummy, and didn't involve my oven. Win-win.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken Cutlets

In the "unbelievably easy" category.

  • Cut a plump chicken breast in half lengthwise (see photo)
  • Dredge each piece in flour
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I used Montreal Chicken seasoning)
  • Add a little olive oil to a skillet and cook pieces 2-3 minutes on each side.
Source: Real Simple's daily recipe email.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish

  • In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
  • Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.
  • Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.
  • Makes about 3 cups.
NOTES: I didn't have tahini or pine nuts, but I did toast about 1/3 cup of sesame seeds and puree them in. It definitely changes the flavor, so less (or none) would also work well.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aldi pure fat and sugar cookies

Yum. That is all.

Better strawberry flavor than the other ones we've gotten.
0% Trans Fat (practically health food!)

Thai Chicken Skewers

¼ smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
2Tbsp. chopped parsley (fresh)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
½ tsp. ground coriander
1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
Wooden skewers

Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in medium bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours overnight. Put chicken on skewers. Broil, grill or bake. Bake 350 for 20-30 minutes.

NOTES: I doubled the recipe but still only used 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce for this crowd. I did not have coriander, so just ignored it, and I misread the recipe and used tablespoons for the soy sauce measure instead of teaspoons. Despite all of these adjustments, they were very good!

I grilled them, but Sheila baked them for core group last month. Both were tasty and moist. If you bake them, you might want to save yourself a nasty clean-up mess by covering your baking sheet with foil.

Source: Sheila Bauer