Monday, May 30, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

On a recent Sunday I came home from a run and wanted something different than our usual hot breakfast items. I started looking in the pantry and refrigerator and came up with the idea for breakfast burritos. These were modeled after the ones served at Blake's Lotaburger in Albuquerque. Our friend, Carol, walks there from her house every Saturday and gets one of these. She cuts it in half and eats half on Saturday morning and half on Sunday morning. When we have visited her we participate in this ritual also. I usually order mine "Christmas" there...that is with red and green salsa; however, I was working with what I had, so this is how I made them.

I made a couple strips of bacon. While that was sauteeing, I boiled some new potatoes until just about soft. I drained the potatoes and cubed them. When the bacon strips were done I drained the grease and wiped out the pan. Then I sauteed the cubed potatoes and scrambled some eggs with the potatoes. I spread refried beans on tortillas and heated them in the microwave. Then, I added some shredded cheese and the potato/egg mixture and a strip of bacon. I added some red salsa on mine. We rolled and ate them.

The best thing is that it was filling and really lasted for the whole day. I was good until dinner that night and my bottomless pit known as Eleanor was as well!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lobster on the Grill

I walked right past the sign at our Sendiks announcing the upcoming LobsterFest special...special price on lobster over the Memorial Day weekend. Paul, on the other hand, texted me at work asking if we should get some. It seems that was the discussion at his workplace on a day leading up to the "event". He went ahead and ordered 5 and figured out how to grill them. Typically on a holiday weekend he likes to smoke a big hunk of meat but opted to go for a seafood grill instead on this round.

It was a bit hard to plan since my sister, her husband, and baby were going to be here as well as my parents. So, we decided that grilling the lobster and making lobster rolls would be the answer. That way, if Lisa and Greg decided to go somewhere with friends, we wouldn't have an overload of food. Yet we didn't want to run out either.

For the filling I used my friend Kathy (tomato mozzarella pasta, arugula pizza)'s recipe. She makes shrimp salad with this recipe. I think the shrimp salad recipe is a lobster roll knock-off, so we're coming back to the original....maybe? She makes this shrimp salad every year at violin camp since it is always hot in central Wisconsin that week. It has become a tradition for us to make it that week as well...but this was good timing too.

We were keeping this meal simple, so I served the rolls with arugula salad (baby arugula with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper). My parents brought strawberry rhubarb pie..yum.

Maybe summer really is going to come to Wisconsin this year?!

Parboil lobster 3-4 minutes. Butterfly and grill about 15 minutes brushing with melted butter, garlic and chopped tarragon.

Chop the lobster meat and add:
fresh squeezed lemon juice
chopped tarragon
diced celery
It took quite awhile and a few hands to get the lobster meat out of the shells, but it was OK today since we were just sitting around chatting. Now, if we could just have some warmer and sunnier weather.......
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Green Enchiladas

This recipe has been around my house for quite awhile but somehow got put in the back of the poultry section file of my recipe box. I was looking through some recipes and rediscovered it, a definite winner at our house.

I have adapted it a notecard has many scratches and revisions, so it does work well to substitute with this recipe. Here's what I did to make the dinner pictured:
I used a rotisserie chicken and pulled off the meat and cut it into bite size pieces.
Saute in 1 T olive oil:
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Add 1 t ground cumin and set this mixture aside.

Steam 1 lb fresh spinach and drain throughly squeezing out extra water; chop
Boil 2 yukon gold potatoes and cut into small cubes

Mix together:
2 c sour cream
1 c plain yogurt
8 oz canned chopped green chiles
steamed spinach
onion/garlic mixture

In a separate bowl:

1/2 the sour cream mixture

Soften tortillas in oven until warm and wrap chicken mixture into each one placing the filled tortillas seam side down in a 9" by 13" pan.
Stir a bit of milk into the sauce mixture and pour over the enchiladas.
Top with some grated cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so. Take foil off and continue to bake until bubbly and hot.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Red Lentils and Rice

I try to serve meatless meals one or two times a week.  I think they are good for the waistline and usually tend to be lower in fat and sometimes even higher in protein.  While shopping at our new Metro Market, I saw red lentils in the bulk food aisle.  I bought a bag, unsure of what I would do with them.  I found a recipe for Red Lentil-Basmati Rice on a blog called Food O' Del Mundo.  The picture shows a beautiful bowl of rice with distinct red lentil flecks.  I would have to say my version turned out to be more of orange colored rice, but the taste was delicious.  We all felt it tasted as if there was cheese in it, it had a silky rich flavor.  This was quick and easy. I used regular long grain rice in place of the basmati.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Growing Power

As Milwaukeeans we tend to suffer a bit of an inferiority complex. We're not hip and trendy like the east coast or the west coast, and we are overshadowed by the big city on the lake just a few miles south of us. It's hard to live in Chicago's shadow. And, when people think of a hip and trendy midwestern city, Minneapolis comes to mind before Milwaukee.

So, we're pretty proud of our city and some things happening locally. Of course we're known for beer....and for bratwurst. But there is a quieter food movement that is known nationally called Growing Power. And it is headquartered here. In Milwaukee.

If you have found your way to this blog I'm assuming you have some interest in food. Maybe even an interest in healthy food. And locally grown food. So, check on the link above to see what is happening here. Just maybe we are a bit hip and trendy.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Calzones...and everyone is happy

Whew. This dinner made everyone in my house happy. It was a grumpy group after having spent a very long day at a distance portion of a swim meet. Everyone wanted dinner exactly the way they wanted it without compromise. I was planning on potato pizza but quickly adapted it to calzones. I used my usual dough recipe from the James Mcnair pizza cookbook and put out bowls of fillings:
blue cheese
red sauce
sliced mozzarella
carmelized onions.
boiled chopped potatoes
cooked bacon

Eleanor and I had traditional shaped calzones and Paul free-formed his a bit.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ok, so I have been away from the blog for a long time.  I honestly lost creativity over the winter and we basically rotated many favorite meals and I never really tried any new recipes. I'm back with a few new recipes!

My CSA started up again a few weeks ago and this past week we got rhubarb.  My family loves Strawberry Rhubarb pie, so I decided to make one.  I had enough rhurbarb for 2 pies so I froze the additional rhubarb already sliced and ready for round two.

This is a recipe I used last summer to make birthday pie for my son. It comes from and it is Lattice-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  This comes together in about 5 minutes and if you cheat and use ready-made crusts, it is an easy, quick pie.

I use a solid top crust and skip the latticing, Enjoy!

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Spinach Pie

What to do with all the cooked and frozen greens in the freezer? There were a lot of greens in the CSA box earlier in the year that needed to be used before the growing season begins. I thought I had used all I had but found a few more hiding near the bottom of the freezer. After receiving the box they are usually the first thing I start cooking just to reduce the volume of items for refrigerator storage. Although the recipe says spinach pie, this is a green medley pie for my version!

I do like to serve this with the Greek Chicken Pitas (see 8/9/10 blog). I wouldn't mind just having the spinach pie by itself for dinner but I think that others in my household prefer to have it as a side dish.

2-3T. melted butter
1 c bread crumbs
2T Parmesan
Put mixture in a pie pan and pat to the bottom of the pan.

Mix together:
10 oz package of frozen spinach (thawed, drained...and by drained I mean squeezed dry) or whatever greens are in the freezer that make a couple handfuls of this wet mixture
2 green onions, chopped or a handful of chives from the pot on the patio (OK without as well)
2 c cottage cheese (non fat is fine)
1/4 c feta
2 T flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 t dillweed
Pour on the crust and top with remaining crumbs.
Bake 40 minute at 350 degrees.

For us it's hard to have the 40 minute baking time since we are hungry when we all arrive home from the Y. I will often bake it ahead and either eat it at room temperature or heat it in the microwave.

I do think that there are better versions of spinach pie/spanikopita out there..but this one seems to be tasty for the minimal amount of time it takes to prepare. This version came from a cookbook owned by a friend of mine...coincidentally it is a US Swimming cookbook. I did look for the book online to link to this post but wasn't able to quickly locate it. I remember her saying that it was a fundraiser (selling these books) for a swimming neighbor. It was a fun coincidence that she has this cookbook, and lucky for us with this recipe.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Shape Up Granola

The workout contest continues with the Bleacher Butts in a solid third place.

I made this granola the other night, and it was OK. We did decide that we far prefer the recipe Elizabeth posted last December. That recipe is pretty difficult to top and this one didn't come close for any of us. I omitted the walnuts due to a food allergy here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Our Sendik's store sells this....or something similar anyway; however, I made this version since I had three fillets in the freezer. One thing that I like about this recipe is that it comes together in minutes. Oh, and it's good too.

I used three fillets, since that what was in my freezer.
tortilla chips, crushed 9a few handfuls)
1 jalapeno, diced
1 t lime juice
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t grd cumin

Dip the fillets in flour, then egg, then the crumb mixture listed above.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or so.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Mini Quiches

We liked this recipe and are always happy to get another recipe in the collection that is a hot breakfast item. I chopped the turkey and added it...the thought of blending it didn't sound too good to me. The same with the onions and the red peppers (I used roasted). I had some kale in the freezer, so I used that instead of spinach.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

The link will take you to the place I got this recipe. I just "combined" the amount of flour needed for the total and then used about 1 c whole wheat and the rest all purpose flour.

We liked these but I formed two discs and cut them into wedges. She's does make a lot but that was OK since they were good.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coconut Lime Chicken

I don't know where I got this recipe, but it does have a lot of the flavors we like...coconut, lime, and cilantro.

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 limes, zest and juice
Marinate the chicken in the lime zest and juice for 15-60 minutes. I did let it marinate during swim practice, so it was more like a couple hours.
Heat 1 T oil in pan and add chicken, discarding most of the juice and zest. Cook until chicken is golden.

2 green chiles, finely chopped and stir fry for a minute or so.
1 c coconut milk
4 t fish sauce
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/4 c cilantro and cook 2 more minutes

Garnish with 2-3 chopped green onions and more cilantro and serve over rice.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogging and Gardening

Lately I have been missing Elizabeth's posts. I still get to see her on Mondays when we get a chance to go for a walk with our dogs, but I miss her being part of the blog. I didn't get rid of her to take over the blog or anything evil like that. I think it's just the cycle of life. I go through non-creative food times as well. She is still a contributor, and I think she'll be back. I just hope it's soon.

As we are getting to spring (FINALLY) I am thinking about the CSA and how that inspires me. I did get some seeds and plants in the ground the other day also. I find that I need to keep both things on the small side or I would be overwhelmed. For our small family splitting the CSA box with another small family (every other week) works well. The produce coming in would take over my life otherwise! A small garden works well for us also. We planted a few herbs, tomatoes, peppers, arugula, and beets which should be enough for us.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Apple Fritter Breakfast

Help! I was out of eggs and was trying to think of a good Saturday morning breakfast a few weeks ago for Eleanor. I just wasn't ready to go to the grocery store until I had a complete list. So, I had one sheet of puff pastry in the refrigerator that I was able to pop in the oven. When she woke up and came downstairs her first words were, "I'm so hungry". Oh no....I needed something before swim practice for her and wasn't sure that puff pastry would do it. Eleanor thought of sauteeing apples in a bit of butter with some cinnamon and sugar. She said that our mutual friend, Dee, had folded puff pastry over apples to make an apple pie type dessert.

It was too late for that, so I layered the apples and the puff. She ate it on a paper plate on the way to practice. Wow...what a lucky girl to start her day with this.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Barbeque Chicken Pizza

An oldie bit a goodie!
I first had this in the early 90s at a restaurant in Minneapolis, Sidneys. The flavors were so good that I had to try making this at home. I started by using the recipe in James McNair's book and have adapted it over the years into the recipe I'll outline below.

Paul is a condiment collector. Actually, he's more of a collector as compared to my minimalist leanings with things other than condiments...but we're just talking condiments right now! He likes to have a variety of barbeque sauces in the refrigerator as opposed to my one bottle of sauce. It drives me a bit crazy, so I made this to use up some of what we had as far as the sauces. I'm trying to get rid of a couple of the bottles for now and am counting on this recipe to help me. And, can I just say? That Devil's Spit sauce was spicy!

I cooked 2 chicken breasts in a generous cup of barbeque sauce until they had just turned from pink inside (they will cook even more on the top of the pizza). I cooled these and chopped them into bite size pieces and put just a bit more sauce on them before refrigerating them for later pizza assembly.

I make my own crust using the recipe mentioned in the book above; however, I can work it into our schedule on Tuesdays since I can make the crust and let it rise when we leave for a violin lesson. Another idea is to make the thin crust mentioned in the arugula pizza post since that doesn't require rise time. When we get home I can roll out the dough and top with shredded smoked cheese and some barbeque sauce (using up those condiments) and some rings of red onion.

Bake the pizza and top with cilantro, if you have some. It's perfectly fine without and I wouldn't recommend purchasing it just for this, but, if you happen to have some, use it. As you can see from the picture, I didn't use it this time. Any kind of smoked cheese will work in this recipe; I used smoked swiss cheese here and it was good. The smallest package of smoked cheese I could find was Swiss, so that's why I used it when making this recipe recently even though I typically use smoked gouda. I just didn't want extra cheese in the refrigerator. Remember, I'm trying to empty it rather than stock it right now. James Mc Nair's recipe calls for fontina and smoked gouda in larger quantities than we need as far as fat content. I think his recipe calls for 1 1/2 c of each kind of cheese which is much cheesier than I typically make pizza. That's part of why I make it at cut down on the fat. I probably have made the pizza according to the exact specifications in the recipe at at some point but have cut down on the cheese to make this a bit less decadent....still delicious though. And speaking of cheese on pizza, I think it was from this book that I learned the good idea to put the cheese on the pizza before the sauce so the oil from the cheese prevents sauce from being absorbed into the crust.

I was a REALLY nice mom that night and made a pizza without sauce for Eleanor. Her pizza was drizzled with olive oil, and topped with Parmesan and sliced fresh mozzarella.
Now, I'll just have to keep him away from the grocery store so he doesn't re-stock the pantry/refrigerator with more sauces. bottle for the recyling bin and some open space in the fridge. Now, if I can just figure out how to use the pickles........

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Panini Maker

I got a panini press for Mother's Day this year. It's what Paul and Eleanor were calling a win-win situation. They even went to the store and got some ingredients so we could try it out right away.

I have been debating getting one of these for awhile. I think that we'll use it yet it does take up a bit of space, so I'm not sure it will be worth it. The two of them read reviews online that it was a good idea to go with one a bit bigger or everyone will be eating alone (kind of like pancakes). After the first round I can see that is true, so maybe it will be worth the space. I do have a walk-in pantry and will probably be able to rearrange a bit to keep it in there.

So far, I'm sold on it after a short time. We have a commercial range, which does pack a bit of power, so this should help Eleanor to be able to help herself to hot lunches over the summer. She far prefers hot food for meals but our stove can make that a bit more challenging than it is in other houses. I'm also thinking that the panini bar may be a good idea for one day a week for dinners, especially when the summer vegetables start coming to harvest.

I'll be blogging about some winning combinations of sandwiches. Day one was a panini bar at our house. The sandwich pictured had:
roasted red peppers
bleu cheese
sun dried tomatoes

After school today Eleanor is planning on making herself a peanut butter and banana panini with a drizzle of honey. I'm thinking bleu cheese and dates may be in the near future, if we're thinking sweet treats. I have an avocado, so that may be part of a sandwich today.

As time goes by we'll see if I think this is worth the sure seems like it is when it's new.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shortcake and Shepherd's Pie...or what season is it anyway?

Spring along the shores of Lake Michigan can be an odd time of year. One day we'll have summer-like weather and within a couple minutes there will be a cold wind (when it is cold it's wind) off the lake. I'm thankful for a cooling breeze(when it's cooling it's a breeze) in the summer but spring finds me wanting grilling weather. It even affects meal planning since writing out a menu with a chill coming off the lake makes the weekly food shopping a bit more stew and soup. The winds may shift, and it's grilling weather the next day.

That's what happened with this menu. I was craving something fall-like, so Southwestern Shepherd's Pie in the crockpot sounded delicious when I planned and shopped. Sweet potatoes are a favorite at this house, and I think they are one of the healthiest foods that can be eaten. The sun came out and the wind shifted, and it was the perfect day for strawberry shortcake(with chocolate redi-whip). That's how we ended up with this mixed-up menu.

Both were good...even at the same meal!!

The original version came from Judy Finlayson's book, Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, I think.

The recipe noted on my card calls for hydrating some dried chiles and chopping them to use in the meat mixture. I didn't do that since the spicy factor would then be unpredictable (Eleanor is not a huge fan of spicy..unlike her parents). It also called for mixing the sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar but I just mashed them without the other ingredients.

1 pork tenderloin, 1" cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 t each cumin, oregano, cinnamon
1 t grated lime zest
juice of one lime
3 large sweet potatoes

Saute the pork on the stovetop. Remove from pan and place in slowcooker. In a bit of olive oil saute the onion garlic and jalapeno. Add the spices and zest and turn off the stove. Stir and add to the slowcooker along with the juice.

Cook the sweet potatoes in water on the stovetop. Drain and mash and place over the other ingredients and cook on low for 10 hours or so.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Burgers and Potatoes

Burgers and grilled potatoes are what we get for dinner when Paul's in charge. When I was visiting my sister last October he made these grilled potatoes; Eleanor raved about them and it has turned into a must-have part of the dinner when Paul is in charge. He isn't divulging his exact recipe to me, but I think it's thinly sliced potatoes, butter, lemon juice, Greek seasoning from Penzeys, garlic, onions and feta. All this is put in aluminum foil or an aluminum pan and grilled. They are delicious...and he made enough for a Greek breakfast skillet on Sunday morning.

Paul was the PIC (parent in charge....a violin camp term) last Friday doing most of my usual duties while I labored on a work project then headed to the Y for extra summer shape up points. He did a great job loading the grill into the car and grilling at a middle school event. He even drove the violin carpool and planned dinner and did the shopping. After grilling burgers for the kids he just had to get burgers for our dinner, so he got some of the pre-made burgers at our Sendiks store. There are so many yummy looking choices with add-ins like artichokes, bacon, bleu cheese, etc so he got us each a burger and served dinner with his special potatoes.

The fun thing about being the PIC is that you get to do it your way. I probably would have had a vegetable or salad....but it was meat and potatoes that night....and that's OK. It was nice to have dinner on the way to being done when I got home.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Portobello Pizzas

Summer shape up continues. This is the 2nd recipe of the week last week, so more points for the Bleacher Butts.

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Parmesan Toasts

I know that this idea isn't very original, but sometimes that's why I need to read a tell me the obvious! I love Ina Garten's recipes, and I will blog a bit more about some of those in the future. This idea is from her cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, a book I don't own, but have checked it out of the library so many times it's almost like it's mine.

I had a loaf of artisan bread(aka miracle dough) that no one in our house ate...and it was starting to get a bit stale. I was trying to decide if I should make bread crumbs out of it when I came across this recipe.
Slice baguette into 1/4' slices
Lay in a single layer and brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so.
Serve at room temperature.

There. A new snack for the people in my house who don't like leftovers!
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

This was a much better recipe than the shake. I made it fairly close to the recipe but didn't use the Splenda preferring the more natural sugar from a sugar cane or sugar beets. I omitted the almonds due to a food allergy in my house.
This was good....I will make it again.
And the Bleacher Butts keep logging points.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

I often have thoughts of having a party for Cinco de Mayo. I'm thinking warm spring breezes and bright sun, margaritas, fajitas, and outdoors. That's not the reality in Milwaukee. The truth is that spring comes late due to the large body of water to our east. For years I had been optimistic that the the weather would be warm in May but have adjusted my expectations in the last couple years so I am not disappointed.

Garrison Keillor talked a number of years ago about how March is a month for those who don't drink to know what a hangover feels like. I think he's right on with the month of March but would also add April to that mix due to Lake Michigan. Sometimes we have a teaser day or two but usually it is consistently cold and damp until mid-May. That leaves out the Cinco de Mayo party of my sounds more like Albuquerque than Milwaukee anyway.

My new part of managing my weather expectations is to think that the weather won't get warm until May 15th.

I'm still thinking what I would have for my dream party with the sun setting over the petroglyphs and the sun reflecting off the Sandia Mountains. Margaritas would be on the menu, for sure. And my favorite margarita recipe is from Rick Bayless.

In the meantime I will keep my weather expectations low and have chicken salsa pasta (see post from 2/7/11) and remind myself that this isn't a widely celebrated Mexican holiday anyway.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chicken Strips and Summer Shape Up

The workout contest at the local YMCA continues!
Go Bleacher Butts!

For making the recipe of the week each family member in the contest gets 5 extra points....that's like working out an extra 2 1/2 hours during the week per person. Of course I am making the recipes. I'm competitive about this contest so our team can win fabulous prizes......maybe even a water bottle? Kelly, our team leader and a Y employee, is promising bigger things than that for the winning team. We're all winners with our fabulously fit new bodies, right? Maybe a free chair massage?

This recipe wasn't too hard since the only ingredient I added to my shopping list was the unsweetened coconut for the chicken (and the mushrooms....but that's another It sounds much better than the mint tea last week (which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be).

Although I have done Zumba in the past, I'm not a huge fan since I would much rather grind out my workout with a run, swim, or spin if I have a choice. I don't dislike it but am not addicted either. This week, however, there were bonus points for participating, so the Bleacher Butts rallied for a Zumba evening before our family came home for this recipe. There are bonus points in this contest for working out with a team member....and exercise, like most things, is more fun with a friend. So, the women of our team rallied to dance, whirl, and jiggle.

Kelly had made these the night before and said that her family thought they were a bit dry. I used a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and paprika and dredged the chicken strips in that before using the egg mixture, then the breadcrumb/coconut mixture. I used unsweetened coconut. Ours weren't dry, so that must have worked.

At least when I got home I got to eat these chicken strips....the recipe is worthy of a repeat. Zumba...hmmm.....repeat?....we'll see.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies...yum. I don't bake them too often since Eleanor isn't a huge fan of cookies, and I have to work too hard at the Y to rid myself of the cookie remains on my body. Sometimes a fresh cookie tastes so good though.

This is an adapted recipe from the Ovens of Brittany cookbook in the picture. Obviously, cookies are delicious served with milk...and even more so with our fresh local milk that is delivered to our house every other Tuesday from lw dairy.

Here's the recipe:
4 T butter, softened
4 T margarine, softened
(I used all butter)
3/4 c peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1 /2 T oil
1 egg
1 1/2 c four
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, margarine (if using), peanut butter, and sugars. Stir in oil and egg. Add flour and baking soda and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips. Roll dough balls in sugar and press each cookie with a fork dipped in sugar.

Bake 12-15 minutes. Cookies are fragile when coming out of the oven; transfer carefully onto cooling racks.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tacos Al Pastor

There's a fun restaurant that isn't too far from the pool. It intrigued me because the restaurant at this location used to be called Alpine Village with some Austrian looking buildings that are now transformed into a Mexican looking building. It's called Jalapeno Loco and the link can be followed for a review of it. There's a huge fireplace and the styles really do work well, for the most part. The plate embedded in the wall with German writing looks a bit odd...but overall the transformation looks good to me.

We have been there a couple times; however, the most recent trip resulted in a frantic recipe search for me since what I ordered was that good. Paul had ordered it on a previous visit and the bite I had was good.

I found the link above to Tacos Al Pastor, so I could make these at home. I didn't grill the pork since it wasn't a good day to grill here in Wisconsin. I just cooked the pork slices on the stoptop and then (when cool) diced the meat. I reheated the meat quickly when we were ready for dinner since I had cooked it earlier in the day. I didn't cook the pineapple with it but instead served the pineapple with the other condiments (see picture below). I just wasn't sure how sweet the meal would get with the pineapple in it. I used regular chili powder since that's what I had.

All three of us thought these were good. The only thing I would change for next time would be to make a bit more (1 pork loin was enough for dinner for 3 and a small lunch the next day) and to heat the marinade in the pan and serve the extra marinade with the tacos instead of juxt discarding it.