Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strawberry ( and blackberry) Crisps for Two

Lately it's been just Alice and me hanging out around this big ranch house. Nick is still in California and Haley is in Dallas visiting her aunt until next week. Because of this we're eating lots and lots of leftovers. We're also playing a game I like to call how many ways can you eat the same quinoa salad; in a tortilla, stuffed in a bell pepper, as a side dish, etc. So because my cooking has been so elementary lately I needed to create and that is how these strawberry (and some blackberries) crisps for two were born.

It's simple really. You take three strawberries, dice them. Then take a handful of blackberries, or not since they weren't very good hence the "(and blackberries)" portion of this blog. Take the berries and place them into two muffin cups.

Then take 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, and two tablespoons of margarine and mix it all together. You then need to crumble this mixture onto the tops of the berries. it should look a little like this:
bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

While you're waiting you might want to do what Alice and I did, eat some strawberries and blackberries.

Then maybe decide that this batch of blackberries really isn't the best.

The finished product is delicious and you can easily double the recipe or swap the strawberries for peaches or your favorite fruit.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Balsamic Berries in a Crust

Last night Nick came home from the field, the dirt on his face so thick I could see it  from 10 feet away in our dimly lit living room. Since he has not had to go into the field in about 6 months or so it was quite an adventure for all of us. Haley and I ate all the spinach and mushroom stuff (Nick can't stand either one) we could which included pizza and quesadillas mostly, and Alice had a really hard time sleeping without her daddy around which means I had a really hard time sleeping. Because it had been so long I had to honor his return home with a really great dinner and dessert. We had southwest chicken salad which was amazing; chicken, lettuce, bell peppers, cheese, tomatoes, corn, and black beans topped with lite ranch dip (not dressing) and BBQ sauce. Then for dessert I prepared this:

I don't know why it's sideways and I also don't know why I used my iphone to take its picture, I know better than that :( It looks kind of fancy, but I assure you it's ridiculously easy. All you need is:

2 tbs sugar
1 bag of frozen mixed berries (thawed)
lite whipped cream, 1/4 cup plus 4 tbs
6 puff pastry shells
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Mix sugar and berries and allow them to macerate for about an hour.
add 1/4 cup whipped cream and balsamic vinegar to berries
resist the urge to constantly taste test this mixture.
Cook puff pastry shells according to package directions.
Fill each pastry with a spoonful of the berry mixture, then place a dollop of whipped cream on top, top it with the pastry "lid" and put a little extra juice on the side.

It's pretty tasty!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Perfect Posole

Before getting to the posole, did I mention that we're moving back to Texas? I am going there in April, Nick is going in June. Ok, on to the posole...

I was first introduced to this southwest delight on New Years Eve when a friends wife made it for us. She had spent all day working on it because she slow cooked a pork shoulder. I may not have told you all this but I have an aversion to pork after watching a show about pig farms. I don't want to ruin pork for you as well so I won't go into detail but it was life changing, although I still eat bacon. I don't care how dirty or disgusting pigs are, I will forever love bacon. Anyway, I was intrigued by the posole because it has hominy in it and I had an obsession with hominy as a child, it was my favorite side dish so naturally consuming it evokes warm childhood memories. Well, a few weeks ago I discovered an amazing blog called Everyday Southwest and found a recipe for posole using chicken that only took about an hour of my time. Please, please, if you are a lover of southwest food or Mexican food visit Everyday Southwest. She also made a recipe for green chili potato au gratin which I made and paired with grilled chicken breast, it was to die for. The links will take you directly to the recipe but I have copied and pasted for you here as well:

3 poblano chiles ( we didn't find poblano so I used some random large green chile and it was really spicy, be careful if you need to substitute)

Meat from three chicken thighs, diced (I used 2 large chicken breasts)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground oregano

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

6 cloves garlic, diced

1 large onion, diced

4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons regular or ancho chile powder (or more taste)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)

1 tablespoon cumin (or more to taste)

2 cans (15 ounces each) hominy, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

A few dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste

Cut poblano chiles into strips and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Lightly brush the chiles with a little canola oil. Broil chiles about 3 inches from heat for 2 or 3 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn, until chiles are browned. Remove from oven, let cool and dice.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot. Mix together the flour and oregano, and then toss the chicken pieces in that mixture. Cook chicken pieces in two batches over medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until well browned. Remove chicken pieces from pot.

Add remaining oil to pot and add onions, stirring constantly and cooking for about 2 minutes, until onion begins to be transparent. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Add in all remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot garnished with cilantro, avocado, cheese or sour cream, as desired.