Category Archives: JeffreyW

Tacos, Stuffed Peppers, and Corn Salsa

DSC_8736 (1600x1060)This came together at the last minute.  I wanted to stuff more of my Anaheim peppers because there are quite a few of them and the last time I used them the result was good.  I had a pork roast that was pulled from the oven late yesterday so I pulled some of that apart and cooked it in bacon fat left over from the lunch BLTs, adding garlic and various chili powders and beef stock left from another project.  I cut the kernels off a couple of cobs of sweet corn off thinking it a nice  colorful filler for the peppers.  It did go in there eventually but as a part of a black bean salsa.  While the pork cooked down I drained the beans and chopped some green onions and red and green jalapenos.  That was all tossed with chopped tomatoes in rice vinegar with cumin, salt, and pepper.

So…  I could have gone with the pork and cheeses as a filler for the peppers and have the salsa as a side, or used the pork and cheeses with the salsa as filler in the peppers, but that wouldn’t have looked like much alone on a plate.  I knew I had corn tortillas so I opted for the menu as you see it.  The filling is the salsa with cream and cotija cheeses, with Monterey jack on top.  The tacos have the pork, cotija, lettuce, onions, chopped peppers, and tomatoes with a drizzle of taco sauce from a jar.

I bet TaMara is pulling her hair out reading this “recipe”.  LOL!

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Tidbits

DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Caprese Bruschetta

DSC_8715 (1600x1060)Thin sliced bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted, topped with my homemade mozzarella, a slice of my patio grown San Marzano tomato, and fresh basil.  That’s kosher salt on that basil leaf, not some kind of scaly bug!  LOL DSC_8713 (1600x1060)These are a few caprese bites I tried with balsamic glaze.  Pretty good stuff.

Steak Au Poivre

DSC_8711 (1600x1060)It’s been a while since I’ve had a peppercorn steak so this recipe looked pretty good.  We were watching Chuck’s Eat The Street while doing lunch today and saw an episode where a chef cooked the little potatoes in butter and heavy cream to go with his signature dish of elk tenderloin and I hoped the web site would have a recipe for them but no luck finding it.  The potato cookery went by in a flash and I couldn’t quite tell if the potatoes had been parboiled before going into the butter and cream for the finish.  I quartered some little golden potatoes and sauteed them for a while in butter and garlic and then added the heavy cream and let them simmer, covered, while I made the steak sauce – skipping the parboiling idea.  They worked out OK but I think boiling them for a few minutes is the way to go.DSC_8710 (1600x1060)I went ahead and mashed them lightly and stirred them about to get the creamy sauce coating everything before plating.  I used the golden potatoes just to finish out an open bag but little red skinned spuds will get the call next time.

Tidbits

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Sunflower Buffet

DSC_4729 (1600x1060)I noticed a Goldfinch working a sunflower yesterday so I grabbed a few shots.  I realized a little later that the flower he is on is the same one I photographed a week ago:DSC_4698 (1600x1060)Those sunflower have been a real gold mine over the years, providing some of my all time favorite photographs, like this winter shot of finches gleaning from the dry bones of the previous season’s crop:DSC_3274_Snapseed [1600x1200]I can easily understand why finches love these flowers, the seeds are a great source of food for them.  I bet this hummingbird was disappointed, though:DSC_9944 [1024x768]

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

DSC_4723 (1600x1060)The Anaheim peppers are doing great out on the patio and I needed to do something with them.  They seemed big enough for stuffing and a search for a recipe turned up this one.  She used mozzarella but I thought Monterey jack would work.  The six minute parboil worked fine.  Grill chicken breasts and shred them for the stuffing mix, the cream cheese acts as a binder.  I didn’t have any green onions, should have chopped some chives but didn’t.DSC_8674 (1600x1060)I wish I had shredded the chicken a little better but it worked out OK.  I had enough to stuff six peppers.  These went into a 375 oven and I looked at them after 15 minutes – there was just a hint of brown on an edge or two so I cranked the oven to 500 and kept a close watch, removing them after about 5 additional minutes.DSC_8683 (1600x1060)Her mole recipe would have been fine, I guess, but I know my ancho sauce recipe so I used it.  Simmer some dried ancho or similar chilies in a cup or two of water or broth and let them steep, then puree them with the liquid in a blender when they are cool.  I pushed mine through a sieve to remove any skin bits or seeds and poured it back into a saucepan.  In a skillet sweat half an onion with garlic, oregano, ground cumin, black pepper and salt then add to the chilies along with a splash of fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer until thick.DSC_8675 (1600x1060)I plated them atop a bed of Spanish rice along with refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream.  DSC_8680 (1600x1060)These were very good!

 

Tidbits

DSC00222 (1600x1200)St Francis broke ground on a new building the other day.  The dog in the floppy hat is named Zeus and has a nice story.  He had a slight limp on the day he was rescued from a kill shelter but that limp soon turned into a severe problem where he couldn’t even walk.  About all he could do is wag his tail but that was enough for the staff at St Francis.  He was fostered by a physiotherapist and got the whole rehab treatment including sessions in a pool.  He made steady progress and a year later he gets around pretty well.  They aren’t sure what the malady was but they assume it was distemper.DSC00226 (1600x1200)We keep parsley in a couple of containers on the patio – one for garnishing and one for the swallowtail caterpillars that just love the stuff.  I saw a caterpillar acting strange the other day but didn’t think much of it until I noticed that he had changed into a chrysalis.DSC_4705 (1600x1060)The little silk band is all that holds him to the stalk.  I knew very little about the life cycle other than caterpillar>[magic happens]>butterfly!  Here is a very short time lapse Youtube video of the process.  If I’m lucky I’ll get some photos when the butterfly emerges.DSC00184 (1600x1200)Moar kittehs!  DSC_8669 (1600x1060)The batch of sauerkraut I mentioned starting last month is finished.  It worked great with beef sausages and fried potatoes for  dinner yesterday.  The mason lid fermentation airlock gizmo worked well:DSC_4627 (1600x1060)We’ve been streaming Scandal through Netflix and we like the show so far.  Here Mrs J shares a little ice cream with Bitsy:DSC_4721 (Copy)This post needs more sammiches!DSC_8667 (1600x1060)Pulled pork with slaw and a nice bbq sauce.  On the side is what the Kroger deli calls baked potato salad.  Good stuff!DSC_8654 (1600x1060)Filet of fish with slaw and tartar sauce.  The sauce is doubly dill, it has dill pickle relish and dill weed in with the mayo, and lemon juice, horseradish, onions, and chopped parsley.  Hushpuppies and baked beans round out the meal.  Beenie Weenies!

Friday Recipe Exchange: Sitting on the Porch, Sipping a Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Sprizter

Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer by Alton Gunn

Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer by Alton Gunn

It is too hot to cook. Mostly I take fresh fruits and veggies and toss them in a salad. I am waiting with anticipation for this year’s crop of peaches to begin to show up from Palisades, CO. Next to sweet corn, it is my favorite summer Colorado crop. Once they get here, we’ll revisit some of my favorite peach recipes. Until then I thought it would be fun to mix up some drinks to keep things cool.

Starting with Thai Iced Tea, from cyber friend, Tes at Home (recipe here), who is originally from Thailand and now lives in India and shares her food and travel adventures on her blog.

Next up, a couple of Watermelon Cooler recipes can be found here.

I love my Mimosas, but a few years back, someone introduced me to Poinsettias (recipe here), which I find equally delicious at brunch.

For the rest of our drink recipes, including a martini, old-fashioned lemonade, iced coffees, smoothies and more, click here.

I’m crazy busy this weekend, visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanic Gardens and then off to the World Lacrosse Championships (I won tickets! I was going anyway, but this was a pleasant surprise). What’s on your plate this weekend, real and metaphorically? Have any favorite summer drinks or unique takes on the classics? What’s your “too hot to cook” go-to recipe? Share your ideas and recipes in the comments.

For tonight’s featured recipe, I picked an unusual, but tasty, spritzer. One night a few summers back I received a phone call from a friend who said her husband had just made the most amazing drink and I had to try it. I said, ‘send the recipe and photos and I’ll share it’.  A few minutes later I received the email. I read through the recipe and thought, there is no way this can be good.

But, to my surprise, it was delicious. So if you’re looking for something just a bit unique and refreshing, this is it.

Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer

  • 1 pound rhubarb, cleaned, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Soda water or carbonated water

Put rhubarb pieces, water, sugar, and rosemary leaves into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Rhubarb pieces will disintegrate.  Remove from heat. Strain out the solids with a fine mesh strainer. Add lemon juice. If too sweet for taste, add a little more lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve.  To serve, fill a quarter to a half of the glass with the lemon, rhubarb, rosemary syrup, and the rest with soda water.

Makes about 3 cups of syrup, and 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of spritzer.

That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll be travelling so there won’t be an exchange. And if you missed it, JeffreyW posted a stunning photo this week (I know what’s new? But this one is beautiful and unusual).  – TaMara

Total Eclipse of the Sunflower

DSC_4698 (1600x1060)I looked out the window and saw the petals lit by the sun and nearly everything else in the frame in shadow.  Crank the speed up and the aperture down and Ta Da!

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