Friday Recipe Exchange: Spicy to Sweet

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JefferyW’s Carnitas

No rhyme or reason for tonight’s recipes. A hodgepodge of culinary treats. Nothing pithy to say, so lots of photos instead.

Slowcooker pulled pork

Pictured above, Pulled Pork, sweet and spicy barbecue or spicy carnitas (at top), recipes here.

Apple Salad1

Dinner menu this week is full of fresh spring flavors, Herbed Linguine and Apple Salad, menu and recipes are here.

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JeffreyW brings us three sweet treats. Blueberry Banana Bread with Sugared Pecans, pictured above and recipe here.

He changes it up a bit with his Raspberry Banana Bread, click here.

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And finally, one of my faves, he whips up a batch of Creme Fraiche, above and instructions here.

For the pet lovers, there is a Bixby video…how do you move 160 lbs of Great Dane…well… video is here. And a cute photo of him crashed out on the couch here.

What’s cookin’ for your weekend? Anyone planning on breakfast in bed/fancy dinner for the mothers in their lives? If you’re looking for breakfast recipes, click here.

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Tonight’s featured recipe comes from a friend of mine. He is always experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with delicious dinners. Good are the friends who feed you.

This can also be made in a slow-cooker.

Carne en su Jugo

  • ½ lb bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thin and then cut in 1-inc pieces (pork works well, too)
  • 1 can (28oz) tomatillos
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt
  • 2 can pinto beans
  • sour cream for garnish
  • shredded cheese
  • chopped onions for garnish
  • fresh lime juice for garnish
  1. Brown the bacon in a large dutch oven. Add the beef and cook until brown (leave the bacon grease in the pot).
  2. Blend the tomatillos in your food processor and strain well to remove the seeds. Add about a cup of the tomatillo liquid back into the food processor and blend with the cilantro, and garlic.
  3. Add the tomatillo/cilantro/garlic sauce and the rest of the strained tomatillo liquid to the beef and bacon. Add salt to taste.
  4. Stir in pinto beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Ladle into bowls  and garnish with pico de gallo (recipe below),  fresh lime, sour cream.
  6. Serve corn or flour tortillas on the side.

Pico de Gallo

  • chopped onion
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped cilantro
  • splash of lime

Mix together 20 to 30 minutes or more before meal.

That’s it for this week. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the moms out there. Have a great weekend – TaMara



 

Recipes for Dogs: Yogurt Pupsicles

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At the same time I was making the liver treats for Bixby, my sister-in-law sent me a recipe filled with some of his favorite things – bananas and peanut butter – so I had try it. If I haven’t mentioned it before, no one can eat a banana in Bixby’s vicinity without having to fight him off. He’s crazy about them. Rivals his apple obsession.

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It was very simple. Here is the original, which I doubled and froze in cat food containers I save (they come in very handy for so many things, I have a good dozen tucked away), because ice cube size ones just wouldn’t be much of a treat for the Beast.

Frozen Yogurt Pupsicles

  • 32 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 cup peanut butter (Bixby prefers creamy)
  • 3 bananas

Blend in a blender until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You can pop out and stick into a ziplock bag to store. Dole out as needed for a cool puppy treat.

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What to Eat When Watching Your Favorite Elvis Movies

Elvis would have been 80 yesterday, so lots of Elvis going on. I searched out some of his favorite recipes for the Recipe Exchange this week. Let’s start with the obvious:

PB&B

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 8 slices white bread
  • 1/2 cup  butter

Peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Combine the peanut butter with the bananas and mix well.

Toast the bread lightly and spread the mixture on three of the slices; top with the remaining three slices.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and slowly brown the sandwiches on both sides until golden brown.

Not your style, how about a black-eyed pea dip to go with your tortilla chips?

From the Graceland’s Table: Recipes Fit for the King of Rock and Roll Cookbook:

“JUST PRETEND” HARVARD TEXAS CAVIAR

  • 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-ounce can black-eyed peas with jalapenos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

For complete recipe and many more, follow the link to here.

 

Friday Recipe Exchange: Raiding the Garden

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JeffreyW raids his garden and comes up with a beautiful dinner

Back from my trip to Nebraska, where unlike Colorado, gardens are full of veggies to harvest. We had lots of fresh corn, peppers, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes with each meal. So I thought tonight we should raid the garden for recipes. If you don’t have a garden or it’s late to produce (I’m looking at you backyard garden), don’t forget your local farmer’s market or farm stand. I really like going to local farm stands, the prices are often more reasonable than a farmer’s market. Two of my local stands have Facebook pages where they list what’s fresh this week and even have coupon specials.

The lovely photo above from JeffreyW is what inspired the theme tonight. Here’s his simple solution for taking advantage of his prolific patio pots: Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes on Pasta (recipe here)

One of my favorite recipes during the summer is Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes (click here).

And finally something a bit different and fun to do with all that zucchini and summer squash: Squash Confetti (recipe here).

And just a reminder, full menus are available on Mondays and this week the menu is all garden fresh (menu is here).

Well I’m off to the evening Art Walk, where my friends will be drumming and where the streets will be filled with local artists’ creations. Tomorrow is the RiverWalk – vendors, musicians, farmer’s market and lots of kids events along the St. Vrain river. What are your plans for the weekend? Planning anything fun on the grill? How is your garden coming along? Hit the comments and don’t forget to share some favorite garden recipes.

On to tonight’s featured recipes, Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter,  Spinach-Raspberry Salad and Spicy Fruit Kabobs:

Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter

Last time I was at the farm stand, they had four different kinds of green beans and I used a mixture of all of them in this recipe.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ yellow sweet pepper, seeded & shredded
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 oz chopped cashews
  • 16 oz fresh green beans, trimmed & cut
  • ½ yellow pepper, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan, steamer

Melt butter in saucepan, add shredded pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice & cashews, stir for 1 minute, remove & set aside. Add steamer to saucepan, add beans & just enough water to reach bottom of the steamer. Steam beans for 5 minutes, add strips of pepper and cook until beans are tender-crisp, additional 5-7 minutes. Remove steamer and drain water from saucepan. Add all ingredients into saucepan and heat 1 minute, tossing to coat with butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Spinach-Raspberry Salad

The easiest way to wash fresh from the garden spinach (and leaf lettuce) is to fill a sink with water and soak the spinach (swish it a couple of times). Pull it out and place it in a strainer, drain the sink and repeat. With the two soaks, all the dirt should sink to the bottom. Run through a salad spinner and you should have dirt free spinach.

  • 8 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz chopped pecans
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 oz mild bleu cheese, crumbled

Serving bowl

Wash and thoroughly dry spinach & raspberries, add to serving bowl with pecans, toss with dressing and add crumbled bleu cheese.

Spicy Fruit Kabobs

You can substitute or add any fresh fruit you’d like in this recipe. 

  • 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded
  • 2 pears, cored
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 bananas, peeled & quartered
  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water
  • ½ cup warmed honey
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp chili paste

13×9 glass baking dish, blender

Cut fruit into large chunks, alternate fruit on skewers, ending with banana chunks to hold fruit in place. Place in baking dish. Blend together honey, water, lime, jalapeno & chili paste until smooth. Pour over fruit. Let set during dinner (approximately 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill over low coals 5-7 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve immediately.

See you next week.

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H is for Harper and Hawaiian Aloha Bread

I have a boatload of cousins. If I counted, I would bet I’m easily up to near 40. I love them all, they are all great people. Really, can’t even come up with one that I don’t adore. As happens, they grew up, married (equally wonderful people) and started having really cute kids. I swear to you the only reason I even have a Facebook account is so I can see all the pictures of all these cute kids. Because as is life, we all see too little of each other.

So a week or so ago, I was very happy to see my cousin Eric’s post about helping his daughter bake some treats for a class project, it sounded very tasty, so of course I was happy to share.

From Eric:

Harper and I made Hawaiian Aloha Bread for her first letter in her name potluck tomorrow

Hawaiian Aloha Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts(i used pecans)
  • 1/2 crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 350. Cook time 1 hr

Mix sugar, butter and eggs in a bowl. Using the mixer on low, add in the banana, milk, orange zest, and extracts. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the creamy mix and stir until moist. Fold in the coconut, nuts and pineapple. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for.an hour. 🙂

Each year Eric’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge participates in the Shop with a Cop program, taking kids who might not otherwise have Christmas, shopping. There’s a raffle to raise money and they use that money for the shopping trips. I love when the photos start to pop up on Facebook of the event. It really is a wonderful thing the department does. For more information on the program and the raffle, click here.

My cousins  – and brothers – Bret (left) and Eric (right)

I told you my cousins were awesome.

More Muffins!

Banana, pecan, hazelnut, raisin, cranberry, and chocolate muffins this time.  LOL  And they are gooood!

I used this same basic recipe as a starting point:

2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 beaten eggs, and 2-1/3 cups of mashed over-ripe bananas.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, in a second bowl cream together the brown sugar and the butter, then stir in the eggs and the bananas.

Now start adding stuff!  I soaked 3/4 cup each of raisins and dried cranberries in water for ten minutes and tossed them, drained, into the wet mix, followed by some nuts I found in the cupboard.  Pecans and some hazelnuts, about 3/4 or so together.  More nuts would not be too many.  I chopped 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate and tossed that in, looked real hard at some white chocolate but sighed and left that out, this time.

Now fold all of that into the flour mixture and either bake in a greased loaf pan or in greased muffin pans.  I’m a muffin man, myself.  These baked in a 350 degree oven for about 16-18 minutes.  They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.  I took temps as they came out and got 200+ from the centers.  They weren’t a bit dry.  I got 8 full sized muffins, and another 12 smaller ones.

 

 

Muffins

That last batch of muffins went fast.  They had some ripe bananas on sale (manager’s special!) the last quick trip Mrs J made to the store so she bought a bunch.  Time for more muffins!

This time I had bananas aplenty.  I made some additions to the same recipe I linked to last time-along the same lines as for my last batch.  Then I made additions to my additions.  I used more chocolate this time, four ounces of Baker’s sweet chocolate, about a cup of hazelnuts, and a good cup and a half of raisins and chopped dried apricots.  I soaked the dried fruits for a half hour to hydrate them a bit.

I had enough batter to make 16 muffins.  We only had 12 cupcake paper cups left so I just buttered four of the cups in that old muffin tin of Mrs J’s.  They popped right out.  It looks like the old tin made slightly bigger muffins than the newer one, but for some reason the four muffins in it baked quicker than the dozen in the other.  I pulled those four from the oven after 20 minutes, and left the others for another three or four.

Bitsy helped out a lot.

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Tropical Awakening Smoothies

Another smoothie flavor in our drink series.  And ya, there’s a little fan girl in this choice.

Tropical Awakening Smoothies

  • 16 oz vanilla yogurt
  • 16 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled
  • 1 pint blueberries, stems removed
  • 4 bananas
  • ice
  • coconut for garnish

blender and 4 large glasses

For each shake: blend together ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup pineapple juice, ¼ of the fruit and ice until the consistency of a milk shake, adding more ice as necessary.  Garnish with coconut.

Most blenders will hold about 2 shakes at one time.