Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Black Bean and Chicken Burritos

Posted by thinman on Sun, Aug 3, 08 at 14:03

Here's my recipe for black bean and chicken burritos, modified a little by my daughter and taken almost verbatim from her blog, since why would I want to spend all that time typing it out when she has done it for me, and a better job to boot?
Here's what you'll need:

2 to 3 chicken breasts (You can cheat on this one and use precooked chicken strips)
1 can of Black Beans, rinsed (DD apparently rinses her beans. I don't. TM)
1/2 an onion
About a 1/2 cup of Taco sauce (I use Ortega) or salsa
1/4 cup of water
Shredded cheese, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, avocado and sour cream (all optional)
Tortillas (if you want to treat yourself, buy the Tortilla Land fresh tortillas at Costco, if you live near Costco and have a membership and fry them in olive oil--totally puts precooked tortillas to shame.)

Cook the chicken breasts through, then shred or chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Sauté the onion in olive oil (or whatever kind of fat you happen to have). When it begins turning transparent, add the black beans, chicken, taco sauce or salsa and water. Simmer until heated through. (I usually have to simmer mine a while to reduce it to a nice consistency. TM)

Scoop the cooked chicken/black bean mixture into your tortilla, add cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and roll. Place a glop of sour cream on top, and, if you want to get fancy, fan a few avocado slices and a sprinkling of cilantro and green onions across the top.


Posted by solana z5a NH on Sat, Aug 2, 08 at 19:53

Fresh is better, but this is mighty welcome in winter:

Yield: ~12 canned pints

A food processor helps, don't bother to wash its bowl until done.

Cilantro (optional. Some hate it, I love its sprightly flavor). 1/4 cup fresh leaves, measured before chopping, or to taste.
1 pound onions
2 pounds peppers. I use 6-8 Jalapenos; adjust for your heat tolerance
5 pounds combo of meaty tomatoes and tomatillos, mostly tomatoes
1 Tbsp. salt
3/4 cup cider vinegar

We're talking canning, y'all know the sterilize jar stuff? While that's simmering...

Chop the veg ingredients individually to about 1/4 inch dice. I mention cilantro first because it's driest in the food processor, but you can add at the end if unsure about amount. Put the chopped stuff in your ~ 8 quart pot. Peel the tomatoes before chopping if thick-skinned.

Add salt & vinegar, simmer 10 minutes. Pack into jars, process 15 minutes in hot water bath.

Adapted from Putting Food By, good reading if you grow your own.

Lazy Housewife Pickles/Million Dollar Relish

Posted by midnightsmum 4b ON on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 22:51

OK, I must add my 2c to this. It is almost pickle time here, so these have been on my mind - sorry no pics, yet.

Lazy Housewife Pickles, a.k.a Washing Machine Pickles

Some of you may remember this from a few years ago, when I bought 11 quarts of gherkins, the black spined type. The lady at the farm where I purchased them suggested that she washed hers in the washing machine - brilliant. It worked so well, that I did the salt soak overnight in there too. Short story, it was not my washing maching, but my cousin's....we are still speaking, but it was touch and go for a while.

3/4 gallons vinegar - cider or white - 2.5 l.
1 qt. water
1 cup pickling salt
1/2 lb. white mustard seed - 200 gr.
1/4 lb. dry mustard - 100 gr.
1 oz. curry powder - heat level is your choice
1 oz. turmeric
3 cups white sugar

Mix above together in a crock, or food safe bucket. I keep this in a cool place, but if you have space, fridge would be OK.

Soak cukes in 10:1 water-salt solution. Also really yummy with pearl onions, baby carrots, beans, zukes. Beets will change the colour, but still yummy.

The gherkins are ready in about 2 days. If kept cool, the brine lasts about 2 months. I tie the whole mustard in a cheesecloth bag, otherwise it is messy.

Million Dollar Relish - makes 9 pints.

3 quarts finely chopped cucumbers - cuisinart french fry blade is good.
1 quart finely chopped onions
3 peppers - I do 2 green 1 red - your choice - chopped
1/2 cup pickling salt

Mix above well and leave overnight.

Drain well and put into pot.

1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed
6 scant cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups vinegar

Bring to a boil and seal hot.

Family and friends clamour for the above. Hope you enjoy them too!!

Shortcut Farmer's Skillet

Posted by becr zone 9 CA 19 on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 19:38

Shortcut Farmer's Skillet

A hearty and delicious one-pan breakfast, lunch, or supper! Uses pre-cut frozen potatoes, onions and bell peppers which makes it a breeze to prepare. May halve the recipe, although leftovers (if any) are lovely the next day! Serve with fresh fruit and your favorite beverage.



6 tablespoons olive oil
1 (24 ounce) bag o'brien frozen potatoes
4-6 tablespoons chopped onions (fresh or frozen)
1 medium green bell pepper, roughly chopped (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
4 sausage patties, pre-cooked and roughly chopped (I use Jimmy Dean, or may use ham or bacon)
4-6 tablespoons chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
6 eggs
2 tablespoons milk (or water)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
snipped chives (optional)


1. Preheat skillet on medium heat with the olive oil.

2. Add frozen potatoes in a single layer. Cook 6 minutes, turn, and continue cooking another 6 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the chopped onions, bell peppers, and the butter. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, until onions are softened and peppers are almost done.

4. Reduce heat to low; stir in the chopped sausage (or ham or bacon), and the tomatoes, if using.

5. In a small bowl whisk eggs, milk, and the salt & pepper together. Add the chives, if using.

6. Pour egg mixture over potatoes, stirring to incorporate. Cook for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally, until eggs are done.

7. Sprinkle with cheese and snipped chives. Nice served with fresh fruit and your favorite beverage.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Easy Microwave Bacon

Posted by becr zone 9 CA 19 on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 18:17

Easy Microwave Bacon

Just a quick and easy way to get nice crispy bacon in the microwave, YUM!! Been making it this way for years, and thought I would share. Enjoy!



6 slices thick slice bacon (such as Hormel Black Label 'Thick Slice')
3 white paper towels


1. On a microwave-safe dish (such as a Corelle dinner plate/or 8 x 10-inch Pyrex glass baking dish), lay down 2 sheets (double layer) white paper towels. Place 6 slices bacon on the paper towels (not overlapping each other). Cover the bacon slices with 1 sheet of white paper towel.

2. Microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Rotate dish and microwave on high for about 5 to 6 minutes more, or until done to your liking (I like mine crisp). Be careful not to burn the bacon.

4. Remove from microwave. Your bacon is ready!

5. NOTE: You can use regular slice bacon as well, just reduce cooking time by a minute or two.

The Best California Sandwich

Posted by becr zone 9 CA 19 on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 18:11

The Best California Sandwich

A longtime favorite sandwich of mine, since first trying the California Sandwich many moons ago at a little "healthfood" deli stand in Pacific Beach, California. This is my version. Use Easy Microwave Bacon for ease of preparation. Also good with thinly sliced tomatoes, in place of the cucumbers. I hope you enjoy!



8 slices whole wheat bread or sourdough bread
8 slices deli smoked turkey (or leftover turkey breast slices)
4 slices provolone cheese
4 slices crisp cooked bacon (optional)
1 avocado, sliced into thin strips (optional)
16 slices cucumbers, very thinly sliced (or thin tomato slices)
1/2 cup alfalfa sprout (or lettuce)
whipped cream cheese


1. Toast bread lightly.

2. Spread 4 slices toasted bread with mayo, and the other 4 slices with cream cheese.

3. Assemble the sandwiches:.
For each sandwich use one slice mayo toasted bread and one slice cream cheese toasted bread. Per sandwich use 2 smoked turkey slices, 1 provolone cheese slice, 1 bacon, avocado strips, 4 thin cucumber or tomato slices, and sprouts or lettuce.

Serve with chips and a pickle spear, if desired.

Pizza Crust

Posted by christinmk z5 WA on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 12:57

Pizza Crust

This recipe is for homemade pizza crust. It delicious! Once you taste homemade pizza you'll never order again!


1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 T. Olive Oil

Place the yeast in a small bowl and pour warm water over it. Let stand for five minutes to activate, then stir. Mix flour and salt in separate bowl. Make a well in the center of flour mixture then pur yeast mixture and 1 T. of Olive Oil in. Stir together with fork, then with hands. If not all of the ingredints are sticking together, or the dough is very stiff, add a Tablespoon of water or more extra.

Place on a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes. Form into a ball and rub the extra Olive Oil over it. Put in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or clean dishcloth. Place in a SLIGHTLY warm oven and let rise for an hour, until aprox. doubled in size. Place on a lightly floured suface and roll out to about 1/4 in. thickness (less if you like crispy crust, more if you like it thick). Place on a circular sheet and roll up ends to make crust.

I bake my crust first before putting toppings on. Bake at 350 degrees until firm and slightly golden (I also like to put it directly on the oven rack for a few minutes to get because I like the bottom crispy). Then put your desired toppings on pizza (on baking sheet) and let heat up a few more minutes.


Calabacitas (vegetable side dish)

Posted by lorna-organic on Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 1:44

Calabacitas (vegetable side dish)

Calabacita is a type of Mexican summer squash. The squash is striped white and green, and resembles a fat zuchinni. Any summer squash can be used for this recipe.

1 tblsp. of cooking oil
2 cups of cubed summer squash
1 medium size onion, diced
2 cups of frozen corn (or fresh corn cut from the cob)
dash of salt
1 small can of green chilies (optional)

Saute squash and onion in oil until limp. Add corn, salt and chilies, put lid on and simmer for another minute or so. Shredded jack cheese can be used as a garnish.

Garden Gives (Garden Produce)

Posted by girlgroupgirl 8 Atlanta on Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 22:59

Garden Gives

I've just been cutting up with the garden gives, throwing it in a pan and sauteing it and eating it! The only non-garden ingredient is salt!

Peach Blueberry Tart

Posted by trailrunner AL 8 on Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 21:44

Peach Blueberry Tart (modified from Epicurious)

Ingredients For pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
For filling
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch ( may use tapioca that you have ground to a powder in spice grinder)
2 lb firm-ripe large peaches (about 4), halved lengthwise, pitted, and each half cut lengthwise into fourths
1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Special equipment: a 9- to 91/2-inch (24-cm) springform pan; an electric coffee/spice grinder

Preparation Make pastry:

Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.
Press dough onto bottom and evenly (about 1/4 inch thick) all the way up side of springform pan with floured glass . Chill pastry in pan until firm, about 10 minutes.

Make filling while pastry chills:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
( if you have convection and using a dark metal pan) If you have a light metal pan and no convection may cook at 350.

If using tapioca grind 2 tablespoons sugar with flour and tapioca in grinder until tapioca is powdery, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice and gently toss to coat. Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with a sheet of foil, until filling is bubbling in center and crust is golden, about 1 3/4 hours. I baked at 90 min. convection. The fruit comes out some much nicer at a slow long bake than at a higher hotter one. I was amazed at how much better this is.

Transfer cake in pan to a rack and cool, uncovered, 20 minutes, then carefully remove side of pan.

Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature, then cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife before serving.

Cooks' note:
Pastry can be made and pressed into pan 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before filling.

using apples same recipe ( about 6 apples)

Mock Pâté

Posted by lorna-organic NM on Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 20:47

Mock Pâté (from leftover meat)

A food processor is necessary for this pate. Use about one and a half cups of leftover steak, pork chops, or roasts. Place in food processor with one shallot, or 1/4 cup of red onion. Add 1/4 cup of butter, and a 1/4 cup sour cream. To jazz up the flavor add a small can of green chilies, a dash of hot sauce, a dash of steak sauce--whatever flavor you like. Process until the mixture is the consistency of pate. Refrigerate to marry the flavors. Use for making sandwiches, or as a spread on crackers.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Posted by aftermidnight Z8 V. Island B.C. on Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 20:30


1 baked pie shell ( I use the recipe on the Crisco box)

Enough strawberries to cover the bottom of whatever size pie plate you use


1 cup of sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar (or less if you don't want it really sweet)
3 TBSP. cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Mash the strawberries down, add enough water to make 1 cup of juice
Simmer for 3 minutes, strain and add enough water to make a cup once more
Pour into small saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch and salt
Cook till thick, cool

Fill cooled pie shell with whole strawberries that have been rinsed, dried and hulled
Spoon cooled glaze over strawberries and refrigerate. Serve with a dollup of whipped cream.

Note: You can add a drop or two of red food coloring to the glaze if you want a really red glaze, not necessary if you have really red strawberries. This is a pie that is best eaten up quickly.

Family Favorite Potato Salad

Posted by becr zone 9 CA on Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 20:13

Family Favorite Potato Salad

This is my version of both my mother's and German grandmother's potato salad. A family favorite that is a requirement at all gatherings! I hope you enjoy.



8 medium russet potatoes
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 stalks celery & leaves, very thinly sliced
4 dill pickles, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, heaping
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons yellow mustard (such as French's)
1 cup mayonnaise (such as Hellman's or Best Foods)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped, divided use
5 hardboiled egg, divided use
fresh tomato, slices for garnish (or grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes)
fresh torn lettuce leaf, for garnish
paprika, for garnish


1. In a large covered pot, bring potatoes to a boil in enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook about 30 minutes or until potatoes are done but still firm. Do not overcook.

2. Drain potatoes in colander, and briefly run cold water over the potatoes. Transfer drained potatoes back into the empty covered pot and set on very low flame for just a minute or two. This will help to dry the potatoes and to ensure that they are not wet or soggy. Return potatoes to colander, and let them cool to the touch.

3. Peel and then slice the potatoes into one inch pieces.

4. In a large bowl, stir together the onions, apples, celery, dill pickles, sweet relish, and one tablespoon of the chopped parsley.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, pickle juice, olive oil, mustard, mayonnaise, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the onion mixture, stirring well to coat evenly.
6. Add the potatoes and 3 chopped hardboiled eggs. Fold and stir gently to combine. Transfer to a wide and shallow serving dish.

7. Garnish with 2 quartered hardboiled eggs, tomato slices, and the torn lettuce. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and the paprika.

8. Cover and keep refrigerated until serving time.