Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I made a delicious Mexican dinner! Tex Mex to be specific :)

Some of you will read this title and think, yeah? and? But some of you will jump with joy and properly celebrate with me knowing how long I've been working on/wanting this! We spent a good chunk of time in south Texas and the Tex Mex food (for those of you not in the know, yes, it is quite different than regular Mexican food) stole my heart! A wonderful friend of mine made my Guisada when she was visiting and froze some for me. Later, as I was reveling in it, I commented on Facebook about it and found out there is a seasoning mix you can use to make it. Hmmm... skeptical, but the person who told me about it puts Martha Stewart to shame so I decided to order some from Amazon. I come to find out, they also make a bean seasoning and a rice seasoning! Now, my rice and beans aren't bad, but they are missing something, I don't know what. But the people at Fiesta do! Tonight I made tacos, rice and beans with my swanky new seasonings (they're Extra Fancy, even says so on the bottle) and the whole family loved them! My youngest gobbled up an adult size serving! Hoorah! Now to try the Guisada seasoning! I also used yummy Frontera Texas Taco sauce- called for potatoes which I thought would be weird in a taco, but also delicious! Success all around! Tomorrow night I'm trying their enchilada sauce!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can it be done? Can I make healthy AND delicious bread?

My bread quest has morphed a bit; I want HEALTHY fabulous bread! Okay, switch to wheat, right? Easier said than done. I can make a fabulous loaf of white bread, crusty goodness. I can make a healthy loaf of wheat bread, the kind that makes you want to buy Birkenstocks. Here's the dilemma, I want it all! I tried making the mixed loaf (wheat and white) and it's okay, but the crust gets really hard and the crumb (the inside) isn't light and fluffy in the slightest. It's hearty. Healthy? Yes. But makes me feel like I'm homesteading. So I tried making the loaf pan style (vs. freestyle on the stone) and the same result. Not to mention, you have to eat it fast; about 4 days in I could use that loaf for self defense. Not good. So now I'm trying a straight wheat loaf, but with olive oil and freestyle on the stone. Fingers crossed, breath not held. It's a real dilemma I'm struggling with. Is whole wheat really that much better than white? I've read and read and the answer seems to be an unequivocal yes. Publix makes an incredible wheat loaf, so I'm telling myself this must be possible, yes? Then I keep reading online only to find out it's likely only part wheat and has lots of goodies (seeds, oats, etc) thrown in to make it look healthier. Probably has a bit of sugar in it too! there hope? Do we eat healthy enough elsewhere to just have the yummy white bread when I feel like baking? 

Later.... I made the wheat olive oil bread- YUM! Hoorah! Hoorah! I think I need to just find a middle ground. Sometimes make one, sometimes make another. I've been eating white flour my whole life and seem to be okay, I just get caught up in my quest for what, invincibility? Here are some pictures of the wheat/olive oil bread (the kids love it too, bonus!)
Olive oil bread getting ready to "rest"

Crusty goodness!

Smooth inside, very tasty and soft!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


It's growing! I have broccoli buds!! Wahooo! Come on little guy, you can do it! If I can grow edible broccoli, I don't even know. I'm going to make myself a trophy or something!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Basil, basil, basil, round #98

I love basil. Adore basil. Can eat it straight off the plant. (Interestingly, so can my 4 year old!) Basil is about a hundred times better fresh, however a few leaves of fresh basil is about $4 at the store. We use a lot of basil. So you think, silly, buy a basil plant, right? I've had 4. Had. Not have. Had. In talking with an acquaintance of mine she mentioned the same dilemma and said she heard the trick is to plant your own basil from seed or buy an established plant from a nursery vs. the live plants at the store. Hmmm....I'm not known for my success with seeds, but LOVE basil. So Smith & Hawken at my darling Target had a cute little basil kit that called to me as I walked by and I decided to try it. Here she is in all her (soon to be) glory (hopefully.)
Isn't she cute?
She'll be even cuter with basil growing! It came with 3 types of basil, though I've already forgotten which kinds, which is good. The girls helped me plant the seeds so I have no idea what is where! My fingers are crossed so tight it hurts!