Are Ya Hungry?

So, a few weeks ago, the Contrarian broke down and took me out to eat during a busy shopping spree in town. We decided on Applebee’s. We had a great appetizer called Wonton Tacos. If you haven’t tried them, do so, but read on.

Course, I assumed that I was the only one who so liked these that I would try to duplicate them myself. Duh. I actually found another recipe, based on Applebee’s format, but thought it rather tacky since it started with “purchased” barbecued pork.

I mean, that is not cooking, that is putting other people’s cooking together to form a dish. Okay, if you want to, feel free, but my recipe is not complicated nor messy as it might appear at first glance.

We made these last Friday and frankly they were not exactly what Applebee’s had, but close enough, and so delicious that the Contrarian swears mine were better. That may or may not be, but, take a look.

The Meat
pork brisket (my butcher said boneless pork ribs would suffice) 1-1½ lbs
salt, pepper, garlic powder, season generously
liquid smoke- 1 tbsp
oil- 1 tbsp
beef broth – low sodium – 3/4 cup
barbecue sauce – 2/3 cup

Add the oil to a large enough (cast iron preferred ) pot to accommodate the meat in one layer without crowding.  Season the meat and brown on all sides over med-high heat. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add beef broth and liquid smoke. Liquid should come up at least 1/3 of the way up the meat.  Cover and braise (very low boil) for at least 2 hours or until the meat starts to fall apart when picked up with tongs. Remove from liquid and set aside to cool. Pull apart into shreds with forks or tongs.

You can do this in the morning if you wish and then add the barbecue sauce near dinner time and reheat to just warm in the microwave. Mix the sauce into the shredded meat. The amount here is flexible. I would say you want the meat covered, but not sopping.

As to the barbecue sauce: Use your favorite homemade or bottled. It is better if it is not a sweet sauce, but heat of course is up to you. I like both Cattleman’s and Budweiser commercial brands.

 The Coleslaw
1/4 head of a medium cabbage
mayo – scant 1/3 cup
pepper 1/2 tsp
salt – pinch
vinegar – 2 tsp
hot sauce 1 tbsp or as you wish
sugar – 1 tbsp or to taste

You of course can buy the store bought stuff, but slicing it yourself is certainly not hard. I’d say about 2 cups. As to the dressing, I know there is store dressing, but I have never used it. The point of this dressing is that it needs to be sweet to offset the tang of the barbecue sauce, and not too vinegary.

As to amounts, please understand that I don’t personally use a lot of measuring when I cook, so I’m trying to estimate for you. The coleslaw when dressed should be quite a bit drier than you might normally like for regular coleslaw. It’s the crunch and the sweetness that you want more than the mayo. If you barbecue sauce is quite “hot” then you might want to lessen the heat in the slaw.

 The Wontons
One package – you will use only a fraction of the package. I froze the balance in three packages. Don’t know if it will work or not, but I couldn’t just throw them away!
Oil for deep fat frying

This is the tricky part, and frankly I puzzled for a long time. Wontons are square, so to make them like “taco’s” means to corner them, leaving a fillable pocket. Also we assumed we had to submerge the entire thing and so we were thinking fairly deep oil as well.

All this is off-putting, since I don’t like the mess of deep frying, but in the end, we found it was simple. After trying to make the “taco” shapes, we realized that we could do it faster and easier by ignoring that shape entirely. (The pic above is NOT ours, but Applebee’s)

Use a small-even a 6 inch is fine-cast iron pan. Fill with at least an inch of oil (canola). Heat to around 375.  Lay the wonton in the oil and immediately depress the middle with the flat of a wooden spoon or a gravy ladle. Hold for a few seconds until the form is set and then let fry for a few additional seconds. They take only about 1 minute per, so it goes fast. Remove with tongs and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. When all are done, place in a warm oven until you are ready to eat.

The oil can be saved. It is essentially perfectly “clean.” So the mess is minimal and you don’t use much oil at all.

Assemble by placing a tablespoon or so of the pulled pork into the “well” and then add about the same amount of slaw. Enjoy.

I think some sprigs of cilantro might be a nice addition if you like it. We didn’t think of that. You can also of course use chicken or beef for that matter. As long as the meat will pull, it will work.

We ate four apiece. You may want more or less depending on whether you have any sides. The meat will make about 16 tacos I would guess. We tried the remainder of the meat on Sunday on just hamburger buns. The Contrarian thought they were fine, but the crunch of the wontons really really adds to the dish I found.

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Of Passing Note

And now for something completely different. . . .

Okay, so I won’t bore you with the whining about the weather. I would, but it seems like my pitiful condition won’t gain me much purchase on your sympathy, since nearly 70% of the nation is engaged in winter misery.

We got our four inches, and are awaiting the wind which will move it from places we don’t want it, to other places we don’t want it. We have wood in for days, and food, and well, you don’t ask for much more at this point.

Yesterday, now that was a different story. Tractor broke, and was fixed, and I went shopping for chain saw chains. . . . mmmmm, such fun. They I secured some groceries just to make the weekend more delightful. It was a busy, up and down emotional day, but ended on a good note.

And did I remember to say a big hurrah to the Iowa Hawkeyes for their glorious win in the Orange Bowl? How does a nationally recognized school manage to have a quarterback who can’t throw a pass? I dunno, but go ask Georgia Tech. They may have an answer.

***

I have to say, I’d love to creep into the mind of the folks at CPAC, who in preparing their wacko wingnut right convention, are inviting of course the ever popular among the wingees, Sarah Palin, but are thinking of barring the ever conspiratorially oriented World Daily News. We are not sure what standard disallows the online news “paper” that promotes a “Crisis Garden” for the coming Armageddon,  but is in a tizzy, wizzing  its pants at the opportunity to have Michelle Bachmann on the roster. I mean can you imagine? The queens of crazy–Sarah and Michelle on the same stage? I’m sure their will be orgasmic delight in the audience should they both breathe stage air at the same time.

***

For years, scientists thought that primates groomed each other out of social bonding and reconciling differences. It appears otherwise.

It seems they groom those members of the troop who they think they cannot win a fight against. Who would have thunk?

Remember this the next time you sit down in the barber chair or the hair salon. Your hairdresser is afraid of ya! That ought to count for something in your day.

***

Scientists have found the oldest vertebrate footprints. They belong to a tetrapod and are in the vicinity of 397 million years old.

This pushes the time line back a few mill. The animals apparently lived in shallow waters and came upon land through the mud flats.

This is a marine environment rather than a lake or stream one as previously thought.

No word on whether human prints were found near by, so I am forced to warn the “creationist” nutties to close their eyes, and stop their ears, lest they be confronted with this biblical blasphemy. You have been warned flat earthers!

***

These next two go down in the “I never would have guessed,” category.

Those engaged in scientific pursuit, tell us that the size of the spoon effects whether or not one gets the proper dosage of medicine. Well, you could have blown me over with a feather on that one!

I know this will be hard to believe, but parents who refuse to have their children inoculated against chicken pox, see a higher incidence of their children contracting that disease.

It just shocks the bejesus out of me to discover this.

I’m sure it will give you pause as well

***

Even though warned repeatedly, some of you undoubtedly decided to go ahead and make New year’s resolutions.

So, seven days in, no doubt some of you are already struggling. This just in from LiveScience5 tips to avoid failure!

Number one on the list is “don’t make too many resolutions. And number two is, choose your resolutions wisely. Okay. . . .

On that note, I’ll resolve not to read self help articles on keeping resolutions. That is not too many, and is certainly wise doncha think?

***

I’m not familiar with Golden Corral, but this Copycat recipe seems a perfect foil to winter blahs.

I mean, when you look out and realize that it will take three hours and 40 extra pounds of clothing to make you “ready” for outside, ya need to have something really scrumptious and decadent to eat right?

This recipe for Seafood Salad uses the artificial crab, which I don’t really like, but with mayo, the “off taste” may be hidden. And it sure cheapens the price for making this summery beachy kinda treat.

I think I may pick up the ingredients on my next shopping trip and give this a whirl.

I have some great northern bean soup on the fire, loaded with plenty of ham, along with some nice focaccia flavored with dried tomatoes and olives. I think it will be a snuggly meal for falling temperatures and growing winds. Stay in and stay warm!
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

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It’s the Caffeination, Stupid!

cafeination“Boy, you sure made the coffee strong this morning, dear.” This as I yawn and peer through lidded eyes at GMA. “I don’t know that it’s any different that usual,” the great one replies.

“Well it was falling out of the grinder when I lifted off the top, so I knew it was gonna be strong,” smiling weakly. I saw a look of “oops” fall across his face. “Ummm, perhaps that was mine.” Mine being the caffeinated stuff, which I have long since abandoned as making me too wired, and upsetting my delicate digestive mechanism.

An hour later, I have completed my walk in record time, and am deeply ensconced in Genesis, trying to see the myriad differences between creation story one and creation story two. My mind is flying, reeling really among the possibilities, and now, I’m really not sure at all what “made in the image of” means.

I have the urge to write, yet know, I’m not nearly ready to tackle THAT topic. I start in the Google reader, skimming the stories, vaguely aware that I am looking for a few in particular, stories I want to consider. I make the mistake to visit Randal’s L’ennui melodieux. Not knowing French, I still have no idea what that means, though the word l-ennui is vaguely familiar. In any case, I don’t recommend that site when in a full-blown caffeine mania. I actually understood his post “Naked in front of the Computer.”

You see, I almost never understand Randal’s posts, which takes nothing away from the fact that mostly they are brilliant. He is writing as art personified. Like Justice Black, I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

With that post, I realized that my mind, going off in several directions at the same time, could not focus on one issue long enough to write a post about. Thus you get the hodgepodge of trivial and snappy snapshots of reality. At least my reality. The human brain is exceptional in it’s ability to hold, simultaneously, several thoughts at once, some of them in direct and obvious logical opposition (witness the fundamentalist mind –if you can call it that–which is required to do that 24/7–but no we are NOT going there again. I’m looking for a treatment for THAT addiction as well.)

stevekingjpgMoving right along, switching gears, about facing, and other metaphors that come to mind. I always obsess happily about our utterly infamous and undoubted resident wing nut Stephen King, R-IA, (may God forgive us our sins). He is always good for a profoundly stupid remark. Yesterday he was quoted as saying that the best vote he ever made in the House was his nearly singular opposition to Katrina aid. Imagine that. Today he is quoted as saying that gays marriage is a “purely socialist concept.” No even, I with my high-speed brain cells this morning, don’t care to get into the ugly morass of a mind that could concoct such bull-crap. Be my guest. Read more here.

***

cabbage-apple-sausageMeanwhile, spinning on a dime, and managing quite well, thank you, not to fall. . . over, I present a recipe. This time of year one’s thoughts turn to slow cookers and comfort food, and this is definitely that.

One can imagine doing all sorts of outdoorsy things, like planting fall mums, raking leaves, (yeah right) and coming inside for cocoa (yeah right) and taking in the wafts of yummy meaty goodness slowly melding together in the crock pot.

If such thoughts are yours too, and no doubt they are, then let your fingers do the walking over to Baking Delights and pick up the recipe for Slow Cooker Red Cabbage and Sausage.

***

gay-marriage-cake-male1With all due and I do mean due, respect to our tinfoily friends on the extreeeemmmme right, one of their oft cited, but never explained objections to gay marriage is that it will “destroy the sanctity of marriage.”

Well, yes, but, exactly what do that mean Mable? Nothing much it seems, but dang it sounds good. Words can, it seems, be put together in nice sounding ways that appear to point to deep thought, when in fact they bespeak no sense at all.

In other words, ya can’t destroy what don’t exist! And according to recent statistics,Die vorce is alive and well and on the climb and not, repeat NOT in the states that allow same sexers to marry.

Of deeper concern, since I live here, is a recent poll, (saw it I swear but have dumped the site already) in Iowa, that showed that something like 92% of Iowans don’t feel,  so far, threatened in their marriage because of Iowa’s new marriage decree that allows same sex wedding bliss. I can testify as well, that so far, I’ve not been hounded by lesbians wanted to “hook up” nor has the Contrarian been solicited by hoards of men wanting to cuddle behind the tractor. Nope, hasn’t happened. Course this will do nothing to stem the gasps and horror among the “bible told me so” folk.

***

mamasandpapaspapasandmamas6sdAnd the winner in the category “gag me with a spoon” is. . . . Mackenzie Phillips and her revelations that “Dad and me were lovers!”

Now, it’s hard to know who to blame for all this. I’m inclined to blame the druggin’, which I understand was beyond the pale, over and above, topped out, even the Stones can’t come close to these folks in over indulgence.

The Contrarian recalls reading where Cass showed up in the Caribbean somewhere with a quart jar of acid one vacation time. These are seriously f**ked up people.

One could of course simply blame dad for all this, but really, Mack admits she was nineteen, yes you heard that right, at the time of the first incestuous meeting, and AND it continued for a record ELEVEN years. I’d say she is somewhat complicit? This doesn’t make any of it other than sordid, wrong, abusive, and a host of other things, but lordly, it sure taints any desire to hear “California Dreamin’ ” any time soon don’t it?

***

Yeah, I know, you wish I would go on and never stop, but hey, I can’t feed your addiction all day long ya know. I hear one of the big pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer perhaps is working on a drug to wean ya off me. If I can get a cut of the that action, I’ll gladly add my opposition to the Democratic health care reform movement. Greed does trump the common good. I can be bought! But you knew that already. Blessings, and well, I’m off to rain caffeine craziness upon the rest of my household.

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Wiping the Lint From My Brow

pigpenI keep turning around and looking behind and below. Surely my stuffing is coming out as I move about my day. So it seems at least, as I’ve suddenly become prone to losing stuff.

I’m a fairly organized person, as you know. I usually know where things are, in general. “It’s somewhere in the house!”  Actually, I’m a bit better than that.

But lately my life has gotten increasingly complicated or scheduled, and I’ve not put in place the filing, organizing plans to insure that all the papers I collect are properly divided and located with others of their kind. Thus today, I find myself unable to locate the minutes of last month’s library committee meeting, and have had to issue a call for someone to bring a copy with them to the meeting today.

It’s disconcerting to be so scatterbrained. I’m not familiar with it. I feel uncomfortable. Kind of like that dream where I’m walking down the school corridor and wearing only my undies. How did I leave without my clothes?

It isn’t like I’ve never been busy before. I used to be really busy, often visiting multiple courts, with twenty or more clients and court appearances a day. Sometime in multiple cities. Often with shopping trips interspersed or after. I seldom screwed up, and lawyers are great at having networks of “stand-ins” for just those scheduling nightmares.

I wouldn’t change things. The Contrarian continues to be highly supportive. I was at my EFM meeting last night. They are different than previous educational experiences I’ve had. Fascinating in its conception, and I’ve already learned things about the Hebrew Testament and canon that I had not known, and so far I’m just at the introduction.

In a couple of weeks I start a month long Adult Formation class that I’m facilitating. We don’t like to use the word “teach.” I’m just  the one who will read the background material and push the conversation. I’m doing the lectionary section on Job, one of my more favorite books of the Old Testament. (I know, I know, that definitely says something weird about me.)  There are concurrent readings I think from Mark. I’ll be interested in how they interplay. The second year EFM students are doing Mark, so perhaps I’ll glean a few insights from them.

I got creative with dinner. Sauteed some chicken breasts, then sauteed onions and fresh tomatoes, garlic and some jalapeno, a bit of wine, salt and pepper. Chopped the chicken roughly and let it sit until a warm up, then add capers and olives. Serve it over spaghetti. My favorite kind of cooking is Italian. I love garlic and onions.

I’ve got the agenda set for the library meeting. Not so easy with no minutes from last month. We are having our re-opening at the end of the month, and we are pretty well set. It’s been an amazingly satisfying job. So many people worked hard. We fairly drooled over the new books added, more than 200, and all top notch biblical and theological works. I could read for years non-stop there now.

I missed the President’s speech last night because of the EFM class, but the Contrarian taped it for me, and we watched it when I got home. Powerful, competent, intelligent. The polls suggest the president hit a home run. Who would have doubted that? Put to rest are all the utter cow dung idiot arguments. Perhaps now we can have an adult discussion now that the hair-brain flights of fancy of the Palin/Gingrich et al contingent have been put to rest. Let us hope we can shush the children with their personal agendas of destruction. We deserve it.

Best moment: Joe Wilson (you lie) resulted in his opponent raising something like $200,000 to date. It was exactly what we hoped would happen. The rational people in America react with disgust, and the Rethug agenda of politics before reform takes a hit.

I find it humorous that because Obama is an inspirational speaker, he is disdainfully referred to as the Messiah, and we are his followers. Interesting, because most of these brain dead opposers claim to be born again Christians, and shouldn’t the Messiah be followed? But what can you expect from confused thinkers who have long since given up remembering what that thing between their ears is for.

Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the new judge on American Idol. I think it’s probably a good thing. She’s brightly funny. We don’t watch it that much, but Paula was always painful to watch. Ellen just came over to ABC and her daytime show is now at 9 am here. Gone are Regis and Kelly. I don’t know where they went. I liked Kelly but Regis was never my cup of tea.

Back to Wilson, ya see, I’m not all shocked and stuff. I don’t think the dude should resign. It is just symbolic of the general wingnuttery of the Republicans these days. Party of the certifiable. There is a pretty good analysis of this at HuffPo. Read it if you enjoy beating dead horses. I do from time to time. Just ask me about fundamentalists!

I’ve been hooting for a day or more at my re-meeting with creationists and the wacky world of dinosaurs and man kumbaya’ing through the amazon forest. Brings back memories of the Flintstones. Come to think of it, perhaps the creationists took that literally too. Anyhoo, I realized I had another A number 1 reason why evolution must be true:

SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS

NEBRASKA-SAND-BURR-140I mean seriously, no loving God would create such a torture device.  Having no, and I  mean no use whatsoever, except to cripple and maim the unwary, it can only be the product of evolution. I repeat, NO loving God would deliberately dream this up.

My poor pups are limping every day. Fully a block long of the lane has these Inquisition worthy plants scattered around, dropping these lethal barbs in the sand.

It is unsafe to walk indoors without shoes, since both cats and dogs lay down and patiently pull the needle sharp orbs from their feet and hair. You have not lived until you have driven one of these babies into the ball of your foot at full deliberate step. The screams and curses can echo for miles.

Let me get organized, I have a dinner to finish, a meeting to conduct, and more things to lose before day is done.

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Short Takes on the Day, 07/19/09

oddsandendsI’m layin’ back and enjoying the day, as best as I can, given it’s barely breaking 70 today. Not skipping church, if you were thinking that. I went yesterday, a first time for me. I was obligated to set up for our library book sale, so it obviously made no sense not to go to Saturday evening services. It was different. Not my cup o’ tea as they say. But as our priest said, “now you’ve been to one!”

So, I’m foot loose and fancy free as they say, or don’t as you prefer your metaphor.  I’m not sure what foot loose means, nor fancy free for that matter. Another of those things we take for granted and have no clue where they came from. Probably had something to do with the plague or something. You know that “ring around the rosy” got it’s start there don’t cha?  Yep.

***

Moving right along, I just wanted to announce that I’m a bona fide professional book reviewer. I’m sure you can tell the difference, when I passed through that portal into the rarefied confines of New York publishing heaven. Yes indeed, and the view is quite fine looking down upon the rest of you wannabes.

The proof of my new found status is that I received in the mail, U N S O L I C I T E D, my first book from a publisher. Now I was curious, and somewhat confused to be sure at first. I dutifully looked through my LibraryThing (located to the left down the sidebar), assuming it was one that I had checked off as wanting to review. No such find. I noted that it came from the Hachette  Book Group, which distributes for Little Brown & Co. I noted that the review I just did for “The Evolution of God” came from LB&C. So my interest was piqued.

I finally wrote an email to the distributor, and received a reply rather quickly. Indeed, they had thought I might enjoy the book sent, and would be most pleased should I review it. A cheesy smile encompasses my face, as I am back in the throes of “professional” something or other, albeit, no word of $$$ seemed to cross a lip either way. I’m not sure if money is required to seal the deal, but I’m choosing to revel in my new found glory. I assume of course that you are all suitably impressed and will announce this fact around your neighborhood, family, and professional associations as well.

***

Moving on to the short takes as it were. I was alerted via email by Shannon of a blog I should look at, a post in particular and found myself at “Caught a glimpse of Jesus down by the railroad tracks…”  This in reference to my mini rant of two days about  “What is the Message?”  Said blogger is in discernment for the diaconate in TEC, and runs a homeless shelter. Interesting and compelling reading, so take a look.

***

I ran across this piece and found it highly amusing and well, heck far be it from me to stop beating a dead horse. I say turn it into horseburger! Sarah, well known, for being the most incurious politician in America, unless the curiosity has to do with herself, is almost unintelligible as you well know. Her inability to capture a single thought and expound on it in any rational way are legend. This post from John Lundberg at HuffPo, shows just how easy it is to find the poet in Sarah’s words, if not any sense. Since poetry need not contain sense, well it all makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Enjoy. Few laughs are as cheap as this one.

***

A couple of atheists took me to task for my post last week about atheists and that I found them intellectually wanting. Seems at least one person agrees with me, lumping their “certainty” of no God as about as obnoxious as the “certainty” of fundamentalists. Now I hadn’t thought of that. Just a short piece by worth a gander. As I continued compiling this post, more was generated in comments to the above and so another post ensued. It makes for good reading if you are so inclined in the atheist-vs-agnostic-vs-believer saga.

***

nachosAnd just cuz it’s been forever since I posted a recipe, I thought I’d do one that makes my mouth water, nachos! Good homemade nachos are priceless in the Tex-Mex inventory, and this one just says, yowie, that’s a spicy nacho! As with all nachos you can add or subtract ingredients here and there as your taste dictates. Let’s hear it for Spicy Chicken Nachos!

I think that next week, we shall be trying some of these! No need to thank me for helping you with menu planning! lol.

***

Okay, go out and enjoy what’s left of Sunday. And bring back the sun and some heat. I’m sick of fall weather in July.

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Bring on the Food!

Oh it was a good Sunday past for me. Hope it was for you as well. A couple of things made it special for me. First of all, I was a chalice bearer for the first time. I had a fifteen minute training in all the issues that come up with serving the cup. I had no idea so many things could go wrong, but thankfully nothing did on my first time around.

I had a veteran server kind of lead me around. I sure made a few mistakes, but on the whole, it went well. I think I was not prepared for how emotional it would make me, and I nearly choked on the first, “The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” It is a solemn and awesome experience and I look forward to serving my parish in this way.

The one thing I learned, was to pick up the cossack going up the stairs to the altar. I stepped on it the first time, and remembered always to hike it up. I already knew to pull it up off my heels when kneeling.

Okay, enough of that, which was interesting to three people in the world who read this and have done chalice serving! The second great part of the day, was that we had our church picnic after services.

That was just a nice time. We women bet against the men in accumulating funds that would be going to various missions, I think half  went to our sister parish in Swaziland. One of our younger members was having to get his hair cut for a play I believe, and so his haircut was auctioned. We left before the deed, but I think they had raised a fair amount. I think the Contrarian enjoyed himself and he met a couple we are going to visit on Friday at a gallery where they are having drinks and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate an anniversary.  We had a very nice time. But then, it’s quite easy since my parish is just filled with wonderful people!

Anyway, I decided, that since this is my blog, I’d go off on a tangent today and give you another of my recipes. Since no one has sent a threatening e-mail telling me to knock it off, I hope that you enjoy them here and there and even try one or two on occasion.

Since I love Mexican food, this is another. This is my creation, but I am positive I’ve seen recipes like this, and to some extent I’m recalling some parts from various ones. It’s called: (trumpets and flourishes please)> > > >

Quesadillas la Torre al la Sherry

1 lb. ground round
1 jalapeno pepper finally diced

   Add your favorite Mexican spices and fry it up. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin. I’d use about 1/2 tsp of each.

Prepare the following fillings in sufficient amounts for about 4 traditional quesadillas:
chopped tomatoes (I used Romas because they have few seeds, about 3)
chopped green onions, white and green, about 5 
shredded monterey jack cheese, about a lb.
1 pkg of flour tortillas, corn if you prefer
I used a spring form pan that the 8 inch tortillas fit in. I lined the pan with foil so that I could fold it over the tower and keep things tight.
I have an electric stove, so I heated the large burner and dropped a tortilla on and left for about 6 sec. As it starts to smoke, turn over with tongs, and do the other side. This makes a nice charred flavor. Place in the foiled pan.
Add some meat, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Top with another charred tortilla. Continue building until you run out of meat. I used, I believe, eight tortillas in all, ending with a tortilla on top. Cover with foil. (NOTE: I didn’t use a lot of filling between each tortilla, probably at best a cup total of all the ingredients.)
Bake in the over  at 350 for a minimum of 30 min. 45 might be better. If 30, be sure to preheat the oven. You basically just want to melt the cheese and get everything nice and warm.
Cut into wedges, and serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce. You can find my salsa recipe under “Condiments” in recipes on the sidebar. (It’s the first entry) Oh and serve with some lime quarters too.

Quesadillatower

You of course can vary this recipe according to your particular likes and dislikes. Chicken would be fine, as would shredded pork or roast beef. Corn might be a fun addition. Cheddar cheese or some of the Mexican cheeses would work as well. Be creative. If you use corn tortillas I think I might bake them to the crunchy stage, but that will change the texture of the entire tower quite a bit. You don’t need to do that of course. There are lots of alternatives. I used the iceburg lettuce as a crunchy cold foil to the hot spicy effect of the quesadillas. Depending on how much jalepeno or other pepper you decide to use, you could eliminate this. I thought it did look nice though as well on the plating.

Here’s to Yummy!


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Latin Fling

arroz-and-polloYesterday, I spend the day at a church retreat as a special Lenten kickoff. We had a wonderful time and it was a good beginning to the season. We were blessed to have with us our former diocesan bishop and he offered much wisdom and lots of useful techniques to help us explore our relationship with God in a deeper way.

Following that, I ran off to collect some food for dinner, but was delayed again in arriving home by stopping to help a man who had accidently left a gate open. Two nice quarterhorses were viewing the world from the highway. I was able to be of some minor assistance in collecting them and giving him time to lead them back to their pasture. It was nice to get my hands on a horse again!

So, what that all meant is that I was tired and not at all interested in posting yesterday. So I thought I would post today the recipe for Arroz con Pollo I mentioned the other day. I got the recipe from Cook Magazine’s Test Kitchen show, shown on PBS. It turned out fabulously and we loved it. As there are about as many recipes for chicken and rice as their are chickens, you can feel free to substitute. Many of the photos I found clearly had green peas in them, so you might add that, but I would only do so at the very end, since they really don’t need cooking.

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Traditional recipes start with a whole fryer cut up. This recipe called for only chicken thighs. I think that works better because not all pieces otherwise need the same cooking time.

6 thighs ( trim excess fat, but don’t remove skin yet)
Place in a marinade of:
6 cloves garlic mashed, or minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 oregano
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
Marinate at room temp for 15 min. If longer, in the fridge.
Meanwhile:
In a oven ready pot:
1-2 TBSP oil
Add 1 lg. onion, 1 green pepper, and 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
Cook until softened (omit the extra chili peppers if you don’t like a little spice.
Add Chicken to the pot, skin side down, brown lightly at medium heat, turn and do other side.
When this is complete, add:
1 3/4 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. H20
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
cover, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 20 min.
Add:
3 c rice
1/2 c pimentoed olives
1 TBSP capers, rinsed,
return to a simmer while heating oven to 350.
When ready, put in over for 20 min. Then stir, and if needed add a bit more water, and cook another 10 min.
Remove from oven and removed chicken.
With spoons or forks, remove meat from the bones and place in a separate dish. Discard skin.
Add to this:
1tsp olive oil
2 tsp vinegar
2 TBSP Cilantro chopped
1/4 to 1/2 c roasted peppers chopped roughly.
Mix and then add back to the rice and stir, and let sit a couple of minutes to rewarm.
Serve with tortillas. I’d say it serves about 6 comfortably.
Enjoy!