Sunday, July 14, 2013

Salsa Verde and Homemade Chips

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE chips and salsa! I'm that person at the Mexican restaurant who only takes two bites of the main meal because I ate about 3 baskets of chips and probably 10 of their bowls of salsa.

Anyways, not only do I love salsa, but I really wanted to experiment with Tomatillos. I had never tasted them before so I was really curious. So here is what I did!

1 1/2 lbs Tomatillos
2 Jalapenos
1 Serrano Pepper
1/2 White Onion
5 Cloves of Garlic
3/4 cup Cilantro
Lime juice (1/2 of a lime squeezed)
1/4 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste

First take the paper off the Tomatillos and wash them. Cut them in half and place them on a baking sheet with the cloves of garlic. With the Broiler on high, broil them for about 6 minutes, or until the are a brownish color almost black.
Chop the Jalapenos and onion into pieces and then place all the ingredients into a blender! Blend until smooth. 

It will still be warm once you are done so pour it in a bowl and then let it chill in the refrigerator.

Now for the chips!

I go to the store and buy the small white corn tortillas. I use a large saute pan and pour in vegetable oil in until it reaches about an inch. I heat that up and drop in just one piece of tortilla to test the heat and the I add about 20 triangle pieces at a time. You will be able to tell they are ready when the corners start to turn light brown. I place a couple layers of paper towel in a bowl so the chips can set without getting soggy when they are done. To salt them I have a sea salt "grinder" that I set on fine, and then I toss the chips with some salt.

You might want to just fry a few at a time and test taste them so you can figure out what temperature and timing works best for you. I usually place my burner on high to get it heated and then back down to medium. Keep in mind that the chips will keep cooking even after you take them out of the oil, so don't let them get too brown or else they will burn even after you take them out.

Hope everyone tried this out! Such a great light salsa for summer!

Chicken and Dumplings with Veggies

Last time we had Chicken and Dumplings Jared requested that I add in some vegetables. So HERE is the recipe for the plain Chicken and Dumplings, and below are the veggies I added.

1 Zucchini
1 Potato
2 Large Carrots
1 White Onion

All I did was chop everything into bite size pieces and throw it into the boiling broth.

An easy way to mix it up! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Garden

Admittedly I am not known as a healthy eater. Thankfully the women in my family have been blessed with a fast metabolism so that has really never caused any visible problems. But I have finally started to take an interest in being more healthy.

I have always loved making things myself instead of buying them, probably the artist in me, but now that I cook so much I figured I should apply that to my cooking. I should grow my own ingredients! Of course when I had this stroke of brilliance my husband was not amused... He told me to start with a couple plants and see how it goes from there.

I bought myself some pea plants, green bean plants, and some herbs. Being new to California I figured anytime was a great time to plant! Wrong. In January my plants were hit with hail, frost, and a whole mix of temperature changes. But then worst of all the rabbits, they ate everything green that grew.

I was determined to try again! Unfortunately my husband was even less amused at this point, considering everything I had started was dead. But I won him over and got a tomato plant, and a mix of herbs. But yet again I did not plan things out well, we had to leave on a two week vacation a few days after buying everything. Thankfully the tomato plant survived! The herbs did not.... But that tomato plant now served as a beacon of hope.
With one little tomato that was still green I convinced my husband that I was ready to buy another plant! I got more herbs, more green beans, spinach, and a few packs of seeds. I was prepared.

After just a week everything was still alive!! So I told Jared I wanted to turn our boring old patio into a garden! Of course on base housing everything would have to be in planters, but I was determined.

I looked at the one little tomato (still green) and went to Home Depot ready to buy everything we needed!!

1 Bell Pepper plant
Another tomato plant
Green Onions
Romaine Lettuce
Serrano Peppers
4 bags of dirt
and lot's of planter boxes and pots.

The next few days I worked and worked and worked until everything was perfect. And I must say I'm proud!

I even added some white picket fencing to keep the rabbits out!

I also started to "ReGrow" some of my produce.

This has been so much fun! I'll be going out of town soon and my husband will stay here so every night when I water the garden I take him with me so he can practice. I even told him if he thought something was ready to pick, he would have to send a picture first so I can say if it's okay or not.
 But, throughout this whole process my biggest fan has to be Nigella the Frog! Every I would go out to work I would find her hiding some place new. I don't think she likes when I find her, but I'm sure she loves all the bug my garden attracts!

Well that's basically it, I love going out each morning to check on everything! And, my little tomato plant of hope, finally gave us the first tomato!

I can't wait to post more on what I get out of the garden! There is so much growing, but just a few days away from being ready!
So if I can garden, so can you!