Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting in touch with my Hispanic roots

One day I hope to be able to speak Spanish fluently. I know a lot of food-related words in Spanish and can say whether we are eating at the restaurant (por aqui) or taking it to go (para llevar). I'm also learning how to read and comprehend Spanish.

Until I can speak Spanish, I'll make yummy dishes to stay connected to my roots. :D
I've made several Mexican dishes (carne guisada, chile con carne and caldo de res). I've made flour tortillas, but I really wanted to try my hand at corn tortillas.

On New Year's Day, Dan made carnitas (little meats) de (of) pato (duck), rice, beans and my mom and I made corn tortillas. We also made salsa. Yum! Talk about a delicious way to ring in the New Year. :)

We bought fresh ground corn masa (dough).

Roll Masa into balls and let them rest

Place the tortilla ball on top of a piece of plastic on the tortilla press
Put the other piece of plastic on top of the tortilla ball and press handle down
Apply a bit of pressure to ensure ball is spreading
Release handle, lift tortilla press and see your perfect raw tortilla

Carefully peel off tortilla and throw on a warm comal (griddle)

2 Different Salsas (1 Tomatillo & 1 Pico de Gallo)

Carnitas de Pato (Duck)

Now be honest, how many of you out there didn't know I was Hispanic (Mexican)? :D

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And the Award for the Best Pound Cake Ever Goes To...

Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake!
Would you love to try this delicious dessert? Go to Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake .

A great pairing for this delicious pound cake is Thomas Keller's Pear w/ Vanilla Bean Compote. This was one of the gifts in the gift basket. It won't disappoint. :)

I don't feel like typing out the full recipe so I copy & pasted it below, courtesy of http://www.eating-sf.com/2010/01/vanilla-bean-pear-compotesundae.html

Vanilla Bean Pear Compote
recipe adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home

2 pounds of Comice pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 cups of Sauvignon Blanc (or other dry white wine)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cloves
1 vanilla bean

1. In a large pot, combine the wine, sugar and cloves.
2. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add in the pod itself.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then add the pear slices.
4. Add enough water to cover the pears, and dial the heat down a notch. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the pears are translucent and can easily be pierced with a fork.
5. Remove the pears from the mixture using a slotted spoon and place into a large container with a tight seal.

6. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup (it should be the consistency of a syrup). Pour the syrup over the pears and place the vanilla bean pod into the container. Throw away the cloves. Refrigerate for up to one month.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Like a lot of people we were on a budget this year when it came to Christmas gifts.
We decided it was best to do a family gift basket that was filled with all kinds of yummy goodies.

Here's what everyone had in their basket:

Pear and Vanilla Bean Compote

Onion-Bacon Marmalade

Chimichurri Rub

Apple Butter

Cream Soda Syrup

A handmade ornament

Holiday Spiced Sugar

Candied Pecans (spiced with honey and fleur de sel)

Sugar Palmiers

Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Homemade Country Loaf

Dan’s Secret BBQ sauce

Making gifts this year ended up saving us a lot of money, but it was also a lot of work and took up a lot of time so who knows if we'll be going the homemade route again. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finders Keepers!

During the holidays my sister-in-law had her schnauzer,Izzy, at the farmhouse and one of our kids decided they wanted to take something that didn't belong to them. :)
You should know that Sissy & Baby do not care for rawhides unless they have already been chewed up by another dog (in other words they don't like to do the work to get to the good, soft part).
I've uploaded 3 videos:

Sissy with her new rawhide.

Baby Dan got another one from Izzy.

Sissy in the safety of her own home w/her rawhide.

Thank you, Izzy. :)