Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

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I decided to try and whip up something new yesterday for dinner with stuff I already had on hand. I also knew it was the last chance to use the oven for gets really hot here and I almost never use the oven during the summer.

a little over a cup of pre-baked chicken cut into chunks (I used the leftovers of a roasted chicken)
12 or so corn tortillas, cut in half
a little over a half of a cup of fresh or frozen corn (we had some frozen from the farmers market)
1 1/2 cups cooked beans (we used our recipe for salad beans)
1 1/2 cups refried beans
about 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
10 oz or so enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl mix chicken, corn, beans, refried beans, and about one ounce of enchilada sauce. In a round baking dish place 6 half pieces of corn tortilla covering the bottom and spoon enchilada sauce over them. Then spread half of the chicken/corn/bean mixture, and cover with cheese. Layer more corn tortillas with enchilada sauce over them. Then place the remaining chicken/corn/bean mixture on top and cover with more tortillas and enchilada sauce. Cover with cheese, I like to crack some salt and pepper over the top and bake for 25 minutes. Set oven to broil and cook for 3-5 more minutes. Serves 2 adults and one toddler. :) We loved it..the little guy could not get enough.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

our first garden bounty...a yummy meal

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I (the Doctor speaking) have been so blessed as to have toured the world.  Each time it was under the guise of the culinary arts.  I have taken so many opportunities to taste, eat, and enjoy.  The most pleasurable was a recent experience here, at home.

We just harvested our first fist full of potatoes (this all happened a couple of weeks ago).  I (the doctor) harvested a few Crook Necks and Zucchini, and ran down to the market for a nice Tomato.  Little did I know I had just started the preparation of the single greatest tasting meal I ever had.

Sautéed in butter and fine olive oil starting first with the potatoes, we added the squashes, tomatoes and the herbs (Savory, French Thyme, Marjoram and Thai Basil). As soon as the aromatics came to, I cut the heat and seasoned with salt and a little pepper.


Perhaps it was the day, my appetite, or longing for that first garden family meal. We think it was finally realizing just how closely tied to the food we are…especially when we grow it.

All the best to you and your food adventures!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Polska kielbasa with beans and potatoes

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Wonderful recipe that is really quick, easy and inexpensive.

1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 or 7oz polska kielbasa, sliced (we usually use turkey kielbasa)
1 c cooked red beans
2 medium sized red potatoes, cut in chunks
1/2-3/4 c marinara sauce (we use our home made roasted red bell pepper marinara)

Boil potatoes until done. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent, add in kielbasa and potatoes and lightly brown. Add marinara and mix until evenly dispersed, then add beans.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to make an old t-shirt into a reusable bag

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I got this great idea from a fellow blogger, The blue spot! Check out the link for a video. I used a new t-shirt that the Doctor got me as a joke gift and I have never worn. I kept meaning to turn this shirt into a bag but always put it off, then I read her blog post and got inspired!

What you need:
a mixing bowl
a pen or pencil

Its really very simple, start by sewing the bottom of the shirt closed. I turned it inside out first and since I don't have a sewing machine, I switched across twice.

Lay the shirt flat, and smooth it out well. Then using the mixing bowl trace around the neck to create a larger opening and cut off the sleeves.

Voila, its done! I'm planning on trying to work on using the sleeves to create a pocket. Think how many you could make and just put in your would never have to use a plastic bag again!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice! Favorite things...summer.

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Its fitting that the temp today is supposed to reach 101! Perfect first day of summer!

a cold beer by the pool

swimming all the time

vine ripe tomatoes from the garden

a lot less college students

aloe vera

using the clothes line to dry everything

The little guy and I are heading off to the park to play with friends...covered in sunscreen! I'm sure we will jump in the pool when we get home to cool off! Enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

fava beans...healthy and yummy

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Really…it is not that much work. That’s the biggest complaint with Fava Beans, but it’s just not true.
Start by bringing a healthy amount of salty water to a boil. Next, chill a bowl of water with some ice cubes.

The rest is simple:
Pull the Fava Beans from their pods. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Immediately place in the ice water. Shell the Fava Beans and you are ready for the final preparations.

We opted to go simple and fresh with our meal, so we started by cultivating a little Savory, French Lemon Thyme, Marjoram, Chives, and Thai Basil.  Finely chop these and set them aside.  Next we harvested a bit of Garlic.  1 or 2 Cloves of Garlic will do, nice and minced.

With medium high heat we brought up to temperature some high end olive oil mixed with butter.  Briefly sauté the garlic and add the Fava Beans.  Sauté until the beans start to color, and then add the herbs.  Finally you can season the beans with a little salt and pepper before serving.


Friday, June 17, 2011

my dustbuster is my best friend

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When I was in college I could never understand why my mom even had one...

then I had a child of my own....

yes you can use your vacuum...if you want your child to scream!

Or you can spend a couple extra dollars...

my son thinks it is the best thing in the world!

He actually gets upset when I put it away.

So I say Dustbuster is my best friend.

Thank you mom for introducing it into my life and I encourage every mom to get herself one or ask for one on her first mothers day! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rescue mission complete!

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So the Doctor was home for lunch and went to check out the garden, which he almost always does without fail...he came back inside to tell me that he found an iguana in one of the trees. Of course I didn't believe him but he pulled me outside anyway. He thought it was a possum...the one that was probably terrorizing the chickens...but much to my surprise about 15-20 feet up there he was a GIANT IGUANA!

Its Northern California...not a natural habitat for an we knew he had to be someones. I'll let you all know now that I am extremely scared of all lizards...I don't know why and I don't mean to offend, but I am. We decided to call a friend who has a snake and other animals to ask her if she knew what to do or anyone who might want to keep him until we find his owner. I also posted on facebook asking about it and checked craigslist, as much as I hate technology sometimes...its nice when these random things happen.

Then we got a call saying our old neighbors, had lost there pet iguana right before they moved almost a month ago. Eventually our friends who lost an iguana showed up with his cage along another friend who now has him as a pet. By the time they got here I had lost track of where he was because he climbed down the tree...but we found him! Perched atop the chain length fence munching on leaves. He did not want to be found or captured but its for the best, he would have never made it come winter.

Now he is safe and sound and I don't have to worry about going into the garden. It would have been just my luck...heading out to put the girls (chickens) in one night and tripping over him...the scream would have shocked the entire neighborhood.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

International Yarn Bombing Day June 11th!

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We are back home! We decided to focus more on family, gardening and relaxing for a week or so while we got back into our normal routine.

The idea of Yarn Bombing is to brighten the world by making something with yarn and placing it publicly. I decided to do something really simple and I placed it near our home on a bridge we drive over daily. I hope that it stays up for awhile but who knows maybe someone will take it home with them.

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