Flying Free

Austin Black Beans

beans_carrots

Hey everyone!  Only a week since my last SRC post thanks to May’s bonus week.  This week is my “normal” group A post – but there is nothing normal about the blog I was partnered with.  I’m very lucky in that I’ve had Leslie’s Cocina de Leslie blog twice so far, once as my regular assignment and once when I decided to adopt a blog while 38wks pregnant.  Leslie’s blog has soooo many amazing recipes that when the powers that be offered to switch me for a “new” blog I told them there was NO NEED to be hasty – that I could happily and easily find something new to make.  With that, this post was supposed to be all about her Mole Ranchero.  While the ingredient list is a bit daunting, the dish came together in no time at all.  However my camera man got a bit peckish and ate the sauce set aside for the photo as a post dinner snack.  So…back to my very long list of recipes!  I had marked her Austin Black Beans when I adopted Leslie’s blog so was thrilled that some nasty weather made it the perfect time to give them a whirl.  I used the vegetable oil instead of lard and left out the lime juice due to my allergy.   I also added the cilantro straight to my bowl as it tastes metallic to hubby and totally omitted below.

Austin Black beans

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 lb. dried black beans

1 vegetable oil

1 medium spansih onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 canned chipotles

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce

Salt (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Rinse and clean the beans, then place in a large pot with about 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse and set aside.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to the same large pot the beans were cooked in and turn heat to medium. Add the carrot and onion and cook 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Return the beans to the pot along with the chipotles and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 90 minutes or until beans are soft. Add remaining ingredients then season to taste with some salt.
  4. Use an immersion blender to mash some of the beans then simmer for a final 30 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/06/flying-free.html

 Another great recipe from Leslie!  So glad there was an oops and that I got another excuse to explore her blog – think I have a good dozen recipes to try! This meal would also freeze well for the slow cooker, just add the 8 cups of water directly to the slow cooker along with all the ingredients.  Instant dinner!!!

In my Head

Sugared Wine Grapes & 

Garlic Chive Fries 

fries wine-graps

Welcome to a special themed edition of the Secret Recipe club!!!  Whenever a month has 5 weeks the 5th week gets a special theme and is open to members across all of the groups!  The special theme for today is Picnic/BBQ which is rather perfect for Memorial Day.  I was given The Cookaholic Wife which is run by Nichole who is “owned” by Gidget and Itty von Kat – her adorable cats!  I might be a dog person but totally understand the concept of being owned by a pet 😀  I totally failed this month at picking one recipe – but it’s a special day so that makes it okay to do two, right?!?!?  First up: garlic-chive fries!  Garlic + potatoes = WINNER!!!  We had friends over for dinner and these fries were devoured in minutes – and for once my hubby didn’t feel the need to coat his fries in Old Bay.   Next up: Frozen Wine Grapes.  These were the dessert for the same dinner and omgoodness they just made the entire dinner seem so fancy.  The best part is I was able to make them during baby’s morning nap, freeing me up in the afternoon to tidy up the place.  Love love love anything that can be done in advance!

Garlic Chive Fries

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the russet potatoes into fries using a sharp knife or mandolin - making them as even as possible.
  2. Preheat oven to 450
  3. Place into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients tossing well to make sure the fries are coated. Pour onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 12 minutes then flip and bake a final 12 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool slightly then serve and Enjoy!!!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/in-my-head.html

With the fries the only change I made was using minced garlic in place of the garlic salt while the grapes were perfect as is so head over to Nichole’s blog for that recipe!!!   These grapes could also be added to a sangria to give it an extra punch or as a practical alternative to a travel ice bag to make sure your food stays cool while heading to a bbq or picnic.

A bonus reason why you should check out Nichole’s blog?!?!  She’s another Maryland blogger!  I’ll overlook that she prefers Delaware to MD’s Eastern Shore, after all nobody is perfect!  I’m actually finishing this post up from MD’s Eastern Shore so I might be a bit partial.

Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

Cheese Sticks

Serves: Makes 45 three inch pieces (9 snakes)

Ingredients

3 10 ounce bricks sharp Cheddar Cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and beat for 30 minutes or until mixture has consistency of whipped cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sift 3 cups of the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add until the dough is somewhat stiff - adding the final 1/2 cup of flour if needed
  4. Portion the dough into nine balls - one at a time roll out into a snake formation going the length of the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While still on the sheet cut into three inch strips and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/can-dream.html

Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.

In the Kitchen

Brigadeiros 

brazilian-truffles

I’m one week behind on this post, technically last week was Brazil week over at /52weeksofcooking but thankfully they have a three week grace period.  When I saw the challenge was to cook something from Brazil, the first thing that came to mind was meat – and lots of it.  Brazilian steakhouses are pretty popular and every year most of my GenCon friends go there for dinner the final night.  Obviously that’s not going to work for my blog but some research pointed me towards a simple and delicious dessert recipe.  Generally I stay away from the super chocolate heavy desserts in favor of caramel but these truffles seemed so easy I just had to give it a whirl.   I found a number of different recipes online, all of which had different cocoa:butter:milk ratios so I gradually added the cocoa until I got the right taste and consistency.

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

Serves: Makes 12 truffles

Ingredients

14 oz can unsweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Heat the unsweetened milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once it begins to simmer whisk in the cocoa powder. DO NOT BOIL (reduce heat if needed)
  2. Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture begins to pull away from the side of the pan.
  3. Pour into a 8x8 baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and lightly flour hands or a melon baller. Form walnut sized and then roll in the sprinkles. Place on wax paper and allow to reset in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/in-the-kitchen.html

 Sprinkles are the traditional topping, or so Google tells me, but any small treat would work – shaved coconut, mini chocolate chips, nuts, or anything else that goes with chocolate!  One word of caution – I used Wiltons sprinkles for these and while they tasted normal to me both of my family members with nut allergies said they tasted very nutty.  I’m not sure if that’s unique to the white ones but will be avoiding this brand in the future!

Also want to wish a Happy 5th Birthday to my favorite nephew 😀

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

biscuit_cookie

Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

Biscuits

Serves: Makes 20 biscuits

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar (10x sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour (sifted)

1/4 cup corn flour (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the sifted flours until just blended.
  4. Form tbsp balls and place on cookie sheet leaving a cookie length between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/need-you.html

I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.