Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bread Addiction

My name is Kay and I have a bread-baking addiction.  Yes. It. Is. True.  The sad part is...I have also been eating it.  Dipped in yummy extra virgin olive oil.  With herbs.  Straight to the mouth.

The artisan bread is sooo easy to throw together at night, sit on the counter, then bake in the morning.

this is the recipe I've been using.  I've tried several of the variations and the cranberry/orange zest/walnut is my favorite.

Believe me when I say my butt/thighs can't take much more of this.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Taco Salad...yummmm

I was hungry for taco salad the other day...and this is what I came up with.

I always have frozen hamburger patties in my freezer.  I buy in bulk and package them up in individual sizes, then wrap in foil, put in a plastic bag, then I'm good to go (plus they thaw in no time).

Taco Salad   (2 large or 3-4 small servings)
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning (if not making my own I use Old ElPaso)
lettuce of your choice
onion (I used white sweet, but you could use red onion)
cheddar cheese, shredded
tomatoes, diced
black beans (I started with dried, then followed directions on the label)
avocado, sliced
sour cream
Fresh Salsa  (recipe to follow)
taco chips (my personal favorite is Tostitos brand)

Make the ground beef according to the taco seasoning directions.  I didn't use a full pound of beef because; 1. didn't need that much  2. I like the seasoning a little stronger, esp. in a salad.

I recently got these terrific large bowls at a restaurant supply store, which are great for salads/pasta/chili/soups.  So I just layered everything in them in this order:
    seasoned meat
    black beans
    sour cream
    taco chips on the side

With the salsa, we didn't even need salad dressing.  Ranch dressing, mixed with a bit of the salsa would have been quite tasty though.

 Fresh Salsa
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 jalapeno, or to taste, seeded/diced (I hang on to the seeds if I feel it needs more heat)
onion, 2 big slices or several green onions, sliced/diced
3 cloves garlic (what can I say...we like garlic)
1/2 lime, zest and juice, or more/less to taste
cilantro  (I use a big handful, but we love the stuff)

I use a slotted spoon and get the tomatoes out of the jar and throw them in my food processor, saving the juice if I need to add more later.

Throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Whiz away, making it as chunky or smooth as your family likes/wants it.

Add a bit of the saved tomato juice if you think it needs it.  (I rarely seem to need the extra juice so I just put it in a small container, label it and throw it in the freezer for the next time I make chili, etc)

This is where the fun part begins.  Open that bag of Tostito Scoops and taste away!!  At this point you can add a bit more salt...or maybe you need more heat and need to add more jalapeno...or just some of the seeds, or maybe more lime juice.

I know I didn't really give measurements...but it's a taco salad!!  Once the meat is cooked, just add your favorite ingredients.  That's why I used black beans.  They are the only beans I like.  I'm lucky.  I get all the avocado because hubby doesn't usually eat it:-)