I’m an insomniac. I’ve had trouble sleeping through the night off and on for the last six years. I fall asleep okay, as long as I drift off before Mr. Snoresalot. I wake up between 2:00 am and 4:00 am several nights a week. I wake up with a dog right where my feet should go. So I move my feet and contort my body, fully convinced if I could put my feet right where Summer dog is, I’d get comfortable and fall right back asleep.
But the dogs rule here, so instead, I position my feet so as not to disturb the dog. I think to myself ‘if I did yoga, this wouldn’t feel like a contortion’ then I add it to my mental list ‘start yoga (again) tomorrow’. And that’s how it begins. I’m a thinker, list maker, and I aspire to do more than I have time for. Woven in there is a little self flagellation, like ‘if you would have taken care of X right away, you wouldn’t be lying awake thinking about it’.
I typically sneak out of bed at that point and start my lists, then read hoping to get sleepy enough to doze off. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The next day I’m tired, too tired to start yoga, again. I pump myself with coffee, make myself believe that I’ll take a nap and/or go to bed early. None of which I’ll ever do. But Einstein didn’t sleep much either, right?
And so there I was the other night, waking up and the dog was at my feet, again I was thinking that I need to do yoga, maybe get involved with a Reiki circle, call the tax lady and oh my, Super Bowl is coming up and I haven’t posted a single recipe. After a little usual self flagellation, I get the idea for this dip. Out of my tired can’t sleep brain, I come up with what possibly could be the perfect dip. Continue reading “Southwestern Pizza Dip” »
I really didn’t know what to call this concoction. It was born out of a craving for a BLT, only there wasn’t any ‘L’ in my house for a BLT. Okay, so I’ll have a BAT, no not a blood alcohol test (I’d probably fail that one). I mean Bacon, Avocado, Tomato.
Are you serious? I didn’t have the ‘T’ either. Dang, guess I’ll have guacamole.
But I really, really want BACON!
Think, Rhonda Think!
Light bulb ON! Did you see it? It looked like I stuck a flashlight in my mouth.
Okay, it didn’t look like that, I was just funning you. But you knew that already.
I had some sundried tomatoes (a winter staple in my house), there’s the “T” but it’s not quite the same a nice juicy thick slab of a tomato on a BLT. Slurp, drool, smack my lips, bacon, avocado, and sundried tomatoes, mashed up together….oooh and add garlic and a little red wine vinegar and there I had it, an avocado mash something. This was so incredibly tasty that I wanted to share it, but I felt it needed a name. Who posts a recipe without a name?
It seems like this is a common conundrum, I create, I write, but the name game…hmmm, much more difficult.
I got an email from Erin over at Big Fat Baker that announced the next holiday for the Holiday Recipe Club was going to be Buddha’s Birthday. Whoa, you say….Buddha’s birthday? That’s right, It just so happens that the Holiday Recipe Club is spreading it’s wings and going international, baby. Which suits this blogger just fine. The only criteria for the HRC is that you must use at least one of the given ingredients. In celebration of Buddha’s birthday we were given a choice of: garam masala, sesame seeds and tofu. Continue reading “Garam Masala & Preserved Lemon Hummus” »
In the package that I received from Bella Sun Luci were julienned sun dried tomatoes and red peppers. My sun dried tomato cooking usually leans towards Mediterranean cooking, but when I saw this package with the red peppers, I went South of the Border for inspiration.
I have been excited about the Secret Recipe Club ever since I read about it on Feast on the Cheap (one of my all time favorite blogs). After reading about it, I knew I wanted to participate. I’ve been looking for a club of some sort like Daring Cooks, only I’m not to daring. However I love a good secret.
What is the Secret Recipe Club? It’s a lot like a Secret Santa. Each month the participating bloggers (another cool thing…you don’t have to participate every month) get assigned another blog…secretly. You select a recipe from that bloggers repertoire and make it and post it on reveal day. Reveal day is so exciting, everyone blog hops and checks out what everyone has done, plus you find out who your Secret Recipe maker was.
This is my first month participating and I got assigned The Freshman Cook. The Freshman Cook is a blog designed for the beginner cook. You’ll find menu plans, grocery lists and basic cooking terminology and instructions. I immediately perused the recipes and picked out Tiramisu Mousse. Tiramisu is my favorite all time dessert and I was eager to try an easy mousse version.
But then I got to thinking, I said to myself “Giggles, you really aren’t a Freshman Cook, how can you review the site as an experienced cook?” Then my eyes rested on my Baby boy, I wasn’t exactly a Freshman cook but he was. Plus he’s a senior this year and needs to be ready for being out on his own (boohoo, sad mama).
The only thing is that my baby doesn’t care for tiramisu, tragic I know. So I plug him into the computer and let him choose his own recipe, it only seemed right. There were quite a few recipes that caught his eye but he finally settled on the Southwestern Spring Rolls. He also doesn’t care for avocados, so we substituted the avocado sauce for a homemade taco sauce and have included both recipes so you can choose or make both.
My poor baby had reconstructive foot surgery to correct his Flintstone (flat) feet, which meant he was in crutches. I had to set up everything for him and I did the frying. Crutches + deep frying = accident waiting to happen.
The recipe ended up being absolutely delicious and the rolling instructions were great. The kiddo did have a few comments though: When he made the grocery list, there wasn’t an amount listed so that meant guessing..not to comfortable for the freshman. He was also not sure how to slice the green onions, use the green part, slice thinly, etc. And the same went for what size dice for the tomatoes. He also would have liked to known how many spring rolls the recipe makes. We ended up with 10 but I think if he was a little more frugal with the stuffing we would have got 12.
Warning photo overload alert! I took pictures of my baby at every step…Mise en place for crutch boy.
Although the recipe called for corn niblets, we had leftover corn on the cob, it seemed appropriate to cut the corn off and use it.
We always grate our own cheese, for simplicity it is easier to purchase already shredded cheese like the original recipe called for.
After minor deliberation, the baby boy sliced the green onions as thinly as his skills allowed.
The assembly (not pictured the tomatoes).
An added step. My baby boy felt that he needed to pack/gather all stray ingredients together before rolling.l
The fold over.
Something doesn’t seem right so he referenced The Freshman Cook blog to see what is up.
Now we have it right.
The egg wash and continuing on. At first my poor baby was thinking that this wasn’t any fun, but once he got the hang of it, he was proud of his work.
His first few rolls, a bit fat and oddly shaped.
He got a little lazy and I showed him how the next two turned out.
Finally, he got the size and shape right. Once it was all done, he was very proud of himself and decided that rolling the spring rolls was kind of fun. He suggested that next time he invite his friends over for a little competition. Isn’t that just like teenaged boys…men…to turn everything into a competition.
Our recipe includes the amounts that we used to make 10, I believe if you double the ingredient list you would use the entire package of egg roll wrappers, which just might feed a couple of hungry freshman like boys.
Southwestern Spring Rolls by The Freshman Cook
10 to 12 egg roll wrappers
1 16 oz. can refried beans
1 cup thinly sliced green onion (tops included)
1 cup corn niblets
1 cup small diced tomatoes
4 oz. cheese, grated
Canola oil for deep frying
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water (egg wash)
Preheat frying oil to 350F. For the spring rolls, lay out one egg roll wrapper, place some grated cheese in the bottom top with approximately two tablespoons of refried beans, sprinkle on about 1 tbsp., each of corn, tomatoes and green onions.
Fold in the sides of the egg roll wrapper, then fold up the bottom. Brush the top of the wrapper with a little of the egg wash then fold over to seal the spring roll. Brush entire roll with the egg wash. Deep fry the spring rolls two at a time for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve with avocado or taco sauce.
1 smashed Avocado
1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon Buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons White Vinegar
1/8 teaspoon Dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
Dash Dried Dill Weed
Hot Sauce to Taste
Put every ingredient in a bowl and mix well.
Smash the avocado.
Taco Sauce (the best you’ll ever have…)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (look for a sugar free brand)
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. sugar
Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan, simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool before serving.
Summertime (or near summertime if you live in Montana), makes me naturally want to eat lighter. I’m a big veggie lover, more veg than fruit please! However, my vegetable drawer has been known to have many a vegetable lay in waste…wanted but forgotten. That’s where the guilt comes in, the truth is that my veg go bad because I am just too lazy to take the time to make it ready to eat (unlike fruit which is almost always nearly ready to eat after a wash and/or peel.
If I actually take the time to wash and cut my vegetables, they seem to have no problem disappearing, especially when I have a dip on hand. Green onion and dill dip is so simple to make with few ingredients, just enough to bring out the flavor but not mask the deliciousness of a fresh vegetable.
Green Onion and Dill Dip
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 to 4 green onions, whites and green parts minced
3 tbsp. minced dill weed
1 clove garlic minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well, refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour prior to serving. Serve with fresh vegetables or chips. It’s great on fish too!
McGyver was the official taste tester, after all who would know his dad’s recipe better? See we only had a list of the ingredients and not the quantity. McGyver had a general idea of what the recipe called for, and at one time in our married life I had actually got the exact recipe from Grandpa HoHo. But I put it somewhere safe and naturally I can’t find it now. Not wanting to call and ask for it again, (I didn’t want to appear as scattered brain as I am) I decided to keep making this dip until I got it right.
Good news, McGyver knew immediately what the difference was from right away after my first attempt. “More Shrimp and chop them up” he says, “the dip should have a slight pink color”. So I followed his words of wisdom and ba-da-boom-ba-da-bing, it turned into a beautiful thing.
Not sure if was really a good thing, because now I don’t have an excuse to make it every week….
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 green onions, minced finely
2 4oz cans tiny shrimp, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice on med speed with a mixer.
Unless you are Grandpa HoHo, then mix it by hand.
You can mix it my hand even if you aren’t Grandpa HoHo if that’s how you like to do things.
Mix it till it’s smooth and creamy.
Mince up those green onions.
Rinse the little shrimp, rinse them really, really well. They are really, really salty little guys.
Add the shrimp and green onions to the cream cheese mixture.
Now I didn’t chop up my little geisha shrimp (isn’t that name so adorable?). I knew my mixer would take care of it for me!
Add salt and pepper. If you add salt, be very careful…those salty little shrimp were enough for me!
I served it this time with some celery…thought if I was going to make it every week I better serve it with something healthy.
How was I to know it would be perfect on the second try?
Pure simple unadulterated guacamole. I’ve read many guacamole recipes that call for a variety of ingredients such as garlic, tomato, onion and jalapenos. But the truth is, I love, love, love avocados. So much so that I don’t want to have my guacamole covered up by any flavors. Just salt to enhance the flavor and some lime juice to retard browning and also to enhance the avocados natural creamy green goodness. This is as simple as it gets, only 3 ingredients, and a celebration of the avocado.
1/2 tsp of salt plus more to taste
Juice from 1/2 lime
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit. Slice lenghtwise and crosswise to make small cubes. Using a spoon, scoop out the green goddess into a bowl.
Mash with a fork till desired consistency (I like mine slightly chunky).
Add the salt.
Juice the lime.
I’ve had my stepsons staying with me, and like good boys they’ve helped with the kitchen duties.
Who am I kidding, they were forced to do dishes….house rules.
Anyways, they didn’t know where I put things so instead of asking (cuz that would make sense) they put things away to wherever seemed appropriate at the time.
For the life of me, I could not find my juicer.
So I enlisted Thing 2 to juice my lime with a fork.
Mix together and serve immediately.
If you can’t serve immediately put one of the pits in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and it will help prevent browning.
It just seems like the nicer the weather gets, the busier we get. Especially here in Montana where the nice season is short. You want to take advantage of every nice day you possibly can. For example today McGyver cleaned out the garage, Ryan mowed the lawn and I cleaned house. Well, that’s not exactly how one pictures spending a beautiful spring day, but we have Scouts tonight and we have our daughter’s wedding in Las Vegas next weekend, so we needed to get the dirty (now clean) deeds done.
Before this fabulous salsa, Baby Boy swore he didn’t like salsa. He just doesn’t like anything spicy (sometimes you have to wonder, are you really my brood?). Being a good sport and all, BB decided to sample it. Umm, can we say it was gone before I knew it?
I really enjoy pico de gallo, but it is really only good when you have in season tomatoes. This is my winter solution. You can certainly increase the heat if you don’t have a Baby Boy to please.