Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tex-Mex Salad

Tex-Mex Salad
6 servings

1 Bag pre-washed Spinach
1/2 can (15 0z) Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 chopped bell pepper (preferable red, orange, or yellow as they are sweeter)
1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 avocado cubed
Crushed tortilla chips (for garnish)

Arrange salad in that order (I told you it was easy). Can be dressed with salsa or ranch (I love jalapeno ranch!) dressing. To make this a meal, double ingredients and add either taco or fajita seasoned beef or chicken.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Let's take a trip...

Last night's dinner was a little trip down to the Texas-Mexican border. I'm not really sure how authentic this menu is to this region, but it was still tasty. We had Tex-Mex Mac-n-Cheddar with beef and peppers, recipe number 6 out of Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats cookbook and a Tex-Mex Salad I made up on my own. Sorry there won't be any pictures because the mac and cheese wasn't as pretty as it was tasty. If you've ever seen Hamburger Helper, that's pretty much what it looked like. Although, I would have to say that it was infinitely more healthy and tasty than its boxed counterpart (there are some in my family who like HH, I am not one of them).

I am really diggin' the mac and cheese recipes out of this book- there are four with the same prep and basic ingredients. First off, they are rather simple: boil some pasta, make a cheese sauce, add either a meat or a veggie and combine. No real difficulties here. But the different varieties make each one unique from the last. Three of the four I have made (although in this venture I've only technically done two) and I think that my favorite is still the Mac-n- Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower. Last night's dish would come in at a close second. Granted, last night I rushed the cheese sauce and ended up with a rather soupy mac rather than the gooey cheese that I could have gotten by taking my time, it was still well received leaving limited leftovers in the fridge.

If you tune in tomorrow, I will give you the recipe for my Tex-Mex salad... can't wait to make that beauty again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

I am dedicating today's post to one of the greatest books in American Literature.

I am a member of two book clubs, one I am an active member (I read all the books in the time allotted) and the other I am a optional member. How does the optional status work? Well, it really is a knitting group that the members choose to read the same book every month and then we have something to discuss at our monthly knitting night. Both groups chose very different subjects. The knitting group, ironically, chooses craft themed books and the other group is more random (with each member getting to take their turn to pick). Funnily enough, both groups chose the same book for the month of August: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This summer marked the 50th anniversary of this story's existence.

It is written in the perspective of a six year old girl from the tired old (fictional) town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story takes place during the height of America's Great Depression, World War II, and racial segregation. There are really two stories in the book, which start separately but by the end are intertwined in such a way one couldn't speak of one without the other. A strange recluse, a trial where one man's word challenges another, and the coming of age of two southern children create a sobering glimpse into our nation's history.

If you've never read this book, or it has been a long time, you really should read it again. I had forgotten the details of the book, and how much I really liked it. I had read it before, in high school, when it was required of me but as a teenager I had the tendency to read it, write the report, and then promptly forget about it. I think that as an adult I could really appreciate the story on a more mature level.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So I have a confession to make. I made this realization this morning while thinking about this blog and, and trust me it was a no brainer.

I got bored. I got bored making Rachel Ray's recipes all the time. Sure they were tasty, but for the most part they were all very similar. Same type of ingredients, same type of prep, and in a lot of cases, same flavors. Add to that the fact that the recipes always made huge amounts of food. Much more than a family of two and a half would eat. And we've been trying to go on a ''food spending diet'' as well as trying to eat healthier. It's just not working out. Sorry Rachel, I'd like to see other chefs but I still wanna be friends.

So I have come up with a couple of solutions. I'd still like to pursue cooking through 365: No Repeats, but I'd also like to try some different things. I have a couple of cookbooks designed for one or two serving meals, as well as one with over 100 different things to do with chicken (which is perfect for our family, we LOVE chicken). So I'm thinking three or four nights will be dedicated to these ventures (one per the three nights). I'm pretty sure I could swing that, and still remain sane.

I hope you'll forgive me, but a girl's gotta have some variety in her life!

Wine's always good after a tough break up.