Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

We wish you all a Merry Christmas! Here are some recent pictures, hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I love this KID!!

Here is a recent picture of Kadester. He really is amazing. I mean, Zander is too, in his 2 year old way, but gosh, Kade is what 4 month olds are supposed to be like! He is progressing and developing much quicker than we remember Zander doing. Its wonderful to see the difference, a little sad too. He is a big boy. At his 4 mo check up he was almost 16 lbs. Zander wasn't that heavy until he was at least 9 months old! its been fun seeing the changes.

Zander is talking a mile a minute! Almost everything is understood by at least mom, and dad gets most of it. He can name just about every animal there is, and loves dinosaurs and ocean life the most. Everything is a weapon, and we decided against the play tool set for Christmas because of this. He seems to be very mechaniclly inclined so we thought a little tool set would be fun. I think we will wait until next year.

I hadn't posted anything on the kids in a while, so I thought I would! Hope you enjoy it!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cafe Rio Burritos

Wow, three posts in a row, I am on a roll!!

So, I have never been to Cafe Rio. Heard lots of good things about their food, though, so when I ran across this recipe I decided to try it. I am impressed! In talking to a few people who have been there, I think this is not exactly like a said burrito, but they are tasty, and worth the shot! Here goes:

Cafe Rio Burritos
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin
salt, pepper, garlic salt, to season
1 pkg burrito size tortillas
1 15 oz can (or 1 28 oz can) mild green chili enchilada sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lb Monterrey jack cheese, grated
chicken broth or bouillon cubes
about 2 c prepared rice

*Cut pork into large cubes and place in slow cooker with 1/3 c water (you can use cola also, to add flavor). Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Remove from cooker and drain. Shred mean and place in a bowl. In another bowl mix together 1/2-3/4 c green chili sauce and 1/2 c brown sugar. Pour over pork and mix well.
*Prepare rice per directions. Add chicken bouillon cubes to water or use chicken broth instead of water to add flavor.
*Drain beans and warm up in microwave or on stove.
*Brown tortillas on a skillet or over flame (be careful!!)
*Assembly- Heat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 pan (If you have a larger one, use it!) with cooking spray. Pour 1/2 c enchilada sauce into pan. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese, rice, 1-2 T cilantro, black beans and 1/3 c pork. Roll up burrito style, folding in all sides, and place in baking dish seam side down. After all burritos are made up, pour remaining sauce over burritos and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven until burritos are heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Garnish with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, or nothing at all!! Makes a LOT. We used the whole pack of tortillas, there was a ton. Fed us for a week!!

This is one of Chris' favorites!

Captian Jack's Corn Chowder

The original title of this recipe is 'Chef Jack's Corn Chowder' by Paula Dean. I read it wrong and titled it Captain Jack's Corn chowder, and since I made a few changes, that's what I call it. Here goes!
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
· 1 small onion, diced
· 1 small carrot, finely diced (or more!)
· 2 small celery stalks, diced
· 2 small or 1 large potato, cubed
· 2 clove garlic, minced
· 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
· 3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
· 4 cups chicken stock (2 cans broth)
· 4-5 slices crisp bacon
· 2 cups half-and-half
· 1 cup milk or more to thin a bit
· Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the corn, potato and chicken stock in saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature.
Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the saucepan with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn't lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. Add bacon The mixture should become very thick.
In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. If needed add milk to thin. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

**This is SO SO SO good! The original recipe says it serves 8-10. I made a double batch and had 8 adults over and there were hardly any left overs. Served it with bread bowls, and it was fabulous!!

Super Easy French Bread

A few weeks ago we decided to try out making bread bowls for soup. The Missionaries were coming over for dinner, and I thought it was the perfect time for experimenting! I found a great recipe for french bread and used that. The bread is so good and easy I make it a few times a month, at least, and since its just Chris and I, it lasts a while. The recipe rely on a bread machine to do most of the work, sweet, huh!! Here goes:

Place the following ingredients in order into your bread machine pan:

1 C warm water
2 1/2 C bread flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast (also known as bread machine yeast. Regular yeast is fine, it will just rise slower!)

Turn your bread machine on to the dough cycle and press start. My machine takes 1 hour 20 min to go through this cycle.

After it is done, remove the dough from machine and place in an oiled bowl, turning over so all sides are coated. Let rise until doubled, which is at least 1 hour sometimes more. If I start this early, I just let it rise until I get the chance to do the next step. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched

Once doubled, place dough on a well floured surface. Roll out to a 12x16 rectangle. cut in half, making 2 12x8 rectangles. Roll each piece up, on the long side, like you were making cinnamon rolls. Place seam on the bottom, and pinch ends together. Place on a baking sheet and let rise again for another hour or so, or until they are nice and puffy. The longer they rise the more tender and light the bread will be.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. For a crispy crust, place a pan of ice water on the bottom rack of your oven as the bread bakes. Or if you have a food-safe spray bottle, every 5 minutes or so open your oven and spray water inside. This creates steam, which creates a nice crisp crust!

***Bread bowls*****
Instead of rolling the dough into loaves, I just made balls. I got 3 out of each recipe, they weighed 7 oz each (I like to weigh everything to make sure its even. Call me a dork. . . )Let them rise the second time, and bake for about the same amount of time, I think. Just keep checking. I let them cool, cut the tops off, dug a lot of the dough out, and pressed the insides so that it made the crust thicker. Filled with thicker soups and enjoy!!