Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer

Maren

Maren
I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CORN BREAD TACO SALAD

I feed 10 missionaries every Wednesday and so far they have eaten everything with gusto.  I am on the lookout for something that is a little easier and doesn't require being heated and can be done ahead. I found this idea on Pinterest and it looked interesting.  I tweaked it some from the original.   I will make it again.  I made a double recipe because they eat a lot.  I am trying not to overfeed them but I always get the feeling that they could eat more.


This is the cornbread, which I baked thin and a little crispy and cut into cubes and put into the bottom of an extra large baking pan 12x16.  I would have used something more charming if I were home but I use what I have here.  This is a cornbread recipe from Z'tejaz, a Southwest restaurant chain that is at the Gateway in Salt Lake.  It is good cornbread if you want to bake it thick or in muffins.  I finally found cornmeal here.  I didn't recognize it because it is white and a little finer than ours but it worked great.

Z'tejaz Cornbread


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1 1/2 cups flour
½ C. sugar
2  tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup plain yogurt
2/3 C. corn, frozen or canned (drained)

1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1 tsp. salt
Instructions:
Mix all dry ingredients together. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to form batter.  Spread into a well greased sided smaller cookie sheet  (the batter needs to be about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick) and bake for 15 minutes or until it is nice and brown.  Cool and cut into about 1 1/2 inch cubes.

Cut up a head of Romaine lettuce into bite size cubes (if washed, dry a bit) and put on top of the cornbread.  You want a good couple of inches or so of lettuce, then add:  2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans or pinto beans,  a layer of bite size tomato cubes, some sliced red peppers if desired and some avocados cut up.  At this point add some cubed chicken for a main dish salad, which I did or keep it as a vegetable side.  This can be halved.  It makes a very large salad to feed about 10-12 as a main dish. 

THE DRESSING

2 cloves of garlic grated into a small frying pan with 1 T. oil and 1 tsp. fresh ground cumin seeds and 1 seeded and minced Jalapeno pepper (get out the white membrane to control the heat)   Stir until a little brown. Add: 2 Cups mayonnaise and  1/2 C. buttermilk and 1 loose C. chopped Cilantro.  Even if you don't care for Cilantro you might want to do some here.  The flavor isn't that obvious.  Put into a narrow bowl and blend with an immersion blender or put into the lidded blender and blend until smooth.  Add 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste. 

Spread the top with the dressing and add some grated cheese of your choice.  This can be refrigerated for several hours at this point or even overnight.
When you serve scoop to the bottom to get some of the cornbread.  It is a nice diversion from the normal taco salad and great that it can be made ahead.  I liked it a lot!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BANANA CAKE

I took this to our Missionary District Meeting today and one of the missionaries asked for the recipe.  It is a good easy Banana Cake.  Also someone from our Branch wanted the recipe after I took it to a function and I had to hunt up measuring cups and spoons to give with the recipe.  There are "Chino" stores in every city (we have 5) with all kinds of imported stuff from China.  I found the cups there but had to go to the import store from England for spoons.  And they grow lots of bananas on the Island. 


1 3/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. plain yogurt
3/4 Vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. bananas about 3 - mashed
1 3/4 C. Flour
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Soda 
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

Beat the wet ingredients together and add the dry until well blended.  Bake at 350 until set.  The time will depend on the size if the pan.  I have a 11 1/2 inch square pan that I bake cakes in.  It would work in a 9x13 or layers. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

LEMON RICE KRISPIE TREATS

I cook at least two meals a week for 10 or more people.  I am always looking for something easy for a dessert, especially since I am feeding young people who are easy to please as long as it is sweet.  Rice Krispie Treats are easy and quick.  I am making them with 3-4 T. peanut butter and chopped chocolate with the melted butter and sometimes with 1/2 C. of Nutella added with the butter and both versions have been loved.  I made these lemon ones this week.  I can't say they were as loved as the chocolate but they ate them all and I thought they were fresh and fun, especially for Spring and Summer.  If I could get white chocolate chips I might  stir in a cup of them with the rice krispies.


Melt 3-4 T. of butter in a large microwavable bowl (I only use 3 if I am adding peanut butter or Nutella)
Stir in 2 T. finely grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)
1 T. lemon juice or 1 tsp. lemon extract
The juice makes a softer gooier cookie
A few drops of yellow food color if desired
Let sit for 5 minutes for the lemon peel to infuse into the butter.

Add:  4 C. mini marshmallows and microwave for about a minute until they are melted. Stir until mixed well and add 5 C. Rice Krispies.  Pour int a 9X13 dish.