Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Birthdays and Spanish Rice

Wow we've been busy around here! Jeremiah's and Josh's birthdays are only two weeks apart. So we've had lots of birthday celebrating, and unhealthy, but delicious eating. We've also been working on our living room area and have some great additions, including this beautiful piece of art!!!

Found the DIY plan on pinterest. Here's the website if you'd like to give it a try. It was super easy and I love the way it came out.

I haven't had much time to create any new and delicious recipes, but I have been cooking it up around here and pulling out some of our favorite recipes for birthday festivities. One of my love languages is food after all... That is one of the love languages right?

I didn't really take many pics of the food. Weird, I know! But it was just so good, or maybe we were just so hungry, everyone was halfway through their meals before I even thought of taking pics.

For Jeremiah's birthday I tried to allow him to make all the food choices. Being that he was turning three, it really wasn't a varied or exciting menu. When I asked what he wanted for breakfast he said cereal. "Really, just cereal? What about pancakes?" "No." "Waffles?" "No." "French Toast?" "No. Just cereal." Fortunately I'm the parent and I got to veto that ruling. Pancakes it is! I made the original, non-healthy version and added chocolate chips. So delish! We even used Mrs. Butterworth's. What a celebration!

Enjoying birthday pancakes!
Everyone had full tummies!
For dinner Jer requested Mac 'n' Cheese, of course. That I was willing to accomodate, simply because Josh and I both love it! Fortunately we had come across some delicious mac 'n' cheese the weekend before at Panera Bread. Apparently they have a new recipe and it's really good. We were a little jealous of Jer's meal when we ate there. So Josh asked me to figure it out. We had a plan but I decided to search the internet for a copycat recipe just in case. Guess's on the Panera website! How exciting is that! It's a white mac 'n' cheese, super creamy and yummy. You can find the recipe here. It is by no means healthy or good for you, but definitely good for a splurge.

For Josh's birthday celebration meals we went all out. I made Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast, the recipe I posted a few weeks back. We tried it on French bread instead of the whole wheat, and I must say I like the whole wheat better. Go figure. Dinner was Josh's favorite tostadas: tinga. It's weird because it's a Mexican dish I'd never heard of till we saw them make it on America's Test Kitchen. You can find the recipe on their website. You have to sign up to get it. It's worth it. Basically it's pork shoulder braised with thyme, onions, and garlic. Once it's cooked you smash it up and fry it with chipotle, garlic, oregano, and salt. Then you eat it on top of freshly fried corn tortillas. Topped with queso fresco... it's mouthwatering! My mom made refried beans and I made Spanish rice. Yeah. There were no vegetables.

The next day we did a short "tour" of coffee shops in San Francisco. We started at Blue Bottle and had poached eggs on toast and a "waffel", which will be recreated in our kitchen this weekend. I'll let ya know how it turns out.

And then after some shopping we made our way to Four Barrel.

It was a good day!! Gosh, I love food! And coffee... and my hubby!

I know this is really long already, but if you'd like to know how to make Spanish rice, here's my recipe...

Spanish Rice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 C Long Grain White Rice
1/4 of an Onion, diced or in long thin slices
1-1/2 C Water -- heat it in the microwave for a minute or two till it's almost boiling
1/2 C Tomato Sauce -- I usually just use regular sauce but the Pato brand is really good and spicy
S & P
Garlic Powder

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. When it starts to shimmer add the rice. Stir it around to coat the rice. If some of it seems dry add a little more oil. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  You want the rice to brown but not burn. Once it starts turning golden add the onion and cook for another couple minutes to soften the onion. When the onion is translucent and the rice is golden brown, add the water and the tomato sauce.  Season liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Taste as you go. This is your only chance to season it so make sure it's good. Bring it to a boil then lower heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check at 15 and stir it up if it needs it. Eat up!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Egg and Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

Burritos are amazing. You can basically put anything in a tortilla and it'll taste good. Now, I'm not recommending this, but my dad puts tuna in his tortillas. My mom swears they grew up eating peanut butter and jelly burritos. And one of the only ways I'll eat mayo is is rolled up in a warm corn tortilla. So good!

That being said, I almost feel silly posting a recipe for a burrito. Seems like such a simple thing. What I'm really sharing is the way I learned to make amazing scrambled eggs from watching "The Chew". Thanks to Michael Symon and Mario Battali for teaching me what I should have known for at least the last 10 years!

But, before I get to that, I must tell you that the best breakfast burrito I have ever had by far was at a restaurant called "Soup Nuts and Java Jazz" on Maui during Josh's and my honeymoon. It was the most random little cafe, but that burrito has been recreated time and again in my kitchen! It was pretty simple actually -- chorizo and eggs, black beans, cheddar cheese. Served on a bed of Spanish rice with a side of salsa. OMG! So flippin' good!!! Try it sometime. You'll love it!

Anyway, back to my weekend burrito, and making delicious scrambled eggs! They're super easy and buttery. So good!
Jeremiah enjoying his burrito!
Egg and Black Bean Burritos
4 eggs, scrambled
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or 4 white American cheese slices, torn
4 soft tacos size flour tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
2-3 Tbsp Butter
Salt to taste

You wanna start with a good size pan, 10 or 12 in. Heat it to about medium heat. While it's heating crack your eggs and scramble them up really well. Do not salt! Now drop a couple pats of butter, maybe even a tablespoon into the pan. Swirl it around the pan to coat. When it starts bubbling (not browning) it's ready. Pour the eggs into the pan and add some more butter. Let it sit for a bit, just about 15-20 seconds. Using a spatula swirl the eggs in long sweeping motions. Add salt and continue to stir the eggs. As they're beginning to cook through add the beans and cheese and keep stirring till the eggs are cooked, glossy, not browned or over cooked. They almost look under cooked, but don't worry, turn them off, remove from heat, and let them sit while you heat up the tortillas.

Heat your tortillas on a cast iron griddle or directly over a gas burner. Make each burrito as the tortillas are heated. Before you put the egg/bean mixture into the tortilla, put some extra cheese onto the tortilla. Don't overfill, wrap it up, and enjoy! You can add salsa, homemade or Tapatio. So delicious!

If you're a visual person you can check out the clip of Michael Symon making the perfect scrambled eggs (along with the entire steak and scrambled egg tacos recipe) here.