28 September 2016

Pollo con Jalapeños Acristalamiento y Pimientos Rojos, Verdes y Naranjas

Yum
The movie Frida was the subject of this month's Food 'n' Flix.  This is a beautiful film that makes you uncomfortable in many ways, but ultimately finds you in a place between passion for her work or deeply sorrowful for the painful life she led.  Thanks to our hostess, Debra at Eliot's Eats for this wonderful selection!


The movie has interesting cinematography, weaving a story about a young, passionate, full-of-life girl who is tragically injured in an accident that keeps her in constant pain, a "Yellow Submarine" type of cartoon that pops up randomly here and there, and a eloquent musical of beautiful ethnic music.  I knew of Frida, but did not understand her work, the movie was wonderful in helping understand what she was painting and why.

The movie moves between her pain, her politics, her tempestuous marriage, her husband's betrayals, and her art, not so much in a seamless manner, but in one that jerks you into the reality of the time.  The movie starts in the 1920s and moves through the 1950s. The costuming is wonderful and the way the director pieces the film together is brilliant.

Two Oscars were won for this film, one for Best Musical and another for Best Make Up but Salma Hayek was nominated as Best Actress. 

Personally, I loved Ashley Judd's role, too.

The film had a few food scenes, but the one that inspired me was the big sit down meal when Leon Trotsky (played by Geoffry Rush) comes to stay with them when things get heated between him and Stalin.  The lavish food scene is beautiful.

I named this simple dish in Spanish to capture its beautiful artistry of multi color peppers and succulent chicken.  The dish is made separately and then combined, much like the meal served at the table in Mexico.  




First, we smoke chicken thighs (we like the juicy meat and the ease of getting the chicken off the bone.  We let them rest in their own juices while we prepared the rest of the meal.




 Pollo con Jalapeños Acristalamiento y Pimientos Rojos, Verdes y Naranjas

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 T candied jalapenos
1 onion, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 T grapeseed oil (can use olive oil, too)
salt and pepper
Fox Pointe seasoning (Vom Faas)

Saute vegetables in oil until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper, and Fox Pointe seasoning.  Plate the vegetables, layer chicken on top, and top with the candied jalapenos.  Serve.

Delicious with tortillas, too!
Food 'n Flix Club Logo

Want to join us?  Click the link above to learn more about our adventures.  We turn movies into food!


26 September 2016

Beautiful Fall Wreaths to Grace Your Home

Yum

Have you ever wondered why we place a wreath on the door in the fall?  The story starts in ancient Greece, where farmers would take strands of their crops, mostly wheat, and braid or weave them with red and white yarns and place on their door in thanksgiving for the crop.  The Greeks believed that the wreath would protect them from plagues and crop failures and as a symbol of that good luck, was hung for the whole year.  The typical shape is round, to represent eternity, or eternal gratitude.

In Europe, in the early days, the wreath was the identity of the home, much like house numbers are today.  Each wreath was a unique combination of flowers and plants, usually grown in their own greenhouses.  What a fun way to identify homes:  head south on the road, pass the Rose Wreath, until you get to the Lily Wreath.  Turn left, the first house with the Daisy Wreath is what you're looking for!  (how fun!)

At Christmas, the wreath is round for eternity and evergreens are used as they represent strength. The traditional colors of green and red have meaning, too.  The red is the blood of Christ and the green is for the continuation of life.

 I love learning new things!  Now, look below, which are your favorites?

Cranberry Wreath – by A Beautiful Mess
Monogram Wreath – by Lil’ Luna
Elegant Autumn Wreath – by Positively Splendid
Colored Denim Scrap Wreath – by Crafts by Amanda
Paper Hydrangea Wreath –by Lia Griffith
Glittered Fall Leaf Wreath – by Uncommon Designs
Canning Lid Wreath – by Funky Junk Interiors
Book Page Wreath – by Knick of Time
Fall Paper Leaf Wreath – by Burlap and Blue
Whimsical Clothespin  Wreath – by Ribbons and Glue
Fall Hydrangea Wreath – by Simply Designing
Burlap and Yarn Ruffle Wreath – by Nemcsok Farms
Fall Pumpkin Wreath – by Skip to My Lou
Black Licorice Wreath – by Saved By Love Creations

22 September 2016

Amazing things to make with Pumpkin!

Yum

Pumpkin is such a wonderful ingredient to work with in recipes.  The mild but distinct flavor makes it a fall favorite, since fall is traditionally pumpkin harvesting season!  Pumpkin is also an easy ingredient to purchase, being available all year in canned varieties.  My personal favorite of canned pumpkin is Libby's.  Libby's pumpkin is made from pumpkins in Illinois, a specific type of pumpkin, and has a slightly sweet yet pumpkiny goodness that I love.  It is also very consistent can to can, which I have found not to be true in other brands.

I am writing this in a separate paragraph for a reason:  DO NOT confuse CANNED PUMPKIN PIE MIX with canned pumpkin.  The pie mix is much more runny and has various spices and more sugar than what you might want in your recipe.

Pumpkin pie puree is fairly easy to make yourself if you are willing to spend a bit of time.  I learned how from the Pioneer Woman YEARS ago.  It is fairly easy and it is so delicious.  Use pie pumpkins. That's what they are for.

However you choose to get your puree, try some of these recipes to satisfy your pumpkin urges this fall.  You will be glad you did.

Pumpkin Biscotti – by Simply Recipes
Pumpkin Fudge – by Nemcsok Farms
Pumpkin Pie Bars –by the Gunny Sack
Chipotle Pumpkin Enchiladas – by A Beautiful Mess
No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes – by Lil’ Luna
Pumpkin Cookie Pie – by Crazy for Crust
White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte – by Delightful E Made
Pumpkin Scones – by Handle the Heat
Creamy Pumpkin Hummus – by Real Food Whole Life
No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Icebox Cake – by the Kitchen is My Playground
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies – by Five Heart Home
Coconut Pumpkin Granola – by Home Cooking Memories
Pumpkin Spice Turtles – by Totally the Bomb
Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treats – by Domesticate Me

21 September 2016

September Reads

Yum
I love reading.

It takes me on adventures that I know I will never go myself, such as living a homeless life, or that of a drug addict, or living in a 400 sq ft cabin off the grid.  Those experiences aren't for me yet, I long to know what it is like for people living in those situations.  The same for the book I just read called Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler.


The book is a historical romance about an Amish family making a hard decision to move west.  A sweet romance between Amish youth, family love, a ill pregnant woman, and a rescue, along with horse thieves and murderers, this book has a little bit for everyone!  The book engages you to sit down at the campfire, eat a little something, and plan for your future with some of the most kind people you will ever meet.  The characters are strong, caring, a bit willful, human and and God fearing.  The story is a page turner.  The author's evident research makes the story believable and interesting.  The characters are facing exciting times at the end, which I hope means there will be future stories about them to read!



I finished a nonfiction CAT book called Kit Kat and Lucy by Lonnie Hull DuPont.  Lonnie is an award wining poet, book editor and writer.  She is a member of the Cat Writers Association and lives in Michigan with her husband and their cats.  I loved this memoir of a woman, who after living a successful life as a poet in San Francisco, moves to the countryside of Michigan to be near her family.  During this time, two cats find themselves in the home of Lonnie and her husband and the adventures begin!

If you are a cat lover, you will read this book from beginning to end and find yourself nodding yes all the way through.  Even Lonnie's quirky habits about her cats (over worrying, long rambling passages about why she keeps her cats indoors) do not diminish the hilarious antics of her Russian Blue and the tortoiseshell cat.  There's a couple of stories about vets she didn't like for reasons that, I think, were simply personal, and made me a bit uncomfortable. Overall, however, this book will please cat lovers everywhere!

I was given these two books for free in exchange for my honest opinion about the books.  All opinions are my own.

Other September recommended reads:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena  (think: Girl on the Train)
My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry by Fredrik Backman
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

What books have you read this month?

15 September 2016

#BBColorOurWorld~Black

Yum
I am proud to be a part of a group of bloggers called Blooming Bloggers.  We meet on Facebook to discuss blogging issues and to support one another with social media.  Our common ground is gardening (see what I did there?  common ground) and we also support each other through that as well.


We came up with the idea of a monthly series of posts centered around colors.  A garden's favorite thing to do is to use color to accent or highlight or to make someone say, "Wow!"  Colors permeate through much of what we do all throughout life as well, so you will get the chance to see a variety of posts all focus on one specific color for the month.

In September we chose black.  If nothing, gardeners are fearless.

I knew we were starting strong and with quite a challenge, but you will see that these bloggers rose to the challenge, so without further ado, let me introduce you to each blogger and their post this month.

Say hi to Teri Schuler from The Freshman Cooks.  Teri made these delicious Midnight Black Whoopie Pies.  Don't they look divine?  I swear, I almost picked up my keys and drove to house (in North Carolina) to get one!


Next up is Lynne Cherot from Sensible Gardening.  Lynne wrote up the most comprehensive post on black flowers.  These babies are nothing short of gorgeous and what beautiful bouquets they would make for you!


Shoshi Brandt from Blooming Secrets also shows us how to incorporate black into the garden with a variety of plants, blooming and nonblooming, that feature the color black.  Shoshi reminds us that black can be combined with many colors to create a striking arrangement in the garden.


I love visiting Renee Fuller's blog The Gardening Frog because she likes to mix it up on her blog, posting a variety of interesting articles on a wide variety of topics.  Her post on incorporating a touch of black in home decorating is sure to inspire you as you decorate your own home.


Then there's me.  You will remember that recently I posted about the Black Swallowtail Butterfly that has made residence at our home in the blog post here.


I hope you enjoyed our round up on the color black. Next month we will feature the color ORANGE and we will post our round up on the third Thursday in October.  Looking forward to seeing you then!


14 September 2016

Smashed Broccoli #UltimateRecipeChallenge

Yum
The #UltimateRecipeChallenge is a fun event designed to inspire us to use a specific ingredient and then create a recipe to share on our link day!  This month our fearless leader, Kim Six from The Kim Six Fix challenged us to use broccoli.  Like she stated in our challenge information,  "I know broccoli isn't the 'sexiest' ingredient.. but that is what will make this link up unique!"




This was the perfect choice for me because I have been wanting to make up a broccoli mash.  Ever since the cauliflower mash craze, I have been making mashes from all kinds of vegetables and loving each and every one.  Broccoli mash was no exception!


Broccoli Mash

by Our Good Life
Cook Time: 20 minutes


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • a small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • coarse salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • a pinch or two of red pepper flakes
Instructions
Steam the broccoli until fork tender - cook it well.
In a medium sized frying pan heat the oil and butter together over medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, stirring often. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream cheese and Parmesan, cook just until warm. Using a masher, mash broccoli and cheese together until the desired consistency.
Season - well - to taste - with salt and pepper - if you don't add enough it will be bland tasting.
Powered by Recipage


13 September 2016

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly is living at my house!

Yum
Last year my husband put in a butterfly garden for me.  With the help of one of his colleagues, Sue, we put in a variety of native Missouri plants.  Last year they greened up a bit and the rabbits ended up eating some, so we wired a fence around the garden and this year the plants did very well.  So well, in fact, that we are seeing some butterflies!

Do you see the caterpillar, too?  He'll be a black swallowtail, too!
The first butterfly I noticed was the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.  I happened to see it first while on my front porch visiting with my neighbor, Tina.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to land on my finger so I could look at her closely.  My second sighting was in my backyard.  I grabbed my cell phone and captured a few images and with the help of Sue, was able to identify the butterfly!

The Black Swallowtail has a number of names, American swallowtail, parsnip swallowtail, parsley swallowtail, celeryworm, and caraway worm (Miller 1992).  It is a common butterfly, but I wasn't sure that I had ever noticed one before. The black swallowtail is found throughout southern Canada, most of the eastern and mid-western United States west to the Rocky Mountains, and southwest into Arizona and northern Mexico.

One can tell the males from the females by looking at the wings.  On the upper part of the wings the two rows of yellow spots are large on the males and smaller and lighter in females.  The part between the rows of spots is iridescent blue on the females.  

I've seen some other butterflies as well.  

12 September 2016

Grilled Pineapple Guacamole #SecretRecipeClub

Yum
The Secret Recipe Club is a group of people who love to cook.  Each month we are given a blog to go to and to find a recipe we want to make.  We post our chosen recipe and introduce you to the blog!  It's a lot of fun and I enjoy getting to know some new bloggers.  We are organized by the ever lovely Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

grilled pineapple guacamole

This month I was assigned to Cheese Curd In Paradise.  The curator for this blog is Ashley, who lives in Wisconsin *got it!!! and is a mom to two littles.



I loved looking through her blog.  She posts many of her Weekly Meal Plans and I am sure some of my other blogger friends and readers would be into seeing what a busy mom does to eat at home!  I also found these Dilly Dust Deviled Eggs and this Crustless Quiche.  Both which will be on my future menus!

The recipe that took me in, that said, Make Me, Make Me, was this Grilled Pineapple Guacamole.  When I saw this, I blinked twice and thought, "where have you been all of my life?"  I am huge avocado fan. Check out these past posts:  Strawberry Avocado Salad, Good for You Mousse, Breakfast Salad, Avocado Hummus, and so many others!  

So here it is, the recipe that was waiting for me to find it:

grilled pineapple guacamole
Grilled Pineapple Guacamole

adapted by Our Good Life from Cheese Curds in Paradise
Ingredients
  • 4 avocados, peeled
  • 2 (1 inch) thick fresh pineapple slices
  • 1/4 c diced tomato
  • 1 1/2 T finely diced onion
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
Heat grill to medium and grill pineapple till it is charred. How much char you like will depend on your preferences and you will need to adjust grill time to your taste.
Remove from grill and cool. Chop and set aside.
In a medium bowl mash the avocado with a fork. Stir in the pineapple, tomato, onion, lime juice, cilantro, garlic paste, chili powder and cumin. Mix well. Season with salt if desired.
Serve as a topping for salmon, on top of a burger or hot dog, or with corn chips. Yummy!
Powered by Recipage

09 September 2016

Using my Three Tier Tray for Fall Decor

Yum
I have wanted to purchase a three tier tray for some time now, but I hadn't found the one I really wanted.  I found some pretty ones, the ones made with china plates that were dainty and perfect for cookies and tea, I found some rustic ones that were cute but didn't go with my decor, and then today, I found this lovely wood and silver tray that fit my needs beautifully.

Fall three tier tray

I love their versatility and I am definitely going to take advantage of that by decorating it for fall now, and later for Christmas.  I love that it has a bit of sparkle.  I used a lot of things I already had on hand to decorate this one.

A handmade card, pine cones, and pumpkins and gourds from last year fill the bottom.

The center section has mini popcorn eats, acorn ornaments, and pumpkins. 

The top tier has pumpkins, ornaments, green berries, popcorn and
oversize acorns, plus a sweet note given to me by a friend.
I am using it on my dining room table with candles and a sweet chalkboard I found.  I love that it goes so well with my new chandelier.  I am happy with the rustic wood bowels and the shiny silver poles.  I think it looks fantastic on my table.



Do you use tier trays for decorating?  What have been some of your favorite ways to use them?

07 September 2016

Heath Bar and Banana Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Yum
The American pancake is derived from the Johnny Cake and the Hoe Cake, both made with milk, molasses and "Indian meal."  Eggs were added but then called Slapjacks.  Whatever and however today's pancake arrived, I am so glad it did.  I am also very happy that our host for Foodie Extravaganza, Caroline Williams, choose pancakes for us!



Pancakes are a blank slate when it comes to the varieties that can be made.  The simple batter allows for all kinds of additives and that's exactly what I did here.  This pancake came about because I had crushed Heath bars in my pantry and bananas on my countertop!



I have a couple of must-dos when making pancakes:  

1.  Let the edge become dry (see how the moist area shines and the dry area doesn't?  This is the perfect time to turn the pancake!)



2.  DO NOT push down the pancake after you turn it.  Let it rise, rise, rise! The inside will cook faster if you don't push it down!


Ok, now that we've cleared up my pet peeves, let's get on to the goodness that is warm Heath Bar and Banana Pancakes!

Heath Bar and Banana Pancakes

by Our Good Life
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes each
Ingredients (4 pancakes)
  • 1 c pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c Heath Bar pieces
  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced and chopped
Instructions
Mix together pancake mix, milk and egg. Let rest 10 minutes. Preheat skillet. If water droplets dance on the surface, it is ready for frying. If desired, add a little butter to the pan and melt. Add in Heath bar crumbles and chopped banana. Fold into batter. Use 1/4 c measuring cup and pour into center of pan. Let edges bubble and turn opaque. Turn. Let pancake rise (do not push down!) Let look until edges look dry. Remove to plate. Repeat, until all batter is used or until you have the number of pancakes you want.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and Heath bar crumbles. Serve with maple syrup.
Powered by Recipage

See more pancake ideas for this month's Foodie Extravaganza below, hosted by Caroline of Caroline's Cooking. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes by Cooking With Carlee

  • Buckwheat Pancakes by A Day in the Life on the Farm


  • Caramel Apple Pancakes by The Freshman Cook


  • Caramelized Banana Topped Pancakes by cookinandcraftin


  • Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pancakes by Sew You Think You Can Cook


  • Churro Pancakes by Cookaholic Wife


  • Corn Panki / Corn Pancakes by Sneha's Recipe


  • Gluten-Free Pikelets with Homemade Butter by Culinary Adventures with Camilla


  • Heath Bar and Banana Pancakes by Our Good Life


  • Masala dosa by Caroline's Cooking


  • Panqueques con Dulce de Leche (Argentinian Dulce de Leche Crepes) by Tara's Multicultural Table /


  • Peaches and Cream Crepes by Fearlessly Creative Mammas


  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes by Making Miracles


  • Pineapple Upside-down Pancakes by Love from the Kitchen


  • Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Pancakes by Hardly A Goddess


  • Spring Onion Pancakes with Spicy Dipping Sauce by Food Lust People Love