Monday, March 24, 2014

Red Iguana inspired Chiles Rellenos!!!

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Hi everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged.  Life has been busy, but good!

I have been meaning to share my recipe for Chile rellenos for a looong time. So I just had to do it today.

It all started when I had my first experience with this dish, at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake. Holy moly, it was TO DIE FOR. I couldn’t believe I never tried it before. My life changed. I had to figure out how to make it for myself.

So here is what I did!

Get 4-5 poblano peppers. Crank up your oven to a broil. Wash them, and set them under the broiler until they are charred.Turn them every so often so they are charred on all sides. Now since we will be stuffing them, you want to make sure they are not roasted to oblivion, so that being said, keep an eye on them and watch carefully that they are not 100% blackened, but I’d say about 50-60%. Put them in an airtight container. Set aside.

Prepare the filling: Get 8 ounces of Pepper jack cheese and 10 ounces of Queso Fresco. Mix them together with one egg. You can omit the egg if you want.

Once the peppers are cool, peel off the charred skin, and make a slit to access the interior of the pepper (they are tender after roasting! So sometimes it tears naturally. This is fine. Just work carefully.) Take out as much seeds as you can (don’t worry about being too thorough) and start stuffing the pepper with cheese. Use toothpicks to help keep it together if you want, but I think it kinda gets in the way of frying. So use your judgment.

Dust the stuffed peppers with flour, and then dip them in an egg mixture (We like to separate the whites from the yolks of 3 eggs, whip the whites to soft peaks, and then fold them together again. This makes a frothy mixture that adheres better to the peppers.) Fry them in hot oil for a few minutes until golden. Let drain on paper towels.

Now for the sauce. Red Iguana used a nice red sauce that tasted like enchilada sauce, so we use America’s Test kitchen’s version of enchilada sauce that works amazingly well. So here is the recipe for that:

RED SAUCE!

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

salt

3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sugar

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 cup water

 

Combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the onion has softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Strain the sauce through a medium mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, you can throw away the leftover onions, or you can mix them with your rice and BAM you have mexican rice! This is what we did and what you see in the picture.

Serve with black beans, rice, and sour cream. Give it a try, you will not regret it!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The seasons, how swiftly they come and go

Well isn’t about time I post about our Halloween? Before Thanksgiving comes and I spiral down a slippery slope of procrastination?

I decided this year I would only visit a pumpkin farm if there were doughnuts provided. I asked friends for advice and they told us to go to Swan’s Trail in Snohomish. There were doughnuts. I was happy.

There were also chickens. Pippa was happy.

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Oh, and I guess there were pumpkins too!

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Our costumes were GNOMES.

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Specifically, David and Lisa the Gnome, from the TV show, “David the Gnome.”

Hardly anyone remembers this show, so we had a fun time at the Trunk-or-Treat telling people we just really like Shrooms.

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I meant to get a much better picture of Pippa’s cute little getup, but this was pretty much all I got. I made her apron with no pattern, the hour before our Residents-with-families party. Not bad.

Pippa was thrilled with the idea of Trick-or-Treating. She would eat candy all day if we let her. Too bad Micah enforces a strict tax on all earnings from Halloween.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bacon Jam

(If the idea of Bacon Jam disgusts you, GO AWAY NOW. And never come back.)

Ok Guys.

I haven’t really posted in a while, probably because nothing to momentous has occurred of late.

UNTIL TODAY.

Today, I made Bacon Jam.

Bacon Jam.

Bacon. Jam.

What is Bacon Jam?

It’s Jam. Made of bacon.

Can you even FATHOM IT?

I couldn’t, when I saw the recipe on Pinterest. It freaked me out. I had to make it. But I hesitated, because what if it was a waste of 1 1/2 pounds of bacon!?

IT WAS NOT.

It started out looking like this.

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Then like this:

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Then THIS!

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And ended up tasting like this:

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What the heck. I’ll share the recipe. It came from Martha Stewart, because she is an evil crafting witch.

 

BACON JAM

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee (We are non-coffee-drinkers so I used Pero)

~ Other things I added:

  • 3 Tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses (I did this because I only had light brown sugar and fake maple syrup) Next time I might even add more…

 

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. STEP 1
    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
  2. STEP 2

    Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped (I just used my immersion blender) Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

It was surprisingly easy to make! The jalapenos were great in it and I recommend them, but you don’t have to do it. I am obsessed with those things though. There is always a jar in my fridge. Always.

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This post is dedicated to Kathy Lee Gifford.

September is the best month by FAR

Seriously though, I dare you to disagree.

Summer in Seattle is AMAZING but,

Right at the beginning of Fall is TOO GOOD.

We started it off with a bang by getting passes to the Pacific Science Center. Micah had a week off and we partied like animals.

I mean, Dinosaurs.

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Pippa loved this car thing, out of everything else in the Museum.

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We then went down to Portland and the Oregon Coast. Even though it was raining while we were there, we were nice and warm in our Yurt. What is a Yurt, you ask? Um, go google it.

All I will tell you is that they are AWESOME and I want to sleep in one again!

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You know what else is awesome? THE OREGON COAST. Like, as in it deserves the word “awesome” awesome.

The biggest, most amazing beach I have ever been on. And I’ve been on a few beaches.

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Look how it goes out FOREVER. It’s like being in heaven.

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We got so wet but it didn’t matter.

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My sand sculpture.

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We stopped by Cannon Beach to check out Haystack Rock. This picture hardly captures the wonder of it.

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We then went down to Portland, where the food is plentiful and the weirdness abounds!

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Also, a Rose test garden.

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On our way back to Seattle we visited Mount St. Helens! If you see pictures of it before 1980, it is amazing to see it with half of it just blown off! Very very neat.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

FASHION PASSION

So, as you may or may not know, I enjoy fashion.

There is a blog that I follow that is incredibly inspiring and tasteful.

Called GIRLWITHCURVES.

Her name is Tenesha. Not only does she have incredible taste, but she regularly styles her hair with its natural texture, and uses minimal makeup. Look how awesome this dress is.

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I would love to hang out and go shopping with her.

But for now I am doing my best to add my voice to the Seattle fashion scene. At the beginning of this month I entered an H&M contest called 50 States of Fashion. (Probably the reason I did it was because I didn’t fear much competition from Seattle-ites who are known for not being the most fashionable. Don’t believe me? click here.) I entered a few pictures, but so far the most popular outfit I entered is this one:

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It looks like I am pretty close to being top-voted for my state! If I can get some more votes, maybe I can get there. If not, it’s still fun to show my love for H&M! (which is finally open for online shopping!!!)

So what you can do is, click on this link: 50 states of fashion

Then, you can either search for my entries by typing “betsyhcroft” in the search box or head to the “sort by” section and click STATE (choose WASHINGTON) and then MOST VOTED. From there you should see my pictures and you can help move up my most popular outfit! Just click on the picture and a little heart should come up.

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The contest ends August 21st. Thanks to all those who have already voted. You are the best.