Sunday, October 14, 2012

pork tamales

 I have been wanting to make tamales for a long time now.  I have actually never had one but thought it would be fun.  Well, it was fun but very time-consuming and not the smartest thing to do on a Wednesday night.  Ha.  

I can't get these pictures to behave and am tired of posting so, I apologize if it's confusing.  :(

Soaking the corn husks.  I used my dutch oven lid to keep them under the water.  

The masa and shortening mixture.  Paste is a good description of the consistency.  

Roasted peppers.  Seed and de-stem them to cut down on the heat.  

Roasted pepper sauce.  

(Below) Pork added to the pepper sauce.  I was smart enough to cook the pork butt the night before.  :)

Putting the tamale together.  I did learn that I should have spread out the masa mixture a lot more.  I was worried about space so I just plopped it on there.  However, I am not sure it made any difference in the taste.  

Soaking the peppers after roasting them.  This mixture then gets blended to make the sauce that the pork gets added to. 

Steaming the tamales.  I used a steamer basket in my stock pot and used some cans of vegetables to hold the lid down tight.  

Finished product!  It was like a pork/roasted pepper sauce in a cornbread mixture.  It was actually a little dry (maybe because the masa didn't totally cover the pork/sauce?) so Brad added a little salsa.  The good thing is this recipe makes about 50 tamales!  We still have a ton frozen for a later date.  Thank goodness - not sure how soon I'll be making these again.  ;)

chocolate peanut butter dessert

I made this a while back for Bill's birthday.  He is a huge dessert fan and his son loves peanut butter!  Brad says this is his favorite dessert ever.  Of course, that will change next time I make something.  :)

This is a lot like Four-layer chocolate delight but with an Oreo crust and a peanut butter twist.  It was delish for sure!  Crumbling the Oreos got messy in a ziploc so I am thinking I will use the food processor next time. This overflowed my 8x8 dish so I will upgrade next time.  

peanut butter crunch mix

This is a great snacky mix.  I used Reese's Puffs instead of Cocoa Puffs.  And, the powdered sugar seemed a bit much so I omitted that.  Yum!

fiesta dip

This is very similar to a taco dip that I do but I like this even better.  Corn makes so much difference - that burst of sweetness is a great addition.  I used one packet of taco seasoning instead of salsa seasoning.  We actually made quesadillas with it later in the week.  I always use the lime and cilantro Rotel in my Mexican recipes.  

herbed smoked salmon cream cheese

As I am sure you can tell, I love cream cheese and cook with it A LOT.  I actually use the neufchatel since it is lower in fat and calories.  This herbed cream cheese can be used in so many ways.  I added a little garlic (it gets overpowering quickly), basil and chives then crumbled in some dry smoked salmon.  You could also top with the little slivers of  'wet' smoked salmon but the 'dry' crumbly kind is my favorite.  Serve on top of sliced cucumbers!

This is also the same spread I use on my apple, bacon and cream cheese sandwiches.  Yum!

quinoa burger

Meatless Monday dinner!  Definitely make the tzatziki sauce to go with it.  I skipped the sugar.  

Oh, speaking of quinoa, check out this hilarious rap video - Whole Foods Parking Lot - with a quinoa cameo.

Ingredients.  You probably have these in the fridge and pantry already.

It will be pretty wet but just spoon it into the pan and round out with a spoon.

creamy garlic pasta

This stuff was amazing!  One-pot dinners are always a plus.  I used whole wheat pasta noodles.  I am betting you could use less cheese and cream too.  Be careful not to burn the garlic!  Adding chicken or shrimp are easy to do as well.  We ate this with my go-to arugula salad and some crusty french bread with a seasoned olive oil dipping sauce.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

birthdays, a shower, a new arrival and football

Time for a catch-up!  We have been busy the last month.  Work gets crazy for me this time of year and we have season tickets this year so we have been in Athens a lot.  I have to work the next couple of weekends but we have no games in Athens so we should be around the house a little more.  I really need to catch up on my recipe posts!!

Dinner at Rae's for Liza's birthday!  Aiden loves his mommy!  Liza and William are engaged so we are getting really excited for that celebration this spring!

Allen and Gail at Rae's.  We don't get to see them much.  :(

Before the Vandy game, we went to visit the Towlers and sweet Pearson.  April and Thomas seem to be getting the hang of parenthood!

Sanford before Vandy.  So pretty.

Blake, Mel, Aiden and Liza at Vallarta for Brad's birthday.  I love to cook (obvs) but he would rather have Mexican.  Makes it easy on me I guess!

Jennifer and Charles are having twin boys!!  We went to a couples shower for them a few weeks ago and had a great time.  Blake, Mel, me, Michele and Jennifer.  Isn't she adorable?

Brad's birthday shot.  I actually missed the real deal so he was kind enough to reenact it for me.  :)

After Liza's birthday dinner.  These boys still love to fight.  Ha.

Upstairs at the new Georgia Theatre in Athens.  Ah, it's amazing.  Hopefully we can go back sometime when it's not so crazy.

Alex and Eric showing off their guts.  Law is checking it out.  William sat out this round.  

Brad and me at Rae's for Liza's birthday.

Levi came to visit on his way twice in the last month.  Loki is the most relaxed dog I have ever met.  I completely covered him with a blanket and he didn't move for 10 minutes.  

Michelle, Georgia and Amber at Vallarta.

Mike and Steve at Vallarta.

Before the Buffalo game.  Yes, I am disappointed about our loss to SC.  However, it is only a game and all we can do is start winning again.  SC's defense is for real....

Our neighbor at the new land planted some sorghum and beans.  He plans to plow it for bird habitat.  Brad is so excited!

Eric's daughter, Tensley, was all about playing with Law.  Too funny!

Before the Vandy game, we went to Theta Chi for an alumni/parent's weekend.  This is the bathroom outside of Brad's old room.  It was still filthy but this Ricky Bobby upgrade cracks me up.  I have to say, the house is looking so much better!

We got to enjoy some Weaver D's at Theta Chi.  Mmmmm...

Before the Tennessee game, we hit the Theta Chi tailgate on North Campus.  Great to see all these folks!  Alex, Court, Eric, Randy, Brad and Will.  Roth, Benji, Beau, Dirty, Steve R and others were there too.  

The girls.  Brad and I rode to the game with Mel/Eric, Alex/Amber and Mel's brother, Whit, with his wife, Katie.  Yep, all in the Lawrence's Expedition.  We had a blast!