What's for dinner? Puchero - a Mexican stew - served with tortillas, avocado slices and coriander or parsley or cilantro

Make in large crock pot or very large pot. Or better yet, 1/2 the recipe.
Extras for us is what's for lunch.
Serves 8-10

1 lb boneless lean round of cubed beef
2 pieces of beef bone marrow
1 large chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
12 peppercorns
1  3lb chicken cut into pieces or shredded (since I'm allergic, I left this out today)
1/2 lb cubed smoked ham
1/2 lb cooked chorizo
2 t salt
4 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
4 large thinly sliced carrots
1 C cut green beans
1 C corn
2 large zucchini, chopped
1 large plantain, sliced thinly
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
2 avocados, peeled and diced
1/3 C fresh coriander or parsley or cilantro, chopped
Lime slices, optional

Put beef, marrow bone, onion, garlic & peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with water and simmer slowly for 45 min.

Remove marrow from bones.
Give the bones to the dogs or place in Ziploc then freezer to give the dogs treats at a later date.

Add chicken, ham, chorizo, salt, potatoes and more water if needed to keep meat covered. Bring to boil then simmer slowly for 25 min.

Add carrots, plantains and green beans. Simmer 15 min more.

I had to transfer everything to a crock pot at this point b/c my Dutch oven wasn't large enough. Then add corn and zucchini. Cook 5 min more.

Add garbanzo beans & cook 5 more min. Pour into bowls and garnish with avocado slices and coriander or parsley.

If you'd like, offer everyone lime slices to squeeze on top of soup.

I served my family this with tortillas. It would be good with cornbread or tortilla chips as well.

What's for dinner? Pulled Pork with Mango BBQ sauce (Similar to Aarti Party's) with homemade Brioche Rolls & Restaurant Style Cole Slaw

Pulled Pork with Mango BBQ sauce
servings 4-6

1 - 3lb boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt
2 T brown sugar
1 T paprika
2 t salt
1/4 C oil
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 diced onion
2 T minced ginger
1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced (too hot? remove seeds)
2 C mango puree
1/2 C fresh lime juice
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 T molasses
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce

If you can't find a pork shoulder that's 3 lbs, buy a bigger one and cut it to the weight you need. Just "guesstimate."

Remove excess fat if you want to, I think a little makes it juicier though.

RUB: Combine brown sugar, paprika & salt in small bowl and massage into the pork shoulder until well coated all over. Set aside while you make BBQ sauce or make this a day ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

BBQ SAUCE: Heat oil in saucepan over low heat until hot. Add cumin. Once sputtering subsides, add onions, ginger, Serrano and salt to taste. Saute until soft but no color. Add rest of ingredients. Simmer 5 min.

Add pork shoulder to saucepan coating with the sauce. Cover and gently simmer until pork falls apart, stirring and turning often about 3 hours.

Place all ingredients in crock pot & cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Remove pork from pan and shred using 2 forks. Return to sauce pan and stir to coat with sauce.

Put a generous spoonful of pork inside a brioche bun, top with a few slices of pickle (optional) and cole slaw then serve immediately.

Brioche Rolls

"Let them eat cake!" - Marie Antoinette

makes 8 - 1/2 lb rolls

1 1/2 C warm water
1 1/2 T yeast (or 2 pkts)
1 T salt
8 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 C honey
1 1/2 C (or 3 sticks) unsalted melted butter
7 1/2 C flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 T water)

Pour water into large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top for 5-8 minutes. Add salt, eggs, honey and melted butter. Mix in flour stirring with a wooden or bamboo spoon until mixed. Place in oven at 100 degrees to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and punch down. Place in refrigerator to chill. Use within 5 days.

Dust surface of cold dough with flour and cut off 1/2 lb (orange sized) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter turn as you go.

Place onto pizza stone and allow to rise for 1 hour and 20 min or 45 min in a 100 degree oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 20 min before you want to bake it.

Brush the top crust with egg wash.

Place in center of the oven and bake for 35-40 min or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

Restaurant Style Cole Slaw
serves 8

16 oz bag coleslaw mix
2 T diced onion
2/3 C mayo
3 T oil
1/2 C sugar
2 T vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t poppy seeds

You can either make this in a bowl or large Ziploc bag.

Combine coleslaw mix and onion in bowl or Ziploc.

Whisk together the rest of ingredients in another bowl or Ziploc until well blended.

Pour mixture over coleslaw and toss to coat.

Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

TIP #42: Can't find Mango Puree at the grocery store?

I want to make Aarti Sequeira's pulled pork with mango BBQ sauce tomorrow for lunch. I sent Ryan to the store with a list and the only thing he couldn't find was mango puree. Poor dude, he looked everywhere for it and even asked for help. So he bought me some mangos to make my own puree. I love that man!

Buy 2 ripe mangos.

Peel, seed & chop mangos.

Add it to a blender with 1/3 C sugar & 2 T water.

Blend for 1 minute. There's your mango puree.

Recipe #74: Milky Way Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Milky Way Cake

7  2.05 oz Milky Way candy bars
1/2 C melted butter
2 C sugar
1/2 C softened butter
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 C buttermilk
No buttermilk?
1/2 t soda
3 C flour
1 C chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine candy bars and melted butter in saucepan and place over low heat until candy is melted, stirring constantly. Cool.

Cream sugar and softened butter. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine buttermilk and soda and add alternately with flour, beating well.

Stir in candy mixture and pecans.

Pour into greased and floured tube pan and bake 1 hour & 20-30 min or until cake tests done.

Put a plate or platter on top of it and turn it over while it's still hot.

Chocolate Glaze

1 C powdered sugar
1 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
4-6 t milk

Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Drizzle onto cake.

What's for dinner? "White Girl" Enchiladas

These are super creamy enchiladas.

"White Girl" Enchiladas

Meat mixture:
2 lb hamburger meat
1 medium chopped onion
1 pkg taco seasoning

Cheese Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
4 T flour
3 C milk
8 oz Velveeta cheese
1 C sour cream

12 flour tortillas
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes

Cook meat in skillet over med-high heat with onion, salt & seasoning.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix butter, milk, sour cream and Velveeta then whisk (you can even use a fork) in flour. Cook until melted and hot over med heat.

When the meat mixture is cooked, place in tortillas, roll up and place in greased casserole dish(es).

Pour cheese sauce over top.

Bake at 350 degrees until cheese sauce starts to bubble and turns brown about 30-45 min.

Remove from oven and if desired, top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

Serve immediately.

Great to serve with "White Girl" Rice & Beans.

What's for dinner? BBQ Ribs in the oven with mashed potatoes & peas

BBQ Ribs

serves 4

1 side baby back pork ribs
2 scallions cut in 2" pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T chili sauce or salsa
2 T ketchup
4 T soy sauce
2 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 t salt
2 T honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Fill baking pan with 2" boiling water, add ribs and bake 1 hour.

Combine scallions, garlic, chili or salsa, ketchup, soy sauce, water, corn syrup and salt. Remove steamed ribs to a shallow pan (or just drain the water like I did so I didn't have to dirty another pan) and cover with sauce. Bake 2 hours on 275 degrees. Turn ribs occasionally and baste with sauce while they are cooking.

Brush both sides with honey. Increase heat to 375 degrees and brown for 10 minutes. Turn ribs and brown 10 more minutes. (I left mine for longer and burnt them. So only do 10 min.)

Serve with sides of your choice. I made peas and mashed potatoes (with skins). Other good choices would be collard or turnip greens, salad, corn, creamed corn, corn on the cob, baked potato, steamed vegetables, squash casserole, scalloped potatoes, pureed cauliflower, homemade bread, etc.

What's for dinner? Stuffed Cabbage & Honey Challah Bread

Honey Challah Bread

1 C warm water
 1 t sugar
2 t yeast
4 C flour + some for kneading
1/2 C honey
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3 T olive oil
1 T salt
1 T poppy seeds

Combine water and sugar in bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top and set aside for about 8 minutes.

Put 1 C flour in large bowl and make a well in the center.

Whisk honey with 1 of the whole eggs, the yolks, olive oil and salt in a small bowl and pour into the well. Stir to combine. Add yeast mixture and 3 C flour, stir to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until soft, about 10 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and place in oiled large bowl.

Put in oven on 100 degrees for an hour to rise. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for a minute, shape into a ball and return to bowl. Then back in the 100 degree oven for another hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it or use a pizza stone like I did.

Turn dough onto a clean work surface and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll and stretch each piece into a rope 12 - 15 inches long. Arrange ropes side by side on the work surface.

Starting at the far end, braid the ropes.

When the bread is finished tuck both ends under and pinch to seal.

Place loaf on prepared baking sheet or stone.

Place back in the 100 degree oven for another hour to rise.

Then turn up the heat to 375 degrees and take out the bread. Beat remaining egg. Brush loaf with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake until golden brown about 35 minutes.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 1/2 lb ground meat
1 C cooked rice
1 minced onion
8-12 large cabbage leaves
1 egg
salt & pepper
garlic salt
1 large can tomatoes
2-3 T vinegar

Mix ground meat, rice, salt, pepper, egg, onion and garlic salt. Wilt cabbage leaves by pouring boiling water over them. Fill each with the meat mixture, fold over and wrap tightly then place in Dutch oven or other deep kettle and cover with tomatoes and 1 C water over low heat for 3 hours.

Add vinegar 10 minutes before serving time.

Surprisingly Canaan ate 1/2 of one of these!

What's for dinner? Tuna Burgers with Poblano Relish & Orange Ginger Mustard Glaze on Pumpernickel

This is not the type of recipe to make if you're not into cooking or don't have much time. This took me a good couple of hours to make and was so busy doing this and that, I didn't take any pictures during the process.

Makes 4

Orange Ginger Mustard Glaze
1 1/2 C orange juice
1/2 C white vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t peeled & finely chopped ginger root
1/8 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t pepper

In small saucepan over high heat, combine juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger & brown sugar and bring to boil. Cook until it's reduced by half, stirring occasionally about 30 min. Add mustard and cook 2 more min. Remove from heat and add lime juice and pepper. Let cool at room temperature. May be refrigerated for 1 day. Makes 1 C.

Poblano Relish
2 poblano peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded
2 1/2 medium dill pickles
1/8 C red onion
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1/2 T honey
1 T cilantro
salt & pepper

Brush peppers with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until charred on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 min then peel, halve and seed. Combine ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Let sit at room temp 30 min before serving. May be refrigerated, covered for 1 day. Serve at room temp. Makes 1 1/2 C.

Tuna Burgers
1 1/4 lb tuna steak, coarsely chopped by hand
salt & pepper
4 pumpernickel rolls OR 8 slices pumpernickel bread
1 C watercress

Shape tuna into 4 round patties about 1 1/2 inch thick. Lightly wrap in plastic wrap and place in dish & refrigerate until cold. The burgers must be very cold to hold their shape while cooking. Put them in the freezer for 30 minutes if in a time crunch.

Heat grill or griddle on high. Season with salt and pepper and grill 3-4 min. Remove and brush on one side with glaze.

Serve on toasted pumpernickel bread, top with relish and watercress. Serve glaze in a bowl on the side for dipping.

I made Canaan a TEE PEE for his 2nd birthday & the funny story about Canaan picking out the fabric

I've made this for Canaan's 2nd birthday because he's always bringing me blankets to make him a tent. So since we live in New Mexico, I had to make him a tee pee. His bday's not until April 1st but he's having so much fun playing in it. In fact, I found him this morning after he woke up playing in it & playing hide & seek with Cosmo.

The story about Canaan picking out the fabric at Joann's:
He's in the cart as I'm pushing through the printed cotton fabric aisles. He reaches out and grabs a bolt and pulls it into the cart as I'm looking on the other side of the aisle. I look over and laugh. It's butterfly fabric & the butterflies are pink, orange & black. I told him that fabric was for girls as I was laughing. He's hugging the bolt of fabric at this point then tells me, "NO! It mine!" I end up prying it out of his hands as he's screaming & yelling, "NO! Mine BUFFLY! MINE BUFFLY!"

I'm still laughing as I hurry to another aisle away from the "bufflies." I take him over to where some of my favorite designer fabrics are. As we're looking, he reaches out and grabs Alexander Henry's "Everglades" which totally matches with his room (aqua & orange)! He hugged the bolt of fabric and patted it, rubbed and kissed it. Even if I didn't like it, I didn't have the heart to take it away from him...again. Hey, it's better than the pink butterflies!

Used the out of print Butterick B4251 pattern which I purchased uncut on Etsy.
Made Tee pee B & needed:
(6) 1" PVC Pipes - 84" long (have your local home store cut it for you, if needed - Hart's Hardware in Moriarty cut it for free for me)
Drill with 3/8" drill bit (borrow one, if you don't have it OR just use a vice like I did)
2 yards 1" ribbon or rope to tie pipes together
3 yards 1" ribbon for front ties
1 1/2" x 1 1/2" fusible interfacing remnant to reinforce button holes
Main fabric - 45" - 10 yards
Contrast fabric - 1 3/8 yards
Matching thread

 This was part of his happy dance.