IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
I saw a friend post the most amazing photo of something she’d made and I asked her to share the recipe with me. Then I asked if I could share it with you! That made me realize I’d love to share several of my friend’s amazing tastes, so I asked for more submissions.
August is a great month to try out something new from the kitchen of a friend…or two.
One friend (well, my daughter) is a mom with three littles, and she lets them help out in the kitchen while she creates and tastes!
The second friend has a little boy who's the cutest! She's a great cook and offered to share, as well.
The third recipe is from a friend I've never met in person, but we are best buds on Facebook and in our hearts! Her tomato tart was what inspired this month's heading!
The fourth recipe is from a wonderful friend that serves her large family well, even with all of its challenges. I quite admire her!
Authentic Street Tacos - Lindsey Fultz
This is a super quick meal, as it can be prepared in 30 minutes. You’ll just need a large skillet or wok for the meat, and a small skillet where you can warm the tortillas. Enjoy!
Mission street tacos Mini corn tortillas
HEB Mi Tienda Seasoned Diced Beef
Half white onion, diced
HEB That Green Sauce - salsa
Place about half of the seasoned beef in a wok or large skillet, heat on high, and sear the meat. (You don’t want to do all of it at once, because it won’t sear with the whole package.) Set aside first half, and sear the second half.
Once all sides are browned, return the first half to finish cooking for a few more minutes. It shouldn’t take long, since the meat is diced. Test cut one piece to check to your desired doneness.
Warm the corn tortillas in another skillet to cook them thoroughly, flipping on each side on high heat until brown marks appear lightly, and tortilla is more flexible.
Assemble your tacos with the seasoned beef. Squeeze juice from 1 lime wedge over it, top with onion, and then cilantro. Top with green salsa, to your own taste.
PULLED PORK PASTRY PUFF - Kamrin Wolfe
1 (17.3-oz) package puff pastry, defrosted
3/4 pound pulled pork
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Unfold pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 9 squares. Toss pulled pork with BBQ sauce. Arrange pulled pork and cheese down center of the pastry squares. Fold two opposite corners of each square over the filling and press edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Combine egg and water. Brush each pastry with egg wash.
Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- make sure you don't cut the squares too big; mine tasted great, but ended up being rather large
- I also used the pastry wash to help seal the edges together
- buy pre-cooked packaged meat that you can easily heat up; this will cut the time in half
- add peppers or other seasonings of choice to pulled pork for added flavor
- be sure you roll these up tight or they will flatten out and sink slightly after you pull them out of the oven
IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
by Marcy Lytle
Rather than share recipes this month, I decided to share my faves in the kitchen. There are always new products that are advertised around the holidays and then we buy them, and they end up in that junk drawer – at the bottom – never to be used. Mostly, it’s because they aren’t that great, they are too difficult to maneuver, or time-consuming, or just odd! However, there are some things in my drawers and on my shelves that I use over and over again, because I love them! So, why not share?
A tiny colander – I love having a few of these for holding fruit – either in the fridge or out on the counter. And since my kitchen is orange/gray I love this tiny one for holding cuties!
Spreaders – I have seasonal spreaders, but I absolutely love this new set I found at World Market. The colors are fantastic, and they are heavy duty. They’re great for spreading jam, or butter, or whatever! Just google and search for some you love…
A ladybug timer – My oven timer is never loud enough, and sometimes I just need a timer for other things. Sure, I use my phone quite often, but this ladybug – she’s SO cute!
Tiny mitts – A friend made these for me, but then I looked on line at christmas and found more on Etsy! They’re great because they have a magnet inside, they’re tiny for grabbing items from the toaster oven, and they come in such cute fabric choices!
A salt/pepper box – One of my longstanding faves! Kosher salt in one side, ground pepper in the other – for cooking and pinching – and looking pretty on the counter…
These pouches – I found these magnetic pouches for the fridge at Target. I bought three and hung them in a column on the side of the fridge, mostly for holding notepads and pens. I change out notepads each month! Not sure Target has them anymore…but check Amazon.
Utensil organizer – It doesn’t take up much space, there are lots of cute options, and it holds those items I use over and over again – so it’s a quick grab and a quick put away…
The zester – I realize a lot of people don’t have one of these! I love to zest lemon and lime for dishes – and I hold it with the grate on the bottom, so I can see how much zesting is accumulating on top. Works!
-Mix 25ml (1/4 cup) of oil, lemon juice, salt, coconut sugar and chopped chili in the small bowl. (I put them in the covered jam jar and shake). This is your salad dressing.
-Cook the sweet potatoes chunks in the microwave for 4 minutes.
-Put the rest of the oil into the frying pan. Then add the cooked sweet potatoes, bouillon powder, a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring until the sweet potatoes are caramelized and crispy on the outside.
-Put the crispy sweet potatoes, salad dressing, red onion, avocado and coriander into the big mixing bowl. Fold the ingredients together.
-Serve Vegan Thai Salad immediately if you like a warm salad. Otherwise, it is just as lovely if you serve it cold.
-Do not overcook the sweet potatoes in the microwave as it might be too soft to fry.
-Keep an eye on the pan whilst frying the sweet potatoes chunks as they are easily burnt.
-Vegan Thai Salad can be served as a side salad or main course.
IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
Making it Fun
by Marcy Lytle
Since we are sharing cold goodies over on the Seven 4 You column this month, with lots of good recipes to try, I thought it would be fun to just share some kitchen hacks/lessons/tricks I’ve learned over the years that might be new to you! And I’d love you to add your own in the comments below.
Since I’ve been watching cooking shows and trying out so many new things, I’ve corrected some of my behavior, added a few more tools, and smiled at little tricks that make cooking so much more fun!
Here are my top dozen:
It’s easy to burn granola. Don’t walk away for a minute – be sure to stir and check.
Veggies brown and taste better when cooked in olive oil AND butter – they just do!
A zester works great with the grate on bottom, so you can see how much you’re zesting as it accumulates on the top!
Everything but the Bagel seasoning is good on – well – everything! Not just avocado, but in tuna as well – and lots of places like veggies too!
Organization of recipes is fun with a pretty file box from Lakeside Collections. Have you shopped there, yet?
Making bowls is one of my favorite meals. Just pick a base like rice, pasta, beans, even croutons. Then make 3-4 piles on top of whatever’s in your fridge – cooked bacon, avocado, leftover chicken, nuts, greens, etc. Add a dressing if you wish or not…They’re delish!
Have you tried cooking your favorite nut with a bit of maple syrup, and then adding to the top of a salad or bowl like listed above? To die for…
You can totally make a fondue for two using a can and a bowl, with a tea light inside the can. We just did this on our trip, and it was campy and cute! Just make a few air holes in a can, light the tea light, and place your fondue on top in the bowl.
It’s easy and just as quick to just chop your own nuts on a cutting board as it is to use a fancy nut chopper. In fact, you can control the size and avoid the tiny crumbs.
A good squeeze of lemon brightens up the flavor of SO many dishes, so keep them near you as you cook!
You can substitute a can of black beans for a can of chickpeas when you make hummus, and sub lime juice in for the lemon juice and have black bean hummus! Top with taco meat and other flavors, and it’s so tasty and good!
Pantry organization is super fun and actually turns out so pretty when you move all dry goods into glass containers with lids – to set on your counter or on your shelves. Just cut out the expiration date and include it inside, as well. This works well for rice, pasta, sugar, dried fruit, crackers, cereal, and more! And you’ll love looking at it all…
So what tips/hacks/tricks have you learned?