Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dig me some happy

So this year, because I was 9 months preggo before spring really hit, I didn't plan or work to have my annual vegetable garden. It's been a tough summer without my, somewhat aimless, wondering among leaves and the few weeds that have been brave enough to show their faces, in my ever so much appreciated garden. I've missed it and have vowed this summer to NEVER go another summer without one. There's so much I can do with fresh stuff that it never gets old or stagnant. I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy summer and picnic fare. But since I've gone without my garden, it doesn't seem the same. That being said, I still appreciate and tinker around in the garden I do have, when I have the time. So I was thrilled to DEATH when Chris' grandpa made these as a little fun to-do project that Chris' mom thought of for me. I took a picture and these are just as cute in person as in the picture and the first thought....I've got to put these on my blog. So here they are for you to see and maybe inspire a little bit. Everyone needs to be sprinkled with happiness to here you go...shake, shake!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Plink Plink Plink

This was the oh, so satisfying sound that graced my dining room this afternoon after I fulfilled my dream of making and canning my own homemade salsa. I made two different kinds, tomatillo and hatch green chile and then I made a more traditional salsa with corn and black beans. Yummy yummy yummy! My dad and family have been making salsa for as long as I can remember. I can recall many Septembers where the family got together and crowded around someones kitchen and made salsa. All day. These were the days of lightning bugs and hide-n-seek in the dark. Thanks to chiggers and the ever rampant seasonal allergies those days are fewer and farther apart but I still enjoy some deck time every now and again but the salsa-making days are still going strong. I'd say that salsa making runs through my family and salsa is definitely in our blood. The more it makes you sweat, the better. I've finally picked up the craft and I'm proud of my first batch. I'll be making more and experimenting along the way just like my fam has. So here's to the first of many! Getcha some chips folks and maybe a drink or may need it.

Tomatillo & Hatch Green Chile Salsa

3 c roma tomatoes, peeled

1/2 red onion

1 lbs. Hatch green chiles, roasted

1-1 1/2 lbs. fresh Hatch green chiles, halved & seeded

1/2 bunch cilantro

6 serrano peppers, halved and seeded

6 limes, squeezed

black pepper to taste

1 1/2 T salt

I processed everything in a food processor and then cooked on medium-low heat for 30 minutes until simmering. Then I canned in a water bath for 15 minutes. This has medium heat.

Traditional Salsa

3-5 lbs tomatoes, peeled

1 1/2 T pickling salt

1/4 c vinegar

1 red onion

4 t minced garlic

1/2 bag mini carrots

3 medium potatoes

1/2-1 lbs Hatch green chiles, halved and seeded
1 poblano, halved and seeded

5 jalapenos

6 Serranos, both halved and seeded

6 T Mrs. Wages salsa seasoning

Process everything in a food processor. Cook over medium-low heat until simmering for about 20 minutes. Can in water bath for 15 minutes. Voila!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I am loving me some salads right now. I've tried two this past week and both were a pleasant surprise and created profound happiness in my mouth for one, and happiness in my heart to know that it was something healthy that I made up for the Foster fam. The first one is a colorful, super kid friendly salad with edamame and corn along with some other friends and the second was a spring mix salad that was tart, sweet, and so DELICIOUS that I had to have a second plate (all without feeling the slightest bit guilty) because it's healthy. Surprisingly, both were filling and I left the table feeling quite full and didn't feel the need to sneak a snack later on, a good thing for me right now. I'm the snacker and I'm going on two months without my super snacking frenzies that I'm very capable of not avoiding. So here you go, some super yummy rabbit food for you and the fam to guiltlessly devour. Eat up and have some seconds!
Spring Mix & Pear Salad
1 pkg Spring mix

2/3 c pecan halves
1/4 c balsamic vinegar, divided
dash cayenne pepper
dash cinnamon
3 T sugar divided
1/4 c olive oil
1 t dijon mustard
1/8 t salt
2 medium pears thinly sliced
1/4 c parmesan cheese
In skillet, cook pecan halves with 2 T vinegar, cayenne & cinnamon over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1 T sugar and cook until sugar is melted, 2-4 minutes. Spread on foil to cool.
Put spring mix in bowl and top with sliced pear.
Whisk oil, mustard, remaining vinegar and salt. I added a pinch of sugar. Drizzle over salad and top with nuts. The nuts in this salad are killer! Would be a great snack too.

Corn & Edamame Salad
3 ears corn
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c edamame, cooked and drained
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, slivered
2 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Boil corn for 10-12 minutes. Cut corn off cob and put into bowl. Add edamame, tomato and bell pepper. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and s & p. Pour over corn mixture. Serve immediately. This will keep up to 3 days in fridge. Yummy and colorful!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hellaciously Good Enchiladas

Oh My, I can cook. Sometimes. This was a creation of my very own and it was a SUCCESS! Wahooooo! Yeah me. Okay, enough tooting of my own horn. I saw a recipe in a magazine for enchiladas and I have to admit that I've never been one to attack such a recipe with much fervor. My dad makes enchiladas and I must say he's made it an art. One that I wasn't too keen on trying or making. He's made it look, seem and taste so effortless that I felt that it wasn't worth my while breaking what seemed unbroken. Well I took a leap of faith in my kitchen, took a little turn from what I was used to and created these. The picture doesn't say much but trust me, these are soooo good!
So here's my version, and dad, your beef enchiladas are unbeatable! But for Chicken Enchiladas, these are IT! So I hope the enchilada doesn't fall too far from the tortilla because I did it folks and I'm pretty happy about it!

Excellente Chicken Enchiladas-Chelle Style

1-2 c Spanish rice (I used the Knorr fiesta rice pkt)
8 oz block cream cheese, soft
1 can enchilada sauce
2 c Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
10-12 flour tortillas
2-4 chicken breasts, depending on how many you're feeding, cooked and shredded
picante sauce

Make rice. In bowl, combine rice, cream cheese, 1/3 can enchilada sauce, 1 c of cheese and chicken. Spray your baking dish. I used an 8x8 pan and used small tortillas since there's just 3 of us. Spoon mixture into tortillas and roll up placing folded side down. Repeat and fill your pan. Top with remaining cheese and enchilada sauce. Dot top of enchiladas with picante sauce and bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I love mexican food. Who doesn't? The chips, the spices, the spicy tomatoes doing their happy little dance with the cilantro, onions, jalapenos and their friends garlic, and salt and pepper! *Sigh* At our house, having hispanic food twice a week isn't out of the norm. We change it up from time to time but tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, flautas...we do it all. Along side these fiestas there's always a dip but my favorite by far, and the most healthy of options, is my pico de gallo. It's a must have topping-you can't have the chips without the dip, the cupcake without the sprinkles, the ice cream with no cone, come on now....get to choppin' and have some already!

Pico de Gallo

8-10 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2-1 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

juice from one lime

1 T oil

4 T fresh cilantro, minced

1 t coarse salt

1/2 t pepper

Mix it all up and let sit for a while. Let the flavors meld and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tastes of Summer

To me, there's nothing better than picnic food. The kind of food that screams family reunion, togetherness, the hoops and hollars of memories shared, good and bad and time around a picnic table. Those times usually include the the mile long table piled high with the summer staples; baked beans, hamburgers, pistachio jello salad and the like. This recipe came from my great friend and mama, Ashley, thank you for sharing this girl! She made this for one of our family dinners and as soon as the sweet tanginess hit my tastebuds, I was in summertime heaven. I hope that you have one of those recipes that brings about the detritus memories of reunions, gatherings, picnics and catching fireflies. Summer is the best time. It's my second favorite season because of everything it brings with it; the growth of nature, the pool, mowing the lawn and the fragrant fresh cut grass, blowing bubbles with Ava, walking barefoot (if you so choose), and flip flops, ahhhh flip flops. Isn't that ever so familiar sound such a way of today? Just slip 'em on and you're ready to go, ready to do anything! Well before you go, take a dive into this salad. It tastes like summer!

Tangy Tomato & Cucumber Salad

1/4 c white vinegar

1/2 c sugar

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

2-3 T olive oil

3 tomatoes sliced

3 med. cucumbers seeded and sliced

1 sm yellow onion halved and sliced

Put all veggies in medium bowl. Whisk together vinegar through oil. Pour over veggies and allow to marinate for a couple of hours or overnight. Enjoy!