We had a great time with Luis, Conchi & their daughter Marta. Here are some photos:
Today I made this healthy snack again. It’s one of our favorite snacks and you can use any spices you like. I like to use olive oil instead of the spray.
While the oven is on, I like to throw in some potatoes to bake for meals during the week to save on energy. When I’m done using the oven, I leave the oven door open to heat the kitchen in the winter. One other thing, this recipe is off the web but I find that after rinsing the beans I toss everything in a large ziplock bag and then spread it out on a baking pan and toss the greasy bag in the trash.
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, heaping
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
cayenne, to taste
Drain garbanzo’s in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Shake to help remove water. Let sit to drain while proceeding.
Cover a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour garbanzos on the foil and spread them into a single layer. Take a few sheets of paper towel and gently press over the top of the beans just to remove any extra liquid- speeds cooking time too.
Spray top of beans with cooking spray and sprinkle seasonings over the beans. Shake pan to help distribute the seasoning and make sure the beans are all in a single layer.
Place pan in an oven and set to 350 F- no need to preheat. Use lowest rack on oven and return every 15-20 minutes or so to shake the pan so nothing burns. Be gentle or they may spill over the sides. Cook until beans are browned and crispy. About 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and pour into a plastic bowl with tight fitting lid to cool. Careful they are HOT to the touch!
Snack away! Keep these stored in the bowl for best freshness or in a ziploc bag.
For a list of Free Kindle books click the link below. Thanks Rebekah!
John has made another batch of olives this year and we seasoned them with different flavors… garlic, madras curry, hot & spicy, oregano etc. Very yum!! John is getting very good at this curing business.
“I would rather have my people laugh at my economics than weep for my extravagance.” ~ King Oscar of Sweden (1829-1907)
I like that quote. I’ve found that when I challenge myself to make do with what I already have on hand, we can usually eat pretty well and we can save a lot of money in the process! I’m attempting to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible and sharing my results on my blog. Now, let me say that I am not going to completely avoid buying groceries each month. I always need that odd ingredient or soap & toilet paper. I don’t need to buy a lot of vegetables because I’m growing all our own lettuce & mesclun, arugula, radishes, etc and we do get 3 eggs a day from the hens. So, salad is on the menu each day. We also eat John’s home-cured olives each day on our salads. I seasoned each jar with different flavors like cumin, garlic, red pepper to just name a few.
In this recipe which I will make today, I’ll use all I have in the pantry. See my comments next to each ingredient below.
Asian-Style Fried Rice and Beans
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced, or one 8 ounce can pineapple slices-I had some canned pineapple in the freezer
1tablespoon vegetable oil-I used oilve oil
2 medium carrots, thinly biased-sliced-John sliced this for me… last 2 I have
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger*-I’m using ground
2 cups cooked brown rice**-I made extra so I can make a rice crust for a quiche later this week.
1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained-I had cooked & canned these last year.
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup snipped fresh cilantro-I planted a whole row in my garden and we are enjoying it almost daily in our salads too.
1 lime, halved- I’m using lemons from our lemon tree
Fresh cilantro leaves
1. Quarter pineapple slices. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add pineapple; cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet; set aside.
2. Pour the remaining 1 teaspoon oil into the hot skillet. Add carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds.
3. Stir in brown rice, garbanzo beans, and peas. Add soy sauce. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the 1/3 cup cilantro. Return pineapple to skillet; heat through.
4. To serve, squeeze lime over pineapple mixture. If desired, top with additional cilantro leaves.
This could be a main dish with a salad but I’m serving it with fish and using yet another pantry item that I need to ‘move’. This time it’s a seasoning packet for fish that I think will be really good with the Asian Rice dish. Here is the packet of the seasoning I will be using:
- Fresh ginger is a freezer gem. Place unpeeled ginger in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for fresh ginger, peel and grate in its frozen state, no thawing required.
- Leftover or quick-cooking microwaveable rice also works great.
Last year I asked John to buy me a yogurt maker for Christmas and it has been used faithfully ever since. It’s not only really yummy yogurt, it’s cheap to make. I buy greek yogurt in individual container sizes (full fat) and add it to 1 liter of skim milk and I get 7 jars of yogurt.
Here is the price breakdown (at the current exchange rate of 1.25):
1 individual greek yogurt- 0,25€ cents (31¢ -USD)
1 liter of skim milk- 0,74€ cents (92¢ -USD)
Total for 7 jars-0,99€ cents ($1.23 USD)
Price per jar-0,14€ cents ( 17½¢ USD)
I use this plain yogurt for quiche, soups, sauces, & I eat 1 jar + oat bran every morning for breakfast. I like to make a sauce using 1 plain yogurt with fresh garlic and dill for fish. It’s also great used to top baked potatoes.
Homemade yogurt can also be made with fruit, or added flavors. I’ve made it using a touch of orange extract as well.
John and I voted (absentee) last week, and even though they may never be counted, we have: voted, prayed and are now resting (well, I can say I am… John can speak for himself.)
1 Help, Lord, for no faithful one remains;
the loyal have disappeared from the human race.
2 They lie to one another;
they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips
and the tongue that speaks boastfully.
4 They say, “Through our tongues we have power;
our lips are our own—who can be our master?”
5 “Because of the oppression of the afflicted
and the groaning of the poor,
I will now rise up,” says the Lord.
“I will put the one who longs for it in a safe place.”
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in an earthen furnace,
purified seven times.
7 You, Lord, will guard us;
You will protect us from this generation forever.
8 The wicked wander everywhere,
and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.
Here are the 6 packets of Sloppy Joe mixes I have in the cupboard and it’s time to get serious about pushing through these… I mean really, how long should they be kept in the pantry? I used one packet yesterday with this recipe that I found on the McCormick website.
Texas- Style Sloppy Joes
1 pound ground beef- I used a jar of ground beef that I had canned last year- very handy to have canned meat on the shelf
1 package McCormick® Sloppy Joes Seasoning Mix
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed- I didn’t have pinto beans so I used Cannellini Beans
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles
8 hamburger rolls or flour tortillas- I used the flour tortillas because they were in the pantry.
Shredded cheese (optional)-Not optional for me
1. Brown ground beef in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
2. Stir in Seasoning Mix, pinto beans, tomato sauce, ketchup and chiles. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Serve in rolls. Or, place 3 tablespoons meat mixture along center of each warmed flour tortilla. Top with shredded cheese, if desired. Fold over edges of tortillas to serve. I filled the flour tortillas with the cheese added and then fried them.
These burritos were good. Not gourmet but a good use of the ingredients on hand in the pantry.
Many of you have expressed surprize when you heard I had broken my finger scrubbing the carpet. Boy, I was too! Our daughter Anita has a friend who suffered this break while dusting. Maybe housework is too dangerous to do… I’ll think about that. Here is a very simple explaination of this apparently common injury:
As I have posted previously, John brought home 45 pounds of potatoes earlier this month. That coupled with the 3 eggs I get everyday from my 3 little red hens, makes for an awesome spanish tortilla. John helped me peel the potatoes because of my finger (mallet finger- in a brace). The dish you see, is the typical type for tortillas in Spain. They are about $12 here as compared $37 in the USA. It’s one of my favorite things.
No doubt about it, the Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. It is also called Tortilla de Patata or Potato Omelet. Bars and cafés serve it as a tapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to transport, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette.
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
1 whole yellow onion
5-6 large eggs- best if they are from your own sweet red hen
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt to taste
This tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata makes 8-10 servings as an appetizer, or 6 servings as a main course.
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8″ thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook.
Peel and chop the onion into 1/4″ pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture.
In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes (that means LOTS). You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn. It’s like boiling potatoes but using all good quality olive oil instead. You do ot want your potatoes to have color, just cooked.
Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.
Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn – or the tortilla will! When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.
Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
If you are serving as an appetizer, slice a baguette into pieces about 1/2 inch think. Cut the tortilla into 1.5” squares and place a piece on top of each slice of bread.
It is simply delicious served with sofrito, fried tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and olive oil sautéed in a frying pan.
It is not necessary to slice the potatoes paper thin, and it is best not to use a food processor because most will slice the potatoes too thin, and they stick together.
How do you know when oil is hot enough to fry the potatoes and onions? Drop a single piece of potato or a bit of bread into the oil. It should sizzle.
Remember to watch the heat while frying. If the oil is too hot, the potatoes will brown rapidly on the outside, but will be raw on the inside.
After frying potatoes, place the potato and onion mixture in a colander for a few minutes to allow more oil to drain. If you do this, place a plate underneath to catch the olive oil and you can use it again.
The following are a few of the most popular variations to the classic Tortilla Espanola.
Green Pepper – Add 1 green or red bell pepper (chopped) to the potatoes and onions and fry.
Chorizo – Slice a Spanish chorizo sausage and add to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Or, simply slice Spanish chorizo and combine with beaten eggs in the frying pan.
Ham – Using a couple thick slices (1/4″) ham, finely chop them. Then add the pieces to the potato and onion mixture after frying. Canadian bacon or smoked ham that you buy in a deli work well for this variation. Be careful to adjust the salt accordingly, since ham may be salty!