Monday, 27 June 2011

Ok, why doesn't the Jump break work in blogger?

I'm about to get hacking to figure this one out.

Why, oh why, doesn't the Jump Break work in my blog?

SOMEtimes, very occasionally, it does work, sometimes it doesn't work right away, but works a few hours or days later, and other times, what the BLEEP it never works.

Any ideas out there? Perhaps a bigger stick…?

Update: using the BBQ for the Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

You might remember my rave blog of the recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken…

We tried a twist yesterday - some in the oven, some in the BBQ.

Oh yummy me!

So, the BBQ one was a little fussier - my S.O. admitted that he might not have had the heat high enough, and perhaps fussed with it a little too much flipping it a few times, making the crust a little broken, but overall, I feel the experiment was a success!

The flavour of BBQ with this chicken was delicious. The oven version is definitely evenly browned and crispy, but the extra BBQ smokey flavour was a win.

We'll try again, maybe we'll use the tray with the holes we use for shrimp and small veggies and see how that goes.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Sad News

Well, I'm in my 40's and I'm down to a single grandparent. Tragedy? Well for me. Most of my friends have lost their grandparents some time ago, many never even knew them.

My father's mother passed away Tuesday after supper.  From tough farming stock, and immigrating to Canada in 1957 as a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution, my father brought his sister and mother to start anew.

As of late, she hadn't been well, and around Christmas 2010 she had been bounced in and out of hospital/emergency wards by the Alberta Health Services following impossible and ridiculous policy for almost 5 weeks.  It was another number of weeks before a placement was found for her in a long-term care facility. But as of late, she was gaining weight, eating well, and overall her health was stable if not improving a bit.

I being not a religious person at all, (some would call me agnostic), but for her, a cornerstone and her community. I'll add an image she'd appreciate.

So, off my father goes to set the wheels in motion to get the funeral arranged. While it had been mostly arranged in advance by my grandmother, some parts you can't book in advance.  So…booking the funeral home.  Dead stop.  The funeral home has loaned out ALL their vehicles to another branch and that, is the end of that. "So have it at another funeral home", we tell my dad.  Nope. She wanted it HERE.  Good grief. This funeral home doesn't deserve to have her business.  Who loans out EVERY single car effectively closing up their business for 5 days?!?! While I don't need a chauffeur to get to the gravesite, we at least need a hearse! It's a HUGE inconvenience for anyone attending who could have traveled in the evening and on the weekend, now have to plan to be away from work and travel mid-week.  Thanks funeral home. I'll be sure to direct my business, and everyone else I speak to about it, elsewhere.

My nephew is a little disturbed as this is the last in a notable number of passings over the last few months. He's just becoming aware that there is a finality to existence.

I am very happy to see my other grandmother getting around, she too is made of tough stock. A War Bride, pioneer, conscripted farmer and prairie settler. I'm hoping her twilight years are long, pleasant, and fulfilling.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Scooter Rally kick off tonight!

Don't have a scooter? Awesome - come anyway!

Get your Rally Packs for $25 - t-shirt, map, and other goodies inside!

Munchies and festivities starting at 6:30. Ride to follow.

Awesome Enchiladas-bump!

One of the blogs I really enjoy following is Gluten-Free Goddess, and she posted one great looking recipe.

I decided to give it a try, and it was super worth staying up late to make…no, the recipe didn't really take very long, I was way, way, off-schedule, and was hungry so I made a late supper.

And, in the same situation as Karina, I didn't have the exact ingredients on hand, and veggies from the pepper and chile family aren't always my tummy's best friends, so I made some modifications.  They turned out fantastic.

Here's Karina's recipe with a very nice picture, and my modifications are below after the break. Sadly, no picture, I was a little spaced running on fumes and 4 hours sleep. Again. I have the other pan in the fridge waiting for supper tonight - maybe I'll remember to take a photo for you. Recipe after the jump.

Gluten-Free Goddess
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I vary the recipe sometimes by adding a schmear of cream cheese down the middle of the corn tortilla before spooning in the sweet potato filling. And the chile sauce can be mild or hot. However you like it. Both are tasty.

Quickie Green Chile Sauce::
1 cup light vegetable broth
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch dissolved in a little cold water
1 generous cup chopped roasted green chiles- hot or mild
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin or chili powder, hot or mild, to taste

For the filling::
1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh lime juice from 1 big juicy lime
2 heaping cups cooked sweet potatoes, smashed a bit, but still chunky [I cube mine, then soften just a little]
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or curry, mild or spicy, as you prefer
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To Assemble::
2-4 tablespoons light olive oil or vegetable oil, as needed
8 white corn tortillas (I used Mission gluten-free tortillas)
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or vegan cheese, if desired

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Choose a baking dish that would hold 8 enchiladas.

Make your Quickie Green Chile Sauce by combining the broth, dissolved arrowroot, green chiles, garlic and spices in a sauce pan and heating over medium-high heat. Bring to a high simmer. Simmer until thickened. Taste test. Set aside.

In the meantime, using a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the lightly smashed sweet potatoes with the chopped green chiles; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the Quickie Green Chile Sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

Grab a skillet and heat a dash of oil. Lightly cook the corn tortillas to soften them - one at a time - as you stuff each one. Lay the first hot tortilla in the sauced baking dish; wet it with the sauce. Spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center. Top with 1/8 of the black beans. Wrap and roll the tortilla to the end of the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Top with the rest of the sauce. If you like, top with a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are piping hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Serve with a crisp salad of baby greens and herbs spiked with oranges, strawberries, watermelon or halved grapes. Serves 4.


Recipe ©2005-2011 Karina Allrich

16 June 2011 - Monica's Modifications:

Used Tomatoes instead of green chiles, and tapioca starch instead of arrowroot.
I used the large brown rice tortillas from Food for Life, available in the organics freezer section at Save-On Foods or Planet Organic, check your local Sobeys too.  Made 5-6 Enchiladas with a little filling leftover. Perfect for a snack.

Chipotle powder & chile powder instead of cumin (to taste, not to the measures in recipe)

The "sauce" took a very long time to cook down/reduce by 30%, 30-40 minutes, but did not thicken - I suspect the acid in the tomatoes might have inhibited the tapioca starch. Was still mighty tasty, and just enough to coat the tortillas.

Doubled the cilantro, and chopped extra for topping after heating.

Added salt to sauce - tomato acid needed balancing.

I used a Yam instead of Sweet potato.  Ran through Børner slicer for uniform chunks. One small-medium-ish yam was enough.  Microwaved about 6 minutes with a bit of water

Mixed all the filling components together in one bowl - Made an error and put it all into one bowl. Doesn't seem to need to be in two separate bowls - mixed up evenly and seems great.

One small lime (grocery didn't have any large ones) gave about 1/4 cup of juice…amazing, but needed to be balanced with salt in the filling - it was a little tart. It was super late… I'm sure I used salt.  Wasn't it? Hmmm.

Feel free to skip the oven. I shredded one baby-bel cheese on top of one enchilada, and popped it in the nuker in a glass dish for 3 mins at 60% power, might have been a tiny bit long, the cheese was a tiny bit well-done, but the filling was nice and toasty.

I let the tortillas thaw, but didn't do the heated pan thing. You can heat them, but if they're soft enough, don't have to.

The filling tasted great at room temperature as well as heated.

Was planning on adding some corn (frozen or canned) but forgot… next time.

March 2013 addendum! BEANS!

So I have learned that dried beans do not have to soak overnight or require cooking forever! Excellent. I can save some cash and divorce canned beans!

All you need is either a pressure cooker and an hour, or a pot of boiling water and a couple of hours. Put on a kettle full of water, while that's boiling, rinse your beans in a colander and look for rocks or offending material and bad beans. When that's done, put the beans in a nice big saucepan. (I only feed 1 or 2, so I don't need to use a cauldron) Cover the beans with a generous amount of boiling water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it sit for 60 minutes. I found I needed to rinse and repeat-they absorbed a huge amount of water and were only partially cooked.

Pressure cookers are a great tool, (I love mine almost more than my microwave), but they can be dangerous do NOT overfill (especially the old ones). If you aren't sure what you are doing, read those manufacturers instructions, ask for help from someone who knows. Or buy one of the new-fangled electric types on Amazon. There's even one model geared towards bean cooking, but it will cook everything else just fine too. I'm appalled by single-taskers that just take up space. and thanks to Alton Brown, I don't have to settle.

Heck, the ladies at the Atco Blue Flame Kitchen would be happy to help you out!

I have a scanned copy of my 44 year old Aluminum Presto Pressure Cooker manual if you'd like it. I'll see if I can post it here soon.

Links for pulses:

Dinnerwithjulie Spilling the Beans

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Yay June

Auspicious day. Between being the day to purchase Edmonton Folk Fest tickets, my birthday and having a dental appointment for the stabbing, throbbing pain in my head, I thought I'd share about the movie I saw last night.

Nope, not a blockbuster in terms of dollars, not a bank breaker of a film, but monumental and life affecting.

A little sad the last showing wasn't as well attended as I expected, but meant a perfect seat for me.

But the movie was informative.

Things we've heard said for some time, and now it's immortalized on film, and spread to the four winds to be shared. David Suzuki would like this documentary I think. I'm pretty sure he's seen it, as he opened a festival that was showing his latest work as well as this one.

The title of the movie was "Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?"  And not what you'd expect. Bees, the life givers of more than 40% of the food we eat on our tables, and their struggle to survive human mismanagement of the planet's resources.

Hosted by Metro Cinema, who I understand is moving this summer to the Garneau theatre.

I'll say this: Diversity is necessary for life.  Tinkering with genetics… probably not.

Do your part; Plant a flower garden that bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects like and will support them for as much of the season as possible. Stop using pesticides. All pesticides.  And last, host a bee-hive or become an urban beekeeper. In Calgary, they are transplanting bee colonies that make their new homes in less than welcome locations into hives that they put in your yard and they'll happily forage and pollinate your neighbourhood crops.