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Archive for July, 2007

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Tipp City, Ohio, will be enjoying the 7th week of the local farmer’s market tomorrow. It is great to see so many people up early on a Saturday morning walking along the closed off street admiring the produce offered by local growers. Beans, beets, peppers, tomatoes, cherries, cucumbers, corn, melons. The list of nutritious and super fresh fruits and vegetables goes on and on. It’s easy to see why so many people go home with their arms full of goodies.

It’s a visual delight as well, since fresh cut flowers are available from Springhill Nursery’s test and display garden are arranged in attractive and reasonably priced bouquets. Another vendor has annuals and perennials for sale. Candles and lotions are brought to the market by another local family.

Bowman and Landes free-range turkey farm brings some smoked turkey products as well as a selection of gourmet treats, relishes, sauces, and preserves. There is even Market-made ice cream available.

Every week more produce is available as each matures throughout the summer.

I can’t wait to see what is new this week. 603350818_25592627e7_t.jpg

Morgana

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images2.jpgIf you have never had osso buco (alla milanese), you are missing one of the most exquisite dishes ever concocted. Served with saffron flavored risotto, the delicate taste of the veal shanks braised in wine, tomatoes and aromatics is what I would order for my last meal on earth. It is surely what God in heaven eats regularly.

Originating in Milan, the capital of Lombardy, osso buco (“bone with a hole”) has a tasty marrow filling that I save for the last bite. I use a long handled baby spoon to reach for every last morsel of the marrow. Marrow spoons used to be a part of silverware sets, back when wasting anything edible was unheard of. If you are opposed to eating veal, then this dish is not for you. I have no opposition to veal, other than the exorbitant price that veal shanks and chops carry. That, along with the difficulty finding any veal at all, keeps me from enjoying it as often as I would like.

Sometime I will prepare polenta instead of risotto with the osso buco. Today, I am fixing the risotto.

OSSO BUCO

2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
4 -5 pieces veal shanks, 2″ thick, tied around the edge with string to prevent them from falling apart
salt, pepper
flour for dredging the veal
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped carrot
3/4 c. chopped celery
1 – 2 t. minced garlic
1 c. dry white wine
1 can tomatoes, whole or diced with liquid
bouquet garni (cheesecloth wrapped bundle of 4 parsley sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs and a bay leaf)
2 c. chicken broth

Gremolata (garnish)
2 T. minced flat leaf parsley
1 T. lemon zest
1 large clove garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter. Meanwhile, season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
3. When the oil is hot, brown the meat on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Place them on a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm.
4. Add the chopped vegetables to the oil and stir constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. When the veggies are soft, add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and their juice.
5. Put the veal back in the pan and add enough of the chicken broth to come almost to the top of the veal. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Add the bouquet garni.
6. Cover tightly and put in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
7. Prepare the gremolata by combining the 3 ingredients and setting aside in a small serving dish.

About a half hour before the veal is done, start cooking the risotto. There are supposedly shortcuts to making risotto to keep the cook from having to stand over the stove for 30 minutes, constantly stirring the rice, but I’ve never tried them. I just know that I need to dedicate the last half hour of meal prep to the risotto and I try to either get everything else done beforehand, or I delegate other chores. (Volunteers, anyone?)

Here is my risotto recipe for occo buco.

RISOTTO MILANESE

3 T. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 c. risotto (Arborio rice)
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 c. chicken broth and 1 c. water
1 t. salt
couple saffron threads
1 T. butter
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese

1. Put the broth and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, but keep it simmering lightly.
2. Heat the butter in a heavy bottom 3 qt. saucepan over
medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, but don’t let it brown. After about 3 minutes, add the rice and stir to coat the rice with the butter.
3. Pour the wine over the rice and stir. Let the wine evaporate almost entirely.
4. Crumble the saffron and add to the rice. Then add the stock, just 1/2 c., to the rice and stir nearly constantly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the broth/water mixture has nearly evaporated, add the next 1/2 c. broth.
5. Continue in this manner, adding broth and stirring, until almost all the broth is used, about 20-25 minutes. Keep the heat on a medium-low setting. The goal is to let the rice slowly absorb the liquid and attain tenderness in its own time. Depending on the rice, it can take as little as 20 minutes, or as much as 30. It can take 3 c. of liquid or 4. Taste the rice to determine when it is tender. You don’t want “al dente” rice here, you want a creamy tenderness. You may have some liquid left over, or you may need to add more. It’s a judgment call.
6. When the rice is tender and has absorbed all the broth it is in, add the last tablespoon of butter and stir in the Parmesan.

Serve with the veal and juices on top of the risotto. Enjoy with a glass of Italian wine, either white or red, a green salad and some crusty bread to sop up any remaining juice on your plate.
Delicioso!

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[UPDATE: I have added lots of photos of the No-Knead Bread method here.] 

In case you are wondering, I am still making the no-knead bread, about 4 loaves per week. I had a week when I was out of town and had to eat some grocery bread when I returned home until I could bake a loaf. What a difference. Grocery bread is just a vehicle for getting the meat/cheese and the rest of the sandwich fixin’s into your mouth. Homemade bread is something else, entirely. It is the excuse for making a sandwich.

I have been experimenting with different kinds of flour, rising times, rising methods. I tried for a few weeks letting the dough rise for the second time in an oiled bowl. It was fine. As I have said before, you can’t really ruin it. Today, I went back to the original directions and after about 18 hours for the first rising, I formed the loaf and let it rise on nonstick foil for 2 hours and then baked it at 460 degrees for 30 minutes, covered, and another 15 minutes uncovered. I also used 1 c. unbleached bread flour and 2 c. regular all-purpose flour. With 2 t. salt, 1/2 t. yeast, a pinch of citric acid, it is delicious. I did sprinkle it with a seed mixture and some kosher salt just before baking it. It is very good. In fact, it’s hard to keep away from it. Because I am trying to stay away from a lot of carbohydrates, it is extremely difficult to make such good bread and not eat it constantly throughout the day.

I think that the best flavor is achieved with regular all-purpose flour and unbleached bread flour combined. I have tried the special artisan flours and can’t really say that it is an improvement. It certainly is cheaper.

If you need the recipe for the bread, it is as follows:

3 c. flour (all-purpose or bread flour or a combination)
1/4 t. – 1/2 t. quick yeast
2 t. salt
pinch (1/8 t.) citric acid (optional)
1 5/8 c. water
Kosher salt (optional)
Bread seed toppion (optional)

Mix together, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (on the kitchen counter is fine) for at least 12 hours and up to 18.

Scrape out of bowl onto a floured surface. Fold over once or twice, cover with the plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Set out a piece of non-stick foil and sprinkle a little flour over it. Pick up the dough (a dough scraper or spatula makes it easier) and reform the loaf somewhat and set it on the foil. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and lay a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) over it and let it rise for 2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hour, preheat the oven to 460 degrees with a covered heat proof casserole (I use a 3 qt. Corningware ceramic pot with a lid) for 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven carefully and drop the loaf into it. Sprinkle the top with a seed mixture if desired and/or kosher salt (optional).

Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and the pot and let the loaf cool on a rack. Sometimes I brush it with melted butter. It will keep for a day or two.

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Potato salad is one of our favorite summertime side dishes, as it is for many people. We like both the traditional mayonnaise based salad and a new one using a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar. Today I added some fresh green beans.

First I steamed the beans, after trimming and breaking them into bite-sized pieces. I refreshed them in cold water, and blotted them partially dry with a kitchen towel. Then I drizzled them with a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar and added a small handful of chopped red onion.

In the meantime, I steamed some small red potatoes and left them unpeeled. As soon as them were tender, I added them to the mixing bowl with the green beans and onions and another teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar, just enough to coat the potatoes. By the way, I cut the larger potatoes in half to make them more manageable to eat and to provide more surface area for the vinegar. Then they sat on the counter for a few minutes to cool a bit while I went outside to pick some fresh parsley. I chopped the parsley and added it to the vegetables along with a tablespoon of vinaigrette that I had already made. A good grind of pepper and a tablespoon of mayonnaise when the potatoes were cool, and the dish was ready to serve. It is best at room temperature, but can be kept in the frig until time to eat.

With the potato salad all ready at 4:00, I had no choice but to put in in the refrigerator until dinner, which I knew would be around 8:00. I had a flank steak marinating in a teriyaki sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes from our tomato plants ripe and ready to harvest. About 20 minutes before we ate, Mac started the grill and I sliced two zucchini, some green onions, and a handful of mushrooms. I sauteed these in a tablespoon of olive oil and a dab of butter. After 10 minutes, I added a chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper, gave it all a couple of stirs and it was ready to go.

Mac cooked the steak, brought it in and we sliced it thinly on the diagonal to keep it tender. It tasted great and was nice and juicy.

In the summer, I like to sit outside in the evening with a glass of wine and discuss the day with my husband or play with the grandchildren if they come over. I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time fixing dinner after we go inside. I therefore try to make some preparations early in the day, or plan a meal that requires little work right before mealtime. Here was a meal that was delicious, but not time consuming. The steak had been marinating since noon; it took 1 minute to prepare (I used Kikkoman teriyaki sauce), and eight minutes to cook. The potato salad took 40 minutes, but a lot of that was just waiting for the potatoes to cook, and I did that early in the day. The zucchini was fixed internal to the steak cooking, and required only slicing the veggies and giving them a stir while they cooked every now and then. That’s what I call a no-stress meal.

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My daughter came up with a quick and easy appetizer last week. She gave me permission to share it with the “world” at least that part of the world that stumbles upon my humble writings.

It starts with fresh basil leaves, the larger, the better. I found a basil plant in a local nursery this year that has the most gigantic leaves I have ever seen. They are about the size of a 3 X 5 index card. The plant itself is about 18 inches tall, even though we have been harvesting from it and cutting it back for the past three months. I hope I can keep it alive in the house through the winter. It is a remarkable variety. I don’t know what it is but I will try to find out.

The next ingredient is mozzarella. Get the best, freshest that you can. Forget the ordinary “Kraft” like mozzarella. Find the freshest. Also, get good tomatoes.

Here is the recipe, straight from my daughter.

Ingredients:
basil leaves (large as possible)
fresh mozzarella
tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the mozzarella either into small balls or cubes small enough to be enclosed in a basil leaf.

Cut tomatoes in half, then each half into slices, creating flat bite-size pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Take a basil leaf, put a small piece of cheese in it, then and a slice of tomato. Roll up the edges to create a little package and stick with a toothpick to hold it together.

Store in refrigerator for an hour if necessary or serve.

You can added small pieces of smoked salmon (lox) to give it more salty flavor and substance. Maybe a bit of salami would be good. Give it a try.

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Our town had its weekly farmers’ market today. What fun it is so see so many people downtown milling around enjoying each other’s company and the bounties of our local farmers. One block is closed off to traffic and stalls line both sides of the street with vendors selling a variety of things.

There are a few people selling baked goods, bread, muffins, cakes and pies. Another family sells homemade scented candles and lotions. A local nursery features cut flower arrangements fresh from their test and display gardens. Another gentleman has potted annuals and perrenials to fill in those bare spots that show up this time of the year in our gardens. Naturally, there are several stalls featuring seasonal produce; tomatoes, peppers of all shapes, sizes, and hotness, green beans, beets, cabbage, kohlrabi, and finally corn on the cob.

I went to the market to buy only tomatoes, and came home with 4 ears of corn, 3 green peppers, 2 tomatoes, a head of purple cabbage, a quart of strawberries, and a cantaloupe. Since I rode my bike to the market, I was glad to see my husband drive up after his golf lesson so he brought the food home with him in the car I must get a basket for my new bike. My old basket doesn’t agree with my new bike’s handlebar/front wheel configuration and I haven’t yet found a good alternative.

We had BLT’s for lunch today with tomatoes just picked this morning and some fresh melon that was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Tonight we will have shish kebab with peppers and beef, corn on the cob from the market, and strawberries and ice cream. Wow. Summer is great and the organizers of the farmers’ market deserve more than a round of applause. It was a tremendous addition to our town’s activities and appeal.

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My friend Lacey prepared a great lunch today for our knitting group. She served a salad with grilled chicken breast mixed with fresh greens, sliced strawberries, pecans and a creamy poppy seed dressing. We had hot rolls and fresh fruit salad supplied by Vicki.

The surprise of the meal was a grilled apple pie. Lacey’s son, a first lieutenant in the Air Force, taught her the clever method when he was home over the July Fourth holiday. It was quick to prepare, very tasty, and didn’t heat up the kitchen.

I will try to give you the directions. Remember, I didn’t do the cooking but I watched her from beginning to end.

Grilled Apple Pie

Cast iron skillet, small size
Pam or butter or shortening for the pan
1 can apple pie filling, or homemade filling for a small pie
1 extra apple, if desired
dash cinnamon and sugar
1 pie crust, homemade or storebought, uncooked
1 gas grill, although a charcoal one could be used

Spray the skillet with Pam, or grease with shortening or butter and put the filling in the skillet. Add a sliced apple and season with a little cinnamon and sugar. Stir slightly to mix.

Cut the crust into strips, about 3/4″ wide, and cover the skillet with the strips arranged in a lattice. Sprinkle the crust with a little more cinnamon and sugar if desired.

Put on a preheated grill at medium heat, covered, for 15-30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. If the crust is browned nicely, it is done, if you used canned apples. It will take longer and probably a slightly lower heat for fresh apples. I intend to try this a few different ways and will update this post with my results. I wanted to present this idea to you as soon as possible for you to try on your own.

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Our town has started hosting a farmers’ market every Saturday morning throughout the summer. I bought a bunch of fresh beets and stuck them in the refrigerator and forgot about them for 2 weeks. I found them three days ago and decided to roast them and decide what to do with them later. I wrapped them in a heavy duty foil package and roasted them in a 400 degree oven and forgot about them again.

They should have roasted for an hour. I took them out of the oven two hours later. I didn’t even open the foil. I let them cool in the package on the counter for an hour and them put them in the frig until the next day. I got online to look for a recipe to include them in a salad. I found a good recipe on the Food Network website and prepared that one for dinner last night. We had strip steaks, cooked on the grill, fresh corn on the cob, potato salad, and the salad.

When beets are roasted, the beet skins slip right off easily. You don’t need a knife, peeler, or anything. Just pull and/or rub the skins right off. I keep a box of latex gloves in the kitchen under the sink for such things as peeling and cutting beets. (They are also great for mixing meatloaf, forming burgers, or dealing with raw chicken.I keep another box in the garage.) The purple beet juice can really stain your fingers. Wipe up any beet juice that drips on the counter or it will be stained too. Since the beets were overcooked, instead of dicing them as the recipe calls for, I decided to slice them thickly so that they wouldn’t fall apart. I marinated them in a few tablespoons of vinaigrette. A salad of lettuce, arugula, scallions, was tossed with more vinaigrette. The beets were then divided among the salad bowls atop the greens and the whole salad was garnished with grated goat cheese. It was delicious.

Here is the recipe, thanks to the Food Network. The only changes I made was to eliminate the walnuts and use half olive oil and half canola for the vinaigrette.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Cook’s Note: The beets can be cooked and dressed up to 24 hours in advance, but wait until serving time to toss the greens.

6 medium beets, tops removed, leaving 1/4-inch of stems
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups mixed greens, such as romaine, Boston, and green leaf lettuces, or mesclun
2 cups arugula, torn into small pieces
1 scallion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup chilled crumbled goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
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Scrub the beets very well. Fill a 3-quart saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Cook the beets until tender when pierced with sharp knife, about 45 to 60 minutes. Drain well and let cool. Slip the skins off the beets. Dice the beets and place in a bowl.
To make the dressing: whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Pour a few tablespoons of the dressing on the beets and toss.

Just before serving, combine the greens, arugula, and scallion in a large bowl. Pour on most of the remaining dressing and toss. Add more if needed.

Place the greens on 4 salad plates. Spoon on a mound of beets. Sprinkle with goat cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.
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After travelling over the weekend I was ready to prepare a home-cooked meal. I bought broccoli and decided to make a casserole with ham and cheese sauce for dinner. I knew that my daughter and her kiddos would be visiting in the evening for a while and I could assemble the casserole ahead of time and bake it quickly in the oven when we were ready to eat.

That worked well. While the casserole was warming up, all I had to do was heat some stewed tomatoes on the stove, slice some bread and presto! Dinner was nearly done. I hadn’t been able to get to our local farmer’s market to buy some good tomatoes yet so canned ones had to do. I did manage to get a loaf of bread baked earlier in the day (I can hardly stand to eat grocery bread any more) so we had good bread to mop up the cheese sauce on our plates.

Ham, broccoli and cheese go so well together. There are all sorts of combinations possible. Broccoli soup flavored with ham or bacon and cheddar is delicious. Sometimes I make an open face sandwich with Canadian bacon on a toasted English muffin with a few broccoli spears and drizzled with cheese sauce. Yesterday’s casserole was so simple that I prepared it in about 15 minutes, cooled it on the counter for a few minutes, then covered it and stored it in the frig for a couple hours before baking it. Here’s the recipe.

Ham and Broccoli Casserole

1 bunch of fresh broccoli, cut into spears, thick spears cut lengthwise for quicker cooking
1-1 1/2 c. cubed ham steaks
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 3/4 c. milk
salt and pepper
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. paprika
1/2 c. chopped onion, optional
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Steam broccoli 4-5 minutes until just tender (I put it in a large bowl, partially covered with plastic wrap, and microwaved it for 4 minutes.
2. In the meantime, melt butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan. (If using onion, saute it in the butter until soft.) Add flour and stir over heat for a few minutes to cook the flour.
3. Whisk in milk, salt and pepper to taste, dry mustard, paprika. Continue cooking a few minutes until thick and bubbly. Stir in the cheese until melted.
4. Layer the broccoli in the bottom of an 11 x 7 baking dish, or one of similar size. Next, layer with the ham pieces.
5. Pour the cheese sauce over the ham. (Can be prepared ahead of time to this point; then, let cool for a few minutes and refrigerate covered until ready to bake. Remove from frig about 20 minutes before baking.)
6. Heat oven to 350. Bake 15 minutes covered with foil and 5 minutes uncovered until hot. (Bake 25-30 minutes covered with foil for half the time if prepared ahead of time or until nice and hot.)

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I am visiting my daughter Lexy and her husband John for the week and we collaborated on a great dinner the other night.  When I was packing for the trip, I packed the most unusual item I’ve ever taken with me on a vacation, – three pounds of new potatoes.  I was afraid they would spoil while I was gone and hated to see them go to waste. She had a pork loin in the freezer and I was starting to get an idea.

I looked through her collection of recipes, some from the family, others from friends, and some that she had collected from a variety of sources.  I found a recipe that she had used and enjoyed that called for a pork loin to be roasted with garlic and rosemary.  Since one of my favorite ways to prepare new potatoes is to roast them, I suggested cooking them part of the time with the pork.  She agreed and so we had the basic menu planned.

After the pork thawed, she rubbed it with olive oil, patted it with three or four minced garlic cloves and some rosemary leaves, not too much rosemary because it is so pungent. She seasoned the pork with salt and pepper and put it in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. I washed the potatoes which were nice tiny ones that needed no cutting into pieces.  We rolled the potatoes in a little olive oil, salt and peppered them and, after the 30 minutes was up , we put the potatoes in with the pork.

At that point I started cooking  some “baby” carrots in a little water in a skillet. I stirred the potatoes after about 15 minutes in the pork drippings which added some garlic and rosemary flavor to the potatoes.  10 minutes later, we removed the pork from the pan, set it aside tented with foil. The potatoes stayed in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.  When the carrots were tender, I poured off the little water remaining in the skillet, added 2 tablespoons of butter, 4 green onions, cut diagonally in 1 inch pieces, a tablespoon of honey and some salt and pepper.  I stirred this around for the remaining time the potatoes were in the oven until they were nicely glazed. 

Lexy had made some salad dressing earlier in the week and we had a nice green salad prepared in no time flat.

The meat was sliced into nice 1/2 inch slices and it was tender and juicy, deliciously flavored with the garlic and rosemary.  It was a pretty plate, as well with the shiny orange carrots, and the crispy browned potatoes and the dark green lettuce with radicchio.

With the meal, we enjoyed a bottle of Xplorador Chardonnay, a nicely priced Chilean wine that was available at their neighborhood wine shop.  At the same store, I bought another wine that I had tasted a few weeks ago at a restaurant that was a pleasant surprise. It was a grenache from down under called “Bitch”.  I was put off by the name, but having read a description of the wine, I was intrigued enough to try a bottle.  It was great and I was eager to find a bottle to buy for home.  Coincidentally, my daughter and her husband had tried a bottle of “Bitch” at about the same time and liked it as well.

I brought the bottle to my hotel glad that it had a screw top since I had forgotten to pack a wine bottle opener.  However, the metal cap was so tightly attached that I was unable to open it with my bare hands. I had no scissors, or knife with me to break the connecting metal tabs.  What I needed was a rubber type gasket to get a good purchase on the cap in order to break it away from the tabs. I searched through my purse and suitcase and found nothing of use except for a stretchy headband that had rubberized dots to keep it from sliding out of one’s hair.  I wrapped this around the cap and Presto! I had my glass of wine after all.

 Lesson learned.  Always pack a wine bottle opener, some scissors, and a small tool kit for such “emergencies.”

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27964x400.jpgWith family here for the weekend, I’m trying to come up with ideas for quick, easy, and tasty menu items that can accomodate from 5-10 adults, and a handful of grown-up food eating kiddos. We had a chicken casserole the other day (hot chicken salad, to be exact), pizza last night, and at some point we will have the traditional cookout with burgers and hot dogs, maybe some ribs with potato salad, and baked beans.

Tonight or tomorrow, we are going to make burritos. We have a local mini chain of Mexican restaurants in the area, Pepito’s, where we occasionally order the burritos, either mini or grande. I stumbled upon a recipe for burritos and monkeyed with it enough to be able to claim that it resembles Pepito’s fairly well. I like to prepare a large array of accompaniments so that everyone can “roll their own” and include favorite ingredients to their hearts’ content.

We’ll make guacamole (my one-year-old grandson loves it) and have margaritas or mojitos or whatever people want for libations. I have lots of Capri Sun lemonade for the little ones to carry around outside. I try to keep a box of them in my refrigerator in the garage so that there is always an unbreakable drink container for them to have outside.

My recipe for the burritos is from the Ortega website. I followed it fairly closely and varied from it mainly in the addition of extra toppings, sour cream, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, and sliced black olives. Here is the recipe from the Ortega site. You could very easily substitute ground turkey for the beef.

Burritos Grande

These super-size burritos are packed with savory ground beef, refried beans, salsa and cheese to satisfy even the heartiest appetites. Quench your thirst with ice-cold iced tea.

• yields: 6 • preparation time: 5 min cooking: 10 min

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/3 cups water
1 packet (1.5-oz.)ORTEGA Taco Seasoning Mix – Regular
1 can (16-oz.)ORTEGA Refried Beans, warmed
6 (10-in.) burrito-size flour tortillas, warmed
3/4 cupORTEGA Salsa – Thick & Chunky (Medium)
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, (3-oz.)

Directions

COOK beef in large skillet, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Stir in water and seasoning mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened.

SPREAD beans evenly over tortillas. Top with beef mixture, salsa and cheese; fold into burritos. Top with additional salsa, if desired.
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My daughter made the guacamole perfectly. I had a bag full of avocados ripening with the tomatoes so there were plenty ripe enough for a good bowlful of guacamole. She makes it with a little onion, diced tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro, adding salt as necessary to perk it up. Since it is rather uncouth to spoon it into one’s mouth, we had tortilla chips, for the delivery method. Great stuff. High in fat, but it’s the “good” kind of monounsaturated fat like olive oil that has healthful benefits in addition to a rich nutty taste.

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