Tag Archives: Mexican

creamy roasted jalapeño salsa

Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Salsa

It is pretty hard to grow up in Texas and not have a thing for salsa. The quality of the salsa can make or break a Mexican dining experience. If I sit down at a Mexican place and the salsa is lackluster it is rather difficult to look forward to the rest of the meal. However, really good chips and salsa can almost ruin the rest of my meal, because I just can’t stop eating the scoops of salsa and I spoil my appetite for the rest of my dinner. Continue reading

Chicken Enchiladas

As you may or may not know, even through I write a blog called “Whitney in Chicago”, I am really a Texan through and through (except for my politics). One of the biggest adjustments to Chicago actually wasn’t the long, harsh winter, but the lack of true “Tex-Mex.” Sure you can get plenty of decent mexican and salsa all across Chicago, but really good Tex-Mex can only be found at the source, Texas. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Anyways, anytime that I do go back to Texas for any length of time, I always pack light so that I can bring back lots of Texas things (if only I could figure out how to get some Blue Bell Homestyle Vanilla back), most importantly…SALSA. Continue reading

A Bread Success

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This weekend was wonderful. Even though it was (really) cold, it was bright and sunny, not dreary and gray. School isn’t too busy yet (and probably wont be..3Litis much?) so the weekends are actually something to enjoy. My toe is almost healed so I was able to workout on both Saturday and Sunday (and I went for a run OUTSIDE tonight and FROZE but it felt great). I also cooked and baked up a storm. On Saturday, Julia suggested that we take the boys to a FREE wine tasting and then they came over while I made Mexican Meatball Soup. Wonderful recipe but I didn’t take any pictures (whoops!). I am excited because I have two portions frozen for a quick weeknight dinner, one of which we heated up tonight. YUM! Then I baked up some Snickerdoodles really quick to take to an apartment warming party. I don’t like to show up empty handed ;-) But the real accomplishment this weekend was baking bread. Real sandwich bread.

I can’t believe how easy it was to make a real homemade loaf of sandwich bread and how few ingredients are involved.

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Mix 2/3 bread flour with 1/3 wheat. Don’t you love my flour canisters? I really do. I have 4 of them and kinda wish I had a few more.

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It is true that you can only buy powdered milk in massive quantities (at least this was true at Treasure Island) but I hear there are other good recipes (granola at Homesick Texan to name one) to use some of it up. Anyone in Chicago need some powdered milk? I can hook ya up ;-P

After Ethel (my KitchenAid) did the mixing and kneading, you let it rest for and hour or so until it doubles. Then comes the fun part of stretching it out into a rectangle…

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…then shaping it and rolling it to the proper loaf shape.
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After a 2nd rise and 45 mins in the oven…out came a loaf of bread!
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I was a little concerned because it felt rock hard on the outside, but really the “crust” layer was perfect. It made a wonderful sandwich yesterday and I enjoyed a slice tonight with a little melted sharp cheader to go along with the leftover soup.

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And the best part about it? I know EXACTLY what went into it. No partially hydrogenated this or xanthan gum that. Just flour, yeast, salt, sugar, powdered milk, water and a little time. Amazing.

Give it a try for yourself. It really does give you a feeling of triumph and accomplishment.

The recipe can be found here. Now I have another cook book to add to the endless wish list :)

TACOS

a taco mise en place

a taco mise en place

Ever since my friend Brian had Taco Salad Night at his apartment 1L year, Tacos have been a good go to dinner for me and Dave. It is quick, tasty, easy and often with enough leftover ground meat for me to bring a Taco Salad for lunch the next day. However, the thing that takes the typical ground turkey taco meat to the next level is this taco seasoning

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The BIG Jar

The BIG Jar

As you can see I buy it by the $16 jar. When my Mom was in town over the summer she also picked up a big jar for yourself. I usually add a little shake of cayenne to give it a little kick, but it is perfect tasty on its own.

All you have to do is brown up a pound of ground turkey, drain the fat off, mix 4 Tablespoons of the seasoning with 6 oz of water, pour it in, let it thicken, and prep the taco toppings of your choosing.