Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I just want a good cup of coffee please

Much coffee angst. Broke old Krups glass carafe, discontinued. Read reviews. Studied up on Cooks Illustrated equipment reviews. Selected high end Krups discounted appropriately on Amazon. Looks nice, doesn't it? Nothing but problems...hard to see how much water going in, drips when pour, and weak coffee to boot! Amazon supplier has agreed to take it back so guess I will pack it up. Believe I will go and get $20 Black & Decker at Wall Mart. I need my coffee.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Missing El Fenix

Seriously multi-tasking yesterday morning, I had 3 things working at once. The ice cream maker was humming on vanilla ice cream, a small saucepan was bubbling with the packaged bread and butter pickle mix; and I was regularly stirring and tasting the Cowpoke Beans, which finally took almost 3 hours to get tender - which took alot of tasting. Fortunately I did not cross contaminate any of the three and all turned out just as they should.

Especially the beans were interesting. Served the Cousins and Aunt Gail with Fajitas, beans and gucamole last night. We imitated our favorite menu items at El Fenix as best we could given the geographical disorientation. Except El Fenix serves refried beans with the Sizzling Fajitas and these beans were more like what they serve at Herrara's, another Tex-Mex place we frequent for a change of pace, and mostly for the beans. There they put Pinto Bean Soup in front of you as soon as you sit down and this recipe is very similar and seems very homestyle Mexican. Very interesting depth of flavors. The use of Coke is intriguing and probably more from the Southern cooking tradition.

Recipe from Texas Home Cooking of course.

1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight

8 cups water

12 ounces Coca-Cola

1 14 1/2 ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 medium onions, choppeed

1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato-based BBQ sauce (made this the night before...almost like Sonny Bryans')
2-3 slices slab bacon, chopped

3 Tablespoons chili powder (I substituted red papper flakes+powered cumin+tabasco)

2 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 fresh serranos or 2-3 jalapenos, minced (used jalapenos as we are wimpy)

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground (this is going too far...powered did fine)

1 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste - added at finish.

In a big pot, combine all except salt. Bring to boit then reduce to simmer. Cook slowly, adding water if needed (mine did not). When done the beans should hold their shape but be soft and just a little soupy. Serve in bowls with cooking liquid.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Muffins for the cousins

OK so this it the other one I used to go to all the time. Really can't beat it for a quick look up on basic items like roasts, cakes, quickbreads, and muffins.

This morning not only did I make a dozen blueberry muffins from fresh Michigan blueberries, I sent half of them up the hill to the cottage to the cousins. What a woman (Betty, too).

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This has become my go-to cookbook

Like the chocolate cake recipe from the Driscoll Hotel in Austin that I made Fourth of July for the relatives which may be the very best chocolate cake I've ever made. Like the grilled flank stake recipe that's become one of my regular recipes for guests who appreciate basic steak and potatoes type food. This cookbook has more post it notes and turned down pages than even the Betty Crocker, Joy of Cooking or At Home with Julie and Jacques. Tonight we had stuffed peppers made from the Milagros Meatloaf recipe and they were excellent. How did that happen when I don't think I'm cooking regionally? OMG. Have I accidentally over the years become a Texas cook?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

About Holiday Food

I really need deviled eggs at Easter.
And ham or fried chicken.
And lemon pound cake.
And if possible some family who are visiting.

Burgers are the thing for the Fourth.
And cooked outside of course.
And beer is nice.
And some people to watch fireworks with.

Thanksgiving requires turkey.
And the other stuff that goes with.
And pumpkin pie.
And I crave having a table full of noisy people.

I'm even more needy at Christmas.
And am cooking and hoarding for weeks.
And way too much.
And absolutely require having people to share with.

Otherwise it's just food.