Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cheese Enchiladas


Just like Grandma Taught Me

Starting when i was like, nine or so, grandma would ask me to help out with the enchiladas. i spent most of my time with her when i was a kid following her around the kitchen and asking questions. At first i started out just grating cheese, then i moved up to helping to roll, and when i was alot older, i mastered making the sauce all by myself. Ha! it is a pretty simple sauce if you have a recipe to follow. this took a lot of trial and error on my part before i got the measurements just right, so that it would come out consistantly. Grandma never wrote anything out, it was always just, "a little of this, a little of that..."

So this is a basic recipe for enchilada sauce. Lots of people ask me, " Why don't you make chicken Enchiladas? That would be tasty!" so, yea, i'm sure chicken enchiladas would be tasty, but grandma never made them. so i don't either, but i think you should fill yer enchiladas with anything you like. Grandma made them with cheese and black olives. so... give that a try! This sauce is excellent with a sharp cheddar, so my only recommendation is to never leave out the cheese! Also, this recipe has been written to feed two adult humans. which is strange cause grandma always made like, two or three dozen. so, feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed.

Here is the recipe.

for enchiladas (six enchiladas)

1/2 pkg california chili powder(shown below), or 3 1/2tbs some other chili powder
1/4 cup oil
3 Tbs flour
2 cups water
2 bouillon (or enough for 2 cups read label on cubes)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt or more to taste ( or substitute garlic salt for garlic powder and salt)
fresh ground pepper to taste
6 corn tortillas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup black olives, sliced

Heat oven to 350.
In a medium sized heavy soup pot over med/high heat whisk together 1/2 of the chili powder and oil. Whisk constantly, till the chili turns from a bright orange to a deep red color. Careful that it does not turn black. Add flour, whisk briskly. Add cold water . Whisk till smooth . Turn heat to high, add remaining chili powder, bouillon, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Whisk thoroughly to boil. Lower heat and simmer while prepping the rest of your ingredients. assemble, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Serve it:
Enchiliadas are great with homemade mexican rice and some traditional style refried pinto beans. (you can always cheat and get theses side ordered to-go at your favorite mexican restaurant.) i served this with a kick ass mixed green salad, dressed with avocado and fresh seasonal cherry tomatoes, Tequila shots, lime and mexican beer. It was so delicious! i sincerely hope that you try this recipe.

More Traditional Version:
Grandma didn't just heat the tortillas on a dry pan, she would actually heat them in vegetable oil. i have long since modified this step to cut out some of the fat in an already rich dish. Also, in my family, they use canola oil for the whole recipe, i prefer the more healthful olive oil. So, if you wanna try it exactly the way grandma made it, you can make those changes. i think the healthier version is just as tasty. Grandpa likes his enchiladas filled with fine diced red onions. Ha! grandma always hated them, so she would stick toothpicks in the onion enchiladas so no one would accidentally eat the "gross" onion enchiladas!
Other substitutions:
Chili powders: If you buy some other kind of chili powder, just be aware that it will taste very different. this recipe calls for lots of chili powder, and california chili powder is comparatively mild. So you may unintentionally make this sauce extremely spicy if you use any spice marked "chili powder". Pictured above is the exact brand and type my grandma ALWAYS used.
Organic: This recipe is super easy to make organic, whole grain organic corn tortillas take a little longer to warm up so that they can become pliable enough to roll.

Make Mexican Rice:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

How-To And Recipe

Yay! The first post! i have a whole back log of recipes and photographs and articles and stuff just waiting to be posted! So Please stay tuned! All Photo Credits Belong to Michael Blendermann for all recipe how-to's unless stated otherwise!

And now, on to the show!

Whenever i get the urge for a fresh baked cookie, the first thing i start to think about is a grocery list and what i have in my current kitchen inventory. The best thing about this recipe is that it does not require any fancy ingredients at all! Not even Vanilla! Just flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter, egg, and peanut butter. Things any kitchen worth it's salt would have. So go with the spur of the moment and bake up some fresh cookies! Now!

Press on the thought bubble icon to show captions for the photos.
Hover the mouse over the photo to show slideshow controls.
Happy Baking!
Please read the recipe fully through before you begin. Get your ingredients together, turn on the oven, (wash and dry cookie sheets, bowls, and anything else you need), and be sure you have enough of each ingredient. I cannot tell you how much it hurts when you get halfway through and realize you: don't have/are out of/ have to wash ...something.

Uncle Michael's Favorite
Organic Peanut Butter Cookies

1 and 1/4 cup organic all purpose flour
3/4 tsp Aluminum free baking soda
1/4 tsp mineral crystal salt,sea salt, or kosher salt

1/2 cup (one stick)organic butter, room temperature
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar (light or dark)

1 organic cage free egg
3/4 cup organic crunchy peanut butter( or your favorite kind)

you will also absolutely need:
2 bowls for mixing
a spoon, fork and spatula
measuring spoon and cup
cookie sheet, oven
Large plate for cooling
some kind of air tight container for storage

Heat oven to 350*F. Mix together flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside. In a second bowl, mix together butter, sugar, and brown sugar till completely mixed. Add egg, beat well. Add Peanut butter, mix well. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing completely. Repeat two more times, having incorporated all the flour mixture in three steps. Spoon dough and roll gently into balls, spacing them evenly about an inch apart on all sides from the edge of the pan and other cookies. Press with a fork as shown in the photos above. Sprinkle with a little sugar, and bake for about 15 minutes. Cool cookies flat, then stack them. Unused dough can be fridged and baked up to three days later.

Mistake Saving Tip:
Whenever you bake cookies, the best trick to not burning them is to set a timer. i've never have one, so i use my nose. As soon as it smells like cookies, they are usually done. Also, it helps to not get distracted or leave the room. That is why i like to bake cookies while dinner is being made, so that i am in the kitchen anyway.

Healthier Version:
Substitute 1 cup organic whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. Well that's the best i can do for this one. They are cookies, afterall, and you shouldn't mess with a good thing. so, for an even healthier alternative, just eat some salt-free peanuts instead. :)

Penny Pincher Version
Substitute all natural for organic anytime. You can find good stuff at regular grocery stores, you just have to check lables, and avoid the yuck as often as possible.

Well, i hope you try this recipe! it is a serious crowd pleaser! Please leave comments, suggestions, opinions, requests, questions, ideas, hints, and unrelated thoughts in the comments! yay!

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