January 29, 2009

Serrano ham and peas with a Gouda cheese sauce

Okay... this dinner was awesome. It was inspired by the Serrano ham I found at the supper. And I found some shredded Gouda. This dish was so easy and yet finished off fabolous. It definitely tasted great.

In one pot I had the noodles cooking with a little oil and some chopped garlic. I used some small bow tie style ones. In my saute pan I threw in a little oil, onion and garlic then threw in the chopped up Serrano ham. I also was looking up recipes with Serrano ham and found an appetizer that was asparagus wrapped in Serrano ham. So when I do this recipe again, I might try asparagus. But anyway. Once the ham was heated threw I threw in the thawed peas.

The sauce for this recipe took me into making my very first bechamel sauce. It was sooooooooo easy. In a 3rd sauce pan I put 4 Tbs. of butter and let it melt and start to bubble, then threw in 1/4 cup flour and slowly added 2 cups of milk.

I threw in some salt and pepper and then when the noodles were ready I threw in some grated Gouda from the store. I kept whisking to make sure that the sauce did not clump. I then put the noodles and the sauce in the saute pan and mixed everything together. It was such a good dinner.

Chicken and veggie fried rice

Armed with my left over white rice (cooked in chicken stock instead of water) and some cut up pineapple, and some lightly seasoned thinly cut chicken from the local pollo shop! I eagerly awaited to see what Ruben was going to bring home that was going to go into the dish. I just told him... veggies. He came home with some great stuff. We had onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and this other veggie (I cannot remember the name but it is sort of like a potato.) We threw in the onions & garlic then added the chicken, then we threw in the carrots and a short time later we added the Bell pepper because I like my bell peppers more on the crispy side. During all of the cooking I threw in random things. Some herbs, some sweet chili sauce and a little water. At the end I threw in the pineapple and rice and coated everything. It was really good. I added more sweet chili sauce to our plates after we served the kids. It was really good and was much more a veggie and chicken dish with a little rice to fill it out rather then the other way around. I really like dished that force my kids to eat their veggies. :)

January 28, 2009

Chicken salad

Okay, let me first say that last nights dinner was so much of an after thought that I almost did not even take pictures until I realized that those "oh crap what am I going to make just prior to restock" dinners are the ones that I was to share the most. Those dinners when it seems like the only things in the fridge need something that you would need to go to the store for. So last night, I had 2 chicken breasts- simply seasoned, wrapped in foil, and baked.
Then I made some simple white rice for the kids, sliced pineapple and small little salad. Let me also say that I am not one for salads.
I need to be but alas I am not. :( But I do love chicken Cesar salads so I decided to throw some lettuce, onion & tomato into a bowl and top it will chicken and a little Cesar dressing. Now 1 thing, if you are going to bother with lettuce... please do not buy that iceberg lettuce. While it tastes good it has no nutritional value. Just a lot of water. If you are going to bother eating well you might as well get some vitamins and minerals.

Okay anyway. The dinner was really good and the kids even asked for more salad. I had a lot of rice and pineapple left over so I put those in a bowl and we are going to make some kind of fried rice for dinner.

On another note, in the spirit of utalizing the things around you to be useful. We desperately need more storage in our kitchen. There is literally NONE!!! We bought a shelf system but it has to hold everything. So I asked Ruben to build me a shelf right next to our stove so i could put all of the bottles of spices and oils and such right there. We ended up using 2 cement blocks and took a board off a piece outside. It turned out really well.

Then we used 4 cement blocks to make a little table by the computer. Now we have a little place to put all of the little stuff around the computer. It turned out really well.

January 26, 2009

Roasted Potatoes, baked chicken & orange slices

This dinner was great. And since I used 1 of my all time favorite kitchen utensils ever... aluminium!!! I love this stuff. It cleans our bbq, covers our food, goes under my casseroles to protect from spilling and even wraps my food making them extra clean and makes almost no cleanup!!! I love it. This recipe was very easy.

It is simply chopped potatoes thrown in a bowl, throw in some chopped garlic, chopped onion, salt, pepper, and a few herbs and you are set. Now,my herb plants are not grown yet so I am using dried. I would have used fresh rosemary or dried rosemary if I had it but I do not. SO i used dried oregano and it was great. Plus my kids hating getting stabbed in the mouth by rosemary sometimes. And the oregano was very nice. I tossed all of these ingredients with a little olive oil and wrapped in foil. I then set that in a baking pan.
I simply pit a little foil on the bottom of a baking pan and threw a little salt, pepper and oregano on the chicken, sprinkled with a little olive oil and in they both went.

I left them in there for about 45 min - an hour. I am not sure what the temp is because the oven only has 1,2,3,4 &5. It was around 3. I am assuming that is close to 325. The dinner was really good, very juicy and easy to clean up.

I also have decided that the only way to slice oranges is by doing rings, cut in to quarters and the inside pith cut away. We eat a lot of oranges down here as it is what grows best. This is the way that I have discovered gets the most actual orange into the kids, (rather then just sucking the juice) and the least amount of seeds and sticky on my floors.

January 24, 2009

home made pots

Since this blog is more about becoming a domestic goddess in my new home and my new way of life- I am trying to relay all of the new things that i am learning and figuring out to all of my... well, probably not that many readers but still. Since we are living on a budget that by our old standards in the USA can only be described as insane, we have really tried to come up with new and interesting ways to use things that we would have other wise thrown out. Also because regrettably, the recycling system here in Mexico and especially here in Tulum is tragic. So we have come up with some pretty good ideas. One of my favorites is the use of our old soda bottles and in 1 case, an old bleach bottle (well cleaned ironically enough) for planters. I have finally gotten a bunch of herb seeds and have started to grow them. I took many 1 liter and 2 liter bottles and cut off the top 1/3rd. I punched a few holes in the bottoms and a few on the sides. It is my plan to hang the small "pots" from the rungs on the ladder that leads to the roof. Which is where I hang my cloths and we have decided to put the kids pool. (trust me- if you saw it it would make sense. Once it is all set up and cute I will take pictures. The hanging pot is full of strawberries that I really hope will work because strawberries are very expensive here.

The other thing that we did today was make a little screen to cover the planter in the front yard. The cats kept getting into and using for a litter box and that was not good. I also learned a few tricks that are very cool and that are working amazingly well.
The first is that if you smash a clove or 2 of garlic and put it in a spray bottle with water along with some chopped pepper, preferably a little roasted (we are using habanero) It keeps the bugs off of your plants. The other is to sprinkle used coffee grounds at the base of the plants and that keeps off unwanted pests as well. The whole goal of all of this is to be more natural and more healthy and spraying with a bunch of chemicals does not seem to make sense. Except when it comes to cockroaches. I will spray those little f***ers with whatever napalm I can get my hands on. One thing that has also proven its own difficulty is that the bark dust that you buy here is not the same you would get in the states. Here it is directly from the jungle mixed with some fertilizer. The good thing is that it is full of naturally composted materials falling from some of the best trees of earth. The bad news is that is also comes with a ton of sticks, dry leaves and stuff of that sort. oh well. The plants seem to like it.

January 23, 2009

Chicken stir fry

This recipe was soooo easy and tasted sooooooo good. First we had our chicken cut into bite size pieces, chopped onion, garlic, carrots and broccoli. In a small sauce pan we had some water, chicken bouillon and made some simple white rice. I would have made whole wheat rice but do not have any.

In a large saute pan we heated a little oil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Pappy's. Then add the chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, Pappy's and a little Mexican oregano. After the chicken was well on its way we added the carrots.
I like my veggies a little on the crisp side and my broccoli especially so I waited to add that. My mom gave me a huge bottle of Thai sweet chili sauce so I put some of that in as well. The pan was a little dry so I threw in a little water.

the end result was great. The chicken and veggies had so much flavor that even the kids did not eat too much rice. This was a hit and we will definitely be making it again.

We also made a bunch of home made OJ. We bought a HUGE bag of oranges for 40 pesos and so we have been loving that. Nothing like fresh squeezed OJ.

January 21, 2009

Chicken Sandwich

Today we made a great sandwich. It was really easy and tasted great!!! It was simply toasted bread, mayo, mustard, sliced tomato, white onion, lettuce, chicken breast (seasoned with salt, pepper and Pappy's) topped with a fried egg and Valentina hot sauce. They were great. filling and very easy to make. The kids ate them up as well. It was all of my favorite things in our favorite tacos but in the form of a sandwich.

January 8, 2009

I'm Back- sorry for the long break

Well, I was gone for quite some time from this blog but I am back now. I have a camera so this blog will be much more fun to read and look at now. Well, it is now the start of 2009 and my quest for becoming a goddess is in full swing. We have done a few projects around here to get started.
The first is that my husband built me 2 screen doors so we could have the doors open, the bugs (for the most part) out of the house and the cats can go back and forth. What makes this really amazing is that this was done using a machete, an old saw and a drill. He even made the angles in come wood so that he could make a design. He basically sandwiched the screening between the different pieces of wood and then made the little door for the cats.

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