Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taco Salad with Pancho's Dressing

When Tony and I can't decide on any new meals to try for the week, we usually fall back on one of our quick easy favorites like taco salads.  Our favorite part of this salad is the dressing.  I used to buy this dressing a lot when I lived in Memphis, but I don't have easy access to it since moving away.  I found a copycat recipe for it years ago, and have been making it often ever since.  Feel free to tweak the recipe to your tastes.  I usually end up adding a little extra vinegar and oil.  Also, it's better after it sits for a little bit so make it early in the day or a day or two ahead of time.  If you have any leftovers, it makes a great dip for tortilla chips...yum! 

For the taco shells, we use burrito-sized flour tortillas that we heat up in the microwave between damp paper towels (to make them easy to fold).  Once heated, we lightly ball up some aluminum foil and lay the heated tortilla over the foil ball.  We spray the tortilla lightly with cooking spray and place in a 300 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Our favorites for inside the shells include:
  • Black Beans seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder
  • Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Diced Avocado or Guacamole
  • Pancho's Dressing

Monday, March 7, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Over the weekend, we experienced a bit of a cold spell in Alabama.  For the last couple of weeks, we've been having a lot of days where the highs reach the 60s, and we've even seen a few 70s.  Yesterday, that all changed when the temps barely reached 40 degrees.  We decided it would be a perfect day for bowl of soup.  I have tried several broccoli cheese soup recipes over the years, but this one from Annie's Eats is our favorite.  We use whole milk to make it a little creamier.   

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Brews - Irish Red and Honey Weizen's been a long time since I've updated the blog!  Tony has brewed a couple of batches of beer since my last post.  Lately we've tried brewing an Irish Red...

 And a Honey Weizen...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beer Brewing - Wingback Ale

I bought Tony brewing equipment for his birthday, and he's had a blast brewing his first batch, Wingback Ale.  We have now bottled the first batch (about a month after initially starting).  Once bottled, the beer is supposed to sit for about 2 weeks to fully carbonate, but we couldn't wait so we tried one after 6 days.  It tasted pretty good, but didn't have much carbonation. 

Here are some pictures of the process:

This was on day 1 - Boiling the wort

It "lives" in one of the guest bathrooms to keep the temperature more stable and to keep the cat out!

 Primary Fermentation - yuck!  The green stuff is supposed to be there...eww!

 Here we are siphoning it from the first carboy to the second for it's secondary fermentation.  The green stuff stays behind :)

 After a couple of weeks in the secondary fermenter, it's time to bottle!

And finally capping!   

Monday, October 25, 2010

Honey Yeast Rolls

Tony and I love trying new bread recipes.  These honey yeast rolls were the best rolls we've ever made!  They reminded us of the yummy, soft rolls you get at steak houses.  I split the recipe in half and used an 8-inch cake pan and it worked perfectly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup and Harvest Salad

Acorn Squash Soup

Now that it's finally getting cooler outside, I've been in the mood for soups.  Last week, my best friend, Sara, told about an acorn squash soup from her aunt's blog that sounded amazing.  I make butternut squash soup a lot, but have never cooked anything with acorn squash.  I love that you roast the squash with garlic and shallots.  My husband said he likes the sweetness of the butternut squash a little better, so next time, I might use butternut with this same roasting method.  We served the soup with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Harvest Salad

These salads were delicious and incorporated all of the yummy fall flavors into one dish.  I used a spring mix lettuce and topped it with diced pears, macintosh apples, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese crumbles (for me) and crumbled feta (for Tony).  I drizzled a basic vinaigrette over the top. 

This was a perfect fall meal!

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte

I saw this cake on Annie's Eats and knew I had to have it!  I decided Tony's birthday would be a great opportunity to make it.  Based on Annie's description (and looking at the ingredients), I knew it would be extremely rich so I planned on passing it around to my neighbors and co-workers.  Everyone I shared it with loved it.  A small sliver is all you'll want at a time, but this torte is delicious!  How could it not be good with all of these ingredients...