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Italian Garden Bread

Filling 2 large onions diced 3 cloves garlic diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup olives chopped (I used a mix of green and rinsed kalamata) fresh black pepper to taste 1 cup all purpose flour In a large pan, heat the olive oil , add the onions and garlic. Cook until transparent. Remove from heat. Combine with remaining ingredients. Reserve. Dough 1 cup whole wheat flour 3 to 4 cups white flour 1 tablespoon yeast 3/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon dry oregano crumbled 2 tablespoon olive oil 2 eggs 1/4 cup grated parmesan 1 cup grated cheese (I used Costco Italian blend) 1/4 cup tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon guar gum (optional) 1 recipe Filling In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water along with the sugar. Reserving the white flour, combine the rest of the ingredients except filling. Mix well.While using the dough hook (or kneading by hand) add ...

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What do I cook all day?

With my renewed effort to get healthier, I bought chicken instead of pork at the supermarket. Husband is not really fond of chicken he says it tastes like cardboard at best. When I was pregnant with my first child all you had to do was say the word “chicken” and I would loose my stomach contents, but that was (wow) 30 years ago, so I think I am over it. That child, by the way, makes the most awesome fried chicken ever. One day she wanted fried chicken so I bought her chicken parts and handed her the cookbook and said have fun! My kids learned how to cook at an early age. The girls learned in 4-H and Son learned from us plus he attended a cooking school for a couple of semesters. He can read a recipe in English and Spanish! The secret to really good fried chicken is to soak it in milk before battering and resisting ...

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Stir fried Tofu and Eggplant

I think I found this in Sunset Magazine. I wrote it down on a scrap of paper so I am relying on my faulty memory for the source. Stir Fried Tofu and EggplantIngredients: 3 tablespoons vegetable oil1 package firm tofu, cut into 2 inch chunks1 eggplant cut into 1″ x 3″ strips1 bell pepper cut into strips2 diced garlic cloves ( I used a tablespoon of diced garlic)SAUCEcombine:1/3 cup soy sauce2 tablespoons oyster sauce2 tablespoons sugarGARNISH1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (I forgot to add these, it was still good!) Heat the pan. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu. Brown the tofu. The secret to browning soft things like tofu is to leave it alone. I know you want to stir it around, but don’t, just wait. Brown the tofu on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan. If you need to, add more oil. Cook the garlic, eggplant and ...

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The Blender,Mexican Superstar

When we first came here, I searched high and low for a food processor. Finally, my mother-in-law brought me one from the USA. I like having it, but it turns out that the essential Mexican cooking gadget is the ordinary kitchen blender. I have used my blender more here than I ever did in all the years before I moved to Mexico. I have also gone through several spice/coffee grinders since moving here. The blade tends to break off, or the motor burns out. I started using a mortar and pestle to grind peppercorns and other hard spices. But, recently, in Megabalcones, I bought a mini-blender set. The kit costs about the same as a new spice grinder (around $121.00 mxp), but instead of having a small motor, the 3 small half pint jars screw into a cutting blade assembly which you then use in place of your normal blender container and blade assembly. The jars also come with lids ...

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Cooking from scratch in Mexico

  One of the things ex-pats often say about moving to Mexico, is that it’s like moving back in time to the fifties, sixties or seventies (or whenever they experienced childhood). It’s one of the reasons many people chose to move south of the border, the slower pace of life, the emphasis on family and the new and exotic foods. When I was corresponding with Malcolm about writing this column, one of the things that occurred to me was that Malcolm and Jillian have probably never lived in a world without prepared curry paste, cake mixes and exotic spice blends like garam masala. If you are used to “time saving” recipes that call for prepared items, and for whatever reason never have made them completely from scratch, living in Mexico would certainly make cooking your favorite dishes a challenge. I think the secret to cooking here, is to understand that even in the 50s you could bake a cake without ...

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My house smells like oranges!

We have a sour orange tree. Every year I make Orange Marmalade. This year I am making candied citrus peel. Gosh our house sure smells good! I used 10 pounds of sour oranges, froze the juice in ice cube trays for later in the year when I don’t have any oranges. It’s really good in iced tea and essential to making the pickled onions Yucatecos put on cochinita and salbutes. I also marinate meat in it. You can substitute it for vinegar in salad dressing too. Best of all for me, it’s free!

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cooking and the economy

If you read my regular blog, you know that my attention has been everywhere but cooking. Of course, I have been cooking but nothing really exciting. Sometime you just produce meals, you know what I mean?I did however make granola in my crock pot. I have been wanting to make granola but with my Easy Bake Oven sized tabletop oven, it just didn’t seem cost or time effective. Actually the maximum size pan my oven can accommodate is 9 x 12 inches. I had some coconut piloncillo filling hanging around from when I made Indian pastries, which I combined with 5 cups of oatmeal, and various other things that seemed to go into granola, like flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, dried fruits. I more or less followed this recipe but adjusted it to what I had on hand. We ate all the granola so I am planning upon making more.I also made this crockpot falafel recipe , I ...

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Aruna’s Dal

This is the best tasting dal that I have ever had! Unfortunately, I have no source for yellow lentils so I use regular lentils. 1 cup lentilscover the lentils with water and boil until soft1 medium onion chopped1 heaping teaspoon ginger paste1 heaping garlic pastefry until brown. Add3 roma tomatoes choppedblend the mixture and add to the lentils plus2 tablespoons yogurt Garnishone small dried red chileteaspoon mustard seedteaspoon cumin seedghee Heat the ghee or oil until hot, brown the remaining ingredients and garnish the dal.

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Mexican Dal

I have several dal recipes that I use, this is one that I adapted. 8oz lentils1 large chile poblano, seeded, deveined and diced1 large onion diced3 tablespoons ghee (or vegetable oil, NOT olive oil!)1/2 teaspoon tumeric (cucurcema)1 teaspoon mustard seeds1 quart watersalt to taste Cook the lentils in water until soft. I prefer to use the pressure cooker, if you have a pressure cooker use the directions that came with yours.While the lentils are cooking, I saute the onions and peppers in a tablespoon of ghee until transparent. Add the tumeric and salt to the onions and chile, stirring to coat well. Carefully add the onions and chile to the lentils. Simmer for 5 minutes. In batches, puree the soup in the blender or food processor.Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan until hot, the ghee is hot enough when you can put a mustard seed in it and the seed pops. Add the mustard seeds to the ghee, ...

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How to make Chapati or Roti

This is great, I was going to type up a recipe and then I found this video when I was looking for the tofu one. If you don’t feel like making your own chapatis use whole wheat tortillas.My recipe makes more chapatis and uses half whole wheat and half regular flour otherwise it’s the same. INGREDIENTS:This recipe makes 4 Roti’s:1/2 Cup Whole wheat flourPinch of Salt1/4 Cup and 1 tablespoon of luke warm water1/4 teaspoon of Oil1 teaspoon of Ghee or clear butter This video was courtesy of Manjulas Kitchen

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