Monday, March 4, 2013

Kale Chips

This recipe is so easy and so good! Its very heart healthy and I doubt I will eat potato chips again. The possibilities are pretty endless as you can spice them up with other spices. I did the simple basic recipe to try but I will now experiment using other spices. I want to try a spicy one next!

Preheat oven to 400 (bake on bottom rack)
Kale (washed and dried)
EVOO (1 tablespoon)

Simply rip the Kale (leaves only) into bite sized pieces. Add the EVOO and toss coating all of it. Spread out on Aluminum Foil or Cookie Sheet. Make sure none are overlapping. Salt to taste. Then just bake on the bottom rack about 10mins is good but I found that the browner pieces were tastier. So next time I will rotate them around the cookie sheet and bake a little longer!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Homemade Flour Tortillas

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Homemade Flour Tortillas: This is a recipe and photo submitted by one of our fans. Personally I cant wait to make some for my own family. She was gracious enough to...

Homemade Flour Tortillas

This is a recipe and photo submitted by one of our fans. Personally I cant wait to make some for my own family. She was gracious enough to share it with all of us!

2 cups of flour

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 cup of warm water

Blend all this in a food processor and let it rest in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic bag place in   a warm space  for 30 minutes. Separate into balls and roll out as thin as possible then simply fry them up in a nonstick pan with a dash of oil and enjoy. My kids eat tortillas pretty much on a daily basis. They wrap anything in them or just grab and eat as a snack. I think they will love when I try these!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Imposter Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Imposter Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: I gotta admit I had my doubts trying this recipe but was very pleasantly surprised that they actually taste exactly the same. It is so simpl...

Imposter Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I gotta admit I had my doubts trying this recipe but was very pleasantly surprised that they actually taste exactly the same. It is so simple and can be molded into any shape you choose I was even thinking that this could be molded into a cake shape then covered with the chocolate for any Reese's lover!

1 jar 16oz of Creamy Peanut Butter (I bought store brand which was cheap 2 for 3$)

1 stick of Butter (sliced into tablespoons and divided into a pile of 5 and another of 3)
1/2 box of Bakers Chocolate (unsweetened you will only need 4 squares 1/2 box)

4 Tablespoons of Milk

4 1/2 cups of Confectioners Sugar
I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer (with dough hook attached) to mix but I am sure you could use a bowl and spoon or a food processor.  Add jar of Peanut Butter to bowl with the Confectioners Sugar and 5 tablespoons of melted Butter. Mix and add Tablespoons of Milk one at a time til it looks something like play dough (3minutes in Mixer)

You can now mold by hand into any shape you choose. I attempted an egg shape but next time may use a cookie cutter to shape or try to mold into an actual cake.
After shaping place on to cookie sheet and freeze for approximately an hour. Now we will melt our chocolate squares with the 3 tablespoons of butter on a low heat stirring constantly. If chocolate is thick add an additional 2 tablespoons of butter. I then simply used tongs to dip each shape and flip to cover in chocolate. Then place back on the cookie sheet. Novice cookers may prefer to set wax paper under them. After all are covered in chocolate place in refrigerator for about an hour to harden chocolate. I did not use wax paper I simply used a sturdy spatula to remove once hardened. Then placed them on a serving tray or plate, store in refrigerator til serving. Enjoy and get creative! My first batch I wasn't worried about the presentation. Now that I know how great they are I will work on that. You could even melt some white chocolate, add food coloring and decorate!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tamales ~Homemade Authentic Part 3 of 3

Now to get these tamales together! Our meat and sauce are done and have marinated overnight. Our husks have soaked overnight making them very flexible. Now its time to make our Maza! Don't be scared its so easy! When I wanted to make this recipe for the first time I found out the dirty little secret that all my tamale making friends cheat and use pre made store bought Maza. I was so disappointed and determined to figure out how to make my own. After all this is all about making it homemade right? There are 2 key ingredients that are extremely important for this and they are a good dried Masa I prefer MASECA brand and some good Lard (Manteca)

This recipe I make in batches as I need it. I find that the warm Maza spreads so easily. So I make it in batches that yields about 50 tamales per batch.

2 cups of Maseca
2 cups of hot water
1/4 cup of powder chicken bouillon
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt (I use Kosher)
1/2 the slab of Manteca Lard (melted on stove top)
Mix the Masa, salt, chicken bouillon, and baking powder in a large bowl (I once again use my Kitchen Aid Mixer but did use a large bowl and clean hands before purchasing the mixer) Next add in the hot water and melted lard. Mix thoroughly til smooth and batter starts to be sticky.  Now we will need a very clean disinfected table or counter top to start to spread the masa onto our corn husks. I am gonna say there is no wrong or right way to do this you can make a thick or thin coat depending on your own liking. I use either a butter knife, a spoon, or a flexible baking spatula all work fine. I find it easiest to spread the entire 50 out leave them flat and then start to add the meat. Again adding to your liking a larger or smaller portion of meat. We like to go for  a nice thick meaty tamale in my house! To fold after filling its simple left side over proceeded by right side over and bottom flap up. Now to steam them. Use a large pot with a strainer placed into it and fill bottom with a few cups of water to create the steam. We don't want the water touching the strainer. Again I do this in a few different pans and usually have 50 Tamales in each pot. I steam them probably about 45mins to an hour then let cool before batching up my freezer bags. If you are serving them after steaming a good 5 minutes to sit and settle is usually good. Then just simply serve, peel, and eat! I highly recommend doing the few different batches as they are going to turn out so delicious you will want to share with friends, family, and neighbors!
If you do happen to freeze some of them I have found the easiest way to reheat them or just keep them warm for a party is to fill the crock pot with them start off on high to heat and then turn to warm to keep heated! The crock pot keeps the moisture in them.

After all this I do believe I am going to go run and pull  a batch out of my freezer for tomorrow. Hope you enjoy and let me tell you this seems like a lot of work try it in the steps and I promise you every time you make them after becomes easier and easier. This is such a recipe to share! You are going to love all the compliments you get!!

Tamales ~Homemade Authentic part 2 of 3

Now that our sauce is ready its time to get started on our fillings and get our corn husks soaking! I found that using a large baking pan works best for me.

Simply divide and cover with some hot water. I give them a flip every now and then to make sure they all soak well.
Now we can work on our fillings I personally enjoy the Beef best! Feel free to use Beef, Pork, or Chicken (boneless Skinless Breasts work best) Remember my recipe is bulk!

Large Beef Roast
Large Pork Roast
 8-10 Boneless Chicken Breasts (boiled up in some Chicken Stock then shredded)

2 Garlic Cloves (peeled and separated)

You can bake the roasts I like to cut slits in them and stuff with garlic. Bake until very tender or cook them up in a crock pot whichever is easiest for yourself. Then cool and shred. I find that my Kitchen Aid Mixer shreds meat so easily I cant believe I actually used to do it by hand! Separate into bowls and add lots of the Red Chile Sauce (see part1) Since this is my day 2 I like to leave a bunch of sauce at the top of each container before refrigerating til the next day as the meat really absorbs the sauce overnight.

Tamales ~ Homemade Authentic Part 1 of 3

So I have been meaning to Blog this recipe for quite some time now. It is a little more lengthy than the usual recipes but oh so worth it. You can do them alone (I do) I suggest if you are doing this alone split it into a few day process if making a few hundred! (they freeze quite well) Or assemble a team to help. With Easter approaching soon this is a great addition to the festivities! I like to have a little stock in the freezer just for a nice weekend brunch or an easy freezer meal. Any way it goes I hope you all enjoy the recipe!

OK so where do we start? I will give you my own recipe and give you some tips on what works easiest for myself. I do this as a solo project and usually spread the work out to a 3 day process. I know its gonna get done right and there is no pressure. One of my #1 tips is planning I always know when I am going to make them so I have a little habit of freezing the leftover meat from roasts in freezer containers so on day 1 I remove all containers filled with my pre cooked roasts from the freezer and start defrosting as I start with my red sauce. I have been making these for a few years now and by freezing those roasts I save so much time and extra $ and end up with enough tamales to share with all my friends. If you are planning this as a next week meal obviously you will need to cook a roast and shred the meat. I use pork, beef, chicken, and then also do a cheese and chile with jalapeno.

So lets start with our sauce. This sauce can be frozen in a container for future use so I am giving you my big batch recipe!
1 Bag each of dried Ancho and Dried Pasillo Chiles (stemmed, seeded, and vein removed wear gloves while doing this)

2 Cloves of garlic

2 Tsps of Cumin
1 Large Onion

Place all your cleaned Chiles in a large pot. Pour a few cups of hot water over the top. Add in your g
Garlic, Cumin, Onion. Bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so. Let cool and strain. Leaving the juice to the side. Now you can use a Blender or Food Processor to make a paste fill with peppers and onions and a cup or so of liqued and blend together forming a nice semi thick paste. Repeat with all remaining Chiles. I simply add to one big bowl as I go. It should come out looking somewhat like this

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings:   This recipe was so easy and turned out much better than I actually thought it would. It would be great for parties or any day of the week....

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings

  This recipe was so easy and turned out much better than I actually thought it would. It would be great for parties or any day of the week. My kids who are very picky eaters were enticed by the smell to try it and to everyones surprise they loved it!
Chicken Wings

1/2 -1 bottle of BBQ Sauce

Poultry Seasoning

Soy Sauce


 I can bet if you covered the wings in hot sauce before the BBQ sauce it would spice up the recipe for adults who like the heat. Next time I make these I am going to try that!

Super simple I simply put the wings in the crock pot added few dashes of soy sauce and sprinkled with the Poultry Seasoning and some Pepper. Then poured the BBQ sauce over the top of the wings. I mistakenly turned the crock pot on a high setting and noticed they were cooking up pretty fast. So if you are in a hurry I would suggest a high setting for about 3 or so hours depending on your crock pot and if you have the day slow cook them at a lower temp for about 6hrs.