Speaking the language of food now comes naturally. Speaking that language had humble beginnings. I will prove that with the first recipe card I received. It’s for Peanut Butter Toast.
Ingredients: Bread; Jiff Creamy Style Peanut Butter.
Directions: Toast 2 or more slices of bread – light brown – spread with p. butter. Cut into “fingers.” Eat & Enjoy!
For a wedding gift I received my first cookbook, Colorado Cache. I thumbed through it and put it on a shelf; Way To Many ingredients. The directions looked far too serious. When I did eventually venture into cooking with recipes, I learned best – the hard way. Early on, the hubbster mentioned his love for all things pasta, with lots of garlic. I found a pasta recipe which called for two ‘cloves’ of garlic. I thought clove was a spice my mom put in apple cider. Garlic cloves went on my grocery list and when I found this cellophane wrapped box with 2 garlic ‘cloves’ in it, I felt pretty good about myself. A plastic garlic press wedding gift went into action on those 2 ‘cloves.’ Good thing JR was a fan of garlic. After sharing my recipe sort-of-success with someone I learned about garlic bulbs.
When you get past basic food language grammar, you enter the world of meal complexity. Try to make 2 things and get them on the table in the same dinner hour. I will not share the number of times I spent in the kitchen finishing cooking, baking, or simmering the meal that I had planned for the guests who were eating the finished part of it without me. Timing and Multiple Menus are Food 301 classes.
How ironic that the first “booklet” I would put together would be a cookbook to encourage and help a friend who was going back to work full-time, didn’t love cooking, yet wanted to be able to do made-in-the-home-dinner for her family. It was called: Making It Simple, Making It Plain, Making It Happen! The thought really counted in this gift. Today, I forget where I am and who is around me when I get a new cookbook for my birthday or christmas. I read them cover to cover thinking about who I would make what for and eager to try new ingredients and combinations. I really have come a long way.
Tonight I want to share two recipes that are complimentary; are quick to make and bake together so they both end up on the table in the same dinner hour. They are T1, T2 and Hubby approved.
From Colorado Cache (we eventually became good friends…)
page 270 if you have the book.
Sopa Seca (Mexican Rice)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 large tomato (or one can of diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 small green bell pepper – diced (or red)
- dash of crushed red pepper (or 1 tsp if you like it hot)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
Directions: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion tomato. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring until rice is shiny and hot. Stir in the remainder of ingredients. Bring to a boil – then cover and put in the oven for 25 min at 350 degrees. (NOTE: the Cache recipe says bake 20 min at 400 degrees, but I have changed it to match the enchiladas and it comes out great! )
From Country Woman magazine May/June 1999
- 4 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken
- 8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
The Sauce Country Woman Uses:
- 3 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
- 1 Tlb chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin (or 1 tsp if you like a little spice)
- 1 can ripe olives
The Sauce I Use: 505 Green Chili (get at the grocery, or Costco sells the big jar)
10 flour tortillas
1/2 cup jack cheese
Directions: Combine filling ingredients. If making the red sauce – combine all sauce ingredients in a pot and simmer for 5-10 min uncovered. Spoon 1/3-1/2 cup of filling down the center of each tortilla. Roll up; place seam side down in a greased 9 X 13 pan. Top with Green Chili or Red Sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheddar and jack cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.