Happy Halloween!

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Taco on a Leaf Recipe

Recently I came up with a recipe that my husband calls “taco on a leaf”.  It’s a quick, fun recipe and it’s easy to add or remove ingredients to your liking

Ingredients
1 avocado, cut in to small pieces
1 pound ground beef
packet of taco seasoning (or make your own)
1/4 cup water
green leaf lettuce
diced green onions
1/4 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
shredded cheese
roasted red pepper dip (recipe here)
crushed tortilla chips

Directions
In medium sized pot, mix beef and onions.  Cook on medium-high until beef is no longer pink.
Once beef is no longer pink, drain and return to pot.  Add water and taco seasoning.

Mix and reduce heat to low.  Allow beef to simmer for a few minutes.

Take one leaf of green leaf lettuce and place on plate.  Spread red pepper dip down the center and top with beef.

Then add crushed tortilla chips, avocado, and tomatoes.

Finish with shredded cheese and green onion.


jalapenos and black olives can also be added.  Serve with fruit, Mexican rice, or refried beans.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

If you’re looking for an easy, homemade chip dip, look no further!  Here’s the recipe for roasted red pepper dip.

Ingredients
10 oz. can of roasted red peppers
1 package of cream cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic (or 1/8 tablespoon garlic powder)

Step 1.  Chop green onions and garlic.

Step 2.  Drain and rinse red peppers.  Place red peppers, garlic, and green onions in food processor.

Step 3. Mix until peppers are cut in to small pieces.  Add cream cheese and mix until well blended.  Place in container and refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.

Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Homemade Popcorn

I love sitting down to watch a good movie with a bowl of hot popcorn.

Microwave popcorn is okay, but I normally make my own on the stove.  It’s healthier plus I am able to control how much butter and salt goes on it.   Here’s how I make it (yummy popcorn recipes to follow!):

Step 1: Pour popcorn kernels into a large saucepan.  I pour enough in to cover 50-75% of the bottom of the pan.

Step 2. Pour oil over popcorn kernels.  I use Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Oil, but any oil (vegetable, canola) will work.  Make sure each kernel is covered in oil (you may need to pick up the saucepan and shake it).

Step 3. Turn burner on medium-high.  It takes about 5 minutes for the kernels to get hot enough to start popping.

Step 4. Listen to the popping.  When the popping slows, lift the saucepan 2-3 inches away from the burner and shake to prevent burning.  Once there are 2 seconds between pops, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Step 5.  Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter.  I recommend using salted butter, but you can use whatever you’d like (including margarine).  Put the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt it.

Step 6. Pour half of the popcorn in to a large bowl. Drizzle half the butter on the popcorn and top with the desired amount of salt.  Use your hands to mix.

Step 7. Pour in the remaining popcorn, butter, and salt. Mix again with hands.  I do this in two steps so that the butter and salt are evenly distributed in the popcorn.

This is enough for two people or one hungry person. You can spice up your popcorn by following these other recipes:

Spicy Popcorn
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 cups popped popcorn

Heat water and margarine in a 6-inch nonstick skillet over low heat about 3 minutes or until margarine is melted.  Stir in remaining ingredients except popcorn.  Drizzle over popcorn; toss.  Serve immediately.

Southwest Popcorn
2 cups Cheerios cereal
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 cups popped popcorn

Mix popcorn and cereal.  Heat margarine, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder in 6-inch nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until margarine is melted.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture; toss.  Immediately sprinkle with cheese; toss.

Caramelized-Sugar Popcorn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons margarine or butter
10 cups popped popcorn

Sprinkle salt over popcorn in large bowl; set aside. Place sugar in Dutch oven.  Heat over medium heat, shaking Dutch oven occasionally (do not stir), until sugar starts to melt. Reduce heat to low.  Add margarine, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely melted and golden.

Remove from heat.  Immediately add popcorn, stirring to coat.  Quickly transfer to large bowl; cool.

Happy popping!

Oh Rain, You Ruin My Plans

It’s raining today.

The lichens on our oak and ash trees look like they’re glowing compared to the brown and orange hues of the trees, so I had to get a picture.

I had planned to go to the nearby university today to take pictures of campus, but I can’t because it’s rainy and cold.  That’s okay, though!  It’s forcing me to stay inside so I’ll probably do some touch ups on my bathroom and maybe watch a scary movie (Halloween is in a few days, after all).

What are your Saturday plans?

Pictures of October

I love October.  Blue skies, colorful leaves, comfortable temperatures, pumpkins.  Last night I celebrated Halloween with my family and I woke up early today to get some pictures of downtown.

My dad was with me and took some of these pictures (but I won’t say which ones! Don’t want him making me look bad!) 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you had a great weekend.

Pumpkin Cookies

I made soft pumpkin cookies tonight!  Let me share the recipe with you.  The ingredient amounts are at the bottom of this post.

Step 1. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Set aside.

Step 2. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended.

Step 3. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract into sugar/butter mixture until smooth.

That looks a little unappetizing, but the end result is delicious!  You must trust the Project Board.

Step 4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Step 5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6. For the glaze, combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

Step 7.  After 15 minutes, take cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on wax paper or cookie rack.

Step 8. Apply the glaze.

Here’s the full recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

FOR GLAZE:
Combine
2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Enjoy!

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