Domesticity Nouveau

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill is an amazing company.  Not only is it employee owned, thanks to Bob's generous gift to his employees, but it is a great source for gluten free goodness!!!

A lot of folks with gluten issues must avoid oats because of cross contamination in the processing.  Thankfully, Bob and his fine people came to the rescue with certified gluten free oats.  Until recently, they were only available in the steel cut and rolled forms, both of which can take longer than you have in the morning, or are willing to wait for when the tummy is a grumblin'!  But now, Bob's Red Mill has QUICK cooking oats and oat flour!!  You can get to that warm bowl of goodness quickly and have time to enter their drawing for a chance to win a cookbook and two oat products.  Click here to enter!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breakfast Fiesta!

Having breakfast for dinner is a favorite for many people.  I am, however, not one of them.  My husband on the other hand, would probably eat breakfast for every meal if given the opportunity.

One of our compromises on this matter is Mexican breakfast dinners.  Huevos Rancheros and Breakfast Enchiladas are two of our favorites.  To my husband, they count as breakfast because of the eggs.  For me, they work as dinner because of the hot and spicy.  Either way, we both have happy bellies!

Finding good enchilada sauce was a challenge, even before having to be gluten free.  Finding enchilada sauce that didn't break the bank complicated matters.  Finally, though, after much research, I think I am on the right track and have a recipe that is close to the restaurant experience, at a fraction of the price!

Rolling enchiladas, removing them from the pan and having them stay rolled has been another obstacle in my quest for perfection of el corazon de casa (la cocina)!  To that end, I have simply decided to stop fighting the corn tortillas and make enchilada casserole instead.  Same great taste without the battle... and less mess!  (Tortillas 1, Domesticity Nouveau 0)

Enchilada Breakfast Casserole

1 recipe of Enchilada Sauce (below)
12 corn tortillas
8 eggs
1-2 medium russet potatoes, diced
1 red, green, yellow, or orange sweet pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Any other veggies or meat you want to toss in (great for using up leftovers)
Shredded Cheese of choice (maybe cheddar or monterey jack or Farmer's Cheese)

Make enchilada sauce and pour a cup or so into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.  Place a single layer of tortillas on top, breaking in 1/2's and 1/4's as needed to fill in the gaps.  Smooth a small amount of sauce on top of tortilla layer.

In a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, saute the potatoes, peppers, and onions in olive oil until the potatoes are browned on the outside and soft on the inside.  How long this takes depends on the size you diced everything, but figure about 10-20minutes-ish.  Salt & pepper to taste.

Spread the veggie and potato mix over the 1st layer of tortillas.

Scramble the eggs, and cook until just done, maybe a little underdone as they will finish in the oven.  Place eggs on top of the potato mix. Salt & pepper to taste.

Cover the eggs and potatoes with a 2nd layer of tortillas.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly on top.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the whole thing is bubbly gooey perfection.  Let sit for a few minutes so you don't burn your tongue!  Slice, serve, enjoy.

***Notes***  You can make this an even easier dish to prepare by using packaged o'brien potato mix from the freezer section.  (If you need to be gluten-free, make sure to read the ingredients as it might have some sort of dusting on it to keep everything from clumping together.)  There are so many possibilities on ways to customize this recipe for your liking... sweet potatoes instead of russets, mushrooms, olives, sausage, soyrizo, canned beans, cilantro, taco seasoning, left over asparagus, ham or bacon (like there is ever leftover bacon!)... you get the idea.

Enchilada Sauce

2 Tbsp Olive oil, or canola, or butter, or whatever is your oil of choice
2 Tbsp tapioca flour (or regular flour if you don't need to avoid gluten)
5 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
6 oz tomato paste (small can)
2 1/2 - 3 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Make a roux by browning the flour and oil over medium heat.  Turn heat to medium-low and add spices and tomato paste, smooshing together until combined.  Stir in a small amount of water (about 3/4 cup), until smooth.  Slowly add remaining water until well combined.  (I use an immersion blender, because it is fast and I am a lazy cook!)  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if you would like.

Huevos Rancheros

28 oz can tomato sauce or 2 pint jars homemade tomato sauce
1 medium jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green or red pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Dash of green tabasco
Salt & pepper to taste
6 eggs
6 corn tortillas
Oil to fry tortillas

In a large frying pan with straight sides and a good fitting lid, mix tomato sauce with jalapeno, onion, pepper, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper.  Bring to a low simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In a small frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat until it starts to shimmer.  Quickly place one tortilla in oil and flip after about 30 seconds.  Continue to fry until crisp, drain on paper towels.  Repeat for all tortillas.  You can save the oil in the fridge, once it has cooled, and use it again for your next round of tortilla frying.

Or... you can brush or spray oil onto each tortillas front and back and broil in the oven until crisp.  About 2-3 minutes... don't forget to raise the oven rack close to the broiler.

When tortillas are crisp and sauce has simmered, turn the heat down to medium-low until there is hardly a simmer in the sauce.  (Simmering will break your eggs when you poach them in the sauce and there will be plenty of heat to carry through the cooking.)

Break an egg into a custard cup or short glass, keeping it whole.  Make a little well in the sauce and pour the egg into the hole.  Quickly repeat with remaining eggs and then place the lid on the pan.  Cook for about 2-4 minutes and then carefully lift each egg from the sauce and place on a tortilla.  When all eggs are out, spoon remaining sauce over the eggs.  You can serve as is, or as we do, with Better Re-Fried Beans or Cheater Beans.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Make Laundry Fun with Magic Cleaning Sprinkles!

I wish that laundry was fun.  It’s not.  Even when you give the laundry soap a cute name, like Magic Cleaning Sprinkles, it is still a lame chore.  It’s not so much the washing and drying, (the machines do most of that tedious process), it’s the folding and putting away.  I have yet to find anything redeeming about the folding and putting away, other than it is what one is suppose to do with their clothing so that others don’t look upon them with shame.  Lack of shame isn’t much of a motivator for me.  If however, the laundry basket spit out quarters like a Vegas slot machine when the clothes were in proper order, I would probably be a laundry fanatic!

A friend of mine likes to joke about how I gave her instructions for making homemade yogurt that started with buying yogurt.  This is another one of those type recipes in that making your own laundry soap starts with buying soap.  I realize that sounds somewhat silly, but like the yogurt, it’s more cost effective to make your own and you know what is going into your finished product.   It only takes a few minutes to whip up a batch of laundry soap and it is so much more wallet friendly than anything you can get at the store on sale.

It is a bit different, however, in that it isn’t laced with a lot of fragrance or chemical fabric conditioners.  This means your clothes will probably feel slightly different than you are used to because the cloth fibers aren’t coated with conditioners that release fragrance for days and days.  Your clothes will just be clean and for some people, that is the goal.  Well, for most people I think the goal of laundry is clean clothes, but I could be wrong.

Magic Cleaning Sprinkles
(AKA frugal laundry powder)

1 bar of Fels Naptha
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda
1 1/4 cups Borax
1/2 cup Baking Soda

Grate the bar of Fels Natha, by hand or with your food processor.  In the bowl of your food processor, mix together the grated Fels Naptha with all the other ingredients until it becomes a uniform powder, about 30 seconds to one minute.   Let the mixture rest for a moment so the dust can settle and not hit you in the face when you take the top off.  Use 2 TBSP for your average large load.  A little more or less for extra dirty or smaller loads.

Fabric Softener
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

If you have one of those blue fabric softener balls, just fill it to the line with white vinegar and drop in as usual.  If you don’t have one of the balls, you can add in the vinegar during the final rinse or any other way you add fabric softener.  And nope, your clothes won’t smell at all like vinegar!  Of course, they also won’t smell like Tahitian Waterfall Meadow Flower Rainy Spring Sunshine Morning Dew, but that can be good!