Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cookbook Countdown, What's Outside my Kitchen Window and Library Loot.

Wednesdays are long for my blog posts.  If you are looking for library loot,  don't be discouraged....just scroll down to the very end!

This could possibly be the longest post I've ever written.
(**not ture....there is mostly pictures, so written is subjective)

I'm not quite sure what to do about that. I mean, I KNOW my mom will read it and maybe my mother-in-law. My daughter in-law Sadie, a few Friday Friends, here and there.... but really, reading it to the end?

If a post gets too long and it's not that captivating --if my sense of humor and my quick wit doesn't reel you in, in the first couple of paragraphs, (because if truth be told, my recipes are not TO DIE FOR), well, then, you probably won't get to the end of my longest post ever.
That makes me a bit sad.    Also, knowing I just passed by my 400th post without having a big a give-away--makes me feel bad too!

My first blog post ever? (click HERE for trip down memory lane and my first post)  It was about the same thing as my 400th blog post.  In a round about way.
I'm trying not to laugh, for fear of falling off my seat, --it wasn't a "food" post, or a "book" post -- BUT it did mention my trip to Virginia and me having
Sweet Tea.   It was not until my 2nd post, July 2007, that I mentioned having started my blog.   (   You have to remember, that it was not a food blog, but just a way to keep in touch with all my "Friday Friends" )

That my 1st post and my 400th post mentioning the same thing: ICED TEA.
If I would have only thought ahead...... I would have done a give-away.  Maybe I can do one for my 425th post!

Let's move on to my Cookbook Countdown!

I am going to count one of my "put together notebooks" as a cookbook... I have notebooks and notebooks of recipes I've collected over the years.

 Look at this notebook, (if you can read it ) it says:   
Soups, Hometown cooking misc. and Diet Recipes.
There is no rhyme or reason to my organizational skills.

On Sunday,  I was hungry for a stew that my daughter-in-law, Mara's, mother had made when we visited them last fall.  We were in Arizona visiting my son and his wife and most importantly, our new granddaughter, Cassandra, and we ate lunch at a restaurant where my DIL's mother works.

It's been on my mind for quite some time, so I thought I'd try my hand at making this original Mexican Stew.

Here we are....  the two grandma's.  Me and Maxine.  Which isn't her "real" name, but that is the Americanized version of it.   She speaks no English and I speak no Spanish.
REMEMBER, the camera adds 10lbs. Not to mention how many pounds are added when flying thru camera to computer to internet!

She made us these great dishes! (no cheese, no Fritos)

"My" family makes a soup/chili dish that we call Chalupa.   It has pork, pinto beans and a  broth with's  really good.    But of course we "Americanize" it by adding cheese and crushed Fritos, among other things.
I thought I'd "UN-Americanize" it and make it like the stew last fall.

This stew (my photo is blurry)  came to the table with the beef and the broth and then my daughter in law added the cabbage and onions, which were in a bowl beside the soup/stew bowl.
So.... I got out my cookbook notebook and looked at my Chalupa recipe, called my daughter-in-law  and asked her if she knew what Chalupa was.
She said "from Taco Bell?" She had never heard of it before. She did say that different regions of Mexico cook different dishes, so it could be a dish, that she just hadn't heard of.

Next, I looked thru my Diana Kennedy cookbook "From My Mexican Kitchen" where she does indeed have a Chalupa recipe... that is nothing like what we make.

Her chalupa --meaning little boats-- is a concoction of flour, like a thicker tortilla, filled with toppings/fillings.

I will have to try them someday, but for now this is my Chalupa/or Pork stew.
If I'm honest with you---yes, I did buy Fritos for my family to crush up. And I had some Jack Cheese, and I set the sour cream on the table too..... I couldn't "UN-Americanize" it too much. The rest of my toppings were onions, cabbage, radishes, tomatoes and avocadoes.


The verdict was REALLY GOOD. But we've always known that. It was good when it was just Chalupa with the Fritos crushed into it and the cheese melted on top of it.

I didn't have any Fritos in mine.... I made it more of a "stew". I think.

Chalupa--our way
(I add this as part of my cookbook challenge in my very own cookbook countdown --click here to see how far I've come)

3 pound pork roast
1 pound pinto beans
1 4oz can diced green chilies
1 tsp oregano
1 Tblsp ground cumin
2 Tblsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 small onion -chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
7 cups of water

soak beans over night, drain.
Simmer all of the above for about 5 hours.  Remove the roast, shred and add back into the broth.

Crush some Fritos into a soup bowl, add the Chalupa and top with the following:

to make it more original ( I thought) I also topped it with:
cabbage  (instead of lettuce)

As long as this is the longest post ever, (for me)  I will mention that the Handyman and I played a game and voted on it in our "Weed out the Games" resolution for 2010. (Brainchild of my dil Sadie) 
This way it will be recorded.

We played Showdown Yahtzee.

It was fun enough. We decided that we should play it with four people to make sure.

I said, "maybe this is a cabin/lake game" (meaning we'll take this one to my parents cabin and leave it there)
Handyman said, "I thought all the ones we didn't like were going to the cabin?"
Me, "no, we're selling them in the yard sale."
Handyman, "oh."  And then he looked at the Keeper pile (very big) and the loser pile (only 2 games) and he sighed.

So the verdict on this one is tabled for a while.

What's Outside My Kitchen Window?
Lots of brown stuff right now. Brown grass, brown leaves, brown weeds......
But I can see my mind.

My "dining room" window.....

Just after Christmas, we had a sad thing happen---our old Basset Hound died. Monroe. He waited until all the boys were home and said good-bye and then he just lay down and died. He was very old. It was very sad.

But now....the Handyman and I have decided to live dog-free for a while. It has been over 30 years with a dog in our lives.

so what does one do with the old dog house? Since Monroe's pen and dog house (not that he was ever penned in his life) shared space with our garden.
See our garden space last year/click here.
Outside right now...

We plan to take the chain-link fence down and cart the dog-house somewhere and enlarge our garden area. I might even consider composting. I want to, but I have to research it.

Last Summer

Right now

I can't wait for it to get warm enough to plant something!
Library Loot.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva (a striped armchair) and Marg (reading adventures) which encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Poor, poor library looters, who have come to see what loot I've gotten and then had to wade thru a rambling recipe and a gazillion pictures of my yard.

Ask me how I'm going to have time to read these book?! I have no idea. is my loot for this week.....

I'm a little obsessive, I know.
Happy Reading everyone!


Karen said...

I read the whole post :) How strange that you mentioned sweet tea in your first and 400th post! Poor Monroe :( I have a notebook cookbook like yours, but mine is pink. The only time I've heard of chalupa was at Taco Bell, too. It looks really good with the beans and all the toppings on it. How long will it take you to get through all those books you brought home? I can't wait to plant stuff, either!

Michelle B said...

Don't be sad. I read every word and didn't mind a bit. People should read more anyway!

I love authentic Mexican food, but fritos and cheese sound really good!

Sadie said...

I read every word as well. It was a little long and you did cover a lot of ground in one post. There are really only 2 games in the give away pile? I thought we eliminated more than that while we were home and you really have gotten rid of anymore? hmmm... I need to come home and play some more games. (I wish we could come home in April for my brothers homecoming party). Stupid CT.

pussreboots said...

What a fantastic selection of books.

Linda said...

Great loot!

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Terri said...

My goodness that stew looks really good. I've copied the recipe and I'm putting on the menu next week. Sorry to hear about your dog. :(

Marcus said...

Seriously mom, really? Can you please shorten your blog posts. Love ya!

Anonymous said...
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Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Okay, by the time I got to your "loot," I was starving! What yummy goodies!

Both the recipes and the loot. That Mel's Diner book is nostalgic for me...I grew up near that diner! The one featured in American Graffiti...right?

Wonderful books!

Here's my post:

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Phew! That is a long (and fun/chatty) post!

I'm a big fan of the homemade cookbook like yours, favorite recipes pulled from here and there. I'm sure you know exactly what the filing system is (and this way, your secret recipes stay secret)

I noticed SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT at the top of your blog - I loved this book; hope you're enjoying it!

I read THE COLOR OF MONEY quite a while ago, and enjoyed that memoir, too.

... and now I'm hungry! ...

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I read the whole post! Go ahead pop quiz me.

I'm sorry about Monroe.

Holy cow...FOUR HUNDRED posts?!?!!! Congrats.

My youngest (10) wants to start a garden and I've no clue how to start. Any suggestions?

Chalupa....uh, yeah, I would have thought taco bell too.

LOL, you're library loot is like my bookstore loot except cheaper. I worked at a library when I was senior and loved it but I REALLY like having my own books. I'm pretty sure it has to do with keeping my books in pristine shape especially the edges.

Growing up my parents bought us tons and tons of games. I think they still have them. Those were fun if combative times. We might have played little too competitively.

Whew! That was a long-ish comment! :)

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