Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Corn Tortilla Egg Bake

I've been on a REAL corn tortilla binge while I've been in Utah and this is one of the yummy recipes I've used them in. It's had rave reviews from everyone I've fed it to so far!

Corn Tortilla & Sausage Quiche

1/2 lb sausage
6 corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded "Mexican Blend" cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 small can (1/4 cup) chopped green chilies
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, brown the sausage.

Place 5 tortillas into a 9" pie plate, overlapping and extending a bit past the rim. Place the last tortilla in the middle. Put the sausage over the tortillas and sprinkle with half of the cheeses and the can of chilies.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cottage cheese and chili powder. Slowly pour over the chilies and meat.

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. The center will be puffed and lightly brown.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream and salsa.

Check out more yummy Tasty Tuesday recipes at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vanilla Extract

The first time I went to get vanilla from the supermarket, I had a hard time finding it because I was looking for a little brown bottle. I did not find a little brown bottle. I didn't even find a little clear bottle with brown vanilla-ey colored liquid. I found this:


It was CLEAR IMPOSTER VANILLA! Now, to be honest, I'm not so much of a snob that I won't use imitation vanilla. The problem was, the imposter vanilla wasn't even trying to be vanilla-like in any way! Clear wannabe vanilla... pfft!

I decided to take matters into my own hands and manufacture my very own REAL vanilla extract.

I purchased the "extract grade" (B grade) Bourbon vanilla beans from The Organic Vanilla Bean Company's eBay store. They ship worldwide and seemed to have the most reasonable prices (including their shipping prices) of any other bean sellers I could find. They ALSO were the only company that actually had the B grade beans in stock when I was looking for them.

Next, you're going to need to make a trip to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of cheap vodka (geez, I feel like such a lush saying that, and I don't even drink!). I went and pretended I knew what I was doing and just grabbed the first bottle that I saw with a sale tag. It was a very technical method *ahem*.

You'll also want to aquire some dark colored glass bottles to brew your vanilla in. I got ahold of some Grolsh beer bottles because they had the nifty swingtop cork thingies and were easy to open but sealed tight when they were closed.

Other than that, you'll need a sharp knife, a funnel, and a free couple of hours.

*** How to Make Vanilla Extract ***

Gather up your supplies. You'll need the following:

Vanilla How-to 1

Vanilla Beans (8 beans per cup of vodka)
Dark colored bottle with a tight fitting cap
A sharp knife and cutting board


Step One: Cut your vanilla beans in half. Unless you have a heck of a lot of vodka and a really tall skinny bottle, they're not going to be entirely submurged if you don't! You'll cutthem in half again in step four, but it's easier to scrape out the bean guts on the slightly longer pieces.

Step Two: Cut the beans in half legnthwise. I find that if you start on the cut end that it's easier than trying to get the knife through the (sometimes) tougher end.

Step Three: Scoop out the beans innards. From what I understand, this step helps make a stronger vanilla. You can skip it, but your vanilla won't be as potent.

Step Four: Cut the beans in half once more. You can skip this step, but if the pieces are shorter, you can be sure that the entire thing is covered with the alcohol.

Step Five: Load up the bottle with your pieces of vanilla bean and the bean guts that you scooped out in step three.

Step Six: Add the vodka to the bottle. Make sure to use a funnel, trust me on this one! Cap the bottles.

Next, you need to shake them up. Dance around the house if you wish, I won't tell! Shake the vanilla everyday for the first week and then once or twice a week thereafter. You'll have a weak extract after about 6 weeks, but the longer you leave it to "brew" the better! The previous batch I made sat for about 6 months and it's really very good.

Shake, shake, shake!

After your vanilla has been brewing for as long as you can stand to brew it (I recommend 6 months), you can strain it through a piece of fine cheesecloth and put it into smaller bottles. This is another step you can skip out on, but if you're giving it as a gift (which I think you SHOULD because it's awesome) then I recommend doing it.

Please please let me know if you have any questions! Sometimes when I'm writing instructions I read over it about seventy-thousand times and STILL miss when something comes across as a little bit unclear.


Since I've not had a lot of time at the computer, I'm reposting this as my "v" for Mrs Matlock's AlphabeThursday! It was originally posted on June 7, 2009.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mr Jummy's First Flight

As you probably inferred from my U is for Utah post, we made it here!

Mr Jummy's First Flight

Mr Jummy enjoyed the flight over immensely and liked looking out the window at all of the clouds.

Mr Jummy's First Flight

He was not, however, impressed with how the border agents acted once we got into Houston. "Oh crap," is not something you want the agent to say after they scan your passport. We got "escorted" all over (because we are renegades apparently), then they dragged Martijn off into a holding room and sent me off to wait alone by the escalators. Not ONCE did they tell us what was up, other than his passport had been flagged. We still do't know. I was really grateful that I booked the earlier flight out of Amsterdam that gave us the 7.5 hour layover in Houston instead of the later one that would've only given us an hour... because we would've missed our connection!

Anyhow, all is well that ends well... and we probably will try to avoid flying through Houston again in the future since they seem to have it in for Martijn (this wasn't his first run-in with the immigration "officials" there).

Friday, June 11, 2010

U is for Utah

When I was in 5th grade we had to do state reports. I had Iowa but since we lived in Utah I really actually wanted to do my state report on Utah. Now I think I'll give you my several-year-delayed state report in a list of useful and useless facts. 

  • The residents of Utah are called Utahns, but I'm starting to like the term Utahonian instead.  It sounds impressive and explosive (sorta like plutonium).

  • In 1896, Utah was the 45th state to gain entry into the union.

  • Utah is called the Beehive State.  Since beehives are associated with industry, "industry" is the state motto.

  • Utah is host to a very large stinky pond, otherwise known as The Great Salt Lake.  If you smell something awful in the air, you can usually blame it on the "lake stench." 

  • The state bird of Utah is the... wait for it... CALIFORNIA gull.  There are logical reasons for this, but I still find it amusing. 

  • Utah is reported to have "the greatest snow on earth."  This is supposed to make skiing more fun, but I think it's a hoax.  Skiing is not fun!

  • In 2001, Jello was declared to be the "official state snack."  More Jello is consumed per capita here than anywhere else in the WORLD.  I think that's rather impressive. 


I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what sort of other unique things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ready and Raring to GO!

Going on Holiday!
Mr Jummy is packed and raring to go!

In a little less than 12 hours, a mean taxi driver is going to be ringing our doorbell at a quarter to 6 to pick us up and take us to the train station. Why is the taxi driver mean, you ask? Well, I think that -anyone- ringing your doorbell before 6 in the morning is mean!!! After he drops us and our two suitcases at the train station, we'll drag ourselves up the stairs to the train and begin the 2-ish hour journey to the airport.


10 hours, 40 minutes in an airplane seat designed for people who've had their legs amputated.
7 hours, 30 minutes in an airport which conveniently sits in the middle of NOWHERE so we can't really get anywhere fun and have time to sight see.
3 hours, 17 minutes in another rotten airplane seat.

But then! I will see my mom and dad at the airport and the hugely lengthy travel time will all be worth it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Tantalizing Truffles

I could pretend that I spent months seeking out the finest ingredients for these truffles and that I then spent days lovingly preparing them. But... that would be a fib and I usually try to stick with the truth! These truffles are made from three ingredients and don't take more than an hour or so to make!

Oreo "Truffles"

450 grams (16 oz) Oreo cookies
225 grams (8 oz) softened cream cheese
Enough chocolate for dipping- you can use almond bark or the candy melts but I just used regular chocolate bars that I chopped up and melted.

Pulse the cookies in the food processor until they're fine crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, just smash the heck out of them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a big bowl and add the cream cheese. Mix until well blended. Roll the cookie mixture into 1" (2.5cm) balls. Place in the freezer for about a half an hour. This will make them easier to dip.

Melt the chocolate. Using a toothpick (or skewer) poked into the top of the balls, dip them into the chocolate until coated. Set on waxed paper to cool. Drizzle more chocolate over the top if desired and store in the fridge.

Now, I can't get mint oreos here, but I think they would be fantastic for this project. Alternatively, you could use mint extract. I think this "recipe" has a lot of possibilities limited only by your imagination and the kind of sandwich cookies you use!


I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what sort of other terrific and things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock
Related Posts with Thumbnails