Nosh

Huevos Rancheros Tostada Style

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I crave two types of food on the regular…Mexican and Italian!  Today’s menu consists of both…it’s Friday and a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!  For lunch today I made these extremely tasty Huevos Rancheros Tostadas (and for supper we’re having pepperoni and fresh basil pizza…my quick and easy pizza dough recipe can also be found on the blog, under “nosh”!)  These yummy delights have everything; crunch, creamy, salty, meaty, and spice! I make mine with home-made ‘refried’ beans that I make in my crock-pot and topped with a basted egg they are protein rich and oh so satisfying for everyone, even my hard-working farmer!

Here’s my recipe for ‘refried’ beans made in my crockpot:

  • 3 cups dried beans of choice
  • 4-6 cups water…I add water as needed throughout the day
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and de-veined and chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: leftover pork roast bone

I throw everything in my crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours or so.  This is a super simple way to cook beans and I often have a crockpot going to stock up on my freezer supply of cooked beans.  Once the beans are cooked and tender I like to strain out some of the liquid (reserve it), I use my hand blender to work the beans into a creamy thick paste, adding reserved liquid as needed.  *Once pulsed beans are cooled they thicken up quite a bit.

I portion the ‘refried’ beans into freezer containers and thaw as needed for an array of Mexican inspired dishes, including these Huevos Rancheros Tostadas:

  • Corn tortillas, sprayed with olive oil and baked in a 375* oven (flipping halfway through cooking), baked until crisp.
  • Refried beans
  • Sauteed onions and mushrooms
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Basted or Sunny-side up eggs (1 per tostada)
  • Cilantro
  • Hot sauce or Salsa

To assemble, spread a generous layer of refried beans on prepared tortillas.  Top with sautéed mushrooms and onions, bell peppers, and grated cheese.  Bake in oven until cheese is melted.  Top with cooked egg, cilantro, salt & pepper and hot sauce.  Serve immediately!  I’m pretty sure they would be even better served with a “Salty Dog” (grapefruit, vodka and lime in a salt-rimmed glass.)…Next time I’ll test that theory out..(the things I must do for the blog!!). A yummy dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner that’s healthy and hearty!

 

Nosh

B3 Pops

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B3…I’m talking berries, balsamic and basil. These ice pops have a grown-up flair to them and take advantage of the fresh strawberries that are filling up the patches right now not to mention the bouquets of basil that are available to be picked these days.  Summer screams freshness and these pops are nothing if not FRESH!  Day 12 of the 12 days of Summer Kickoff is sure to pack a punch of irresistible flavour!

Here’s how you make them: In a sauce pan, combine 2 cups fresh (or frozen) strawberries, slightly diced with 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbso balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup water.  Simmer until the berries are softened and then blitz them up with a hand blender.  Thinly slice some fresh basil into ribbons and stir into the cooled strawberry mixture.  Fill molds, seal and freeze then enjoy the perfect taste of summer cubed!  These would be fantastic served in a crisp, chilled glass of proseco too!  A great way to finish off our 12 Days of Summer Kickoff with Ice Pops!

I really hope you’ll give a few of these recipes a try…ice pop molds are so cheap and by creating your own pops you can furthermore create some lasting summer memories with your own family as I’ve already enjoyed doing with mine! Happy summery, ice pop filled days ahead!

Nosh

Grape-tastic Pops

 

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Day 11 of the 12 days of Summer Kickoff is this royal beauty!  It is rich in color and flavour and healthy to boot!  It wouldn’t be fair to do a 12 day of Summer Ice pops and not somehow include the same purple staining dripping that my own childhood included.  The difference here is that YOU control the sugar (and in this case I even used honey so they’re naturally sweetened by our good friends, the bees!). They’re honestly so good…I hazard to say the best I’ve made so far!

They take some pre-planning as I made them with pure grape juice that I made last summer with grapes from my mom’s yard.  I simply boiled them down with a bit of water and then strained them and froze the rich liquid.  I used it in summery grape and mint mojitos and if I had been so inclined I could have used it for jelly too!

This recipe includes 1 1/2 cup of the homemade grape juice, 1/4 cup honey (or so…sweeten to your liking and remember it takes more sweeteners for things to taste sweet when frozen), and 1/3 cup plain (or flavoured if you desire) greek yogurt.  Whisk all these ingredients together and pour into molds to freeze. They’re truly such a beautiful color and indeed, they do stain your little one’s hands, and mouth and anything else the melting pops dribble on!

PS: they’re even healthy enough to eat for breakfast, in your pjs, on your deck!

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Nosh

Peanut Butter Pops 2-ways!

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Peanut butter is such a hit with kids and since I couldn’t decide between chocolate & peanut butter or peanut butter & jelly for these pops, I just made both.  So here you have it: Peanut Butter & Jelly Pops AND Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Pops for day 10 of the 12 days of Summer Kickoff!  Once you get your base mixed up they’re really easy to modify any way you like and I’m sure they’ll be a crowd pleaser when your backyard is filled with all the neighbourhood kids!  (If you are concerned with nut allergies, or need to eliminate peanuts specifically, alternative nut/seed butters can be substituted for the peanut butter and you can top the peanut butter, chocolate pop variety with mini chocolate chips instead of mini reese’s pieces.)

Here’s the base:

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese with peanut butter and sugar, slowly add the milk into the base until creamy and smooth and then add the salt and vanilla.

For the peanut butter and jelly pops mix a tsp of the base with 3 tbsp of your favourite jelly (I used grape).  Fill ice pop molds halfway with base then top with a tsp or so of the jelly mixture, top with more base to fill the mold and then gently swirl the pops with a skewer. Seal and freeze.

For the Reese’s Pieces fill the molds with the base, leaving a little bit of space on top for a few mini recess pieces.  Seal mold and freeze.  Gently melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips with 1 tsp coconut oil.  Once pops are frozen and just prior to serving, unmold the pops and drizzle with the melted chocolate mixture.  The coconut oil allows the chocolate to set hard extremely quickly. (This is also yummy on ice cream cones, think dipped cones!) Set and serve!

 

Nosh

Pina Colada Pops

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Summer screams coconut doesn’t it? The beautiful sunshine, poolside or lakeside, a gentle breeze, sand beneath your toes, something frosty and cold in your hands…ah bliss!  These pops are easy to make and gather all the yummy flavours of a Pina colada, complete with a cherry on top for day nine of our twelve days of summer kickoff!

Here’s how I made them:

In a blender mix up a can of coconut milk, 1 cup fresh chunks of pineapple, a splash of fresh lime juice, a few tsp of honey, a pinch of salt,  (and a splash of coconut rum if you’re feeling naughty and aren’t gonna share with the kids or a zip of coconut extract for added punch).  Mix until smooth.  Place one cocktail cherry (stem removed) into each of your ice pop molds and pour the creamy mixture over.  Seal, Freeze and Serve! (Hopefully poolside or at the lake with a group of your favourite people on a hot summer day!)

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