Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thank God I Was Born In America!

I am shaken sometimes when I realize the horrors survived by other humans in other parts of the world! I wish there was some way I could instill that empathy into my grandchildren so that they could understand the significant opportunity they have been blessed with JUST because they were born in America! I want to brow beat them into knowing the sacrifices that our armed forces make to allow them those privileges that they take for such granted as to even show contempt and disdain! How I would love to transport them to live in a remote village in Africa, to China or some other third world low spot and let them hang out there for a month!

Even more appalling is the treatment of women in some of these places! It just makes me angry and wish there was something I could do! I don't mean like vote for someone or send in rice either! I want to pummel someone!
These ladies are doing just that! Check it out! http://gulabi.hautetfort.com/

Donate if it moves you!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tamale Guiso, My Own Secret Recipe!

A few months ago I stumbled onto an old recipe book with the title "Country Cooking".  As I questioned this title and subjected it to a test of the Index I was pleasently surprised to find a "Tamale Pie" recipe!  I hadn't had one since grade school!  I have shared it and played with it several times now!

So, as I am known to do, I have spent several episodes tweaking and twiddling with this recipe to reflect my own tastes and some modern greats like Home Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic for example.  I also use my homemade salsa, pan fried corn and carmalized onions to set it all up to an extreme flavor extravaganza! I call it "Tamale Guiso"!

 So that is what I am serving today for my family along with some beans I have on the stove now and of course a big pan of Mexican Rice, (my recipe too)!

The original recipe is as follows in case anyone wants to enjoy an old standard for many people.  In this day and penny pinching times it is also very economical!  I remember the book my Dad used to use was called 101 Ways with Hamburger!

Tamale Pie

As published by Time Life Books (70’- 80’s?)

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

1-pound ground beef

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1-cup kernel corn

1 can (14 oz) whole tomatoes, drained

1-tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons chili powder

1-teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons salt

2½ cups milk w/*pinch saffron

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

2 cups grated Cheddar (Or) Monterey Jack

¼ pound fresh plum tomatoes sliced thin (or try sun-dried tomatoes)

½ cup chopped scallions

*1 small can Ortega chilies, (chopped)

1 small can sliced black olives

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 2-quaart casserole dish

2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and the ground beef, cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the beef begins to brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the green bell pepper, corn, canned tomatoes , tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the milk almost to a boil over a medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisking constantly, gradually add the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese.

5. Butter and then line the sides and bottom of the prepared casserole dish with 2/3 of the cornmeal mixture. Pour in the meat filling spreading evenly and then top off with the remaining cornmeal mixture.

6. Top with sliced ripe olives and arrange the fresh tomato slices, sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

7. Sprinkle the scallions over the top and bake for 5 more minutes longer.

Serves 6, Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 Years Since I Have Seen My Mother...

how can it be that long?  Where did all that time go?  I blink and a decade has gone by! 

My Mother moved to Texas back then, to be closer to her family there.  She was never really from California, she happened to landed here during her "Cattin" around days, and she just stayed!  Yeah, my Mom has her own stories to tell I can say for sure!  I have a chapter on some of her escapades, but I do not know that many, but the juciest one was when she was hanging out in a bar with ELVIS!  Yeah, uh huh, that's right!  My Mom and ELVIS! The REAL Elvis, the KING himself! Back in 57, Ft Chaffee, She was a singer/musician in a local band, there was drinking and a lot of fun but other than that, MOMS NOT TELLING!

Anyway...so here she is.  Now what to do for entertainment?  I was so hoping to get her to go out to Cottonwood for the Inaugural Farmers Market friday, but she is scared of too much walking.  I am still working on convincing her, I would love for her to come out and get a chance to appreciate my favorite local bands such as Still Married and Pine Dogs!

I'll be going all out either Sat or Sun to make a big "Mexican Food Night" for the "WHOLE" family, over at my Aunts house, it should be quite the challenge!  At least I can make the beans and the meat the day before!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Living On The Edge Of Memory...

As in, I have about 204 MB left and my operating system needs 200MB just to run! I thought 20G sounded HUGE back when I bought this dino! Now, I bought a 500G external and haven't figured out how to do whatever it is I need to do to fix this beast! So day by day I live on the edge!

I'm trying to get a rig now, that I can AFFORD, so E-bay here I come! BUT...the research involved is so intense, I am sitting here all day waiting for a "duck" dammit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Family Needs To Buy A Home!

Is there anyone that wants to sell us a house?  Here is a basic on who we are and what we are looking for: http://ricknlita.blogspot.com/

By way, we already recieved the "Good Luck With That' snark-o-gram!