Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tortilla soup

This is a wonderful, traditional Mexican dish.
Sometimes I make tortilla soup with chicken, and sometimes without.
We start by cutting corn tortillas into strips, cutting along the grain of the tortilla.
Set aside the tortilla strips.
Next, boil chicken breast meet, and keep the resulting chicken broth for the soup.
Add two cubes of tomato bullion to the broth.
Shred the cooked chicken breast into bit sized pieced and set aside.
Fry the tortilla strips until crispy, making sure not to burn them.
Take one large tomato or two small tomatoes and  one quarter of an onion, four cloves of garlic,  and a cup of the chicken broth you have mixed with tomato bullion and blend together.
Pour blender contents into a hot pot, preparing the pot first with just a touch of olive oil.
Let the mixture heat up. This seasons and cooks the tomatoes.  
Bring the mixture to a light bubble, and add the rest of the chicken broth.
Let soup simmer for a few minutes. Add salt to taste.
Now, prepare individual servings with soup, chicken, and on top, add the crisp tortilla strips.
Garnish with crumbled Mexican cheese, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.
Add hot sauce if desired.

This is a light, yet filling meal. Our family loves Tortilla soup for lunch, or a late dinner.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Julie’s Steak Tacos

This taco recipe is my personal masterpiece.
I am always asked if these are “authentic” Mexican tacos. Tacos in Mexico are different from hamburgers in a fast food restaurant chain. They will all be a little bit different. Some will be better, and some worse. Some are great, some are no so great.
I think that my process for making tacos will be very familiar to anyone who’s ever had or made tacos in Mexico. So yes, these are authentic Mexican tacos.
People come to our house in hopes that I will be preparing these wonderful tacos.
I’ve been asked to make these tacos for the special dinner high school kids plan for the prom.
Whenever there is a special occasion in my family, everybody reminds me that I need to plan to make my tacos.
The meat I use in these tacos is New York Steak. I grill it, cube it, and grill it again. I only season the meat with a little salt. If the meat isn’t prepared on a grill outside, then I grill the meat in its own juices.
My salsa makes this meal complete. Making salsa is the sentimental part of this recipe, because of the smells that fill the house. My kids tell me that’s their favorite part of having tacos.
Mexican women take great pride in their salsa recipe and it is something that is very personal. Although I have taken inspiration from many special women in my life, I can honestly say that my salsa recipe is my very own.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Roma tomatoes.
Anaheim peppers
1 White onion
Good quality steaks
White corn tortillas

The tomatoes and the peppers must be grilled until the skins are black.
The onions needs the first layer peeled, and then I wrap it in aluminum foil. Then I put the wrapped onion in the oven at 350 degrees for about twenty minute.
Now take the grilled tomatoes and peppers and onion, and dice them finely. Make sure not to lose any of the juice. Put them all together in a dish, and add salt and one lime’s worth of juice.

Salt the steaks and lightly oil the pan, if you’re grilling on the stove. Grill the steaks and then cube them. You need little, smaller than bite size pieces. Then put the little cubes back in the pan for a light finishing.  

Put a handful of white corn tortillas in a zip lock bag and microwave them for a minute or two. Or, wrap them in a moistened dish towel. This makes the tortillas soft and pliable.

I load the tortillas with the cubed steak pieces, and then deliver them to the table. Two or three tacos for each person at the table. Each of us at the table spoons up as much salsa as we want on our tacos. I keep Tapatio hot sauce on the table so that people can spice up their tacos a little more if they want.

One of the keys in making these tacos is making enough.  People always want more.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My first Dog

Bruno. His name is Bruno. Bruno is a Mini Schnauzer.
I never thought we would ever welcome a puppy into our home. But now here he is. I didn’t have dogs when I was growing up, so this is my first experience with any pet.
My daughter has been pressuring us for about a year to do this. Her siblings are leaving the house one by one, and she told us that she couldn’t bear the thought of being alone.
Our other children had all asked us for a dog many times while they were growing up. We never gave in to any of their pleas.  But this seemed different. Lalli even put together a Power Point presentation explaining why she should have a dog.
I admit my emotions got the best of me, and it really seemed like the right time to do this.
We worried about a dog pooping in our house. We worried about a dog chewing up our belongings.  We worried about a dog changing our lives and limiting how much traveling we could do in the future.
Yes, there were moments that tried our patience. He wanted to bite us all the time, and those puppy teeth are sharp as razors. And yes, he did require constant supervision. We learned that we couldn’t just take the family out to dinner anymore. We went and got hamburgers a few times and at them at the park. Traveling in the future will require finding someone to watch the dog.
But it was really an amazing experience. We had studied all about what to do when you have a new puppy, and we did it all by the book. There were very few accidents in the house.  We took him out about ever y two hours, and right after he eats or wakes up from a nap. Lots of fun toys and playtime have kept him from getting bored and into trouble.
We’ve learned that frequent walks and consistent discipline are very important. He’s a smart little dog, and he seems to understand what we want from him.
I’ve got to tell you, I love that little creature. Bruno has brought a lot of love to our home. He has made a difference in our children’s lives and in my life too. There’s just something about having a dog get all excited to see me when I get home. And there’s nothing like that moment in the evening when we all sit down to watch a show and Bruno wants to curl up in my lap and sleep.
I guess I’m a dog owner now.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grandma’s meatloaf

This recipe always makes me think of “Everybody loves Raymond”.
Meatloat is one of the dishes that fascinated me when I came to the United States in college. I wanted to learn authentic American recipes. I learned this recipe from my mother in law, but it took me years to get it right. I sometimes wondered if she had given the recipe wrong on purpose just to keep me from taking credit for her delicious meatloaf!
From the beginning and for a long time, my meatloaf turned out very flat. I may never know why this happened.  But now it turns out great every time.
Here’s the recipe:
You’ll need one pound of ground beef
One and a half slices of bread (whatever kind you like)
One egg
Salt and pepper
Steak sauce or ketchup
2 table spoons of chopped onions
One cup of milk.

Add a raw egg to the ground beef. Whip the egg a little before adding it. Then mix it vigorously together.
Now vigorously mix in a cup of milk.
Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
Now mix in about 2 tablespoons of chopped onions.
Finally, mix in about a tablespoon of steak sauce, or ketchup, or a little of both.
Now crumble in your slice and a half of bread. It’s better if the bread is a little stale. Sourdough bread gives it a great flavor. You can experiment with different kinds of bread.
Mix it all in well.

Now bake it.
I like glassware, in an appropriate rectangular shape.
Spray some cooking oil in the corners so the corner don’t stick.
Now, don’t man-handle the uncooked meatloaf, just gently arrange it in the pan.
Then cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Cook the meat loaf at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

It should turn out perfect. Let me know if you have any variations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tostadas !!

This recipe is very similar to some of my other recipes, but in Mexican food, Tostadas are a unique plate.
Some of my Mexican recipes are for special occasions. Tostadas are more for every day kinds of meals.
I begin this recipe by boiling a nice rump roast in water, with a piece of white onion, salt and pepper. I let the roast boil for up to three hours.
Then I shred the roast in to fine, bite-size pieces.
Once I have my meat prepared, I begin with the tortillas.

Start by toasting the corn tortillas by frying them in oil. You want them crisp but not burnt. Now they are tostadas, and not tortillas anymore.  Set them aside.
Then I like to boil carrots and potatoes. I put chicken bouillon in with the boiling water.
The carrots and potatoes are cut into cubes.
I put the carrots in the boiling water first, because the potatoes take less time to cook.
I boil the veggies for 5 or 10 minutes, or until soft. The veggies need to be soft.
Drain the veggies and set them aside.
Add two cans of tomato sauce to the broth that was left over after boiling the roast. This juice will top the tostadas when we’re done.
Now we put together our tostadas.
Sometimes I start by spreading re-fried beans on the tostadas. I don’t always do this, but it’s good with the beans.
Then add a nice pile of shredded roast on the tostada.
Then add a layer of fresh shredded lettuce.
Then add your boiled veggies.
Top with grated cheese of your choice, and half-cream. ( I use Mexican cream).
At the table, add hot sauce to taste, and have each dinner guest spoon on the juice (broth) that has been served to each diner in a nice cup.
A fantastic Mexican meal.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Oaks

This is the most beautiful setting for a restaurant I have ever seen. Our family has a summer tradition to spent time here as much as we can. The food is great. The menu is mostly sandwiches, soups, salads, and burgers, but the dining experience at The Oaks is very special. This is not fast food. The quality is superb.

The Oaks is located a few miles up Ogden Canyon.  Ogden Canyon is beautiful any time of year.  The outside tables are set in little kiosks among the trees. There is also inside dining during the winter. The Fall is spectacular with all the colors. Summer is cool on the patio next to the Ogden River. The sound of the river going by is very soothing. There are hummingbird feeders at the tables and you can just about count on a visit from these wonderful little birds. The ice cream here is famous, and many people come here especially for the ice cream. We usually have ice cream after dinner.

Don’t miss this special dining experience.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chips and lime.

This is possibly the most important entry on this blog.
Chips and line are a STAPLE food in our house. If we’ve rented a movie, if it’s someone’s birthday, if someone’s coming to visit, if someone needs a snack, ANYTIME I can think of, someone in my family will make chips with lime.
Nothing, and I really mean nothing, could ever be more simple than this. But you’re going to love it. Anybody who’s ever tried chips and lime in my house has gone on to make it regularly in their own house. Many people tell me they make chips and lime better than I do now.
We’ll see.
This is a Mexican treat, and this is the way folks in Mexico like to eat potato chips. In fact, many bags of chips in vending machines or at convenience stores in Mexico, come with little foil packets of lime juice and hot sauce.
People who try this in my home return to their own homes and try to make Chips with Lime almost immediately. So I’m going to teach you. Pay close attention:

Here’s what you do:
Step One: Get a bag (start with a regular family size bag) of REGULAR potato chips. (This recipe can be done with corn chips, but I believe that makes this an entirely different recipe).
Step Two: Dump the bag of chips into a large serving bowl.
Step Three: Cut a lime in half and squeeze it over all the chips.
Step Four: Generously squirt hot sauce over the whole mess. We like Tapatio hot sauce, but I relucantly will tell you that you can use any hot sauce you like.

Now, at this point, I consider the chips ready for consumption. But my kids disagree. Each one of my kids have developed their own take on chips and lime. When my sons make chips and lime, they put a plate over the serving bowl and shake it all up to evenly distribute the lime and hot sauce.

Finally, remember these Chips with Lime rules:
You can’t use lemons.
You can’t use powdered chili.
You can CHOOSE how much lime to use and how much hot sauce to use.
You can CHOOSE how much to shake them before serving.
You MUST share.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Croquetas de Atun.

Fast and fun and easy.
My croquetas are tuna and potato rolls. Rolled in spicy breadcrumbs and browned in oil, they are a fun meal served with rice and vegetables.
Start by boiling four small potatoes. (for this version of the recipe)
Mash with one can of tuna.
Add salt and pepper.
Add grated cheese. (I use mozzarella)
Add one egg to bind it all together.
Form into little logs.
Roll carefully in bread crumbs.
Heat and oil a frying pan.
Carefully toast croquetas in the oil.

That’s it! You’re ready for a fun meal. It’s great and tasty and nutritious. In our family we put Worcestershire sauce on our croquetas, but we’ve been known to use soy sauce as well.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One of my favorite cartoons

I'm going to start posting my favorite cartoons from "The Deep End". The wonderful cartoonist is my own dear son-in-law, Tyson Cole.
Check out his blog, and find some favorite cartoons of your own!

The Deep End: Royal Flush

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chiles Rellenos

People ask me to make Chiles Rellenos for them all the time. It’s a very popular Mexican Dish, and it’s hard to find in a restaurant.
I use Anaheim peppers for my Chiles Rellenos. I choose Anaheim peppers because they are mild, and when you serve Chiles Rellenos to a group, you never know who is going to like spicy food, and who isn’t.
I fill my Chiles Rellenos with a mixture of corn, sour cream, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper, and cheese.
People still worry that Chiles Rellenos are too spicy. I admit that this dish is always on the spicy side, but I still consider it mild. You can add hot sauce and chili to your own taste.
Later on we’ll explore a version of this dish with meat.
Start by grilling the Chiles on direct heat to sear the skin. Grill them till they are blackened.
Then put the chiles in a zip lock plastic bag to let them sweat. This will loosen the blacken skins.
Now run the chiles under cool tap water and rub the blackened skin off. Also, use your thumb to pull out the seeds from the inside of the chiles.
Next, heat a can of corn, or similar amount of any corn, with a couple large spoonful’s of sour cream.
Salt and pepper the mixture.
Crumble a cube of chicken bouillon over the mixture.
Now, spoon the mixture into the chiles and secure the tops with toothpicks.  
Place the now stuffed chiles in a backing dish and cover them all with shredded cheese of your own choosing.
Place in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese melts. You can also microwave the stuffed chiles until the cheese melts.

This is a very easy recipe, and people go NUTS for Chiles Rellenos. It’s always a fun occasion in our home when we have Chiles Rellenos.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We love Dylan’s

Dylan’s is a locally owned hamburger restaurant. It’s fantastic.  The burgers here are better, larger, and slightly more expensive than typical chain fast food places.
Located in Kaysville Utah right on Main Street, it’s convenient to most of Davis County, and not a bad drive from anywhere in the Wasatch Front. Probably no more than half an hour’s drive north from Salt Lake City.
But boy is the food good! My favorite burger is anything with bacon. Dylan’s puts real, high quality bacon on their bacon burgers. Be sure to try the sweet potatoes fries. They also make a wonderful line of sandwiches and the have high quality ice cream.
We go to Dylan’s all year long, it’s our quick destination on special occasions. We’ve made Dylan’s our place to go after school events and for birthdays. But Dylan’s is especially traditional for us in the summer.
On really nice summer days I’m sure to hear someone in my family say: “Can we go to Dylan’s tonight?” I hope we can.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

White Chip Cocoa cookies

These cookies made me famous.
Even I love to eat these cookies. They are so delicious I can’t even begin to explain. And they are very attractive cookies too. They always cook up nice and fluffy, and never turn out flat.
Lots of my friends and family have had great success with these cookies.
No matter how many cookies I make, they disappear in a big hurry after I’m done baking them. Sometimes they even disappear faster if my family can get to the cookie dough. These cookies look as good as they taste. They are dark chocolate cocoa cookies with white chocolate chips. They haven’t really got a name. We just call them “Those cookies”.

Here’s the recipe:
Dry ingredients:
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Nestle toll house baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
1 cup ( 2 sticks ) butter or margarine / softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups ( 12 – ounce pkg ) Nestle toll premium white morsels.

Mix up all dry ingredients (by hand) and set aside.
Beat: Butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Gradually beat in dry ingredient mixture. Stir in morsels.
Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes. 9 minutes gives you soft cookies, more than 10 gives you crunchy cookies. Let stand for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Café Rio

If no one can agree on where to go to eat, someone will eventually say, “Café Rio?” and everyone will suddenly agree. Café Rio is absolutely one of my favorite places to go for dinner. Café Rio is home-style Mexican food.
I suppose that Café Rio is technically fast food, but the quality of the food is top notch. There are always lots of people here, but we never wait too long in line, and we’ve never had a problem finding a table.
A lot of people ask me if I like to come to Café Rio because I’m from Mexico and therefore I want to find good Mexican food.
I just come to Café Rio because I love the food here period.
But as Mexican food goes, there are some things here that make me happy. I love their Horchata. Horchata is rice water, and when it’s made right, it’s very very delicious. It’s hard to find good horchata here in the States. But in general I find the preparation of the food at Café Rio very appealing to the Mexican palate.
I will say that I brought my mother to Café Rio when she came to visit, and she was very impressed. My sister and her family came from Mexico to see us, and they were wowed by Café Rio. So I guess you can say that Café Rio scores points with the Mexican population.
My favorite dish is the steak tostada on a corn tortilla. The burritos are huge and very filling. I love that the flour tortillas are fresh and made right before your eyes.  I’ve always wanted to request one just to take home. Maybe I’ll try that on our next visit.
Sounds like I have a reason to go back soon!

If you love Cafe Rio, then go try The Oaks! ( <-- click there to visit my entry on The Oaks)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Meat Salad

Whenever I can’t think of what I want to make for dinner, my family will always say, “Make meat salad!”
Yep, Meat Salad. Simple name, simple meal.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s delicious. The only hard part is making the video, but I’m learning and they will get better over time.
This is not a Caesar salad. I let my family put their favorite dressing on once the salad is served. This salad is sometimes made with beef and sometimes with chicken. I get the feeling from my family that they prefer the beef.
This is a very easy meal. It’s very quick and complete.
Start with a salad. Any green salad you like. I’m not going to tell you how to make a salad. Just get some lettuce. Maybe add some of your other favorite vegetables.
I like to add Salad toppings or seasoning.
When I make this salad with beef, I often use fajita meat. On special occasions I buy a nice selection of steaks.  I marinate the meat while I prepare the salad and set the table.
The marinade is a combination of vinegar, olive oil, and beef marinade seasoning.
Then I brown the meat. If I’m using steak, I cut the grilled steaks into strips.
Obviously the browned fajita meat is then added to the salad. The meat must be added right when the salad is ready to be served or the meat will wilt the lettuce.
This is a familiar meal. It’s a lot like a Caesar  salad. Caesar Salad just a salad with caesar dressing and grilled chicken.
If you go to Applebee’s, you can have a Ceaser Salad with steak on top, and they’ll cut up an actual steak on your salad.
At my house you’ll have some fajita meat in your salad, but I promise you’ll like it. Or some great grilled chicken. We do that sometimes too.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We’re fans of Famous Dave’s

There’s just nothing like sitting there in Famous Dave’s, listening to good blues music, taking in that wonderful smell of barbeque, waiting for your ribs.
The service is fast and enthusiastic.
We just went to Famous Dave’s for my birthday. My daughter and her husband were able to join us. It was a Friday evening and there was a good crowd out at Famous Dave’s. But the thirty minute wait was not bad at all. The atmosphere in Famous Dave’s is fun and cozy and it makes waiting for your table part of the fun. There is a big fire place in the entry with plenty of seating all around. The fun blues music playing throughout the restaurant leaves you with a good feeling.
But the smell, holy cow, the smell is what makes waiting at Famous Dave’s the best.  It just makes you think of good times.  By the time you get a table, you are READY for some great barbeque. And that’s what Famous Dave’s is all about.
We always order “The Feast”. We usually ask them to switch the barbeque chicken for more brisket. The pork and beans is great, and spicy.  And finally, the corn bread muffins are the best!
Most of all Famous Dave’s is a great place for a cozy dinner with my family. I get sentimental about that restaurant!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A-1 Chicken

Another frequently requested dish in my house. This is one of my many recipes that come from a need for a quick, inexpensive, easy meal that everyone will love.
A-1  Chicken evolved from just a simple grilled chicken recipe. I knew I wanted a marinade for chicken, and I knew that our family loved A-1 steak sauce.
The marinade is liberal squirts of A-1,
Salt, pepper,
Vinegar, Olive oil,
All to taste.
 I’m currently trying some pineapple juice in the marinade.
Then I let the chicken sit in the marinade in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
The chicken is then grilled. On the grill outside, or grilled on the stove.

Filming the video for this recipe was NERVE RACKING!! But I hope you get the idea, and I’ll try to get more into the swing of the videos for the next recipe.

If you like this recipe, you'll like my recipe for Meat Salad!  Give it a look!

Julie’s food blog.

My name is Julie Mangum, and it has taken me twenty five years to admit that people like to eat when they come to my house. I’m not trying to brag in anyway, but it’s time I accept the fact that cooking is one of the things I can do well. I’m ready to share my recipes.
None of my recipes are hard, or complicated, or time-consuming, or fancy. These are dishes you can prepare with your children. But at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, these are recipes that people who come to my house love.
The names of many of the dishes in this blog have been lost. I was told the proper names for each recipe when they were shared with me, but they were lost a long time ago. The names of our favorite dishes slowly changed to names that little children and a silly husband found easier to remember.
I was raised in Sinaloa Mexico, and I was brought up in a tradition of great cooking. My mother’s kitchen was a place of great activity. My mother is a great cook. So are my sisters. We loved to gather in Mom’s kitchen to laugh and cook and talk and eat. Shared recipes were a matter of arguments and demonstrations.
Now I have a family of my own, and I’m trying to pass on this tradition of great cooking to my own children. Now my kids like to be in the kitchen with me suggesting changes to recipes, experimenting with spices and laughing and sampling and even arguing about how things should be done. Even my husband gets involved, and cooking is NOT one of his talents. But that’s what I love about family recipes, they include everyone and anyone who wants to participate.
I’m going to try to keep this blog fun. I have things to say other than just recipes. And I’m hoping to get lots of feedback an input from readers.