Friday, February 27, 2009

Click and Print Farm Coloring Pages

Huevocito, Gracie, and Summer went to the rodeo recently and learned all about farm animals. I have posted a link to a site where you can click and print farm-themed coloring pages. I hope your kiddos enjoy the story and the coloring pages!

Huevocito will be in the garden this weekend. Look for a new story with coloring pages on Sunday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Milk Toast

My mom used to make this recipe when I was a little girl (50s-60s). She called this poached eggs. When I had kids, I made the same recipe, but we called it milk toast. This dish evokes very warm childhood memories--mine and my kids. It is great for breakfast, but is satisfying as an evening meal, too. It is also a good budget-stretching meal. The following recipe makes 4 servings of 2 eggs per person, or 8 servings of 1 egg per person.

4 cups milk (whole, lowfat--your preference, any type will do)
4 tablespoons of butter (or margarine)
8 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
8 pieces of toast

In a deep saucepan gently heat the milk and butter. The milk should be heated just to a point where it bubbles, but does not boil. Gently drop the the eggs into the milk. While eggs are cooking, make the toast. Cut toast into triangles and place in bottom of soup bowls. You can butter the toast if you like (I do--as I mentioned in an earlier recipe, I am very fond of butter!)

By the time the toast is prepared, the eggs should be cooked so that the egg white is set, and the yellow is still somewhat runny. Cook a wee bit longer if you prefer the yellow to be set.

Lift the eggs out of the heated milk and place on top of the toast in bowls. Spoon remaining milk on top of the eggs and toast. Salt and pepper to taste. Or, pour milk in bowl and place egg(s) in bowl. Serve toast on side and dip into milk to eat.

Have you notice a trend in my recipes?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

YE-HAW! Huevocito, Gracie, and Summer Go to the Rodeo

Huevocito was so excited! The sixtieth annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo was coming to town. He was looking forward to going to the Stock Show with his friend Gracie. 

"Huevocito, we are going to the stock show this week, " said Gracie. "Let's go to the western store and look for a cowboy hat to wear!"

"Gracie," said Huevocito, "what is a cowboy hat?"

"A cowboy hat is a type of hat worn by ranchers in the western and southern United States, western Canada, northern Mexico, and others, such as rodeo riders and country-western singers, also wear cowboy hats. A cowboy hat has a special shape--it has a tall crown and its broad rim protects a cowboy or cowgirl against the sun," responded Gracie. "Our hats will just be pretty!"

So Huevocito and Gracie headed off to buy cowboy hats. Gracie picked a pretty pink hat, and Huvocito chose a bright red felt cowboy hat.



The next day, Huevocito and Grace, and Gracie's baby sister, Summer, went to the stock show. They saw many animals from farms---chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, horses, sheep, and goats. There were many nice people who talked to Gracie and Huevocito about farms and farming. Gracie and Huevocito saw the animals being groomed and cared for by young people from nearby rural communities. It was obvious that the animals were well-loved.


The most fun Gracie, Huevocito, and Summer had was when they got to feed baby animals. The little lambs and goats followed them and ate right out of their hands. The animals were so soft!
They also were able to see many of the machines that are used on farms, and even got to sit on a tractor.


The day was long and there were so many things to see! It was such a fun day. Look at the photos that Gracie and Huevocito took at their day at the rodeo. And check out those hats!

I Promised A Recipe for Western Omelettes, But You Are Getting a Recipe for a Mexican Fritatta!

Today's earlier post said that you could look forward to a recipe for Western Omelettes (so that this recipe would tie into the earlier egg joke). Instead, I am offering this recipe for a Mexican Frittata.

I found this recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com.  It sounds so yummy (did I just say yummy?--so Rachel Ray!). I would make several changes in the recipe if I were making it. I might not use "red potatoes" but plain ol' baking potatoes because that is what I normally have on hand. I might substitute yellow onions for the scallions, because I normally don't keep scallions around. And as good as olive oil is for you, I would use butter because I love butter! The point is, this recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes and what you have on hand. 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red potato, thinly sliced 
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
8 large eggs
1 1/4 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

In a broiler-proof skillet, cook potato in 1 tablespoon olive oil until tender and lightly browned. Stir in garlic and all but one tablespoon of scallions; season with salt and pepper.
Beat eggs until combined. Add 1/4 cup each of the tomato and cheese; stir to combine. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pan. Pour egg mixture over potatoes.
Cook the eggs, lifting the edges with a spatula to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the center is almost set completely. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Place under broiler until center is totally set and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Add cilantro and lime juice to the remaining tomatoes and scallions to make a salsa. Cut frittata into wedges, plate, and serve with salsa on top. 

The yolk is on you!

What do you call an egg who wears cowboy boots?

A western omelette!

My next post will be a recipe for an easy western omelette. Huevocito went to rodeo this week. I will be posting a new story about his adventures at the rodeo. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kas-ka-ron-ez

Cascarones, or confetti eggs, are festively-painted eggshells filled with confetti. The eggshells are meant to be broken over someone's head, usually as a surprise, showering the person with confetti. 

Gracie's Eggies is named for my precious granddaughter, Gracie, who is a huge fan of the confetti eggs. She been an expert at surprising people with a cascarones since before she was two years old. 

Cascarones is pronounced kas-ka-ron-ez, or kas-ka-ron if singular. The tradition of cracking a cascaron over people's heads originated in Mexico, and has become popular in the southwestern United States. In South Texas, cascarones are as popular as pinatas at celebrations., Especially in the spring, they are seen everywhere. Having a cascaron cracked over your head is said to bring good luck.

Gracie is still learning how to pronounce cascarones. I hope you enjoy this little clip of Gracie taking a crack at pronouncing cascarones.


video

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Recipe for Huevos Rancheros

Have you ever heard people say that you should not discuss religion or politics at a party? Well, better add Mexican food to that list! I mentioned in a forum that San Antonio had pretty good Mexican food, and you would of thought I said that the Pope wasn't Catholic. Boy, did I get an earful!

With that in mind, I am going to publish this recipe for easy huevos rancheros. Remember that I am not saying this is the definitive way to make the dish, or the best way, this is just how I make the dish. I have always thought of recipes as a guide to making something, and the person who is making the dish adds or takes away from the recipe to make a creation of their own. In the recipe that follows, I use corn tortillas as a base for the eggs. I was introduced to this way of making huevos rancheros in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I thought the corn tortillas  added another layer of flavor and texture to the plate. This recipe will make enough for about six plates:

1 can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 small onion (chopped fine or course, depending on your taste)
1 clove of garlic (or a teaspoon of pre-chopped garlic from a jar)
1/4 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot, depending on your taste)
Salt and Pepper
eggs
corn tortillas
Butter
oil for frying

In a small saucepan, melt one tablespoon of the butter. Add the chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, stewed tomatoes, and salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the mixture while preparing the other elements of the dish, long enough so that some of the liquid is reduced.

In a small shallow frying pan heat oil. Tear a small piece of tortilla and drop in the oil. If the oil is hot enough, the piece of tortilla will float to the top and the oil will bubble. When the oil is hot enough, drop tortillas one at a time into the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, flip the tortilla, and cook another 30 seconds. The tortilla should not be crispy. Place the tortillas on a plate with a paper towel; keep them warm in the oven set at a very low temperature.

In another pan, melt enough butter to cook the number of eggs you will be serving. I like huevos rancheros with over-easy eggs; some people prefer scrambled. Cook the eggs to your preference.

For each serving, lay two corn tortillas on a plate. Top the tortillas with the eggs, and ladle on a generous amount of the tomato mixture. 

The plate wouldn't be complete without a serving of refried beans and fried potatoes, and of course, flour tortillas.