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Monday, February 17, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

If you use Pinterest for cooking inspiration, you know that it is very easy to sit down on an afernoon when you're starving and pin a ton of recipes that look amazing, but never get around to making them!  I took a good, hard look at my boards last week and decided it was time to push up my sleeves and make/bake some of these fantastic recipes!

I started with Bo-Berry Biscuits from here on Saturday.  My future son-in-law, Andrew, loves Bojangles' version of blueberry biscuits, so I thought I'd try my hand at them and serve him some while he was here for the weekend.  



Bo-Berry Biscuits
Biscuits:
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup milk - I only used about 3/4 cup.  Add a little at a time so they're not too wet.
1/3 Cup sugar
5 T of butter
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 oz of blueberries (fresh or dried)
Look at that lovely glaze on that biscuit!  Yum!

Glaze:

1 Cup of powdered sugar
1/8 Cup of water
1 tsp of vanilla
½ tsp of lemon juice

Freeze butter. Preheat oven to 450F. Mix salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a bowl and sift. Add the cold milk into dry ingredients and mix. As dough begins to form, use a cheese grater to grate your frozen butter evenly over dough. Fold dough, and knead… repeat until all butter is spread evenly throughout dough. (If dough is too sticky to handle, add 1/4 Cup flour.)

Fold in the blueberries. Gently pull of chunks of dough and pat to form biscuits. Place on un-greased cookie sheet or cake pan. (Or spoon into muffin tins!)

Place in oven and bake for about 7-12 minutes (until golden). Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave, and paint finished biscuits with pastry brush. Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl, and drizzle over BoBerry Biscuits with a fork.




 Saturday night we had guests over.  My menu was Beef Carnita Tacos from Cooking Light.  You use stew meat simmered a long time for the tacos.  It's a wonderful change from hamburger meat on tacos!  The fresh salsa served alongside is great, too!



Beef Carnitas Tacos
Directions:
Ingredients


2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups Beef Carnitas - See below
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Preparation
Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup Beef Carnitas onto each tortilla; top each with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture. Fold in half; serve with lime wedges.


Beef Carnitas
Ingredients

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large unpeeled orange wedge - I don't add this, but help yourself!  Lime would be better, in my humble opinion.

Preparation
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes or until beef is browned on all sides. Stir in broth, sugar, salt, and pepper; nestle orange section into beef mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 ½ hours or until beef is tender.**I cook mine for about 3 hours because I want it to shred apart.   Remove and discard orange. Continue simmering, uncovered, 8 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.



As a side, I added this dip, also from Cooking Light, that I have made, but it's been a while, and it is so worth repeating!  I spread cream cheese in the bottom of the dish, then layer the dip on top and serve with tortilla chips.


Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip
Ingredients
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup mild picante sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Preparation

Place beans in a bowl; partially mash until chunky. Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add beans, tomato, picante sauce, cumin, and chili powder; cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add cheese, cilantro, and lime juice, stirring well. Serve warm or at room temperature with fat-free corn or flour tortilla chips.

I have a couple other Pinterest recipes planned for this week.  I'll let you know how it goes!  Do you have some recipes you need to pull off the board and bring into your kitchen?  What will you try this week?

With love from my country kitchen,


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