Mini Pizza Buns

img_1235-2

It’s Friday!! Let the weekend begin! Are you hosting friends or family this weekend? Or are you bringing food to a potluck? I have the perfect appetizer recipe for you! You can throw it together in just a few short minutes. It also makes a tasty lighter meal with some salad on the side. Check the recipe at the end of this post, for the instructions on how to make these tasty, Mini Pizza Buns.

img_1224-2

img_1233-2

Is it just me, or do you also crave greasy food when you’re cold? In past summers, I have worked at The Salad Bowl Greenhouses’ garden stand. On a side note, if you haven’t visited this local garden stand yet, make sure to do so next year (I’m talking to you Winnipegers!). They sell beautiful plants, and the owners are the kindest people, and such a joy to work for.

img_1232-edit-2

Back to my story. At the garden stand we’re open through sunshine and rain. The awesome and awful part about this job is, that there is an ice cream shop and a Salisbury restaurant right close to it. On hot days, all I wanted to do was buy ice cream to cool off (and our boss definitely spoiled us with some cold treats sometimes). On cold days, however, when we would sit wrapped up in our blankets, sipping at our hot tea, all I wanted was Salisbury’s greasy yam fries.

img_1244-2

For years the employees at the garden stand have used the washroom at Salisbury, as the garden stand doesn’t have one. So, on cold days, I would always go and warm up my hands and face with the hand dryer in the washroom. Of course, that just made matters worse, as I would walk by all the people sitting with delicious, greasy food in their hands. On occasion, my co-worker and I would cave into our temptations and indulge in a platter of greasy yam fries.

img_1234-2

We are having a cold and cloudy fall day in Winnipeg today. Mini Pizza Buns anyone? I hope you try this recipe. Do you have any quick, go-to recipes? Please do share!

Cheers to a fun weekend! -Erika

Mini Pizza Buns
Yields 6
Easy and delicious appetizer!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 whole-wheat buns, cut in half
  2. 6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
  3. 12 slices peppered salami
  4. Grated mozzarella cheese
  5. Olive oil
  6. Pepper
  7. Basil (dried and fresh)
Instructions
  1. Spread one tablespoon of pizza sauce on all six buns.
  2. Top each with two slices of peppered salami.
  3. Add grated mozzarella cheese to taste, then drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Add dried basil and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake in toaster oven (or any other oven) at 400 degrees, until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Dad’s Favourite Beans

img_1056

So I totally meant to post this yesterday for Mexico’s independence day, BUT I wasn’t able to finish it. I had other things to catch up on, and then in the evening Kevin took me out for a lovely supper for my birthday. We were going to go out for Tapas for the first time, but this place didn’t take any reservations, and when we got there, there was a waiting list of an hour to an hour and a half. No thanks… we were way too hungry to wait for that long. Instead we went to a place called Hermanos. The food there was amazing! You know what else is amazing? The bean recipe that I’m about to share with you. 

img_1045

I grew up eating beans as a meal. In Canada beans are usually eaten as a side dish only, but for my family it was a meal. But before I continue on, let me say that beans and tortillas simply go hand in hand. My parents would buy a fresh kilo of tortillas (sometimes still warm!), and then once at home, someone had to pick apart the stack of tortillas to let them cool off to prevent them from sticking together. This would provide us with the perfect opportunity to pick up a fresh tortilla, shake some salt on it, roll it up and eat it.

Goodness, I miss being able to buy completely fresh tortillas! One time when we were visiting my parents, my dad took me along to town and we bought some fresh tortillas from the “tortilleria”. I couldn’t help but dig right in before I even got the chance to get some salt from home.

Where was I? Right. I was talking about how we ate beans in my family. We would warm up some corn tortillas on a metal skillet, spread some butter or margarine on them, which would immediately melt, and then we’d roll them up, ready to be eaten along with the beans, and sometimes some veggies or a salad (oh, and a cup of cold milk!). We usually held a tortilla in one hand (which was usually dripping with melted margarine), and a fork in the other, and together they made the perfect team to bring the food from the plate to the mouth, while also scooping up the delicious sauce that was being left behind on the plate. There’s really nothing quite like it!

img_1050

There are different ways to eat beans. When I had them at my grandparent’s home, I remember them being accompanied by “schmont faat” (white gravy sauce) that I’m assuming was made with heavy cream and bacon drippings. At home, I followed my dad’s example and always added sugar to my beans. Over time I saw my cousins in Canada adding ketchup and cheese to their beans.

So with all the different ways of eating beans that I’ve observed over the years, this is currently my favorite way to eat them. It is also my dad’s favorite bean recipe (minus the ketchup and cheese). I can’t remember if it was my mom or dad who came up with this recipe, or a different person altogether, but whenever my dad cooks and has the choice of how to prepare them, this is the recipe he uses.

Oh and one last tip! I learned this trick from one of my lovely aunts in Mexico (you know who you are). If you really want to take things up a notch, crush a whole bag of original doritos chips and stir them into the beans just before serving. YUM!

img_1057

I should also talk about the beans that are used in this recipe. My parents use “cabra” beans. Unfortunately, I have yet to find them in Canada (so if anyone knows where to find them, let me know!). I’m slowly making my way through the bag of beans that my parents brought me from Mexico. I would say that the closest beans I found to the “cabra” beans, are pinto beans. I have tried making this recipe with pinto beans. It’s good, but honestly not quite the same. So, if you ever get your hands on “cabra” beans, never let them go! And bring me some while you’re at it! 😉

img_1060

I hope you try out this bean recipe. It makes an excellent meal for quick warm ups, when time is not your friend. Canning the beans is probably what takes the longest, but even that is actually quite easy once you get started. The most emotionally damaging part about the canning process for me, is probably how much the pressure cooker scares me every time, haha. I’m always so scared it’s going to explode on me! I mean, really, you can opt out of using a pressure cooker, but it speeds things up, which is why I keep on doing it (plus to make use of wonderful gift from my parents!).

The recipe posted below assumes you already have homemade canned beans. If you need to know how to can them, here’s how: in a large bowl, soak the desired amount of beans overnight in hot water. Make sure to add a couple of extra inches of water, as the beans will swell quite a lot. The following day drain the water, add the beans to a strainer, run cold water over them, and rinse them thoroughly. Add beans to your pressure cooker (or other pot, which will take longer). The amount will depend on the size of your pressure cooker (my pressure cooker is medium sized, and I add about 5 cups of soaked beans to my pressure cooker). You basically want to fill most of the pot with beans, about an inch below the pot’s limit, and then fill it with room-temperature water all the way to the limit (about 1/2 to 1 inch above the beans). Add salt to taste (I add about 3/4 Tbsp. of salt), and about 3 halved cloves of garlic. Seal the pressure cooker according to the instructions. Bring to a boiling point on high until the pressure builds, then turn it to low for about 20 minutes, making sure it continues to simmer/boil. When the time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure settle completely before opening your pressure cooker. Finally, immediately after taking off the lid, fill your preferred size of canning jars with beans, seal tightly, and let cool until all the lids have popped. Store in the refrigerator until they are ready to be used. 

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend, and even though I’m a day late, VIVA MEXICO! 

 

Dad's Favourite Beans
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 L homemade canned cabra or pinto beans
  2. 2 good dollops of butter or margarine
  3. 1 large onion, diced
  4. 3 large tomatoes, diced
  5. 2 small zucchinis, sliced, and cut into small quarters
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter or margarine in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and fry on medium-high while cutting up the tomatoes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and continue frying while cutting up the zucchini.
  4. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper, and continue frying until all liquids have evaporated, and the mixture begins to brown (this adds great flavour).
  5. Add the beans, bringing them back to a boiling point, then lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for another 10 minutes to incorporate the flavours.
Notes
  1. Optional: stir in a bag of crushed doritos chips just before serving
  2. Optional toppings: ketchup, grated cheese
  3. Optional sides: warmed up and buttered corn tortillas, avocado, veggies or salad
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

The Best Summer Elote

4

Today has been one of those days that started off with the great intention of checking a few things off my to-do list. Instead, it ended up being a day that was less productive than I had hoped for (to be fair, the goals that I set for myself are often unrealistic). I’m trying to learn that it’s OK to have some of those days, and not beat myself up over it too much. So here I am trying to push myself to get this blog post up before the day is over, and trying to remind myself of the things that I DID get done today. 😉 At least I have my true little companion (AKA my little pup Luna) beside me, keeping me company. She’s been resting all day since she got spayed two days ago, and seems to be hurting still.

On a bright note, I’m sharing my favourite way to eat corn on the cob with you tonight. Trust me, you want to stick around for this.

8

3

This recipe brings back memories of my family eating corn on the cob on hot summer days, accompanied with a glass of cold milk. Although I don’t drink milk with my corn anymore, those two used to go hand in hand for me.

I remember attending Summer Bible School during several summers as a kid, at which we usually got corn on the cob as one of our meals. They were always served with butter and salt only. As delicious as this combo is, I remember always missing the way my family ate them, covered in delicious ingredients! I mean, of course we ate them with just butter and salt too some times. However, I will still always prefer them loaded with a medley of flavours!  

7

So, next time you are in the mood for some corn on the cob (maybe a few more times before the precious summer comes to an end!?), why not try topping them with the following ingredients:

  • Start by spreading them with mayonnaise (or you could use butter if you don’t care for mayonnaise).
  • Then top with: seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika, dill (dried or fresh), and Parmesan cheese (or any other freshly grated cheese). 
  • Play around with it: you could try smoked paprika, add garlic powder/salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, etc. etc. etc.

Here is a basic method for cooking corn on the cob. There seem to be many different ways of doing it, but this is one of the ways.

5

It’s really that simple. It takes longer to prepare each corn on the cob than if you’re only using butter and salt, but every bite will be a sweet reminder that it was worth it!

Oh – and if you’re day wasn’t quite as productive as you had hoped, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re not alone in this. Plus, tomorrow is a fresh start. 🙂

Happy weekending! – Erika

Achiote Spiced Chicken Burrito with Green Salsa

IMG_3542(a)

I tend to have pretty vivid dreams, which are often nightmares. A week or two ago I had a dream about food for a change (if only all my nightmares could be replaced by food dreams!). When I woke up I felt very inspired and my brain started rolling, thinking about which flavor pairings would work, which meat to use, what kind of sauce… you get the idea. So I finally came up with this recipe. I walked to the grocery store and picked up some fresh ingredients and started cooking, wondering how it would turn out. 

IMG_3493(a)

I decided to play around with achiote in this recipe, which is an ingredient I haven’t worked with before. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, achiote comes from a small tree in the tropical region of the Americas. North, Central and South American indigenous people originally used the seeds to make red body paint and lipstick. Therefore, the tree is also sometimes referred to as the lipstick tree. 

The tree is best known as the source of annatto, a natural orange-red condiment (also called “achiote” or “bijol”) obtained from the waxy arils that cover its seeds. The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. 

IMG_3502(a)

IMG_3524(a)

Achiote is often dissolved with either orange juice, or vinegar. I decided to use vinegar, which along with some lime juice gave the meat-vegetable filling some tartness. I’m still trying to decide whether I should have left out the lime juice that I added on. I will leave that up to you to decide, depending on how acidic you enjoy your food!

IMG_3530(a)

This recipe takes a little more time as there are a few layers to it. However, it’s still very do-able! You cook the chicken first, cut up all the vegetables and fry them, pick apart the cooked meat and add it to the vegetables along with the achiote mixture. You blend and cook the green salsa (this is the tomatillo broth I used), and while it’s cooking you fry some tortilla strips. Then you warm up your tortillas, make some fine burritos, slather them in sauce, and top them with grated mozzarella cheese and crispy tortilla chips!   

IMG_3558(a)

You can also make some pretty salads on the side to serve with the green salsa burrito dish.
Now all you need is to add some music for a nice and relaxing dinner! 😉 I recently bought my husband this Bossa Nova CD from Ten Thousand Villages for his birthday, which I’ve been listening to while writing this post. I thought I’d share one of the songs that I’m really enjoying with you:

IMG_3556(a)

Thanks for stopping by. It means the world to me! Please comment below if you have other achiote recipes to try out! Enjoy your weekend! XO – Erika

Achiote Spiced Chicken Burrito with Green Salsa
Serves 4
A tasty mixture of Mexican flavors!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 5 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. 1 1/2 small onions
  4. salt and pepper
  5. water
  6. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  7. 1 large white potato, peeled
  8. 3 medium-sized carrots, peeled
  9. 3 jalapenos
  10. 3 tbsp. of vinegar
  11. 1/2 of a lime
  12. 1/2 bar of achiote
  13. 2 ripe avocados
  14. 4 tbsp. cream cheese
  15. 350g. of tomatillo broth
  16. chicken broth
  17. 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro
  18. 4 large whole-wheat flour tortillas
  19. 3 corn tortillas
  20. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  21. 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Wash and clean the chicken thighs. Add them to a pot along with one clove of garlic cut in half, half of a small onion and half a teaspoon of salt. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil on high, then cook for 50 minutes on medium-low heat. When done, take out the chicken to cool, and set the chicken broth aside.
  2. Dice the potato and half of a small onion, and slice the carrots. Add one of the jalapenos and slice it lengthwise, removing the veins and seeds, then dicing it. Add these ingredients to a pan along with one tablespoon of olive oil and saute on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Turn down to medium heat and saute for another 5 minutes. Add 3 tbsp. of the chicken broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Using your hands, pull the chicken into bite-sized pieces, removing all the skin and bones. In a blender, blend 3 tbsp. of vinegar with half a bar of achiote, juice from half a lime, 3/4 cup chicken broth, and one clove of garlic until a smooth sauce forms. Add this along with the chicken to the fried vegetables, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. To make the green salsa add the following ingredients to the blender: 2 avocados, 2 jalapenos (sliced lengthwise, seeds removed), 1/2 of a small onion, 1 clove of garlic, pinch of salt, 4 tbsp. of cream cheese, tomatillo broth, and two handfuls of cilantro. Slowly add in chicken broth until it reaches the consistency that you desire (I ended up adding the rest of the chicken broth to it, along with the cooked onions and garlic). Add this mixture to a heated skillet and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pot on medium heat. Cut the corn tortillas into slices and fry them until golden brown (a few at a time). Then lay them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  6. To assemble, warm up four flour tortillas in a pan until slightly browned but still soft, divide the achiote chicken mixture evenly between the tortillas and roll them up into burritos. Set each one on an individual plate, cover in green salsa, top with grated mozzarella cheese and corn tortilla chips, and garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Sunny Side Up Quesadilla

IMG_2300(a)

You guys! I have a quick recipe to share with you and I’m pretty excited about it! I recently made this meal for myself without the intention of making it into a blog post. But then it turned out to be so delicious, that I decided I had to share it with you!

IMG_2309(a)

Do you have a ripe avocado lying around and are you trying to make sure you eat as many fresh cherry tomatoes as you can before the gardens have done their job for this year? Well I just brought you the perfect solution: The Sunny Side Up Quesadilla!! 

IMG_2301(a)

This recipe is seriously easy to make. You get to re-use the same pan for the whole process (fewer dishes!! YAY!!), and since it has melted cheese in it, I would go as far as to say that this recipe could be considered a comfort food (not to mention the health benefits avocado, onions, and tomatoes offer). AND you can totally eat this for brunch, lunch or supper. See, the options are endless! 

IMG_2290(a)

Now, you’re lucky that the weekend is coming up right away, which will give you all the time to get into the kitchen and make this sunny recipe! 😉 May it fill your stomach with joy and bring some sunshine into your home! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the quesadilla-egg combination. And please do share this recipe! Have a great weekend everyone!

IMG_2299(a)

Sunny Side Up Quesadilla
Serves 1
An easy way to turn a traditional quesadilla into a delightful brunch!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 corn tortillas
  2. 1/3 cup grated marbled-cheese
  3. 1/2 avocado
  4. 1/2 small onion
  5. 2 tsp. margarine (or butter)
  6. 1 egg
  7. salt and pepper
  8. 2-3 tbsp. chunky salsa
  9. 5-8 assorted cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Place tortilla in a preheated non-stick pan, over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with cheese and top with second tortilla. Fry until cheese is melted and place on a plate.
  2. Cut onion into 1/4 inch thick slices and throw into the same pan along with 1 teaspoon margarine. Fry until browned. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. While the onions are frying, mash half an avocado with a fork, and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  4. Add another teaspoon of margarine to the pan. Crack an egg into it, frying it sunny side up until the egg white is completely cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble the quesadilla, spread the mashed avocado on the warm quesadilla, top it with the fried onions, the egg, the salsa, and finally the cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

 

Ground Beef Soft-Shell Tacos

IMG_7333(a)

Hi everyone and welcome! My name is Erika and I’m the author of Sweet Blooming Roots. After countless hours of dreaming, planning, and working, the day has finally arrived where I’m launching my very first blog. I’m so excited and also just a little frightened to begin. In this blog I’m hoping to share lots of recipes, DIY projects, traveling experiences, inspiration, and many adventures with you. I’m planning to upload a post three times a week, but I will have to find a comfortable pace for myself first, so bear with me! If you would like to know more about me and this blog, click here: About SBR.

IMG_7291(a)

Now on to tastier things! Since cinco de mayo is coming up really soon (for those that want to know more about this celebration, click here: Cinco de Mayo), and since I’m originally from Mexico, I thought it fitting to begin with some good ol’ soft-shell ground beef tacos.

IMG_7315(a)

I grew up with this meal, but have adapted it a little over time. This recipe is quite forgiving, and there’s so much room for creativity. You can add to or take away any of the taco toppings, you can use hard-shell instead of soft-shell tacos, and you can replace the ground beef for pulled chicken, fish, or re-fried beans for a vegetarian option. The choices are endless, but they are finger-licking good! I’m warning you: you won’t be able to stop after taco #1. Happy Cinco de Mayo celebrations everyone! 

IMG_7346(a)

VIVA MEXICO! VIVAN LOS TACOS!

Ground Beef Soft-Shell Tacos
A messy, but delightful meal. Really, it's a feast! But please, no cutlery for this one.
Write a review
Print
For the tacos
  1. 1.5 lbs ground beef
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. Pepper to taste
  4. 1 envelope Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
  5. 1 cup tomato juice
  6. 1 package corn tortillas
  7. 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Toppings
  1. Sliced tomatoes
  2. Shredded Lettuce
  3. Cucumber
  4. Sliced red onion
  5. Sliced avocado
  6. Cilantro
  7. Key limes
  8. 1 can whole kernel corn
  9. Grated marbled cheese
  10. Sour cream
  11. Suggested condiments: Salsa Valentina, Salsa Casera, & Ketchup.
Instructions
  1. Add the ground beef and the chopped onion to a frying pan and cook on medium-high heat until done, and slightly browned. Pepper to taste, and add the taco seasoning and the tomato juice. Allow most of the liquids evaporate.
  2. While the beef is cooking, cut the tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, red onion, avocado, cilantro, and the key limes, according to desired amount. Drain the corn, grate the marbled cheese, and prepare the sour cream.
  3. In a frying pan, small pot, or a deep fryer heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. When hot, use metal tongs to take one tortilla at a time, pinching the tops in a U-shape and letting the bottom of the tortilla sit in the oil for a few seconds. Then immerse the rest of the tortilla for a few seconds on each side. Place the fried tortilla on a plate (upside-down), lined with paper towel, allowing the excess oil to drip off. Repeat this process with desired amount of tortillas.
  4. Assemble the tacos in the following order: Tortilla, meat, cheese, corn, condiments, sour cream, and veggies. Finish with a squeeze of key lime juice, and garnish with cilantro.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/