Burritos for Dinner

When I saw these burritos on Pink Parsley Catering, I knew we’d love them because first and foremost they are burritos and second they have a poblano sauce.  Poblanos make everything better.

So many of our meals last week featured meat that I wanted to make this in a vegetarian version. To keep from having only black beans inside the burrito, I made cilantro lime rice because it’s another favorite.

All parts of the burritos could be made in advance which made this an even more valuable recipe in the rotation.   This dish wasn’t without its mistakes, but they turned out to not cause a problem (too much).

Spices:  My alphabetized spice cabinet (yes, I can be slightly retentive) was slightly off and I grabbed the first bottle that had a “c” and a “u.”  That turned out to be curry powder so I guess these might have a slight Indian fair, but were still delicious.

Peppers: They need to be roasted to avoid a crunchiness to the dish.  By the time I fully read the recipe, I had the dinner almost ready and the peppers didn’t have a chance to soften.



Cilantro-Lime Rice

1 1/2-2 servings of jasmine rice, cooked

Once the rice is cooked, combine 3 Tbsp. cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice

Bean Mixture (same from Pink Parsley Catering recipe)

1 Tbs canola oil

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs tomato paste

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup water or chicken broth

1/2 tsp cumin or in my case, curry powder accidentally

1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp cayenne

1 tsp brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, or cheese of your preference (I used left over sliced, colby jack cheese we had)

4-10 whole wheat tortillas, depending on size (4 for burrito-sized, more for soft taco or fajita sized)

cooking spray

Sour Cream Poblano Sauce

2 poblano peppers

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs flour

2/3 cup chicken broth (preferably room temperature)

1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine)–I used fat-free sour cream

salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil.
Burritos:  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Add the onions and cook  3-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding in the beans. Add the water or broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, brown sugar and salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon). Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the cheese (or half a slice) down the center of each tortilla (depending on size). Add a spoonful of cilantro rice (or as much as you want)and a spoonful of the bean mixture over the top. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla in, and then roll the tortilla up, from the end closest to you, to the top. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet, and spray with cooking oil.  Be careful not to overstuff because the tortillas will break.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until tortillas are golden brown and crispy.  While it’s baking, prepare the sauce.
Sauce: Preheat the broiler and place the poblano on a baking sheet.  Broil 6-inches from the heat source, turning occasionally, until blackened and charred.  Peel the poblano and rinse off any small bits of charred skin, remove the stem and seeds, and dice it.
Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat, and melt the butter. Stir in the flour, cooking for about a  minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the diced poblano; continue to simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened. Add the sour cream and warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and cover to keep warm until the burritos are done.
Spoon the sauce over the burritos and eat up.

The Bibliography: Slightly Changed from Pink Parsley Catering and original from Elly Says Opa


Mississippi Mud from Southern Living

When we got back from camping in the NC mountains, I had 3/4 box of graham crackers and 1 bag of marshmallows left.  Josh was coming for dinner at our house and I wanted to use these in the dessert because I like to finish things, recycle things, throw things away, etc.  When we got back, I also had the latest Southern Living magazine in the  mailbox and one of their dessert features just happened to have marshmallows and lots of graham cracker crumbs.

To me Mississippi Mud pies are “a few times a year” dessert because they are so rich.  This pie had a nice fudgey middle and broiled (“faux roasted”) marshmallows on top with a warm, chocolate drizzle.  the recipe says to make it in a springform pan but I thought a pie pan would work just as well.  That thought was a little off however because it resulted in a delicious pie with a 2 inch think crust.  While delicious, we ended up eating it like corn on the cob.  I’ll stick to the recipe next time.


2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/2 c. butter, melted

2 1/4 c. sugar, divided

1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans, toasted and divided

1 (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

1 c. butter

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa

4 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 tsp. salt

3 c. regular marshmallows, cut in half horizontally

2 c. miniature marshmallows

Chocolate Frosting

Directions: Stir together first 2 ingredients and 1/4 c. sugar; press on bottom and 2 inches up sides of a shiny 9-inch springform form pan.  Sprinkle 3/4 c. pecans over crust.  Microwave chopped chocolate and 1 c. butter in a large microwave-safe glass bowl at high 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals.  Whisk flour, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 2 cups sugar into chocolate mixture, whisking until blended.  Pour batter into prepared crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Remove from oven, and cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.  Preheat broiler with oven rack on lowest level from heat.  Place pie (in pan) on a jelly roll pan.  Toss together both marshmallows; mound on pie, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge.  Broil 30 seconds to 1 minute or until marshmallows are golden brown.  Remove from oven, and immediately remove sides of the pan.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate Frosting.  Drizzle over marshmallows; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 c. pecans.

Chocolate Frosting: Cook 1/4 c. butter, 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa, and 3 Tbsp. milk in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, 4 minutes or until slightly thickened; remove from heat.  Whisk in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth.

The Bibliography: Southern Living October 2012


Sunday Night Date

Last Sunday night ended with an unexpected date.  Toward the end of dinner, I asked Andrew if he wanted anything else to eat thinking he might say, “sure a little cilantro rice.”  His answer was chocolate chip cookies.  That answer led to us pulling out the bag of chocolate chips (that was already 1/4 empty from snacking) and making the Nestle Tollhouse recipe on the back (I still love the Friends episode with Phoebe & the Nestle TollHouse recipe).

Three things I learned from the experience.

1. Andrew has an appreciation for the abilities of the electric mixer. I didn’t realize he had never used it before but quickly was talking about the motor in it and how effective it was–oh the engineer.

2. Explain how to add materials and in general use the mixer instead of assuming that someone knows how.  I failed to explain to Andrew that you break the eggs into a separate bowl first and then add them.  He decided to add them while the mixer was going and ended up with egg shell broken (and mixed) all in the batter.  The next step included adding the flour mixture to which I should have added the “shield” that came with the mixer.  Andrew set off a “flour bomb” that I’m pretty sure we haven’t cleaned up completely a week later.

3. When you don’t have vanilla extract, substitute almond.  The only vanilla extract I have is a DIY kind that still has to sit for a while first so we used the amount called for in almond flavoring.  We both said that we actually liked it better than with vanilla flavoring.

Andrew pre-flour bomb and post-egg break.  The cookie outcome was delicious and thus ended a wonderful Sunday night date.

A Juxtaposition of Peaches

Peaches are my hands down favorite fruit with blackberries coming in a close second.  Every Sunday when I put in my Produce Box order this summer, I would hope there was an opportunity to “add-on” peaches.  There was a specific time where I misjudged what a quart meant but the misjudgement resulted in lots of frozen peaches for the rest of the year.

Peaches have always been put into cobblers in my family so this summer was time to try something different.  First attempt was a galette based on this recipe.

Peach GaletteStraight-up yummy and crisp with the peaches maintaining their shapes better because the peeling was left on.  The crispness didn’t last past a day, but even cold, slightly not so firm galette is better than no galette at all I’ve decided.

The next attempt could be labeled epic fail, ugly as sin 2, or a plethora of other words.

Peach Pies

Ugly as sin proved it can be delicious.  The peaches broke apart slightly in the pie and formed a sweet syrup which then broke down the pie crust slightly.  I tried to create the pies using a Pampered Chef device that I either need to retire or practice with greatly.  Overall it created a mess, but my kitchen/house/office/car shows I like a mess on a continual  basis.

Galette vs. Peach Pie, a juxtaposition of peachy goodness. Hopefully next summer will mean more peaches and more messes.

Galette recipe from Simply Recipes.

Peach Pie recipe

Homemade pie crust using Annie’s Eats recipe

4 peaches cut into slices with peelings removed

1/4-1/2 c. sugar

Mix peaches and sugar together and let rest 1-2 minutes.  Use a biscuit cutter to cut pairs of pie crust (1/4-1/2 in. thick) as much as your pie crust can make.  Place a small amount of peach mixture (several peaches) in the middle of one of the pieces of pie crust and place another piece of pie crust on top of that. Seal together with Pampered Chef  sealer or another tool.  If not a “sealing” tool use a fork to seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned.

Okra We Both Will Eat

In continuing an “Ode to Okra” here is a way of preparing that I learned from Momma this year and Andrew will actually eat.  The okra keeps more of it’s crunch, takes 10 minutes to prepare and ends up having a slightly charred exterior.



As much okra as you would like that can fit in a saute pan in a single layer


Olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Wash the okra and remove the caps.  Place the okra in the saute pan and fill with water up to the “halfway” mark on the okra.  You do not want the okra to be submerged under water.  Add a tablespoon or less of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.  Turn the okra on medium heat and cook until the liquid has disappeared from the pan stirring every few minutes.

We have one last serving of okra for the season and I imagine its’g going to look something like this.

I love, but Andrew detests…..

Pickled okra.  I’ve always loved okra once I got through the picking it phase but didn’t try pickled okra until 6 or 7 years ago when Momma started serving it as an appetizer.  It’s pretty much delicious in any form (fried, baked, grilled, in gumbo, in shrimp & grits, sautéed, etc) but pickled okra is a nice surprise.  If made soon after being picked, the final pickled product has a nice crunch and a little heat from the chile pepper.

Pickled Okra

So even though some of my family turn their nose up at it, I pickle every July so that I can enjoy a little summer in December.


2 1/2 lbs. small fresh okra

1 green chile pepper (I use dried red chile peppers), per jar

1 garlic clove, per jar

1 tsp. dill seeds, per jar

4 c. white vinegar

1/2 c. salt

1/4 c. sugar

4 c. water

Pack jars (of your choosing) with okra.  Make sure to sanitize the jars first by running them through the dishwasher or letting them sit for a while in boiling water.  Place the next 3 ingredients in the jars with the okra.  Mix the next four ingredients together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling pour into the jars leaving a 1/2 inch of space at the top.  Place the lids (which have been sitting in boiling water) on the jars and secure tightly.  Place in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  After taking the jars from the bath place them on a cutting board and don’t move for 24 hours.  The jar lids should make a popping noise indicating that they have sealed. To test if they have truly sealed or not, press down on the lids.  If sealed, there should be no give.

Enjoy the pickling process!

Bibliography: Southern Living


The first week of August we were here.  And ate at every good restaurant we could find. I miss it greatly—this picture should explain that.

View from the Many Glacier Hotel

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Missed Deadline & White Cake Bake Off

June and July are two different words.  The two letter difference shouldn’t have thrown me off, but it did and I missed a deadline.  Luckily this deadline wasn’t related to work though I can miss those every once in a while too (same issue with similar month names).

In 2012 I decided to try a few more food contests, okay really to try my first.  Every winter holiday Southern Living hosts a White Bake Off contest for readers to create a cake for the holiday season.  To provide enough prep time (I’m guessing) for creating, judging, announcing, photographing, etc. the deadline for the contest is June 30th which I chose to read as July 30th.  Enough with that though and on to the white cake that missed the deadline.

The idea came after my cousin Caroline made several servings of Oreo Truffles.  They’ve really gotten popular in the last few years, but last Christmas was the first time that I’ve had them and I inhaled them–every one I could get my hands on.  Andrew helped me brainstorm about possibilities and we both kept going back to chocolate and oreos.  With that in mind, I decided to take the Oreo Truffle concept and put it in cake form to the degree I could.

The result was a light texture chocolate cake with a creamy filling that reminded me of melted cookies and cream ice cream.  The outside cream cheese frosting was also light thanks to a little extra cool whip.  After several tastings we decided that my inability to read the calendar correctly worked out as it should.  Oreo Truffle cake was meant for the summer, not the holidays.

Recipe & Directions:


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop 4 oz. of Ghiradelli unsweetened chocolate into small pieces (almost shaved like) and melt in a saucepan with two sticks of butter.  Once melted, set aside to cool.  In another bowl combine 2 c. cake flour, 2 c. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. soda and mix well. Add chocolate/butter mixture, but don’t stir until the additional ingredients have been added.  Add 1 c. buttermilk, 3 eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well and pour into 3 lined cake pans.  Bake for 25 minutes and then check with a toothpick to make sure the middle is fully cooked.  Cool completely.


Put 17 Oreos in a food processor and chopped until almost fine.  Combine with 1-8 oz. container of cool whip, 1-8 oz. cream cheese, and 1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar.  Spread evenly in between layers while building the 3 layer cake.

The filling remind me of that lovely armadillo cake from Steel Magnolias! in color only..


Combine 1-8 oz. cream cheese with 1-16 oz. cool whip (probably could have used 8 or 12 oz. because I had a lot left), and 2 c. confectioner’s sugar.

Makes a 3 layer cake.

Bibliography: SFD Test Kitchen

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Comedy of Cooking Errors

Anna & Tim recently had a baby, a precious baby.  To celebrate/help/see the baby I took them dinner.  I had great hopes for the dinner–homemade meat loaf, mashed potatoes, caramelized green beans and onion and a chocolate chess pie to finish off.

And the errors began:

1. I put the pie in the oven before it had reached its final temperature so it came out in a cracked mess.

2. I got home late from work and didn’t have enough time to finish cooking the meatloaf without giving the whole family meat poisoning.

3. The mashed potatoes (with cream cheese & butter for ingredients) was accidentally left out on the counter overnight providing yet another opportunity to give the family some lovely stomach aches.

4. All above= whomp, whomp.

After the errors ended, I was left with caramelized green beans and strawberries with whipped cream.  Not exactly the meal I was hoping to take.  With my pride left at home, I stopped by Harris Teeter and bought chicken and twice baked potatoes arriving red-faced and with apologies.  Anna and Tim were gracious and made me feel like bring a Harris Teeter meal to first-time parents was completely acceptable. In my thoughts it was not, especially a Harris Teeter meal bought at 6 pm when every other person in Raleigh has stopped by to pick up their evening’s dinner.

I will  redeem myself in the next few months, but at this point all I have to say is welcome to the world, sweet Emmie!


When you have these……



you don’t mind the heat and frizzy hair from the humidity.