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Monday, November 26, 2012


I had the opportunity to hang out with my sister-in-law a couple weeks ago.  Susie is an amazing cook, she is one of those cooks that doesn't use written recipes but miraculously everything comes out delicious every time.  Her specialty is Mexican Cooking, down home authentic Mexican Cooking.  I just drool thinking about her dishes.   

On this day she had planned on making Gorditas. If you are unfamiliar with Gorditas, you are ever so missing out.  Gorditas roughly translated from Spanish to English means "fat little ones".   It's little puffed dough rounds filled with spicy meat.  There are so many different fillings but today we made Chile Colorado. (meat with red sauce). 


Now that I have your attention, lol.

For the Dough:
3 and 1/2 cups of Maseca or masa harina (corn flour)
1 cup all purpose flour 
4 tbs lard
2 tsps baking powder
1 and  1/2 tsps salt
2 and 1/4 cup hot water

Mix the dry ingredients and then cut the lard in with a knife or a pastry cutter. Add water to make a dough that can be easily handled. 
Shape into balls about 1 inch diameter. 

Roll into rounds about 1/8 inch thick.  Don't you just love the little rolling pin.  These are just perfect for rolling out tortillas or these gorditas.  I have one also and it's my go to rolling pin.

Let rest for a few minutes while heating up a cast iron skillet or griddle. Fry the dough rounds until brown spots appear like a tortilla, turning once.   May use just a little bit of oil if necessary.  Let cool then drop into 350 degree oil and deep fry for 15-20 seconds until puffed and golden. Place on cooling rack.

Split open the top of the little gordita pocket and fill with yummy goodness.  

Chile Colorado Filling:
aka Yummy Goodness

1-8 oz bag of dried red chile
2 lbs of beef cut into 1 inch cubes
meat tenderizer
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano
Salt to taste

Snap off stems of red chile and shake out seeds. Wash well and place in large saucepan. 

Cover with water and cook until  chiles are soft about  30 minutes on medium heat.

Meanwhile place beef cubes in a deep skillet,sprinkle meat tenderizer, cover and cook until tender.  Remove lid and continue cooking until brown.

Remove the chiles and place in a blender, add garlic, oregano and a little salt. 

Blend well making the most awesome fresh red sauce.  

Sprinkle a little flour over the browned meat and add red sauce.

Continue to cook over low heat until thick and bubbly.

Spoon meat into prepared Gordita pockets. 
Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomato.  Serve with Mexican Rice and refried beans.  

Oh, have another look at my plate:)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Texas Brisket

As I have spoke before, Beef Brisket rules in Texas. My hubby loves to fire up this baby, then season a huge slab of meat and start cooking.  And he doesn't plan ahead, he just wakes up one morning and starts to build a fire while I jump on the bandwagon and drive into town for a nice brisket.  Nope, it doesn't matter if it's just the two of us or if we have guests, the brisket is always huge.  And I know we will have a great time and great foodies by the end of the day.

When we lived at our Pecan Orchard in New Mexico, we used pecan wood but now that we are back on the Ranch in Texas, it's Mesquite wood all the way.  Whether we use Pecan Wood or Mesquite wood, the smoke gives the meat the best flavors, I love both. 

After the fire is started, its time for the meat.  We start with this awesome, huge chuck of beef.  I think this  brisket weighs about 15 pounds.  I always spend way too much time at the store going through all the briskets trying to find the best one.  But with all that marbling, most are just perfect.
We always season the brisket very well with a rub.  We have so many different rubs and seasonings but today we are trying out a new rub that I purchased on our last trip to our hometown in Texas. 
When the temperature reaches 250-300 degrees, it's time to put the meat on.  
But wait!   Ok (1) We have a well seasoned brisket, (2) a smoker heated to the proper temperature but I think we missed one key ingredient!  
An Adult Beverage!!  Yep, something about fueling the fire and seasoning a huge slab of meat makes one very thirsty!  
   The meat is placed on the grill furthest away from the firebox.  The smoke raises from the fire, travels across the meat and exits out the smoke stack.  The heat is low and the meat is cooked slow and smoked.
After the brisket has smoked for about 1/2 -1 hour per pound, check the internal temperature of the meat. When the brisket has reached just above 175 degrees, remove from smoker, wrap in heavy foil and place back into smoker.  Close down the vents of the smoker to put out the fire and leave it for about 45-60 minutes.  Then remove the brisket from the smoker and let the meat rest.  The brisket should be done to about 190 degress and will be tender.  The trick is cooking it to the point that it is tender but not falling apart.
Also it is important to have the smoke ring. This is the indicator that you have smoked the meat low and slow and it has just the right amount of smoke flavor. See the pinkish line on the top edge of the slices.  This is just perfect!
Smoked Beef Brisket with our favorite homemade BBQ Sauce! 

Great served with:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Patchwork Quilt Chair

My Mommie-in-law is a creative talented lady:)   She sews, does all kinds of needlework even cross stitch, makes jewelry, creates artwork and quilts and that is to just name a few and if its out there, she has done it:).

 If I followed her around everyday, I could gather enough material for posts for 10 blogs, lol.   She always comes up with unusual ideas and has the talent to carry them out.  

About a month ago I walked into her home and I saw this awesome chair sitting proudly in her dinning room.

Yes, it is covered in antique quilts!   She had purchased old quilts in an estate sale and the quilts were very worn in some spots but in good shape in others.   She utilized the best of the quilts and had this chair upholstered with them. 

The quilt on the back of the chair and the cushion came from a old family quilt that I had brought to her.  Yes, I knew she would do something awesome with it but I would have never thought of this.  

Now for the before pictures.  

In this photo, you can see the antique quilt in the right top corner.  

Yes, I believe this chair deserves a name.  I don't think my Mommie-in-law would mind if I named it "Hannah".  I always think of sunbonnets, sunflowers and American Quilts when I hear the name Hannah.  

So here's Hannah!!

Isn't she just beautiful!!

Sharing at these incredible Linky Parties!!