Friday, July 15, 2011

Glad-man Gardens

 Add a hose and a man/child and what do you get?  A really nice garden and
 Dave and I built this stone porch, and added greenery and water, Dave has done most of the work.  Mother Nature has added the various touches here and there too.
 I like the stars and stripes whirly-gig.
 I love this pot.  I love the plants too.  Nice job Dave.
 There are nice surprises in every corner of our garden.
Here the creeping myrtle has taken over this section and it looks like my little pond is floating in it's own section of another green pond!

I seriously hope you will stop by and sit a spell and enjoy our garden with us.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Best Biscuits Ever

I love really good biscuits.  They are so easy to make, and it only takes about 6 ingredients.  There are as many recipes as there are bakers, and I like to pretend I am a Southerner sometimes, so I don't use a recipe unless I am shooting for a special biscuit.  This is one that I put in the oven with about 10 minutes prep. time, I doubled it in my head.  I must admit that it is loaded with fat, as most good biscuits are, hence the good color of the tops.
  • Cut in the shortening well.  I found a pastry blender at a second hand store for about $1.00.
  • I like Kosher salt.
  • Use a sharp round cutter. Not a glass (they won't raise as high because of the dullness of the glass.)  Williams Sonoma has a wonderful set of cutters for about $12.00.
  • When you cut the biscuit, go straight down with the cutter, or they might raise lopsided.
  • The biscuits should not touch each other.
  • The oven should be nice and hot.  425F.

My Basic recipe
 2 cups all purpose,unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting the counter, and your rolling pin.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, fresh,  under 6 months old
1/2 cup heavy cream
ice water

Working in a medium bowl, cut the shortening into the flour, salt and baking powder until small pea size. Stir in the heavy cream and enough water for the dough to pull together when stirring, about 1/2-2/3 cup more.  Knead the dough in the bowl with one hand while holding onto the bowl with the other about 10 times.  Let the dough rest on a floured counter for as long as it takes for you to clean up the dishes.
Roll out the dough 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the biscuits with sharp cutter to your desired circumference, pressing straight down, DO NOT TWIST.  Place the biscuits on parchment paper and bake 425F. for approximately 20-22 minutes, until nice golden brown on top.

As you perfect your biscuit prowess, you will want to add herbs like sage or chives.  You can also make the Red Lobster biscuits with sharp cheddar and garlic butter on top.  I have also substituted 1 cup buttermilk, which will cut back on the fat, but they won't look as good.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Glad for Mexicans

I like any culture that celebrates with color.
Especially my own Mexican Heritage.

I also like the many statements that make us unique

And do I really need to mention my love for the guitar?

Look at the cute little huaraches!!

Click on this link to learn more about Olvera StreetOlvera Street is a fun place to visit when in Los Angeles.  I love the mercado like atmosphere of the shops and taquerias on the block.  Los Angeles was settled by Mexico, by Mexicans, and this is the place.  Los Angeles is full of Mexican-Americans, not Hispanics, but Mexican-Americans (or Americans of Mexican descent.)  Many of which have been Norte Americanos long before their European descended neighbors.
It is an old city,not however, as old as my ancestral home of Santa Fe, NM.

When I visit L.A. I like to get taquitos at Juanita's at Olvera Street.  They are made to order and served with a spicy hot Avocado sauce.  I drink it up! 
 It is this teeny tiny stall with about 8 tables.  

Olvera Street is easily reached from my daughters home in Pasadena, by taking the Metro Rail Gold Line to Union Station.  Go out the front door and across the street and you are there~