Trent is in the final stretch of getting his MFA. He’ll be finished mid June and I can’t believe how quickly it is approaching. In many ways these two years have gone by so quickly, but at the same time have dragged slowly on. He just had a month break for Easter and is now back in the thick of it. I know there will be many late nights ahead of us in this sprint to the finish.
Little G turns two next week! My mind is completely blown. Right now he’s supposed to be asleep. We didn’t make it outside today, as we usually do. It was crazy windy and I had no desire to go out. Because of this, I don’t think he got worn out enough. So he’s standing in his crib saying “Mommy, Daddy.” It’s almost 9:00 pm. It’s late. It’s been a long day. We need out outside time. Yes, we do.
I wish I could say this was a complete recipe. The truth is, it is something I’ve made multiple times and every time, it’s a little different. I just throw together what I have on hand. So take the recipe for the enchiladas as a guide.
The sauce for the enchiladas is from Gimme Some Oven. I’ve made it several times now and it’s a fantastic homemade red enchilada sauce recipe. It’s super easy to make, tastes amazing and has got to be a thousand times cheaper than buying some. I’ve even made some and frozen it and it freezes just fine. I have found it’s a little too spicy for our family, so I’ve toned it down. Start with the amount of chilli powder I have and add more to taste.
The enchiladas have a evolved from several recipes. And the tres leches cake I keep mostly the same. I found it over at the food network. It’s this recipe.
For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbsp. all-purpose or gluten-free flour
2 Tbsp. chili powder (*not cayenne!)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano). Then gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.
Use immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Enchiladas: Use this more as a guide. Adjust ingredients and amounts to your liking.
4 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
about 3 cups cooked black beans, divided
about 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
about 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red onion, diced
3 cups shredded cheese, divided
about 10 small tortillas
Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 9x13 oven dish.
Heat 2 Tbs of oil in a pan over medium high head. Add the sweet potato. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onion. Cook until soft.
In a blender combine 1 cup of black beans, the red enchilada sauce and the sour cream. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine remaining black beans, corn, the cooked sweet potato and red onion, 2 cups of cheese and about half of the sauce.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbs of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the tortillas, flipping half way. Fill with about 1/4 cup of the filling. Roll up and place end side down in the greased pan. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and place in oven for 20 minutes, uncover and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy!
Tres Leches Cake:
Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk in 2 additions.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes (every time I’ve made this it has needed about 50 minutes, but check at 30).
Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.
Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon.
Sorry that I have been MIA as of late. I have been so busy working on things with Lewie Prints. It’s been going well. We have lots of new prints. You should check it out. To keep up on everything follow our instagram and our Facebook page. I talk a bit about our day to day lives in London and being a working mom, or mum, with a toddler. Follow along to see our adventures.
Spring is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier. It has been so nice. Little G and I spend plenty of time out of doors soaking in the sun, when there is some, and exploring. The other day we went snail hunting after it rained. No, not for escargot, just for fun. A bonus to these outdoor adventures is that they usually leave G exhausted. He comes home and just wants a nap. Nap time is when I try to get my ‘to do’ list done, or some of it.
One aspect of living in London that I love is the exposure to all the different cultures. That is clearly manifest in their food options. There is such a variety of food to experience here. It has translated into my cooking. I find myself branching out and trying new food cultures at home.
A little while ago we tried Gousto, a home delivery service that delivers fresh, organic food in just the right measurements of recipes that you select. Then all you have to do is cook all the measuring and shopping is done for you. It was incredibly nice to try out, but on our budget right now, it doesn’t fit to do again. Maybe once we get an actual paycheque we can treat ourselves occasionally. This Persian Lamb dish was one of the items we tried. We liked it, but it was a little too meat heavy, and not enough veg for our taste. I’ve adapted it to fit our lifestyle a little more.
Little G loved this meal. He’s not a picky eater, so it’s not that much of a surprise. As I was trying to photograph it, he snuck up onto the chair and decided to help himself and kept saying “yummy yummy” as he did so. He’s about to take a bite in the picture below.
180 grams (about 1 1/4 cups) couscous
300 grams (about 1/2 pound) lamb mince (ground lamb)
about a handful or two of raisins
about a handful or two of shelled pistachios
2 tbsp baharat (middle eastern spice)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can or about a cup of cooked lentils
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
a handful of fresh mint
1 chicken stock cube
Place the couscous and the raisins in a bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, pour over the couscous and raisins and cover. Set aside.
If the pistachios aren’t already roasted, place a pan on medium heat, add the pistachios. Toast for about 2 minutes or until they darken slightly. Set aside.
Put pan back on medium high heat. Add the lamb mince to the pan and crumble in the stock cube. Cook until browned. Add the tomato paste, spices, lentils (with their liquid is home cooked or with 1/2 cup water is canned), and frozen peas. Cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, chop the mint finely. Mix half of in with the yogurt.
Chop the pistachios and add to the couscous along with the other half of the mint.
Plate the couscous mixture, top with some of the the lamb, and garnish with the minted yogurt. Enjoy!
This past summer we went back to Utah. While there I was able to do a little bit of work. The first project I worked on since being back was a fun video for a competition that my brother, Chris, and I worked on together. I did the food styling for a video for his company a little while back, but he and I have never really worked together on a creative project. I have to say that I loved working with him. Our ideas meshed well and we seemed to be on the same wave length the entire time. That doesn’t always happen when working in a group and it feels so good when it does. The video was for a competition for Hormel Foods. I was emailed by one of their marketing companies, asking me to enter. As I’ve never done video, I sought out Chris for help. I’m quite pleased with the results. Hope you like it too.
Some days I feel like I’m sleep walking through life. I’ve gone past the point of tired, to where I’m nearly numb to it. G must has something wrong with him. I’ve read up on what you’re “supposed” to do to help your baby or toddler sleep, and we have already been doing all of those things. He still wakes, usually 3-4 times a night. He’ll occasionally sleep through the night or only wake once, but those nights are few and far between. I’m losing all hope.
On a brighter note, we visited the Museum of London today. This has been one of my favourite museums that we’ve visited here. I’m fascinated by the black plague and the Great fire. It’s so sad that so many people died or there was so much destruction when today we have the knowledge and technology that those things wouldn’t have even been issues. I would love to go back to the museum another day without G, when I could read and learn more, rather than chase after him. Still enjoyed what I was able to see.
On to the food: Trent may be sick of this dish by now. I’ve made it nearly every week for the past six weeks (I think there was one week that I didn’t). I found a recipe that I based it off of from the Kitchn. Their recipe is for one and doesn’t have any vegetables it it. I like my veggies more than most, so, of course, I added loads.
I use buckwheat soba noodles. These have been the best that I’ve tried. I love their flavour, especially with sesame oil drizzled over top. I have found that it is best to boil only as much as you need at a time, usually one bundle per person (the noodles I get come bundled inside the package. 3 bundles per pack). Make as much sauce and veg as you like, those keep well for leftovers, then boil more noodles when you’re ready to eat the rest of it.
Soba Noodles - 1 bundle per person
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs sesame oil
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch freshly grated ginger
4 Tbs soy sauce
Your favourite stir fry vegetables, chopped (I like edamame, broccoli, and grated carrots.)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (can do less or omit if you don’t like heat.)
1 tsp. brown sugar (optional, I like the slight sweetness it adds)
1 egg per person
Fill a large pot with water, add the salt. Bring to a boil.
While the water heats, add the oil to a large pan, over high heat stir fry the veggies, garlic and ginger. Add the red pepper flakes and the brown sugar. Continue to cook until fork tender.
Cook noodles according to package instructions.
Option 1 for soft boiled eggs: When done, drain and reserve water to soft boil eggs (water will boil much quicker if you use the same water) Here is a great tutorial for soft boiling eggs. Plate noodles, top with sauce, veg, and egg.
Option 2 for fried eggs: If you’d rather, simply drain noodles, plate, top with veggies and sauce and then fry an egg in the same pan that you cooked the sauce and vegetables in.
Trent made his banana bread this past week, so it feels like the perfect time for a #tbt. He took half a loaf to school with him the other day. Someone told him that it is the best banana bread they’ve ever had. Yep.
I don’t make banana bread. One thing I inherited from my mom is an issue with bananas. My banana phobia has improved dramatically over the last few years, but old, black bananas that are necessary for making banana bread, I still can’t do. I don’t know if there are better banana bread recipes out there. I certainly won’t be the one to start making loaf after loaf to find out. But I love this one. This bread is moist, fluffy and sweet and with chocolate chips and your choice of nuts on top, let’s face it, it’s essentially cake that you can eat for breakfast or as a snack. Sneaky, sneaky bread, oh, how I love you.
Banana Bread (1 loaf)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
chocolate chips (optional)
chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Butter and flour loaf pan
Mix together all the ingredients and pour into loaf pan top with chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Bake for 50 min.