Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sweet Chile Pork Tacos

 Fiesta is in full swing here. We honestly don't do a lot of it. Tomorrow night there is a Family Fiesta Event at a church down the street. It will be fun for the boys, I hope. I'll just enjoy the festivities in my own home. My thermostat just said 91* We've had little rain in April, so I'm hopeful that we'll get something to make the summer doable. 
 I'm using an old runner from World Market. I love this one. It reminds me of a Mexican blanket.  I've had it for years and probably got it with a birthday coupon! The clearance napkins from Target have the same turquoise hues, so it worked really well. 
Mexican cobalt goblets and margarita glasses from Pier One, Ross and Marshall's fit perfectly with Mexican Talavera salt & peppers shakers and my 'tortilla warmer' that will hold the Sweet Chile Pork for dinner.
The two cobalt glass bowls were bought at Marshall's years ago, but said Made in Romania. They're great for salsa. 
The festive tortilla holder is from El Mercado in downtown San Antonio. I believe it was the original Farmer's Market for San Antonio, but don't quote me on that!
 I'm using JB Denmark Blue with my rattan chargers and Wallace Antique Bead Stainless.
The small salad bowls are from Walmart years ago and the large salad bowl is from Target a couple years back. The salad tongs are new from World Market. I had seen them a month ago and just got and email coupon, so I snagged them up.
  Sweet Chile Pork Tacos

Pork butt or Pork Loin Roast
Onion (I used one white and 1/2 red)
Sweet peppers (I used 5 small ones)
Chicken Broth
1 can tomatoes
salt & pepper
1-2 tsp parsley
1 tsp chili powder

In a large dutch oven, sear the pork in a couple tablespoons of Olive Oil. Add onions, peppers and tomatoes. Salt and pepper. Add parsley and chili powder. Cover with Chicken Broth (about half a box) Put in a 275* oven for 4-6 hours until you can shred it...
  It's still in my oven, so I'll take pictures of dinner and add to this post!! 
I serve mine in a tortilla with shredded cabbage, cheese, guacamole and salsa! Enjoy!!! is the finished product. 
 I opted for Iced Tea with mint from my mom just gave me this pot of mint and I took some more to replant...I hope it works, her mint leaves are huge!!
Here is what I've been working on...adding rocks to our garden, growing herbs and summer vegetables. Gardening is so therapeutic for me. I love walking out my door and being greeted by this. It's small by some standards, but it's mine:)
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Black Bean Salad

 Black Bean Salad

Homemade Black Beans
1 bag of black beans rinsed and soaked 8 hours, rinsed and soaked again 8 hours
1 onion 
5 garlic gloves
1 jalapeno pepper
chicken stock
bacon fat

In large dutch oven, add rinsed beans. Cover with water. Add bacon fat, onion, garlic and pepper. Add oregano and parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer over med-low for four hours. Add chicken stock (about 1/4 box or more) and salt and pepper liberally. Simmer 3-4 more hours. Check for tenderness and taste for salt. Add more parsley, oregano, and S&P. 

For the Salad

2-3 cups of black beans drained
1 bag frozen corn
1/2 red onion sliced thin
3 vine ripe tomatoes 
2 avocados
1 small jalapeno, chopped
5 small sweet peppers, chopped
lime juice (I used 8 key limes)
Fresh cilantro, parsley, chives
salt and pepper

Juice limes in a small bowl. Cut avocado into chunks and put it in the lime juice.
In a large bowl, add beans, corn, diced tomatoes (salt them now), sliced onions, peppers and herbs. Stir well. Add avocados and lime juice, more salt and pepper. Stir well. Taste for seasoning and serve with chips!

I took this salad to our Church Women's night event for Fiesta. It was gone by the time I got to it in the buffet line! I guess I'll double the recipe next time! It was really good. My garden is paying off! My cilantro seeds have produced several little plants. My chives and parsley are still thriving from last year, so if you have an herb garden, by all means, USE IT!!!
Hopefully next month, I'll have tomatoes and peppers ready to be eaten too!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Earth Day Tablescape

 This week, Cuisine Kathleen gave us a challenge to make an Earth Day here I am in my backyard, celebrating the beauty of our Earth. I showed my garden is this post.
  I'm celebrating Earth Day by recycling a shower curtain as a tablecloth! I loved the curtain, so I kept it. I bought it 5 years ago from Target.
 I'm also reusing my favorite dishes, chargers and silverware! I consider buying things like beautiful old embroidered napkins from estate sales to be a way of recycling too!
  The delft blue vase was my mom's.

  The first cucumber of the garden!!! Can you see it??? 
Tiny little green fuzzy thing behind the yellow flower!!!
  Happy Earth Day!
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

How does your garden grow?

 Last June, we moved in and I knew it was too late for a garden, so I had this area dug out, added the border, good dirt and mulch in great anticipation. I only planted the red feather grass, Autumn Sage and herbs. I'm amazed they lasted through our drought. The day we moved it was 105 degrees!
 This year I experimented with seed and plants. My cucumber seeds planted very nicely!
The tomato plants are right behind them.
I planted squash from seed and plant. We'll see...they are blooming, but squash bugs are rampant in Texas!
 I added these two gardens in March. I'm growing more tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, serranos and eggplant. I also put cilantro seed, basil seed, and parsley seed which are sprouting too.
 The boys also have their area! See the climbing steps on the tree? The previous owners had 3 boys! This is the perfect yard for my boys too! 
And if you know anything about South Texas, you know we have a lot of heat and big shady oak trees make our summers so much easier!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Viva Fiesta

 I hope this tablescape finds you well and ready to celebrate here with us in San Antonio! Fiesta starts soon, so I wanted to show you a Fiesta table...on a budget!!
I'm a firm believer in the classics that can be used and reused over and over and over to minimize your expense, but maximize their potential! Don't be afraid to mix and match, instead of buying sets of everything. 
 The runner is from World Market a few years ago, bought with a birthday coupon!
The blue and white floral platters are from a street vendor here
I reused my Mexican cobalt wine stems with Mexican blue glass margarita glasses. I found these at Marshall's for half the price what you see other places.
 I reused my everyday stainless Wallace Antique Bead, Walmart Rattan Chargers, JB Denmark Blue plates, and blue swirled glass bowls. I know these are at least 7 years old.
 This is one of my favorite finds...
It's a chip and dip's a beautiful centerpiece for a fun fajita night! 
and I bought it at 90% off Christmas clearance from Target 2 years ago. I guess 
The roses (from my MOM's garden!!!) are in a Mexican Cobalt glass.
 The beaded napkin rings are my mom's...again shopping through her cabinets. She said she probably bought them for a fish dinner and didn't use them again.

Fiesta happens every April. It's a San Antonio celebration in memory of the Alamo and in honor of the Battle of San Jacinto.

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