Most breakfasts during our trip to New Zealand included muesli, stewed berries and plain yogurt. We were first introduced to it by our guides Megan and Etienne on our Active New Zealand tour. It was so delicious, I recreated when we got back home and now we’re addicted. Thanks a lot New Zealand, now we’re mainlining muesli. Here’s my muesli recipe for this week, but it will probably change next week – so, be flexible and creative when you make your own.
3 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped banana chips
1/8 c. ground flax seed (my choice, but it doesn’t need to be yours).
Place oats in a large saucepan and toast on medium heat until lightly browned. Or broil them, but watch closely to avoid burning. Burned oats smell – gack! Combine everything and then store in an airtight container. It won’t last forever, so eat up. And feel free to change to proportions and ingredients per your preference.
Sometimes, muesli is soaked overnight in milk or other breakfast liquid. But I’m anti-mush, so I eat it dry with yogurt and stewed berries (below).
16 oz. frozen mixed berries
1-2 tbsp. honey
Place berries and honey in saucepan on medium-low heat until berries break down slightly and liquid thickens – 20 minutes or so. Put in a container and refrigerate.
To prepare, put some muesli and some plain yogurt in a bowl and top with stewed berries. (Don’t use flavored yogurt – as it’s all sweet and blech).
Filed under Food, Recipes
No, really, it’s ridiculously easy.
And think of this recipe as a broad green chile stew framework, experimentation is encouraged. Feel free to post any modification suggestions in the comments!
One tablespoon olive oil or butter
Two cloves of garlic, minced
One/half medium onion, chopped (or a whole onion, just depends on your oniony-ness)
Four cup mushroom broth (broth, not cream of mushroom broth, blech). Here’s my favorite broth. You can also easily substitute chicken broth if you don’t like the taster or color of mushroom broth (it’s dark brown).
One 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
One small rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded into chunks (don’t shred too small, big chunks are better for stew). (Yes you could cook the chicken, but why bother)?
Two cups chopped green chile. (Make sure your of your diners heat tolerance before going overboard with the chile or just make fun of them for being a chile wuss).
Three medium potatoes (I prefer yukon golds), chopped and microwaved or roasted until just starting to turn soft.
Heat olive oil or butter in large pot or dutch oven*. Add garlic and heat until fragrant. Add onions and heat until translucent.
Add mushroom broth, chopped tomatoes, chicken, green chile and cumin. Heat at a medium simmer for one to two hours. Depending on how much time you have and how much you want the flavors to blend. Taste occasionally and season as necessary.
Add the almost-cooked potatoes about a half-hour before you’re going to serve the stew. It’s ready when the potatoes are tender. Don’t cook the stew forever with the potatoes in it, or it they will just break down into mush.
Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a tortilla on the side.
*Note: This also works well in a crock pot. Just put the potatoes on top or stir them in later so they don’t break down too much.
As I cooked up Brussels sprouts this evening, I thought about how disappointed the eight-year-old version of myself would be that I was making such a dreaded food. And not only that, but I was planning on eating them. Yuck. But eight-year-old Alexis never had them with butter. Because butter makes everything better.
Thanks to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for this deliciousness.
Spicy Buttered Brussels Sprouts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts – ends removed, chopped in half
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (reduce this if you’re not the spicy type)
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (Brussels sprouts take up a lot of room).
Sauté garlic until fragrant.
Place Brussels sprouts into pan on med-high heat and brown thoroughly. (I do mean thoroughly. It’s all about the the Maillard reaction).
Once Brussels sprouts are brown, even blackened in places (15-20 minutes), mix in the red pepper flakes lemon juice. Use your discretion on the amounts of two ingredients. Don’t overdo it too much on the lemon juice or you’ll have soggy sprouts. Eat a sprout to test and make sure they have a fairly crunch consistency. If not, cook for a bit longer.
Finally, throw the butter the pan and and mix with the sprouts until just combined.
Season with some salt and pepper and serve.
Filed under Food, Recipes
I have a confession to make. I cheated on my Starbucks yesterday with another Starbucks.
As I guiltily skulked in the front door, there were no happy greetings, no smiling customers, just a line of coffee drones – on both sides of the counter. I don’t feel good about my cheating ways – especially since it was so unsatisfying. There were seven people in front of me and it took almost 10 minutes to get my drink which was tasted meh at best. The baristas never looked at each other, never smiled, and never helped each other out.
Nob Hill Starbucks in Albuquerque, please forgive me, I’ll never stray again.
Left something important at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro last night. Didn’t even realize I’d left it there (but luckily it had my name on it). Today I got a call on my cell phone from one of the owners. He’d looked on his database and discovered my name because I had made dinner reservations on Zinc’s website a few months ago. He called my cell phone and told me to come on over whenever. Remarkable customer service, customer tracking and just general awesomeness.
Moral of the story: always make your dinner reservations online.
The annual fall green chile ritual. Some freeze whole chiles unpeeled. I prefer peel, chop and freeze for easy use in huevos, stew and pretty much anything else.
Congratulations to Albuquerque’s own La Cumbre Brewery and Marble Brewery for bringing it to the the Great American Beer Festival. La Cumbre came back to the 505 with two golds and a silver and Marble came home with a bronze. You can see all the winners here: GABF Winners List.