4/14/15

Mini Chimichanga Bites

These appetizer sized bites of chimichangas are not only tasty, they can be made ahead and stored in the freezer till needed, then just bake them before serving.

I love to make a big batch of these about twice a year to keep on hand for last minute munchies, parties etc.  I serve mine with  a taco spiced dipping sauce that just adds to the yumminess. 

Jan's Confession: Frying in hot oil, trying to photograph it and not over fry the little things all by myself  does not always work! Slightly overcooked them but this is real life here, so I will admit it!

Jan's Tip: This can be made with several types of meat, such as chicken, beef, or ground beef or turkey. Just make sure they are finely shredded or ground for the recipe. Today I used taco seasoned soy crumbles for mine. 


Mini Chimi's

makes 120

Ingredients:
2 (16 oz) packages won-ton wrappers
4 cups Mexican spiced meat: (taco seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken or shredded beef).
Vegetable oil for frying.

Directions:
In a large skillte heat 2 inches of oil to 375°.
Place 1 teaspoon of meat mixture into the lower corner of each won-ton skin.
Fold lower point over the filling.
Fold the corners in.
Moisten top corner with water and roll skin into a cylinder.


Repeat with remaining filling and won-ton skins.
Lower several rolls at a time into hot oil.
Fry 1-2 min on each side until golden brown.
Remove from oil, and drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with dipping sauce.

To Freeze for later:
Cool cooked chimi's completely.
Store in airtight containers/bags in freezer for up to 3 months.

To Reheat Frozen Chimis
Preheat oven to 375°
Place frozen chimi's on baking sheet in single layer.
Bake rolls 10-15 min. till heated through.

Jan's Dipping Sauce:
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream

Mix together till well blended. Store in airtight container (I usually use the empty sour cream container) in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let flavors blend.  Serve with chimi's or taquitos.

4/12/15

Making Flavor Infused Vinegars

Making Fruit, herb, and spice infused vinegars is very easy to do , and there is honestly no real science behind it.

Flavor infused Vinegars make wonderful gifts! I love to make them as Mothers Day gifts, since anyone can use them!

I can hear your question now: "They are pretty, but will my mom know how to use it once I give it to her?"  YES! Besides sharing the how to's and recipes for some flavored vinegars I am also going to share some recipes and ideas on how to use them too!  Just make up a recipe card or tag to tie onto the bottle of vinegar and you are set!
Lemon Pepper Vinegar in the front, Aroma di Iatalia Vinegar in the back is just waiting on me to add some sprigs of Rosemary, Oregano, and Basil!

Here are some tips before we start:

How long to steep?  Flavored Vinegars should steep anywhere from 1 week to 1 month before using, but 10-14 days is a good guideline.

What type of vinegars are best?  White Wine Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar are good. You can also mix 2 parts regular white vinegar with 1 part water.

Today I will be using the 2 parts white vinegar with 1 part water mixture (I happen to like it best).

How much to fill with "stuff"?  Quantities of flavor ingredients are just suggestions. Try to fill teh bottel 1/4 to 1/3 full of "stuff" before you pour the vinegar over it.

What type of bottles?: You can use any kind! From fancy to recycled. I am using recycled Chili Sauce bottles today ,but empty soy sauce or even ketchup bottles will be fine! My recipes will fill "stuff" for a smaller size bottle so please double them if you use larger bottles.

Download/Printable Copy

All Recipes will be made with a 2 part vinegar to 1 part water mixture. I just mixed 2 cups vinegar and 1 cup water together in a pitcher and it was enough to fill my 2 (14 oz) bottles.

Strawberry -Lime-Thyme Vinegar
1 large strawberry sliced
1  slice of lime cut into 4 wedges/triangles
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
Vinegar mixture to fill bottle.

Put fruit and herbs into bottle. Fill bottle to within a 1/4 " from top with vinegar. Seal with bottle cap.
Let Steep 2 weeks prior to using.

Strawberry-Lime-Thyme Dressing:
Strain 1 cup of the flavored vinegar into a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and cook till it starts to boil. Boil for 1 minute until sugar is disolved. Cool. Mix Vinegar/sugar mixture with 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Shake well. Serve over fresh green salad.

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Orange Creamsicle Vinegar

A 1 " stip of Vanilla bean, split
1 slice of orange cut into 4 trinagles
Vinegar mixture to fill bottle.

Fill bottle with Vanilla bean and orange slices. top with vinegar to within 1/4 " of top. Seal with cap.

Orange Creamsicle Dressing:
Strain 1 cup flavored Vinegar into saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar and cook to boiling .Boil for one minute till sugar is disolved. Let cool. Mix vinegar/sugar mixture with 1/2 cup vegetabel oil. Shake Well. Serve with fresh green salad.

Orange Creamsicle Dip:
1 jar of marshmallow fluff
1 3 oz package of cream cheese
1 Tablespoons of Orange Creamsicle Vinegar.
Whip all ingredients together with a beater. Serve cold with fresh fruit for dipping.

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Aroma di Italia Vinegar

several sprigs of fresh rosemary, oregano, and Basil
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Vinegar mixture
But all herbs,garlic and peppercorns into bottle. Top with vinegar mixture to within 1/4 " of top. Seal with cap.

Italian Marinade:
1/4 cup Aroma di Italia vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

mix all ingredients in shallow dish. Add 1 bl. boneless chicken. turn to coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Cook chicken as desired, brushing with marinade as it cooks.

or Split a zucchini lengthwise. Marinate an hour. Grill 5-7 minutes flipping the zucchini over half way through grillling. Serve immediately.

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Southwestern Kick Vinegar

several stips of sliced dried pepper such as chile or pasilla)
2 cloves of garlic sliced (more if you like )
1 slice of lime cut into triangles
several sprigs of cilantro
vinegar mixture to fill bottle.

Mix all peppers, garlic, lime and herbs in bottle. Top off with vinegar mixture.

Fajita Marinade:
1/4 cup. Southwestern Kick Vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients in shallow dish. Add 1 lb. boneless beef, pork or chicken strips.  Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Cook meat as desired.

Avocado Salsa
In a blender or food processor puree the following:

3 large tomatoes cut into chunks
2 peeled garlic cloves
1-2 jalapenos, cut and seeded
1 tsp. salt

Set aside tomato puree. and in a bowl mix:
1 diced avocado sprinkled with 1 Tablespoon Southwestern kick vinegar
2 large tomatoes diced
1 bunch green onions sliced
1 green pepper diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
juice from one lime.
2 Tablespoons Southwestern Kick Vinegar.
Combine all ingredients above , then gently mix in the tomato puree. Serve with chips.
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Lemon Pepper Vinegar:


1-2 sliced of lemon cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons peppercorns
Vinegar mixture to fill bottle

Put lemon wedges and peppercorns into bottle. Fill bottle to within a 1/4 " of top with vinegar mixture. Seal with cap. Let steep 2 weeks before using.


Lemon Pepper Marinade:

1/4 c. Lemon pepper vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a shallow dish. Add 1 lb. boneless chicken (fish is great too). Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate upto 24 hours. Cook as desired.

also great marinade for grilling garden vegetables!


4/7/15

Water Bath Canning Trick



Filling your Water Bath Canner Trick.

If you are new to canning or if you are not, you will love this little trick!
With waterbath canning (different than pressure canning) You almost always need to make sure your jars are covered with about an inch or more of water above the jars, to process them.
In filling your canner, you dont' want to fill it too full, because putting the jars in will make the water rise, so knowing how much water to add and begin boiling can be a guessing game sometimes.
Recently I was canning 5 pints of pickles.
When I put them in, the water was just a little lower than it should be, so my handy dandy trick worked out great!

Just fill an empty canning jar with water. Seal it as usual, and place into the canner. It will help the water rise higher to the depth you need.
And the added benefit?:   The canned  water is now purified, and will keep on your pantry shelf in your emergency supply section. Handy if water becomes contaminated, (Which has happened in near by West Virginia this year.)
Pretty neat.

4/5/15

Fabric Gift Tags, Bags, and More

Using fabric to create one of kind gift tags, gift bags, note cards, and recipe cards is easy and even your children who are learning to iron can make these! Perfect for the holidays or even  Mothers Day.
I did this batch in early spring, but you can easily use holiday themed fabrics as well!

I first learned this craft from an elderly lady. She taught me to make sets of notecards embellished with Cute fabric prints and give them away as gifts. I would make sets of 12 and then quickly started making gift tags and gift bags to match the cards and would give sets of them as a gift to my mother in law.



One lady ,who I taught the craft to,  would buy cute Christmas fabric on clearance after the holidays and then spend her summers at the pool with her children, cutting out the fabric prints and making really cute sets of gift tags to sell at her children's school holiday bazaar. She sold them by the oodles, stamping cute to and from on the tags, and embellishing the tags with sharpie markers (like stitching  lines or bumble bee flight paths)


My best friend makes sets of note cards for her mother in law all the time as she still loves to send notes in the regular mail, and loves the unique cards she makes for her.

Jan's Tip: To make note cards, cut card stock in half along the long (11 inch side) fold in half. This size card will fit in the small invitation sized envelopes available at any office supply store.

Supplies:
Fabrics with easy to cut out shapes/patterns
Iron on fusible webbing (paper backed and the ultra light weight will be just fine)
scissors
iron
card stock for note cards
blank paper gift tags
plain gift bags


Directions:
Following the directions on the fusible web, iron on the fusible web (paper side out, web side next to the fabric) to the under side of the fabric.
This photo is from a different project, but I forgot to photograph this step


















Cut out the shapes from the material
Peel off the paper backing













Place the wrong side of the cut out onto the desired location on your note cards, gift tags etc.













Using iron set to med. heat, (use directions on the fusible webbing package) iron over the cut out till it has stuck to the paper.













Embellish the notecard/gift tag/bag as desired.

4/1/15

Country Fair Blog Hop: April 15



It's time for another great link up here at Country Fair Blog Party! Come meet my fellow cohosts!
A Kansas Farm Mom
Country LINKed
Corn, Beans,Pigs & Kids




March Favorite Post:
who doesn't love 10 new easy freezer meal ideas?? 
I already have booked marked several of them to be on my next rotation to try!


Let's Get This Party Started!

Think Spring!

What are you up to:

Gardening, Cleaning, Crafting, Easter, Kids Sports???

OK COME SHARE YoUR POSTS! 


  • Grab a copy of the button at the top, we'd love for you to post it somewhere!
  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!



Ready? Get set... Go!



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