March 21, 2008

Quesadillas


It seems like the hardest part of cooking dinner is simply choosing what to make. So here is a little dinner inspiration for you. We have been eating a LOT of quesadillas recently and have come up with some good combinations. For the ones pictured I sauteed some zucchini in a little olive oil with a pinch of cumin and some red pepper flakes. I put a corn tortilla on the griddle, put on a little grated cheese, added the zucchini, a spoonful of black beans, and a few leaves of spinach (they wilt while cooking, delicious), followed by more cheese and the top tortilla. Flip halfway through and they're done. These are always a good "get rid of vegetables in your fridge" meal. And of course they are always good with some meat. I prefer them made with corn tortillas rather than flour tortillas because they crisp up a little better and corn tortillas are much better for you (0 grams of fat vs. up to 10 per tortilla).

March 11, 2008

Overgrown Arch



Okay, I'm getting Photoshop a little more figured out and having a ton of fun with it. This is a picture I took on a blah day- bad lighting, etc. But with a little adjustment and texturing fun it turned out really interesting. You can see the original below (I always like seeing before and after pictures).

March 8, 2008

Sunrise


Okay, I couldn't stand looking at that last post any longer. The B&W picture looks really tacky and fake, so I had to put something new on here. The other morning I went out to a vineyard close to where I live and spent the morning with the geese photographing the sunrise. It wasn't an especially spectacular morning but being out that early with nobody around was fabulous.

March 3, 2008

Asian Pork Dumplings

I went to a recipe-exchange night for my church and we made these fabulous asian dumplings. I liked them so much that the next night I made them for my family. As always, the recipe is easy and actually pretty darn cheap. You can get a stack of 100 dumpling wrappers at Aisan markets for $1.29! I will have to start exploring ethnic markets more and see what other cheap and delicious treasures I can find.
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground pork
1 medium head cabbage (I used the Napa variety)
5 carrots
2 onions
3 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp. ginger

Cook the pork in a skillet until brown. Drain off as much fat as possible. Put pork, cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. I actually used a blender- just be careful to not put too much in at once, otherwise it juices the ingredients. Once you have everything chopped and mixed together place 2-3 tsp of filling on each wrapper.
Then dip your fingers in water and get the edge wet half way around. This allows the dough to stick together when you fold it in half .
Fold the dumpling in half and pinch the edges to seal it.
When you are done folding them stick them in a skillet with a little oil (just enough to cover the bottom) and fry about 3 minutes on each side. For a healthier version you can also boil them for 5-8 minutes. We dipped them in an sweet chili sauce from the asian store and in a sesame oil-soy sauce blend.

This recipe makes about 100 dumplings. If you serve them as a main dish count on 10-15 dumplings per person. The recipe is very forgiving so add and subtract ingredients according to your personal preference. I think next time I make it I will use less pork and more cabbage to make them a little healthier. I have also heard that adding mushrooms or water chestnuts is good.