Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mexican Chick Pea Chili

If you live in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, you are most likely familiar with the "Big Azz" margarita and creative burrito combinations at Med Mex.  Our favorite feature (besides the classic marg with salt) at Mad Mex is the vegetarian chick pea chili.  Smooth in texture and with enough kick to make you say "OLE!" - this recipe is sure to please.

2 lbs fresh tomatillos (weigh at the grocery store!), peeled and washed
2 jalapenos peppers, stems removed
1/2 cup sweet onion, quartered
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 - 2 Tbs kosher salt
1 (16 oz) can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs ground pepper
2 Tbs chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 500 F.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic on the sheet.  Pour the olive oil and 1 Tbs salt over the tray.  Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, until the tomatillos are soft and slightly browned.

Remove from oven and place in a food processor or blender - be sure to pour in the olive oil and juices swimming around the pan!  Puree until smooth.  Pour the puree through a fine-meshed strainer and catch in a saucepan.  (As you will see in our picture below, we were pretty hasty to get our dinner party started, so some of the tomatillo seeds are in our final product.  Patience is advised - as is straining in batches!).

Put your saucepan with strained tomatillo puree over low heat and add the chick peas.  Add pepper and additional salt to taste, as well as the cilantro.  Serve in bowls, plop on a dollop of sour cream, and enjoy!

Serves 5 - 6.

Note: the Spatularettes doubled the recipe, but halved the amount of jalapenos for our guests less inclined to spice.  It had enough zing to keep us warm in January, but not so much to make our friends running for a glass of milk.

Suggestion: chick pea chili served with margaritas will satisfy even the most festive Spatular!

Tall and Small

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Small One's 12 in 12

I've been too consumed by #1 on my list to even really contemplate ANYTHING besides graduate school interviews, but finally - well past the beginning of 2012, I've been able to think about 2 -12!

1. Go to grad school!
Small One spent most of 2011 preparing for the GREs, spending countless hours looking up faculty members, publications, towns, cities, costs of living, stipends, demographics... everything you can think of to make myself pretty miserable about thinking the future without being able to DO much about it.  But now it is time to stop thinking and start doing!  It is interview season I want to pick a grad school, feel confident in my choice, and start my journey as a doctoral candidate... even if it means moving away from Tall One :(

2. Bucket List
Because I'm likely moving away from Philly, I'm making a Bucket List of things I've always wanted to do but haven't.  From the Erin Express to rafting in the Schuylkill, I'm not leaving until I've completed everything!  Suggestions welcome, Philadelphians! 

3. Make my bed
 Work can be bad.  Coming home from work to my clothes strewn over my desk chair waiting to be put away and piles of dirty laundry waiting to be washed doesn't make coming home much better.  This year, I'm going to start making my bed every morning.  Step one to a happy bedroom.

4. Eat healthier
"You have a food blog AND you're a vegetarian so you must eat healthy!"  No.  I am constantly fighting the urge to inhale every piece of chocolate I see and am paying the price.  This year, I will eat my veggies and get enough protein to feel good inside and out.  

5. Stay organized at work
My job as a research technician is insane.  My lunch break usually consists of answering emails, making calls, or whatever is left undone at my computer before I have to run back to the lab or to a meeting or get called to fix a problem.  It is easy to leave papers in piles around my desk and the lab benches a mess.  I will stay organized so, even if my job is hectic, my space won't reflect it.

6. Keep better track of my spending
HOW MUCH DID I SPEND ON FOOD THIS MONTH?  Yeah, things are expensive.  As my impending status as "starving graduate student" approaches, I need to buckle down and keep better track of my spending.  Hopefully it will motivate me to waste less and therefore spend less!

7. Let people know when I'm thinking about them
Most of my friends are pretty dispersed around the country (and even world!).  Pretty often, I find myself telling humorous anecdotes about my friends from high school or college without ever notifying the character of my tales that I've been thinking about them!  I love my friends a lot and need to do a better job of letting them know!

8. Accept the things I can't control
An easy concept, but difficult task.  This one may take longer than just a year!

9. Be informed
It is so easy to live in a bubble.  I want to read the newspaper EVERY day, not just some days.  I need to keep myself informed on a wide range of topics.

10. Once a Runner
I started running cross country competitively when I was 5 years old.  I continued to run throughout middle school, high school, and college.  My senior year, I was extremely injured and unable to run (or even really walk).  I had big dreams, but never got the chance to make it happen.  I had recurrent stress fractures for about 6 months after my graduation and so have been bitter about racing and nervous about injury.  I haven't run since I graduated, but it is time to get over my anxiety and self-identify as I always have: as a runner.  Plus, we've really been using a rough definition of "Small One" since I've stopped running - I may be shorter than Tall One, but I am definitely NOT smaller!

11. Get crafty!
I have piles of knitting projects unfinished and homemade postcards unsent (see #7).  I need to find a little artful confidence and get crafty!  (Have the same goal?  Tall and Small will be doing crafts during the maybe-too-long and definitely-too-trashy but totally irresistible 2 hr episodes of The Bachelor!) 

12. Let my Spatular cook for me :)
Here is a texting conversation between me and my Spatular:
Small One: Do you want me to make dinner or should we go out?
Spatular: I could make something
Small One: Alright, let me pick a restaurant.
He may be a looker, but I suppose I should let him have a shot in the kitchen too, especially since we're planning to move in together sometime in 2012!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Remember those other recipes we made this week?  The roasted vegetable skewers and the marinara sauce?  Well today we are putting the leftovers together into an even better recipe!  Roasted Vegetable Pizza!  We've found that homemade pizza is one of the best budget friendly recipes for using up the last bit of leftovers in your fridge.  The possibilities are endless, but this is one of our personal favorites!

-Pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
-Marinara sauce (enough to cover your dough evenly)
-2 cups shredded mozzarella (1 cup if you are making a small pie)
-1/2 cup roasted vegetables, cut into small pieces
-2 oz blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly grease or sprinkle some cornmeal on a pizza stone or baking pan.  We used a rectangular jelly roll pan for a larger pizza.  If you want to make your own dough, we suggest this super easy recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  We doubled the recipe for this pizza.  Roll dough thinly and spread evenly with marinara or pizza sauce.  Top with mozzarella, roasted vegetables, and blue cheese crumbles.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.

Homemade pizza... you never knew leftovers could be so delicious!

Tall and Small

Monday, January 23, 2012

So Easy Anyone Can Do It Homemade Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is one of those staple items on every American's pantry shelf.  It's perfect to top pasta for a quick dinner in a pinch as well as for sandwiches, dipping, and pizza.  Don't get us wrong, we buy the jarred variety quite often as well, but truth of the matter is, homemade marinara sauce is SO DARN EASY to make!  It is more flavorful and less processed than that jar of Ragu on your shelf and can be thrown together in no time at all.  Make this recipe and freeze the excess.  It will be waiting for you next time you are trying to put together a last minute meal.


-1 Tbs olive oil
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
-1 large clove garlic, minced
-1 28 oz can of tomato puree
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
-2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
-1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
-1 tsp red pepper flakes

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add tomato puree, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes.  Finally add the herbs and red pepper, stirring well again.  Let the sauce simmer for another 15-20 minutes so flavors combine.  If you prefer your marinara chunky, you are already finished!  If you are like us and prefer it smooth, dump the entire batch of sauce into a food processor or blender and process for about a minute.  Return sauce to saute pan and keep warm until serving.

For a quick weeknight meal or satisfying weekend comfort food... homemade marinara is the way to go!

Tall and Small

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Skewers With Creamy Dipping Sauce

The Spatularettes have had a pretty busy week, so there hasn't been a whole lotta magic happening in the kitchen... until now that is.  We want to bring you a few more budget recipes, so over the next three days we are going to introduce two new recipes that come together into an awesome third recipe!  This first recipe for Roasted Vegetable Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce makes a great appetizer to serve to friends, a healthy weekend lunch, or a delicious side dish for grilled chicken or fish. 

Easy and versatile, just like The Spatularettes! 
<that's what she said> 
Haha just kidding, bad joke!


Veggie Skewers:
-1 sweet potato
-1 zucchini
-1 yellow pepper
-1 cup mini portabella mushrooms
-1 cup cherry tomatoes
-2 Tbs olive oil
-1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp salt

Creamy Dipping Sauce:
-1 clove of garlic, chopped
-15 basil leaves
-2 oz cream cheese
-6 oz plain greek yogurt
-2 oz blue cheese crumbles
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Soak bamboo skewers in water for an hour to keep them from burning.  Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut sweet potatoes, zucchini, and yellow peppers into bite sized pieces.  Slice mushrooms in half.  If these veggies don't tickle your fancy, use whatever you like.  These are just some of The Spatularettes' favorites!

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and salt.  Add vegetables to bowl and toss gently to evenly coat.  Add about eight veggies to each skewer.  Since the sweet potatoes need to cook longer, we suggest pairing them with a heartier vegetable, and skewing the more delicate ones together.  We did one set of skewers with sweet potatoes and zucchini, and the other set with tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers. 

Put just the sweet potato and zucchini skewers in the oven and allow to roast for 20 minutes.  Turn skewers at least once during roasting process.  After 20 minutes add the other skewers to the baking sheet and allow everything to roast for another 20 minutes.  Make sure to turn skewers at least once again.  Remove from oven when veggies are tender, but keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

While skewers are in the oven, throw together the dipping sauce.  Add basil and garlic to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until finely chopped.  Add cream cheese and continue to pulse until well combined and creamy.  Next, add greek yogurt and run food processor for about 30 seconds allowing dip to form.  Finally, slowly pulse in blue cheese crumbles and fold in salt and cayenne with a spatula.  (The cayenne is the secret ingredient that gives this dip an extra kick.  It won't make it too spicy though, so we suggest adding it, even if you aren't usually a fan.)

Hint from The Spatularettes: This dip also makes a great spread for sandwiches or paired with pita bread or pretzels.

Tall and Small

Friday, January 13, 2012

Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Happy Friday, friends!  Who's ready for the weekend?  Ummm... we are!! 

There are few things in life as wonderful as waking up on a Saturday morning knowing you don't have to rush out the door for a meeting, class, or appointment.  To brew a pot of coffee and settle down on the couch to read the paper or clear out your DVR watching all the TV shows you missed while running around for the past week.  The only thing you need to make a lazy Saturday morning even better is a warm piece of homemade coffee cake!  Even if you don't have the time for a relaxing morning, we suggest making this Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake ahead of time and wrapping it up to grab as you run out the door.  This sweet morning treat will surely grant you a few minutes of bliss before diving into your busy day!

-2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 c oil
-1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
-1 c buttermilk
-1 egg
-1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon

**Since this is a budget recipe, we suggest making your own buttermilk so you don't have to go out and buy a whole container.  It's really simple!  Put 1 Tbs white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.  Fill with milk to reach the 1 c line.  Voila!  You have a cup of buttermilk!

What she'll look like before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and 3/4 c of sugar.  Add buttermilk and eggs, and mix until well combined.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mixing on a slow speed, gradually add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture.  Continue mixing just until combined.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c of sugar and 1/2 Tbs of cinnamon.

Pour 1/3 of batter into a greased 9x9 baking pan.  Top batter with 1/2 of cinnamon sugar.  Pour remaining batter into baking pan and top with the second half of cinnamon sugar.  Use a knife to gently swirl batter in pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Raise your coffee cup and say "cheers" to lazy Saturdays and recipes from home!

Tall and Small

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tall Mom's 12 in 2012 List

While home for Christmas, Tall One challenged her mom (Tall Mom) to create a list of 12 goals for 2012.  Tall Mom was less than enthusiastic about the idea saying that she stopped making resolutions a long time ago.  Tall One tried to explain that these are goals, not resolutions, blah blah blah, but Tall Mom was having none of it... Until last Sunday when the Steelers played the Broncos.  At half time Tall Mom called Tall One to let her know that although she does not have 12 goals for 2012, she does have one:  For Tall One to meet and marry Tim Tebow.

Way to dream big, Mom.  How does that old saying go?  "Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you'll land among the stars."  If that's the case, it looks like Tall One might end up with the likes of Ben Rothlisberger instead... Not exactly what Tall Mom was after, is it? 

Be like Tall Mom and dream big this year!  Read about the 12 in 2012 project HERE and then send us your list!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Southwestern Soup

The Spatularette's budget week rolls on, and this time with a spicy soup recipe courtesy of Tall One's mom.  We've made a couple slight modifications to the original recipe, but for the most part this is something that Tall One has enjoyed at home for years.  Homemade Southwestern Soup is way more flavorful, fresh, and affordable than anything you'll find in the canned soup aisle at the grocery store.  This week Tall One whipped up a batch to take to work each day as a wallet friendly lunch.  We suggest you do the same!

-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-1 Tbs vegatable oil
-2 medium carrots (or 12 baby carrots), chopped
-1 lb potatoes, peeled, sliced, and slivered
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 15 oz jar salsa (mild, medium or hot, depnding on your spice tolerance)
-2 14.5 oz cans chicken or vegetable broth
-1 15 oz can tomato sauce
-2 tsp dried cilantro or oregano
-1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (you decide how spicy you like it)

Optional for topping:
-shredded cheese
-tortilla chips/strips

In a large frying plan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until soft and buttery.  Add all remaining ingredients.  This soup really does get hot, so be careful when choosing your salsa and jalapenos if you are sensitive to spicy foods.  We used medium salsa and about 1 1/2 jalapenos and it gave it a really nice kick!  Bring soup to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Serve topped with shredded cheese and tortilla chips or strips.

Since we're cooking on a budget, we didn't want to buy a whole bag of tortilla chips when we had some leftover burrito shells around the house.  To make tortilla strips, we cut a burrito shell into thin ribbons and baked in a 350 degree oven on a greased baking sheet for about ten minutes.

Bring this to work for lunch and you'll be the envy of your office!
Tall and Small

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spicy Pasta Bake

We're one week into 2012 and therefore one week removed from the holiday season.  As much as The Spatularettes love the holidays, our bank accounts sure don't!  All the shopping, traveling, parties and fun were great, but EXPENSIVE!  We're sure we weren't the only ones who shuddered while opening the December credit card bill.  As we recover from the holidays, we thought it would be fun to feature some delicious, but budget friendly meals over the next couple of weeks.  These dishes will fill you up, but won't break the bank to make!  It doesn't get any better than that!

This Spicy Pasta Bake is what we like to refer to as a pantry meal.  The list of ingredients seems long at first glance, but most of these items are already on your shelves or in your refrigerator!  We had to pick up the sausage and a couple of veggies, but the rest of the ingredients were already on our pantry shelves.

-1/2 pound rotini (or other hearty bite sized pasta)
-1 Tbs olive oil
-1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
-1 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
-1 medium yellow onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic minced
-Splash of white wine
-1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
-1 8 oz can tomato sauce
-1/2 c half and half
-1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 Tbs dried Italian herbs
-1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil a pot of salted water and cook pasta al dente, which should take about 8 minutes.  Be sure to not over cook the pasta when boiling because it will continue to cook later in the oven.  Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown Italian sausage in 1 Tbs of olive oil.  Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up sausage as it cooks.  Once sausage is almost cooked through, add zucchini and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes.  The zucchini doesn't need to be cooked the whole way through, just enough to soften it.  Remove sausage and zucchini from pan and set aside. 

In the same pan, add a little more olive oil along with the onions and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes, just long enough for the onions to begin to soften.  If you have it handy, use a splash of wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up the little brown bits.  We had some wine left over from New Years Eve, but since we are cooking on a budget here, I wouldn't suggest opening a new bottle for this step.  (You can deglaze the plan with some broth or the juice of the tomatoes just as easily.)  Once the wine has cooked down, add the diced tomatoes (juices and all) and the tomato sauce.  Add salt and Italian seasonings and stir to combine.  Allow sauce to simmer for about ten minutes so onions can finish cooking through.

While the tomatoes are simmering, heat the half and half (or whatever you already have around the house--if you use cream or whole milk for your coffee, that will work fine as well!) in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Once it begins to steam (but before it boils) add the Parmesan cheese all at once and stir to melt cheese into the half and half.  Pour the cream and cheese mixture into the tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes so flavors can combine.  Finally add sausage, zucchini, and pasta to sauce and gently toss so pasta is evenly coated.

Pour half of the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish.  Top with a half cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Pour remaining pasta over cheese and top with one cup of mozzarella cheese.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover casserole dish and allow to bake for another 5 minutes.

Budget food doesn't mean boring food!!

Tall and Small

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tall One's 12 in 2012 List

So here it is, my list of 12 goals for 2012.  These aren't resolutions... I'm not swearing off chocolate or pop (soda for those of you who didn't grow up in Western PA), promising to keep my desk at work organized (which anyone who knows me, knows is not a reality), or committing to getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  I gave this list a lot of thought, and these are the things I would really like to achieve this year.  I've got a long way to go on some of these goals, so good thing it's a leap year and I get an extra day!

1.  Break 90 minutes in the half marathon
I've run 1:33:10 in the half marathon but I believe with proper training I can be fast enough to run 1:30 flat.  Women hit their peak running years in their mid 20's.  I turn 25 this year, so it looks like my time is here!

2.  Meet men in places other than bars
I realized the other day that nearly everyone I've gone out with since moving to Philly, I met in a bar.  Given the quality of man I am looking to date, there has to be a better way (and place!) to meet guys.  Please let me know if you have a suggestion!!

3.  Leave the country
I spent an incredible semester abroad while in college but have not left the country since. (The Bahamas don't count!)  You learn so much about yourself by experiencing another culture, and I'm ready for that experience again.

4.  Stop cursing
My mom always says, "Is that how a lady should talk!?"  No, Mom.  It is not.  Therefore, this is the year I will put an end to it.

5.  Master sign language
I have a deaf co-worker who has been teaching me sign language.  She is awesome, and I can't wait to be able to communicate with her better.  Not to mention there are a ton of great opportunities for someone who is ASL certified!

6.  Stop taking things for granted
My friends have been talking lately about the way our generation is plagued by an entitlest attitude.  As much as I hate to admit it, I think I have a little bit of that attitude too.  This year I want to stop taking the blessings in my life for granted and to be inspired to help those who don't have so much to be thankful for.

7.  Read the entire Bible
I am a Christian.  I have gone to church, and Sunday school, and Bible study my whole life.  But I have never read the entire Bible.  This is the year!  Let me know if you have any tips to keep me from getting stuck!

8.  Be committed to The Spatularettes
This blog has been a great opportunity for me to spend more time with my best friend as well as to sharpen my skills in the kitchen.  Despite our busy schedules, I want to make The Spatularettes a priority in my life this year so I can continue Living, Loving, and Cooking :)  If you enjoy reading the blog, please send us your feedback and ideas so we can make it even better!!

9.  Spend less and save more
"Spend less and save more" is a classic new year's resolution.  I don't want to treat it like a resolution though and give up on it after a month.  I want to become more conscious of my spending habits, and use that knowledge to save better.

10.  Read a book a month
One of the ways I wish I was more like my older brother is to have his reading habits.  He is an avid reader and I rarely see him without a book in hand.  Reading so much has made him more intelligent, creative, and filled him with crazy ideas for new adventures, which I love!  I don't think I'll ever read the way that he does, but I would like to achieve a book a month this year.

11.  Become more politically aware
Confession:  I'm a bad citizen.  I forgot to change my voter registration when I moved to Philadelphia 2+ years ago... so yeah... I haven't voted in awhile.  This is a major election year though so there is no better time to start doing my research on the issues and candidates (local and national!) and start acting like a responsible American again. (PS: I have at least taken the first step and switched my registration to my neighborhood in Philly.)

12.  Be amazed
2011 was a great year full of fun, friends, runs, travel, work, school, and a whole lot of craziness!!  By the end of the year though I felt like I was sprinting from one thing to the next, not even having time to take in the details.  2012 is the year that I'm going to get seriously picky about how I spend my time.  I'm going to allow myself to slow down and take the time to appreciate what is going on in my life and all around me.  I want to be amazed!!!

Want to know more about 12 in 2012 Project?  Click HERE then send us your 12 goals for 2012!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

12 in 2012

The 12 in 2012 Project!
What do you want to do this year?

Click here to read all about it!

And check back tomorrow to see what's on Tall One's list.
Small One's list will follow shortly.
What's on your list??

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shrimp Burrito Bowls


Who is feeling full and bloated after all that holiday food?  Who is feeling a little nervous about stepping on the scale now that the new year has arrived?  Who doesn't even want to think about chocolate or wine or cookies or butter until 2013?  Who is ready to feel good about what they are eating for the first time in a month?  THE SPATULARETTES, that's who!!

We love the holiday indulgences as much as the next person, but we reach a point every year where we just can't handle the sweets or fried treats anymore and go on the hunt for delicious fresh ingredients once again.  If you are feeling the same way as us, give this Shrimp Burrito Bowl a try.  It is chock full of light seafood and raw veggies and is served up in a baked (not fried)  burrito shell.  It is filling enough to serve for dinner or simple enough to make for a nice weekend lunch with friends!
-1 lb raw large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
-1 Tbs olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 yellow pepper, diced
-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
-half red onion, diced
-1/4 c cilantro, chopped
-salt and pepper
-2 avocados, diced
-Mexican queso blanco (or other cheese) crumbled
-2 limes
-4 flour burrito shells
-cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and allow to soften for about a minute.  Add shrimp to hot oil.  Cook for a couple minutes on each side, flipping once they begin to turn pink.  They cook quickly so be sure to watch them or you will be left with tough shrimp, which no one likes.  Turn off heat and allow shrimp to cool and cut into bite sized pieces.

In a bowl combine halved tomatoes, diced peppers, red onion and cilantro.  Add shrimp once it has cooled.  Squeeze with the juice of one lime and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss gently.

For the burrito shells, spray the inside of 4 large soup or pasta bowls (make sure they are oven safe) with cooking spray.  Also spray both sides of 4 soft flour burrito shells.  Gently push shells into bowls to form them to the shape of the bowl.  Bake shells inside of bows for 15 minutes.  They should become sturdy and crisp, but make sure they don't burn.  Remove shells from the bowls and allow them to cool for a few minutes.

Split the shrimp and vegetable mixture between the four burrito bows.  Top each bowl with diced avocado and crumbled cheese.  Finally squeeze with a little bit more lime juice and garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro.

Fresh ingredients.  You may go into post holiday shock, but your body will thank you later!

Tall and Small

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gramma's Buttermilk Biscuits

Small One here!  I'm back from WV with a powerful message: It ain't real home cooking unless it's West Virginia home cooking!  At least that is the way I've always thought about the kitchen, especially when it comes to homemade rolls, breads, and biscuits!  Since I was a little girl, my mama would tell stories of my great-grandmother's big, soft hands kneading bread dough and baking to perfection.  On the walls of every kitchen of my extended family is a picture of my great-grandmother's bread creations.  It has always been an inspiration (even if I'm not the best baker!).  The Spatularettes are bringing you a simple recipe for melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, the Real McCoy version... literally!!


3 cups flour (will need extra for rolling and cutting!)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup crisco
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix dry ingredients and cut crisco into the mixture until it is the texture of coarse cornmeal.

Add buttermilk and knead until the dough is smooth.  Roll out the dough so that it is about 1/8 inch thick (make sure you have plenty.  Cut out biscuits using a round cookie cutter, a drinking glass, or whatever you have handy.  My gramma likes to keep a measuring cup full of flour to prevent her cookie cutter from getting too doughy.

Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool, but not too long, because these bad boys are best warm!

Eat these like a real West Virginian for breakfast with some sausage gravy or butter and honey!

Tall and Small