String Beans with Garlic

So I made these beans tonight and Jacob and Zach said they were the best beans they ever had.

From the Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 pounds French string beans, both ends removed (I bought mine at Walmart in a little bag)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for just 1 1/2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When they are cool, drain and set aside.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat and cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the string beans, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss together. Reheat the string beans and serve.


Peanut Butter Crunch Granola

This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Tami. I just made it today and keep grabbing handfuls as I walk by. Its tasty. The peanut butter is not overwhelming.. its just right. I made half the recipe just to try it out and it made a heaping cookie tray full, so depending on how much granola you will eat, you may want to do half.

Mix together:
10 cups oatmeal (not instant)
2 cups Grape Nuts (for crunch)
1 small bag coconut (optional)
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup walnuts, seeds, almonds (optional)

Boil for 1 minute:
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1 cup peanut butter (or less if you prefer)

Remove from heat and add
2-3 teaspoons vanilla

Pour over oat mixture. Bake on cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 325 until golden. After baked and while still hot you can add any dried fruit you want. (I added craisins and it is delish)



Someone I know was asking about good Mexican restaurants around town. One person mentioned a couple pupuserias, even though they're from El Salvador, not Mexico. I'd heard of them, so thought I should give them a try.

I found various recipes, most pretty similar. The one I followed the closest was this one for pupusas de queso, although I filled them with other stuff, too.

The dough is pretty much just the same as for corn tortillas:

2 C corn flour (masa de harina or maseca)
1 C water

Just mix that up, adding more water as needed, until it has the consistency of play-dough and so when you squish a chunk of it flat, the edges don't crack. Separate into 8 balls, shape into little cups, fill with refried beans, chicken, cheese, etc. I made half with refried beans and half with chicken with taco seasoning. I added some cotija and monterrey jack cheese to each. I recommend giving cotija cheese a try if you haven't.

Seal up the little cups, so you end up with a ball with the filling inside, and then smoosh it so it's the size of a pancake, keeping the filling inside and the masa outside as much as you can.

Pan fry them a couple minutes on each side. I sprinkled a little salt on top of them to add a touch of flavor. I made them pretty mild so the kids would like them, but you could stuff them with jalapenos or other spicy stuff. It would be good with salsa, sour cream, cilantro, or anything else you might eat with tortillas. They eat pupusas in El Salvador with a pickled cabbage; since I didn't have time for the pickling process, I just pan fried some cabbage with Mexican gray squash and served with cilantro lime rice.

You could probably fill them with some dessert fillings and come out with a pretty good treat. Or you could just spread nutella on your chicken and cheese pupusa.