Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My Son's Asparagus

My son humored his crazy mother was kind enough to take a few pics of his asparagus as it grew and I thought you might like to see them... I find it fascinating that it comes out of the ground looking like this. Now, it's my understanding that it can take a few years for asparagus to get established and really start producing, his is only a couple years old and as of this moment he got... three spears. Yep, ~three~. But he did enjoy them:@)

Day one:

Day three:

Day five:
So as you can see, once it starts growing it pops up pretty quickly.
My fingers are crossed that it decides it's happy and becomes an over-achiever soon...
Roasted asparagus is a beautiful thing:@)

Have a happy day!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mexican Deviled Eggs

How about some Mexican Deviled Eggs for Cinco de Mayo! I thought dying the eggs a vibrant color would be fun for this festive celebration. These are tasty eggs folks and a little different with the addition of cheddar cheese. You control the heat by using mild or hot salsa and a few shots of hot sauce might not be a bad addition either... You know, if your crowd's into that sort of thing:@)
 I didn't have green onions so I added some chives instead. 
For my dye: 1/2 C water and 4-5 drops Americolor Food Coloring Gel, mixed well. Add peeled eggs, let sit until color desired. 
These eggs are best served shortly after they're made because the salsa adds extra moisture.
I used a fork to get the bigger pieces of veggie out of of the jar of salsa, leaving as much of the sauce behind as possible.
Note: It's this reporter's opinion that the measurements in the recipe below should be for more eggs, 10 or even possibly 12.

Mexican Deviled Eggs-from Taste of Home
8 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 C mayonnaise-maybe hold back a little until after you mix in the salsa
1 Tblsp sour cream
1/4 C salsa
2 Tblsp scallions, sliced
salt to taste
hot sauce, optional
paprika for garnish, optional
  1. Mash yolks with cheese, mayo and sour cream.
  2. Mix in salsa and onion. Add salt to taste.
  3. Fill whites with yolk mixture and top with paprika if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.
Try something different and have a happy day-Ole':@)

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mexi-Tots for Cinco de Mayo -Tator Tots with Mexican Dipping Sauce

Serving these Tator Tots with a Mexican Flavored Dipping Sauce would be an easy Cinco de Mayo treat that's well received. At least it was well received here any way:@) This is also a nice way to use up some leftover salsa. I used smoked paprika but think chipotle powder would be really good too.
And ya might want to tuck this one away for football season too folks... just sayin'.

Tator Tots with Mexican Dipping Sauce
1/2 C salsa
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder
Tator Tots
Chili powder
Hot sauce-optional
  1. Mix salsa, sour cream, garlic and onion powder, cumin and paprika/chipotle powder. Cover and let rest in fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Place Tator Tots on baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with chili powder.
  3. Bake as directions on package indicate.
  4. Sprinkle hot sauce on top of dip before serving if desired-I desired:@)
Open a cerveza and let the fiesta begin!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Does Distilled White Vinegar Clean Hard Water Stains and Deposits on Sinks?

You won't find too many cleaning tips here at Pig In Mud, I'm more the type that makes messes... Yet here I am airing my dirty laundry faucet... *Head hanging in shame* I do love it when something really works well, is 100% natural and just happens to be a pantry item. My sink needed a little TLC and I decided to try good ole Distilled White Vinegar and was amazed at how well it worked. I simply poured a glug-a-glug (that's a technical term for tipping the bottle the length of time it takes to say "glug-a-glug":@) of vinegar over the faucet, waited 5 minutes and wiped it up with a paper towel.
 
So, after about a total of 6 minutes, 5 of them spent nosing around Pinterest, most of the hard water stains and crusty deposits are gone.
Now that's my kind of cleaning!
I'll continue to use vinegar going forward and am sure things will be as shiny as new in no time.

Don't forget vinegar's other great uses too:



Save that elbow grease and have a happy day!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Basil Garlic Peppercorn Vinegar-Tutorial

This Basil Garlic Peppercorn Vinegar was a great way to use up some extra basil and I wish I could tell you just how amazing the house smelled when the warm vinegar hit the basil... Now that's an air freshener scent they need to sell:@) I see this vinegar being used for salad dressing and drizzling over tomatoes. Possibly in marinades too. This flavorful herb vinegar couldn't be easier to make, so don't hesitate to whip some up folks.

 A little bottle decorated to gift the friend that shared the basil. 
Imagine that, I had an empty hot sauce bottle:@)
Why the difference in the color? I strained the vinegar into the bottle,
then strained the vinegar but pressed the leaves against the strainer into the jar. I probably won't do that again.

Step by step pictorial:
Add basil, garlic and peppercorns to pint jar.

Add heated vinegar.
Breathe in aroma, relax and love life:@)

After steeping for two days.
Yep, my garlic turned green/blue, but the Food Police say that's ok. I didn't cut my garlic completely in half-no idea why...

At day five.
Pretty much looking like the last pic.
Now, this is your vinegar folks, keep tasting it and strain it when you like it.
I started this Friday after work, everyone loved the smell of it at Sunday dinner,
I tasted a little Monday after work and it was bright, flavorful and very nice.
The recipe says to let it steep for weeks... I did not.

All I can say is, everyone that smelled this vinegar in all it's various stages said they'd like a bottle. 
That's a pretty good endorsement coming from my crowd:@)

Basil Garlic Peppercorn Vinegar-adapted from Food.com
1/2 C basil leaves, coarsely chopped-I just layered mine, rolled them, and bruised them a bit in the jar after adding vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and split in half
2 C wine vinegar or white vinegar-I used cider vinegar, it's just my go-to
3 black peppercorns, optional
  1. Place basil, garlic and peppercorns in sterilized pint jar.
  2. Heat vinegar to just before it boils, pour into jar.
  3. Cap and let sit for 3-4 weeks. I did allow mine to cool off before putting the lid on it.
  4. Strain vinegar into sterilized jar or bottle, discard solids. Strain it when you like the flavor.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Broiled or Grilled Sesame Green Beans

Had to try these Sesame Green Beans as soon as I saw them, they're super simple and I always have a bottle of sesame oil handy in the fridge. The sesame and lemon flavors play very well together. I loved cooking them under the broiler, that was a new technique to me and it only took a few minutes. You might want to tuck this one away for fresh beans from the garden folks, summer's coming-I promise:@)
 Cooking outdoors? Use your grill pan/wok and make these on the grill, they'd be great!

 Sesame Green Beans-from A Spoonful of Thyme
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
2 tsp oil-I used vegetable, Kate used canola
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
S&P
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds-I cut back
  1. Mix oils and beans on baking sheet. Spread into one layer and sprinkle with S&P.
  2. Broil on rack in highest slot for 3 minutes. Stir and broil for another 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. (I set the broiler temperature to medium-high.)
  3. Mix with lemon juice and sesame seeds-serve and enjoy!
Try something new and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Creamy Zoodles-N-Noodles with 'Shrooms (Zucchini Noodles, Pasta and Mushrooms)

These Creamy Zoodles-N-Noodles with 'Shrooms can be as fancy or as simple as you'd like. If you're a mushroom connoisseur, then by all means saute fresh mushrooms and make a white sauce. If you're... like me, you'll open a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup:@) Either way you'll have a tasty side dish that's perked up with garlic and thyme. Oh, and some bacon fat, did I mention bacon fat?
Comfort food-so easy and good folks!

The little $2.88 spiralizer from Walmart I've been using...

Zoodles-N-Noodles and 'Shrooms
Spaghetti for four people, cooked, reserve 1/2 C pasta water
8"-ish zucchini, spiralized
1 Tblsp bacon fat-olive oil would be fine
heaping 1/4 C small diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
hearty pinch of dry thyme
10 oz can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
S&P to taste
  1. While spaghetti cooks, saute onion in bacon fat for about five minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one minute more.
  2. Add zucchini to skillet and saute for a couple minutes. 
  3. Stir in soup, adding pasta water as needed to help thin out.
  4. Add drained pasta and toss to coat. 
  5. Add S&P to taste.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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