This recipe was tasty but it turned out more like a casserole than a pizza. I started with chopped cauliflower, pepper jack, a bit of sweet red pepper and a little pecorino (romano cheese) and an egg. I pulsed this in my new Nutri Ninja Auto IQ. It would have pulsed just as well in my old Ninja blender, but Nutri Ninja has wider cups, so it is easier to get the pulsed food out.
I baked the "crust" in the NuWave countertop oven (since that is the only oven I ever use for anything). After baking one side, I flipped it and baked the other side too.
Toppings shown above were Meunster cheese covered with fresh tomatoes, sliced spinach, alfredo sauce, red onions, portabella mushrooms, and cilantro.
This is Bob and his 4-legged baby Roxy, a very sweet and well behaved little dog.
Bob's wife Linda is a Superhost on the AirBnB site which matches travelers up with people willing to rent out rooms in their private homes for a unique bed and breakfast experience.
Breakfast was not listed as an amenity at this location, but Linda served it anyway. If you are counting on meals, though, be sure to arrange that in advance. On our last stay, Bob heated tortillas over an open flame while Linda dished up scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, and salsa roja. Did I mention bacon? YUMS!
At Casa Benavides there is no skimping on the servings!
Although their home was enroute the first time we stayed with them, I drove 50 miles out of my way to book our second stay with Linda and Bob. They are both great hosts and a great family.
Their attractive home is on a large corner lot with plenty of guest parking. The neighborhood is quiet and safe. They have an appealing living room with a large screen TV that they graciously share with guests. The bedroom was comfortable and although the bathroom is "shared" when both rooms are rented, it was clean and spacious and sharing was not a problem for us.
I will definitely stay here again, and would recommend it to anyone who needs an affordable room when they are passing through or near to Barstow, CA. If you have never booked a room through AirBnB, hosts like these give you a reason to try it.
I was near the Harvey House Museum in Barstow, and found this little restaurant on Yelp. Since they named the place after their specialty that is what we had. The cafe was very clean and the food was well priced.
The best part of the meal was the beverage. My friend liked the coffee and I LOVED the drink made from dried hibiscus flowers which was listed on the menu as Jamaica.
I have had Jamaica before, but never as tasty as the one from Cafe Las Pupusas. It was so good that as soon as we got home I ordered a pound of dried hibiscus flowers from an Amazon seller in order to make my own. While looking for a good supplier for the petals, I learned from the internet search that jamaica is actually extremely nutritious...well, if it is not laced with too much sugar!
I didn't realize that hibiscus flower tea is popular all over the world, even in India, where it is called arhul ka phool and used to treat diabetes as well as diverse other conditions. It should be avoided by pregnant women and people taking blood pressure medications.
This was the first time I ever had food from El Salvador. The pupusa was somewhat similar to a gordita and I think I may try making them at home using the burger stuffing gadget I mentioned in the previous post.
When I bought this gadget last month, I didn't really expect it to work as well as it does. It was$ 9.99 at WalMart and the last one on their display. Since they were out of pineapples I tossed it in my suitcase and just got around to trying it on this $1.99 pineapple from Dollar General Market. The shells do not come out so perfect on the pineapples I get from 99CentsOnly Stores, but it is still a time saving keeper.
I love trying out new kitchen gadgets and although many of them are Fails, a few are outstanding enough to make up for it. I saw the StufZ product on sale at Grocery Outlet, which is a chain of bargain priced food stores that grew out of the original Canned Foods store in San Francisco in the early 70's. Grocery Outlet is my favorite place to buy and try marked down As-Seen-on-TV products.
I resisted buying the StufZ for some time, but today our local store had just one left on a last chance shelf and it looked so lonely there. I had already set out some ground turkey to thaw for dinner so the timing was good.
First, I sauteed chopped onions and celery and then stirred in some grated cheddar for the filling. The directions said to use a lot of filling so I did. It took a bit of fumbling around for me to figure out the steps on the instruction sheet. I later read reviews from some people who didn't think it was worth the trouble to figure out how to use the StufZ gadget, but it really isn't rocket science and I my first efforts paid of well enough that I will definitely use it again. My turkey burgers were delicious and just the right size. They looked good, too. I did put a glass lid over them during the last few minutes of cooking because I wanted to be sure that the inside meat was thoroughly cooked. The result was juicy and tender, and full of flavor. Granted. one could just form the "shells" in a bowl, but I thought using the StufZ was a lot more fun and I just think that having them come out perfect makes them taste better. In my view the product was well worth the $8.99 that I paid.
After getting StufZ I did also order the simpler burger stuffer that Cuisinart sells for a comparable price, and it is easier to wash and feels more durable, but they both work well. With either one I recommend using plastic wrap on both sides of the meat before pressing. I use the plastic wrap when I make stuffed biscuits in these gadgets as well. I bake the stuffed biscuits ahead and then reheat them for bedtime snacks. The last ones I made were filled with sausage and cheese.
If you have not yet tried AirBnB, I highly recommend the site. It was through them that I booked a room at this delightful working ranch where the rooms are clean, comfortable, and affordable and the farm animals come free with the experience.
The owner's son Erik is working hard all of the time renovating the place, but he is not too busy to take excellent care of his guests.
Adobe Ranch is about ten miles down a paved country road near Madera, California. If you don't have GPS, be sure to get help. Even with GPS it is best to stay in touch with Erik just in case, and he is very helpful and good at communicating.
It is clear that he loves his work, and he rightly shows pride in sharing details about the ranch, especially the original adobe bricks which are left exposed as part of the renovation.
Yes, parts of the "big house" are under construction.
The two farm cats are friendly and have great personality.
I followed them around with my camera and then when I decided to take pictures of the cows and horses, they followed me along the path. The ranch has quite a bit of open space and I can see myself setting up an easel outside under a shady tree and painting some of the critters.
AirBnB is an online community of people who rent out rooms in private homes. It has a feedback system and verification of the member identities, so that people have a good idea what they are getting into. Some of the owners have very strict rules, but Erik is easy-going. When I was there the room rate was much better than a comparable motel room, and there was no deposit or cleaning fee required.
This lively and inquisitive cat named BlackJack jumped into my elderly travel companion's lap and started purring as soon as the gentleman sat down in the living room to watch TV. My friend was not sure he like cats, but he and BlackJack got along just fine.
We stayed in the Kirksey Suite which has a private bath which has one door into the bedroom and another door accessible from the hallway. It was very convenient.
Erik provides bottled water and wonderful organic eggs, milk, and orange juice, as well as English muffins, jam, breakfast cereal and all the items necessary to cook and serve a delicious full or continental breakfast. There is space in the refrigerator for guests to store their own food.
In addition to the kitchen and pantry, guests have access to a delightful dining room, which made our delicious breakfast special. We met other guests while we were there, but everyone was nice, and there was room enough for all of us without getting in one another's way.
I love the Adobe Ranch and look forward to staying there again.
You can make a lot of good stuff with spinach and olive oil. My last experiment also included ground pork, chopped mushrooms, onions, celery, crumbled leftover biscuits (plain, not the ones on my previous post), an egg, and some leftover beef gravy. I sautéed the first four ingredients in a little bacon fat and added black pepper.
A Mr. Bar-B-Q Burgers On the Go gadget that I recently picked up at Burke's Outlet was useful in forming the patties ahead to store in the refrigerator. The canister is see-through with a lift-out as well as a nice air tight flexible lid and dividers.
Some years ago I stayed at a rustic Bed and Breakfast in Camden, CA and they served wonderful spinach breakfast pastries which I have still not gotten out of my mind.
Finally this morning I came up with a breakfast treat that rivals them. The surprising things about them were how easy they are and why I never thought to make them before. I'm not a big fan of brand names, but having tried an awful lot of biscuit mixes in the past, the only one that I can count on is Pioneer Brand. Usually, I healthy it up by adding fresh ground flax seed and some whole grain flour--typically oat flour made from Oatmeal flakes.
Pioneer Baking Mix
Milk (I use the rinse milk from my resting kefir)
Spinach (lightly sautéed and chopped)
The amounts are to taste, but the liquid ingredients are approximately 1/3 of the dry (a 1:3 ratio)
When mixed I spread the dough thinly in a pan coated with coconut oil and baked in the NuWave countertop oven. I left it on the bottom rack for 8 minutes, and then crisped it on the top rack for 5 more minutes.
When I bought my first kefir grains about half a year ago I doubted that they would be able to adapt to my nomadic lifestyle. However, despite having been carried along on several road trips and stored in the refrigerator for weeks at a time while I was away, they are still viable. On several occasions, I had to revive them a bit after too long a "rest" by rinsing them in fresh milk, and discarding several batches.
Today I harvested a batch of creamy soft kefir cheese and then used the whey that strained out of the bag to make ricotta cheese. Actually, I saved up whey from three days and kept it in a half gallon mason jar in the refrigerator. Included was whey from some Filmjolk yogurt as well. I toyed with the idea of letting the whey serve one more time by evaporating it down into mysost (a gjetost-like brown cheese made with cow's whey instead of goat's) but decided against it, not wanting to be tied to the kitchen all day.
As I write this, I am drinking a glass of creamy delicious strawberry maple kefir.