Can I Make It Up to You With a Simple, Tasty Chickpea Salad Recipe?

Where have I been?

I’m not sure.

First, I went to a brutal yoga workshop . . . I know ‘brutal’ and ‘yoga’ aren’t supposed to go together, but it was. Good, but brutal with a long recovery.

Then, the end of school. If you have ever taught school at any level, you know what this means. Or if you have ever attended school, you know what this means.

Then, the gutter and window cleaning project? Yes. Really. And, kids released from the confines of school and daycare  . . . need I say more?

All the more reason to keep plugging away at writing about cooking for my family. The blog keeps me honest and inspires me to explore. It’s like you all are looking over my shoulder while I hurry around our kitchen to get a healthy, tasty, vegetarian meal on the table most nights.

This particular night was a yoga night, which usually means a Jimmy John’s #6 or the Yoga Special. One of my favorite chickpea salads has been hanging around in my head lately. I decided to throw it together before I left for my practice. It takes all of 10 minutes if you have the beans cooked or canned beans on hand (I do think it is worth it to make your own chickpeas . . . they don’t have that weird, funky, canned chickpea smell and they have some structure to them). The taste is not a cheap, 10 minute taste, I promise.

Right after I threw this salad together, Alia walked in the kitchen and asked for a bite. I hesitated because I thought she would spit it out. Instead I balanced a chickpea laced with flecks of parsley and mint on a fork and fed it to her. She chewed thoughtfully with her usually silky smooth brow furrowed and proclaimed, “I wike it. It’s sour. Maybe you can make this for me for lunch sometime.” Then she admonished me for not offering her more.

Knock me over with a feather . . . or something.

Chickpea Salad (without or with Roasted Red Peppers)

adapted from Deborah Madison’s brilliant Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

serves 4 as a side or a part of a platter including hard boiled eggs, thin slices of Manchego, tomato wedges and toasted, crusty bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with a respectable extra virgin olive oil

3 cups of cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned (about 2 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped mint
3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Toss the the chickpeas with herbs and the capers in a medium size bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, salt, garlic and olive oil. Pour over the chickpea mixture and combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate it for a day to allow the flavors to magically meld.

Note: The original recipe also has two large, roasted red peppers cut into strips added. I have made it with the peppers on occasion. You see, I am not a big bell pepper fan . . . especially green ones. *Shudder* I can tolerate the other colors, but, given a choice, I leave them out. So, if you are partial, by all means throw those in as well.

Ratings:

Me:  A+ of course. You don’t have chickpea salads knocking around in your head unless they are really, really good.

Scott: N/A (He did not eat it this particular time, but has liked it very much in the past.)

Luca: N/A (Chickpeas make him gag.)

Alia: Another A+ of course. She asked me to make it for her for lunch (see above) – a time reserved for macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese. That is saying something!

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Breaking News: Potato Topples Tomato in Soup Cage Match

The new go-to potato soup

“I like this better than tomato soup.” You read that right. Roasted Tomato Bisquehas enjoyed favorite soup status in our house for years now . . . YEARS. But, last night, it was unexpectedly dethroned. The fall came out of nowhere. Luca sat quietly next to me slurping his Kartoffelrahmsuppe (say that three times fast) and the proclamation was handed down . . . “A++” . . . then, “May I have another bowl, please?” Then, “Can I take this for lunch tomorrow?”

I had high hopes for this soup for myself – potato soup with the spicy bite of horseradish. I have found typical potato leek soup to be a bit subtle and uninspired, so when I can across this recipe last week, I worked into the menu as soon as I could.

I did make some tweaks based on availability of ingredients. I had time to stop at one grocery store – Schnucks – and they did not have celery root, so I used celery. I thought of substituting turnips, but the ones they had were unappealingly rubbery. The celery was fine, but I will try celery root if I can locate some next time. I used thyme instead of marjoram and cut some of the fat by decreasing the amount of butter and using half and half instead of heavy cream. It is a very smooth creamy soup. Next time, I will probably add some chunks of potato . . . maybe even some small roasted cauliflower florets . . . for some textural contrast.

And, next time I will be certain to make more of the new house favorite.

Spiced Potato Soup (Kartoffelrahmsuppe)

adapted from Saveur

4 main course servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
½ leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1″ slices
1 rib celery, finely chopped (The original called for celery root. The grocery store I stopped at didn’t have it, so I went with celery.)
1 ¼ lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
2⅔ cups vegetable stock (I mixed 2  2/3 cups water with 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon)
1 ¼ cups half and half (The original recipe called for heavy cream which is unecessary . . . I think you could even use 2% milk.)
1 1/2  tablespoon prepared horseradish (You may also use fresh.)
1 ½ tsp. finely chopped thyme (The original called for marjoram, but I have loads of thyme growing in the backyard.)
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. finely chopped chives
Caramelized onions, for garnish

Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat; add garlic, onion, leek, celery and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, stock, cream, celery root, horseradish, thyme, cloves, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaves and cloves. Remove from heat, and using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, purée soup until smooth and frothy. To serve, ladle soup into 4 bowls, and garnish with chives and caramelized onions.

Serve with chunks of whole wheat baguette and butter.

Ratings:

Me:  A (I love the flavor the horseradish gives the soup.)

Scott:  A (“Definitely an A.”)

Luca:  A++ (There was discussion of infinity, so I think this soup earns Luca’s top rating.)

Alia:  A (She said, “Two As” in fact.)

The Gateway Tofu Recipe

Tasty Tofu Guaranteed

Back when I was in high school, there was lots of talk about marijuana being a “gateway drug.” You smoke a little weed then, before you know it, you are plunged into a scene from “Sid and Nancy.”

If you try this recipe, I doubt you will find yourself curled up in front of a PETA headquarters on a Saturday morning after a protest of an industrial farm complex in Oklahoma. I do think you will see (if you don’t already know) that tofu can be tasty. You may even commit to eating one meatless meal a week as the Meatless Monday campaign suggests.

Why?

The amount of evidence that eating less meat is better for you and the planet we inhabit is overwhelming. Michael Pollan has extensively researched and written about our food system and came to the following simple recommendation: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” He explains further, “populations that eat like modern-day Americans — lots of highly processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of refined grains — suffer high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. But populations that eat more traditional diets don’t. Our great-grandmas knew what they were doing.”

Mark Bittman is another advocate of what has been called the flexitarian “diet” (I put diet in quotes because this is not a weight loss plan, but rather a way of eating).  He, along with Pollan, has written extensively about the effects of  factory farming, a deeply flawed system that gobbles up resources in the name of widely available cheap meat. “Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.”

Even chicken came under fire recently. Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about “new scientific studies suggesting that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and even arsenic.” So along with eating local, ethically raised meat, why not incorporate some meatless options into your cooking repertoire? It isn’t painful, I promise. This particular dish earned A ratings from everyone in my family – the picky 4 year-old, the 8 year-old food critic, and the meat and potatoes vegetarian spouse. Even cattle-raising Pioneer Woman has posted some tofu recipes this year.

Try this  . . . or any other recipe I have shared here. I promise you won’t find yourself in a Vegetarians Anonymous meeting any time soon. You will, however, be taking steps towards creating a healthier family and planet.

Spicy Basil Tofu and Noodles

adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

Serves 4 generously

1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (You may need a little more.)

1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, then minced

1 pound extra-firm or firm tofu, cut into slabs, blotted dry with paper towel and crumbled

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 small heads broccoli broken in small florets

12 ounces Chinese noodles

1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai or Genovese basil (I prefer the Thai basil for this dish.)

Put a large pot of water on high heat on the cook top to boil the noodles.

Combine soy sauce, water, and brown sugar in a small bowl, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmers. Add the crumbled tofu, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Resist the urge to stir the tofu. Let it fry for at least 5 minutes. Stir when you see the edges of some of the crumbles brown. Cook until most of the tofu bits are light to medium brown. The key here is not disturbing too much. After the tofu is cooked, toss in the garlic and chile and cook until fragrant – less than a minute. Transfer the tofu mixture to a bowl.

Heat about a teaspoon of vegetable oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli florets and a pinch of salt and stir fry until bright green and brown in spots. Put 1/4 water in the frying pan and cover. Steam broccoli to desired tenderness.

When broccoli is done, put a few tablespoons of salt into the boiling water. Put noodles in and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. We found out the hard way that Chinese noodles cook fast. Overcook them and they are a gloppy mess. I start tasting them 2 minutes in. You could also try this with linguine pasta if you can’t get your hands on Chinese noodles. The linguine takes longer to cook – about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the tofu mixture and cooked noodles into the skillet with the broccoli. Add the soy sauce-brown sugar mixture and carefully stir to combine. Incorporate the basil. Serve immediately.

Ratings:

Me:  A+  (One of my favorite tofu dishes. I love, love the basil.)

Scott:  A (He wasn’t here for dinner, but said “I love it!” after eating leftovers for lunch.)

Luca:  A (Just an A, not an A+)

Alia:  A+, B+ (“The best rating I give.”)

A Little Taste of Freedom in the Form of Polenta, Mushrooms and an Egg

The Runaway Mom Antidote

Do you ever think about what life will be like when (and if) your kids move out of the house? I know this may be a blasphemous thought in perfect mommy land because we aren’t supposed to think of day-to-day life without our little miracles. They ARE little miracles, don’t get me wrong.

But, man, they can be little buzz kills too.

There are two things I won’t miss when Luca and Alia make their way out into the world. One is negotiating every single act during the course of the day – getting up, putting clothes on, brushing teeth, choosing breakfast, eating breakfast, playing, not playing, putting stuff away, putting shoes on, taking shoes off, getting in the car, blowing noses, washing faces, flushing the toilet . . . EVERYTHING. I know many parents see these as mini “teachable moments,” but by 10 a.m. I am all taught out. Teaching tank is empty. Dry as a bone. I shouldn’t be surprised that all I can do after the final negotiation of the day – bedtime – is stare at the wall, then pass out into a deep, dark slumber only to wake up and do it all over again.

The other thing I won’t miss is tailoring meals to their tastes. It can’t be “too spicy.” Luca will surely ferret that out. If I put any kind of crunchy green or fresh tomato in a dish, I know Alia will resist. I don’t leave this stuff out though . . . because I want them to keep trying things. But, when I choose something to make, potential negative reactions are always in the back of my head. Or not. Sometimes, I am completely surprised that one of them doesn’t like something. Take the bowl of goodness pictured above. Cheesy, creamy polenta topped with oven roasted mushrooms and a fried egg. “How could this be wrong?” I thought. Last time I made it, there was a mutiny at our dining room table . . . there was crying and gagging and wrinkled noses. And, I can’t even write about the Dan Dan Noodle drama. It’s still too raw. I almost took my pot of scrumptious noodles and ran away from home.

So to keep myself put I sometimes make anything I want and do what I swore I would never do – make two (somewhat) different meals. Last night, the kids got the yoga special without the yoga and I made myself  Parmesan Polenta with Fried Eggs and Roasted Mushrooms. This recipe was a revelation to me the first time I made it. I discovered roasting mushrooms is the best way to prepare them. Their texture becomes satisfyingly chewy and dense, a great contrast to the soft polenta. This method of making polenta is brilliant. No laborious stirring at the cook top – just mix, bring to a boil and simmer.

And, everybody was content. The eggs and hash browns were gobbled up by the two miracle/buzz kills while I savored my little bowl of heaven and felt happy that they will be around for a while longer.

Parmesan Polenta with Eggs and Roasted Mushrooms
adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 3

For mushrooms:
1 lb mushrooms (I use cremini.)
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For polenta:
1/2 cup polenta
1 cup milk
1 cup water
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

To finish:
3 eggs
chopped fresh herb of your choice for garnish (I have used chives and basil. Flat leaf Italian parsley would be good as well.)

Preheat oven to 475.

Cut mushrooms into quarters. Toss mushrooms with oil, pepper flakes, and salt on a baking sheet. Spread in single layer and roast until browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk polenta, milk, water, and salt together in saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, covered. After reaching a boil, turn heat to low and let sit with lid cracked for 15 minutes.

While polenta is cooking, heat about 1 teaspoon olive oil a cast  skillet over medium heat and crack the eggs so that they are sunny side up. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium low and put a lid on the skillet. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until everything is set.  Flip the eggs and cook to desired doneness. I like mine over medium – whites firm and the yolk somewhat runny.

Mix Parmesan into polenta. Spoon polenta into a shallow bowl. Top with 1/3 mushrooms and one egg. Garnish with chopped herb(s) of your choice.

Rating:

Me:  A+ (This is a perfect bowl of food. One of my favorites.)

Presto Pasta

A quick pasta for Monday night

Our dinners the past three nights wouldn’t go over well with the Paleofolks. Pasta and pasta and more pasta.

My excuse? The pantry is bare. We made our Easter trek to just outside of Hermann, MO where my mother-in-law has a house. Coloring eggs, egg hunts and the sacred Easter lasagna are standard out there. Another standard is coming home on Sunday night to a sparse pantry and funky smelling fridge. We made a stop at Trader Joe’s in St. Louis (Do you know Aldi owns Trader Joe’s? I kid you not!) and picked up a few things, but I have not been on a full-scale, farmers market + four store shopping trip yet.

This pasta doesn’t taste like a “cupboards are bare” type of dinner though . . . creamy, spicy, hardy and quick. Presto Pasta!

Farfalle with “Sausage,” Tomatoes and Cream

adapted from Epicurious

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion, about 1 small

2 Trader Joe’s Sausage-less Sausage (The original recipe calls for 1 lb Italian sausage. You can also omit.)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted)

1/4 cup whipping cream (The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup. I have found that 1/4 is plenty.)

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)

1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add crumbled “sausage” and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and crushed red pepper cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dump (not the most eloquent word, but I was getting tired of using ‘add’) in tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, 3 minutes or more. I let it simmer for about 1/2 an hour while I worked on the rest of the meal. Season to taste with salt and pepper before adding the pasta. Make sure it is well seasoned because you are adding 1 lb of pasta that is dying for some flavor.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add “sausage” – tomato – cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil. Serve, passing cheese separately.

Ratings:

Me:    A

Scott: A

Luca:  A

Alia: A

Chewy or cakey?

Do you have bananas that suffer from over-ripeitis? Try this cure.

People have opinions about chocolate chip cookies. Do you like them crumbly and puffed up high? Or thin, chewy puddles on the baking sheet? Personally, I am a chewy lover.

A batch of banana chocolate chip cookies I made to take to a gathering at the park last weekend ended up more on the cakey side. There was a hint of chew, but mostly cake. In my experience, it has been harder to achieve the type of chocolate chip cookies I prefer at home.

Despite the texture issue, these are flavorful cookies that went over well with our friends. I often have one or two bananas perishing in the fruit basket. Because I don’t like waste, I am always on the prowl for banana recipes other than my usual go-to banana bread. These cookies fill the bill. I made the recipe as-is this time. Next time, I will tweak it in an effort to achieve the holy grail of chocolate chip cookies – thin, caramely and chewy.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (You could easily use 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup white. No one would notice.)
1 teaspoon coarse salt (I didn’t have coarse salt so I use 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large mashed ripe banana (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli bittersweet chips would be even better.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Whisk together both flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.

Put butter and both sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low.  Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined.  Mix in banana.  Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper by the rounded teaspoon, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 8 to 10 minutes.  Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days. They taste even better the next day – more banana flavor.

Ratings:

Me:     A-

Scott: A

Luca:  A+

Alia:   A+

Egg Salad with a Kick – No Fooling!

Egg salad sliced tomatoes tucked into a pita

Lunches for adults are most often an afterthought around here. There is thought put into lunches packed for school and daycare . . . deep thought. Are they balanced? Will they eat what’s packed? Is there too much dairy? Too much grain? Can I slip in another fruit or vegetable? But the adults eat leftovers or a banana and granola bar woofed down at a desk or standing in the kitchen.

On this particular Friday afternoon, I found myself with some time on my hands and a few beautiful, local, free range eggs. A jar of prepared horseradish provided some inspiration.

I still woofed down lunch standing at the kitchen counter, but it was one tasty inhale. Since hard boiled egg fest is coming up next weekend, you may want to tuck this recipe in your back pocket.

Egg Salad with a Kick

adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

serves one hungry mother

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s light)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 – 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Place 3 eggs in a sauce pan. Add water to cover with 1-2 inches above the eggs. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath and cool for about 10 minutes.

Peel eggs and chop. In a medium bowl, mix with mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish (to taste), and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Rating:

Me:  A (This is the best egg salad I have made.)

(No one else had this or cared to . . . and for this, I am grateful.)

The Other Soup

The soup that made a tomato soup lover out of Scott.

There are two soups I can count on for an A average rating from the critics – red lentiland tomato. This isn’t just any tomato soup. This is THE soup that made a tomato soup lover out of Scott. On occasion, when we are eating this meal, Scott announces (in his best Ward Cleaver voice), “Kids, this is the soup that made me LIKE tomato soup” followed by an appreciative head nod.

Tomato soup as he knew it – as I knew it – was of the Campbell’s variety. Read: salty, watery, ketchup-y. *Shudder* This soup is thick, flavorful and a bit creamy. Any grilled cheese would be happy to take its place beside it . . . or quesadilla . . . or Asiago garlic bread.

This really IS good food.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque

slightly adapted from Food & Wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (The original recipe has 4 tablespoons of butter. It is not necessary because it is thick and rich enough with 2.)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups water + 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
Two 14 1/2-ounce cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen. I am a bit of a hoarder of these.)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (You could certainly leave this out. It is definitely gilding the lily.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir over low heat for 1 minute, or until the flour is fully incorporated. Add the water, Better Than Bouillon, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.

Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan. Or use a stick blender and puree to your preference in the pan. I like it pretty smooth. Add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through. Season the soup with salt and black pepper. The salt is key to a flavorful soup. I begin with 1/4 teaspoon, taste, then add more if needed. I typically use 1/2 a teaspoon.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with grilled cheese or quesadillas or cheesy garlic bread.

Ratings:

Me:  A

Scott:  A

Luca:  A+ (He did say it would be better with a few gnocchi thrown in.))

Alia:  A+ (YAY!)

Bar Food for Dinner

Friday Night Decadence

I went to watch a series of films made by mothers (none about cooking though) late this afternoon so Scott was left with dinner duties. As I walked out the door, I suggested nachos. An appetizer at most sports bars, this is not the healthiest meal, but we all love it. And, of course, I tweak the typical “recipe” some to make it a little more nutritious.

Scott started with Santitas chips (Cook’s Illustrated did a tortilla chip taste test and these came out on top) arranged in one layer on a large cookie sheet. He combined some Yves Meatless Ground Round, a drained can of black beans and some homemade taco seasoning in a cast iron skillet and heated through. Scatter the bean mixture on the chips and top with shredded extra sharp cheddar. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned in places. He then added toppings – chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. We usually serve sour cream and salsa on the side. If I happen to have an avocado, I make guacamole, but I am the only one who eats it.

Do you ever eat bar food for dinner? Or are we the only decadent ones?

Ratings:

Me:     A

Scott: A

Luca:  A

Alia:    A

(No comments . . . everyone was too busy eating.)