Mom Came to Visit – Part 2

This past week my mom came to visit and we cooked up some exciting recipes.  What we cooked on Monday and Tuesday can be found on Mom Came to Visit – Part 1.

Wednesday Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches.

No photo, no recipe.

The reason I’m including this:  We used those pretzel rolls we made on Tuesday to make bacon, egg, and Swiss cheese breakfast sandwiches!  I also tried the trick where you cook the eggs in a mason jar ring to keep them round – it worked!  Make sure you spray the rings with cooking spray first, and if you want to flip them you need to make sure they’re cooked almost all the way through then use a fork or something to lift off the ring before you flip.

Wednesday, out of necessity: Homemade Pitas

Recipe: Homemade Pita by Delicious Shots

I may have mentioned before that I live near a small town.  That means small town grocery stores.  I ran to town to pick up a few things for our dinner and found that neither the grocery store nor the farm supply (they have a rather large grocery section) carried pita bread.  Well, the grocery store did have a whole wheat and flax pita… but that’s not what I was looking for (see also: “eww”).  So I decided now was as good a time as any to try to make them from scratch.

They turned out okay.  As in, they tasted amazing, but we had a few issues with the recipe.  I will definitely give the recipe another shot because the issues we ran into can be easily overcome, now that we’re aware of them.

I did use my kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, which made the measuring process super quick (add ingredient, tare, add ingredient, tare, etc…) and accurate.  However, we found that when making my dough balls in 75 gram increments that we only got 9 full pitas and had an awkward 20-some gram chunk left over.  Next time I’ll skip that part and just divide the dough into eighths.

The recipe says to generously flour a baking sheet.  When the recipe said “a” baking sheet, I made the assumption that the rolled pitas could all go on one baking sheet.  No.  Use two baking sheets.  Don’t let the pitas touch.  They stick together and you’ll have to stretch, manhandle, and tear or cut the pitas apart.  That, per the warning in the recipe, makes them not puff up properly, and thus gives you the result that we got.  And while you’re at it, just lightly flour those baking sheets.  We had a lot of flour stuck to the outside of our pitas.

Since they didn’t puff very well, we had to sort of slice the insides of them to make a pocket (if that makes sense) for our fillings.

Wednesday Dinner: Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Recipe: Greek Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce from Cooking Classy

We took the kebab recipe and turned it into gyros.  I’ve made this recipe once before, but my husband wasn’t too thrilled with it.  Since I enjoyed it, and it’s something a little different, I broke out the recipe again to make with my mom.  And this is why I needed those pitas.

We made the recipe pretty much as stated for the marinade and tzatziki sauce, except we made a half batch of the sauce.  In the sauce we got to use fresh dill and fresh parsley from the garden.  All we used for vegetables was half a red pepper, which we cut in to quarters and threw right on the grill and they got nice a nice little char to them. Like the fajitas from Monday, I grilled the chicken as cutlets and we sliced them up (along with the peppers) after they were cooked.  We also topped them with some chopped tomato.

Thursday Dinner: Beef Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

Recipe: Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice from Favorite Family Recipes

My husband was getting home Thursday evening, and when I asked him if there was anything in particular he wanted for dinner he said he wanted a casserole.  I decided a pan of enchiladas was close enough.  Since he is fully capable of eating an entire batch of enchiladas on his own in one sitting, I made some Mexican rice to go with it to stretch it some.  I also served a salad.

The enchiladas are my own “recipe.”  As in, I don’t really have a recipe.  I brown a pound of ground beef with about half an onion.  Once the heat is off, mix in about a quarter cup of cheese and about half a teaspoon of cumin.  I put about half a cup of enchilada sauce (I buy the big can or use two of the small cans) in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  I warm my corn tortillas by throwing them right on the gas burner, flipping them when I see a little wisp of smoke.  Even if the tortillas are pliable enough to be rolled without warming them, I like to put them on the burner because I like the flavor it gives them.

I fill 12 tortillas with the meat mixture, gently roll them, and place them in the baking dish.  I pour the rest of the sauce over them, then top with more cheese (the rest of an 8 oz bag).  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, then uncover and bake 5 more minutes.  Serve with your choice of toppings, if desired.  This time we served them with sour cream, cilantro, black olives, and chopped tomato, but often times we just do a little dollop of sour cream.

For the Mexican rice, I followed the recipe as stated, except I cut the salt in half and just used water.  I also didn’t add any cilantro.

Whew!  That’s it!  We had quite the yummy week!

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