Talking About Food, Talking About Life

Sometimes life happens and I do not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.  I love it when life happens.  That is exactly how it is supposed to be.  Even though I may not be the one in the kitchen on these days, I am still listening to those who are gathering in their kitchens, and talking about food and talking about life.  Life and food go hand in hand.   You can’t have one without the other.  Friendships through food are celebrated all over the world.  Food is life, no matter where you are.  So live your life and enjoy all the food and friendships along the way.

 

“Those who are at one regarding food are at one in life”.

~ Malawian Proverb~

Malawi Culture and Customs and Language

 

“Warm food, warm friendships.”

~ Czech Probverb ~

11 Traditions Only Prague Locals Will Understand

 

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

~ James Beard, Cookbook Author ~

 

“Good food and a warm kitchen are what make a house a home.”

~ Rachel Ray, Cookbook Author and TV Host ~

 

“You can’t just eat good food.  You’ve got to talk about it too.  And you’ve got tot talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”

~ Kurt Vonnegut, American Author ~

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grill Your Mojo

Mojo is a type of sauce or marinade used in a lot of Cuban cooking, and all throughout the Spanish Caribbean world. It is believed to have originated in the Canary Islands because this was the first place where all the ingredients came together; chili peppers from South America, pimentón and olive oil from Spain, and cumin from North Africa.  The name mojo comes from the Portuguese word mohlo, meaning sauce.  Many of the first residents in the Canary Islands came from Portugal and settled there because of the sugar cane industry.  Later, the Spanish came and took over.  Both the Portuguese and the Spanish left their marks and their influences on the cultures and the cooking of the Caribbean Islands and other territories they conquered and settled.  Variations of mojo sauces are common all over Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Spanish-Caribbean islands. Mojo is also believed to have influenced the sauces, marinades and barbeque of Deep South cuisine in the USA.  Mojo sauces can be mild or spicy, red or green.  They are  like a supercharged citrus vinaigrette made from the juice of sour oranges or other citrus juices, garlic, spices and olive oil.  Mojos are used to cook and marinate just about everything, but are really used a lot for chicken, pork and potatoes and are known to be the cornerstone of Cuban and Caribbean cooking.

As you all know, I love all kinds of foods, and I love to play with and experiment with many different ethnic foods.   I am always on the lookout for new ways of preparing foods, or at least new ways to me.  When I came across this recipe for mojo chicken it sounded just perfect for a hot summer’s day, and believe me, it was too.

IMG_3118

Grilled Mojo Chicken

IMG_3114

1/3 cup olive oil

1-2 TBSP garlic

1/2 cup citrus fruit juice – orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, or a combination thereof

2 tsp grated of either orange zest, lime zest or lemon zest, or 1 tsp of each

1 1/4 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

salt and pepper to taste

2 TBSP chopped cilantro

1 jalapeno, diced fine

1/4 red onion, sliced fine

2 lbs chicken

 

Mix all the ingredients together well and pour over the chicken.  Completely cover the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before grilling it.  With all the citric acid in the marinade, do not marinate for more than 4 hours though, or it will make the chicken very mushy.  You can also use this for pork.

IMG_3115

IMG_3117

When you are ready, fire up the grill and grill to your heart’s content.  When it is done, serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy.  !Desfruitas!

IMG_3119

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Tripping – Part 2 – The Bucksnort Saloon

Saloons and whiskey joints played a huge role in forming the wild, wild west, and played a huge role in Colorado and Denver’s history too.  According to historian Tom Noel, the first Denver Government was established in a saloon called the Apollo Hotel in what’s now Larimer Square. And today, deals political and otherwise continue to be hashed out in watering holes across the state.

While we were out and about day tripping, Day Tripping – Part 1 we stopped for lunch at a local saloon called the The Bucksnort Saloon.  The Bucksnort Saloon is one of the most iconic bars in the state. The Bucksnort got its start shortly after the turn of the last century, when Lydia and Howard Newhouser ran the Sphinx Park Mercantile out of a circa 1919 wooden structure perched at 7,040 feet in the narrow canyon above Elk Creek. The store catered to railroad workers on the narrow-gauge Denver and South Park Railroad, which ran to Buena Vista, as well as miners who lived in the area and early vacationers trying to avoid the heat (and smell) of a Denver summer in rustic cabins that dotted the area of Pine and Sphinx Park. The spot has always been a community gathering place, and as the mercantile business trailed off in the ’50s, Pete Smaltz would host square-dancing events there. The store closed entirely in the ’60s, and the building turned into a venue for live performances and dances, then a full-fledged bar/restaurant. By the ’70s, it was known as the Bucksnort, reportedly because the then-owner’s dog was a noisy sleeper. Or maybe it was because of a certain decor item left by a rowdy patron.

IMG_3155

 

IMG_3157

The Bucksnort Saloon is a rustic, wild west icon that is full of personality.  When you walk through the doors, you feel like you have stepped back in time by at least 100 years.

IMG_3165

IMG_3178

IMG_3180

Upon walking through the doors at the Bucksnort Saloon, time stands still.  As the sign on the door says, “If you are in a hurry, go to McDonalds”.

IMG_3159

The walls are covered with dollar bills that have been autographed by all the patrons, both old and new, and the tables and walls have all been autographed by The Bucksnort’s patrons as well. Yes, we added to the decorations too.

IMG_3161

IMG_3163

IMG_3167

The menu is simple.

IMG_3162

Larry enjoyed the Forest Fire Burger with potato salad, named after the wildfires that have threatened the Bucksnort before, topped with jalapeño cream cheese.  This is a HUGE monster burger alright.

IMG_3176

I had an elk brat with the house recipe baked beans.  This brat was full of flavor and cooked to perfection.  It was juicy and tender and had a little bit of a kick to it as well.  YUM!

IMG_3177

The view is spectacular.  We dined outside on the patio, and met some really fun people as we were waiting for our food.

IMG_3169

IMG_3170

IMG_3174

This is a little B & B nestled into the mountains, right across the creek from The Busksnort.

IMG_3175

 

IMG_3173

When driving up through the mountains, and you go through Pine, CO, you have to stop at The Bucksnort Saloon.  They are located at 15921 Elk Creek Road.  You can call them at (303) 383-0284 or you can check them out online at thebucksnortsaloon.com or at their facebook page.  It will an ex experience like none other, and you will get to live a little in the times of the wild, wild west.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

Day Tripping – Part 1

About once a month, Larry and I take little day trips throughout our beautiful state.  We Just pack a few snacks and off we go to explore what’s around us.  Larry plans the trip out, but even then we are always up for quite a few twists and turns, and things don’t always go as Larry plans them.  Me, I prefer to just wing it, and go where the winds take me, or in this case, the roads.

We were day tripping through our beautiful Rocky Mountains again.  This time we went a more Southern route than we normally do.  Different mountains, and different sites, but equally as beautiful.  It was a beautiful day, with bright blue skies and plenty of warm sunshine.

The mountains in all their glory.

IMG_3138

IMG_3140

IMG_3141

IMG_3143

IMG_3145

IMG_3149

IMG_3188

IMG_3193

IMG_3186

IMG_3201

IMG_3203

The flowers of the mountains.

 

 

Larry pulled over for me to take this shot, but he did not realize I could not get out of the car or I would have ended up floating down the river.  So I literally was hanging out of the car window to take this one.

IMG_3194

IMG_3191

IMG_3189

The contrasts of these two just struck me – Now and then.

IMG_3196

IMG_3207

I hope you enjoyed our trek through some of our Southern mountains as mush as we did.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

Nature Walks – The Birds

Aside from all our big, beautiful water birds, like our ducks, geese, pelicans, herons, egrets and cormorants, we also have a wide variety of beautiful small birds too.  The things we see most are the swallows, sparrows, robins, spraques, doves, magpies, red-winged black birds and orioles.  But we have many other types of beautiful small birds too.  I try to capture them all on the camera as much as possible, but often times they are just too quick for me, and as soon as I get them in focus, they fly away.  This happened the other day when we saw this beautiful bright yellow bird that we had never seen before.  I tried and tried to get him in my sights, but could not do it.  I will keep trying though.  Here are some of our small birds that we call friends and neighbors too, that I have been able to capture with some good shots.

IMG_0336

IMG_1166

IMG_2871

IMG_1686

IMG_2374

IMG_3108

 

IMG_2041

 

IMG_1799

IMG_1800

IMG_2154

We’re flying the coup.  We’re outta here.

IMG_3018

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

Strawberry Jalapeno Salad

Is it a salad or is it a salsa?  You decide.  I think of it more as a salad, but others might consider it to be more of a salsa.  To me, a salad is something you can eat on your own, whereas a salsa is usually something you put on top of something else.  I thought and thought about it, and I can’t come up with anything I would actually serve this on top of, but it is absolutely great on its own.  Either way, it is cool, refreshing and perfect for a hot summer’s day.  And again, it is easy-peasy and only requires a few basic ingredients, making it just perfect for the summer, and don’t forget the best part ….  It is DELICIOUS!

IMG_3134

I served this delicious, easy salad along side some shrimp pitas and corn on the cob.  And of course, we enjoyed it all out on our beautiful deck with a light, crisp white wine.

Strawberry Jalapeno Salad

IMG_3131

3 cups strawberries, cored and sliced

1 large jalapeno, diced fine

1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

2 TBSP honey

2-3 TBSP lime juice

fresh mint, chopped

 

IMG_3132

Combine the strawberries, mint, jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro together, mixing well.  The mint is part of the herb bouquet from Julia’s garden.  Yak & Yeti

Mix together the honey, lime juice and salt & pepper.  Add this to the strawberry mixture right before serving it so the strawberries don’t break down and get mushy.

IMG_3133

This cool, refreshing summer salad is perfect to enjoy on those dog days of summer.

IMG_3135

Stay cool.  Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Chocolate Chip & Cherry Brownies

I have been fairly good and don’t make near as many sweets and treats as I used to.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sweets & treats, and that’s the problem.  I love them too much, and I eat them too much as well.  But every now and then, I just have to give in and make some.  This time, I was beckoned with the lure of chocolate chip and cherry brownies.  They are full of cherries so they are healthy, right?!  Well, that’s my story and I am sticking to it.  🙂

The herbs were a gift from Julia and her garden.  Julia arranged them so prettily I just had to put them in a vase too.  🙂 Yak & Yeti

IMG_3127

I love the combination of chocolate and cherries.  It’s one of the best matches out there.  So when I find delicious recipes that combine both of these great tastes together, I just have to make them.  The richness of the chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a perfect match for the tartness of the cherries.  It’s like I am just called to it.  These brownies are ooey and gooey and just plain perfection, even if I do say so myself.

Chocolate Chip & Cherry Brownies

IMG_3120

1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped – dried cherries will work too

2/3 cup water

1 tsp almond extract

4 TBSP butter, melted

6 TBSP canola or vegetable oil

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 oz chocolate chips

1 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups flour

powdered sugar for dusting, optional

 

Chop the cherries and add them to the water and almond extract.  Cook in the microwave for about 1 minute, then let them set for a few minutes before using them, while you are combining the rest of the ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray then line with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray too.  This makes for an easy release with minimal clean-up afterwards.

IMG_3121

Combine all the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips and set aside.

IMG_3122

Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the melted butter, oil and vanilla and combine well.

IMG_3123

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Then add the cherries and incorporate them into the batter.

IMG_3124

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the the brownies are slightly puffed up and a toothpick comes out with just a few brownie crumbs.

IMG_3126

Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into squares.  I always like to dust my brownies with powdered sugar too.  They just look more polished and finished this way, but this is purely optional.

IMG_3128

Enjoy!  It’s hard to stop at just one.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

 

 

 

There Are Many Jeanne’s Out There

I am writing this because lately there has been a lot of confusion.  There are many Jeanne’s out there, and apparently, the way I spell my name J-E-A-N-N-E is a popular spelling too.  I am Jeanne Jones, author and creator of a “A Jeanne in the Kitchen”.  Those of you who follow me know my style, and what I write about.  I write about my recipes that I cook and my experiences.  I write about these things exclusively.  Everything in my blog is 100% mine and are my creations.  I do not write about politics or other subjects.  The ONLY website I have is “A Jeanne in the Kitchen”.  I DO NOT write under any other website or website name.  Lately, there has been some confusion about that because there are other Jeanne’s out there who have blogs too.  I am getting credit for things I did not write or say, and I am also being blamed and falsely accused of  plagiarizing things from other people’s blogs and posts.  If you see something written by ANY OTHER name than “A Jeanne in the Kitchen” I guarantee it DID NOT come from me.  We all make mistakes, but I WILL NOT apologize for things I did not write or say or do, nor do I want to take credit for something that is not mine either.  I hope this clarifies things a bit.

20170930_162615

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – They’re Not Babies Anymore

All my ducklings and goslings have grown up.  They are all so big now.  They have lost all their baby feathers and are almost as big as their parents.  Soon, they will be leaving the nest and will venture off to start their own.  These may the end of the goslings and ducklings for this season.

The not-so-little-anymore ducklings out for a summer’s swim.  I am so jealous.  The pools here STILL have not opened up.  This is the driest I’ve ever been as a swimmer.

IMG_2884

IMG_3072

IMG_3074

Bottoms Up!

IMG_3076

IMG_3077

Swimming with Mom.

IMG_3106

The goslings are all grown up too.  A family who swims together stays together, at least for now.

IMG_2914

IMG_2915

IMG_2917

IMG_3020

The ducklings and goslings bid you all adieu for now.  But they’ll be back.  See ya next spring.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til Next time.

 

Lima Beans with Browned Butter and Ham

Lima beans are legumes that go by many names.  You will know them by different names depending on where you are.  They are known as lima beans, butter beans, sieva beans and Madagascar beans.  They also have a close cousin known as Christmas beans that are very similar but are speckled.  These beans originated in Peru, and date back as far as 6000-5000 BC.  When the Spaniards came to the new world, they named these beans after Lima, Peru, where they first discovered them.  Lima beans are very popular all throughout South America and the Southern parts of the United States.  Just like any beans and legumes, they are very healthy and nutritious and can be cooked and prepared in many different ways.

Since Juneteeth originated as a Southern day of celebration, I prepared them in a traditional Southern way, as part of our Juneteenth celebration.  Celebrating Juneteenth I made them with browned butter and ham.  Simple, yet delicious; just the way I like it.  Browning the butter gives the beans a bit of a nutty flavor.

I thought I had a better picture of them, but alas, I do not.

IMG_3013

Lima Beans with Browned Butter and Ham

IMG_3006

1 stick of butter

32 oz frozen baby lima beans

1 can chicken broth

1/2 lb ham, cubed small

1 TBSP garlic

salt & pepper to taste

 

Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook it for about 5-7 minutes, or until it turns caramel colored.

IMG_3007

Add the lima beans, ham, garlic, salt & pepper and the chicken broth. Partially cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

IMG_3009

Let rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving and enjoy.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.