Flour tortillas

These. Are. Amazing. I can say that without bragging because it’s not my recipe; I just made ’em.

This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I scribbled down on a piece of paper without much documentation; I’ll assume it’s either from one of his NYT articles or from How to Cook Everything. These top every single homemade tortilla I’ve ever made or eaten, and they’re quick and easy to boot. NO BRAINER.

Flour tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 oz) AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lard (yes, lard, people — don’t be afraid)
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Dust off your food processor and dump in the flour, salt and lard; pulse about ten times to cut in the fat
  2. With the machine running, add the water till the dough kind of all the sudden comes together in a ball
  3. Dump it on the counter and knead by hand for about one minute, then wrap in plastic wrap to rest for at least 15 minutes, but up to all day at room temperature
  4. Cut the dough into six pieces and heat a large (cast iron if you have it) skillet for 4-5 minutes on medium; roll out or press the tortillas till they’re quite thin, then cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, till little browned spots appear. Eat immediately (duh), or keep warm by wrapping in a towel, or cool then keep in the fridge in a large zip top bag.

I used these to make quesadillas with some leftover steak and cheese, but they’re also heavenly for veggie wraps, or slathered in butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled up for breakfast. Enjoy!

 

Caesar dressing

We had one glorious almost-70-degree day here in Nashville and it made me SO READY for spring rightnowthisinstant. This, of course, made me want a good salad! I found this dressing recipe in Rick & Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures, which I love. The recipe is insanely quick, easy and good, which I also love.

Caesar dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. Crush peeled garlic (putting it in the microwave for about 5 seconds first will make this easier) into a 2-cup glass jar with a lid
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the jar, cover tightly and shake
  3. Store in jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Enjoy, y’all. Spring is coming!

Yeast rolls

My sister accused me of stealing these from Logan’s and passing them off as my own. They are that yummy. This is, of course, a King Arthur Flour recipe; can you ever go wrong with those? I think not.

Yeast rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast; I use instant/bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups AP flour (12 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Instructions

  1. If you use anything but instant yeast then quit it; it’s too high maintenance. I kid! Mostly. Not really. No, but if you’re using non-instant yeast dissolve it in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar and let it sit for 15 minutes; otherwise go to step two
  2. Combine all ingredients and knead together in a stand mixer for about six or seven minutes on the second speed; the dough should clean the sides of the bowl and probably stick a little on the bottom; you don’t want it too dry
  3. Let the dough rise, covered, in a lightly greased bowl at room temperature until it’s just about doubled; this will probably take about an hour but make sure you give it enough time to get nice and puffy
  4. When dough is puffy lightly grease two 9″ round pans (I use a pie plate) or a 9×13″ pan with butter, then gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a silicone mat or a lightly greased cookie sheet to work with it; cut into 16 roughly even pieces
  5. Shape each piece into a ball, pulling the dough down to the bottom of the ball so it makes a tight skin around itself; place eight rolls in each pie/cake pan or all in the big pan spacing them out as evenly as possible (they won’t be touching at this point), then cover with lightly greased plastic wrap
  6. Preheat the oven to 350, and let the rolls rise at room temperature till they’re all nice and puffy and touching each other, filling out the pan
  7. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until they’re nice and golden brown on the top; remove from oven and top with butter if you’re feeling particularly decadent (I clearly was) and let them cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Or your mouth (I kid — too hot! For a minute anyway)

I must add: if you’ve never had one of these for breakfast the next morning spread with Nutella, you’re just not really living.

Savory pasta

This started as a desperation side dish (i.e. “OMGit’s7:30whatcanImakeintenminutes?!”) and turned out to be so tasty! It’s definitely going in the rotation.

Savory pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pasta
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil and sprinkle in some salt
  2. Add in pasta and stir; reduce heat to medium-low (you want it just barely simmering) and put a lid on the pot; let it simmer according to cooking time on the pasta box
  3. When time is up pour into a bowl (there will be just barely any chicken broth left; pour it in too) and add a splash of olive oil. Toss to evenly coat pasta, then sprinkle with cheese.

Quick and easy, folks!

Guacamole

On a trip to Hilton Head Island the Yankee and I discovered this dish: guacamole topped with crab meat. This is a win. I set out to recreate it as soon as we got home, and I’m pretty pleased with the result! This is a huge party hit, too; I highly recommend.

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • Two ripe avocados
  • Two Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste, but about 1/2 tsp.
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (or some onion powder if you hate the crunch of raw onion)
  • Eight ounces lump crab meat, drained
  • Chips (obviously)

Instructions

  1. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork
  2. Stir in tomatoes, pepper, cumin, pepper, salt and lime juice, plus onion if you’re using it
  3. Top with crab meat and serve with chips