Our 4th of july 2021

Hope everyone who celebrates had a safe and fun 4th of July holiday. Our 4th of July this year was very different from last year’s celebration. In contrast to last year where everyone on our street and all over the Bay Area came out to blast the evening away, no one on our street lit any including Mr Sweetie who looks forward to lighting fireworks year after year. We did not want to light fireworks in respect to city officials’ requests to hold off due to threats of wild fires. Of course, it still did not prevent people from lighting even a week before July 4.

We spent July 4th weekend finishing up renovating the kitchen floor. Well, he did all the work but I spent all of Saturday putting things back and reorganizing after the final tile was dry enough. We were so pooped that it was pizza night delivery that evening. All the hard work was so worth it, though. Mr Sweetie did a fantastic job and I have a beautiful new kitchen floor! For Sunday, July 4th, I cooked up a storm. On the menu:

  • Tomatoes, avocado, red onion and lime salsa served with tortilla chips
  • New York steak for him
  • Salmon for me
  • Sides: Twice baked potatoes and corn on the cob
  • Berry Cobbler for dessert

HOW I COOKED THE STEAK AND SALMON:

I was proud of myself for making this meal. The steak was perfectly medium rare. I seasoned the steak with salt and pepper, and seared it first on high heat (using a combination of vegan butter and oil) then lowered the heat to medium. I cooked it for about 8 minutes on one side then about 6 minutes on another. As you can tell, the salmon was still raw in these photos. I waited until the steak was done and let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the juices return to the meat. Then I cooked my salmon in the steak oil and juices until it was just little bit done but still pink in the middle. It gave the salmon a nice flavor of the meat but the taste of the oil and butter were not overwhelming. Plus I was trying to be efficient and creative.

I will let the photos do the talking at this point. I hope to post the recipe for my Berry Cobbler next.

Have a lovely summer season!

Cornbread with green chiles

Happy first of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “5th of May”) is a celebration of Mexico’s cultural heritage and pride. The festivities include parades, mariachi band performances, street festivals and of course — margaritas!

Mr Sweetie is Mexican-American which is why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated at our house. (Ok, I admit, it is a great excuse reason to make and drink margaritas at home! This is the one and only time each year that we ever drink hard liquor at home. He is not a drinker while I like wine and champagne, and the occasional drinks with girlfriends.)

The idea of drinking fruity margarita on a weekday seems fun and naughty whenever Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekday. However, this post is not about margaritas. It is really about corn bread with green chiles. The recipe has been adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin. It is called Spanish Corn Bread in the book. Jubilee is such a wonderful cookbook that I found at the San Francisco Public Library. The photos are mouthwatering. The book is a celebration of African-American cuisine and its history. It gained many accolades including being a winner of the coveted James Beard Award.

I made the Spanish cornbread in June 2020, just less than 3 months after California went into the first lockdown. I thought that May will be the best month to post it in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. This cornbread is so moist, so good, so delicious — the best one ever that it is a keeper. I will definitely make it over and over again! And in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I chose to post this delicious corn bread recipe.

I thought that I would also include my pretty little doll in the photos that I got during our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2016, as well as the red bowl that I bought from a market in Mexico. They remind me of beautiful memories of our travels.

CORNBREAD WITH GREEN CHILES

Adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin

  • 1 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c cream-style corn
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 – 4oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 c minced green onions
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbps butter, cubed into pieces

TO MAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the corn, buttermilk, chiles, cheese and egg. Gently fold in the green onions.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron pan in the oven until foamy. Do not burn. Tilt the pan to coat it with the melted butter. Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

MY NOTES

  1. Of course the original recipe is perfect but I would like to honor and respect not just copyright laws but the efforts and love that went into creating it by re-writing the recipe in my own words as much as possible. (I also do not want to plagiarize!)
  2. The changes that I made were: 1) Instead of using onions, I used green onions. 2) I also used a different title for my post from the original title in the book “Spanish Cornbread.”
  3. When I made the cornbread, I made half with chiles and half without. I only included the chiles in one half of the batter. The other half was just cornbread without the chiles. I made it this way because I knew that Mr Sweetie would not want chiles in his. I poured half of the batter without the chiles first then I mixed in the chiles with the other half then I poured that half into the skillet. It worked!
  4. I also used self-rising flour and omitted the baking soda, salt and baking powder.
  5. This cornbread is so good drizzled with honey!

Did you make CORNBREAD WITH CHILES? Please let me know by leaving a comment on the blog or on Instagram @msfoodloversfcooks. Enjoy!

Happy 1st of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo!