Homemade Tortillas and 7 layer Tortilla Pie…..

The other day I wanted to make 7 Layer Tortilla Pie, but realized I had no tortillas…so River and I made some homemade ones.  We made the dough and River did all the rolling work!  She did every tortilla while I fried them!  They turned out delicious and made the tortilla pie extra yummy!  I’m not sure if I would make them again.  They were delicious, but they were also a lot of work.  I think if I made them again, I would try freezing them, so that I could make  a lot and then have them when I needed them!  The recipe made a lot more than we needed and by the next day they weren’t as delicious.  I guess I could have just frozen the dough and then fried them when I needed them.

Seven Layer Tortilla Pie




2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drainedand rinsed1 cup salsa, divided2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and


1/2 cup chopped tomatoes7 (8 inch) flour tortillas2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddarcheese

1 cup salsa

1/2 cup sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mash pinto beans. Stir in 3/4 cup salsa and garlic.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup salsa, cilantro, black beans and tomatoes.
4. Place 1 tortilla in a pie plate or tart dish. Spread 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with 1/4 cup cheese, and cover with another tortilla. Spread with 2/3 cup black bean mixture, and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering twice. Cover with remaining tortilla, and spread with remaining pinto bean mixture and cheese.
5. Cover with foil, and bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2011 Allrecipes.com

Printed from Allrecipes.com 7/29/2011



Challah Bread in the Bread Machine…..

River had Challah bread at preschool…have I mentioned that she LOVES preschool…..and so, we just had to make some at home.  And, of course, I had to use the bread machine.  After searching the internet for some recipes..I settled on this recipe.  River was very excited to make it and patiently waited for it to be finished.  It was a huge loaf!  And was very delicious!!  As you can see, at least one of the babies was in the background, cooperating, as we baked!!

Jewish Bread Machine Challah Bread

This bread machine challah recipe is adapted from “The Artisan Bread Machine” by Judith Fertig.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1 large beaten egg yolk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant or bread-machine yeast
  • 1 large beaten egg for egg wash
  • Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
  • .


  1. Add salt, egg(s), water, honey and oil to the bread pan. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add yeast.
  2. Select the Basic / White or Sweet cycle and the Dough setting and press Start.
  3. Remove dough from bread pan, transfer to a floured surface and punch down gently. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a 10-inch long rope. Lay the three ropes out parallel to each other on a floured surface so they are very close, but not touching. Braid ropes together snugly. Tuck ends under to form an oblong loaf.
  4. Brush braid with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired, pressing the seeds into the dough.
  5. Bake in oven at 375° for approximately 20 minutes.

Yucca and Chayote……

So, Tuesday decided we should try some new foods…so this weekend, when we were at the grocery food store, we picked out yucca and chayote.  Yucca is a tropical root vegetable and chayote is a type of squash.  Both sounded interesting.

I looked up some recipes and decided to make yucca fries.  You had to cut them up and then boil them with garlic and bay leaves for 30 minutes.  After the yucca was boiled, you fried it….just like french fries.  The chayote, I decided to just saute in some olive oil.

Well, did we enjoy it…..they were alright.  The yucca fries did taste pretty much like normal fries…..if we put ketchup on them….you probably couldn’t tell the difference.  The chayote was a bit bland.  I think if I had used a different recipe, it would have tasted better.  I think the worst part was that my house still smells like frying yucca!  I can’t get rid of the smell…….(I know my plate below looks a bit sparse..but I still have a bit of morning sickness and the thought of the yucca and chayote didn’t really appeal to me too much!!)

What’s the big deal about batter……

I’ve just never been a big batter fan….cake batter, cookie dough batter, brownie batter….I just want to finish up, wash the dish and be done with it….

But not so with the rest of my family….it is considered a crime if I wash the bowl, spoons, spatulas or mixers without letting everyone lick the remains of every drop of batter!  I just don’t get it……

I’ve gotten in trouble for accidentally putting the bowl in the sink and filling it with water…..this is just what I do…naturally…I cook and then I immediately clean..I don’t go around the house making sure everyone has a lick!  Well, now I do…in fact, it has gotten so bad that we now have a rotating schedule..who gets the bowl, the spatula and the spoon and/or mixer!  The things we do for our family……

Homemade Somoas….

So, last week we were all talking about how much we loved the Girl Scout cookies…samoas…and I said I wish I could find a recipe for them.  So, my husband found me a recipe on the internet.  And we just had to give them a try.  This link has incredibly detailed instructions:


Our samoas did not turn out as pretty as the ones in the recipe or the Girl Scout ones….but they tasted incredible.

I will say that the recipe didn’t make as many as we had hoped.  So, the next time we make the recipe..and there will definitely be a next time…we will probably TRIPLE the recipe and maybe try freezing some!

It was definitely a lot of work.  There were a lot of steps and it made a huge mess…..another reason for making more..so you don’t have to make them as often.  You could probably do the recipe in two days….one day make the cookies..and the next day finish them with all the topppings.

Let’s just say that they are already almost gone!  If you are a fan of the Girl Scout Samoas….I highly recommend the recipe!

In case you don’t want to click through the whole instructable tutorial…here is the basic recipe…..simplified a bit.

Homemade Samoas

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 115g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the topping, you’ll need:

  • 225g (3 cups) shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 15-oz soft caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate

Cream together your butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add this to the butter mixture.

Finally, at low speed, add in the milk and vanilla.

Wrap the dough in plastic or store in tupperware.  Refrigerate until the dough is as firm as a stick of butter.

While the dough is refrigerating, preheat your oven to 350F (180C).

Toast the shredded coconut on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.   Let cool while shaping and baking cookies.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface.

Cut out the shapes with a biscuit cutter, or two differently-size round cutters.

Bake your batches of cookies one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes.

Place your caramels, milk and salt in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for 1 minute at a time, stopping to stir, until nice and melted (3-4minutes).  If you’re using homemade caramels, you can reduce the amount of milk and microwave time.  If you are using hard caramels, increase the milk.

Stir the toasted coconut into the caramel mixture.

Using a knife, an offset spatula, spread the caramel mixture on top of your cookies.  Be generous.

Lay out a sheet of waxed paper for your cookies to rest on once they’re all chocolate-botttomed.

Chop up your chocolate and microwave it in 30 second bursts, stirring between each, until nice and melted.

Dip the bottoms of your cookies into the chocolate and place on waxed paper.

Use the remaining melted chocolate to drizzle over top of the cookies once they’re all dipped.  A spoon works for this, but a piping bag or the corner snipped off a plastic baggie makes ’em prettier.

That’s it!  Store in an air tight container for best results.

If you have left over caramel and coconut, use a couple spoons or a dough scoop and make little candies out of them.  Bon-bon/truffle type candies of caramelly coconutty deliciousness topped in chocolate.

Homemade poptarts…..

I read a blog called This Mamma makes Stuff and  once I saw this post about homemade poptarts…I knew I had to make them!  The original homemade poptart recipe that Carrie used was from  smitten kitchen.  (I’m not going to include the recipe..since it is quite long and involved..but if you click on the smitten kitchen link, you’ll find it!)  So, this weekend, we gave it a try…it was a lot of fun and really easy.  For fillings, we made strawberry jam (homemade from my mother-in-law!), chocolate and cinnamon brown sugar!  They were incredibly delicious.  They didn’t turn out at pretty as the ones from the other websites…but that’s okay..we had so much fun making them.  If I make them again, I might try a different dough recipe….and I’ve been told that I should also put icing on them!

Brioche in the bread machine…..

So, this week I decided to try to make a sweet bread.  I had never had brioche before, so I had nothing to compare the recipe to.  I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com…which is a site I love for recipes.    There were some suggestions for tweaking the recipe a bit…..so I gave it a try!  The recipe took a lot of eggs!!  But it made a huge loaf of bread!  While it was cooking, it tasted so delicious!  We were all excited to give it a try while it was still warm out of the oven!

And we weren’t disappointed..it was delicious…warm with a little bit of butter!  The next day Christopher made french toast with it….it was incredibly absorbent..and required a lot more eggs…but delicious and filling!  River ate it the rest of the week for breakfast.  Overall, I loved this recipe and will definitely make it again!

French Brioche


  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cups butter, softened
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast


  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Place the first seven ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by your manufacturer. Select sweet bread, dough cycle.
  2. Turn finished dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead 5 to 10 times. Separate into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll with hands into strips. Braid or twist strips together. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Optional:  Whisk together 1 egg white and the water. Brush onto the top of the loaf.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Beer Bread in the Bread Machine…..

Over the weekend, I tried another bread recipe….beer bread.  I have never made a beer bread nor eaten a beer bread, though I have heard many people mention it.  I am not a beer fan..I think even the smell of beer is unpleasant….but I wanted to give it a try….

I actually made two loaves of the bread.  The first time I made the recipe, I used a Belgium wheat beer, which my husband said is delicious.  The second time I made the beer, I used an organic India pale ale….that supposedly has a very strong, bitter taste.  There was a slight difference between the two loaves, but I still thought each was delicious.  My daughter, Tuesday, did not like the second loaf at all…she said it was not nearly as good as the first.  So, when you are making the bread, you do have to consider the type of beer you are using.

But, in general, I thought the bread was delicious and very “robust”….it was a good, thick bread that I thought was perfect for sandwiches.

Basic Beer Bread in a Bread Maker


  • 12 oz. can or bottle of room temperature beer
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast


1.  Open the beer and pour it into a bowl. Whisk to get out as much of the carbonation as possible.

2.  Pour the flat beer into the “bread bucket” in your bread machine. Add the oil, flour, salt, brown sugar or honey,  and yeast. You can add the dry ingredients in any order, and there’s no need to stir.

3.  Set the bread machine to run on the “basic” or white bread, dough cycle.

4.  Bake at 375° for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.