Every summer I put up roasted chile peppers from my garden to use throughout the year, and every year I do the same dumb thing. I try to peel the last of the skin off the peppers with my bare hands. Yes, the delicate skins on some of the peppers are difficult to peel, and yes, latex gloves are really clumsy, BUT, hot peppers are hot for a reason. You may not notice it right away, but the peppers WILL burn your hands and that chemical burn is hard to soothe. Soaking your hands in an ice water bath may feel like it’s helping, but in reality all you are doing is spreading that pepper oil further along your skin, and as soon as you take your hands out of the water the burning resumes. I have better things to do than sit with my hands in a bowl of ice water for the next foreseeable future. Fortunately, this year I did find something of a remedy on the internet. If you find yourself in the same predicament, try this: First, douse your hands really well with rubbing alcohol. Then scrub the heck out of your hands with dish soap. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Usually three repetitions will suffice. Your hands may still burn just a little, but not like they are on fire. Lesson learned? Maybe not! Ask me next year.
Along with peppers, I always grow as many tomatoes as I can manage as well as a few fresh herbs. Every summer, the peppers, tomatoes, and herbs all jump into my Dutch oven together to become a pot of Rotelle . This multi-purpose condiment is a flavorful addition to Mexican recipes, but it’s also an excellent topping for nachos or simply served as a dipping sauce for tortilla chips. This recipe makes a big batch, although it can easily be scaled down. Simmer it until the sauce thickens to your liking.
A couple of new recipes recently made it onto the menu.
Mexican Manicotti is a tasty fusion of Tex-Mex and Italian. Creamy cheesy filled pasta tubes are nestled into a rich beefy sauce, then baked. This recipe uses no boil lasagna noodles that have been soaked in boiling water as the shell. It doesn’t get much easier than that! I split this dish into two portions and froze half for one of those busy, no-time-to-cook days.
King Ranch Chicken Pasta Soup is my newest addition to a growing collection of electric pressure cooker recipes. Although July isn’t what I would think of as soup season, this is more like a very saucy pasta rather than a steamy, warming soup. Call it what you will, it’s very good and very easy to make.
Have I mentioned that I’m now in love with electric pressure cookers? Having a self-proclaimed low threshold of boredom, I’m having a great time exploring what these gadgets can do, I’m not a paid spokesman for any one company, but I do feel the Instant Pot brand may be superior. I originally purchased a large cooker from another manufacturer, but the smaller Instant Pot versions are, in my own opinion, the better choice, both in construction and function. I’m just sayin’.
I’m getting a little long winded here. Maybe my Blogger’s Block is finally going away. Anyway, do you remember last winter when I wondered whether or not our koi and goldfish could survive in a frozen pond?
Well, here’s the answer!
Be thankful for what life gives you.