Spring is always so full of surprises. It doesn't seem to ever matter that each year these particular surprises return again and again. They are always received with such joy and hope of new things to come.
Not long ago, my sister-in-law, Jill, gave me the cookbook, "Colorado Classique". While paging through it the other day, I came across this recipe for Cuban Sandwiches that really sounded like it might be delicious. I made them last night, and everyone really liked them. I didn't make them on a French baguette as the recipe suggested, that just seemed too small for a dinner. Instead I made them on a regular loaf of French bread. The only thought was perhaps some way to make them a bit spicier. I think next time I may try adding some peppers to give it a bit more kick. Nonetheless, the recipe is a keeper.
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 cup minced onion
2 tsp. oregano
1 cup olive oil
3-4 pounds pork roast
Combine all pork ingredients and marinate overnight. Drain pork, reserving marinade. Brown pork in a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to seal in juices. Place browned pork and 3/4 cup reserved marinade in a greased crock pot. Cook for 8 to 10 hours. Shred pork.
1 French baguette bread
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Cuban Pork
4 deli slices Black Forest ham
4 deli slices Swiss cheese
4-6 dill pickle slices
To make sandwich, prehead oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Butter inside of both halves. Layer pork, ham, cheese, and pickle on one side of bread. Place top of bread on sandwich and press down. Wrap in foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or grill with butter in a skillet or pressed in a sandwich press. Sandwich should be served hot with cheese melted so flavors can combine.
When I was a little girl, I can remember at times waiting with anticipation for my dad to come home from work. The reason the wait would be a highlight was because sometimes he would bring me home a surprise. The surprise that stands out in my mind most prominently was a 5th Avenue candy bar. What a treat that would be! He would walk in the door and hand me my candy bar. I loved receiving this little gift from him; and after so many years, the 5th Avenue is still my favorite candy bar. I'm quite certain it is my favorite because of the fond memories attached to it. To this day I never pick one up without thinking of my dad, and his smiling face. I don't often buy one for myself, but occasionally my daughters will come home from town, greet me with their smiling faces, and pass me a surprise -- a 5th Avenue candy bar.
When it comes to buying yeast, I typically buy mine in bulk. And to be even more specific, I prefer buying the SAF Instant Yeast (for me, this yeast works like magic). After I have opened the vacuum sealed package, I then transfer the contents to a small canister with a tight lid that I keep in the refrigerator. I bake along happily using my yeast, until I come upon a recipe that calls for a "package" of yeast. At this point I am usually stumped trying to remember just how much yeast comes in a package; because you see I no longer have my original package from my bulk yeast which I'm sure gives the proper equivalents on the back of it. I always manage to find somewhere that 2 1/4 tsp. yeast is found in a small package. And no matter how many times this happens to me, I never can remember this particular measurement. But now, I have come across an actual "yeast measuring spoon". It measures precisely 2 1/4 tsp. This is really going to be nice!
In great contrast to some of you that live farther east, our winter has been the mildest winter since somewhere back in the 1920's. We have only had about 7 inches of total snow overall. Even though the mountains have been getting some snow, I haven't been skiing even once this year. Without having all of the snow right outside my door, it's hard to get in the right frame of mind for winter sports. As the days click by, the prospect for snow gets less and less. So in light of this, I am really getting ready for some spring weather. And to add to this excitement, my tulips are starting to make an appearance. These truly bring a smile to my face.
A couple of weeks ago, on a cloudy January afternoon, I asked my daughters if they wanted to have tea with me. We quickly put together a spur-of-the-moment tea party. I had some special paper plates that I had originally purchased to use on Valentine's Day; but decided they just seemed appropriate for this little party. I pulled a box of "special" cookies out of the pantry that I had been saving for a special tea party; and my daughters gathered up some other fun little treats. We decided that we should make it a weekly tradition. Last week we followed suit, and another tea party is scheduled for this afternoon. I can hardly wait.
At the end of December, I wrote about mangoes. You may or may not recall this particular post, or the picture of the funny looking seed that I retrieved from inside of this delicious fruit. I had to plant the seed to find out just exactly what a mango tree looked like. Now, a month later, I officially have my very own mango tree! In my opinion, it is quite funny looking. The leaves just kind of hang downward as you can see in the photo. I'm thinking of clipping off the top of it to see if it will branch out like other trees would. For now though, it is keeping me entertained while I wait for spring to arrive and change the dreariness that you see outside the window.