Saturday, January 15, 2011

Los Potreros in Laurens, SC

Anybody for some Mexican?  That was the question ringing through my house yesterdayevening.  Of course the answer was a resounding "YES".  But where to go?  How about up to Greenville?  Some pretty good eateries around the area.  Been there, done that.  Everybody goes to Greenville.  Welllllll....
Laurens is overlooked many times when it comes to places to go out for food.  It just seems that whenever someone goes out, they choose another city.  In fact, Laurens has some wonderful places to eat, including our choice for the evening, Los Potreros Mexican Restaurant.
My mother-in-law, my wife and  myself headed out, braving the remainder of our record snowfall and made our way to what we hoped would be a great meal. 
We arrived a bit early (about 5:30pm) and found the parking lot fairly empty.  Great!  We found a parking space close to the front door and made our way in.  The dining area wasn't quite empty but there was no dearth of booths in which to sit.  The waiter (owner? cousin?) promptly appeared at our table and offered to take our drink order, which we were very happy to give.  Then the obligatory chips (fresh fried) and site made salsa (both mild and hot) appeared as if by magic.  Excellent. 
We each ordered our meal (mine was Chimichangas ) and settled down to stuff ourselves with chips while waiting.  It didn't take long. The cook certainly knew what he or she was doing.  My plate was filled to overflowing with two fried, beef chimichangas along with shredded lettuce, tomato slice, sour cream, guacamole, re fried beans and cheese.  Man!  Everything went together perfectly and the Pina Collada on the side was the perfect complement to the meal.  The waiter kept checking back every few minutes and making sure to assist us should we need anything. 
My wife and mother-in-law complimented the kitchen on their orders as well.  All in all it was a very good dinner and very affordable as well.
So, if you are in the Laurens area and have a taste for some Mexican food .. by all means check out Los Potreros, just down the street from Wall Mart.  You will certainly enjoy it!
And tell the owners that you heard it here!!

PS .. Click on the Recipe tab on the right side of this blog and you will find recipes to many of the meals we have enjoyed.  Beginning with the Chimichangas!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making the Most of the Snow! [Snow Ice-Cream]

Here in the upstate of South Carolina, we are experiencing something that is fairly rare here.  Snow, and lots of it!  We got a taste of the white stuff on Christmas Day and were amazed at our good fortune to see it.  Then the weather folks on TV started talking about a serious winter storm for last night and today.  Well, here we sit!  Snowed in and nowhere to go!
So what do you and the wife do when you are snowed in, there are no kids at home and you are getting cabin fever?  Well .. yeah .. you can do that, but we did that this morning.  Then we ate.  Then we cleaned some in the house.  Then we worked on some crafts in hopes that planning for the spring festival season might help pass the time.  Then we ate some more.  Then ... then ... Hey!  I know!  We can make SNOWCREAM! 
What, you've never had snowcream?  For shame.  You haven't lived till you gather a large bowl of fresh snow, raid the sugar bin, find the vanilla extract and hope you have enough milk!  That's it!

Old South Snow Cream

Ingredients:  I just gave them to you.  Oh, well,  here tihey are again.
1:   Large Pot of Fresh Snow .. As large as you have.  ( Folk wisdom says to wait on the second snow of the season, since the first is full of all the bad stuff in the atmosphere )  (Also, never .. and I repeat .. NEVER, gather the yellow snow.  It tastes very bad!)
MILK :  The amount is relative to the amount of snowcream that you intend to make.  I always start with at least a half gallon.  I may not use all of it, but just in case.  You can substitute sweetened condensed milk.  If you do, then you can back off on the amount of sugar that you add.
Sugar:  Again, have a good bit (at least a couple of pounds) depending on amount of snowcream being made as well as your taste for sweetness!  (You can also substitute Splenda to cut down on the calories a little.)
Vanilla Extract:  Always best to use the real stuff and leave the "Vanilla Flavoring" on the shelf at Wally World.  Start with 2 to 3 tsp. and then go with the 'to taste' method.
Now is the fun part.  Here  you can add basically anything you want.  Like, strawberries, bleuberries, bananas, pineapple .. anything you want to flavor your cream .. add it!  Want some pecans?  Add it!  Want some maple flavor?  Add some syrup!  Want chocolate?  Add it!  Have a ball!  (Don't add that!)

Add milk (or sweetened condenced milk) to pot of snow till mixture is of a creamy texture.  This involves adding the milk slowly in order to not get the mix to sloppy.
When the texture is consistent with regular icecream, then you start adding the sugar.  Again, add this ingredient slowly.  It is very easy to add too much and that is as bad as not enough.
Now add the Vanilla Extract.  Start with 2 tsp.  This will give the cream a more mellow, smooth flow to the ultimate flavor.
And now, whatever else you may want to add.  Though it is difficult to make Neapolitan, but give it a shot if you want.

And finally:   Enjoy!!

Now, what else can the wife and I do to kill five minutes?