Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who's Your Turtle Dove?

With no real inspiration but to eat, I set out to make tuna burgers on flat sandwich bread. If I couldn't be creative, at least I could go healthy. Tuna, Panko bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, hot pepper flakes and patties they became. Heated those up in just a spritz of cooking spray and added green apple slices and tomato. A little broccoli side.

While I was cooking for my family (okay, just P), there was a pretty turtle dove outside also taking care of and feeding hers. Right on the limb outside the kitchen window. She had both little ones perched under some shade. It looked as though this may have been one of their first real outings. The father dove was around to protect. Pretty cool little scene. I don't get out much.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey You!

I had some pork meat and potatoes. I cooked up the meat as if I was making a stew, floured and browned then left to simmer covered with stock for an hour. I threw the potatoes in about 40 minutes in. At the end I added a good cup of roasted tomato salsa and it just woke up the whole pot! A Mexican wake up call if you wish. Great use of the vat of this salsa I had leftover. The broth was just as rich as the meat itself.

I Musta Got Lost

It's real fuzzy to me why P was actually cooking on this day. He made a very small pork roast and actually pulled the meat for these toasted pork sandwiches with Mexican cheese. I had to snap some pics because its a rare occasion when he cooks. I musta been sick or lost or was having emotional issues, I can't remember. But it was enough that he got his ass in that kitchen and to the store.

Even got me a fruit salad! These were better than they look. Everything tastes better when someone makes it for you, dontcha think?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tonight I'm Gonna Party for 3.99

There was a street festival happening outside and we were brain dead doing a Target run for something boring. I smelled the hoagie cart with their huge sausage links and thought I couldn't allow myself to buy them but maybe I could recreate a slightly healthier version at home. While at Target though I found these frozen curly fries and then it just felt like destiny. This was meant me to be.

I took turkey sausage links and just sauteed strips of red pepper and onions. Added pepperoncini peppers and it was an instant my mouth! If you haven't tried the turkey sausage, you absolutely must! Shady Brook Farms Italian turkey sausage. You get like 6 huge links for 3.99 not on sale at PathMark.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy Like a Sunday Morning

No fireworks here but I do have to say that mixing a can of that new Campbell's Orange Tomato Soup with a can of fire roasted tomatoes and hot pepper flakes works for me! And its something that's really good but super easy. I love that. And what works for P is a grilled cheese and tomato soup, so I sort of dressed up the grilled cheese by using a whole wheat English muffin, added onion and tomato.

A great quick and easy lunch-type supper.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Am So Into You, I Can't Think Of Nothing Else

Two amazing leftover dishes. Can I just reiterate what a golden spot I'm in having all these leftover salsas from the party ready to go and added to a dish to make it staggeringly good?

So the morning breakfast dish was diced sweet potato with chorizo over warmed corn torts and topped with poached eggs. Pretty as it was delicious!

The fresh tart green salsa over top of the eggs was the best flavor combination with those sweet potatoes and savory chorizo. Felt like something you'd have to pay a lot of money for someone to make for you.

Nachos to me are like pizza. You almost can't make a bad batch as long as you have at least the chips and the cheese. But I love to eat them as a meal with black beans, plenty of chopped red onions, sliced fresh jalapenos and cold tomatoes.

Served them with a trio of salsas and some sour cream. I'm rich in condiments and I couldn't be happier! I don't think I've stopped smiling all week!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Come and Get Your Love

I love the sound of citrus chicken. I also love lemon, limes or oranges in just about anything so this night I simply marinated chicken breast meat in fresh squeezed orange juice, spices and olive oil for about an hour. Then cooked it in a little fresh juice, jalapeno and chili powder, cumin and fresh cilantro. I poured that over canned pinto beans and frozen corn.

Luckily I had plenty of my fresh pico de gallo left over and also my green tomatillo salsa. A dollop of Daisy sourcream on top and there was no place else to go but to dive right into that plate!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Just Want To Celebrate

Our friend J finished his new record and even though I've learned there are various levels to that statement, he had a burned copy in hand and we were able to throw him a little shin-dig to celebrate, eat and give a full concentrated listen to each of the songs in their entirety.

That was one thing I really enjoyed about the retail music industry is their honor of a new recording from artists. They gave that work the respect it deserved and even made a party out of it for the people who were going to try to make it fly, the buyers, the store managers, the marketers who all were really just poorly paid fans in the end.

So now sober, for me secondary to the music it becomes about the food. J had talked about chile relleno just about every time we got together for the last year. I always thought that I really needed to attempt to make them for him at some point. However, that is one dish I've only tried once way long ago in SF and one that seemed time consuming and detailed, so it scared me. But that was my anchor dish and therefore created the theme. Surprise, surprise a Mexican food theme. Who would have guessed? Well, hey.

Like everytime, I attempt too many dishes. I get excited.

Fresh tomatillo salsa, bright and so essence of green tasting. I perk up just thinking about it. I usually roast the tomatillos and add many more roasted jalapenos but this time I kept it lighter with less heat. The fresh jalapenos by the way also have a sharper taste that makes this salsa past amazing.

I did keep the roasted roma salsa flavored with chipotle. Always fun.

Newcomers were the Edamame hummus. That will be back!

White bean dip, which was really a hummus too because it had added Tahini paste.

Korean shortribs made with deboned flaken cut meat recipe courtesy of the Paupered Chef. ... The marinade was slammin'. Do the kids say slammin' anymore?

Chicken satay with built-in peanut sauce. This was from the Steamy Kitchen website. What a timesaver to build in the sauce with the marinade! Genius idea, not mine but I was able to execute correctly and these were money. Do the kids still say money?

Mini Chile Relleno made with jalapeno peppers. Keeping with the snack, finger-food idea for party-ease, I wanted to make all items small. However, time, age and skill all played a factor in my decision to downsize this project to not include the important batter element. After making the delicate sauce, deseeding and par-boiling the peppers, chopping and frying the hard chorizo, grating the cheese, I realized I was unable to finalize the recipe without loosing my mind. And have you ever tried to seal a 3/4" stuffed jalapeno with toothpicks? Let alone 40 of them?? It's a sucker's game. But you know that sauce was whack! Made me want to slap your mother. It not only saved the dish but took it to eleven.

So before I die let it be known that I am the true inventor of whacky cones. This idea was brewing for years and years but as with everything I dragged my heels and now there are countless 'cups' and whatnot that everyday cooks make using tortillas baked in formed containers. In this case I used cupcake tins and flour tortilla triangles. Baked until crisped and then stuffed with my whacky guacky-mole made with chorizo, corn and sometimes black beans. These were really fun to eat.

To end the snack-fest I made my tried and true raspberry cream cheese swirl brownies.

The record sounded magical. The room took on a warm glow and P positioned the speakers to envelope the space. After the first note we all sort of slunk into our chairs and got lost in the sound. J tends to make songs that take you way out of the earth's atmosphere somehow and you end up places in your mind that you forgot existed. In other words, we all really liked the record and came out the other end looking like we just stepped off the new roller coaster ride.

Much tequila was consumed in shots.
There were sub-stories going on this night, like the fact that I haven't seen our friend M in way too long and who is moving and who I am trying to talk into writing a movie review blog because he does a yearly list and sees more movies that anyone could imagine. J was also debuting his new girlfriend to us. She, S, was a vegetarian who unfortunately had food allergies to peppers, one of the main ingredients in about every dish so of course I felt like a heel each time I brought something out that she couldn't eat. I knew this a couple of days beforehand but had already bought all the food, so I added the hummus dishes and some cheese nachos to the mix the night of in the hopes of at least providing a few fun nibbles for her.

But as everyone got settled in, talked a bit, ate a bit, drank a bit and laughed I just felt so happy to be there and nothing was important other than celebrating, honoring and respecting each other.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


There are many bonus joys of throwing a little party. One of my favorites is waking up and laughing about stupid stuff we said or did the night before with a nice big cup of coffee. We go over some of the highlights and fill each other in on anything we may have missed. This ritual was developed in early years after mass amounts of liquor or drugs were consumed which made the list much longer and the time spent going over missed items run into the early evening.
But even now that I can remember every thing in detail, I still say about the same amount of stupid things so the laughter never ends.
Another big dividend is the leftovers. And this time it was a Mexican monkey's paradise. All the salsas, dips, nachos, guacky...pieces of grilled beef and chicken, toasted bread that never made the table and the list goes on... The raspberry cheesecake swirl brownies keep on giving until you just can't allow yourself another bite.
And just because it was so festive, I whipped up some fresh pico de gallo with nice ripe peaches cubed in.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Live and Let Fry

Added turkey bacon to my regular health sandwiches that include sprouts, tomato, onion and avocado on toasted wheat bread. Of course, even tastier.

Very close to success on my sweet potato home fries. I think a higher heat next time to crisp them up a bit more. Parboiled then drained well, seasoned and then fried up in a hot skillet. There are things I never seem to get right most of the time. And those are potatoes and Mexican rice. So at this point in my cooking life, I have learned to enjoy what is right and consider what I could do differently next time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Know We Can Make it, Yes We Can Can

There is a neighborhood Subway Sandwich shop down the block. I was so happy that it opened awhile back but somehow forgot it existed for a long time.

We had some work going on our corner and woke to see it became a pedestrian park of sorts. They closed off South Elliot street to make way for small tables and even bands to play permanently. Very cool actually because just that little change has really transformed these blocks to feel more intimate and less car crazy. Which is so great because this location was on the verge of becoming the wild west with regards to car etiquette with the merging and the crossing over to get to Atlantic or Flatbush. Putting this little pedestrian stopper just squashed all the nonsense. Makes you dream of a city where you can walk and bike without feeling like someone's trying to kill you.

..and made it safe for us to shimmy on down the block to Subway to get these amazing cheap combos.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now, The Rain is Gone

There is nothing I can create that is half as beautiful and awesome as the spring flowers. So we had a quick breakfast with leftover cauliflower and went to a movie.