Wednesday, April 19, 2023

I Can't Help It if I'm Still In Love with You

Turkey Noodle Helper Skillet
When Hamburger Helper came on the scene in 1977, I was waiting plate in hand for some of that meat stretching, carb-loaded goodness.  I guess I've always admired the one pot meal method.  Separated cooking is fine for those occasions when you have the time and desire to be that girl, but most days, we like our short cuts.  I made a Ground Turkey Stroganoff  with Broccoli Rabe, mushrooms and a dollop of sour cream and chicken stock.  
In a large skillet with lid, brown the turkey in a pan with mushrooms onions and cook well, until all the liquid has absorbed and begins to get a little crisped up.  Add a heaping tablespoon of flour, salt pepper and spices of choice.  Cook just until raw flour cooks off.  Add chicken stock, about 2-4 cups, bring to boil. Be sure to scrape off the delicious fond on the bottom of the pan.  Add egg noodles, stir, cover and simmer for 20 minutes on low. Open the lid and add all your par-boiled chopped broccoli rabe. No need to stir yet, the steam will cook but leave the vibrant color.  Cover on low for 10 more minutes.  Before serving stir in a 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt and chicken stock slurry.   

The broccoli rabe adds a horseradish-y element that takes this from tasting like a phoned in dinner, to 'this chick knows what she's doing' feel.   It's tangy, it's packed with flavors and texture. It yields happy-inducing retro vibes and if you are a lover of life, this is for you.  

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • bunch of Broccoli Rabe (parboiled and chopped)
  • 1 package of egg noodles
  • Chicken Stock
  • sour cream or yogurt
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • flour
I wanted to introduce you to the Bruschetta slice which is UHmazing!!!
Pizza Slice Party! 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Are You Sad Because You're On Your Own?

Easter  is a holiday that can be celebrated in one's heart.  No need for a mass gathering, this holiday can be personal.  It was always a big food deal in my home growing up and I do have some great memories that revolve around baked hams and pork roasts, potato salad and deviled eggs.  I slightly recall cheap grocery store Easter baskets with that green cellophane and bonnets I had to wear to church but it's the dinner that was memorable.  Only second to the greatest story ever told.
I spent the holiday alone this year and decided to make a Baked Spaghetti Supreme after work.  A throw-back food reminiscent of the Pizza Hut creation of the 1970s.  When I went to the restaurant and ordered this for the first time I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  That was also the introduction to the salad bar and free pop refills. Spaghetti and pizza toppings and the unique taste of baked pasta in sauce was my idea of celebrational food from then on.  Done correctly, this is too delicious, sinfully so.  It's the best of both worlds.  I added sausage and mushrooms, olives, onions and used good Parmesan and Mozzarella. 

I'd love to be with family or with my partner but circumstances gave me this fun opportunity to spend it with a giant casserole of my favorite food alone and so I accepted and invited what is, and loved it. 
I wrote silly poems to the spring flowers while riding to and from work in the sun, took pictures and enjoyed observing others on holiday.  I thanked God and mother nature for the new buds and then went home and ate a moderate portion and then another giant plate for dinner.   

Thursday, March 23, 2023

You Make Me Feel Brand New

Sheet Pan Medley
It's impossible to invent a dish made with common ingredients, but sometimes like a song, using the same 3 chords, you are still able to make something fresh.  I was a pioneer of the sheet pan dinner (in my mind).  But due to the amount of experimental home cooks and professional chefs these days, I have to wonder if it's even possible to be the first one to create anything.  Hundreds of people more likely, woke up one day and decided to include meat on their roasted vegetable tray.  People have been adding carrots and potatoes under their pot roasts for decades but it wasn't until more recently that someone took a 1/2 sheet pan, threw a bunch of well oiled and seasoned vegetables along with some meat into the oven on high heat and called it dinner.   Thus was born the Sheet Pan Dinner.  Less clean up, no fuss, easy and more importantly, exceptionally tasty.  And little did anyone know just how versatile the theme could be.  The best part is you can use what you have. 
But the main benefit is that it's a meal by itself, so if you must, don't do more than make a grain to accompany it.  I made mellow Turmeric rice for this pepper, chick pea and ground beef SPM (sheet pan meal).  Vegetarians will delight in the meaty, savory texture of a roasted chick pea. For days!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

You See It's In the Blood

Mexican Take Out Dinner for Two
Brklyn Burro is a great Mexican spot far enough down the road that we don't get it often enough but on this day I tried the Family Platter, for two and fortified it with more hot sauce and guacamole (the least I could do).  I thought it was a great deal and enough to make 4 tacos with plenty of leftovers.  I love that they give roasted scallions, a way to this girl's heart.  I love me a green onion on the side of the plate, it reminds me of my mother.  She always had a little side green, a pepper, radish, avocado, green onion on her plate.  And it really is all about the sides and condiments for me too.  That's the color and excitement of any great meal.  

That morning I started the theme off with these delicious pulled pork breakfast tostadas.  Crispy carb-free torts with cheese, pulled pork, fried egg and jalapeno pesto.  

If It Makes You Happy

Asian Stewed Chicken
I worry sometimes they're going to go after cooking assimilation.  Busted for attempting to make dishes from other cultures, when you have no business.  What you call something is not as important as how it tastes but it can help you to describe what you were going for, as in this Asian Stewed Chicken.  I used Hoisin sauce, garlic, soy, ginger, honey, Sesame Oil and a little 5 Chinese Spice.  But does it really qualify or is it deserving of the name if I made it up myself?  I think so.  
Sometimes I sneer a little when I see a Mexican Lasagna or Enchiladas made with flour tortillas.  But in the end, especially now that we're heading towards the apocalypse, there should be no rules with food.  If you like to put ketchup on your tamales, like we did in the Midwest, go for it!  Food doesn't care.  


My Recipe

1/2 cup of honey

juice of 1 or 2 lemons

juice of one Smartie or Halo

package of chicken drumsticks

lots of garlic

soy sauce 3 tablespoons

2 tbs Hoisin sauce

2 tbs garlic chili sauce

chili flakes

2 - 3 bell peppers large chops

brown chicken in dutch oven, throw in all other ingredients, cover and put in 375 degree oven for one hour. Top with fresh cilantro and green onions.   Serve over white rice. 

My sister's clouded mountain view

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What I Like About You

Shrimp Over Corn Meal Masa
Similar to Shrimp and Grits, I like the taste of Corn Meal Masa with my Shrimp.  It is heartier and easily modified to fit a cheesy, saucy or garlicky theme.  You can do silky smooth like a Polenta or grainier, more earthy, as I did here.  I consider corn meal to be more versatile but my sister likes grits, so I've always felt I'm missing a whole world of wonder.  However, my husband has some weird food texture aversion.  He can't eat things that are too smooth.  For example, Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, Tapioca, and although I only remember trying grits with him once, he'd already proclaimed he hated them.  For whatever reason he accepts corn meal.  Finicky eaters have no place in my world, but I do understand liking what you like.  People have no control in some sense, although I feel I taught myself to love slimy things like eggplant, cactus, even okra although I'd never seek them out.  If someone offered me a potato, egg and cactus breakfast burrito I would kiss them and ask if they had any green hot sauce. 

Bok Choy,Mushrooms, onion and fresh tomatoes went on top as well as bacon!