Sunday, April 30, 2023

If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life

Potsticker Dinner
Sometimes you eat a breakfast that is so filling, you need only a snack for dinner.  These frozen potstickers were a great idea and better than expected, especially with a homemade quickie sauce.

Quickie Sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • sesame oil
  • pepper flakes
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • scallions for garnish
In these days of fear, dread and danger, it's nice to make tiny celebrations of life with food.  Like Cher in Mermaids, I've found appetizers to be excellent instant parties, and prefer hearty snacks to a full meal any day of the week. Something about the seriousness of a sit down meal has always made me squeamish.  Whether it be chips and guac, nachos, or something like above, a frozen or boxed item paired with something homemade - lighter fare is where it's at.  Serve up some iced lemon seltzers or tea to go along and live your best life!  

Biggie Girl Breakfast with loaded omelet, potatoes and bacon

I make good use of my pizza stone by baking up my small cut potatoes to get a good crisp in less time. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Ah, That's the Way, Uh-huh, Uh-huh

Stuffed Peppers with ground turkey
Served over barley cooked in garlicky stock and a light cucumber salad

I love stuffed peppers a hundred ways and I filled these with black beans, corn, ground turkey, tomato, cilantro and cheese and topped with Panko crumbs.  I lightly salt and pepper the insides of the peppers before stuffing, as well as add a painting of olive oil on the insides and that allows their true essence to shine through after roasting. I don't want a sauce to mask any of these textures.  The cheesy bite with the crunchy bits of Panko underneath and then slightly charred pieces of ground turkey when it hits the juicy tomatoes, that's what life is all about right there.  It's a celebration of mouth feels.

You can add the grain to the stuffing but this time I kept it out and served them on the bed of barley, which I prefer when there is time to cook them separately.   Cutting the peppers in half allows them to cook through faster and without needing a water bath.  This gives them a roasted flavor rather than a boiled one and locks in the juicy smoke flavor. 
Our neighbors have a newborn baby girl and we snuck little knit Jordan's on their shoe rack in the morning and then texted them to tell her to stop leaving her kicks in the hallway. 
Hillarious and adorable!

Another adorable thing is this thinly sliced cucumber salad with Vidalia onions, fresh dill, a touch of sugar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Let it set out for a good 1/2 an hour.  Simple, elegant and refreshing. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Go on Now Go, You're Not Welcome Anymore!

I have a fear of cooking large pieces of meat.  The London Broil had me perplexed for decades.  It's not a cut of meat, yet it's the way it's prepared but it is what they call it in the store.  That alone, kept me away for years.  It used to be highly affordable but has now gone the way of the flank steak in pricing.  
But today I conquered that fear.  The key is marinading overnight and you should pull the meat out of the fridge to get room temperature well before cooking.  Dab the meat so that it will brown (I forgot that part).  Broil 5 to 7 minutes each side and let rest.  Cut against the grain.  
It's surprisingly tender and juicy.  By the way. I just added a little butter to the cooking juices in the pan for a nice quick sauce.   Even though it's not cheap, it's still a good bargain as you can make many meals from it, like thin steak sandwiches, slice into strips for beef burritos, a steak salad with tomatoes and bleu cheese.  Lots of great uses.  

This year might be the one I tackle some of my other idiotic fears. I have so many.  Fear can stifle your ability to live your life.  Sometimes I don't even understand what exactly I fear, it just fills the air and I become frozen, unable to perform.  That's one good thing about getting older.  You hang out for a long time with your faults and they become very familiar.  You get to know them like separate entities, that are not you but can come inside like an unwelcome guest.  Depression, fear, dread, they are stealers of time and seem hell bent on keeping you down.  If they are not us, then we must be able to escort them out of the door onto some other unsuspecting fool.  

Friday, April 21, 2023

I Want it That Way

I awoke today craving corn bread, coincidentally when I was to write about this past meal, featuring you guessed it, cornbread! I also planned to make corn meal muffins, something I've not done once in my life.  This is the universe sending food signals and I will follow the laws of nature and do as I'm told. I am nothing if not obedient.  To my stomach, that is. 

Skillet Corn bread  
Cucumber and Melon Salad

Roasted Herb Chicken
When you look to see if anyone has written a song about cornbread and you find the band is Cornbread and the song is The Chicken Song.  Can the world be more in sync today? 

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! 

Friday, April 14, 2023

You Are the Sunlight in my Growing

Spring Chicken
Feta takes on an alternate flavor when baked.  Cherry tomatoes are all the rage when they pop their sweetness inside your mouth, and are made even sweeter by roasting. With the chicken, olive oil and garlic together, it was a nice spring meal, zesty and fresh, yet soul-warming.  Serve with side salad.

Is this a feature of Cherry Blossoms or a hybrid that they can flower both white and pink on the same tree? 

I like to get right up next to the flowering trees and surround myself with all their enchanting blooms. It's always incredible to see pink when for months you see only black and grey.  The flowers come before the green on the trees.  I liken it to the smell of newborn baby heads.

One day the Gowanus canal will be lined with high rises filled with upper crusties and no one will remember the black sludge and bodies, or the foul smell and the fact that if you happened to fall in, you may lose your life from the bacteria.  That's the Gowanus I love. 

Brunch at Verde on Smith.  Ultra cool grown man-waiters that still take pride in the position of serving food and crafting a special experience for the diner.  A lost art. 

Mr Mango market
Yellow bursts onto the scene as far as the eye can see