Friday, February 29, 2008

Mini-Meme For Week-end Pondering...

As I go forth everyday (Monday thru Friday) I wonder "How the hell did I end up doing what I do for a living?" I like what I do, for the most part, but it really isn't what I went to school and college for. I'm in outside sales, for technical metals and if anyone would have told me 35 years ago that's what I'd be doing, I would have not believed them!
The Mini-meme today is:
1. How did you end up doing what you do for work? (paid or unpaid!)
2. Do you like it, or would you like a change?
I look forward to your answers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Fill-In Food Blog... The Rest Of Sunday..

Even though I was "cooked out" after Saturday, for some odd reason I was moved to cook more.. After dinner, about mid afternoon, I decided to use up some thawed chix breasts, and make chicken salad- for sandwiches, or filled cantaloupe. As that was going, I decided to use up a half a box of graham cracker crumbs, and some leftover Key lime juice, and make a version of a lemon bar, only different! I made a Key lime bar, with a cracker crumb crust, instead of the usual shortbread crust... Tart and tasty, topped with powdered sugar(I topped mine with whipped cream!) they are are refrigerated snack that disappears over a few days..

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Simple Sunday- Baked Chicken Breasts, Rigatoni Alfredo..

Yesterday I was in a small chili cook-off, took 2nd in category... When cook-offs are small, usually judges know who made which chili- which usually means their judgement can be a little different than in a bigger event. No sour grapes- all chilis were really good! I had to beat feet out of there to finish meatballs at a big birthday bash. I've made better, but they all got gone...
Today, I was looking for no culinary challenges, so I seasoned and baked some chicken breasts(bone-in). with a side of rigatoni alfredo.. Why not fettucini? I didn't have any! Besides, the the tougher pasta goes well with this sauce and mushrooms.
Odd happenings... My cook buddy works at the same company I used to 35 years ago. I was only there 1 year, when our project was cancelled and I was out of a job. He found employee files that should have been destroyed 20yrs ago- still in storage! Found my employee record, and gave it to me yesterday. The boss of Engineering had been there 6 months before I arrived, and was gone 3 months afterward! My review said I had an attitude(imagine that!) but thought with training I could be a better employee(I was 19- 20yrs old!). They later tried to rehire me, but I was making more money and had found out on the streets what a bunch of schlocks that company was! If I had stayed there, I would know half as much as I do, and made about 1/3 as much as I have so far... Change ain't bad- at least not all the time!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eclipses And A Novel Way To Make A Cheeseburger!

I'm hoping you all got a chance to see a really excellent eclipse of our moon Wednesday night about 9PM. Here in West Michigan, the air was cold, crisp and clear- perfect for a good look! I took a picture that is by no means a good one, but it clearly shows the shadow on the moon. I think the next one will be in 2010, so I am glad I got my butt off the downstairs couch and saw this! Things like this help me remember Earth is actually round....
The next subject is a style of burger I've wanted to try, but never did until Thursday night. Instead of my usual 1/3 lb. burgers topped with cheese and goodies, I made 4 thin patties from ground chuck, seasoned them, put a thick slice of cheddar-jack cheese on the two bottom ones, then put the two other patties on top of them, sealing the edges completely-no cheese showing. Fried both burgers until medium-rare, then topped with onions, lettuce, mayo,pickles, catsup and mustard. Really worked out well! Toppings held better than if they were sliding around on cheese, and created a great flavor meld, without the normal mess! I'll be doing this again, real soon!
Tomorrow a small chili cook-off, then I have to make 15lbs of danish meatballs for a birthday bash that night! Have fun for me this week-end- I'll be too busy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Time For Another Mini-Meme! Past, Present, Future..

As I grow older, I have been pondering the changes age does to you. When young, I had a hard time understanding why older people acted older when they got older(follow all that?).. I figured I would never see life from an old fart point of view! Well, age changes your values, your goals, and sadly some dreams you may have had of the future, will not ever materialize... Good things happen, to all of us- appreciate them! Bad things happen to us all, too- learn from them, and have empathy for others when bad times come their way..
The Mini-Meme today:
1. Who do you think you were? (What were you growing up?)
2. You do you think you are today?(What do you think you are now?)
3. Who do you think you will be? (What do you want to accomplish before you die?)
I'll go first- 1. A smart, active kid- an over-achiever, who always wanted to win or excel.
2. A person who has done a decent job of succeeding in my career of 35 yrs., but is a little burned out mentally and physically. A family man whose family grew up. Not a Grampa yet- maybe never...
3. A person that will never retire, but will do many other things less lucrative than current career. Will never stop learning, or teaching if anyone is willing to listen..
Looking forward to your answers!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday, Then Sunday Food! Hope You Enjoy!

Saturday- Wife had to work(tax season), and I was tired of the weather we had to deal with daily! Finally went to store for a stock-up- as my comfort zone is similar to your neighborhood survivalist! Made a hearty salad for Sat. night, and had plans to finally cook that damn pork loin that apparently came off Hogzilla! I enjoy a chef salad with lots of non- healthy goodies covering it.. Slathered mine in my favorite blue cheese dressing, while wife opted for Ranch. We both agreed-it hit the spot! Sunday had me putting the marinated pork loin(cut into two equal portions!) into the oven for about 2-1/2 hrs. Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half(seasoned with rosemary,olive oil,garlic, and onion powder) made a marvelous side to a great hunk of pork! The roasted mushrooms are always alomost a given when I roast meat.. Stroked some peanut butter thru the brownies, for a dessert that was also tasty!
A sad commentary on my cooking style- I seasoned the pork so it could be used as pork BB-Q, or pork chili leftover meals!

Friday, February 15, 2008

We Don't Have To Eat Fish On Friday- But We Did!

Friday night, crappy weather- let's check the freezer for inspiration about what to have for dinner... Pork roast- too big, too frozen! Boneless skinless chix breast-nah, just had that... Wait! There's 4 small flounder filets that should thaw quickly!
Had read a recipe earier in the day, Creole flavors, had all ingredients-done deal! I seasoned the filets with Old Bay and laid them into a glass pan, covered with diced tomato, green bell pepper slices, and sliced onion. Seasoned again,adding lemon pepper, put into a 350F oven for 35 minutes, and served with a side of rice. Spicy! But perfect warmer-upper on a cold Friday night, and it wasn't as "heavy" as some the the meals we've been having... Enjoy your week-ends everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Leftovers Don't have To Taste Like Leftovers....

Another blinger of a storm hit us Tuesday, making driving a 1st gear event! Got stuck in a parking lot, but was so slippery, two guys pushing moderately got me rolling... Tuesday was colder than Monday- if you can believe it, so another stick-to-your-ribs supper was made. I'm not a cheapskate, but I actually find it fun to create something different out of leftovers! Sundays' post showed food on that day. The following day, I took the left-over potatoes, chopped some broccoli, made cheesy broccoli soup in a crock pot. Good stuff! Tuesday night, I took left-over pot roast, chopped, fresh mushrooms and celery, chopped, mixed with leftover gravy, water, and soy sauce, simmered until tender and bubbly, and put in over brown rice for a quick, warming meal. Three meals, two out of leftovers, none tasted the same, all good! It's almost like a game with me- at the end of the game, dinner!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

0 Degrees F- Time For Comfort Food, Pot Roast!

After seeing the weather report for today, we decided having the oven on for 3- 3-1/2 hrs. wouldn't feel too bad! My version of Beef Chuck roast pot roast coming up!
1. Lay a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil flat, enough to cover and wrap your roast easily, without any air holes.
2. Spread seasonings (I use Mrs. Dash Original, and Lawrys seasoned salt!) onto alum foil. Lay beef roast onto that, then season with same, until coated.
3. Put one can of cream of something soup( I used celery) spread over top of roast. Then sprinkle 1 envelope of dry brown gravy mix over all.
4. Top with thin sliced onion strips (about half-cup), and wrap carefully but so it will seal without leaks. Place in pan.
5. Bake for 3-1/2 hrs at 300- 320 F .
6. Remove from oven, and open one end of wrap- enough to pour out gravy you just made! Pour into a pan, and thicken (with flour mixed with cold water)if needed.
7. This should be falling apart tender, with great flavor. Serve with potatoes, pasta, or rice!
Today, we're having that with small yukon gold potatoes, seasoned with garlic and rosemary, along with some decent French style bread. Fudge browies for dessert- I was lazy today!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Story From My Youth- About Guns??!!

Once upon a time, when I was young and full of male hormones... Guns were quite fascinating to me! My Dad, a WWll vet had given up such weapons in the early 1950s' due to someone almost blowing his foot off while bird hunting! I found out about weapons by reading Guns and Ammo, and other related hunting magazines. I wanted to hunt! I wanted to target shoot! Conned my Dad into buying me a single shot shot gun for a Christmas present, and couldn't wait until the weather got clear to go forth and shoot! One day, no one was home, and being about 15 I had learned more stuff than I could ever need... I took a shotgun shell (16 gauge, for you guys that know and wondered!) cut the top off, emptied out the gunpowder and 6 shot out of it and placed it in the chamber. I wanted to see the "strike area" of the firing pin on a shell. It's Feb., I'm standing in a hallway, pointing the gun towards a window in our dining room- and pull the trigger... Imagine my 15yr. old surprise when the damn gun goes off with a bang! I had forgotten about the primer! I can still hear the doorbell chimes ringing faintly, as I ran around screaming like Nancy Kerrigan... I checked the window, which was fine, but the sheers my Mom had over the windows were full of holes, with powder-burned edges! Cleaned that off, but the holes remained..
Fast forward 7 yrs.- We are having dinner at my parents house, and Mom says, "I found some holes in my sheers- I think it was moths"... I lose it and confess all, and the table erupts in a knowing laughter... I wasn't a good kid, I just got away with about everything I pulled! Picture is not of that weapon, that's my double barrel 20 gauge mod and improved cylinder- great upland bird gun!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My 200th Post! A Mini- Meme....

When I started blogging, it was a way to comment on my sons' blog- the one that lives in Kansas City, MO. It quickly became a way to write down thoughts and events that someday in the future my friends and family might appreciate as an on-line diary. It then became a great source of entertainment and knowledge from people literally all over the world! It has taught me that we are all different- but not as much as I used to think.. I have referred to it as the 21st centurys' version of "pen pals"! I think if you all look backward on your blogs, you will see that you too have been documenting thoughts and events that people can read and appreciate after you are gone....
Todays' Mini-Meme:
1. Why and how did you start blogging?
2. How has it benefitted or affected your life?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Amish White Bread- For A 1st Try, Not Bad!

Saturday was snowy, and only left the house once. I had baked a pizza, my usual home-made crust, home-made sauce, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom cookie sheet sized pizza! The dough raised nicely, so encouraged by this I decided to bake a couple of loaves of bread! I would rather cook than bake- baking is fussier than cooking, and I don't do fussy well! Found a recipe for Amish white bread that sounded pretty good, so away we went. I'm getting the hang of Mega Mixer (Kitchen Aid, monster-sized!) and all went as planned. I had a rare patient day, where I wasn't rushing the dough as it rose. The recipe was good, as it came out about like it was supposed to! It's a dense, sweet, soft white bread with more substance than higher rising white bread you might get in a bakery. Pink- This one's for you!
A Pubic (strike that!)Public Announcement: Dutch Bitch is having a "Worship me" contest, and urge all single males out there to join in! Who knows what you might win.....