Monday, May 31, 2010

Steak And Potato Soup

A couple of nights ago, we had steaks. My wife and I split one, so I had one left, and I knew exactly what to do with it! Steak and Potato Soup! My version goes like this:
1. One can of cream of mushroom soup
2. One can of water, same size
3. One NY strip steak, cooked, cut into chunks
4. One cup of chopped onion
5. Three small Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
6. Two ears of fresh corn, stripped off cob
7. Black pepper to taste
8. A little brown gravy mix(shake with cold water before adding)
Simmer all above until potatoes are tender but still firm
It was pretty tasty, for a quick, throw together soup..

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Truck Driver Special And Steak With Hash Browns

The Truck Driver Special... every Diner, Drive-in, and Dive has a version of this, and there are many! Some kind of pork or beef, sliced thin, in an appropriate gravy, over mashed potatoes or noodles, or rice, or toast!
Thursday night, I used sliced pork, gravy, and's a filling, satisfying meal that takes little thought or prep time! I peppered it pretty heavily, but wife loved it!
Last night, a couple of broiled steaks with hash browns made a good meal too.. Montreal Steak Seasoning is getting to be my "go to" seasoning for a simple steak broiled! Crispy hash browns are a perfect match to this- none left over! I do have some steak left and am thinking a steak and potato soup tonight- but who knows!
Enjoy your Memorial Week-end, but think of the fallen who preserved our freedoms, and be grateful...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Macaroni Salad- Made The Way A Guy Does It!

I like pasta salad. I have been to many potlucks, buffets, and family gatherings where money seemed to be the object of this dish-cheap! I saw potential in how good this so-called side dish could be a meal within itself! Overkill is my middle name! When I make a pasta salad, you will not go home saying something was missing!
1. Any pasta,cooked El Dente- you pick!
2. Slices of black olives, sliced green olives, chopped onions, red bell pepper, chopped celery, chopped cooked chicken, 1 hard cooked egg sliced, chopped Colby cheese, chopped Swiss cheese..
3. Mix with Mayo, a small amount of mustard, and Ranch dressing. Season to taste- mainly black ground pepper..
4. Chill and serve..this ain't rocket science, but it is darn good! Bring it to your next gathering, and you will bring an empty bowl home!
Terrible photo- sorry! We also had a bit of sweet corn- not bad!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chinese Take-Out Can Be A Good Decision!

Some days I just don't feel like cooking! Tuesday was one of them...A little while back I had asked my commenters what their favorite Asian meal was. A number of people answered General Tso Chicken..Chinese take out sounded good, and I had never tried the Generals chicken- so last night we did! My wife and I split an order of it, and both had an egg roll on the side. The chicken tasted like deep fried chicken, in bite sized pieces, heavy with some kind of BB-Q sauce. It wasn't bad, but I don't feel I got the best version of this dish...It's a good restaurant, and have never had a complaint against them, so maybe I got what I asked for! I'm going to do a little research on it, and find out...
Today, I'll be making a small batch of macaroni salad- any pasta will do, but what I have in the pantry is macaroni! I make it like a guy would- so loaded with other ingredients you have to look for the pasta!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mini-Meme On Pizza!

It cracks me up, the shows that pit Chicago style pizza against New York Style pizza! I have taken a class in pizza making, and it is no longer an Italian dish- It's American as hot dogs and apple pie! The questions today are easy, and you get to contribute your Opinion- which is valued here!
1. Thick crust or thin? Which do you prefer?
2. Your favorite toppings, however strange they may be!
Me first!
1. In the middle of both! Sounds like a politicians answer, but it's true.. Not too thick, as I find it doughy, and not too thin, as it can be tough...
2. A spicy red sauce, Pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, with Parmesan, Romano ( both grated) Mozzarella, and Provolone cheese, shredded.. I'll eat other stuff on it, but this is my favorite!
Jump in and play with the other kids in the sandbox- and tell us what you like!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Quick Food Tour Of The Caribbean- A Smackdown

I'm participating in BamaTrav's Caribbean Smackdown- I hope you like the dishes I chose! Each food or beverage is from a different country in the Caribbean...
Medianoche, or Cuban Midnight Sandwich! This is a traditional Cuban sandwich, also easily found in Miami- for obvious reasons!
I took a 1/2 center cut pork loin, marinated it for 12 hrs in orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, crushed garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and bit of jerk sauce and rum. Roasted until done, it set for awhile then was sliced thinly for the sandwich. Mustard is the usual spread for this, applied to both interior pieces of bun. Dill pickles are next, then the pork, and thinly sliced ham and Swiss cheese. Butter the outside of the roll, and put in a sandwich press (I use a Cuisinart Griddler!) and grill until cheese starts to melt. They went over big with my guests!
Caribbean Corn Pie! This casserole type dish went over big, too! Regular corn, cream corn, coconut milk, 5 eggs, a bit of corn muffin mix, and spices. Baked at 300F for nearly as long as the pork, it can be eaten hot or cold- but hot is better!
Key Lime Cake. This is a simple cake in as much as it is made from a box mix, flavored and colored by you. Limes are naturally the flavoring. Makes for a nice light dessert, with a citrus touch!
Red Stripe Beer! The beer drinkers in the group were glad to see I offered something other than a fruity drink as an alternative!
Pina Coladas!(Not shown) Generally accepted as where this drink was invented, I made a blender full for the ladies in the group..Simple drink, really...
So there is my food tour of the Caribbean- Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tommorow Is The Bama Caribbean Smack-down, And I Am Ready!

Check in tomorrow and see my tour of the Caribbean cuisine! I hit more than one island, so it could be interesting! Having a total of six people here tonight, so I hope they like it too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grilled Cheese And Tomato Soup...Not Your Mother's Recipe!

Even a simple meal doesn't have to be THAT simple... A classic pairing in America is tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich! Well! We just can't leave it at that- let's see how we can put an evening gown on a jeans and sweater kind of dish!
The sandwich is easy..we all grew up eating American cheese slices(we fondly call it "Nerd" cheese!). It is actually classified as cheese food- not really cheese at all- but this comes from a nation who invented orange colored marshmallow peanuts that have the half life of Radium.. Change the bread from white, hydrogenated air bread, to a whole or cracked grain bread with substance. Then use real cheese, one that melts readily and tastes great too- Havarti! Real butter on the outside of the sandwich getting grilled, and you are there!
The soup is a little fancier... One can of your everyday condensed tomato soup, made with one can of milk, not water. Add chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh corn off the cob and a bit of chopped fresh onion. Add sour cream to it, and a hefty dose of dried basil, black pepper, and a bit of salt. Simmer until onions are getting tender..add croutons if you are of a mind! It's creamy, rich, and tastes great along side a real grilled cheese sandwich!
Simple things done well...learn it, live it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm The Guy Who Makes Stone Soup..

Perhaps you remember the old parable of the Russian soldier who came to town one day, starving.. to shorten the story, he kept getting the villagers to add to his stone soup..nothing but a rock and water- until there was enough ingredients to actually have a soup they could all share and enjoy... I love this story, for many shows what can be made from little, if we all work together!
I make a lot of "stone soups"...something from nothing- which is what a lot of folks consider leftovers! A jar of Alfredo sauce, a splash of Champagne vinegar, Parmesan and Romano grated, a can of mushrooms, some cherry tomatoes sliced, left over chicken breasts sliced and diced..over fettuccine..stone soup pasta! Don't turn your nose up at leftovers..might be the best meal you ever had!
I love this kind of challenge..I wish the Food Channel had one for guys and gals like us!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chicken Chef Salad, Artisan Bread, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

It's Friday Night, and wife is craving a Chef's Salad..done deal! My touch was a loaf of excellent bread- followed by some killer peanut butter chocolate chip cookies...
The salad included Lettuce, with bacon, a sliced chicken,tomatoes, cheddar cheese, celery, carrots, hard cooked eggs, green onions, croutons, and dressing of choice- mine being blue cheese so thick you could walk on, and Ranch for wife..
The bread was a heat and serve designer loaf- which was excellent! Later, I found ambition enough to make cookies, which by the look of the keyboard this morning got eaten some more before I got up! They were crunchy rather than chewy- which we tend to prefer in a peanut butter cookie! What a nice Friday night supper! I hope your week end is great..enjoy life!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mini- PIzzas And Asparagus Bundles

When our children were younger, like most kids they could be picky. Pizza was a problem! One wanted this on his, the other wanted that... The simple answer was to make them each the pizza they would enjoy... We found a half an English Muffin was a perfect crust for a kid sized pizza! Last night that is what my wife and I had for supper...English muffin crust, home made pizza sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, shredded Mozzarella cheese, with Pepperoni slices.
It went along with some steamed fresh asparagus with bacon- the real star of the show! I tied them in bundles of three with bacon, and cut the string when done broiling with the pizzas. Simple, yet good!
Tonight will be a chicken chef salad, and possibly peanut butter chocolate chip cookies..we'll see..
Enjoy your week-ends, everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Simple Meal...Good Ingredients= Good Results

Simple doesn't mean tasteless or bad- remember that! I am, as most of you know, the Leftover Wizard! I swear I have more fun making something different from a left over meal! I did a pork roast a few days ago, with quite a bit left...simmered in a home made BB-Q sauce, after being chopped up- made a wonderful BB-Q pork sandwich! Ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, a bit of soy, molasses, and brown sugar- you got sauce!
Last night, a couple of boneless, skinless chix breasts, in olive oil and the dry poultry seasoning shown, roasted low and slow, with a Tiger sauce coating- made for a decent tasting chicken with corn on the cob meal! The corn was fresh and good- still being shipped in from down south- Michigan won't see home grown for a few months yet..
I can't stress enough that you don't have to spend a fortune to eat well..time and knowledge of simple dishes will elevate your meals to a level of enjoyment, rather than just edible.. "Simple things done well" is my cooking credo, and I'm still learning!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day...The Rest Of The Story..

My wife enjoyed her time with her sons (one on the phone, who sent flowers, and one who lives close coming over with candy and card!)..she liked the brunch, and now could relax! She wakes up from an afternoon nap and goes and mows the lawn! I offer to make her favorite sandwich spread, tuna salad! We use Albacore tuna in water, mixed with hard cooked eggs, mayo, mustard, celery chunks, and onion chopped..I add a little lemon pepper, because there is salt, black pepper, and lemon in it- works great! She snoozed again, and woke up to a nice sandwich! The other plate is a favorite snack around here that has been featured before- a pig in the blanket- using sausage with a mayo- hot sauce dip! Tasty and it keeps for later, if you wish! Tonight is BB-Q pork sandwiches- simple, but good!
I have been planning my assault on the Smack-down Challenge from Bama-Trav, and I think I have have a dark horse chance of winning!
Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch 2010

As I mentioned in my comments on the previous post, there was nothing to take a photo of yesterday! It rained all the way there, with wind gusts that kept both hands on the wheel! The Casino was fairly busy, but had added a non-smoking room separate from the rest of the casino floor..kind of nice for the non smokers!
Today, I fixed my wife and youngest son a brunch, as he had to work this afternoon.. We had bacon, scrambled eggs, English muffins, with orange juice.. Our son in K.C. sent mom flowers, and the youngest brought her candy. A good breakfast, a phone call from Kansas City, and a visit from the youngest son, all made for a nice day for their Mom.. That and I let her keep the money she had from yesterday!
Hope your Mother's Day is a good one!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Weather Is Here, I Wish You Were Beautiful..

Old Jimmy Buffet song..but it describes today pretty well! It is May, we may have snow flurries and 40 mph gusts.. and we are headed North to a nice warm Casino! Kind of a Mother's Day celebration for my wife of almost 37 years! I'll try to remember the camera, and try to remember to take photos!
See you when we get back!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What Did You Eat On Cinco de Mayo? Mini Meme Time!

I fixed a sort of a Tex- Mex dish- Nachos! With tortilla chips, cheese, onion, green bell pepper, and chunky salsa, it hit the spot! I was going to make burritos, but wife likes crunchy corn shells better than soft flour wraps.
The questions today are easy and fun.. join in and participate!
1. What is your favorite Mexican dish?
2. What is your favorite Italian dish?
3. What is your favorite Asian dish?
4. What is your favorite American dish?
I'll go first, to show the new kids what to do!
1. Tamales! Love to get them, but a good one is hard to find around here!
2. Manicotti. Stuffed with a meat and cheese filling, and covered in a good red sauce!
3. Korean beef short ribs. The flavor is out of this world!
4. Cheeseburgers. Made medium rare, with green olives, lettuce, and mayo- good stuff!
Try your hand at this, and have a good week-end!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Pizza Stones, Home Made Sauce, And Pork Pot Roast

Yesterday, I made up a batch of pizza sauce...I like to make my own, as no commercial sauce has the flavor I enjoy! I use tomato sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic and onion powder, dried fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, a bit of sea salt, and a little brown sugar. Simmered for about 1-1/2 hrs., it thickens nicely and melds the flavors to a tasty mix... I won't lie- I didn't make the crust for a change! Because of this, I felt compelled to get out my pizza stone... Mine is well seasoned, and no youngster! I was using up cheeses(Swiss, Havarti, Parmesan, and Cheddar!)chopped onion, ham, along with some pepperoni..I won a pizza class once, and was taught more stuff on the pizza didn't make it better, just harder to get done right! We enjoyed this easy to make pie, and the cheeses were a refreshing change from Mozzarella!
Tonight it's a pork butt pot roast..3lbs. of Boston butt, wrapped in aluminum foil, with cream of mushroom soup, dry brown gravy mix, and spices- all sealed in tightly. 3-1/2hrs. at 315F, will make it tender, and in it's own gravy! Probably a side of white rice, to utilize some of that gravy!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Poker Night At Buffalo Dicks House..And A Boo-boo

We have a group of old friends (4 couples) that about 4-6 times a year get together and play a shortened version of Texas Hold' $5 bucks a game per person, it's pretty hard to win a lot of money, but I usually do OK! Last night I won a lot more than anyone else! I beat one friend who had a full house- with a straight flush! I thought he was going to flip..I would have!
I made up some pigs in a blanket (with sausage), and onion wraps (green onions wrapped in cream cheese and dried beef). I forgot to take photos, so I hope there are left overs..
Remember last post with the carrot cake? Well, I lied! I thought I'd made a carrot cake, when in reality I had made a spice cake! With the same kind of frosting, they virtually look the same.. I made the carrot cake yesterday, for my friend who loves it!
Everyone else brings their own beverages and munchies, so we eat between games, and snack all night..
It broke up at midnight, as we were all yawning by then..Wife has to work 2nd shift, so she is trying to sleep this morning- to get ready for a long night..