Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pork Pot Roast And Roasted Potatoes With Gravy

I'm sure I've posted this before, but this was dinner last night... A lot of people don't know this, but if you mix brown gravy mix with an equal amount of chicken gravy mix, you come up with a gravy that is excellent on pork! I got this out of an old church cook book, and it works! I sprinkle this on a pork roast, along with garlic, onion powder, and black pepper(of course!) wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake for 3 hours at 320F..this creates a tender pork roast, and a great gravy for the potatoes you roasted in the same pan for the last two hours. Gravy usually needs thickening, but cold water and corn starch can do the job... This makes a great dish that is simple and tasty! Left overs can be made into burritos or BB-Q sandwiches- or what ever you can imagine! We talk about what to do with the leftovers, while we're eating the original meal... Look at left overs as a challenge, and not a burden!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Made Bread..What To Do?

I made a couple of loaves of white bread for Sunday brunch...Frankly, I've made better! The flavor was sweet and good, but the texture was a little crumbly. The plan was to make French toast, but everybody just wanted fresh bread. I have one loaf left, and plan to try and make a bread pudding out of it! I have never made this, but appears to be easy and tasty..
I'll be cooking a pork roast today in the slow cooker. It doesn't heat up the house, and left overs make a good pork BB-Q sandwich. I'll be doing pork ribs for the 4th, so I need to make some sauce anyway! We have been eating lighter the last few days, as warm weather tends to do that to people...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When Nothing Sounds Good..Fix Some Eggs!

We have had a goofy schedule lately...nothing requires less planning than eggs for a meal! I made a rather homely cheese omelet, but tasted great! Today, I found out my wife was working 2nd shift on a Saturday, so I fixed myself something she would never eat- sunny side up eggs! Eggs are cheap, tasty, and are a healthy form of protein. Studies have proven they aren't the heart attack bomb everyone thought they were 10years ago... They are versatile, and can be used in cooking, baking, or stand alone for a meal! Looks like a brunch tomorrow, and I'm sure eggs will be somewhere in or on the menu!
P.S.- Can anyone tell I like Black pepper?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beef Enchilada Bake

I had everything in the house to make this dish, and I know from experience my wife loves the flavors of Tex-Mex food! I seasoned and browned 1lb. of ground beef, using more liquid than normal,, because I will drain the meat and have ready made enchilada sauce to pour on the enchiladas. I used small flour tortillas to wrap the meat, laying them seam side down in the oiled casserole dish- four fit perfectly! I poured the sauce over all, then topped with cheese. I also added some Jalapeno slices, which really kicked up the heat a bit! I baked them uncovered, until cheese was melted, and dinner was served..If it sounds simple- it is! All the classic flavors are there, and even had two left over...
Hopefully today I will pick up some fireworks for the 4th.. I always look forward to that!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuna Salad In Cantaloupe- It's Summer!

I have made this dish and featured it before, but there are some new people that visit since I posted this last. Chicken salad and shrimp salad works well like this also!
My tuna fish salad recipe is simple and straightforward:
1. High quality tuna, either fresh cooked or canned Albacore in water, 12-16 oz.
2. Two hard cooked eggs, peeled and cooled
3. 2 stalks of celery
4. 1 medium onion
Chop all above ingredients into bite sized pieces
5. Add real Mayo (Miracle Whip and low fat mayo both have too much water in them!) to taste.
6. Add mustard, lemon pepper, and dried dill- all to taste.
Mix all above until blended thoroughly.
Cut a medium sized ripe cantaloupe in half, cleaned of all seeds. Fill cavity with tuna salad, and enjoy!
This is a good summer meal, eaten cold. It is filling and refreshing..
My melon could have been riper, but it was still OK..the salad was great!
Last night our area got clobbered with high winds, thunderstorms, and a lot of rain..Tornado warning were out, and the sirens were going for an hour!
Hard to get any sleep with a dog going crazy, and sirens blaring!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Fathers Day- Food And Goodies!

I had a nice day Sunday..My one son in Kansas City sent me a hilarious book with a card, and phoned me later from St. Louis, where he was starting his vacation. My other son stopped by with a banana cream pie, made at a local restaurant who specializes in pies, again with a funny card! Wife got me a box of Sea Foam from the local candy shop( which I love!) and picked up the meal I said I would like to fix for dinner!
Dinner was some high grade tuna steaks, fresh asparagus, rolls, and of course- the pie! Nailed the tuna perfectly- medium rare, seasoned with butter, fresh lemon, black pepper, and dried dill...asparagus was still crisp and delicious after steaming it, and the pie was perfect too! The photo is the "to go" plate we fix our son who works Sundays a mile from the house.
The book was about what his father used to say on all sorts of subjects, and any father should read this for some good laughs!
I had extra tuna, and will be making a tuna salad today out of some pretty pricey fish...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Fathers Day Rant- Or Observations...

I wondered about my dad for I got older, I saw the wisdom (or lack of it!) in his actions! He never hit me, but I got yelled at a lot.. I figured out later he was doing the best he could, with what the good Lord gave him! He was a good bowler, and the day I became a better one, we never said a word. He was proud, and I never rubbed in the fact that I could now beat him. He was a terrible cheat at golf, yet for years I let him be..he was decent enough to take a teach me the game, as best he could. He loved me, and I loved him, no matter what came up between us. He never thought he was good enough, but I did. I was the "bad cop" in the family..the guy who had to tell dad he was dying.. but I also told him he had done a great job raising three productive kids who loved him.. Try to understand your father Sunday- it ain't easy being one all the time, you know..

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicken Paprika- Simplfied!

I have had chicken a lot of ways, but haven't had this dish in quite a while! When I say "simplified", I mean I cut corners in the traditional recipe and went with the basic flavors that give this dish it's taste. I took two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salted, peppered, and added onion powder, before dumping sour cream over them. I then sprinkled paprika (a fair amount!) on the sour cream, covered them in a casserole dish and baked them at 300F for quite a while! They came out very flavorful, but as this kind of chicken isn't prone to getting tender, they were still tender enough to eat and enjoy! With a side of left over broccoli casserole, it made a passable meal...
I'm struggling with new ideas as to what to eat lately- I think we all go through this occasionally!
Enjoy your week end, everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Meatless Casserole- but not Cheeseless!

This is a casserole that has been around for more than 50 years..I just kind of updated it! It is a rice, broccoli, cheese concoction that I altered to make it a little more upscale. Normally, it is white rice, frozen broccoli,milk, and Velveeta cheese, baked until cheese melts. I used brown rice, cooked for 45 minutes in chicken broth, then mixed with American cheese, sour cream, a can of cream o mushroom soup, and steamed, chopped fresh broccoli. I then topped it with a layer of Cheddar cheese slices, and baked until top layer of cheese melted in a covered casserole dish that had been buttered before cooking. I sprinkled savory on the casserole before baking (350F for 40 min). Brown rice has a nutty, stand alone flavor and texture we really enjoy!
I have an older Catholic friend, who really didn't like taking the Lord's name in vain, so instead of yelling "Jesus Christ!" he would yell "Cheese and Rice"!
You can use this as a meatless main dish, or a side dish- you can also add chicken, ham, or turkey to the casserole for a one course meal...
Try it, you'll like it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Broiled Shrimp In Jerk Sauce, Chicken, Potatoes, And Gravy

Friday, we just wanted a little snack for supper...used up some shrimp I broiled with a thin jerk sauce, and some lef over potato salad...
Sunday, we were going to make a run to an Indian casino north of town, so Saturday we had our normally large Sunday meal! I have been using too large boneless skinless chicken breasts, and was sick of them! I like dark meat- preferably bone in thighs, with the skin left on! This goes well with roasted potatoes, as the cooking times and temperature for both are virtually identical! Lawrys Seasoned salt, coarse ground black pepper, then coated with olive oil is really all you need. Baked at 330F for 70-75 minutes in an uncovered pan, gives you a simple, yet hardy dish! I made chicken gravy for the potatoes, but a little on the chicken doesn't taste bad either..
Our trip to the casino was slightly lucrative, coming home with more money than we left with!
I did add a photo of a local park for the Picnic Throwdown, which is one post back..
Tonight I have plans to make a rice, broccoli, and cheese casserole we haven't had in ages..
Have a good week everybody!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Picnic Smackdown For June

To me, a picnic is a very portable meal made from tried and true favorites. Michigan is surrounded by fresh water(The Great Lakes) and has thousands of inland lakes and rivers, so usually the picnic setting has something to do with water! We have where I live, the Grand River that flows through Grand Rapids. It has numerous riverside parks, and is the start of The White Pine Trail, a closed railroad track that has been paved or a two track that covers almost 90 miles! Most parks in Michigan prohibit alcohol, so no nice bottle of wine today! The photo is a shot of Versluis Park, a township park by our house.
My picnic fare included deviled eggs, onion wraps, potato salad, fresh strawberries with powdered sugar, shrimp salad sandwiches on croissants, and peanut butter Rice Krispie squares frosted with semi sweet chocolate..
The cooler has taken the place of a picnic basket, paper plates and plastic utensils work for ease of clean up!
Anyone who would like the recipe for anything I made is welcome to ask!
Simple things, done well is my motto...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bean Dip Deluxe- A Meal By Itself!

A while back, I mentioned I enjoyed hot snacks, and the one I listed was bean dip. My version is loaded with goodies to a point of being enough to eat for a meal- just add tortilla chips! My recipe goes pretty much like this:
1 can refried beans
1/2 of same can water
4-5 oz of chunky salsa (medium heat)
1/2 chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
1/2 lb. of browned ground beef
1 fresh tomato, chopped
2 oz of liquid taco sauce
6-8 oz of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
cumin and chili powder to taste
Simmer all ingredients until smooth and hot. Use as dip with Tortilla chips.
It goes quickly, and if some is left over, can be reheated easily.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

An Upscale Egg McMuffin And Spicy Mac N Cheese

I had some big croissants, left from another project and thought they would work out well for an egg, ham, and cheese sandwich. I scrambled the eggs, used sliced Black Forest ham, and a good Colby cheese...they were tasty and big enough to call supper! I never was much on croissants, but I am changing my mind about that now!
I also made some spicy mac-n-cheese yesterday, chopping some onion and Jalapeno peppers, then adding to the cheese sauce. I baked it for a bit , with extra cheese on top, and sprinkled heavily with black pepper. It had a zip to it, but was still pretty good! Today, I'm making my loaded bean dip....ground beef, refried beans, cut up peppers, onions, tomatoes, hot sauce and shredded cheese. It is so loaded with goodies, it's a meal in itself!
I also made some treats for the new neighbors that moved in Friday- good way to get off on the right foot with them!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Mini-Meme On Snacks!

We all snack! On munchies, on dips and munchies, on hot and cold munchies! The questions today is what is your favorite munchie? What is your least favorite munchie, served at buffets, parties, and eateries?
1. I love munchies in general, but I like something that is hot, and tasty.. like bean dip! My bean dip has meat, peppers, onions, cheese, and refried beans galore! Hot sauce is a given! Fresh taco chips, or Tortilla chips needed for dipping!
2. Gagamole..I didn't misspell it it- it gags me! How an over rated high cal, high fat dip with the flavor of green mush got popular is beyond me!
Agree or disagree, let's hear your answer as to what you like or dislike in a munchie!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Anniversary And Quick Meals

Today, my wife and I celebrate 37 years of marriage. Hard to believe it has been that long, but the numbers don't lie! If you have been married any length of time, you learn it is a journey of evolving... You will not be the same person you were when you got married! You learn to not sweat the small stuff. You learn forgiving. You learn there are certain traits in the other person that probably will never change, so accept them. This ends today's sermon, the collection plate will come next!
We had a Black Forest ham and baby Swiss toasted sandwich Monday- neither of us too hungry! The photo of the Klondike bar is a funny story- wife bought them and ate two- probably would have eaten all six without telling me she bought them!
Tuesday, it was a version of a pattie melt..I like to add blue cheese and some hot sauce to mine! I also gave her a box of candy from a great local candy maker, Sweetlands- which we got into promptly!
I can't post the food we're going to have today, as it will be in a later post!
Thunderstorms again last night, and cable TV is out for who knows how long...