Sunday, January 31, 2010

Loaded Chicken Breast

Knowing we were to have a 7-1/2 lb. beef brisket Sunday, I steered clear of beef Saturday.. Two huge chicken breasts were seasoned and covered with cheddar cheese and bacon, after they had roasted until done.. One was enough to split with wife, other will be converted into chicken salad! We are still on a weird schedule, but doing what we can to enjoy food when possible! Our freezer is stocked, our pantry is full- so good things could be happening in the next couple of weeks..
I have never done a brisket in the oven before, even though I have taken 3rd and 4th in the Brisket category in the State BB-Q cook-off... We'll see how I did in the next post!
P.S.- Crappy photo...sorry!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Best Kind Of Pizza- Free!

Well, not exactly... a couple of months back, I ordered a pizza from my go to pizza joint- Florentines'.. two blocks from my house, we have had nothing but great pizza, delivered on time(or earlier!) for almost 20 years! Except the last time... Told it would be here in 1/2 hour, it came 1/2 hour late.. cold and pretty much inedible. I'm not the sort who complains to hear my own voice, but over 20 years, you'd think we had formed what I call a bond... I called up and asked for the manager.. a woman came to the phone and wanted to know the problem. I did not recognize her voice, and had never seen a woman in charge of this place. She proceeded to tell me she had been in charge the whole time- which I know was B.S... She was quite short with me, and said she would send out a gift certificate to cover the cost of the pizza.. We finally received it, and plan to use it tonight, as it's colder than all get out and we don't want to grocery shop! After watching some of those shows on TV where employees do nasty things to your food- I'm a little nervous!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Steak And Vegetable Soup, A Winter Warming Meal

Yesterday was a typical cold winter's day, some snow, some wind, and gray skies...I had a smattering of veggies due for replacement, and wanted to use them up. A warming thought of a hearty beef vegetable soup sounded like just the ticket!
A slow cooker is ideal for soup making- long low heat, allowing all the flavors to meld and become just the right texture...
1 large potato, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 LB beef, cubed
1 large tomato, chopped
24oz of low sodium beef broth
6 oz of V-8 juice(really!)
salt, black pepper,garlic, herbs and spices to taste
All in slow cooker together, on high heat setting for 1-1/2 hr., on low for 5hrs.
Add 1/2 cup of thick brown gravy (optional)for a thicker broth
Soups on!
I also made those crescent rolls everybody eats, but nobody admits to.. was going to make mini cheddar cheese sandwiches out of them, but wife just wanted them with butter!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Whole New York Strip Loin , Cut To Your Liking..

You know how? You buy one on sale, and cut it up yourself! I bought a close to 7.8lb. cyropacked boneless NY strip loin, cut it into various sized steaks, and one small roast- all hand cut and trimmed by me... That pile of meat you are looking at in the photo only cost $27.14! One skinny one will be pan fried for son today in the form of two steak sandwiches, three of the less attractive ones will become Monday's steak and potato soup, and the rest will be frozen.
Friday we were out of town, and Saturday wife worked and I was sick, so lack of food posts hopefully explained..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Old Memory, Jogged Into A Post!

In my senior year in high school, I only needed three classes to graduate. They had them spaced so I had to be there all day! The only out, was to have a job you had to be to in the afternoon... I had a part time job that started at 4:30PM. I had to get the employer to sign a slip saying it was OK for me to have all my classes in the morning.. By withholding the actual facts from both sides, gave me from 11:30AM until 4:30PM as personal time for an entire school year! It was Heaven! I would go and play paddleball at the local Y.M.C.A. with businessmen on their lunch hours, take a sauna, shower, and go home, ready to go to work- where I was the night desk man, and could do my homework! I have been outfoxing the "by the book" types all my life! It started even earlier than this..My friends would only shake their heads trying to figure out how I got away with the stuff I did! One of my son's was pretty good at it too...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Screwed Up Schedule Food Post

My wife is going through a change in her's a promotion, but the schedule has been changing darn near daily... Food has been hit and miss. Two days we had a late breakfast, and no dinner to speak of. Friday she had off, as she had to work Saturday... Son has had his schedule changed, too! We had my son and his girlfriend over for waffles, and all went to that country market I've written about before- Bird's. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts- $1.49 a lb., Hamburger- $1.49 a lb., New York Strip (whole loin) $3.29 a lb., pork steak- $1.09 a lb., etc... Saved a bunch of money and gave quite a bit to my son- who is really starting to get into cookiing!
Saturday we just had hot dogs with cheese and bacon(we call them frankcheesies!), and I made a very interesting dessert for Sunday.
Imagine a cracker crumb crust, can of pumpkin pie, 4 eggs, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of coconut milk(really!)white sugar, pumpkin pie spices, and salt. Baked according to can instructions, but the last 10 minutes I topped with shredded sweetened coconut until toasted... It was really good! Why coconut milk? Because the recipe called for two cans of evaporated milk, and I only had one! I'm glad I tried this, as it was a new twist to an old favorite- pumpkin pie! If that cake pan looks old and beat up, it's because it is! It was my moms, and has to be 50 yrs. old...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

America, The Melting Pot- A Mini-Meme!

If you are an American, your ancestors didn't move here from wherever because things were going so well for them in the country they immigrated from! This led to a tremendously diverse ethnic population, which met, married, went forth, was fruitful, and multiplied.. It created the "melting pot" of people in this country today.. Face it, most Americans who have been here for more than 100 years are mutts! This is our strength, not a weakness! It also has given us a cuisine that is diverse, and probably the most varied in the world today.. Where I am going with this today, is the normal two part Mini-meme- two questions..
1. What is your favorite food that reflects your ancestry?
2. What is your favorite food that has no connection with your ancestry?
Me first!
1. My background is mainly Dutch, and my hands down favorite from that country is Gouda cheese! It comes in mild, medium, and sharp- with medium being my personal favorite. Edam is another cheese I favor, but Gouda (pronounced Gouw-da, not Gooda!)is a big export item from the Netherlands. American made is not as good as the real deal..
2. Pasta- I have no Chinese(where it first came from)or Italian (where they perfected it!)blood in me whatsoever! I love the sauces, the various shapes of pasta, and of course- our most popular food, Pizza! It's a rare week where we don't have pasta or pizza at least once..
Love to hear your answers, it doesn't take long!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hot Turkey Open Face Sandwich, With Gravy

Then we start on the turkey leftovers, the first thing we usually have is a hot turkey sandwich! This is my wife's idea of a great meal! I prefer cold sandwiches, but a warming meal these winter days is always welcome! I make a jack-leg gravy from the broth of the turkey, and a dry mix of chicken and brown gravy powder...This gravy is good, quick, and in different proportions works on pork as well. My broth was simmered and seasoned for about four hours, with poultry seasoning and a bit of dried savory spices and herbs. The bread was a home made white and rye flour mix, toasted, which held up well to the moistness of the toppings.. I made some crescent rolls- just because they sounded good!
Wife had her work schedule changed again, so she took a turkey and cheese sandwich along with her today for supper.. I'll have a similar bite to eat later today!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Supper- Bone In Turkey Breast

Saturday, I decided the weather wasn't getting any warmer to allow BB-Q, so I thawed and brined a bone-in Turkey breast I had for a while..
The brine was simple and basic- 1 cup of Kosher salt, 1/2 cup of white sugar with enough hot water to have them dissolve, cold water(enough to cover bird) and in goes the turkey breast for 16 hours (refrigerated).
I cooked it breast side up, coated with olive oil, and threw a cut up apple in the cavity for moistness. Took 3 hours, counting rest time after cooking. It came out very moist and flavorful! 1 hour before done, I threw some potatoes in the same roasting pan, so they would be done at the same time as the bird..
Dessert was a chocolate cake, home made frosting, sprinkled with cinnamon- pretty good!
I see more than one turkey sandwich in my future this week...
The last photo is an Airedale that really loves turkey!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Retro Meal..When We Were First Married..

I started to learn to cook back when my wife was 19 and I was 20- newlyweds! In Western Michigan, there is a large population of Dutch descended folks. I don't know why, but I heard once we use more cream of mushroom, or cream of chicken soup per population than just about anywhere! I was green, a newby to cooking..I had a couple of cookbooks, and a desire to become a better cook. Most of my recipes came off the box or the can! One of my first memories of a cooking success came from Campbell's Cream O Chicken soup! I spread the thick goop over some skin on chicken breasts and baked them.. I used Minute rice back then, as I didn't know any better.. It was a meal my wife and I enjoyed, both simple and good!
Last night, with our pantry getting low, I seasoned some boneless chicken breasts, dumped and spread a can of Cream of Chicken soup on them, and baked for an hour. I made white rice to go with it, which came out just right! the gravy is made with the chicken, which with added seasoning, was very tasty..
Sometimes it's good to revisit simple, it helps you remember good times when you were light on cash, but heavy on appreciating..

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pizza Bread And Onion Wraps, With Walnut Fudge Brownies

My wife had bought some great sub buns- and they were getting a little stiff.. Perfect for a pizza flavored topping! Imagine designer whole wheat sub buns, split to make four halves.. Topped with a slow simmered tomato sauce loaded with basil, oregano, fennel, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and red pepper. Grated Parmesan, and Romano, mixed with shredded Mozzarella onto the sauce, topped with mushrooms and pepperoni- broiled until bubbly- well, it was good! My son and his girlfriend were able to stop by..we had the open faced pizza, onion wraps, and brownies for an impromptu meal that was fun for the fellowship, if not the food! I love family at the table.. It makes me feel like a part of something timeless and ageless.. It bonds families, I think.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cold Subs, And Pork Tenderloin With Potatoes..

Saturday, I went out in the cold for a bit, to shop for a few essentials in needed for supper. I grabbed a head lettuce, two decent tomatoes, sliced deli roast beef and ham, with a couple of fresh baked Portuguese rolls...I had a craving for a good, cold sub sandwich! When home, I built two subs that had ham, Havarti cheese, lettuce, sliced tomato with mustard and mayo for condiments. A Portuguese roll is elongated bread(not hogie length!), with a hard crust, and chewy, well flavored interior. They were large when finished, but did they hit the spot!
Sunday, I had decided to make a pork tenderloin roast(two tenderloins tied together)and marinate in an olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice mix..Mediterranean flavor for sure! I roasted some Yukon Gold potatoes with it, and had made some chocolate walnut brownies for dessert.. Not a bad meal!
I hope to do a little more experimenting with foods in 2010, but still maintain my motto: "Simple things done well"..

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year's Eve Food, And A Saturday Morning Breakfast

The good news is we had plenty of food New Year's eve for 8 people! The bad news is we were running late, and there are no photos! Onion wraps, sweet and sour meatballs, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, along with a carrot cake and munchies, made for a snackie kind of night for playing Texas Hold'em with three other couples! They brought more munchies, so the night was filled with card playing, eating and drinking...Broke up about one o'clock..My wife and I won enough to pay for the food!
Spent New Year's Day watching football- congrats to Penn State, and Ohio State- you did the Big Ten proud!
This morning, a brunch of scrambled eggs and hash browns, with orange juice should get us off to a more productive day!
Oh yeah, that's our cat, Willow- who was wondering where the meat was...