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Showing posts with label homemade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homemade. Show all posts

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Screams and Sprouts; Ginger Scallops/ Pea, Carrot, Dill Sprouts/Sage Flowers/Mulberry Gastrique


Illustration of Scallops and Sprouts Salad w/Mulberry Gastrique


I wanted to discover the delicate side of my growing garden and I had a wonderful learning experience in sprouts.  I am at the thinning phase for some, so I thought it would be fruitful to see what I could develop with some of the freshest springtime ingredients available, literally in my own yard.  The birds hadn't eaten all of the Mulberries from our tree just yet and I was able to procure a full cup, from which I made the Gastrique.
 I reduced the berries and honey with a little water down to about 3 tablespoons, then added the aged balsamic, reducing again to about 2 tablespoons.  I used a good aged balsamic and wildflower honey.  Fresh ginger, lemon, organic extra virgin olive oil and Irish butter also make an appearance.  I used slices of ginger to scent the olive oil before searing the scallops.  I added the Irish butter after flipping the scallops and getting the caramelization on the tops.  I made a simple vinaigrette using the organic olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, sage flowers, cracked pepper and Fleur de Sel. I garnished with microgreens from my homegrown Brassicas.
 The recipe turned out wonderfully, though the stencil of the pea shoots could have been better.  I wanted to share the above photo of how my mind sees recipe ideas and ingredients before becoming a finished product. Grab some sprouts from your garden and have at it, it's a most rewarding experience.  Micorgreens can have upwards of 40 times the nutrients of regularly grown greens, bigger isn't always better!






 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hanging Strawberry Moss Baskets- Vertical Gardening Technique


Vertical Strawberry Moss Basket
I came up with this idea as I embark on my first season of growing strawberries at home.  I wanted to test out more vertical growing techniques and so, I in turn wanted to have a successful harvest.  Moisture is a big part of that equation and moss is a perfect candidate to help retain a good balance.  I gathered moss in sizable clumps and used it to line the shelves of a shower caddy I purchased specifically for this project, because I wanted it to hang flush against any wall space outside and hang downward, not sprawl across the ground, using vital grow space.  I also wanted to protect it from the animals, so suspending it  seemed like the best method to implement my idea.  
The moss adds a beautiful and organic touch to my hanging basket, which I secure with twine on the backside, enclosing the moss to serve as containers to house the strawberry plants.  The end result is a very cute and functional work of edible art, worthy of sharing and a focal point for a small grow space.  I am excited to see how it progresses and I will certainly keep you posted.  I chose three different types of strawberries, two of which are touted as best for growing when using a hanging basket, Allstar and Quinault, I also use Ozark Beautys.  These are June bearing plants, but do not make a surplus of viney connections, which is not ideal for this type of vertical gardening.  If you have more tips for growing strawberries vertically, myself and other readers would certainly appreciate your feedback.  You may leave comments in the space below and I will also take questions, if you have any about assembling your very own moss 'growing' basket.  Happy Gardening, the sky's the limit, literally!


 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Broccoli/Foraged Oyster Mushroom Casserole: Easter Pleaser

Broccoli/Oyster Mushroom Casserole
Broccoli Casserole is one of those dishes that make any holiday special.  Why not make your menu POP with some fresh broccoli and mushrooms, nestled deep inside a creamy and delicious three cheese bath, and garnished with some crispy fried onions?  This time around I was fortunate enough to have some foraged Oyster mushrooms to saute into an earthy, meaty and amazing base along with some fresh button mushrooms for a homemade cream of mushroom Bechamel. This recipe is extra special, since it was the first time I'd found Oyster mushrooms in the wild.   This dish comes together in no time and is perfect with ham, chicken, beef or by itself.  

The original inspiration for bringing broccoli casserole into my cooking repertoire came from my sister Bonnie, who was in turn inspired by Mrs. June Robinson, her beloved late mother in law and the rest is delicious history.  Bonnie never showed me a recipe, but I remember her speaking about it and telling me  how she would prepare the dish for her family, in the manner Mrs. Robinson would prepare hers.  I started making my original form of this dish about 6 years ago, and it quickly became a household favorite, especially for my daughter Genesis, she's quite persnickety in her ways and palate, so when she approved, I accepted that as an indication of a winning dish.  The above featured is a request Genesis made.  She still loved it, even with the addition of the Oyster mushrooms.  

The cheeses for this recipe are key.  I like to use three types, all bringing different facets to this gem of a dish.  Ultimately, the choice is with the culinary artist, so play around with them, see what best fits the tastes of your family.  

Recipe:

6 c. broccoli florets, blanched and shocked

8 oz. sliced button mushrooms

8 oz. sliced Oyster mushrooms

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/2 c. chicken stock or vegetable stock

8 oz. extra sharp Cheddar, grated

8  oz. Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed

4 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese, grated

1/2 c. full fat mayonnaise

2 tsp. onion powder

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 tbsp. AP flour

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

French Fried Onions for garnish, optional

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*F.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, onion powder and cubed Colby Jack and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed  saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and heat olive oil together until butter is melted and there are small bubbles formed.

Add mushrooms and cook out moisture, about 5 minutes.

Gradually sprinkle in  flour and cook for about 1 minute.

Add garlic.

Whisk in stock and cook for several additional minutes until thickened.

Once thickened, whisk in milk slowly and reduce heat to medium.

Bring Bechamel to a gently rolling simmer and turn off heat.

Stir in Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses.

Temper in eggs.

Fold cream of mushroom into bowl containing broccoli mixture.

Pour broccoli mushroom blend into a large greased or nonstick sprayed baking vessel, about 11x9 or approximate size.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until set and knife inserted comes out clean.

Remove foil and continue to cook until signs of golden color develops, about 10 minutes, give or take.

Garnish with French Fried Onions.

Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.


Broccoli/Oyster Mushroom Casserole before baking











  

 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Blueberry/Ginger/Bacardi Rum Jam: We Be Jammin'!

Today's feature is brought to you by an awesome sale on blueberries at our local Walmart. 12 oz. containers were on sale for $1 each.  This afforded me the opportunity to make a plethora of fruited goodies, namely jam.  I'd never made blueberry jam before and figured it was high time.  Following a successful venture with strawberries, creating a Mixed Berry Sake Jam w/Cardamom, a big hit with me and my family.  The recipe is super easy and relatively maintenance free, using my Ninja Foodi® and I was able to gift some of my family and friends their own special homemade goodies, it makes me feel good!  It pays to catch these impressive sales at local supermarkets and maximize on its benefits by canning and preserving for later.  With times as unpredictable as they are these days, every little bit helps, every deliciously sweet, fruity and spreadable bite!  I used Bacardi Rum for this recipe, but feel free to choose the brand of your own personal desire, I like to stick with the classics when cooking with alcohol. Don't worry, only the subtle spiced notes remain, not the booziness, so you can create memories that you can share with your kids after eating, unabashed and without the shame that sometimes comes along with a story starting with Bacardi Rum! Cheers!


 I'm by no means opposed to sugar and I know and respect its place in canning. I do however, feel that wonderful canned jams and jellies can be achieved with optimal yet reduced amounts.  This recipe provides a delightful and fruit forward spread and you will never miss the extra sugar! Try a heaping spoonful in your cottage cheese for a real treat or with the usual suspects like toast, English muffins or yeast rolls.  Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this JAM ROCKS!

Recipe:
8 -12 oz. containers of fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked through and examined for defectives
5 3/4 c. pure cane sugar
8 whole green cardamom pods
Juice and peel (without pith or white part) of 1 lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 shot bottle of Bacardi Rum 1 1/2 oz.
2 boxes fruit pectin, optional
Instructions:
Place all ingredients except vanilla extract in the Foodi on the warm setting and allow the fruit to macerate and marry for 5 hours.  Doing so will break the berries down slowly and help them keep their form, concentrating the delicious flavors and 'becoming' with little effort.  Stir periodically.
Once the berries have given up their liquids and are fragrance forward, turn the setting to  sear/saute and bring the berries up to gentle simmer.
Remove the cardamom pods!
Once the berries have reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and add the pectin mixed with a little water.  
If you choose not to use the pectin, simply simmer the berries down until visibly reduced and it is a bit thicker in the vessel.  It will continue to thicken naturally as it cools and sets.
Stir until fully dissolved and transfer to hot sterilized jars.
Add the lids and place the jars on the counter to seal naturally over the course of the next day.
You will be able to tell if they have sealed, by the indentation in the top lid, it will be concave. 
Label and date your finished gems, I like to adorn the gifting ones with butcher's twine for a personal touch, but feel free to omit or decorate as desired.   
Your jam is ready to be stored or gifted, I did both.
Makes 12 -1/2 pint jars, plus some to enjoy now, just place the remainder in a clean and airtight jar with a lid.
Refrigerate for longest shelf life and best flavor.  Keep in mind, this version has about half the sugar as the regular versions, so it may be more susceptible to losing freshness faster after opening, not that it will hang around though, as my young teens say "It's Bussin"!, which translates to delicious!


Dee Lish's Deliveries- Meat Lasagna


 I special delivered this lasagna to one of my older sisters, Terry, along with one of my signature Roasted Pumpkin Cream Pies (also featured on this blog, under the same name), chosen from my catalog of options.  She lives alone, so she specified the size and ingredient call for the dish, including, no fennel, extra beef and lots of three cheeses; Parmesan, Sharp Cheddar and Mozzarella.  I encouraged Terry towards a more wholesome request with the addition of fresh spinach to her dish, adding much needed and good for you nutrition and also a vibrant splash of color!  She agreed and was very pleased with her results. 
I'd been promising my fellow left handed sister a good home cooked meal, to welcome her back home from a lengthy hospital stay, of which I had planned on braised short ribs and perhaps some creamed potatoes and a slow cooked green.  She never worries about calories or fats (and has a somewhat tall and lean stature) especially not after having been deprived of her own freezer stocked with her favorites.  Her first choice was actually some chitlins', something she never tires of talking about having during the cool and winter months, but that was a dish that requires more time and effort than I could offer amidst the obligations and work load, plus pain, that beset my schedule and body at the time, particularly when its cold.

Terry makes a primo Seafood Alfredo,  loaded with treasures of the sea like bay scallops, crab meat and shrimp.  My girls and I just adore it and its the one request we've made when she feels up to it again.  She's the type that loves a dish that's over the top. For instance, if you'd like a cheeseburger, Terry makes a 1/2 lb. double bacon cheeseburger. Ask for a sandwich and it's a club, with extra meat/cheese and if there's cake involved, ice cream is definitively its natural accompaniment! Her eyes are most certainly bigger than her stomach, as she hardly, if ever, finishes any one thing she prepares and is subject to lose interest easily, after the initial culinary desire has been met, which can be a particular treat for those around her. 
 She's a real character and sweetheart, a sister and a friend.  

I am glad Terry made the request as she did, because in doing so, I was able to write another solid and delish lasagna recipe, this one with the flat lasagna and now my more favored over the rippled one.  I also omit the egg that I usually use in some of my ricotta mixtures and replace it with an Italian cheese blend to serve as a binder.  The sheets also aid in preparing smaller portion dishes.   This will be the recipe that makes the menu, once my meal service is fully up and running.   I'll be sharing more about its details in the weeks to come.  In the meantime between time, happy eating! 


Thursday, October 29, 2020

The XXL Hot Cheetos Burger

After much cajoling by the kiddoes, I decided to duplicate yet another food item from the Mukbang videos, the Hot Cheetos Burger.  This one, though seemingly rather easy from the video, gave way to a bit more of a challenge, as opposed to doing the chicken and even the pork cutlets, I didn't post those guys, but they were phenomenal.  In keeping with the burgers we saw on the video, they were easily 1/2 lb. each, way too much for my taste, for a single patty at least, though I do love a good double burger!  The size however, does lend to a protein with medium rare to medium outcome, of which I failed miserably and had to microwave my "Ginormagantuan" (borrowed from Stan Smith, American Dad) burger.  The microwave, though shunned by some, was a savior for this recipe, this time. 

 The burger demo calls for the par-cooked burger to be dipped in an egg wash, then doused liberally in the Hot Cheetos coating, then deep fried.  Due to the stupid crazy size of my burger, I was left with a burger, medium, with a raw center.  I used ground chuck mixed with super lean beef to achieve a more meaty and stable patty, I think I'll use the good old 75/25 blend, which is great for maintaining a super moist product, as long as you drain it properly, always pour off that extra animal fat, you don't need it, even if you add some olive oil back into the dish to retain moisture, it's still a 'better for you' fat, with no cholesterol.

Once I worked out the doneness kinks, the rest was smooth sailing.  For dramatic effect, I added Colby Jack Cheese, American cheese, which is just the right thing to do, some fries, WuJu Sauce and Blue Cheese, for a Hot Cheetos Loaded, Black and Blue Behemoth. For the record, WUJU is a beast!!  You will want it on everything!  The burger was rather tasty, but I will definitely make it with 2 patties instead of one next time and use corn starch before the first dip, to keep the red hot coating in place, its all about the crust.  The family received the burger well, and everyone was beyond stuffed.  They did however agree that the chicken and pork are more favorable candidates for our imminent next round of Hot Cheetos Mania coatings.  










 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Southern Style Sides: Down Home Green Beans



If you happen to have a ham bone around, from 'Virginia Prosciutto', in all its salted and cured glory would be great, now is a great time for this delicious and flavor rich dish that is these green beans.  Most of us have a sure bet menu items that our families' gravitate towards, travel well and get rave reviews, even from people we may not normally share the table with regularly.  I've been making this version of green beans for years, especially for the special dinners, birthdays and holidays.  
If pork is not really your thing, no worries, smoked turkey wings, legs and necks, make delicious music with the greens too!
Old fashioned green beans aren't just dumped from the can and heated. Freshly snapped from the garden during this time of year is optimal, work with what you have access to. Soul Food style greens and beans should be simmered for additional time, up to 2 hours, sometimes more, infusing the vegetable with depth and charm, fulfilling and full of love and effort.  You can taste the history in each bite.  
A few aromatics are all you need and a little more time, your tasters won't soon forget it.  I am a fan of a quick steam or saute of a garden fresh green bean, simple and drizzled with a little olive oil or sprinkled with some almond slivers .  As popular as green bean casserole is, I've never really fallen into that matrix, the cream of mushroom in the can, saving families since the thirties, when it was created and marketed for making affordable dinners and gussying up a plain meal in minutes, a godsend for the Depression Era. 
This dish is as easy as pie, needing only the time to simmer for a couple of hours and reduce the liquids.  The pieces of ham are just a little added bonus!  

Recipe:
1 gallon green beans, from the can, drained and rinsed
1 ham bone or portion
2 medium onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Chicken or Vegetable Stock or water, enough to cover green beans in large, heavy bottomed pot
Olive oil
SPST
Start by sauteing onion and garlic over medium high heat, in a large vessel, with a heavy drizzle of Olive oil.
Once onion is aromatic and showing signs of carmelization, add remaining ingredients and bring up to a boil.
Once mixture starts to boil, reduce to medium and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After above time, reduce again to medium low and continue to simmer until liquid is reduced and beans are tender and flavorful.
Taste as you go, check the seasoning of the green beans until the desired intensity is reached.
Whenever that time comes, turn to low.
This recipe makes a large quantity. For smaller families or dishes, simply halve the recipe.
You can freeze the extras, for slow cooked veggie goodness in a flash later!
 



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Smoked Pimeñto Ĉheese Mac & Cheese: Soulful and Southern Spoonfuls


Mac and Cheese is an integral part of kitchens, families and meals all over the country.  In many ways, it's hard to go wrong, especially if you're privy to the box variety, which is still possibly the #1 best seller among convenience foods.  Today's recipe is not one in the same.  I used two recipes I created and rolled them into one to create this ooey gooey and inviting version of America's Favorite and a Southern American staple, Smoky Baked Pimento Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.  I came up with this Sunday, after considering the union many times over.  I was actually due to make a batch of my Smoked Pimento Cheese for the family and for my younger brother to try, he is in from New York for a visit.  Sunday dinner was upon me, so I also needed to get a menu going to complement some fried chicken and my Southern Style Green Beans, so Mac and Cheese would round out the roster.  
Southern Style Green Beans!
Our family is fond of Nascar and we like to listen to the races and maybe place a few little friendly wagers to make it all interesting.  I've picked Ty Reddick as the up and comer to set these other drivers on their ears, forcing veterans like Denny Hamlin, "The Closer "Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex jr. and Keselowski to show and prove on the track more and more each week!  Reddick is on his way to great things I think, shoutout to him and his team.  Oh yeah, mac and cheese, this will surely be a food fan favorite, especially if you are a lover of the two dishes separately.  Prep is a cinch and the payout is a victory burnout.  It will leave the baking dish as fast as a Nascar race to the checkered flag!  Culinarians, start your engines or should I say ovens...

RECIPE:
1 lb. cooked macaroni, cooked in salted water for 8 minutes, then shocked in cold water, drained and tossed with a little olive oil.
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 8 oz.  pkg. EACH regular cream cheese and Neufchatel (lower fat cream cheese)
1 8 oz. pkg. three cheese blend, Cheddar
1 8 oz pkg. sharp Cheddar, shredded
6 oz. EXTRA Sharp Cheddar, shredded
4 tbs. butter, unsalted
1/2 c. mayonnaise, optional but optimal
2 tbsp. diced pimento, drained and pressed free of excess moisture
2  tsp. liquid smoke, hickory
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seed powder
1/2 tsp. Jalapeno powder, optional
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Olive oil for drizzling

Directions:
Bring all cheeses and butter to room temperature before beginning.
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients starting from the cheeses down.
Fold in macaroni in two to three batches, blend well.
Spread in a large baking dish, sprayed with nonstick spray, butter or drizzled with olive oil.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until for about 35 minutes, until heated through and the top has set.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until desired caramelization is reached.
Let stand for several minutes before serving.
Makes enough for a Sunday dinner with Monday covered!

*You may use substitutions wherever you see fit.  This is including, but not limited to lower fat mayonnaise, reduced fat cheeses and fat free evaporated milk.  




Tuesday, June 30, 2020

See and Slay: Italian Style Beef Short Ribs w/ Parmesan Cheddar Mash



The cool weather days at the cabin made for a deliciously decadent comfort food recipe.  I found some short ribs at the local grocer for a virtual steal and grabbed them up, just in case the opportunity arose for some soulful and hearty mealtime.  If the chance would not have presented itself, they simply would have been frozen and transported back home to our freezer there.  The temperatures at the lake plummeted around Tuesday, bringing cold, overcast and pain filled days, as my RA would not be still and all my rebuilt parts reminded me that it was only around 50*F out, even cooler in the wake of dawn.  So much so, that my hands felt like ice and were prickly when I came inside from having coffee on the deck.  Not really what I had mind for summer vacation initially, but every day is a good on vacation, right? I had some fresh herbs on hand and some fire roasted tomatoes and wine, plus the usual aromatics like onion and garlic, so I went forth and created this recipe, full of warm flavors and depth, comforting and soothing to my stomach and bones.  
The twins came over the next day, and I was able to share with them also, my brother in law too.  This made an awesome impromptu elevated lunch and I felt like the 'Belle of the Ball', with no leg work other than a masterful reheat and thoughtful service.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my older sisters and I did.  My tween and teen were somewhat passé on the whole deal, but they did try it and liked it well enough.  This is 'grown folks food' I later went on to say, you guys wouldn't understand' and with a jovial laugh, I then proceeded to plan a more teen and tween friendly dish to accommodate the 'youngins', Bronwyn's Omurice.  

Recipe:

3 lbs. beef short ribs, bone in
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced, green and white parts
3 cloves garlic, smashed 
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 c. beef stock
1 cup full bodied red wine, I used a 2016 Malbec
1 15 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices
1/4 c. fresh parsley, rough chopped plus more for garnish
2 tbs. butter, unsalted
1 tsp. Italian seasoning mixed with 2 tbs. ap flour
Olive oil for drizzling
AP flour
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, drizzled with olive oil, a pat of the butter and the smashed garlic.
 Brown short ribs that have been SPST.
Brown in batches, as not to crowd pan, add the second pat of butter for additional batches.
After final batches browned, toss in fresh herbs and onions.
Cook to for several minutes until fragrant.
Transfer to a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan and add stock and wine.
Bring up to a boil, for about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol, then reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes .
Simmer , covered for about 4 to 5 hours or until ribs are tender and ready to fall off bone and liquid is reduced.
Make a slurry with 2 tbsp. flour and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning and remove pot from heat and stir in.
Put back onto heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Adjust seasonings as necessary.  
Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Parmesan Cheddar Mash
3 lbs. russet potatoes, cooked
1/4 c. 2 % milk
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. shredded Sharp Cheddar
2 tbs. butter, unsalted
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST

Mash hot potatoes in a medium bowl, add milk, butter and cheeses.  Blend into rusticly smooth mash . Drizzle with olive oil and scallop the top for an interesting presentation.

Makes about 8 servings.
































Wednesday, June 24, 2020

See and Slay: Bronwyn's Omurice


One of the best things about being in a new kitchen is the possibility of new and fresh recipe ideas that spawn from the environment or chemistry the new locale creates.  Additionally, I like to make the dishes my girls' think up or want on the dinner/meal agenda come to fruition.  Doing this is good culinary exercise and keeps me on my 'game', plus it keeps us from falling into the comfort zone rut of cooking and taking the easy way out, instead of going for elevated and diverse cuisines.  Moreover, it keeps the kids excited about meals that would otherwise go unnoticed. 
This particular day on vacation, Bronwyn mentioned a dish called Omurice. Omurice (pronounced Ahm-Yoo-rice) is traditionally fried rice, usually with chicken,  wrapped in an omelette.  I was oblivious initially about what that was, Bronwyn graciously ushered my phone from my hands and pulled it up on Google.  I was immediately intrigued once I began my research, finding its origin and ingredient call, the proper technique and the variations, then looking to put my spin on it, but keeping it true to its form.  I am an avid fan of Japanese cuisine as well as many other Asian countries and regions.  In fact, my cooking style is best described in large part, as a fusion between Southern American and Pan Asian cuisine respectively. 
Omurice was invented in the early 80's as a way to combine Japanese cuisine with our Western Culture. The other way this is served is quite an art.  The fluffy egg is placed atop the rice and a slit is made down the length of the cloud-like, custardy deliciousness and you can watch it cascade down its sides for a most glorious presentation.  I haven't tried this yet, but soon will.


I named this dish after Bronwyn for her admiration and respect of Japanese culture and her love of Anime. 

Recipe: 
2 cups cooked yellow rice or other cooked rice of choice,
using 25 % less water.
In a medium pan, over medium high heat, drizzled with Olive oil and a pat of butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed. Add to oil while heating up and sauté
1 chicken breast, about 4 oz. boneless/skinless, small cubed and SPST, sautéed in olive oil.
Add chicken.  After it is cooked through, browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes, Add:
1/2 cup Cole slaw mix, classic style 
1/2 c. Romaine greens with carrot  
1/4 c. each fresh parsley and cilantro, rough chopped
2 chopped green onions or to taste, green and white parts
Sauté with chicken for about 2 minutes and remove garlic and chop, put chopped garlic back. 
Add rice.

 

Fold together over medium heat .


Add 2 tbsp. ketchup and 2 tsp. organic, less sodium soy
.  Stir and fold  until combined.  Transfer to a bowl or dish.
 Mix together 1 egg with 1 tbsp. of milk for every  person to be served.  Make one omelet at a time, 
Add 2 tbsp. sharp shredded cheese to one side of omelet and add a portion of the chicken fried rice to the middle and fold each side over the mound in the middle. Shake the omelet down to one side of pan and flip onto plate. Carefully shape into oblong fashion and garnish with ketchup. 



















Monday, June 22, 2020

Quit Wishin', Go Fishin' and Kick Some Bass



 
This past weekend, we wrapped up a fabulous week long stay at the beautiful Occoneechee State Park.  This relaxing and scenic area, is also host to Buggs Island Lake, Virginia's largest, that extends into North Carolina!  This area  is one of the most popular fishing hubs, with prize winning fish coming from these vast and diverse waters. The above picture is taken from the 'back yard' of the cabin in which we stayed.  We felt completely secure, as the cabins are all private and the only human to human contact is on the initial check-in.  
Our crew was able to do a good amount of fishing and bringing in a decent haul, considering the fact that it rained, hard and steady, for days, literally everyday.  This is the first time we've encountered such consistent rains in one visit.  There was local flooding by nearby towns' streets, creeks and underpasses, but we were unaffected. 
 Our first fish of the season was actually a gift, from a couple that was on their last day and donated their bait as well.  The fish was a beautiful white bass pictured below.  The size was perfect for an impromtu Catch of the Day meal, with my on hand ingredients of fresh lemon, green onions, garlic and some staples; olive oil, butter and truffle oil.  With a hot oven, I open roasted the bass, which I personally dressed, at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then baked at 350*F for an additional 15 minutes, until it flaked with a fork and had some good carmelization on the exterior, about 30 minutes  total. I like to go a little long on our fish, because we prefer the meat a bit more firm than the suggested temperature for doneness would have it.  
I served the fish with a simple packaged Cheddar Broccoli Rice blend and a fresh green salad.  If you haven't gotten a chance to do so, having a Catch of the Day meal is the way to go. It's an amazing way to start off a little R&R, at your favorite camping, fishing or refuge destination. It's good to get a little messy sometimes, live a little!  Get out there and kick some BASS!  



















Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ziti w/Brats, Kraut and Burst Grape Tomatoes

A quick and delicious spin on your Ziti is using Bratwurst and Sauerkraut.  The mellow brats and tangy kraut blend well and add a surprisingly wonderful fusion of Italian and German cuisine.  The grape tomatoes implement more flavor and freshness, plus lycopene and B vitamins.  Serve with a green salad and fruit for a deliciously satisfying and complete meal in no time!

Recipe:
1 lb. ziti
1/2 lb. brats, sliced thinly
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 c. sauerkraut, drained and squeezed of excess liquid
1 jar or 15 oz. favorite tomato sauce
1 pint of grape tomatoes
Herbs de Provence
SPST
Olive Oil for drizzling
Fresh Parsley for garnish

In a large pot, cook ziti in salted water, according to instructions to al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 c. pasta water.
In the same pot over medium high heat, drizzle with two turns of olive oil and add onion.
Cook , stirring often, until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add brats and sauerkraut and SPST.
Cook until brats show signs of caramelization, about 3 minutes.
Add sauce and pasta water as needed. Fold in ziti and Herbs de Provence as desired, about 1 tsp.
Check Seasonings.
Simmer for about 4 minutes for flavors to marry and add tomatoes.
Cover and let simmer another few minutes and remove from heat.
Serves 6 to 8.




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