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Showing posts from January, 2020

Hamburger Potato Skillet

Meat and potatoes, the staple of every childhood meal.  The combinations were limitless and when tossed with a "veggie" it was a complete meal.  One such staple was scalloped potatoes and a pork chop, chicken breast, hamburger steak.  Tonight's meals Country Hamburger Skillet was a modern version of scalloped potatoes with burger steak combined in one skillet.  With the addition of cheese and chives, it was sure to be classic. Modifications Made: Bacon.  The best scalloped potatoes were the ones served with bacon bits and hamburger steak was always fried in bacon fat.  Since I was trying to modernize the classic meal memory, six slices of pepper bacon were fired along side the onion.   Garlic.  Calling for garlic salt on the potato layers and not having any, extra minced garlic was added to the meat itself during the browning stage. Layers:  Layer one: bacon, onions, meat, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Meat was fully cooked before layer two was added

Skillet Bread

I n serving pot roast or stew, what is the one side that can turn reviews from good to great?  Rolls.  Just as one would not serve Thanksgiving dinner without rolls, one would not serve pot roast without rolls.  How is one supposed to collect all the drippings without a soft buttery roll?  Or two?   In creating Cabbage Beef Skillet I knew a bread would be needed to accompany the dish.  The bread needed to be more than a just store bought white bread.  Needed to be something more robust than brown and serve rolls.  Needed to be something hearty, substantial, and flavorful. Something like  Easy No Knead Skillet Bread .  Cooked in a cast iron skillet, the bread would be toasty on the top and crunchy on the bottom.  A bread slice robust enough to push dredges around on the plate. Modifications Made: Not having fresh rosemary nor any fresh herbs to accompany the cabbage skillet, half of the bread was topped with a sprinkle of garlic salt, the other half just salt. Scaled for

Burger Cabbage Skillet

When you think of cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, and beef in a dish, what meal comes to mind?  The American Sunday standard, stew or pot roast.  But why?  Why can't the good wholesomeness of a stew be combined with the simplicity of a beef and cabbage egg roll stir fry?  Why can't bacon be added for an additional depth of flavor.  Bacon and cabbage, bacon and potatoes, cabbage and carrots, cabbage and potatoes, carrots and potatoes.  What really could go wrong with the combination of all the ingredients in a skillet hash sort of meal?  Nothing, really. Ingredients: 1 onion, finely diced 8 slices bacon, diced 1 lb burger 1/2 head cabbage, chopped 2 carrots, shredded salt, pepper 1 cup water (optional) Instructions: In large dutch oven, fry bacon and onions together till bacon is extra, extra crispy.  Brown lean meat.  If using 70/30 meat, the bacon grease should be drained first.  When meat is fully cooked, add in cabbage, salt and pepper.  If needed,

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles

Dinner on the fly, the mantra to every working family cook.  I have been cooking long enough that cooking dinner on the fly was an act of congress.  You'd come home from work, search the deep dark crevices of both the fridge/freezer/and your brain for a quick and easy, tasty and healthy meal.  If there was time to spare, a cookbook or two or the index card box of recipes would be rummaged.  My how times have changed.  Now all one working cook has to do for dinner in a pinch is pop onto the internet with whatever ingredients you want to cook with.  Dinner on the fly was was how Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles was found.  Dinner with veggies and noodles would have been sufficient but not for the table counterparts.  They needed protein to fill their voids so pesto chicken  breasts with parmesan was added.  Not bad for a quick 30 minute dinner. Modifications Made:   Noodles.  So many choices, so many textures, so many flavors.  Noodles can be just noodles when eating just

Asian Fried Mixed Greens

A veggie was needed to serve alongside the ginger pork stir fry as this stir fry only contains meat and served over white rice.  Unlike most veggie dishes, Stir-Fry Spinach with Garlic did not contain a single carrot, broccoli stem, mushroom, or green onion.  It was simply spinach, garlic, and chili.  It sounded wonderful. Modifications Made: Other than using mixed greens for the spinach, the recipe was followed as written. Scaled for Likability: Good So simple and pretty and tasty.  Dark greens, bright orange pork, and white rice, what a brightly colored plate.  The only reason this recipe was not rated at Great was the oily residue left on the plate and palate after eating it.  When mixed with the rice and the ginger pork stir fry, the oily residue was unnoticeable but in wanting to eat it separate, it was most definitely present.  Using the dark green mixture was a bonus as the bitter greens paired well with the sweetness of the stir fry and the bitterness of the garlic. 

Chinese Garlic Pork Stir Fry

Waste not, want not.  With a 1/2 pound of pork steaks still in the fridge from Chinese Pancakes two nights ago, I decided to try my luck at another non-traditional American stir-fry. Yes, I know the Mongolian Pork Stir Fry was a complete disaster but one failed attempt should not negate another.  Like the Mongolian Pork, in  Chinese Pork & Ginger Stir Fry  the meat is not deep fried before serving.  Instead it is marinated and then covered in a heavily seasoned sauce and served over rice.  Sounded good to me. Modifications Made: In the marinade, regular instead of light soy sauce.  In the sauce itself, regular instead of light and dark soy sauce, mirin instead of Shaoxing wine.  In the cooking, the meat was cooked first, then the spring onions, ginger, and garlic.  The meat was added back, mixed thoroughly, and sauce was added. Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You Let me say it was way, way better than the Mongolian pork but it was not anything to write home about.  The sa


Many years ago in town adjacent to my mother in laws was the most wonderful Mexican grocery store that served precooked foods such as  Pork Carnitas . They were crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside.  Even after a 30 minute trip home plus dinner prep time!  Served on skillet warmed corn tortillas with cilantro and salsa, nothing else was needed.  If you were lucky, there was a hunk of onion in the mix and it could be divided among four or five tacos.  They were the best.  Not really a Tex-Mex food where I grew up but popular all the same. Modifications Made: Not using a crock pot but a dutch oven, the pork roast, seasonings, and water to cover were added all at once and given a good stir. Pork was cooked till fork tender. Scaled for Likability: Good This was NOT carnitas in any fashion.  While the meat was tasty and tender, it was completely shredded.  If this shredded pork would have been skillet fried it would have turned dry and tough.  Honestly, the barbaco

Barbacoa, A Staple

Another Tex-Mex favorite while growing up was a dish only bought at a few selecton places on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Barbacoa. True authentic barbacoa comes from a whole cow head cooked all night in a hole in the ground then picked out of the cheek and head.  One could walk up to the counter and request barbacoa (either brain or cheek or both) by the pound.  Served in a taco or on the side with fried eggs, barbacoa was always good so long as you didn't look at it when eating. Today barbacoa is served everyday all day at long at most hole in the wall taco joints but it is anything but real barbacoa meat.  Nope, today's barbacoa in a quest to fill a food need, it is just shredded beef roast, much like my tacos last night were not carnitas but shredded pork.  True barbacoa must be head/cheek meat, preferably with the essence of wood smoke.  Period. Scaled for Likability: Great My local grocer carries cheek meat occasionally and having scored two packages on sale, one

Chinese Burritos

Do you have a memory of a meal that was absolutely perfect each and every time you had it?  Maybe something only served on special occasions because it so hard to make or could only be had from a special restaurant?  Maybe something special because your grandmother was the only person who made and you only saw her once or twice a year?  For me, it was Moo Shu Chicken from a upper scale Asian restaurant in my home town.  So upper scale that I can count the number of times I have eaten there on my two hands.  And what was the one thing they had that was above and beyond any other Asian restaurant: Moo Shu Pork.  In face, I am not sure there was another restaurant in town that served it at all. Some twenty five years after my first experience having been introduced to it and some 15 years since having it since, I have decided to scour the internet in search of  Moo Shu Pork .  After months and months and months, I stumbled across how to make it.  Unfortunately, it is not as simple as

Chicken Taquitos

If there is a standard Tex-Mex meal that I do not love, I have not found it yet.  Enchiladas (beef, cheese, chicken), tacos (crispy, soft, puffy, meatless, beef, chicken, pork), chalupas (a modified version of tacos), tamales (meatless, beef, chicken, pork), burritos (meatless, beef, chicken, pork), chimichangas, etc....  Of the mentioned items I have never made a chimichanga nor its smaller version: flautas/taquitos.  Why?  Mostly because I detest frying foods. Flautas/taquitos differ only in tortilla, one is a flour, the later is corn.  They are both delicious but I prefer corn tortillas over flour.  If I want fried flour tortillas, then I want them in the form of sopapillas  served with not cinnamon sugar but with honey such as these found here .  Which reminds me, I have not made sopapillas in years and am gonna have to introduce these sugary puffs of heaven to the teen counterpart. Anyways as I was saying if I have to chose flautas vs taquitos I would rather taquitos. Setting

Chicken Nugget Wraps

Read this quote once long time ago and thought it just about summed up all of life: " No human ever became interesting by not  failing . The more you  fail , the better you are..." As the broken record states around here towards the teen counterpart, nobody is born walking.   Just because a meal fails the first time does not mean the recipe should be totally scratched. A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to recreate the Jack In The Box chicken sandwich.  While the recipe was a failure, it still tasted good.  Strike one.  Tonight I tried to recreate a Bucee's Chicken Wrap.  It sounded simple: a tortilla, chicken strips, crunchy lettuce, honey mustard, red onions.  Simple. Modifications Made: Used left over chicken nuggets from dinner a few weeks ago instead of chicken strips.  Added two slices of swiss cheese because cheese makes everything better! Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You So sad.  In theory is sounded so easy.  The cheese was wrong, the nuggets were

Oatmeal Waffles

Lord, how I am loving this waffle maker.  Plain, zucchini, frozen hash brown, and now Easy Gluten Free Oat Waffles .  Basing the idea off a T&T oatmeal pancake recipe discovered some ten years ago, I was hoping this recipe would just offer a slightly healthy twist to the standard box waffle mix.  Maybe I should make waffles for breakfast, like a normal family.  Probably not. Modifications Made: Not having oat flour, nor wanting to buy oat flour, old fashion oatmeal in high speed blender was blended until almost powder as we prefer a little bit of texture in the flour. Scaled for Likability: Good Not quite as tasty as the oatmeal pancakes and a little on the dense side, the waffles were not bad for a first attempt.  The next time these are made, I will let the batter rest for 30 minutes as in the pancake recipe before baking.  This will allow the oat to soften hopefully allowing the mixture to lighten when cooked.  If not, another teaspoon of baking powder will be add

Mongolian Pork

After succeeding with potstickers last week, another Asian dish was attempted.  Something other than a stir fry, a deep fried meat, or a soup.  In reading various blogs, the recipes all seemed similar in style just slight differences in seasonings.  Picking a recipe  not requiring additional ingredient purchases, Easy Crispy Mongolian Beef was attempted. Modifications Made: None.  Asian foods are one of those few recipes I have built up enough confidence to modify on the fly. Scaled for Likability:  Fail The problem with American versions of anything Asian is the sheer amount of sugar in the recipes.  To offset the simple ingredients and intense heat, Americans tend to add extra sugar.  A more appropriate title to this dinner should have been candied beef.  With a title like that, I would have known going in the meat was going to be sweet.  So sweet even when mixed with the plain pan seared veggies and rice the meat could not be eaten.  Each and every piece of meat wa

Oatmeal Granola Bar

Tweens eat everything unless they don't. Table counterpart has this crazy high metabolism and is always hungry. Trying to find healthy snack options other than nuts is always at the back of my brain. Every time I pursue Pinterest, read a blog, watch video feeds on Facebook, the never ending need for a new healthy snack is ever present. Sure, sure one can buy "healthy granola snacks" but they are expensive, loaded in extra ingredients, and never truly healthy. After having made a list of healthy components and purchased ingredients have on hand that are packed in good stuff, I once again set off to find a new snack such as these Peanut Butter Granola Bars . Modifications Made: Almond butter replaced peanut butter, cinnamon replaced vanilla.  Coconut oil was completely omitted and one tablespoon of sugar in the raw was added during honey cooking process as almond butter is not very sweet. Scales for Likability: Good  Not once in the history of making gran

Chicken with Mixed Greens

One pot meals as a kid were usually not one my favorite meals.  This probably had to do with my mothers veggies of choice: canned tomatoes (when petite diced tomatoes did not exist) and frozen veggie mix that always contained peas and green beans and a dry venison meat.  Never anything to sing praises about, just something easy to put on the plate. Being an adult with a full time job and full time parent I can completely understand and appreciate the need for one pot meals.  However, with modern blogs and video feeds, one pot meals can be something truly amazing even if they are just basic staples fancied up like this Chicken and Spinach Skillet . Modifications Made: Other than petite diced replacing regular tomatoes and the addition of two cups of diced fresh zucchini, the recipes was followed as instructed. Scaled for Likability:  Great Tender juicy chicken, sweet soft spinach, earthy bites of zucchini, hearty whole grain rice.  Would have been great with corn and roasted

Leftover Steak and Spinach Omelet

The gift that keeps on giving. Wanting to use up the remaining steak from several months ago, I created a Steak and Egg Omelet with Mushrooms and Spinach. Steak and eggs are popular, mushrooms and spinach are popular, so why not combine all three? Ingredients: 1 cup thinly sliced steak 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms  1 cup packed baby spinach  1 cup shredded cheese  9 eggs 1 tablespoon butter Salt/pepper to taste  Instruction: Brown mushrooms. Add steak. Cook till warm. Add spinach. Cook till just wilted. Remove from pan. Melt butter and add eggs. Once slightly cooked add mushroom mixture to one half of skillet. Fold eggs over mixture. Flip omelet if needed. Cook till egg in middle is done. Cover with cheese. Scaled for Likability: Good Not a fan of steak and eggs but having enjoyed the steak and egg tacos a couple of months ago, I decided to give the omelet a whirl. Success was due to the thinly sliced steak instead of chunks. Chewing on steak is on

Turkey Salad Sandwiches

Copycat recipes of your favorite takeout foods are vast.  Not that I have ever had PF Changs but the knock off recipes for their meals are endless.  Or McDonald's or Applebee's or Chili's.  You get the idea.  If you desire a knock off recipe from a chain restaurant, with some searching a decent recipe can be found.  But what about your local mom and pop diner?  Here is where years of culinary experience come into play.  And a little trial and error, of course. Over the years I have perfected this T&T sandwich but its original base came from a Chicken Cranberry Pecan Salad  similar to the local sandwich joint.  Differences being are subtle and have more to do with things completely out of my control such as their homemade bread.  Don't know what it is but it is the best.  While I have found a great store bought, off the shelf substitute to their homemade heaven, their bread still is the best.  As far as the salad is concerned, I think mine is just as good as the

Sesame Chicken Potstickers

Since having mastered; at least according to the table counterparts; stir fry, fried rice,and lo mein, I have decided to attempt a new Asian dish.  Potstickers.  Sesame Chicken Potstickers  seemed like the perfect place to start as ingredients were all on hand with exception to the wrappers themselves. Modifications Made: Four ounces baby bella replaced shiitake mushrooms, regular soy for reduced soy, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper for 1/4 teaspoon white.  The biggest modification were the wrappers themselves.  Every post read about potstickers had these cute half moon shaped packets.  Won ton wrappers at my local market were 2" squares making it impossible to make any shape other than triangles. Scaled for Likability: Great Not ever having had potstickers, I cannot compare these to past experiences.  When reading about potstickers (which I did for weeks and weeks) and their components, it reminded me of a unfried, slightly soggy egg roll.  Loving egg rolls, the leap of fa

Waffles and Cranberry Sauce

Have I mention my new found love?  I am sure I have, but in case you have not read that post (or posts) let me tell you (refresh your memory).  Cranberry sauce.  Not the canned kind and definitely not the gelled goop in a can (although that will forever hold a dear spot in my heart).  No, homemade cranberry sauce. As in boil the berries in sugar water with orange zest until perfect texture is reached.  Really don't know how I have 40+ years without ever having had the real deal.  Simple to make, versatile in use, and easy to keep in fridge.  Turkey, sandwiches, and waffles.  Yes, you read correctly.  Waffles.  Don't knock it till you try it.  And you should try it as soon as you can lay your hands on fresh cranberries again. Scaled for Likability: Great All II can say is that I may never eat waffles any other way again.  Good bye imitation pancake syrup.  Good bye maple syrup.  Good bye plain powder sugar.  Hot waffles, cold cranberry sauce.  So freaking fantastic!

Nugget Sandwiches

One of my favorite burgers as a teen was the $0.99 chicken sandwich at Jack in the Box. It was basically a fried chicken patty on a bun with a thin slice of lettuce. If it came with mayo I don't remember it or I must have always told them to hold the mayo because there is nothing, NOTHING, more disgusting than hot mayo. For less than $3, I could get two chicken burgers and a large cheap fountain drink from the ice house next door. It was perfect for a poor teen/young adult. It would be perfect for the working adult right now except it would cost closer to $6. Funny how that works, the price for a tasty lunch had doubled but my salary surely hasn't doubled in the 25 years since buying my first chicken sandwich. Wanting to recreate my childhood memory and only have chicken nuggets on hand, I attempted to make an adult version of a chicken a sandwich. Modifications Made: Unlike the original version, a slice of Havarti cheese and three hamburger pickles were added. Ins

Chicken Tortilla Soup, A Staple

After too many unsuccessful recipes, a T&T and teen counterpart favorite was busted out. I can remember the very first time I had Chicken Tortilla Soup. It was a local Tex-Mex chain food restaurant in my hometown with my cousin and we were sophomores in high school. The chain food was nothing to write home about but it was cheap and had free tea refills.  Their Chicken Tortilla Soup on the other hand was nothing like I had ever had before or since. It was completely unique. Tomato based, shredded chicken, crunchy tortilla strips, two slices of lime, and cheese. Always served piping hot with fresh chips on the side. When ordered with a side order queso and chips or spanish rice it was enough to share. Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, quartered  1 small yellow onion, finely diced  3 cloves garlic, smashed 1 medium jalapeno, whole 1 bunch cilantro, cut in half across stems 28 oz tomato sauce 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon comino 2 cubes Pollo de Tomate

Refrigerator Succotash, A Staple

Succotash according to Wikipedia  is a "culinary dish consisting primarily of sweet corn with lima beans or other shell beans.  Other ingredients may be added including corned beef, potatoes, turnips. salt pork, tomatoes, multi-colored sweet peppers, and okra" all served with or over a grain.  In terms practical cooking, it is a use for refrigerator leftovers.  Over the years, I have had succotash with chicken/beef/pork, tomatoes/potatoes, carrots, corn, okra, squash/zucchini, lima beans, with or without tomato sauce but never with bell peppers of any color or turnips.   After having read Wiki's page, I might just have to look further into turnips.  In my head turnips with corn, okra, and lima beans sounds like a great combination. Modifications Made: None, as there is not a specific recipe to follow.  Succotash is simply a mixture of veggies seasoned with salt and pepper or seasoning of choice (I used Tony Chachere). Scaled for Likability: Great There are two ke

Hashbrown Waffles

Undeterred from last night's zucchini-less waffles tonight Egg and Cheese Hash Brown Waffles were attempted for dinner again served with eggs, sausage patties, and orange juice. This is even more of an all american breakfast as it contains hash browns.  Only in a different format. Modifications Made: Chives and pepper were omitted.  While the recipe did not instruct to squeeze excess water out of the hash browns, this step was included as many other variations of hash brown waffles stated to do so.  Sour cream for topping was replaced with traditional pancake syrup for myself, ketchup for the teen counterpart, and extra salt, pepper, and butter for the second counterpart. Scaled for Likability: Great These were easy to make, crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and tasted great, even without syrup and just extra butter.  They reminded me of German potato pancakes but without the applesauce. If applesauce had been available, I would have ditched the syrup

Zucchini-less Waffles

This same friend who gifted steaks also recently gifted her waffle maker of which we have been using with great frequency.  Waffles for desert are so good.  They are easier to make and have less sugar than cookies.  As added bonus, waffles are designed to be served hot where as with cookies there is always that 10-20 minute wait period.  Waiting is so hard. Tonight, however, waffles were not for desert but for dinner itself.  Zucchini Waffles with a side of eggs and a two sausage links. It was the all american breakfast. Healtified, sort of. Modifications Made: Pepper and cheese were omitted. Scaled for Likability: Good I have been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stove when standing on a phone book on a chair.  In all that time, recipes have yet to come to some standard of being written.  Are 2 cups of shredded zucchini before being decompressed of water or after?  If weighed instead of measured, the same applies.  Before or after?  Sifted or not sifted flour. Mi

Bombed Steak Bombs

Several weeks ago a friend gifted steaks.  We ate them with as buttered steaks one night, steak quesadillas another day, and steak and egg tacos on another.  One can only eat some much steak so the remaining three deck size chunks were frozen in individual bags for later usage such as Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Bread . Modifications Made: Leftover steak already seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning was substituted for deli roast beef and steak seasoning.  Meat was originally cooked medium rare so when reheated it would not turn to shoe leather and left whole.  Instead of bites, the meat was cut into thin strips. Scaled for Likability: Good Table counterparts enjoyed this meal much more than I did.  Having all the same ingredients as a traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich, wrapped in crescent rolls did little to enhance the sandwich.  It is the crunchy outside of a hoagie, soft in the middle with warm, cheesy meat goodness that makes a cheesesteak sandwich.  Soft buttery c

Sesame Garlic Noodles with Veggies

Stir fry.  Judging from the number of posts on this blog, stir fry is a popular dish at this table.  The youngest table counterpart is having a teen crisis, as mentioned numerous times, and still only wants carbs, cheese, sugar.  But as a all children before and children yet to come, the rule stands: dinner is what is being served, breakfast is in the morning.  Depending upon the level of complaint at dinner, breakfast might very well be dinner served again.  Its a standard growing up regime.  Not wanting to serve just Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles for dinner, I modified it just a bit. Modifications: First, ramen was dumped as there is a time and place for ramen noodles, but tonight was not it.  Instead, angel hair spaghetti was used.  While the noodles cooked, one diced chicken breast was browned and then a bag of frozen Asian style veggies were sauteed.  Finally the sauce was doubled to accommodate all the extras, and because I like my noodles saucy.  When the noodles were done

South Side San Antonio Flour Tortillas

Growing up on the South Side of San Antonio, being raised by my Tia Maria and preferring South Side Tex-Mex to any other food group, flour tortillas are not something one can "just accept".  They are either good or not good, there is no middle ground.  No tortilla bought at any grocery store can compare to homemade Abuelita tortillas.  Unless of course you are buying fresh from the local Tex-Mex restaurant to take home to immediately eat.  Leftover tortillas do not save well.  Besides, why should there ever be leftovers. Fresh flour tortillas can be eaten morning, noon, and night with savory dishes, as deserts with cinnamon and sugar,  with melted butter or cheeses, or best yet, all by themselves warm straight from the griddle.  They are best served to perfection in their non circle forms! Ingredients: 2 Cups All Purpose Baking Flour 1.5 teaspoon Baking Powder 2 teaspoon Salt 2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil/Lard 3/4 cup lukewarm milk Instructions: Stir toget

Nachos de Tomatillos

Back home my favorite place to get the best messiest nachos around was a little place called Tomatillos.  The plate was loving referred to as Daniels Nachos or Pablos Nachos.  Can't remember as it has been more than 25 years since I have eaten them.  The concept was simple.  Freshly fried thin tortilla chips topped with refried beans, spanish rice, taco meat, and two kinds of cheese.  Then it was topped with all the previous mentioned items again.  Directly on top of the first.  Then again for a third layer.  To the three layers of beans, rice, meat, and cheese was a heaping bed of finely shredded lettuce, a large dollop each of sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo.  It came to the table as a mountainous view of udder perfection.  Oh my word, did I love them. Modifications Made: Not having the appetite of a teenager, only one layer was made.  The taco meat and rice were homemade, leftover from burritos for breakfast this morning, the beans were modified from the can, and the ch

Beef and Veggie Soup, Mexican Style

It is so hard not to cook warm winter meals in January.  Deciding it is not summer heat being experienced, soups like this  Caldo de Res  are allowable.  Sure, one might be a little warmer than normal as it is soup but not so much as to be hot and sweaty from eating.  Right? Modifications Made: Finding good beef soup bones is getting harder and harder every year.  If found, they cost the same as high quality round steak, or more!  Back in the days of college, veggie soup was a staple using beef bones as the base because they literally were four or five to a pack for less than a dollar.  An entire pot of soup, a weeks worth of meals, for the cost of less than $5.  Ahh, the memories... Anyhoo, not having access to beef soup bones, Knorr three beef cubes and two pollo do tomate cubes were substituted to create about 40 oz of stock.  The stock was then simmered with a one tablespoon of comino, one pound of beef steak cut into cubes, and a bag of veggies contained in cheese cloth for easy r

Hawaiian K-bobs

Being winter is still not here but the weather is not dreadfully hot, I decided it was perfect weather for BBQ.  Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken Skewers were just the ticket.  Besides something bright was just the ticket to follow up two days of colorful cranberry sandwiches. Modifications Made: Zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms instead of green bell pepper and purple onions.  Canned pineapple in its own juices (28oz) instead of pineapple juice and fresh pineapple as it is January making fresh pineapple difficult.  Everything was marinaded together, not just the meat. Scaled for Likability: Good Many months ago, I made a similar recipe using store bought sweet and sour sauce.  The sauce was too thick and became sticky on the K-bobs and the veggies were over done.  Three things were done differently from the last attempt.  Cutting chicken and veggies to the same size ensured a more even cook time, marinading all ingredients ensured veggies (especially mushrooms) did not dry out,

Belgian Waffles, Almost

A few days ago, a friend gifted me her waffle iron I have borrowed on several occasions.  Stating it was only collecting dust and that I have used it more in the past few years than she has used in the last decade.  Fine with me, I have always wanted a waffle maker.  Not wanting to have a gift go wasted, it was immediately put to use with Belgian Waffles .  Modifications Made: While is not the recipe I followed as I followed the recipe off the house brand of all purpose baking mix found at our local chain grocery store, it was similar to this. Very similar. Scaled for Likability: Good Belgian waffles these are not.  Ordinary waffles they are kicked up with additional ingredients.  Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside are the key attributes of a Belgian waffles. These were crispy on the outside when immediately removed from the iron but once plated and served they were typical soggy, limp waffles.  Lets not even discuss what they were after butter and maple syrup.  Not

Chicken Strip Burger with Cranberry Sauce

Every time I open the fridge a lovely mason jar of homemade cranberry sauce calls my name.  Watching it dwindle in quantities is concerning as cranberries are apparently only sold at supermarkets during the holiday season.  So sad.  However, not an advocate for waste and not knowing how long homemade cranberry sauce will last, another glorious meal was modified for dinner. Chicken Strip Burgers are another T&T recipe made with potato buns, fresh fried chicken strips, crunchy lettuce, mozzarella cheese and honey mustard.  This the original recipe comes from a local chain restaurant whose chicken sandwich was to die for until they changed it.  Of course.  Since I couldn't have the original chicken sandwich anymore, I made it my own at home and changed it to potato buns instead of plain buns, and chicken strips instead of a chicken patty. Modifications Made: For this recipe, the honey mustard was replaced with my beloved homemade cranberry sauce. Scaled for Likability: Great The l

Bacon, Egg, Cranberry Panini

Last night's Turkey and Cranberry Panini was so fabulous I woke up this morning wanting it again.  But as I mentioned yesterday, there was no more BBQ turkey to be had.  Instead Bacon Egg Cheese and Cranberry Sandwiches were made thanks to a quick Google search for just such a recipe.  There really is no new recipes to be found on the internet.  Just old recipes swapped around. Modifications Made: Holy Moly, a lot.  Potato Bread instead of Rye, one slice of Swiss instead of four slices of white cheddar (although white cheddar would have been a great combo), one egg instead of two. When assembling, it was toast, bacon, cheese, egg, baby spinach, cranberry sauce.  Flip until both sides equally toasty and cheese is melty. Scaled for Likability: Great Breakfast sandwiches are a staple since childhood.  Served either for breakfast or for dinner.  As a child they were white bread, mayo, pepper bacon, egg slightly runny, and cheese.  As an adult, the bread can be any flavor any texture, t