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Showing posts from February, 2020

Flautas, Not Taquitos

Last month, almost to date, chicken taquitos were the new meal.  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. The teen counterpart requested flautas tonight to have as a comparison to taquitos.  You know, kinda of like Coke vs Dr. Pepper, mustard vs ketchup on a corn dog, chocolate vs dark chocolate.  Don't know which one is better until you have had them both.  So with my detest frying foods, chicken flautas were made tonight using the exact same ingredients and procedures as from the taquitos only swapping the corn tortillas for flour. Scaled for Likability: Good Well, it was like I said in the taquito post, 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  or my quick and easy version made a few weeks ago. Flour tortillas wrapped and then fried are always oily.  I have

Mexican Sopas

Remember when I told you about the recipe feed I found for the green chicken tostadas?  Well another non-English video,  Sopes Hechos Con Harina De Maiz , found its way to my feed last week but this time without translation.  Not understanding the language or the written instructions, a reliable English version had to be found post haste.  It is a good thing Mexican food is my most favorite thing to make in the whole world otherwise I would have been lost.  The typical American Mexican food blog/vlog did not have this recipe but luckily for me one of my go to Native Mexican blogs did!  Tonight we feasted on Sopes . Modifications Made: None.  Once the base is made the toppings list is endless.  We used what was in the fridge: refried beans, taco meat, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, Queso Fresco, salsa. Scaled for Likability: Great In love.  If these weren't so time consuming to make, they would be made weekly.  Very similar to a pupusa in dough taste but with a wider options o

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

At almost half way though the year of no repeat meals and I am finding myself still enjoying the challenge.  But with that, life is life and life doesn't always flow the same.  A new meal post was missed yesterday, again.  It happens.  Leftovers, friends with dinner, late nights at work.  Life.  To make up for the missing new meal yesterday two new meal were made today.  First with breakfast, then with dinner.  Last month, five new waffles recipes were made.  Some of those have been made again, some scratched all together.  Needing a new waffle recipe to add to the collection of flavors tried (hashbrown, zucchini), apples were chosen today. Not having ever placed whole bits of fresh fruits in the waffle maker, I steered away from apple chunks to applesauce.  Loving the flavor of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal, I combined the following two recipes  Homemade Apple Cinnamon Waffles  and  Vegan Apple Cinnamon Waffles  in an attempt to recreate this childhood favorite breakfast,

Fake Fajita Tacos

A couple of weeks ago, Chicken Alfredo was made.  In that post I mentioned how the BBQ pit is hardly ever fired up as it takes too long with fire wood.  Tonight for dinner, fajitas were wanted.  Yummy, fajitas.  Tacos, grilled meat, salsa, cilantro, lime juice, pico de gallo, cheese sauce, yada yada yada.  Want in one hand, get in the other. One, there were no premarinated fajitas in the freezer.  Another fabulous creation from the same local grocer where the canned tomatoes are purchased but none were available for emergency fajitas.  Two, it was already after 4pm when dinner was started.  Normally 4 pm is plenty of time to start the BBQ if we were in any other season but dead of winter.  In less than 45 minutes it gonna be dark thirty.  Drat. Still wanting fajitas, I did what most of the rest of the country does for fajitas, skillet fried.  Easy Chicken Tacos made it sound easy and tasty. Modifications Made: With time to spare for dinner, the cubed chicken was allowed to m

Pepper Jacked Chicken Burgers

Don't really know how this has happened but it has been more than two weeks since a burger has been eaten.  Two weeks!  This coming from a person who ate at a local burger joint for years and years and years for four (okay, maybe five) days out of seven either for breakfast (yes, they serve burger for breakfast!), lunch, or dinner on busy nights.  Sometimes even twice a day.  What can I say, I enjoy burgers almost as much as tacos. One this blog, it has been more than two months since a new burger was attempted.  Completely unacceptable.  To end this long streak  Jalapeno Pepper Jack Chicken Burger  was made.  And to date, I think this is my favorite new burger and the reasons will shock you. Modifications Made: The recipe made six to eight burgers as written. Divided in half produced three very nice 1/3 lb patties. Chicken Patties: Yellow onion was diced and then diced again, then sprinkled with salt to mash down and diced again.  Why, you ask?  I don't like the taste

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

Have I mentioned my love of tacos, yet?  If not, let me say that I love, love, love tacos.  Tacos for breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Soft, crunchy, flour, corn, a mix between the two.  As a child when I would spend an extended time at my very formal, rigid grandmother's house, she would take me to get take out once.  I always pick bean and cheese tacos from a local taco shop.  She'd complain the entire time in her quite non aggressive way but she'd buy me two anyways.  The complaints were always the same; tacos are not food and two tacos are not enough to fill a bird.  This coming from a woman who take a standard sliced bread sandwich with one slice of cheap lunch meat and one slice of cheap American cheese and feed herself for three meals.  Three!  Well that was more than forty years ago and I still love tacos.  Just like these  Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw . Modifications Made: Sauce: Omitted green onions and replaced with 1 teaspoon of onion powder.  Zes

Real Cream Chicken Alfredo

In a world full of food blogs, food vlogs, food magazines, food channels, food feeds on social media it is hard to know where it is best to spend your time.  Feeds never show the same channels, magazines are filled with ads, food channels have to many commercials and the show you want to watch is never on anyways.  When a new feed or vlog or blog is discovered I become addicted and find myself watching and reading it exclusively.  This is how I stumbled upon a video feed by  Sam the Cooking Guy making Old School Chicken Alfredo .  On his website looking for the recipe to match the video I found  Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo .  Between the two, I created a Real Cream Chicken Alfredo.  Another first for this table as all alfredo meals before came from either a jar or a package. Modifications Made: Chicken: Would have loved to cook this on a grill but as I only have firewood grill, I could not find the energy to start a fire for less than 15 minutes of cook time.  When the BBQ pit is

Non Vegan Breakfast Skillet

When looking for a new recipe, don't immediately dismiss a recipe because it is not on your "diet".  Most recipes are easily adaptable to your needs, wants, "diets".  Case in point, Vegan Breakfast Skillet. Modifications Made: The vegetable oil was replaced with bacon grease for flavor and taste and salt and why not.  Parsley, which has not been used recently, was omitted because its tasteless and chewy in a not nice texture and I never have it. Two sausage patties and two fried eggs were pilled next to the modified hash. Scaled for Likability: Great Even without the eggs or the patties the hash would have been happily eaten.  Maybe even eaten if fried in plain vegetable oil but the bacon grease offers so much more.  I wish there would have been leftover hash so I could have added them to scrambled eggs tomorrow for tacos.  

All American Lunch

Eating a meal and enjoying a meal are two different things.  For the last two nights a new meal has been made and eaten.  For the last two nights, neither of those two meals were enjoyed.  Needing a fix for happy foods, I made one of the many All American Lunches: Pork Chops, Homemade Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, and Buttered (slightly sugared) Carrots. Scaled for Likability: Great It was so, so good.  The whole meal brought back a flood of memories of my very strict Grandmother as this was a standard meal at her house any day of the week.  The carrots, an indulgence hardly ever made as I firmly believe sugar should not have to be added to veggies, were made just like hers.  Equal parts carrots, butter, and sugar cooked low and slow so the sugar didn't burn while the carrots softened in their own internal water.  No extras needed.  When cooked, they were really a dessert and they were the best! Pork chops were fried in bacon grease low and slow to allow any low grade cut of mea

Unstuffed Pepper Mess

Not really following any one diet trend, my recipe feeds show all kinds of "interesting" meals.  Vegan are the most off the wall due to their lack of cheese, vegetarian are okay so long as they don't get complicated.  It is the quick and easy, 30 minute meal types, that I find to obtrusive and fake yet finding a need to make them.  Take stuffed bell peppers.  These are a lovely treat served once a year or so, like turkey at thanksgiving or ham at Xmas.  They just take too much effort to make and not everyone like them.  In comes Unstuffed Peppers .  All the flavors of the real deal made easy.  Modifications Made: Tomato paste was omitted as the recipe only called for two tablespoons and I didn't want to waste a 4 oz can. Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You Slop.  This was no way close to stuffed bell peppers.  It was a tomato sauce infused meat and rice mess.  Tomato sauce over powered the peppers, the onions, the meat, and the rice.  The best thing ab

Cheese Steak Joes

Living in a small town limits ones food experiences.  There are way too many fast food drive thrus, more than a dozen Mexican food restaurants (none of which are what I grew up eating so is rarely eaten at), half dozen or so homestyle American joints that serve burgers and fried steaks, three or four BBQ pits, several coast related dives (all of which cater to tourists), one or two Asian diners, and one pizza stand.  For a town less than 20K people there are plenty of places to eat at if non home cooked meals are what you desire.  However, if you desire street foods you are out of luck.  There are no hot dog carts, no sandwich stands, no various flavored stuffed breads (meat, cheese, veggies, Italian, Greek, Mexican).  None. And this lack of street foods is sad because this is a town full of people from all over.  People from where street foods are popular, where street foods are both breakfast/lunch or lunch/dinner, where streets foods are your neighbors and friends.  Sad we ar

Moo Goo Gai Pan with Corn

One of the best things about required new meal cooking is the gaining of new meals.  Experimenting with meals loved from a restaurant but too lazy to cook at home.  Especially the Asian meals.  The newest test,  Moo Goo Gai Pan , was one of my most favorite dishes at the local corner Chinese restaurant we ate at weekly.  One my other favorite dishes from them was their cheese enchiladas.  But that is a topic for a whole other day on a different type of blog. Modifications Made: Snap peas instead of snow peas.  Omitted bamboo shoots as the grocer was out and replaced with baby corns. One teaspoon of Sriracha was added to the sauce for some heat and to offset the sugar. Scaled for Likability: Great When reading the recipe, one can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of ingredients.  I know I did.  But after having now made several new Asian meals, I have come to understand the number of spices and ingredients does not make the dish complicated.  In fact, most of the ingredients

Bang Bang Shrimp

Food vacation.  Every time I go visit my family I get a food vacation.  They let me cook what ever I want, no questions asked!  Even if they are on restricted diets, they consider my cooking like eating on vacation.  A complete and total free for all.  I absolutely love it!!!!  Family gets to eat some of my favorite meals and I get to cook with no limitations or guilt.  We went to see family for the weekend and this the first night we get there is always filled with exhaustion as the trip takes close to six hours.  Six long hours filled with huge city traffic jams, endless winding back roads, and miles and miles of nothing.  Six long hours arriving usually at dinner time.  For all of the love of cooking could not get me to cook the first night we arrive.  Knowing we are riding this no repeat meals for 365 days crazy train, the family made  Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta .  One of their new found recipes we had yet to have.  Score.  A new recipe and dinner cooked. Unfortunately for you,

Chalupas/Tostadas, A Staple

If you ever in need of a debate topic, one which will bring even the most tempered people off their seats causing hearts rate to rise and blood pressure to sky rocket, debate chalupas vs tostadas.  Want to take it one step further, chalupas vs tostadas vs tacos.  Just writing this I can hear your teeth grinding.  Yes, I know a few posts ago I went off a a tirade about a rose by any other name in reference to enchiladas vs burritos.  And yes, I could take this same tirade against chalupas, tostadas, and crispy tacos but I won't. I will spare you.  There are already plenty of posts out there devoted to this such as here , here , and here . For this table and its counterparts chalupas/tostadas are one in the same .  They are both made with corn tortillas, topped with too many toppings, and as I can never get my fresh fried corn tortillas to bend just at the edges not to stay completely flat they are served in various states of uniformity.  Luckily, looks are not important when it

Pork Fideo Deliciouso

Immediately after having discovering the meat ingredient in Fideo can be substituted with pork or chicken instead of beef, it was decided all three variants would be tested against each other.  Just because beef was the standard does not mean pork or chicken won't be just as good.  Lentil tacos are not beef tacos but they are good all the same. Last night was beef, tonight it is Pork Fideo Delicioso . Modifications Made: Ground pork for ground beef. Scaled for Likability: Good There was two things wrong with Pork Fideo Delicioso.  One it was not beef and two it was oily.  Even after the pork was drained on the towel it too oily.  Would it be eaten again if there was no more ground beef to be had?  Yes, but it would have to be modified in the cooking procedure to ensure a less oily outcome.  Guess I should have stuck with the other proverb: if ain't broke, don't fix it.

Beef Fideo Delicioso, A Staple

As with last nights recipe, there are some recipes prized for their simplicity.   Fideo Delicioso  is one of those examples.  When I was a child, it was referred to a poor mans dinner but every family I knew served it regularly.  We were either all poor or the stigma was ignorant.  Looking back at the perspective today, I am thinking the later as the local lunch dive always sold out before noon on Fideo day.  Be what it is, Fideo Delicioso is a warm, earthy meal that can be made a simple as the instructions say (my favorite) or added to with tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, etc.. creating a house specialty.  Fideo Delicioso is from the T&T list of meals. Modifications Made: Until standing in the grocer today reading the box for the ingredients needed, I don't think I ever have seen pork or chicken included as an option for the ground meat.  In the past venison, has been substituted for beef.  Since venison is lean, the dinner was disastrous as the fat from the beef is crit

Broccoli Patties

Social media feeds are full of recipes trying to push off cauliflower as taters, rice, bread, pizza crust, crackers, bang bang, sesame, and Parmesan cakes.  Broccoli as pancakes, chips, bang bang, tater tots, pesto, and  Broccoli Fritters .  Maybe as Americans instead of cutting out all these tasty items such as chicken Parmesan or bang bang shrimp, we learn to eat less.  Eating 1/2 pound shrimp per person, really?  Or maybe we try just to eat less meat and incorporate more vegetables in general.  Nothing wrong with broccoli fritters alongside a serving of salad and a small piece of pork chop  Small, less than half.  Not two or three.  But hey, that just me, what do I know? I know when these broccoli fritters sounded fabulous. Modifications Made: None. Scaled for Likability: Good Next time; yes, they were that good that they will be served next time; next time one tablespoon of onion powder will be added, one teaspoon of garlic powder will replace the fresh, and the broccoli

One Pot Chicken, Beans, & Mushrooms

If you happen to stumble across this blog, I am sorry.  This blog was more for family and friends to confirm once again that this table and its counterparts are odd ducks.  Not really devoting the time or energy into turning this into anything other than a form of communication the information is kinda bland and straight to the point. Being unpretentious is one of the reasons I had to try  One Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Mushrooms  when discovered on a social media feed.  Besides, what could really go wrong.  The ingredients and instructions were simple, easy, and quick. Modifications Made: So okay, the instructions lack a few basics steps.  You know, like cooking mushrooms.  Don't judge.  It happens to the best of us.  This would be where common sense and experience comes in... Three diced chicken breasts and 1/4 cup of finely diced yellow onion cooked in one tablespoon of oil.  Chicken and onions were pushed to the side of the large dutch oven and thickly sliced m

Breakfast Spaghetti

"I don't really like spaghetti", said no person ever.  This table and all its counterparts love spaghetti. Some more than others as I won't eat it for breakfast as leftovers or even made fresh.  There is something about the smell of tomato sauce in the morning I do not find appetizing.  None at all.  The teen prefers it without veggies.  The third is happy so long as it has standard spaghetti noodles, not spirals, elbow, shells, any thick version.  And while happy to eat it for breakfast it must be warm, not served cold. Seriously, everybody likes spaghetti in some form or another.  Noodles in regular, thin, or angel hair.  Sauces in red, alfredo, or garlic butter.  With or without meat, with or without cheese, with or without added veggies. With or without bacon.  Wait, what?  No.  Bacon is not a spaghetti ingredient.  Pancetta, sausage, ground meat.  Bacon, no.  This is so true until thumbing through my friends endless collection of food magazines and stumble

Creamy Poblano Chicken Enchiladas

What's in a name?  A lot, really.  Depending upon where your are located it can cause others to look at you oddly and result in you ordering something you did not want.  Soda vs pop, soda vs coke.  Lemon bread vs lemon loaf.  Enchiladas vs burritos.  In these parts of the world a soda is a never a pop and if you ask for a Coke the askee will inquire as to what kind.  Lemon bread is an actual braided bread with lemon curd in the middle, sometimes with cream cheese, sometimes not.  Lemon loaf, the kind served at Starbucks, comes sliced from a 8x4 bread pan.  And while all of these can be easily confused and understood, enchiladas ARE NOT burritos.  NOT EVER.  Enchiladas are always made with corn tortillas, burritos with flour.  With that, sour cream enchiladas are not the same as  White Chicken Enchiladas .  Sour scream enchiladas are seasoned shredded chicken wrapped in a corn tortilla topped with a sour cream sauce.  Sometimes the enchiladas are covered in a verde sauce and th

Green Chicken Stuffed Pablanos

Leftover shredded chicken in green (tomatillo) sauce was sitting in the fridge beckoning to be cooked.  Green chicken enchiladas/chicken flautas had already been done, chalupas are the same as tostadas, and nachos are not too far off from chalupas.  Scrolling through some saved recipes I came across the typical stuffed peppers when inspiration struck.  Green Chicken Stuffed Pablanos. Ingredients: 3 Pablano Pepper, roasted with skin and seeds removed 3 cups Green Chicken 1/2 cup Sour Cream 1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded 1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded Instructions: Roast peppers in oven until charred on all sides.  Cool in sealed ziplock bag.  Remove charred skins.  Slice in half, remove seeds and ribs. Warm chicken with sour cream.  Fill each pepper half with 1/2 cup chicken mixture and place inside same pan used to roast peppers.  Top with cheese.  Bake until cheese brown and bubbly. Modifications Made: Regular red bell pepper was used for teen counterpart.

Sopapillas, Quick and Easy

One of the best things about eating tostadas is the all ingredients.  It contains a bread, a starch, sometimes a meat, lots of veggies, and a dairy.  Tostadas are an all encompassing meal in one perfect disk.  What is even better about tostadas is afterwards there is always room for dessert.  What better way to round out an almost healthy meal?  Sopapillas!!!! If you have never had a sopapilla then you have not lived.  A recipe is not really needed as they are just a flour tortilla sliced in fourths, deep fried to golden perfection, and then drizzled with sweet honey.  However, if you need one,  Sopapillas with a Side of Honey is a perfectly written example of these warm, puffy treats. Modifications: There are few things better in the world than homemade tortillas fried to perfection into a sopapilla.  If I were a stay at home cook who did not have a full time job with a full time family then maybe homemade flour tortilla sopapillas would be made.  Since I am not, the qu

Green Chicken Tostadas

Strolling through a popular social media forum, a recipe channel feed was stumbled across where the host was making  Tostadas de Pollo al Cilantro . Unsure as to what dialect of Spanish the host was speaking in did not matter as the video said it all: make  Cilantro Chicken Tostadas  now.  And I did.  And they were fabulous. Modifications Made: Clearly there was a translation error.  The written instruction state green tomatoes but the video show tomatillos.  Green tomatoes and tomatillos , which are green, are not the same.  The opening line of the written recipe says its a green chili sauce but there are no green chilies in the ingredients.  A salsa would have implied actual green tomatoes and a sauce tomatillos.  From the video, the meal was made more along the line of a sauce.  Like enchilada sauce. Once again, that would imply tomatillo, not green tomatoes.  Matters not, the recipe was made with tomatillos like a green enchilada sauce and everything else was the same. As

Porky Rice, A Staple

Another T&T recipe was served last night.  Back in October when this no repeat dinner idea was started, it was figured that the T&T recipe list has to be spread out across the next 12 months.  Kind of like back up meals.  You know, a meal after a week worth of less than stellar results, .  A meal when a new meal cannot be found appealing.  A meal for when the soul needs cheering, like tonight.  Tonight was Porky Rice, a self made meal created out of the dead broke college days.  Easy, simple, soul filling.  Not to mention a teen counterpart favorite. Ingredients: 1 lb ground pork 1 cup white rice 2.5 cups water 2 tablespoons Tony Charchere Original Seasoning Instructions: Brown pork.  Drain excess fat.  Return to pan, stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to boil and cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is done. Scaled for Likability: Great As every student who has ever paid their way through college and even after college or right up into full on adulthood with

Shredded Beef Subs - Italian

On cold winter days soups, stews, baked pasta dishes are staple meals.  They warm the house when cooking and warm the soul when eating.  Some days soups are perfect stand alone meals. Then there are days when you have worked extra hard and the soup needs to be paired with a savory toasted sandwich like a Hot & Spicy Italian Drip Beef . Modifications Made: The local grocery has their own brand of house foods.  Some are more popular than name brand, others not.  Petite diced tomatoes are one of those hot tickets items and come in a variety of flavors.  Tomatoes for the recipe were flavored with olive oil and peppers. Having made many The Pioneer Woman meals in the past, I am familiar with her level of heat on dishes.  Hot cherry peppers were left out as the teen counterpart is not a fan of super spicy food but 3/4 jar of pepperoncinis instead of half were added instead. Scaled for Likability: Good Not as good as The Pioneer Woman's Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwich but s

Classic Salisbury Steak

Growing up, Grammy worked in a kitchen at a huge church.  A church, mind you, she did not attend.  She worked random days and times depending upon the time of the year and calendar of events but never on Sundays.  School holidays were split between my two grandparents and based upon my Grammy's work schedule.  As I got older, I was allowed to follow her to work so long as I adhered to every child's favorite rule: OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND.  So I went and stayed out of sight for the most part.  When kitchen doors were closed, except to the three other staff members, I was allowed to roam around and once old enough, be put to work.  There was really only so much a 10 year can do but I did master how to fold a linen napkin around a folk, knife, and spoon. Memories of the work kitchen are fond and happy and my favorite days to work were rectory Wednesdays.  Every Wednesday the church priests, elders, etc would have their weekly meeting over lunch.  Never more than 10-15 prese