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Showing posts from November, 2020

Canned Apple Pie Crumble

Way back when, a box of frozen pie shells were bought and there was still one rolled pie shell in the freezer waiting for inspiration.  What better to bring on the Thanksgiving cheer than canned apple pie or in this case an oversize handheld apple pie. Ingredients: One frozen pie shell, defrosted 15 oz canned apple pie filling  Cinnamon Nutmeg Three butter dabs Instructions.: To half the pie shell, place apple filling, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and three butter dabs leaving a one inch edge.  Fold over remaining half of pie shell, pinch edge closed, and foldover to create half inch pie crust edge.  Cut three slits in top for steam escape.  Bake at 350 until crust is done. Scaled for Likability: Good Well, it was no homemade apple pie but it was way better than those fried handheld apple pie that so many fast food joints sell.  Its a good thing the apple was not made into a pie and the crust did not hold its form and crumbled when cut, crumbled with served, and crumbled w

Peppery Potato Soup

Potato soup: mashed potatoes with extra milk added.  It really is nothing amazing.  I was tired of normal potato soup, I wanted something like The Ultimate Creamy Potato Soup  but with a kick. Modifications Made: Chipotle chili for ancho chili powder.  The entire batch of potato soup was blitzed until creamy and smooth. Scaled for Likability: Loved the heavy milk base of the soup, did not care for the chili powder or garlic.  Next time, no chili powder, three quarters will be blitzed, more bacon will be fried, and green onions will be added on top.

Deli Corned Beef on Rye

Nothing fancy here, just high quality deli corned beef on high quality rye bread. Ingredients: Thinly sliced deli corned beef Cold packed sauerkraut Thinly sliced swiss cheese Whole grain brown mustard Rye bread Instructions: Warm sauerkraut in microwave, warm meat on skillet.  To warm bread, NOT toasty, add cheese, meat, cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, bread.  Delicious.

Vinegar Steamed Potato Salad

Thanksgiving is just one week away. Temperatures are back in the low 80s, a rain cloud has not been seen in months and months and months, and winter is stuck Canada. What to do with so much beautiful weather, eat fresh fried shrimp and Easy All-American Potato Salad . Modifications Made: Double the mayo as this is potato salad.  White vinegar for apple cider and freshly diced hamburger pickles for relish.  Yellows onions finely diced into a paste was used instead of red onion.  I love the taste of onion in potato salad but not the crunch of onion and pasting onion meets both needs.  Parsley was omitted. Scaled for Likability: Great This has to be the BEST potato salad I have ever eaten.  Simply the best.  It was creamy with a hint of tang from the vinegar.  Potatoes held their shape and the celery and pickles offered a perfect crunch to the potato softness.  Most importantly, the mustard out weighed the mayonnaise in flavor, a huge win in my book. Potato salad was made the night before

Simply Fideo and Charro Beans

 There are many of college meals that were never to be eaten again, rice pilaf and tuna.  Then there were those college meals we just can't part with even when they scream broke ass college student food.  My argument, it's good stuff!  Fideo and Charro Beans is that meal. Ingredients: Two boxes Fideo One 31 ounce (or thereabouts) charro beans Instructions: Fry fideo in skillet until toasty in color.  Cook fideo in water till tender.  While fideo cooks, warm beans in a saucepan.  Add cooked fideo to beans.  Serve. Scaled for Likability: Great Dinner for two for less than a $1 in college.  What else needs to be said.  Now it is dinner for three for less than $3.  Still can't complain.

Festive Turkey Meatballs

Every time I open the fridge a half bag of cranberries calls out to me. "Don't waste me". "Cook me". "Fresh days are limited". Two weeks of taunting.  First I couldn't decide what to cook with them, then there was no time to cook something special to represent cranberries worth. Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs  needed a solid hour maybe even closer to an hour and half making this a weekend meal. Modifications Made: Sauce/Glaze was omitted and cranberry gravy was made with drippings in the skillet. Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You That's it, I'm done with cranberry gravy.  Both times, the gravy turns out sweet even when I was prepared it still turned out sweet.  Guess cranberries carry too much sugar.  Meatballs would have been better with dried cranberries instead of fresh and baked not fried. Oh, well guess I should have just baked Bite-sized CranMuffins  with that half bag of cranberries.

Buttered Barley Broccoli Pilaf

Late nights are meant for fast food. It's easy, it's brainless, and sometimes it's good.  If you like fast food that is. Of the few fast food joints available locally this table only eats at one and only when dining room service is available. Fast food from the drive through is gross. Since most dine in services are limited or not available right now this late night work night meant dinner needed to be quick and easy, hearty and filling, and most of all good. Warm Broccoli and Barley Pilaf  could be be cooked in less than 30 minutes. Modifications Made: Yellow onion for shallots, ginger was omitted, red pepper for jalapeno, frozen broccoli for fresh. Scaled for Likability: Good Fresh broccoli would have been so much better than frozen.  Frozen broccoli was warmed in the microwave and added once the barley was cooked.  But as the barley rested while waiting for the meat to be done, the broccoli got soggy.  Freshly sliced almonds would have been great as a source of crunch to

Green Ground Pork Stir Fry

Just when I thought all the good stir fry recipes had been discovered, bam! a new one appears. One like no previous stir fry before. One with the simplest of sauce ingredients. One using ground pork instead of the traditional beef or chicken. Spicy Ground Pork and Zucchini Stir Fry was going to be a success, I could just tell. It was gut feeling! Modifications Made: Sauce: soy sauce was increased to four tablespoons instead of three, sambal oelek was decreased to two teaspoons. To the sauce the following were added and allowed to soak in the soy mixture while dish was prepared: a half can of water chestnuts, half can of bamboo shoots, and one bunch of thinly sliced green onions. Stir Fry: pork was cooked as instructed (minus the addition of salt) developing a nice dark caramelized coloring to the chunks. Zucchini measured at just over a cup, diced. To compensate for zucchini a half bag of edamame was added. Scaled for Likability: Great Not once to my recollection have I ever seen groun

Prickly Pear (Fish) Juice

Rain seems to be less and less these days. However when it did rain it must have come at the right time for prickly pear as they are bright red, plump, and beautiful. When found, of course. Wildlife knows where the good stuff is and finding prickly pear not already munched on or off can be a challenge. Scoring half dozen or so, all that was needed for a vibrant pink juice was sugar and time. Making Prickly Pear Juice was not difficult just cautious.  Modifications Made: Juice was extracted as written and sugar was added in quantities equaled to amount of juice rendered along with a splash of fresh lemon juice. Juice sugar mixture was cooked until sugar dissolved and water was added to keep juice liquefied as I was making juice not jelly. Scaled for Likability: Fail Ugh, the stench! Cooking prickly pear looked beautiful. Bright pink fruit creating a bright pink juice. Smelling cooked juice was a bit rancid. Drinking cooled juice was the equivalent to drinking week old rancid fish rot. 

A Dozen Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Somethings are just known facts. The earth is round, one plus one is two, and a bag of chocolate chips makes 36 cookies.  Members of the Flat Earth Society are rising, you can join the debate on the validity of 1+1=2 at , and this Thick Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe only made six cookies. Yes, six. Crazy times. Modifications Made:  Light brown sugar was substituted to 1/3 cup dark and 1/3 cup light. One cup of pecans were added to dough mixture. Dough was only chilled for 30 minutes before forming into twelve extra large, 1/2" thick cookies. Cookie rounds were chilled for another 15 minutes before baking at 350° for 18-20 minutes and allowed to cool completely on parchment covered sheet. Scaled for Likability: Great  I love cookies warm and gooey from the oven, with or without a glass of milk, bite size pop in your mouth or shareable size you eat all by yourself. As mentioned before I am always on a quest for my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Not to thick but m

Greek Meatball Soup

Cooking outside the box can be difficult. New ingredients, new techniques, new thoughts to old ideas. Easy Meatball Soup with Rice is just such a recipe as combines the flavors of meatballs with eggs and lemon. Meatballs: good. Eggs and lemon: good. Meatballs with eggs and lemon???? Modifications Made: Long grain rice instead of short. Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You So as it turns out eggs and lemons only together in lemon souffle, lemon curd, and lemon sugar cookies.  See the trend here.  It's called desserts. I ate the rice, the teen the meatballs, and the table counterpart ate one tiny bowl of the entire soup.  What a trooper.

Russian Chicken Patties over Arugula Barely Pilaf

  Success is golden. In this case it is golden Russian Chicken Kotletki (Patties) served over golden Barley Wild Rice Cranberry Pilaf  on a plate of arugula. Modifications Made:  Chicken: Garlic panko bread crumbs instead of italian bread crumbs. Pilaf: Wild rice, walnuts, and feta were omitted. Scaled for Likability: Great Russian Kotletki has been in the saved recipe folders for months.  The blog was odd to read (much like mine) and the pictures were hard to judge (much like mine).  All I can say is the entire table is sad as there was not enough for leftovers in a pita pocket with arugula and honey mustard dressing.  So sad. Pilaf would have been great with wild rice but there just was none to be had.  The sauce was a little too much causing the barley to be sticky but the flavor was great.  Especially when served over the bitter green arugula.  Next time, I want to try  Simply Barley Pilaf  with cranberries added at the last five minutes or so they soften.

Zucchini Corn Potato Soup

Sometime during the summer a recipe was sent for me to try. Being  Zucchini Corn Chowder  it was saved for cooler weather. Modifications Made:  Bacon was omitted and smoked ham hocks were used instead.  Cream was omitted as cream based soups are not very popular at this table.  None of the soup was pureed. Scaled for Likability: Good Oh yes, this would have been fantastic as a cream based soup or chowder with lovely little oyster crackers.  It would have been better without zucchini.  Over the last year, I have come to the conclusion that unless zucchini is shredded and baked in a bread or sliced thin and deep fried, I do not care for the texture of zucchini anymore.  And to think, it was one of my favorite veggies as a child.  If I could just take out the zucchini and blitz it into oblivion and add back to the soup then that would be ok.  Soup would also have been great without meat products with veggies just fried in bacon grease for some extra flavor.  Instead of corn, maybe a can o

Not Crispy Chicken or Cesar Salad

Can't believe almost a year has gone.  A year of new recipes every day, well almost every day. It is hard to believe how easy it was to find new recipes to cook.  In review of stored recipes, there at least another months worth.  I have to stop looking for more and cook what's left like Crispy Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken  with  Cesar Salad . Modifications Made: Chicken:  Buttermilk was made with whole milk and vinegar.  Onion powder was added to the seasonings. Cesar Dressing: none Scaled for Likability: No, Thank You Batter was not plain, soggy, and did not stick to the nuggets.  Dressing was tangy or zesty.  Both reminded me of a school lunch made hours before and stuck on a tray for easy serving.  Bummer, had high hopes for good buttermilk nuggets, which by the way, where a mess to make.

MRE Chili

Last year at this same time the table counterpart made Gringo Chili . It was very tasty but as with all winter meals has not been made since. A week's worth of cool weather behind us and with a request for chili for the third time in two weeks, a new chili recipe had to be located. First friends were asked for their favorites, then blogs were searched, and finally decisions were to be made: regular chili or Texas chili.  Good grief, a quick search for one vs the other could lead to a thesis paper. Beans no beans, tomato no tomato, chili or chili con Carne. Too many choices, too many tasty versions. My final decision, Regis? The Best Classic Chili  with meat, beans, and spices. I mean is there really bad a chili? Modifications Made: Cayenne pepper and tomato paste were omitted.  Corn was added Scaled for Likability: Good After Hurricane Harvey, we were living off MRE's for several weeks.  Every meal in a MRE is tomato based.  Some are good and some are really good and were fough