February 3, 2013

February 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm (Food) (, , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Wow, I’ve been a bad girl, been away for a while.  Sorry!!!  Hope you didn’t miss me too much…

So, let’s see, what’s been going on around here?  Well, William and I went on a field trip this past week to the Dali Museum and the Titanic Exhibit at the Mahaffey theater in downtown Tampa.  I decided it was high time I went on a field trip with one of my kids, since I missed them ALL with James, I guess William got the pleasure of having mom along.  I don’t know that he really even noticed I was there most of the time, he was hanging out with his friends, and I was busy chasing the other kids in my group.  I did get a few photos of the trip there, but we weren’t allowed to take photos inside either museum, and we didn’t get to go to the gift shop, so I have nothing really cool to show you!  But I can tell you it was a cool trip, and I think we should go back as a family instead of with a big group, we can spend more time looking around.

I got my hair colored last week, got some blonde highlights and some purple highlights, which actually turned out more lilac than purple, and here we are ONE WEEK LATER, you have to really look to find them.  I’m a little disappointed.  Think I’m going to go more like a garnet red next time, see how that turns out.

And we qualified for a mortgage, went looking at houses last weekend, found one we LOVED, so we made an offer.  After a little haggling and what seemed like forever (four days), we came to an agreement.  Inspection is this Wednesday, we’re supposed to close 3/15.  And lo and behold, we got a letter from an attorney, the house we’ve been renting for the past 6+ years has been foreclosed upon, the former owner has until 3/11 to pay up, or it goes to public auction 3/14.  Sounds like we’re getting out just in time!  Even trying to move the closing up a week or two if we can, so we can be out before all hell breaks loose around here.  I’m just crossing my fingers we get our original deposit back…  that money would REALLY come in handy to get stuff for the new place!

So, anyway, it’s been a busy few weeks around here.  Haven’t done much ORIGINAL cooking lately, but I do have two things to share with you this time.

BBQ Pockets

1 pound ground beef

1 Cup BBQ sauce of your choice

1 can jumbo biscuits

Brown and drain ground beef, return to pan.  Reduce heat, add BBQ sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the biscuits.

Roll the biscuits as flat as you can, mine came out pretty big, but not so thin you can’t handle them.

Place the rolled out biscuits on a cookie sheet, ungreased, place about 2 tbsp BBQ mixture on each flattened biscuit, fold over, press to close.  You can also go around the flat edge with the tines of a fork if you want, but the design sort of gets lost when the biscuits bake.  I had to do 2 at a time because they were SO big rolled out, two of them took up half the cookie sheet!

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Serve warm!

Taco Pockets

1 pound ground beef

2/3 Cup water

1/4 Cup taco seasoning

1 can jumbo biscuits

Brown and drain ground beef, return to pan.  Reduce heat, add water ans seasoning, and simmer for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the biscuits.

Roll the biscuits as flat as you can, mine came out pretty big, but not so thin you can’t handle them.

Place the rolled out biscuits on a cookie sheet, ungreased, place about 2 tbsp taco mixture on each flattened biscuit, fold over, press to close.  You can also go around the flat edge with the tines of a fork if you want, but the design sort of gets lost when the biscuits bake.  I added a little shredded cheese on the outside of mine, but I think next time I’ll try cheese INSIDE.  I had to do 2 at a time because they were SO big rolled out, two of them took up half the cookie sheet!

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Serve warm!

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Taco on the left, BBQ on the right.

I also served ranch dressing with these, it was GOOD!

And then tonight, we had something different…

Teriyaki Pork with Rice

4 boneless skinless pork chops, thick cut

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman’s is good)

2 cups prepared leftover rice

1 cup frozen peas

Trim fat from chops, cut into cubes, saute over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add in sauce and peas, stir well, cook until peas are bright green, maybe 5 minutes.  Reduce heat, add in leftover rice, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

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It was GOOD!!

So, that’s it for now.  Hope you try one of these, let me know how they come out for you!

Eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 264 – 270 (Week 39)

September 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!

Everyone was actually healthy, no one missed any work or school, feels like we should celebrate!!  And it was a pay week, so of course we went a little overboard this weekend, but that’s nothing new.

The only stories for this week revolve around my fun day yesterday, the rest of the week was kind of quiet.  But, it was a pay week, so we did the Friday night out, more on that a little further down.  And then Saturday…

Started the day getting my nails done, getting my toes done (hurt a bit, but SO worth it!), got my hair cut.  William joined me for this part of the trip, he likes to sit in the massage chair while I get my nails done.   Then we made a quick trip into Winn Dixie to see what meats they had on special.  Got two pot roasts, two packs of boneless pork chops and stir fry beef for $32.

Then it was off to Game Stop to get William the current free character for Pokemon, and he put a game on order.

Next, my first trip to the local Oriental Market.  WOW!  I could spend a whole day in there if I didn’t have William sitting the car waiting!!  Maybe next time…  But I did get some cool food for Saturday movie night.  More on that below.  And I think I found the elephant I want for my desk, but I didn’t want to spend the $8 that day…  kind of glad I didn’t get him this week, since I ended up spending almost $400 on groceries at Walmart later!!  Still haven’t figured out how I spent so much, I didn’t feel like I got that much, but I think prices are going up little by little.  Have to pay more attention to the individual items next time, see if I can figure it out…

So, sort of a “me” day, sort of a “me and William” day, sort of a shopping day, all in all, a very GOOD day, even if it was expensive.

Monday

Spaghetti with Beef and Sausage Sauce

1 box Dream Fields angel hair pasta, cooked to package directions

1 pound ground beef

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Brown and drain ground beef and sausage together, crumbling as fine as you can.  Put the meat back in the pan, add in the sauce, and heat while you cook the pasta.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday

Pork Roast Everglades

1/2 pork loin roast, about 2-3 pounds

1 quart water (will NOT cover the roast, that’s OK!!)

1/8 cup original Everglades seasoning (the green one)

Put everything in the crock pot, set on LOW, cook 8-10 hours.

Remove from pot, slice and serve!  We had some steamed veggies along with this, it was YUMMY!!!

Wednesday

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pound bacon

Dry Ranch dressing mix

Flour tortillas

Cook the bacon crispy, set aside.

Clean any excess skin or fat from the chicken, cut into very small pieces, cook over medium heat just until no longer pink.  Sprinkle with about 2-3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix, mix well and cook about 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

Spoon a couple large spoonfuls of chicken into a tortilla, add in 2 slices bacon, cheese if you want it, and a little bit of prepared ranch dressing, wrap and serve!

Bacon Grilled Cheese

William’s idea…

Basically, we saved a few slices of cooked bacon from the wraps, and put them inside a grilled cheese sandwich, and it was AWESOME!

Thursday

James brought us Wendy’s for dinner

Friday

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Yogurtology, comic book store

Gotta say, the pizza was REALLY good, the yogurt was over priced and just not that good.  The store was cool, and William enjoyed it, but it was just GOOD, not GREAT, and for $20, it should have been AMAZING!!!

Saturday

Steamed buns with chicken (purchased at the Oriental market – OK, not great)

Steamed dumplings with chicken (same as above)

Fried dumplings with chicken (same as above – would have been better deep fried rather than pan fried)

Quick cheesecake (I bought a graham cracker crust, and a container of Philly pre-made cheesecake filling, and put them together)

Sunday

Southwest Egg Rolls

Egg Roll wrappers

2 pounds Ground beef

2 cans Black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups Water

Brown and drain ground beef, add in water, taco seasoning and beans, mix well, cook until sauce thickens, remove from heat, allow to cool at least 1 hour.

Put an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2-3 Tbsp filing.

Fold up bottom, tighten up the filling inside, fold in the sides roll forward, dampen the last open tip of the wrapper and finish rolling.  Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

When done, fry in oil over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Serve with your favorite salsa.

Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Egg Roll Wrappers

1 head cabbage, shredded extra fine

12 baby carrots, shredded extra fine

3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

2 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce

Mix the cabbage, carrots and sauces.

Lay an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2 Tbsp filling.

Fold up bottom and tighten up the filling a little.

Fold in the sides, and roll ONCE.

Dampen the last tip with water and finish rolling.

Continue filling wrappers until you run out of filling or wrappers.

When done, fry in oil heated over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Remove from oil to paper towels, serve with your favorite sauce, I prefer Duck sauce since the Hoisin is a little spicy.

Southwest Wonton Bites

Wonton wrappers

Leftover filling from the SW egg rolls above

Put the wonton on a plate, put in about 1 tsp filling, dampen two edges of the wrapper.

Fold over into a triangle.

Dampen the two furthest corners and fold in towards each other.

Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling!

Fry in oil over medium heat, almost exactly 1 minute per side, just a few seconds more maybe, or until golden brown.

Serve with salsa!

Mongolian Beef

About 1 pound stir fry beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp honey

1 Tsp rice wine

2 Tbsp water

3 green onions, green part only, cut into 1″ strips

2 Tbsp oil for frying

Put oil in frying pan, heat over medium heat.  Add in beef, cook just until no longer pink.  Mix the rest of the ingredients (except the onion) in a cup, pour over beef, add 1 Tbsp corn starch or flour to thicken, cook about 8-10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Add in onions and serve!

Orange Chicken

4 – 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 Tsp orange extract

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp ground ginger

1 Tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp flour or corn starch

Trim chicken thighs of any large pieces of skin or fat, cut into very small pieces.  Cook over medium heat with just a touch of oil, cook until no longer pink.  Add in remaining ingredients, stir well, cook just until sauce thickens.  Serve!

Virginia light rolls (sort of!)

This is a recipe I got from my mom, but I have no idea where she got it, and I changed it!

1 Cup + 1 Tbsp milk, warmed about 1 min in microwave

3 Tbsp honey

2 large eggs

6 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces

2 1/4 cups white bread flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tsp salt

2 Tsp yeast

4 Tbsp melted butter for brushing

Put milk, honey, eggs and butter into the bread machine pan.

Add in the flours.  Make a small well in the center, add salt and yeast.

Set the machine for DOUGH, hit start and go do something else for an hour!

Turn the dough out onto a floured towel, knead with a little whole wheat flour for just a couple minutes.

Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Pull globs of dough off the pile, roll into balls and put into pan.  You should get 15 balls, pan should end up 3 across and 5 rows.

Cover, let rise for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 25-28 minutes, brushing with melted butter at the 15 minute mark.

Serve with butter and honey!!

Bacon Egg and Cheese Casserole

12 eggs

1 Cup half and half (fat free)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 pound bacon

2 Tbsp flour

Cut the bacon into small pieces, cook until crispy, drain.

Mix the eggs, half and half, cheeses and flour, pour about 2/3 into a greased 13″ x 9″ dish.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of the bacon into the eggs, push it down into the eggs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

Bacon Egg Cheese and Spinach Casserole

Take the rest of the egg mixture and bacon, pour into a greased casserole dish (or in my case a souffle dish), add in about 1 cup frozen spinach thawed.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

And that’s it!  I cooked all day, and my feet hurt, but it was ALL so good!!

So until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 225 – 228

August 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Yeah, yeah, I’m behind again, but you already knew that, right??  Miss me??  LOL!

What a week!  Work was crazy, but I finally feel like I’m getting a handle on it, but not quite like I’m “one of the gang” yet.  Still feel a little like an outsider.  Loosing another person in a couple weeks, probably getting another new one, too.  It’s like a revolving door!

Got William all set for school, ran into someone I know from a past job, that was kind of cool.

Treated myself to a day out this morning.  Went and got blo0d work done, got my hair trimmed, got my nails and my toes done, went grocery shopping.  What a shopping trip!  Getting ready for back to school lunches, spent over $400 on groceries, but should more than last us two weeks!!

Anyway, it’s movie night, so I’m trying to write this between movies.  We just watched The Hunger Games, and now we’re getting ready to watch Wrath of the Titans.  This could be a very disjointed entry…

Let’s see, Wednesday, we ordered pizza from Jet’s, pepperoni pizza, bacon breadsticks, very good this time!

Thursday was open house at William’s school, we had McDonald’s for dinner.

Friday we went to Five Guys, bacon cheeseburgers, fries, YUM! (and we determined that we are eating out entirely too much!)

And tonight, I made…

Teriyaki Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers

1 small head cabbage, shredded

About 6-8 baby carrots, shredded

about 4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

Diced cooked pork chops

Mix the cabbage, carrots, pork and sauce in a bowl.  Spread about 2 Tbsp of mixture on an egg roll wrapper, fold over bottom, fold in sides, roll towards final tip, dampen tip slightly to seal.  Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling or both!  Fry in hot oil over medium heat about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with your favorite sauce, like sweet and sour, duck sauce or soy sauce.  YUM!

Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers

1 small head cabbage, shredded

About 6-8 baby carrots, shredded

about 4 Tbsp soy sauce

Diced cooked pork chops

Mix the cabbage, carrots, pork and sauce in a bowl.  Spread about 2 Tbsp of mixture on an egg roll wrapper, fold over bottom, fold in sides, roll towards final tip, dampen tip slightly to seal.  Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling or both!  Fry in hot oil over medium heat about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with your favorite sauce, like sweet and sour, duck sauce or soy sauce.  YUM!

Egg Roll Bites

Leftover filling from egg rolls

Wonton wrappers

Put about 1 Tsp filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, dampen two sides, fold over to make a triangle and seal, pinch together two corners so you get sort of a tortellini looking thing, dampen corners so they stick, deep fry until golden brown, serve!

Oh, and I made a cook new sauce to go with the egg rolls…

Home Made Peach Plum Sauce

4 plums, pitted and pureed

2 peaches, pitted and pureed

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1 Tsp crushed dried red pepper flakes (or if you don’t have that, a pinch of cayenne pepper)

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 Tsp)

1/2 Tsp ground ginger

Mix everything in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.

So, that’s about it for tonight.  Thinking pot roast for Monday, going to Mom’s tomorrow to get James’ car, having burgers again, but home made this time!

So until Monday probably, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 220 – 221

August 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you are all having a relaxing weekend.

Mine started out a little hectic, had to go get a new battery in my car, and let me tell you, I was not happy!  Last time I had to get one, Walmart did this thing where if the battery was less than 4 years old, they prorated the original cost and refunded you part of the purchase price, so my last battery cost something like $30.  NOT this time around!  It was almost $90!!!  All I can say is it better last more than 2 1/2 years this time!!!  And thank goodness James put gas in the car, because I won’t be able to until Friday now.

Then it was off to the bead shop, had to get some gold wire to do a repair for a friend, and it was SO reasonable, I got enough to make myself a bracelet, BONUS!  I love Breezy’s Beads in Brandon, they are just so awesome, reasonable, and it’s just FUN to go there!!  So one thing off my list of things to do this weekend.

Once I got home, folded some clothes, fixed a necklace, finished some craft projects I have been working on all week, now I have some cool decorations for my desk.  William and I did a couple loads of dishes, got the kitchen all cleaned up, and did a bunch of cooking!!

So here are the recipes of the day!

The first one was William’s idea, and it turned out really well.

Meatball Buns

 

Bread machine!!

7 1/2 ounces warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup bread flour

2 Tbsp dry milk

3 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tsp salt

3 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 Tsp bread machine yeast

Put the water in the pan.  Add in the flour, dry milk, sugar and salt.  Tap to level, then push a little into the corners.  Add the butter in the corners.  Make a small well in the center, add the yeast.  Set to DOUGH and push start!

Once it’s done, pour out the dough onto a floured surface and let rest for 15 minutes.

Take pieces about twice the size of a meatball, and wrap it around the meatball, shape into a ball, put onto a greased pan, repeat until it’s all gone.  Cover with a dry cloth and let sit 45 minutes.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, serve with spaghetti or marinara sauce to dip!

Teriyaki Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers

1 small head cabbage, shredded

about 4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

Leftover shredded chicken

Mix the cabbage, chicken and sauce in a bowl.  Spread about 2 Tbsp of mixture on an egg roll wrapper, fold over bottom, fold in sides, roll towards final tip, dampen tip slightly to seal.  Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling or both!  Fry in hot oil over medium heat about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with your favorite sauce, like sweet and sour, duck sauce or soy sauce.  YUM!

Along with this we had some fried smoked sausage and some taquitos also fried in oil, they came out really crispy, YUM.

And then we tried our hands at cake pops!  Wow, talk about a pain in the butt!!  Even with a cake pop maker, it took over an hour to cook them all, one box mix makes something like 5 dozen baby cake pops.  Now we have to frost them all, and we have a tray that holds one dozen at a time, so needless to say, we have ONE DOZEN completed!  Next time, buying a styrofoam slab to work on…  But they are tasty, and cute, and William had fun helping!!

So, that’s what we’ve done today, actually turned out to be a good day all in all.

Until tomorrow, then, eat well, love well, live well!

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