This is a blog for people to discuss what they are eating. There is a theory that by journaling eating habits, people will eat healthier. I am trying to cook more at home and feed my family a wider variety of foods. People can just read or join as co-authors. Topics don't have to be recipes with nice photos. You can write about eating habits, special diets, culinary cultural differences, etc.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fried Shrimp and Green Tomatoes

There can't possibly be anything better than fried shrimp. Can there???

No. Not unless its Fried Shrimp with Fried Green Tomatoes!

The shrimp were white shrimp, about the size of my index finger, which I cleaned, dredged and cooked as per my Southern Frying tutorial. :)

The tomatoes are just that, green tomatoes. Slicing tomatoes that haven't ripened and turned red yet. Simply peel the skin, core, slice thinly and lay out on paper towel to drain. After I fried the shrimp I used the same oil and the same dredging mix to cook them. Fried green tomatoes are such a Southern tradition. They are wonderful! A beautiful, crunchy coating hiding their pale green, tangy goodness inside. I love them.


Not so much...

Of course, he loves noodles. Pretty much any kind of noodles. For our seafood feast he cooked himself some Hong Kong Style Shrimp Noodles (honest, that's what the package says).

And enjoyed them emensley.

Pete had a couple of my precious tomato slices with his fried shrimp and his colossal scallop, which I wrapped in bacon and sauted in olive oil with just a bit of pepper on it. They were also wonderful, succulent, sweet, cooked just right (although it may not look it in my picture).

At any rate, a good time was had by all. I got in one last "fry" for the year and now can start 2009 with a renewed purpose of eating healthier, wiser, better...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kobe (sort of) roast beef

Think I am enjoying cooking and blogging this holidays?? Really, I am having so much fun doing both. They are my hobbies!! This is a tiny little beef roast, frozen and precooked. The brand is called KOBE, but it ain't no real Kobe beef. Real Kobe beef has fat and lean perfectly marbled and is the most tender meat ever imagined. This cow was probably Australian.
We got it from our credit card company... hard to explain but if you spend over a certain amount annually, you become a preferred customer and you get a catalogue to choose a gift. I threw away the box and instructions so I had no how to cook this precooked but obvious still very rare roast. I ended up just slicing up the whole thing and microwaving it. Turned out perfect!

I sauteed cabbage, potato and Polish sausage, seasoned simply only with salt and pepper. The salad is lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh parmesan and proscuitto ham. Dressing is balsamico vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, a little salt, sugar and pepper. Shake it all up. Also made garlic butter buns.

Reina skipped out on the roast. Rio on the salad but there was enough stuff they did like to make this other enjoyable meal. Too bad when school and work starts, I won't have the time and energy for these types of meals. Sniffle, sniffle.

Crabs Akiyama

What a temaki (handrolled sushi cone) looks it. Choose your toppings and roll it all up.

I am tired of the casserole dishes we got free from our old pizza place. So wanted to serve dinner in something else. This is a lacquered three-tiered juu bako, a food serving container. It's great for bringing to parties, picnics and even serving at home on special occasions.

This is what the inside looked like! One layer of boiled crab, one of sashimi and one of sushi rice.

This is a ke-gani (hairy crab, if someone is more knowledgeable about crustaceans and knows the proper name in English, I'll change it.) It is the same kind of critters Kazuhiko Akiyama wears as a necklace! Small, but firm and meaty, they are as pricey as their bulkier king crab cousins. I prefer this more compact crab.

We bought it fresh and boiled it. We had no idea how long to do it for. Hiroshi had to check on the Internet partway through. Still we did it perfectly!

Crabs are cut open with scissors and Reina has this thing about trimming the hair on them. Hiroshi made a funny pun which I can't translate into English but I told Kazuhiko and he got a big kick out of it. He replied, "Please don't ask me to allow your daughter trim my hair." (Punchline without the joke is pretty lame eh?) Sorry. But doesn't his spikey hairstyle even resemble the crabs. LOL

This is the assorted sashimi plate we got. Some tuna, some kanpachi, shrimp, salmon, scallop and squid. What does raw squid taste like? Tiger would ask. Slimey rubber tires, girl. Squid (not tires) is okay grilled, in pasta or deep fried.... No, I didn't pick dandelions in December. It is an edible flower that comes with the set.

Some veggies and sushi rice. My sushi rice is simple, just use sushi rice powder. We cut up the nori and everyone puts in rice and whatever topping they want. Then you wrap it by hand so it's called temaki (handwrapped sushi.) It's fun and you can't go wrong. (except when you put in too much rice...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Little dump cakes

Reading Holly's entry on holiday eating -- in fact, I've read it over many times, the term "dump cake" fascinated me. So I did Internet searches and found recipes. I had an aging sweet potato and apple just screaming to be dumped on. Confirmed with Tricia whether sweet potato and apple dump cake was kosher to the southern tradition, got official approval.

First I peeled and boiled the sweet potatoes. Mashed them with milk (didn't have cream around), butter, brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon.

My oven doesn't fit a big cake pan so I lined muffin my pan and poured in the sweet potato. Next I put raw apple slices on top. Finally I sprinkled some of my precious white cake mix that costed a fortune to be sent over... Poured melted butter.

Hubby freaked out at the unmixed batter just seating there on the top. Made me do the two bigger ones mixing with the butter. Because we have the two styles, it becomes obvious that by mixing, the batter rises and becomes cakelike, whereas without mixing, it is more like a biscuit or crumble.

When you make this with canned fruits, the syrup provides enough moisture for the cake mix. The way I made it, the apples barely moistened the mix.

The verdict: Reina won't eat it because she won't even eat mashed sweet potatoes. Rio liked it but said it was a bit sweet! Hiroshi enjoyed it with a cup of non-sweeten (bitter) darjeeling tea. Truth is I think I prefer making a crumble mix from flour.... But will serve the rest to guests tomorrow. But just thrilled to have made a dump cake. I feel so American. LOL

Friday, December 26, 2008

A 'Some Kinda Wonderful' Christmas Meal

tehehe... I just couldn't resist the title. Forgive?

Our Christmas Day meal:

Turkey (I finally got my turkey leg!)
Sweet Potato (baked with real butter on it)
Thomas' Mac-n-Cheese (from Alton Brown)
Brussels Sprouts (steamed with lemon juice sprinkled on at the end)
Cranberry Sauce (canned, jellied kind)

That's it. Nothing fancy. Just couldn't muster the umph to go all out. Everything was pretty simple, plain, and yummy. I stuffed the turkey with chopped apple, orange, celery, onion, cinnamon stick and a few cloves and rosemary sprigs. Sprayed it with canola oil and let it go. Turned out really moist, tender, and tasty. I love the way turkey accepts the flavors of what you cook it with. Sometimes I make a herb butter to stuff under the breast skin, but didn't this time. It was good never-the-less.
The sweet pots were just wrapped in foil individually and baked for an hour. Pete and I prefer them that way, instead of making a sweet, sticky, casserole or "candied yams" with them. They aren't "yams" anyway... well, I won't go into all that right now. :)
Thomas makes the mac n cheese and he does a super job of it. I do prefer my mac n cheese baked so it gets a little browning on it and the corners get chewy and crunchy, but I can always do that with some of the leftovers... in fact.. I already have!
The brussels sprouts were just steamed until tender and then sprinkled with lemon juice and tossed with a bit of butter.
I'm the only one in my family of three that will eat cranberry sauce, of ANY kind. And I prefer the canned, jellied kind. My sister makes a very good cranberry relish with fresh berries but I can't see myself making it just for me. Especially since I really like the canned stuff anyway.

I never got around to making the pumpkin pie. I will bake one for New Year's Day. We will eat about half of it while still warm and the rest will get thrown away. Sad, but true. I pretty much only like them when they are still hot from the oven. Reheating a single slice later on is... not... the... same. It gets watery sometimes when you do that. Nasty.

So... that was my family's Christmas 2008 Dinner. It was good. It didn't take much effort, and it was (mostly) enjoyed by all of us.

Christmas Veggie Tray

If you are looking for a new way to do a veggie tray, try this. There are a couple of options for this. 1. Spread the dip on the cookie sheet and place the veggies on the top or 2. put the dip on the side. Also, if you want one level for your veggies, use cauliflower for the background instead of the cucumbers I used :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve dinner

Depending on what day of the week Christmas Eve falls on, we have either been at a party or skiing already. So it's not exactly a tradition for us but a nice Christmas Eve dinner at home be certainly may become one. We each had a plate of grilled ham steak, potato galette and julienne carrots. The salad was really crisper leftovers. Hiroshi and I had champagne and the kids had sparkling white grape juice. The champagne wasn't open yet, it's juice in the wine glass. Since I recently got a set of six wine glasses at IKEA for $5 (sorry for bragging), we all had one. We all kept making toasts to keep the glasses clinking. It was a fun meal for us. A Christmas miracle meal that everyone actually liked! For dessert, we destroyed the gingerbread house.

Orange-flavor gravy:
I wanted to experiment and made a ham gravy using orange juice, brown sugar, some salt and brown gravy mix. It was delicious! (I still had to delump it but I'm used to it by now.)

Potato galette:
Grate potatoes, mix in a bit of flour and salt. Grate in cheese. We had a slab of real Parmesan and it tasted wonderful! Sometimes we just use powder Parmesan and it works as well. Oil non-stick pan liberally.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My adaptation of Holly's cooking...

This is how my version of Holly's Burmese chicken turned out. (Roti was too ambitious for me, and we don't really like beans enough for the sambar)
I am certain it tastes different but the beauty with curries and soups is you really can't go wrong. My curries are mild to be palatable to the kids. Rio loves curry but hates tomato anything and this has plenty of tomato taste which is why I love it. The tanginess balances well with the heavy coconut flavor.

Now we do actually make various curries often. Mostly my husband enjoys making them. But rarely do we try an extra side dish. But Holly's spicy potatoes were too tempting and easy not to try. Mine turned out more like Indian mashed potatoes but still, with the right seasoning, it was very tasty. Rio loved it, Reina didn't. The kid doesn't like mashed potatoes in any form... maybe if I make it crunchier like Indian hash browns...

I had been wanting to make this meal because I had bought ten frozen naans at a school bazaar food fair and wanted to use them. Kids loved the frozen naan with slabs of butter melted and cheese. I would like to try Holly's roti recipe next time. It is not the type of meal you can just whip up, especially if you are not used to cooking Indian. For me, it will be a leisurely weekend dinner. Still, Hiroshi declared it was the best meal he's had in a long time. My gratitude goes to Holly...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Potatoes Sewickley

Sharp cheddar cheese
Whipping cream

Butter casserole dish (I used Pam spray).
Cook potatoes with skins in salted water.
Peel when cool. Grate into casserole dish. Dot with butter.

Pour unwhipped cream over. Grate cheddar cheese over top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered. Uncover bake 5 more minutes.

This is a pretty easy recipe, but very good. What I like about these is that you can freeze them. You can also reheat them many times without affecting the quality. I have also lightened up the recipe by using fat free whipping cream and I Can't Believe it's not Butter spray. Fat-free cheese doesn't really work since it never melts :-) The lighter recipe is not as good, but still tasty. Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chocolate Almond Clusters

2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup dried cherries (preferred) or golden raisins
1 ounce coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

In medium microwaveable mixing bowl, microwave chocolate on medium for 2 minutes, stirring twice or until melted and smooth.

Stir in cherries or raisins, almonds, and zest. Line baking sheet with waxed paper and drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto the paper, making 16 clusters. Chill until firm.

Per serving (2 clusters): 85 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 12 g total carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein, 14 mg calcium

Points per serving = 2

Source: Weight Watchers "Dessert Classics" magazine

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Special Menu

Christmas is just one week away! Hooray! Don't you just love this time of year? The decorations, the presents, the parties, the time spent with family and friends... and especially the food. Christmas Day is a day filled with good things to eat. Turkeys, hams, sweet potatoes, casseroles of every variety... broccoli cheese, rice, green bean, corn... home made mac and cheese. And the desserts... oh the deserts... pure heaven.

I can remember back when I was little and all of my immediate family still lived close together. Christmas Day there was always so much food! Even the in-laws came to my Granny's house for this day. Chocolate Pecan 3 layer cake, carrot cake, jam cake, dump cake, hummingbird cake, fruitcake... cream cheese pies, paradise pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie... it was a wonderful time all the way around. We usually didn't get much in the way of toys at Christmas. We were poor folks. All of us. Christmas was an excuse for our parents to wrap up as gifts the things they had to buy us anyway. Like clothes for the second half of the school year. A new pair of shoes. But we didn't really care cause we knew that there was going to be all that wonderful, heavenly food. And togetherness. And fun. We always had fun together.

But after that most important of Days comes the New Year. And that requires a meal that needs to be planned out nearly as carefully as any meal served during the holidays that precede it. My New Year's Day meal always consists of:
Country Ham
Collard Greens
Black Eyed Peas

If I have time or feel like it, I may also make an asparagus dish, or green beans with new potatoes, or the broccoli/potato/cheese casserole.

For dessert I usually make a baked cheesecake and/or a Dump Cake.


The whole point of this blog, I suppose, is to ask if any of you have traditional menus for New Year's Day and if so, what are they? I'd love to know.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


That's hubby's plate upside down but you get the drift :p
Hubby made dinner again :) Hey.. I did the frozen veggies in cheese sauce.. because nothing kills any healthy food like butter and cheese.. mmm.. bring it on... Ehem.. This is filet mignon with just salt and pepper on the best griddle on the planet.. I can friggin' remove the plates and throw them in the dishwasher.. how crazy is that? I gave away my Foreman grill.. was too much of a pain to clean...

My plate on the right and hubby sitting down about to chow down on his :p

Sweet thing with the new griddle is that you can put a probe thermometer and it tells you when it's done.. none of this turning it over and poking crap to find out if it's done.. only to cut it open and blood squirts out. For my friend she likes it medium well closer to rare while I like mine completely de-mooooed.. that mean.. no pink of any kind.. nada.. I see pink it's back in the griddle.. I don't like my moo to get up and keep mooing :p To each it's own. But with the griddle we can cook it to EXACT specifications and all is happy!

From hubby:

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt (Kosher salt or sea salt .. we used Kosher)

Black pepper to taste

Lightly coat steaks with olive oil. Sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper on both sides to taste. We grill it to 163-165°F (about 5° carryover when it comes off the grill) (P.S. this is WELL DONE - there should be a chart online as to what degrees is well/medium/rare) and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes (we do 10) on a plate lightly covered with aluminum foil (like a tent .. not tight at all just covering it). Do not remove the probe until the rest period is done.

P.S. Jack Daniel's Barbeque sauce ROCKS!

P.S. #2 I love netflix.. that's my second disk of Lucky Star.. I'm digressing back to Anime aren't I? LOL Okay okay.. enjoy the food :p

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scallops and Shrimp sorta scampi over Linguini

I cook the scallops (this time I used bay scallops) and shrimp (I cut them in half) at the very last second since it cooks soooooooo fast..
I've done a variation of this dish .. I lost track how many ways.. this time I totally cheated and used a premade scampi sauce that was actually pretty good. It had a different balance to what I'm used to and so the only thing I added was fresh garlic and onions.

Boling Linguini over the demonic pot that wanted to take me out.. I can see how it's bent on the left side.. stupid thing bonked my head.. I can't use the same lid on it anymore LOL

Sometimes I make everything from scratch (the sauce not the shrimp.. or scallops.. I actually prefer sea scallops..) and add sour cream and mozzerella cheese.. but hubby likes it plainer and just puts parmesan cheese.. I of course can't stand parmesan.. for me it's friggin' kryptonite...

Aww I thought I got the Christmas Tree in there.. oh well you got the reflection.. Yes.. we do have a dining room table.. but we eat here 99% of the time.. it's in front of the TV dangit!

I normally do garlic bread with this as well because garlic bread is food of the gods.. but still.. I digress. Drinks were Ginger Ale with a piece of lime.. mmmm...

Mine on left and his on right.. though his didn't have the parmesan on it yet.. quite frankly he desecrates it but I digress.. I can hear Holly screaming going PARMESAN ROCKS!

This last shot was for Chaki who likes my fancy sheet new plates :D

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Uber snacks for gaming...

Mmmmmmmmm.. snacks..
K sorry this is late LOL.. This is a blog that is crossreferenced here. What did we have? Oh good Lord.. what didn't we? Okay lemme back up.. the day before I get a call from my friend from Delaware and she is asking me if I like certain things.. As ya'll already know how dang picky I am.. she was going "well will you eat this?".. "hmm.. how about that if I take out this?".. "if I make it milder.." but I swear.. I seriously heard the music from those old Walt Disney documentaries about the World of Tommorrow or was it a cartoon.. oh nvm I digress.. either way I hear that in my head now!

Snacks got.. er.. bigger LOL

She was shopping while talking to me (as I heard that jingle sound in my head..) and little did I know that ALL of which she was talking about bringing .. she brought.. and I mean all of it.. 7 layer dip, veggies with dip, mango salsa, chex mix, chips and her famous friggin' awesome sweet salsa, guacamole, 2 different types of tacos (pulled pork and a beef one with a totally different sauce and both hard and soft tacos), homemade fried wonton with ducksauce, potatochips and dip, chips and queso...

I had a religious moment.. sorry.. I LOVE Pecan Pie.. even if it did give me a migraine! LOL

.. and the coup de grace.. PECAN PIE!!!!!!!!!!!! Omg.. it was sooooo good.. I didn't have ice cream.. well I did but I was too full.. but omg it was so good! She made that from scratch as well. It was either this or Key Lime pie.. I don't like that pie.. or any other pie actually.. but Pecan pie was to die for..

P.S. I forgot to add.. this food was in addition to hubby's pizza LOL

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Holly's Sugar Cookies

I pasted this on here from Pam's place so it won't be missed.

The dough I use for my sugar cookies isn't exactly a sugar cookie dough. It's a dough for a cookie called "melting moments". Only, instead of rolling them in coconut I roll them in colored sugar for Christmas. Mix 1 cup flour with 2 T corn starch and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Then you blend in 2 sticks of room temp butter and chill the dough until firm then roll into little balls and roll them in sugar, or coconut, or chopped nuts or crushed candy canes... can also add your choice of extract flavors with the butter to flavor them that way. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes until just slightly brown on edges.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pecan Penuche (Brown Sugar Fudge)

This is a scan of the recipe I use to make penuche. I got this recipe when my Mother gifted me with "The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook" for Christmas of 1985. It was my first all my own cookbook. The very first of many. I was working as a nanny for two beautiful little girls at the time. They loved my cookbook, too. They would sit on my lap and we would page thru the pictures and diagrams and plan huge, fantastic, glorious meals together. That's a happy memory. Of all the cookbooks I have acquired over the years, this is by far the most used. In fact, I think I'm going to purchase a new one and retire this one to the shelf. The pages are now falling out, for goodness sake!

This penuche is the most delicious thing you will ever put in your mouth. If you like sweets, that is. The recipe is simple, the directions easy to follow... and I still get a different result every time I make it. I made two batches this evening. The first turned out light, kinda dry on the outside, creamy and melt in your mouth on the inside. The second batch is slightly darker, a little chewier, almost like it was trying to be caramel. Not the taste, but the consistency. That's okay, it's all good... but I'm just saying. It seems that if the temperature is off by even a half a degree at any point, or if you beat it for one stroke more or less, you will get a slightly different result. I've never made a batch that wasn't delicious, it's just not the same all the time. I make it every single year, anyway. If I didn't make my sister Martie this candy she would think I didn't love her anymore. HA!

I do hope you guys will try this, even with what I said about the varied results. Its all good, ya know?

The following is a good, all-purpose, easy to adapt fudge recipe. I got it from my Mom's cookbook (which I now have since she gave it to me a couple years before she passed away) "Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook Collector's Edition" Its on page 454 and it's called "Dorchester Fudge". This is exactly what it says in the book:

1 package (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup marshmallow topping
1/2 cup chopped nuts* (optional)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk

Place chocolate in a bowl with marshmallow topping, nuts, butter and vanilla; set aside. Combine sugar and milk in 2 quart saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Keep at full rolling boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Carefully pour boiling sugar syrup over chocolate mixture and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour into buttered 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into squares.
Makes 1 1/2 pounds or about 3 dozen pieces
*Or use 1 cup BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut.

Then the recipe goes on to give a couple of variations. Mocha Almond Fudge, which is putting instant coffee in with the sugar and milk and using almonds for the nuts. One is Peanut Butter Fudge, which is using peanut butter instead of marshmallow topping and using peanuts for the nuts. I've made them both. I love Mocha fudge, but strangely enough, I don't like almonds in my fudge. Or peanuts. I like peanut butter fudge, but when I make it I just substitute Peanut Butter chips for the chocolate. Oh, guess I should say, I don't always use Baker's chocolate squares. 8 ounces (by weight) of any type chip will work with this recipe. Some of my variations are,
New one as of tonight:
Use 8 ounces of white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate and instead of using chopped nuts, use 2-3 Tablespoons of crushed peppermint candy canes. This stuff is yummy. I'm going to try the candy canes with some Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate chips that I have. I will let you know how that goes.
As I said, I also make Peanut Butter fudge by using those chips instead of chocolate. Or you can do it the way the book says and make chocolate/peanut butter fudge. Both are good.
You can change the flavor in numerous ways... substituting different extracts for the vanilla. The Maple Walnut fudge is always a favorite. I have made white chocolate fudge with chopped up candied cherries and citrus peel with macadamia nuts. That was a yummy one. I have used Kahlua in place of one half of the milk before. Also quite tasty, but you need to use about 2 more ounces of chips to get it to firm up properly.
Also, the directions in the book say to chill this. Don't do it. As I discussed in chaki's post about the maple fudge, putting your fudge in the fridge can do funny things to it. And I don't mean funny in a good way. It may take a tad longer before you can sample it, but leave it on a wire rack to cool on the counter. Room temp is better tasting anyway. How can you get the full flavor of the thing if it's cold?

Anyway... use your imagination. You can't mess this stuff up. And if you do... anything you end up with will almost certainly make a delicious topping for ice cream.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I made fudge!!!!

I made maple fudge today. I had to make something "Canadian" for Reina's class. I adore fudge, but you just think about the ingredients and can get fat! Found this great food blog. Wow. She has some good stuff.

The best school field trip ever was in the third grade, when I still lived in Montreal and we visited a real maple syrup farm in eastern Canada. It was really beautiful there, hundreds of maple trees. The farm had tons of sap churning and evaporating into syrup and then made into all sorts of candies. Yes, we got samples.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breakfast Burritos

As most of my friends know, I'm not real big on breakfasts. Not in the morning, anyway. Breakfast for supper? Heck yeah! Breakfast for breakfast? Not so much. However... my guys are nuts for breakfasts. So, I usually make up a batch of this stuff for weekday breakfasts for my sweethearts:

As shown, the ingredients are few and fairly simple. You can adjust it to your taste:
Potatoes (diced or shredded)
Onions & garlic (minced)
eggs (slightly beaten)
breakfast sausage
Chorizo sausage (about 1/4 as much as the breakfast sausage)
Cheese (shredded)
peppers if you like

This is the way I do it:
I put both the sausages in the pan and get them browning. Once the pink is gone I add the onions, potatoes, garlic and peppers (if you are using them) I only used about half of the onion in the picture and I didn't use peppers in this batch but I do recommend them in this recipe. Once the potatoes are tender, add the eggs and stir them around until cooked to your liking. You can use however many you like, if you like it "eggy" use more, if you don't, use less. I usually use about 3-4 eggs in mine.

I have been using the Jimmy Dean lower fat breakfast sausage and it's pretty good. Only thing is it doesn't come in "hot" so you have to spice it up yourself. It comes in a 12 oz roll instead of the usual 16 oz roll of regular breakfast sausage.

The chorizo I buy comes in little plastic tubes inside the larger package. Each tube is about 2.5 oz. You don't have to use this, but we like the flavor it adds. Plus, it's a little fatty so, it gives oil to the pan so you can brown the onions and taters without adding any extra. The low fat breakfast sausage leaves no extra oil in the pan whatsoever.

You can see in the ingredients picture that I use a lower fat cheese mixture. This brand is actually not bad and the hubster has gotten used to it and it's better for him, I suppose. So, we use it. Lately I have been adding a little Queso Fresco cheese to mine. But then... I'm addicted to the stuff, it's yummy.

My hubby likes this just as it is with cheese on top and a piece of toast on the side. My son likes it rolled in tortillas like a proper breakfast burrito. You can also use this mixture to stuff baked potatoes, large pasta shells, or if you leave the eggs out of the mixture you can use it to stuff omelets. Anyway, its pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.

Garnish with salsa, fresh tomatoes, whatever you desire.

Oh yeah, salt and pepper to your taste, if you must. Pardon me if I sometimes don't say salt in a recipe. I don't usually add salt when I'm cooking because the hubby just adds it anyway on the plate, whether it needs it or not, so... use your own descretion when adding salt to anything I post about here. :)

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cajun chicken salad

This wonderful meal is thanks to Tricia! who got tired of me whining about not having the right spices to make food I want, so she sent me a pre-Christmas care package. There is one thing she'll notice she didn't get -- my Costco size Tabasco! It's big! The smoked chiptole Tabasco is already a large sized one and it looks miniature next to mine regular flavor. Should have put a normal size one next to it for emphasis. LOL
Cajun chicken is one of these trendy dinners in Canada, and not that many supermarkets that north sell Southern spice mixes, not the Safeway near my mom's place. So this was my first attempt at my version and it's easy enough.
Put spice on both sides, then grill. Finish off with the pepper mix. Salad dressing is the Cajun spice with olive oil and vinegar. If it's trendy in Canada, I would market this dish in Tokyo for mmm... $40, if I had it on Elsie's chic new plates.
Once this nagging stomach cramps end, I am making buffalo chicken wings with Lousiana hot sauce and vegetable sticks with blue cheese dip.
And the cake mix. Chocolate Betty Crocker classic, with vanilla Haagen Daaz on top. But it will wait a week, be my PMS treat for myself!
Thanks again Tricia!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gettin' my Greek on

I'm so technologically deficient I don't even own a digital camera, nor one of those picture-takin' cell phones (which MamaSnowy insists on calling cellaphones), so I don't have any food pron for you. You'll have to use your imagination.

It started last night when I was in the grocery store, half-heartedly thinking about baking some chicken breasts. Not a single skin-on, bone-in breast in the store. Why, oh why does everything have to be boneless and skinless these days unless you cook a whole dang chicken? Anyway, I wandered up to the prepared foods deli and saw lemon oregano chicken breasts. That started the wheels turning. Already cooked breast in hand (heh!), I wheeled up to the produce aisle to pick up a lemon, some green beans and potatoes, then over to the canned food aisle for a can of tomatoes.

Here're the recipes, from the cookbook "Healthy Cooking for Two (Or Just You)" by Frances Price:

Greek Green Beans & Tomatoes (for 2 servings)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic (thought I had some, but didn't, so used garlic powder instead)
1 large tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped (I used half a can of diced tomatoes instead)
1 tsp dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound green beans, trimmed and prepped for cooking

In a heavy 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in the olive oil until tender but not brown. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, dill, salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes start to give up some juice. Add beans to tomato mixture and cook until they're as tender as you like them. I like them well done in this, so they really pick up the flavors. I know Elsie will identify with this: I have to pick out the tomato bits. I like the flavor, but the texture squicks me something awful:-) These are even better the next day.

Roasted Greek Potatoes (serves 2)
3 cups water
8 oz waxy boiling potatoes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300, and bring the water to a boil. Cut the scrubbed potatoes into thick chunks. Line a 1 quart casserole with foil, pressing to fit the casserole. No kidding---don't skip this step unless you're prepared to spend a lot of time scrubbing the dish. Add the lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, turning to coat them well, then pour in enough boiling water to equal a depth of 1/2". Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and roast them for 40 minutes longer, or until the water is absorbed and the potatoes are tender and browned (turn the potatoes every 15 minutes during this stage).

Really, really tasty. The only logical dessert is baklava. Alas, I'm trying to cut down on sweets, and so settled for lemon yogurt.

Monday, December 1, 2008

FOOD DIARY - Chicken Teriyaki Rolls

Hubby made me Chicken Teriyaki Rolls on Friday after Thanksgiving :)
This was our second attempt. Came out a little better (the rice) but we are still missing "something".. no wonder traditional Japanese sushi apprentices take 5 years just doing rice before they are allowed to make anything else..

Hubby mixing in the vinegar into the rice.. we got a bowl for this.. last time it was a clump disaster.. this time did a bit better.. still not right though but just like last time.. a yummy experiment!

Because I much prefer the rice outside he obliged and did it for me :)

We used a Teriyaki mix instead of doing that from scratch. Still it came out really good! I even ate the extra chicken that we didn't shove in the rolls! At the end we had more rice than one roll but not enough for two so hubby made one big one with the nori on the OUTSIDE... he was getting tired. Awwww

This is what it looked like doing the last of the rolls. One giant roll :)

He hates cutting the sushi though.. doesn't slide well.. he thinks he didn't use enough water on the knife.. since these knives are ridiculously sharp.. I don't use those..

My plate on the left and his on the right. This is our uber coffee table in the living room and our brand spaking new plates :D Note something I didn't notice until much later.. check out the reflection at the top of the glass table.. Go Ninja Warrior LOL

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