I Wonder…

January 29, 2010 at 3:25 am (Uncategorized)

If it is possible to make a decent-tasting marinara sauce with tomato soup and the spice cupboard?

I’ve got pasta and chicken breasts and some garlic cloves… but no tomato stuff, except for 2 cans of tomato soup.

I must ponder… will it be a catastrophe if I do this…?


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Mmm, Chicken.

January 21, 2010 at 8:36 am (cooking) (, , )

I’ll update this later, since it’s only marinating at the moment.

Tonight is chicken night. And I didn’t know what I wanted to make. As usual, this led to me raiding the cupboards in search of inspiration. We’ll see how it tastes later lol.

I wound up making a marinade!

Chicken Marinade
2 boxes apple juice (just enough to cover 3 chicken breasts)
garlic+herb mrs. dash
lemon pepper

I put the chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag – I got them fresh from the butcher counter, who put them in a plastic bag, then wrapped it in paper, so I was REALLY easy and tidy to just upend the plastic bag into the ziplock bag – no mess! no chicken fingers!

I poked the straw hole in both juice boxes – in hindsight, I probably should have just opened a flap up for pouring – and squeezed them into the bag. Yes, I like apples with chicken.  🙂

Next, I added alot of salt (over a tablespoon). Alot of pepper (about a tablespoon). Several shakes of lemon pepper (no idea how much – til standing over the bag at waist height I could smell a hint of lemon). Several shakes of garlic+herb mrs. dash (no idea! 😀 til the scent of the bag smelled YUMMY!).
Then I closed it up (but not carefully enough lol, I spilled a bit when squeezing air out haha), carefully took out as much air as I could.  This was followed by me gently shaking it up to mix it. (and cleaning up my spill!)

It’s currently in the fridge in a pie dish (just in case the bag leaks or something.), and I am going to flip it over at 2. (it was 8 when I put it in there.) I shall update you all with the rest of the meal later, as well as results. ^,~.  Can’t decide between green beans, or carrots with honey-clove mustard. I don’t really want to do a LOT of work on dinner – it’s raid night. ^,^. (Hmm. I could possibly bake carrots…? We shall see!!)

It was delicious!! Took 50 minutes at 350. Omnomnom!!

For a side dish, I decided on carrots.

So, they’re sitting a baking dish, covered with tinfoil right now. It’s raid night, so I want everything ready to be stuck into the oven. ^__^
Once again, this is me being random, so… I’ll have to tell you later how it is.

Katie’s Baked Carrots:
5 baby carrots per person (tis what I have on hand.)
olive oil
lemon pepper

Well, I mixed up the glaze or whatever you want to call it, then poured it over the carrots and rolled them around in it. As follows: Honey, about enough to cover the bottom of a drinking glass. Mustard, just a little bit. Maybe about a teaspoon or so. You want to be able to smell both honey and mustard. (I wish I’d had orange blossom honey, but it’s clover.  Still tasty!) Follow this with a small splash of olive oil. Careful, it may rush out of the bottle, so maybe pour it into a seperate thing first?

Then I added in: 2 grinds salt. 4 grinds pepper. 4 taps ground ginger. 2 taps ground cloves, 2 hearty taps of lemon pepper. I added the lemon pepper for a citrus zing, and to help it meld with the chicken.  And by taps, I mean “hold the spice jar on it’s side, not at an angle, and tap your finger on the jar.”

I mixed it up very well, and then poured/rolled carrots in it. It’ll work for a good number of carrots, I think… I’m serving 3 so it’s 15 carrots, and I had enough for maybe 10 more.  I mean, you don’t want to DROWN the carrots.

I’m going to bake them for 30 minutes at 350 with the chicken (in their own dish, covered) later. For now they are sitting there to get “happy” and to go from fridge temp to room temp.  Is room temp important? Prolly not.  I just didn’t want to refridgerate the dish and then put it in the oven and explode. >,<.

THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!!!! 50 minutes at 350 degrees will do it.

All in all, YUMMY!!!! I’d definitely do it again, with maybe a tad more salt on the chicken. 🙂

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Look, Mr. Frodo! MORE Spaghetti Sauce!

January 19, 2010 at 11:38 pm (cooking) ()

Well, obviously, we like pasta here lol.

And, thankfully we were down to 1 more giant can of -shudder- premade pasta sauce!
Once again, I had to meddle.

Katie’s fix-it! 😀

1 large can of Garlic/Herb pasta sauce.
1/5lb ground beef. (if sirlon, 1lb. I went with 1/5 for a small pan + price lol)
1 large clove of garlic (2 small ones will do.), minced
1 baby carrot, minced
olive oil
cranberry/pomegranate juice
1 container of mushroms, sliced
spices (sage, oregano, pepper, garlic+herb mrs dash)

Well, once the carrot and garlic are minced, toss them into a pan with some olive oil (just enough to lube the pan), along with a splash or two of cranberry/pomegranate juice. Once they’re just starting to brown, add in the mushrooms. Once those have browned, make room in the center, and brown the beef.
During this part, I added 4 grinds of pepper, and a few shakes of oregano.

Once the meat was browned, I poured the sauce in. (I really have a thing against canned sauces these days. They’re usually too sweet, and pretty flavorless.)

I let it simmer while water boiled for noodles, tasting occasionally. I wound up adding 2 shakes of sage, a few more of oregano, a few of Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash, and a few more grinds of pepper.

Then it simmered while noodles cooked, and I spooned it over pasta!

Enjoy, for it came out really well!!

The juice acted like wine, giving it a bit of a bite. The carrots added sweetness, and the pepper hit just right. And fresh garlic… who can complain?! Actually, the juice was a last-minute idea lol. I’m so glad it came out!!!!

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January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm (cooking) ()

Tonight. I made sweet corn, macaroni and cheese, and burgers! 🙂

How could we live  without that classic burger?

Well, some of us do. Myself, I love a good burger. And I can make turkey burgers or regular beefy burgers delicious!

1/4lb meat per burger usually does it
worcestershire sauce
dried minced onion
garlic salt
garlic + herb mrs dash

Turkey Burgers (for those of us who don’t like beef, or maybe only eat poultry and tofu)
1/4lb meat per person
worcestershire sauce
soy sauce (I prefer dark)
dried minced onion
garlic powder
garlic salt
bread crumbs (I like italian-style, but plain works too)

Regardless of which kind you prefer to make, from here on it’s the same, minus a few mixing instructions.

Mix up the meat with the worcestershire sauce. You don’t want alot of it, just some. A splash per side of burger – so you can even do this when cooking if you prefer. For turkey, add enough soy sauce to color it brown.

Add the dried minced onion.  Just lightly blanket the pile of meat.

Time to mix in the spices!  2-3 shakes per burger is my usual MO for garlic & herb and garlic salt. Grind the pepper in generously. About 21 grinds, give or take a few depending on your tastes and those you’re serving to.

For turkey, add breadcrumbs now, too. Just a bit, about1/4 cup’s worth, and mix it. Yes, get your hands in there.  Mix and mash. Turkey has a looser feel to it than beef, so as you’re mixing you might need to add more breadcrumbs to make it feel right.  (for this, keep some off to the side in a measuring cup. Don’t wrap meaty hands around bottles and containers!)

Now form the patties… I usually grab the portion (like 4 burgers, I grab 1/4 the meat), make a little ball…and mash it flat, into a nice round patty.

Put the heat up on your pan (or grill, or whatever) and cook them like you usually do. RESIST THE URGE TO MASH THEM WITH YOUR SPATULA YOU JUST WASTE JUICES!  If they’re taking a long time to cook (say, you like them well done) and you’re doing this indoors on the stove, go ahead and cover them with a lid. (outdoors, close the grill.)

When they are almost done, remove from the heat and let the sit while you prep buns and plates. (also a great time to add cheese, so it gets a little melty and holds on!)

Dress to your taste and enjoy, for they are yummy!

**If you have problems knowing when your burgers are done, this is how I usually cook them:

Pan on medium heat, cook one side until gray/brown up the side to the top. Flip.  Then about 5-10 minutes, usually. Poke them gently with the spatula. Firm means well done.  (make a fist. poke the skin between your thumb and finger. that’s well done. as you loosen the fist, that’s medium-well, medium, medium-rare, rare, etc. seriously, poke the raw patty and see the difference!) For the record, I like my meat DEAD!

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Ah the dreaded Gazebo…

January 10, 2010 at 4:05 am (Personal)

Just was amused and wanted to share this awesome link!!


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Squee! New Job! :)

January 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm (Personal)

I’m a on a 1-month contract, so wish me luck, eh? First day went okay, I think. 🙂

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Spaghetti Sauce…

January 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm (cooking) ()

Yanno, I’ve never been one, really, for canned or jarred pre-made sauces. They’re never quite…quite. Something seems to be missing, almost as if those months of shelf life turns individual ingredients into homogeneous mush.

How to fix this? How, indeed.

First off – tomato paste. It’ll turn that gloopy watery mess into something more substantial.

Second – meat. And while you cook the meat, season it but avoid salt. (that pre-made sauce is usually sodium-happy.)

Third – onions and/or mushrooms with the meat. Fresh, minced garlic if you have it, too. Cook them with olive oil.

Fourth – spices. I like oregano, crumbled between your fingers. Pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb. Add these close to the end, though, since they ARE dried.

And taste. Alot.

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