Yeehaw!!!

March 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm (Uncategorized)


In FANTASTIC nerdy news, Sailor Moon’s manga (graphic novels) is being reprinted in the US, on a bimonthly release schedule, starting in SEPTEMBER!!
Quiver with excitement!

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Spaghetti Sauce

February 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


I’m sure by now that you are all tired of seeing me post about spaghetti sauce… I’m sorry, but this is the one that I’ve settled on for perfection. 🙂

Ingredients:
1/4 large yellow or sweet onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
about 5-7 baby carrots, minced
about 4 medium or large white button mushrooms, if desired
Extra Virgin Olive Oil first cold press is my favorite!
1lb ground beef (the leaner, the better! I usually get 97% lean)
Ocean Spray Cranberry-Pomegranate juice (just a splash! Maybe a quarter cup?)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
oregano
ground sage
Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash
Lawry’s Garlic Salt
Lawry’s Garlic Powder
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
and don’t tell anyone, but also about 4 or 5 taps of ground ginger

And now for instructions!

I usually put the water for pasta on to boil. It doesn’t matter what kind of pasta you use – Angel Hair, Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Wheels, Shells, Macaroni, etc.  I prefer Spaghetti 2 or 3. (That’s the thickness of the pasta.) I also cook it past al dente, but not until it’s soggy.

Anyways… Once the water is on to boil, I add a pinch of kosher salt. Now I can ignore it until later.

I dice the onion and mince the garlic and carrots. If I have them, I also slice up some white buttom mushrooms.  Then I heat up my big skillet (any large pan with high sides will do).  I pour a little extra virgin olive oil in – I have an olive-oil dispenser with a spout, so I just drizzle it around the pan a few times. I don’t need to cover the bottom, just add the flavor and keep stuff from sticking.

Then I add in the vegetables, along with a pinch of kosher salt and about 4 grinds of black pepper.

As it starts to cook, I add the cranberry-pomegranate juice. Not a lot.

Once that has cooked down a little, I add in the beef and brown it. As it browns, I usually add oregano, garlic & herb mrs dash, sage, and garlic powder.  I just cover everything. Note I said cover – not coat. Just tap or shake across your cooking vessel evenly and stir as you go!

After the beef has been browned, I add in the can of petite diced tomatos and let it cook a short while.

After a few minutes, I add in the can of tomato sauce, and then start adding oregano, sage, garlic & herb mrs. dash, garlic powder,  pepper, and garlic salt to taste. I also add about 4 taps of ground ginger – that is my super-secret ingredient!!

Then, simmer the sauce for as long as you want! The longer it goes, the thicker it gets. It tends to splatter, so covering it with a screen is useful for keeping your stovetop clean. 🙂

If you want to make marinara, omit the beef and mushrooms, and use a food processor on the onions, garlic, and carrots for an excellent sauce!

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Leftovers Into Chinese

February 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


Well, we had a bunch of broccoli left over from pork roast night…and when we went out to Outback,  my sister didn’t eat half of her steak, so we took it home…and she forgot it!!

I don’t know about you, but I dislike reheated steak. Actually, reheated is fine. I just don’t like rare meat!

Well then. Check the cupboard, check the fridge, check the freezer.  What can I do with 3 ounces of beef for two people?

One egg left…add to grocery list… hmm… Why do I have three open boxes of boil-in-bag rice?

Oh inspiration!!!

Fried Rice Ingredients:
1 bag of boil-in-bag rice, cooked
some thinly sliced baby carrots
two handfuls of frozen peas
1/8 sweet onion, diced
1 egg
pepper
a little oil (I used olive)
minced onion
dark soy sauce
garlic powder

Beef & Broccoli
leftover outback steak house, sliced thin
frozen carrot rounds
1/5 onion sliced
ginger
garlic powder
soy sauce
honey
minced onion
some oil
water
leftover broccoli
salt
pepper

So, I boiled up the rice while I did my slicing and dicing.

BEEF & BROCCOLI
I also heated up the pan for the beef, added a little olive oil, then tossed in the onions and carrots, followed by salt and pepper.

After a few stirs to get things hot,  I added some of my delicious dark soy sauce and some honey.

(this is where you have to focus on two pots/pans) at once lol

RICE:
I also put oil in the pot I’d used for rice, added the rice, peas, and onions, plus pepper, garlic powder, and soy sauce.

BEEF & BROCCOLI:
When the carrots were defrosted and the onions cooked mostly through, I added the beef, the broccoli,  ground ginger, garlic powder, minced onion, and some more soy sauce. I also ended up adding a handful of water lol.

RICE:
Once the peas and onions were mostly cooked, I added in an egg and fried it up, mixing with the veggies.

Then, I added the rice back in, plus some more soy sauce!! ^,^.

BOTH:
Dished it up! Fried rice and beef & broccoli in a bowl. Tasty! Wish I’d had more lol.

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Honey Garlic Pork Loin

February 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm (cooking) (, , )


oooooh yyyyyeaaaaah.

The other night, Mom wanted pork roast. So, I got to the market and grabbed a pork loin.

I decided to do something a little different, based off a steak I had in August that was de-(dirtyword)-licious!!!!

So. I put the pan on medium heat, drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil to lubricate the pan.

Then, I brushed the top with honey. This was followed by a sprinkling of kosher salt, then adding garlic powder over one side.

After the first side was all brown and delicious, I flipped it and added honey, a little more salt, and then, again, covered it with garlic.

I wound up adding more honey to both sides, during the cooking.

It spent half its cook time on low heat, covered, and half its time on medium heat, uncovered.

It was SO good! Deep rich brown, delicious, sweet, and garlicky. ^__^.

SO DARN GOOD!!!! I can’t wait to do it again! ❤

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Chicken Pot Pie, Redux!

February 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Alright. I was frustrated with my failure last time.

This time, I was sure I could figure out how to do it!

Chicken

Start with a large chicken breast.. or two smaller ones, whatever. This was big and chunky.

In a pan, I used a little extra virgin olive oil, and dusted the chicken with garlic powder and parsley. Then, I cooked the breast til it was done. (You can see the thermometer sticking out lol…sorry. I used a frozen breast.)
And now… onto making the Pot Pie part!

Ingredients:
6 taps of nutmeg (my secret ingredient mwa ha ha)
fresh ground black pepper
kosher salt
1/3c flour
6tbs butter
1/4 stalk celery, minced
1/2 lg sweet onion, kinda diced/minced
2 handfuls of baby carrots, sliced into rounds
the cooked chicken breast, cubed (after a rest)
2/3c half and half
1 and 3/4c chicken broth
frozen corn

frozen peas
frozen green beans
a roll thingy of Pillsbury pastry crust
Also, preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit! 🙂

I put the flour, about 12 grinds of pepper, a healthy pinch of salt, and 3 taps of nutmeg in one bowl, the celery, onion, and carrot in another.  I also prepped the butter, half and half, and the chicken stock.

So. I didn’t even bother cleaning the pan… why lose the delicious chicken-y goodness?

I turned the heat up to medium, and melted the butter.

Once the butter was melted, I added the bowl of flour. After that was incorporated, I added the bowl of sliced’n’diced veggies.

Once they had cooked down, and it was all happy and bubbly (nothing like a lovely golden roux to make me happy), I started adding broth and the half and half in batches, mixing it in all the way before adding more.

I tasted, and wound up adding more pepper and 3 more taps of nutmeg.

Once it was all in, I cooked it up to a happy boil, stirring the whole time.  After about a minute, I added the cubed cooked chicken, and frozen veggies. Don’t really know how much veggies… maybe about half a cup each?? I like green beans in my chicken pot pie, Mom requested corn… worked out, I think. 🙂

After that, I shut off the heat.

Got out my ramekins, and cut out 4 rounds of pastry dough.

Dished out the goodness.

Oh yeah. That looks good. (Don’t mind my shoe!)

Then, I put the rounds on top, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled it with salt.

Ain’t it purty?!

Then, I cooked them for 15 minutes at 425 F.

Hot and bubbly and smells great!

What’s this? I made a FIFTH one for myself as a lunch?? Why goodness, how did you get there, my creamy luscious delicious chicken pot pie-y goodness?

Oh yes. You were delicious….
I am SO happy that it worked out!!!! 😀  It is perfect and tasty and I am SO happy!!

And I REALLY like the salt on the crust. Tastes SO good lol!!

Definitely want to make it again and recommend it!!

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Chicken Pot Pie

January 26, 2011 at 12:48 am (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , )


I love Chicken Pot Pie. I wanted to learn to make it from scratch, but, me being me, this means mucking about the kitchen instead of finding a recipe to follow lol.

For next time – less herbs, more liquid, less flour, more pepper.

Anyways, this time was…

Ingredients:
2 half-frozen chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1/3 stick of butter
flour
1/2 pint of half and half
chicken stock
1 large red potato, cubed
1/2 cup carrots, cubed
1 stalk of celery, minced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup green beans
garlic powder
sage
thyme
rosemary
salt
pepper
some melted butter
1 Pillsbury roll-out pie crust

Alrighty. First, I cubed the massive red potato (washed, skin on!), and set water on to boil.

While the water heated, I put the peas and green beans (both frozen) aside, and cut up the carrots, onions, and celery. I put those in a separate bowl.

Then I cut up the chicken, and turned on the big skillet to melt 2 pats of butter while I shook the chicken in flour, added salt and the potatoes to the water.

Then I upended the chicken and flour into the sizzling hot butter. In retrospect… need less flour.

When the chicken was about halfway cooked, I pushed it to the edge of the pan, and dumped in the carrots/celery/onion. When those were partially cooked, I added another pat of butter.

As it cooked, I added half and half in bursts, and also some chicken stock.

I used about 4 pinches of rosemary, rubbed between my hands. I used several grinds of black pepper (by that I mean 7.), and sprinkled over thyme, sage, parsley, and garlic powder twice over the pan. Next time, I think I will just do the garlic powder and parsley.

About now, the potatoes were fork-tender, but not fall-apart, so I strained them and put them aside.

I added the peas and green beans next, and more half and half, as well as the chicken stock.

Then the potatoes.

Mmmm… doesn’t that look tasty??

It needed more liquid, though, I know that now lol.

After it was all cooked together, I spooned it into ramekins, and topped with rounds of a Pillsbury pie crust, and cut venting slits, like so.


Aren’t they purty??

Then I nuked a bit of butter til it was melty, then brushed it over the tops and sprinkled them with kosher salt. <–THAT turned out epic, I totally recommend doing that. Was SO flaky and salty and delicious in every bite!!

And here they are, out of the oven!! 🙂

 

So. More pepper. No herbs (tasty more stew-y than chicken pot pie-y), and less flour/more liquid. All in all, it was thick and tasty and chunky, I just want to adjust it!!!!

 

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Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables

January 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm (cooking) ()


Mom’s been craving those boxed scalloped potatoes. Works well for me, they’re pretty tasty once in a while, and I don’t know how to make them from scratch (yet) lol.

Good side dish? Pork? Eh, not my favorite. Beef? Eh, too heavy. Chicken? nom! But what to pair it with,…?

Ingredients:
1 uber large chicken breast, or 2 breasts
1 tablespoon or so of butter
2 large white mushrooms, halved and sliced (or 4 medium ones)
1/4 medium onion, sliced and cut (ribbons)
1 large garlic clove, minced
garlic salt
garlic powder
parsely
Mrs. Dash garlic & herb
a splash of orange juice or sunny d
salt
pepper
extra virgin olive oil

I heated up the pan, added olive oil, then, when it was hot, I added the chicken. While it sizzled happily, I turned the heat to medium, sprinkled the chicken with garlic salt, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.

When it was halfway done, we gave it a flip (I added more olive oil). When it was almost done… about 50 degrees Celcius, I added a little more oil (I’m trying to cut back. not working lol), then dumped in the veggies!

I sprinkled the veggies with a nice pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds (to taste) of pepper, garlic powder, parsely, and Mrs. Dash. When it was all nice and almost done, I added the butter. Oooh, SO tasty…

I cut the chicken into portions, scooped over the veggies, and added the side of scalloped potatoes. :)

VERY tasty. I LOVE veggies like this – the hot oil makes the garlic all sweet, the savory of the mushrooms with the onions and the butter… mmm ❤

Made about three to four servings of veggies. The massive chicken breast I used feeds three. :)

Mom agrees it was totally delicious.

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The Saddest Thing

December 14, 2010 at 1:45 am (Personal)


It’s December. To me, that’s Christmas. Family time. A time for decorating, for baking, for trying to get the cat to bat the bell around while also trying to keep it out of the tree.

I love family at Christmas. Heck, I generally like family any time.

But there’s something seriously wrong with families.

What happened to dinner? I see people piling int restaurants – sure that makes some sense, sometimes, that’s easier. (but not every night! Sheesh!) But in restaurants… they want to sit to see the TV.

But even worse is what I’ve been seeing, and saw a HORRIBLE case of the other weekend…

We were at Chili’s, my sister, grandmother, mom, and I, and we pulled out a cell phone a total of I think once.

A family was seated next to us. They came in, the three of them, mother, father, and daughter, each staring at their cell phone. They never talked to each other. They never even looked UP at each other.

They ordered. No “please”. No “thank you”. No eye contact, just mindless droning. The kid was sprawled all over the place, (And I mean like maybe 8, tops.) going “bloop bloop” and making annoying (to others) noises. Her parents didn’t bat an eye. She slurped and sucked on her beverage in such a way to make that god-awful sucking sound, the one that’s annoying and gross all at once.

Neither parent said anything. Mom and Dad (both overweight) were on their smart phones. Dad was reading, Mom playing solitaire.

Food arrived, the mom just nudged it out of the way and kept playing. They didn’t put their phones away to eat.

This family was barely there. They made my heart ache. How can you live like that?

There’s this person you married for love (I saw rings), but you’re not even looking at them. They’re just the person who happens to be sitting next to you.

There’s a child you brought into the world, and instead of teaching her, spending time with her, showing her love, you’re ignoring her.

That was so indescribably sad to me.

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Christmas Baking!

December 12, 2010 at 1:44 am (cooking) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Today, Allie, Mom and I went over to Grinnie’s house to turn her kitchen into a war zone.

Okay, not war zone… but it darn near seemed like it!

Huge batch of Giant Ginger Cookies… Prolific batch of Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies… Too-Cute-To-Eat batch of Roly-Poly Santas… Sugary batch of Russian Tea Cakes….and two batches of fudge.

We’re tired. We hurt. BUT!!!! We got our baking (mostly) done. We forgot to bring the recipe for the candy cane cookies ;_;. We also forgot to get lemon and orange peel for the Fig Thumbprint Cookies, so we passed on them for now.

So tired!! But most definitely worth it!

And of course we cleaned up after ^,~.




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Enchiladas!

December 10, 2010 at 9:37 pm (cooking) (, , )


Man, I hadn’t had enchiladas in AGES, but I had a hankering. So, my mom has shared with me her relatively easy enchilada recipe she used to make when we were kids. (By we, I meant my sister and I lol)

 

 

Ingredients:
oil (canola, corn…not olive)
corn tortillas
can of red enchilada sauce
cheese

Sides:
Sour Cream
Can of refried beans
Pico!

First, turn on the oven to 350. While it preheats, warm up the oil in a pan large enough for a tortilla (not frying hot, just enough to warm the tortillas.)

*When it comes to tortilla selection, you should go for the taco-sized thicker variety. Don’t go cheap. ^^.; (I learned this the hard way tonight lol)

Once the oil is warm, put in one tortilla at a time – just enough to darken it, to soak up a little oil. Have a paper towel ready, this goes pretty quickly.

Once the tortillas have been oiled (or as you went with a helper), add cheese and roll them up. (You can add chicken, or veggies, whatever you desire. Cheese is my favorite lol) Put the rolled tortillas in a flat glass baking dish (We used a 13×9).

Once the pan is full, pour the red enchilada sauce over them – don’t drown them. Use your best judgement. 🙂 Top with more cheese, then bake for about 15 minutes.

Pair with rice, beans, pico, whatever suits your fancy. ^__^. Add a dollop of sour cream and yum!
Relatively easy, no? 🙂

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