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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Busy Sunday Cook Day

Our new RV space is only 1.3 miles from work. Life is sweet going home for lunch. I still need to make sure we have things to eat at lunch. I find it hard to cook four servings so we can have leftovers, unless I use the crock pot.
This week I am cooking hubby's favorites. He has had a summer cold so he needs some schmoozing.
  • First on his list is fried chicken livers. I bread them in flour, onion and garlic powder, and salt and pepper. 
  •  Next is his all time favorite cucumbers in sweet/sour liquid. I slice the cucumbers real thing along with yellow onions. The liquid is pretty easy. For two English Cucumbers (less seeds) I combine white vinegar, sugar, and water in equal portions. This batch used 3/4 of each ingredient. I topped with salt and pepper. The more they cure the better they get. 
  • I made roasted pablano/tomato/jalapeno salsa. I will be making enchiladas Tuesday and need to put some zip in the filling. Besides I buy tortillas and grill them into chips. 

  • Blueberry/walnut muffins made with applesauce instead of butter. A great compliment to fruit in the morning.
  • After that I sauteed two buckets of mushrooms sliced in two tablespoons of butter. Just wash them off under the faucet and season with salt and pepper. I add them to hubby's omelet along with tomatoes, jalapeno, and sauteed onions and topped with salsa.
  • After mushrooms I sauteed 1 3/4 sliced onions in two tablespoons butter and salt and pepper. You need to be quick before you go blind. lol I guess you could put them in a food processor/slicer and save your burning eyes. I cook them until they are light brown using a non stick pan.

    Most recipes use onions and mushrooms and add a great flavor. You can top them on a burger or, like I do in hubby's omelet.                                                                                                                       
  • Tonight is Salmon Caesar Salad with home made Caesar Salad Dressing and croutons

Saturday, January 21, 2017

From Menus to Winging It

Many times I have posted the grocery buying success of making a weekly/monthly menu and a shopping list from that list. I  have changed my method to suit my lifestyle.

Now days I buy the basic things I use in my recipes, meats/fish and poultry, spices, and frozen veggies. Since it is winter, I find that a good supply of frozen veggies is an asset. I can make Asian dishes, soups, crock pot meals, and stews easily with an addition of some frozen veggie.

When I buy things at Aldi's I can't buy one jalapeno. Instead I get 6. I use what I need for my roasted pablano/jalapeno salsa and freeze the rest of the jalapeno's for future use. I just take the seeds out and slice them in a container. (I am trying not to use as many disposable plastic bags)

So to make it simple I buy cans of broth, dry or canned beans, t-sauce, tomatoes in a can, fruit, baking supplies, and nuts (freeze to keep fresh). Bulk meat, chicken (separated for freezing), seafood, and fish. Aldi has individual packets of frozen salmon, flounder, and other fish along with shrimp in various sizes. 

Hubby said I do better when I just throw a dinner together than make a specific recipe. It must be due to years of cooking. When I come home I thaw a couple packets of salmon in water in the sink. I put my rice cooker on (while I take a shower) then saute veggies either fresh or frozen and WALA dinner. The catch is to thaw other meats out before I come home from work. Fortunately, I come home for lunch so I can put something out at that time.

I didn't think this would work, but it does. I really don't want to spend to much time in the kitchen. We eat from whole foods so I just dream up a dish and go for it. Hubby is happy.

Always ask  yourself if you REALLY need an item. I don't buy chips I buy tortillas and bake them for chips.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jamie Oliver's Super Foods

Recently we found a wonderful channel on DishTV. This channel is called PIVOT.  

Jamie Oliver has a show there called: Super Foods.
So many folks at work have problems drinking 8 glasses of water a day instead of 5 cups of coffee. Check out his recipes for flavored water.

Here is a recipe that I will try next week. Yes, I will post the results.
Sweet Potato Muffins.

If you want to check out Jamie's videos see him on YouTube.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Beautiful Saturday Drive

Sure it was a bit cloudy and some rain, but overall a beautiful day for a drive.

We started our day with breakfast in Fulshear, TX at Essence House Cafe. Wow, we were very impressed. They serve breakfast and lunch. This will be a must stop for lunch next time we take a drive. Hubby had Huevos ala Mexicana while I had the Red Omelette. Check out their menu. For both meals and two cups of coffee our bill was around $28.

This time of the year we take a trip up Cat Spring Road in Cat Spring, TX. We call this lovely road the "Yellow Brick Road". Each side of this small two lane road has loads of red, yellow, orange, blue, white, purple flowers. Most of the homes are cattle ranches. Each home up there is large and lots of property attached. Lots of green and lots of birds. It just smells of country.  These pictures just don't do this place any justice.

We try to find new roads in this area. There are bazillions of small FM roads in Texas. I expect we have driven at least 1/2 of the roads in this area.
For lunch we stopped in a restaurant we frequent often in Fayetteville, TX called Orsak's Cafe Menu.
They are known for their Chicken Fried Steaks. You might want to split a meal like that. The price is right and the servings are large. Hubby had a Cheese Burger while I had a Jr. Burger. We split an order of fries and a large brownie with ice cream. Our ticket was $14.50.

On our way home we found a new road that just took our breath away. True country with wide open spaces. Remember the weekly show called "Green Acres"? I might be dating myself, but it's a good song. 

Green Acres is the place to be.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Houston, just give me that countryside......
I was raised in a small town where most everyone had a garden and a few critters. I moved to the city as a young woman and now have come full circle. My idea of retirement is a country home surrounded by cattle ranches quite a ways from a large city. For example Fayetteville, TX has 258 citizens. My kind of town.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

First Week in March

With the help from a co-worker my menu this week was easy. I have been under the weather for a couple days so an easy menu was important.

Now days, I have just about eliminated the large grocery stores. I really hate a large busy store. So, today we shopped at Trader Joe's and Aldi's

I try to buy organic fruit and veggies using the "The Dirty dozen and clean 15 of produce" list. If I can't find organic that's in my price range I use a recipe I found on line that eliminates most of the pesticides on the produce using a bit of white vinegar.

This Week's Menu:

2 days of Grass Feed Beef Dogs with chili               
Tacos with corn relish                                
Taco salad
Turkey Caesar Salad
Ribs with grilled veggies and yams
One day out to dinner

Lunches: Potato salad, fruit salad, corn relish, chicken sandwiches. Everything done on Saturday including cooking all the meat on the grill. We use charcoal hardwood and chimney starter.

Out BBQ is much larger than this. Hardwood charcoal burns faster without chemicals

What veggies and fruit did you buy this week:

Celery, broccoli, cilantro, lemons, lines, zucchini, jalapenos, apples, tomatoes, carrots, grapefruit, mushrooms, pablano peppers, avocados, blue berries, unsweetened applesauce, and a bag of red potatoes.
I always wash all the produce with a brush and the ones that I don't buy organic get the vinegar bath. Items in red were organic.

Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day Week Menu

We took a couple days off and went down the coast to a town called Rockport, TX. The object was to see the birds. We were a few weeks early. March might be a better option. However, we did scope out the town and surrounding areas for birding and hotels/inn/cabin options. Some times its better to scope the place out before you make reservations.

Back at home today and after grocery shopping I washed my produce, will make a large fruit salad (only fruit...using grapefruit instead of lemon juice), marinade the beef for tomorrows lunches, bake blueberry/macadamia nut GF muffins ( using unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil) with some lemon zest and juice for some zing.

Tonight I have left over baked chicken and will make a small (2 portion) casserole with a large salad. We need to get back on PORTION CONTROL. I have a tendency to make to much and yes we eat it all. SOOO I will do my best to make two portions. I think that means 2 small handfuls of dry pasta per person. No canned soup here, I make my own white sauce and add spices.

Since I have been GF I find wheat bread the most difficult to digest. I can have a few noodles and be fine. Eventually, I want to buy a wheat huller and see if making my own flour will help.

I read an article about a lady to always milled her own wheat when making bread. Her wheat mill broke down and she started buying bread from the store and became ill. She was diagnosed being gluten insensitive and was told to stay away from wheat. She broke down and bought another wheat mill, which are not cheap, and her sensitivity went away. She believes the processing of bread was her enemy not wheat. Ummm I think I will try that later.

Note: When flour (white wheat berries) are milled the vitamins disappear within 70 hours leaving just fiber. That's why store bought bread adds all the vitamins back in. Read the labels. Do you have all those ingredients in your cabinet or can you buy those ingredients? Nope.

  • Chicken veggie casserole/salad
  • Pizza (no tomato sauce) with sauteed mushrooms/onions/and garlic,(garlic infused olive oil is my sauce). I will top it with the fresh basil I bought. ummm I don't use much cheese just a bit when cooking the pizza and top the pizza at the end with Parmesan cheese.
  • Caesar Salad with grilled salmon (home made dressing with anchovies and tons of garlic)
  • Shrimp stir fry with bok choy/green onions/carrots over rice
  • Asian salad with marinated beef strips
This looks pretty healthy.

What fresh produce did you buy this week?

Today's produce: heart of Romaine, baby spinach, celery, lemons, apples, cauliflower, cucumbers, green onions, bell pepper, bok choy, blue berries, grapefruit, mushrooms, basil.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Preparing for the week


Yes, you have heard this before and I intend to tell you again. Most folks cook on a daily basic and then wonder why they have no time. The precooking I did today took me 2 hours including time to do the dishes. The key is doing a couple things at once. If you are browning meat you can chop up things or, for me, make the Caesar Salad Dressing or make the Salmon Patty mix. Also remember to fill up your sink with soapy water and wash as you cook. Since I have no dishwasher this really helps.

This Weeks Menu

2 nights of Broccoli Beef Stir Fry over rice: Chopped and precooked beef until tender.

Beef Taco's and Black Beans (lunch one day and a couple breakfast burritos for hubby) Cooked burger with Taco seasonings in same pan for beef.(less washing) Black Bean recipe below

{Roasted pablano, jalapeno, tomatoes, and onions for salsa added cilantro, cumin seeds, salt, and a bit of sugar and put in processor. 
Grilled corn tortillas on my "George Foreman Grill" for chips. (any processed corn chips upset my tummy)}

Salmon Patties, brussel sprouts, yams: Made salmon patty mix and put in frig. Recipe below

Salmon Caesar Salad (made spicy garlic Caesar salad dressing, toasted my GF bread and rubbed with garlic, toasted wheat toast for hubby). See dressing below.

Microwaved thick sliced uncured bacon for breakfast and BLT's on Friday. 

Precooked Italian Sausage for middle of week skettie lunch. We put cooked products in our thermos when there is a cold we can warm up at lunch. (note: we take our lunch to work, but do not eat at work. We eat in our car at the park or just the parking lot. You would have to know where we work to understand.)

 Black Beans

1 can of black beans rinsed, 1/4 c red wine or water
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 chopped onion
Cook on medium heat until most of the liquid is gone.
Top with a dollop of sour cream.

 Salmon Patties

Combine: 2 cans of salmon drained, 4 green onions chopped, 1 stalk of celery sliced up (cut celery length wise a couple times so the pieces are smaller), 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon grill seasonings, 1 tablespoon Habeno Sauce, and about 1/2 C bread crumbs (I use left over corn muffins I crumbled freezer).

My Caesar Salad Dressing

1 can of anchovies and the oil. (I didn't say this was a diet-type recipe just fast)
3 heaping spoons of mayo (lite if you like or with olive oil if you like)
2 LARGE cloves of graded garlic (chopping leaves chunks)
squeeze of lemon juice
Milk to thin it out.
I used my immersion blender (a food processor would do also) and blend until smooth
Set aside.
I made my own croutons, but you could buy them.