Saturday, November 27, 2010


How was everyones holiday?  Ours was great two houses, two meals and too much of everything else.  I know everyone has their own traditions and dishes for the holidays so I am not posting recipes today just a few suggestions and pictures.  I had an easy day only spinach and deviled eggs, Kerri did three bean salad and our family did the rest and boy, was there plenty!  Cheesecake Factory red velvet cheesecake is.... uh... awesome.  My buddy James was making green chili stuffing and a raspberry green chili glaze for his ham sounds like two new items to try.  Another friend always makes horseradish mashed potatoes definitely have got to borrow that recipe.  Good food good friends and great family I am blessed hope you are too.  Share your holiday meals with us. Know I am so interested on what you eat.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken and Rice Soup

This is a quick and easy chicken and rice soup.  Kerri (wifey) brought this recipe home from somewhere and it is a good cold weather quickie.

 Chicken and Rice soup
1 rotisserie chicken
1 onion (diced)
4 carrots (peeled, diced)
1 can mushrooms (drained)
1 cup brown rice
2 tbsp. Cavender's Greek seasoning

I suggest following the recipe the first time and try the dish as presented. You may like it.  This soup is easy to change and almost any substitution is good.  Celery, no mushrooms, dumplings or noodles( Reames frozen) are a few easy changes.

Start by picking your chicken  I like to take a heavy knife and hack my bones up put bones and skin into stock pot.  Chop onion and carrots, put all trimmings in stock pot and cover with 4-6 cups water. Add 1 tbsp. black pepper corn, 2 chicken bouillon cubes and boil the longer the better.  Drain and reserve stock.
Combine all ingredient in soup pot and hard roll boil for 30 min.  Reduce heat and cover add water to desired consistency.  Soups and stews are yours to adapt to your taste, make them fit your taste and serve them with your sides, dinner rolls, cornbread , croissants it is all about what you like.  Do not be afraid; you know the flavors you prefer.  Experiment and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I hope everyone tried the spinach.  I tried it again using Laughing Cow light garlic and herb cheese.  The taste was comparable the cheese is cheaper but harder to work with.
Cold weather makes me think of comfort food and that makes me think of roast and potatoes and Marian (my mom).

roast, potatoes, mixed veggies and corn bread

chuck roast
potatoes (1 per/person)
carrots (6)
celery (4)

Rub roast with flour, salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and brown both sides of roast.  Dissolve 3 beef bouillon cubes in 2 cups water add to pan.  Add 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder and sliced onion cover and cook for 2 hours, turning halfway.  Keep checking juice levels and don't let it boil dry.  Add cleaned and cut celery and carrots to pan, keep covered and keep cooking on low to med. heat.  You can add potato wedges here or boil and make mashed your call.  I like mashed using a lot of butter, a little sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.  When done (4 hours or so) remove from pan and make gravy.  Dissolve 2 tbsp. corn starch into 1/2 cup water and add to pan. Bring to boil and stir like mad. Add water or water/starch mixture to desired consistency.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Gumbo,  well today kinda more like chicken and sausage stew.  We had a friend who will not eat any type of seafood so, no shrimp.  I got busy and cocky and didn't actually read and follow my recipe, after all, this is my recipe. I got this, so no okra in the pot, I forgot.  This is actually a good lesson for us all.  Read and follow directions!  Consistency is by one definition,- harmony of conduct or practice with profession and another -degree of firmness, density, viscosity, or resistance to movement or separation of constituent particles.
  1. Be consistent, follow your recipe every time don't be cocky.
  2. Take the time to get your proper consistency with this dish.
 I like to cook breakfast the morning I am going to make gumbo and use my bacon pan and grease to make my roux.  Roux made easy: fat, flour, a little salt and pepper and stir,stir and stir some more seriously keep stirring. Don't let it burn. It will take 10 to 15 min to get the good color. 
Gumbo, I have read and tried alot of recipes and am happy with my version.  I fed 7 people without shrimp or okra so you can probably feed 8 easily.  I make my stock the night before so I can skim the fat off the top  after it cools.  The rest still takes all day to prepare but it really is worth it. Give me some feedback if you try this dish.
Good luck and good eating.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup oil (1/2 cup oil & 1/2 cup bacon fat)
cook till peanut color

1 cut up chicken or 6 or 7 chicken quarters (brown in skillet)
1 lb andouille or smoked sausage ( cut in chunks browned in skillet)
1 lb medium prepared shrimp ( you can use fresh but save shell and heads for stock)
1 bag frozen okra, if you don't like okra use 2 tsp. file' powder
2 onions chopped (save the skin & end pieces)
2 bell peppers (chopped)
6 pieces of celery stalks (chopped & save the top pieces)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped & save the skin)
2 bay leaves
parsley (chopped)
salt/pepper & cayenne pepper (don't add until later)

Spice Pack (put in a coffee filter tie with string)
1 tsp black pepper corns (whole)
parsley stems
2 bay leafs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

Take chicken and put in stock pot with water covering the chicken (should be at least 4-6 cups)
Add celery tops, onion scraps, garlic skins, shrimp parts and spice pack.
Bring to a boil then reduce until chicken is done. (the longer the better 2-4 hours)
Strain and save stock. Discard spice pack and other "stuff".
Add roux, chicken, sausage and the stock in pot to desired consistency. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and slowly bring up to temp.
Add okra and let simmer until you are ready to eat.

Serve over rice. Just a good, long grain rice, but nothing fancy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Creamed Spinach

Okay so my first post is nothing "new and exciting" or original,  but it is one of my favorites and great tasting.  I am making gumbo for the game Saturday night.  This will be my first original recipe to share so I'm kinda nervous.  We had a nice meal tonight thanks to my dad, Kenny. He made terriaki chicken, rice pilaf, green beans, fresh green salad and of course bread.  Enough about me here is something for you.  Spinach. I know who even thinks about it?  Well try this dish I found in "Gourmet at Home" magazine, it is worth the five dollar cheese.

Boursin Creamed Spinach


2 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
2 T all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pkg (5.2 oz) boursin cheese
1 pkg 10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry of excess moisture
2 T Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp lemon zest
salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to taste
2/3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
1 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425F
saute onions in 1 T butter until soft about 5 min. add the flour and stir to coat onion. Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer for 1 minute.. Stir in Boursin cheese a little at a time until melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Add spinach, Parmesan, lemon zest, and seasonings. Transfer spinach to prepared baking dish.

Combine crumbs, 1 T butter, oil and salt and pepper. Top spinach with crumbs, packing down to adhere.

cook 20 to 25 minutes until crumbs are golden and sauce is bubbly

I am not a typical Popeye type spinach guy but this is GOOD.
The cheese is expensive and hard to find. Try the deli at Homeland or Buy for Less. Sam's carries a different
brand but still a garlic and herb soft cheese.  It is simple and easy to make your own fresh bread crumbs so don't scimp if you have come this far.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I try to keep my meals affordable and easy to feed the family in a hurry.  It doesn't always happen.

Steaks tonight with asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes and bread.

Fillets 9.98 per/lb
asparagus 3.98 per/lb
portabellas 2.99
baked potatoes ??
texas toast.
It is okay to splurge occasionally and with steak do.
This is a very simple meal with little preparation involved.  You do have to plan ahead though,  good steak and time is required (we will talk about cheaper cuts later).  How many days you keep your steak in the fridge before you cook is preference and debatable.  So here is a simple breakdown on dinner.
salt and pepper to taste, let age longer than you think and grill/cook rarer than you think.
NO sauce or marinade needed.
* Be sure to let your steak rest at room temp at least 30 min. before grilling to prevent sticking.*
brush with olive oil,  sprinkle sea salt and bake @ 350 to desired tenderness.
1\4 cup butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1\2 cup red wine
grated Parmesan
Cook mushrooms in butter and garlic till soft,  add wine reduce and cover, sprinkle with grated Parmesan before serving.
bake add extras
always welcome

Simple and easy but not cheap tonight.  I hope to make descriptions and directions easier to follow as this develops.