Category Archives: Kitchen attempts and foodie-ness

I love food! Cooking, not so much…

Not your Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

It’s only Monday and I’ve already caught myself driving to the grocery store three times. I was able to roll on by without stopping, but it’s funny how you get in the habit of thinking that the things you want are necessities, or ‘staples’ that oh my god aren’t in the house and we’re. Gonna. Starve.
Personally I want fresh fruit and veggies in the house all the time…but it’s a house of one, and often my shopping leads to excess and waste.  It’s all too easy to let a bag of apples spoil. The bag is more cost effective than buying loose apples, but if I let some go to waste is it really any better?
So this week I’m trying to clean out the cupboards a little, and use what I’ve got on hand. If only my solution didn’t mean eating  my way through five cans of apple sauce :/  Isn’t there a way to make it disappear in sweet breads and such? More research is required. Anyway, today’s effort is a:

 

“Taco fusion” (add jazz hands)

I made hummus out of….

1 sad little lime
Tahini sauce
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can cannoli beans
Spices to taste
I put it on corn tortillas (re-hydrated by covering them with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 20 seconds) with  fresh spinach…after removing the paper towel.
I fried up ground turkey that’s been hanging out in the freezer with a packet of taco seasoning, and allowed a rind of brie to melt all over it to top off the tacos.
After looking this list of ingredients, I’m questioning the flavor combinations, but hey! It’s filling, and pretty darn tasty for twenty minutes of effort.
It’s also the first time I’ve had to cook in quite a while. I went to visit my folks over the holidays, and brought back so much food that its lasted about a week–and that’s not even counting the dry goods my Granny sent home with me!
I’ve finally reached the point where I think I need to start rotating the canned goods in my cupboards so I use the oldest things first. Are there other standard kitchen cupboard related activities I should know about?
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How I love chorizo

  • Image result for chorizoIn a burrito
  • On a grilled cheese sandwich (using potato bread and Havarti cheese)
  • On a baked potato with sour cream and chives
  • As a layer in a Mexican dip casserole
  • Sprinkled over scrambled eggs
  • By itself

I also found this cool blog called The Chorizo Chronicles, which doesn’t have a lot to do with chorizo, but does tell us about a dude named Daniel, and what he does as a language trainer while living in Madrid.  Have fun!

 

 

Kitchen Bake

It’s…not a breakfast casserole. Not quiche. Not Mexican dip. It’s not exotic enough to have the kitchen sink in it either so I’m calling this a kitchen bake!

It started out as a way to use up a big bag of kale, and you know, I think kale is great. Kale goes in smoothies, transmogrifies into stir-fry, and I guess you could crunch on the odd leaf by itself. I don’t really get that last urge…the stems can get awfully tough. So after I’ve eaten through a bagful for a week and the kale STILL isn’t gone, I have to think of new solutions. I didn’t want to toss the rest so I decided to cover it in cheese instead. This is what I did:

  • Grease a large pan
  • Dump all the kale in
  • Toss in a can of black beans and a can of diced tomatoes
  • Crumble up some frozen hash-browns on top
  • Smother in an egg mixture (includes 6 eggs, half a cup of milk, a packet of taco seasoning and some hot sauce)
  • Cover in shredded cheese, bake for forty minutes

I am in love. It’s like I used a recipe or something; it tastes legit. I automatically favor any meal that only requires four dishes to make it, and when I tally up the ingredients, I’d say each serving cost about a dollar to make. Not bad for a Monday!

Southern Belle Plans Weekly Menu

I just had such an intense brain fart that I had to google ‘little green balls vegetable’ to figure out that yes, I do plan to make Brussels Sprouts as a part of this week’s menu. That pretty much shows you how long they’ve been iced over in my freezer.

It’s cool! I’ve got this whole thing under control. Totally. In an effort to trim my grocery spending and food waste, I’ve been cooking to the beat of regularly scheduled drum. And it drums on Sundays.

Because if I don’t grocery shop, prep, and cook things on Sundays, it doesn’t really get done. Then I end up letting produce go bad, eating out, or eating pancakes and in general being inefficient and bad to my budget. At my best, I can cook enough mains and sides to keep things varied during the week, and if I get tired of all my options by Friday, splurging for pizza won’t break the bank.

Speaking of pizza, I made an awesome one yesterday from ready made dough from Trader Joe’s. I shopped my pantry and came up with canned chicken, home-canned banana peppers, cheese and ranch dressing. It was far more delicious than it had any right to be. Unfortunately, those leftovers are long gone so here’s the plan:

  • I have dried Lima beans and carrots=soup
  • I have ground corn=cheesy corn grits
  • High time to use the aforementioned Brussels Sprouts=Brussels Sprouts
  • Use that random box of potato latka  mix
    • BTW, plain yogurt with dill and garlic salt makes a great dip for just about everything
  • That just leaves buying fresh fruits and veggies for breakfast smoothies and snacks.

I think I’m all set!

The Laziest Quiche Ever

Some weeks I just can’t adult.

This became very clear yesterday when I realized it was only halfway through the week and I’d already made burritos in excess of four times. I love good food—I just don’t care for making it, or cleaning up after cooking! I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I do recognize the need to eat something other than beans and cheese occasionally.

Quiche seemed like a good choice. It’s got the benefit of including vegetables, the comfort of pastry and cheese, and the protein of eggs. Apparently some people follow recipes for this kind of thing, but that seemed like too much effort. So did actually chopping things up.

So.

I literally pulled out a frozen pie shell and a pair of clean scissors and cut things directly into the shell. First some mini peppers, then a layer of spinach. Then I tossed in some frozen corn that I had laying around, piled on the cheese, and salted everything down. Then all I had to do was crack a few eggs in, smoosh it all around and hey presto!  Once it was cooked it looked (and tasted surprisingly) like something out of a Martha Stewart magazine.

I need to find ways to maximize effort saving tactics while cooking regular food. One cannot live on burritos and pancakes alone, much as I try.

Bacon’ it in the real world

When the pancakes burn, as they sometimes do, and the fire alarm goes off (mine doesn’t have an obvious off switch–the button to press makes it stop shrieking for THIRTY SECONDS at a time), here’s a drone-up lifehack to make it stop:

Tie a plastic bag over that mofo.

Essentially, the bag blocks combustion particles (the smoke) from reaching the fire alarm sensor so it doesn’t go off. This Wikipedia article can give you the low down on how that works for different types of fire alarms.

PRO TIP: take the bag off once the smoke dissipates so you don’t become an accidental arsonist the next time you lay down the law in the kitchen.

Midnight musings, aka I really love pancakes

Ya’ll,

It’s the middle of the night, I have work in just a few hours, and I haven’t been able to fall asleep 😥

When I can’t sleep I run through a variety of options…wait it out, meditate, read a little, try again. Tonight, no dice. But earlier in the day I did get some new running shoes (YAY) and thought I’d cruise through some fitness/wellness blogs to get pumped up.

All the perky messages about 4am runs and how happy chia seeds make people started to get to me, so I’m going to write about pancakes instead.

Reasons I love pancakes:

1. Super easy to make. Even easier with box mix batter

2. The vast majority of fruits and/or berries are pancake friendly

3. Pancakes have the comfort of carbs, plus the decadence of desert if done properly

4. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside

5. Few dishes needed: skillet, spatula (can also substitute fork if skilled with flipping), plate (if using fork).

6. Stack-able for maximum appeal on the plate

7. Pack-able, for lunch and/or dinner on the go

8. Share-able, for making breakfast for large groups of people

The most recent batch of pancakes I made was truly lovely. I mixed up my batter, sliced in a peach, and sprinkled in a fair amount of what’s labeled as ‘pumpkin spice’ when you pick up a bottle at the grocery store. It tasted like fall and reminded me of summer.