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+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Friday, September 27, 2013

Apple Cheese Ball

This recipe is part of my "Autumn Menu" for entertaining.

This cheese ball sounds odd, but I tried it as a 'fall harvest' entertaining idea and it was a hit with the people... It looked and tasted really good!

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 apple, cored, peeled (reserve peel), chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon apple juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped nuts
2 tablespoon parsley

Set the cream cheese out an hour or so to soften. Cream the softened cream cheese. This means use a fork, beater, or hand mixer to beat the cheese into creamy submission. Combine chopped apple, green onion, salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, and apple juice into the softened cream cheese. Mix well. Chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Chop apple peel into fine pieces. Combine with chopped nuts and parsley on wax paper.

Form cream cheese mixture into a large ball and roll in peel/nut/parsley mixture.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to serve.  Place it on a nice plate with a spreader and serve with the crackers of your choice. I am big on Town House Crackers myself!

NOTE: This can be made with low fat or no fat cream cheese for a healthier treat.
 
I serve this with the Autumn Salad, Brunswick Stew and maybe a Dried Apple Stack Cake.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brunswick Stew

This is another of my Fall, Harvest Time, favorites to be served with the Autumn Salad, Apple Cheese Ball with Crackers, and maybe that Appalachian favorite - Dried Apple Stack Cake...

Brunswick Stew

There are conflicting claims as to where Brunswick Stew originated. Brunswick Georgia? Brunswick County Virginia?

Hard to say – but one thing is clear to me – this is good stuff!

Brunswick stew was reported to be traditionally cooked in a huge pot over open flames. I do not have that option, so I use a heavy stockpot.

Obviously cutting the recipe down IS an option. This makes a lot of stew – and as far as I can remember – it does freeze and reheat fine. Just be careful not to burn it when reheating. I prefer to reheat on the stove, not in a microwave. I believe adding a little water and reheating just develops the flavor further.

Also, as I normally tell you all that a recipe on here is not rocket science, and to feel free to change things up a bit, or a lot, - I am NOT going to say that about this one. I feel you need to stay mostly true to this receipe.

Options: This stew can be made with just chicken (1.5-2lbs) but the smoked pulled pork really adds to the flavor. Unfortunately, if you do not have your own smoker – it does also add to the cost of the stew as well. I like using smoke pulled pork and smoked pulled chicken. Smok'n!!!!!!!!!!
 

The ingredients sound StRaNgE to say the least, but it does not matter because they work BeAuTiFuLlY!!!

The sauce:

In a sauce pan, over low heat, melt ¼ cup of butter...

Add:
  • 1 ¾ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
Blend until smooth...

Add:
  • ½ Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ oz. liquid smoke
  • 1 oz. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ oz. Tabasco sauce
  • ½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Blend again...

Add:
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
Stir constantly, increase heat to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for about 10 minutes.

Makes about 3 ½ cups of sauce.

Set aside...

NEXT:

In a 2 gallon (or so) pot, over low heat, melt another ¼ lbs. of butter.

Add:
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • Two 14 ½ oz. cans of chicken broth
  • 1 lbs. of baked chicken (white and dark)
  • 8 – 10 oz. smoked pulled pork
Cautiously bring to a rolling boil, stirring until potatoes are near done, then add:
  • One each 8 ½ oz. can of early peas*
  • Two each 14 ½ oz. cans stewed tomatoes - (chop tomatoes, add liquid to the stew pot)
  • The earlier "prepared" sauce
  • One each 16 oz. can of baby lima beans*
  • ¼ cup liquid smoke
  • One each 14 oz. can creamed corn (seriously, I do not like creamed corn, but if you substitute with regular corn – it is not nearly as good!)
Slow simmer for 2 hours.

Makes about 1.5 gallons.
 
*You can either use the liquid in the canned beans or not. Using it gives the option to cook down/reduce the stew if wanted. This is a fairly thick stew.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Salad

OK, so I do like salads ok, but this one is simply the bomb in my book. You can find the salad dressing as a low fat alternative - which is cool since I love this dressing and I normally hate lowfat anything! I also think this salad is great to serve with at a Fall gathering accompanying Brunswick Stew and an Apple Cheese Ball with Crackers. If you aren't afraid to Apple-It-Up, have a Dried Apple Stack Cake (with molasses or without) for dessert! Click links above for recipes.

Toss together your Autumn Salad using any combination of the below ingredients. And remember, this is YOUR salad, so make it how YOU like it!
  • Baby Spinach or Romaine (play with it)
  • Cheese options
  • Fruit options
  • Additions – Raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries (I prefer cranberries as others seem too sweet to me)
  • Onions – Red preferred, but white or yellow work – or even spring/green onions
  • Nuts – Walnut or pecan (I don’t like nuts, so I do not rush out to buy them...)
  • Optional – Cucumbers, squash, zucchini, carrots
  • Dressing – Any raspberry walnut vinaigrette – seriously. Nothing else tastes as good with this salad. I prefer Ken's Steakhouse version.  I will try to make my own at some point.
    And remember this ~ if you toss the salad in a large salad bowl with the drssing, you will probably use LESS dressing than if you just poured it on in your dawg-bowl of salad. That equals fewer calories!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pickled Green Tomato Time

It is that time of the year, when gardens are dying down. At some point in the coming season, you will read or hear that a frost, or killer frost, is coming. If you planted indeterminent tomato plants, and have kept them fertilized, you quite possiblyl will have a nice crop of green tomatoes gowing and will want to harvest them before the frost hits. If your garden suffered the amount of rain mine did - you might not have tomatoes worth anything this year.

My GrandMa Garrett would gather the green tomatoes from her before frost and pickle them as a way to salvage the produce and still enjoy it at a later date. Why should we not follow suit?  FYI, some stores carry green tomatoes (in case you did not grow any and want some to fry or pickle)

The below recipe is more of a "Bread and Butter" flavor. That is sweet, not the bitter of dill pickles. There are tons of recipes out there for pickling anything that cannot outrun you (as my mother says). This is just one that I tried and thought it turned out pretty good.


For five pints of pickled green tomatoes you need:
  • 4 pounds completely green tomatoes
    • Do not use any that are showing even the slightest hint of ripening
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup pickling lime*
    • This is used to treat the tomatoes to keep them crips instead of sogg
  • 1 1/2 pounds onion
  • 5 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup pickling or other non-iodized salt
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a very large non-reactive **mixing bowl (do not use aluminum), mix the pickling lime and the water. The lime has a tendency to not dissolve completely and collect on the bottom of the bowl. Not to worry. It will still do the job.

Cut the tomatoes into moderately thin wedges and place in the lime-water mix. Stir gently to coat all of the tomatoes with lime solution. Cover and let the tomatoes soak 24 hours, stirring occasionally to mix up the lime.

Make sure you have clean jars, lids, and etc. prior to starting this part.

Following the 24 hour soaking period, use a colander to ***rinse the tomatoes thoroughly in cold water three or four times to remove all the lime. Some of the tomato seeds with rinse out and collect in the sink. Again, do not be concerned.

Peel the onions and cut them into thin strips, a bit thinner than the tomatoes.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, celery seed, peppercorns, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves in a processing pan or large heavy pot. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, uncovered for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and onions, bring to a boil again and continue cooking over moderate heat, pushing the vegetables down under the surface occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to look translucent, about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them.

Ladle the hot pickles into clean, hot, pint-sized canning jars leaving 1/4 inch of head/air-space and divide the spices among each of the jars. Use a dowel or the thin handle of a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles that may be lingering about the the pickles. Seal the canning jars with the typical two-piece lids according to the manufacturer's instructions and process for 10 minutes water bath. You can use a pasta pot with a built in strainer or purchase a canning pot / pressure canner. 

Allow the jars to cool, then label them (with either fancy labels or write with a "Sharpie" on the lid. Let the pickles set for about a month before breaking bad on them as this allows the flavors to permeate the pickles. 

Notes:
*I get PICKLING lime from the grocery store here. I am sure you can get online as well.
**I use a bucket with a lid to let the tomatoes soak in the pickling lime. You might be able to score a cheap food-grade bucket with a lid from grocery stores (especially mom/pop types) that bake and ice cakes. I pay a $1 a bucket/lid combo in my home town and I know they are food grade!
***Rinse the tomatoes really well after soaking them in lime. I still had some lime settle in my finished product/jars and I did not like that idea much.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Comfort Foodz: Sausage Mac

I have no idea what the real name is for this dish.  It is a result of one of those "my mom made this for us when we were kids, but I never get it anymore because no one makes it" conversations that lead to me making something with basic information. I always end up modifying recipes because I am so damn smart, I just know what will make them better.
 
That's me...              

I could google this and see if I can find it, but again, I am just too damn smart and I am sure I have it right.
 

Yep.

That's me.

So, what is this sausage mac? Well, once I got done, it was this:
  • Breakfast sausage - HOT/spicy or medium or mild
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 1 bell pepper - diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced (or petite diced) tomoto - undrained
  • 2+/- cups uncooked macaroni
Follow directions on the pasta box for this. Or get fancy and google it. 
Put on the water for cooking the pasta.
I like to add a teaspoon or so of salt to the water - but that is just my choice.  You do NOT have to do this.
I follow directions for firm pasta.  I do not like it too squishy.
Once pasta is done, drain it really well. I use a collander for this - and I shake it around to get as much water out as possible.  I let it sit if I do it early in the recipe.  It does not matter if the pasta gets cold before adding it to the sausage/tomato concoction.
I sugget you use a timer for cooking pasta.  Just say'n.

Crumble up and cook the sausage of your choice.
When the sausage is nearly done, drain off the grease.
Stir in diced onion and pepper and let it cook a bit with the sausage - maybe 10 minutes.
Stir every couple of minutes.
once you are happy with the meat/onion/pepper, stir in the canned diced tomatoes - including the liquid. Heat to nearly boiling.
Stir in the tomato sauce and the well drained macaroni. Heat on medium until hot, not boiling.

You are done.  Easy comfort foodz.

*Notes:
  • I like my sausage crumbled and cooked really well.
  • While sausage is cooking:
    • occasionally stir it around the pan and break it up more.
    • wash the pepper, remove pith and seeds, dice.
    • peel skin from onion and dice.
  • pour sausage grease onto a papertowel or two wadded up in a bowl
  • after grease cools a bit, toss the papertowel in the trash and wipe the grease residue from bowl before washing it.
  • i suggest adding macaroni a little at a time until you are happy with the pasta to meat/sauce ratio.
This is NOT rocket science.  Add things, subtract things.  I like a little black pepper when I use mild sausage. I have added smoke flavoring, hot sauce, salt....  whatever I feel like at the time.  You can also serve up with mozzarella on top if you would like.

This is easy, not expensive, tasty...  You got a few food groups in there as well.

You can keep most of the ingredients on hand all the time for this recipe. I buy super cheap, already frozen sauage from UGO and keep it in the freezer.  UGO is the United Grocery Outlet local to me. You probably have your own cost contious grocery stores in your area. The only thing you cannot easily keep in your stockpile all of the time is the bell pepper.  I do not always use the bell pepper and I like it fine without it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Eats Night

Yes, I cooked.

So tonight I made the Super Easy Cornbread that my mom taught me to make, fresh beans from the Bean Snapping, thick sliced onion and Chicken breast cooked on my tiny one-person cheap George Foreman grill...



It was a simple dinner that turned out very tasty except I did not season the fresh green beans....

You all MUST try making cornbread!!! Three ingredients. Milk, self-rising white cornmeal (but I am sure yellow would work - but I do NOT like YELLOW cornbread) and bacon drippings/butter.

Try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Comfort Foodz: Bang-Up Baked Beans

I do not have a name for this recipe. I just know mom made it when I was a kid. It is not overly expensive to whip up and gets a few food groups in there..

Sort of...

So, I had not eaten this baked bean deal for years and years until one day about 4 years ago when I suddenly, and inexplicably, remembered it and I whipped it up.  Funny thing?  I do not remember liking it as a child.  Suddenly, it is now one of my 'go to' dishes - ESPECIALLY CAMPING! During my camping trips over the next 3 years, this became the traditional first night's meal (and a side dish for lunch the next day) - no matter how late we arrived. Order of business? Get there, back vehicle in, set up tent, beds, chairs, clean off picnic table, cover with red check tablecloth, set up camp stove, cook....

Possum Approved...
On to business with the Bang-Up Baked Beans recipe (I made up a name, but I am sure it has one out there already...)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can baked beans of your liking
  • 1/2 - 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef, cooked well
    • or ground turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Fry up a few strips of bacon and break into the pot

After dicing the onion while the ground meat is frying up, open a can of baked beans (I use Bush's Best Baked Beans because they are here in TN - buy local they say...), pour them into a pot, add the diced onion and the already cooked ground meat. If you want the bacon in it, fry that and crumble in. Again, I like bacon cooked just to 'firm' as I am not into 'hard as a rock' nor do I approve of 'squishy'.

Heat the ingredients together over medium (or lower heat) stirring occasionally. Just do not let it stick or burn - because it will taste horrid if it burns....

Add salt and/or pepper to taste (your taste), heat a little more and serve up in bowls.  I suppose you could serve it WITH something else to make a well balanced meal, but...  Well, I did not...

If all else fails, follow clean up with an adult beverage.

Camping Gear...


Friday, August 9, 2013

Lasagna My Way

I love lasagna.

Sort of...  We will get to that in a minute....

Lasagna is a heavenly concoction of pasta 'ribbons' layered with cheeses, meats, sauces and even veggies.  Lasagna is versatile. It can be made ahead and frozen either before or after baking. It can be meat all the way or a veggie wonder...

Meat Options Include:
  • Ground
    • beef
    • pork
    • chicken
    • turkey
  • sausage
    • italian
    • hot/spicy
  • chicken breast
Sauce Options Include:
  • bechamel
    • white sauce
    • great with veggie lasagna
  • marinara
    • very basic
  • arrabbiata
    • spicy sauce
  • bolognese
    • meat sauce would be good with layers of diced tomatoes and cheese
  • vodka sauce
    • Marinara with cream and vodka added
Veggie Options Include:
  • carrot
  • cauliflower
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • bell pepper
Cheese options is where my only 'problem' with lasagna comes in. I USUALLY do not like lasagna prepared by anyone besides ME....  It isn't that mine is better mind you...  It is just that I am not big on ricotta or cottage cheese (I think it is the texture, texture, texture) as an ingredient in those yummy layers Unfortunately for me, those cheeses seem to be VERY prevalent in lasagna that I have run into...

I use mozzarella (I can barely spell it), parmesan (I have trouble with spelling that one as well), and/or cheddar (I can speeel that one) in my lasagna layers. Period. The end.

You can make the sauce "from scratch", be "time frugal" like I have to be lately and use the Cheater Sketti recipe, or be super-lazy (again as I have felt lately) and use can/jar pasta sauce of choice - straight up - no adjustment or thought needed.

There are tons of lasagna recipes, so I will not get crazy here...  This is what I do...

Ingredients:
  • prepare sauce of choice (see lazy option above)
  • cook 2 pounds ground meat
  • 1 package of:
    • mozzarella and/or
    • cheddar and/or
    • parmesan (still cannot spell it on first try)
  • 1 can petite diced maters
  • lasagna noodes
Pre-heat oven to 350f degrees.

In a large pan of water (drizzled with olive oil), I partially cook plain old pasta noodles - tougher than that there al dente business - because I let the oven do part of that for me. Thoroughly cooked noodles tear eoo easily (in my opinion). I let them sit on a plate to cool a short bit. I no like to burn da fingurz...

Cook up ground beef well.

Grease disposable bread loaf pans (or use non-stick - but I steal grease them). Use any pan you wish. I just do not like tons of leftovers myself sometimes.

oh, and I say PAN(S) in plural because I freeze a few pans. It is just as easy to make 4 small pans as it is 1.

Open sauce can (in my case lately) and add water to it. There is no secret measure, I just add some water so the sauce goes further and the extra moisture helps finish cooking the pasta noodles.

Just cover bottom of pan with a little sauce, and toss in a few table spoons meat. (This keeps bottom layer of pasta from sticking to pan so much).
Add layer of "lasagne" (singular for "layer" - I think).
Alternate layers of cheese with layers of meat/sauce with layers of diced maters/sauce - AT WILL.
Top the lasagna with a layer of pasta and spread a little sauce on it.
Seal with aluminum foil.

At this point I seal up my spare pans of lasagna with plastic wrap real well and put in freezer for baking later.

I bake what I want to eat in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes.
Remove, from oven, remove foil, add a little sauce to top if you have any left, sprinkle generously with parmesan.  Place back in oven and bake additional 3-5, or so, minutes to melt cheese.

I use a spatula to 'cut' the lasagna.

Be happy my friend........

Satisfaction

That's right......

Yessssssss!!!

Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh...!!!

Live long and prosper....



Cheater Sketti Recipe

Sketti (Seriously? This seems way too connected to Honey Boo Boo's mother?)
S'ghetti
P'sghetti
Sghetti (ok, that one doesn't really refer to food)...

No matter how your refer to it, spaghetti (pasta with sauce in any form really) is popular!

Since I have been super busy lately I have not been writing or cooking much. Not an excuse really....

Anyhow, I did make Cheater Sketti the other night.  How do I make Cheater Sketti you ask?  'cause I know you asked! Enquiring minds want to know....

I doctor up Hunts Spaghetti Sauce.  The meat sauce version...
I know...  The shock of it all!!!!!










THE HORROR!!!!










Calm down, calm down!  It can turn out really good.  As a matter of fact, it is hard to screw it up....

As with most (I said MOST) of my recipe posts, this is not rocket science. No exact measurements or critical ingredients here. You can futz with this recipe as much or as little as your 'creative-mind/time-limitations/finances/ingredient-availability/garden-haul' will allow.  Below is just how I made it  - this time!

Ingredients:
  • Jar or can prepared pasta sauce of your choice
    • I use Hunts because it is super cheap
  • 1 pound (+/-) ground beef, cooked well
  • 1 each onion, diced
  • 1 small hot bell pepper, chopped
    • it was growing in my garden, no clue of name/variety!
  • 1 fresh banana pepper, diced
    • I raided my garden
  • Perciatelli Pasta, boiled
    • cooked a little softer than al dente for me
Open the sauce, pour it in a pot, put a little *water in the can and swish around - pour that into the pot and start heating on medium-low heat.
Stir as needed.
Clean, cut/dice the peppers and onions and stir them into the sauce.
Heat the sauce to almost bubbly then cut heat down to simmer - with the lid on if you want to leave it heating for awhile.
Stir occasionally.
Cook up the ground beef as well as you prefer. I like it really cooked well.
Add meat to sauce.
Cook pasta when the sauce is 'close' to where you want it. You can cook the sauce a little or for hours with a lid on.

Suggested ingredients:
  • Jar or can prepared pasta sauce of your choice
    • I use Hunts because it is super cheap
    • 1 pound (+/-) ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2-1 each onion, diced
  • 1-3 cloves of galic, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • A few shakes of "italian" seasoning if you wish
*By the way, the extra water just cooks down once you take the lid off the pot. If you use a larger pan, the sauce will 'cook down' faster because of the amount of 'surface' for steaming. You can add more water to allow the veggies to cook longer and develop the sauce flavor further.

I have been known to add any or all of the following:
  • a few shakes of hot sauce
    • spice it up
  • 1/4 cup milk
    • softens the flavor
  • diced carrot
    • cuts tartness/acid flavor
  • cooked ground italian sausage
  • a few strips of cooked bacon - broken up
    • not cooked to the point of being hard/crunchy

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sunday Dinner Done

So I went to a family reunion this past Sunday and had a hard time figuring out what to make.  Since we were going to the Midnight Jamboree in Nashville Saturday morning, I did not have time to cook, go to the show, spend the night and get back for Sunday morning...

So, all this got me to thinking about good foods to take to gatherings.  I mean really?  One CANNOT simply show up at a reunion/covered-dish event with a 6-pack and call it a day...

Not done.

It simply does NOT happen in "The South".

So, here is a short list of dishes that are good for gatherings - that I have written up so far:






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

I do like Spaghetti Squash. It is easy to cook and tastes like light pasta under any number of sauces!  OK – so it is healthy-ish as well… My fat arse has nothing to do with this post…………..
Source
Much…………

This squash comes out in shreds/fibers like angel hair pasta. I ALWAYS serve it with meat sauce because that is what I like. Other folks say butter or olive oil with herbs. Pretty much anything you serve over pasta goes with this ‘pasta substitute”. This veggie makes a great ‘side-dish’ or you can use it as a substitute in dishes requiring thin pasta. Think outside the box. Asian, Italian, whatever you want!

Spagetti Squash hits the stores in the fall (or grow it yourself like I am ATTEMPTING this year).  It is considered a “Winter Squash” so it will “keep” for a while.  A whole fresh squash will keep approximately 1-2 months on the counter and 1-3 months in a refrigerator.

I have read where you can cook this bad boy using:
  • a microwave (which I am not into and you can read that business here)
  • a slow cooker
  • boiling
  • or roasting
I roast in a moist oven.

Preheat oven to 375f.

This is just a post on how “I” do this.  There are other ways that you might find more useful for your situation.
  • I cut the squash in half length-wise.  Make sure you have a very sharp, rather large knife for this task. Be careful.
  • Scoop out the seeds and either discard seeds or save them, clean them and roast them to eat!
  • Place cut halves, cut side down, in a heavy baking dish (9”x13”-ish) and pour a half cup, or so, of water over them. Cook until “just tender” – not mush.  This should be about 30-35 minutes if you preheated your oven proper-like.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.  You will need to handle the halves so be prepared with oven mitts or some other insulator.
  • Rake a fork back and forth across the “meat” of the squash.  This will create/loosed the strands – and you will see why they call this “Spaghetti Squash”.
  • Serve up with your favorite sauce!
Cooked/prepared Spaghetti Squash can be frozen for extended periods of time. Reheating it is as simple as microwaving or dropping in boiling water for a bit…

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fowur-Bazillion Bean Salad

OK, maybe 4-bazillion is a slight exaggeration, but you can put a lot of items in this salad. I made this bad boy Saturday morning for a family reunion Sunday.  I was headed to Nashville to the Midnight Jamboree (you can read about that little trip here on "This Gal's Fishing Adventure) and would not be able to cook nanner pudding or dumplings this time.

Marinated bean salads of any flavor/ingredient combination are awesome because they:

  • Are great when you need to make a covered dish ahead of time because they need to sit and marinate to be good
    • Honestly, they are not fit to eat unless they have at least set overnight with an occasional stir
  • Are colorful to serve up anywhere
  • Keep well  
  • Come in many spice and herb flavor combinations
    • I like it fairly simple as far as the marinade (dressing) goes
  • Don't need the exact vegetable combination when it comes to getting the awesome flavor 
    • I.e., raid the pantry people!
    • Cheap to make
      • Feeds a lot of folks
*Basic Recipe Ingredients:
1 each 8oz(+-) can lima beans
1 each 8ox (+-) can cut green beans
1 each 8oz (+-) can red kidney beans
1 each 8oz (+-) can bean sprouts
1 medium sweet onion, diced or sliced
1 green pepper, chopped **
2/3 cup vinegar***
1/2 cup oil****
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In measuring cup, stir vinegar, sugar, and salt together until
Measuring Cup!!!
sugar dissolves.

Stir in oil.
Drain and rinse the canned items well.
Dump all the veggies into a plastic container with lid (sized to fit your goods).
Stir marinade again and pour over veggies.
Stir.
Seal.
Refrigerate over night. Stir when you think of it.

*Consider this:
I made mine industrial size for a family gathering. I doubled the above marinade recipe.
I added:                          

1 can cut sweet corn
1 can baby corn whole ears
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can green peas
1 half red bell pepper, chopped
1 half orange bell pepper, chopped
1 half yellow bell pepper, chopped

**The peppers added beautiful color. The garbanzo beans and whole baby corn ears added extra texture changes.  


***Vinegar types only matter in that white vinegar does not add that brown color to the finished dish.

****Oil types are up to you. I used canola because that is what I had. Light olive oil, corn oil, or.....  You choose.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Personal Work Brunch

Thank you Trader Joe’s
I made my first trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday – and I was HOOKED! 
  • Prices were not as bad as I expected. 
  • The store was spacious enough.
  • Super clean.
  • Fun foods.
  • Cheese counter was well appointed.

So I am here at work drinking and gnoshing as I go. I am attempting to eat a little better since I hit 165 pounds. A NEW ALL TIME HIGH………. 

The R.W. Knudsen Sparkling Essence Cucumber drink – won’t waste desk space again. Cucumber slices in water make it palatable. This drink is not for me.


Joe’s Whole Wheat Pita Bread is good.

Joes Tomato & Basil Hummus dip is awesome!

Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews have a nice lightly salty taste with a hint of lime. By the time you swallow the first nut, you feel the sinus cavities clearing like a rolling fog of Afrin is up in the house. After you go for the second bite, the light burn sets in…  But they are good.

Banana. Yum. Gone.

OOOPS! I didn't do it again..................

I am so excited! I just got a “pssst, go check my blog, I nominated you for an award”…  So look at that!  Reba K. Writes gave me a purdy shout-out for the Liebster Award!

First, I would like to thank the academy!  Oh, wait, Reba K., I would like to thank Rebe K., my parents, my daughter, my dog, the cats of course…
The rules for the Liebster are as follows:
  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you (Check)
  • List 10 facts about yourself (Check)
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers with 200 followers or less and notify them that they’ve been nominated (Check)
  • Ask the nominees 10 questions for them to answer on their own blog (Check)
Ein wenig ├╝ber mich... (My ten things)

  1. My favorite thing in the military was throwing hand grenades which I only got to do a few times.
  2. I love to travel.
  3. I miss my father so much…
  4. I am more proud of my daughter than I could ever say.
  5. I garden, partly for the good grub, partly in an effort to carry on what my grandparents and parents taught me.
  6. I do love East Tennessee. I have lived in Memphis, Europe, Maryland, Pennsylvania and etc., but I came back here. We have mountains, flat lands, water, 4-wheeling, camping….  You can’t beat it – as long as you can breath…
  7. I may never put my MBA into use as far as getting paid more, but what I learned while earning it has come in handy.
  8. I cook, sew, draw, paint, create, sharpen knives plus I love to go to pistol range…  And while my pseudonym is Cookie, I cannot bake cookies much at all.  Just doesn’t work out for me.
  9. I have been wayyy toooo close to being a crazy cat lady……..
  10. I spent 3 years in Germany as a soldier in our army and 4 years as a helo mechanic stateside.  Not a real girly thing to do...
What was your first car? 
My first car was in 1987, while stationed in the military in Darmstadt West Germany (yes,


before Germany was reunited),  an old used blue 4-door
OpelAscona that my then husband and I called the “Opel Ocean” because it would leak into the passenger side of the car and there would be water that would slosh in waves from the front to rear floorboards. The day I got out of the hospital with my daughter, who was 4 days old, the car was rear-ended when my husband stopped for a
Stra├čenbahn. We kept the car long enough to PCS out back to the states and then sold it to a junk yard…  TRUE STORY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!

Tell me about your first kiss?
Ha!  Do not remember.  At all…..

Favorite Song?
Strangely enough, there is a tie between
Rammstein’s “Sonne”
-and-
Bill Monroe’s "Walk Softly on this Heart of Mine".
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I like cooking. I used to be a creative sort and lost it while trying to survive.  Blogging allows me to chronicle life events that entertain me, share recipes and etc. without investing tons of money…

If you could make one celebrity disappear, who would it be and why?
Kris Jenner – because if she weren’t here, maybe I would not have to hear about the Kardashians – over and over and ……  The End.

Would you rather get a dream vacation to anywhere for two weeks or spend one week with any one person in the world at home?
I would take one week with my Dad.

Twitter or Instagram?
I have both. I use Instagram more. But I do like Twitter ok.

What was your worst hair mistake?
A curl enhancing haircut, called Ouidad, that cost $150, and all it did was THIN my hair out and make it stringy. It took 2+ years to grow out…  The hair Products are great however. ExPeNsIvE but great!!!

Favorite shoes to wear? 
My white Chuck Taylors

Best cure for a hangover?
Don’t get one. Do I follow this advice? Eh…………….. Well…………. 

For my nominee, here are your 10 questions:
  1. What is your favorite body part, and why?
  2. What is your favorite quote, and why?
  3. What sounds do you love?
  4. If you could spend a day with one person of your choosing, who would it be and why?
  5. If you could stay a particular age forever, what would that age be?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. If you had an hour of free time, what would you fill it with?
  8. Chocolate or vanilla?
  9. You favorite song?
  10. If you could visit anywhere, where would it be?
I nominate – tadaaaaaa!!!  The Loerzels at Rock the Kasbah
I enjoy reading her goods!
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