About Me

My photo
+++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............

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Comfort Foodz: Sophisticated Red-Neck Breakfast

I drug my hungry arse up out of the bed this morning - after going to bed Early last night! This week has been busy and tiring....

The plan was to go to the Big Kahuna Wing Festival - and you can read a short description on how that went for me - on "This Gal's Fishing Adventure."  I was drag'n-round the kitchen like a zombie-apocalypse-non-survivor in tattered shorts and over-sized t-shirt from a strip club (do not ask what I did to get that shirt), foraging for food when I found bologna (in-date no less), and 2 fancy cheeses (not molded) buried in the fridge!  Sometimes it pays to go spelunking in the fridge...

My sophisticated red-neck breakfast was served up on a paper-towel and carried on top of the iPad Mini to the couch where I ate all by myself!

In detail I had:

Good old Oscar Mayer ($2.99)

Cablanca Goat Gouda ($15.99 per pound)

100% goat milk
Delicate citrus flavor

Maple Leaf Wisconsin Farmers Cooperative Smoked Gouda ($7.99 per pound)

Milk, salt, vegetable rennet
Light smoky bacon flavor

Life is good y'all!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Southwest Breakfast Strata

Let's talk easy breakfast y'all!

So my boss/friend asked me to make some breakfast casseroles for a couple of gatherings.  I did not have any recipes so she pulled a few and I ran with them.  One turned out particularly good and popular.  The boss/friend found the original Southwest Strata recipe on the Jimmy Dean Sausage website.  I could not leave well enough alone.

What the hell is a "Strata"? Well, that is the plural form of "Stratum".  Latin for layer.  What does this mean to us?  We are LAYERING ingredients.

OK - sounded good anyway...

Southwest Sausage Strata (4-6 servings)
  • 4 corn tortillas (for 6" square pan)
  • 1 LB Ground Hot Sausage (Fried up)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
  • OPTIONAL - Chopped green onion and chopped up tomato
Large Southwest Sausage Strata (8-12 servings)
  • 8 corn tortillas (for 9"x11"+-ish rectangular pan)
  • 2 LB Ground Hot Sausage (Fried up)
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin     
  • 2 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (divided into 1 cup portions)   
  • OPTIONAL - Chopped green onion and chopped up tomato
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees                                                  
  • Grease pan with Crisco, Pam, or etc.
  • Arrange tortillas in pan
  • Sprinkle the first portion of cheese over the tortilla layer
  • Sprinkle the cooked sausage crumbles over top of the cheese layer 
    • This holds the cheese down so it doesn't get moved around or float up when the egg mixture is poured in
  • Break eggs into container     
  • Add the cumin and milk
  • Beat together
  • Pour "evenly" over sausage crumbles
  • Bake
Place in preheated oven and bake 30 minutes for small version and 35 for large version (or until knife inserted in center comes out clean). Top with remaining portion of shredded cheese and heat until it melts.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares for serving.
Top with the tomato and onion if desired.

  • Choose the 'hot' level of your sausage per your (or even your guests') liking  
  • The green onions and tomatoes really do add to the visual and taste of this dish - Add!
  • Serve with your choice of SALSA or Pico de Gallo!  Really, it adds.  Choose your heat level and flavor - or a smorgasbord of flavors! (I chose Pace Fire Roasted Tomato & Corn, Pace Mild Chunky , & Kroger's Private Selection Peach &Mango Salsa (mild)
  • Consider serving with sour cream and/or guacamole
  • This recipe was a BIG hit!

My plate at work today...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Comfort Foodz: A Sunday Night

Comfort food.

What more do I need to say?

The other night I served up:
Yes, this old pie tin has a
history and a story...
  • Canned shelly (bean only, no green) home-grown pink half-runner beans, also known  as pink-half-runners and favorited by southern Appalachian folks in the know
  • Super thick slices of sweet yellow onions that you can sink your teeth into
  • Plain white cornbread
  • Pork tenderloin sliced, floured and fried.

I simply heated the beans that came from the family farm. I added NOTHING for nothing was necessary. My mother grew and canned them, with a little help from my brother, myself, and my ex husband.

I baked my mother's cornbread recipe. Self-rising white cornmeal, bacon grease (staple in my kitchen), and sweet milk. I'll post this recipe soon (if it isn't already in here somewhere).

The pork tenderloin was on sale at Kroger for $1.99 a pound. Instead of cooking pork chops, I did the following:
  • Rinsed
  • Sliced the 3.5 pound tenderloin into about 15 fairly tick slices
  • Brined them until ready to cook about 5 at a time
  • Pulled one slice out of the brine at a time, dripping wet
  • Flopped that puppy down in an old pie plate filled with flour
  • Added a little fresh ground black pepper and Penzey's Northwoods Spice to one side and flipped to coat with flour.
  • Dropped the meat into the hot canola oil in a preheated fry-pan on medium to medium-high heat (5 at a time)  and turned after about 8 minutes. 

I'm a little fuzzy on how long to cook pork.  But, I know I do not leave Any PinK meat so I did a total of 15-20 minutes per slice.  While I'll eat rare beef, I like my pork and cooked "over-done".

The Easiest Cornbread Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My mother has been making corn bread for longer than I have been around. She never had bothered to write down the recipe until the prison my Dad worked at published a cookbook by the employees... "Doing Time in the Kitchen" Pictured on the cover is Brushy Mountain Prison in Morgan County TN. Needless to say, every time my mother tried to teach me to make the corn bread, I only got confused. She would say "Put about this much corn meal, then some bacon grease, then mix in enough milk to make it thinner than you would think it needs to be. Now, the moisture of the cornmeal can be different from bag to bag depending on the moisture of the corn, the day it was ground and etc." YOU GET THE POINT! It was all subjective and made my head spin. SO - when Mom finally wrote it down and worked it out - the clouds parted, angels sang and I was happy!

I grew up on WHITE cornbread in the house while every-time we went out to eat, the cornbread was yellow... WHAT IS YELLOW CORNBREAD? THIS IS STRANGE... Yes, I like white cornbread and it does taste different than yellow.

And, without further ado - The recipe!

White Cornbread

1 c Three Rivers self-rising cornmeal (There are other brands, this one is local to us)
3 T bacon fat or margarine or butter
3/4 c Sweet milk

Preheat oven to 450F degrees

Put up to 1 T bacon fat or margarine in an 8 inch seasoned iron skillet and heat on the stove eye (should be hot but not smoking hot).

In a bowl, mix cornmeal, 2T bacon fat or margarine/butter and the sweet milk (just meaning not buttermilk). I use a fork to mix - but hey, use what you want - right?

The mixture is going to seem a little runny, but it works...

Pour into the hot skillet, place in oven and bake 15-18 minutes.

Turn out on a plate and revel at what you have done. Ogle it - love on it when it won't burn you! If you lick it or drool on it - don't get caught....

Serves 2-4 people

This cornbread is: 
  • Super plain
  • Be served with many meals 
  • Takes no effort, time, or talent (thus I can bake it)

You can fancy it up with corn or spices or whatever you would like.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Unsung Sammich

I will not insult you all by explaining how to make a sandwich or with what to make it. However, I will explain that I do subscribe to the notion that a sandwich is a sandwich and a sammich is perfection....  I just want to share with you all how wonderful a simple sammich can be. 
I believe a sammich:

  • might not be made of the best ingredients, but they are made of the 'right' ingredients
  • is the holiest of sammiches
  • made by someone else is always tastier than one you make - even if they are exactly the same

It was a relatively quiet day at work and a co-worker and I decided we would share fix'ns for sandwiches. 
Grocery list:

  • Store brand bread (88 cents)
  • P&P Loaf cold cuts ($1.50)
  • Oscar Meyer (yes I had to sing it to spell it) bologna (10 for $10)  
  • Romaine lettuce hearts ($3)
  • Vlassic dill relish (10 for $10)
  • Grainger County tomato ($1.20)
  • Store brand american cheese slices ($1.50) 
  • We had mayo and mustard packets and already had sea salt and peppercorn medley mills 
 So, grand total for this meal? $10.08 

But wait, there's more!  This served up 3 sammiches and a small tomato salad today.  Tomorrow we only have to invest in a tomato and we can make 6 more sammiches and still have some leftover fix'ns cluttering the fridge to go with again!  

You do the math!

One would think this was not some special event - making up sammiches and all....  However, we discovered that RebaK was right - you can nuke bologna and turn it into fried bologna (which caused my co-worker to do the "happy dance" in the kitchen and I could not film it...) and that moaning in the office while eating these sammiches did not bring anyone running to see what was going on (and realistically, the moaning SHOULD have gotten someone's attention - seriously...).  

These sammiches were the shiznit!  

They made an otherwise droll day better!

!!!Go Sammiches!!!


I am tired.

So today I had a request to make pork chops using "Shake-N-Bake".  I was thinking to myself "self, you like to cook when there are folks to cook for, not use boxed meals."  "Oh, and self, you are tired..."

The last weeks have been sort of non-stop, in a way.  Animal sitting, running here and there with music events, gardening in my little raised garden beds, being the sole emotional support system for a loved one....

Why am I writing those vague little daily details?  As an explanation concerning why I agreed to do someone else's grocery shopping and use "Shake-N-Bake" pork chops today...

As much as I like to cook, and mostly CAN cook, I am baffled by the simplest instructions on boxed meal kits such as "Shake-N-Bake".  The concept of 'easy meals' is hard for me to grasp for some reason.  Now, does this mean I am incapable of nuking a TV dinner for myself?  Hell no!!!  I will nuke and eat a TV dinner at the drop of a hat if I am sitting around alone and in a 'mood' as I will not waste energy going out or whipping up meals every day.  Of course I add finishing salt, fresh ground pepper, Amish butter......  

I am a social cook.  I need the approval of the foods I cook by friends and family to make the effort worth while.

Anyhow, no, I cannot do anything the easy way it seems (see TV dinner nuking above...).  What makes pork chops better? BRINING! Yes! Let's brine the pork chops for a few hours THEN use "Shake-N-Bake" on them! 

Who does this?


Salt bath anyone?
Today's brining solution for 4 bone-in pork chops was 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons table salt, 1 tablespoon honey, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder.  I mixed up the solution, rinsed off my 4 chops, put the chops and the solution in a large Ziploc bag and placed in the fridge for 6 hours.  I would 'agitate' the bag periodically (meaning as I remembered) during those 6 hours.

I preheated the oven when I got hungry, read the box directions (which I will not force you to read here) and followed them.  I probably should have rinsed the salty goodness off the chops, but hey, I like salt...

I baked the chops on an old aluminum foil-lined pizza pan and let me just say................



Good stuff.  I served those breaded puppies up with homemade cornbread and black-eyed peas. Nothing healthy to see here folks!  Keep it moving, keep it moving.....

Today, I found a recipe for homemade shake-n-bake a on a blog called Diary of a Recipe Addict. I am so going to try this!  If I make my S&B mixture, then I can be happy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...