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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............

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...)


  • 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...

  • 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........


That's right......


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?)
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!!!!!


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!

  • 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

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