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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, September 7, 2014

Seasoning: Taco Seasoning

I like taco seasoning. I typically buy packets and add them to recipes.  Obviously I add it to ground beef, but it can be used on chicken breasts and in dressings (both used in Southwest Salad), note it can be used in the Picante Peach Pork recipe....  If you make up your own mix, you are able to adjust flavor and heat.

The below recipe makes about 1 cup of dried Taco Seasoning Mix. I only mixed up half the recipe. I learned that I used most of the seasoning I mixed up for one go around with the Southwestern Salad.

1/4 cup Ancho Chile Powder (mild heat, sweet fruity flavor)
2 T chile powder
3 T ground cumin
1 T dried cilantro
1 T sweet paprika (not hot paprika, unless you like it hot)
1 T fine grind sea salt (or slightly less regular salt)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. fine grind black pepper
1 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile Powder or Cayenne for more heat

I combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir them together. 

You can have a more finely ground mixture by grinding ingredients into the bowl attachment of blender or a small food processor, and process them for about a minute. I don't have either of these, but I do have an old coffee grinder that I kill spices with periodically....

Store Taco Seasoning Mix in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Start with 2 T per pound of ground beef for regular ground beef tacos, then taste to see if you want it more spicy.

I can now use there in my Picante Pork recipe, spicy saltine recipe, and Southwestern salad recipe....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peachy Picante Pork

So, today was busy. I woke up too early and just started cooking until a couple of us went to the flea market.  I prepped several meats to cook my little (TV dinners) for this week.  After the flea market I had to hit the store, as well, because I forgot I needed salsa for this recipe.  I haven't made this yummy dish in a few years. I don't think I've blogged about it. If I have, forgive me...

While at the store, my daughter called.  We talked about her making bread and butter pickles yesterday and peach jam today.  I told her I was making this dish and she was like "ooh, I've not had that in a long time".  I emailed her the recipe.  We originally got it from a Wake Forest newspaper article like 10 or more years ago while visiting our cousin Charline.

This is easy as pie. Ok, easier....  If you recall my first experience with peach cobblers......

Peachy Picante Pork


1 pound boneless pork loin, or boneless pork chop, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (yea, I don't measure...)
1 - 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (yea, I used the whole packet)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (yea, maybe 3)
1 8-oz jar salsa, chunky style (ok, I added 2 oz more)
1/3 cup peach (or apricot) preserves (I guessed at it)


I rinsed the meat off and just cut it into reasonable one bite pieces.  I tried to be somewhat uniform in sizing them, but I'm not taking bets to that fact.  I layered the pieces with the taco seasoning in a ziplock bag and squish all that business around.  I sealed the bag and tossed into fridge to marinade while out for the day.

I heated a nonstick fry pan and olive oil over medium-high to sort of high heat on the stove top, added the pork and cooked, while tossing around, to brown. Well, till done anyway.  I added the salsa and leftover apricot jam to the pan, lowered the heat, and simmered for 15-20 minutes, or so.  You are supposed to cover the pan, but I didn't. 

If you like rice, prepare the rice per package directions, while the meat is cooking.

You can option for the spicier salsa and spicier taco seasoning, or spicier version of one or the other, or just go mild all the way.  I actually used "peach chipotle salsa". 

The spicy and sweet marry up purdy and look pretty nice as well.

I like it with rice.  I always use regular rice.  I don't go with the minute stuff.

I wonder if lomein noodles would also be an option...?  If anyone tries noodles, let me know!
Also, I'm thinking diced up bell pepper would also be a good addition?  Next time...

Sloppy Joe-Bobs

At 6:50 this morning, yes Sunday morning, I woke up thinking "fooooodz"...  I did a little Saturday morning grocery shopping yesterday after I helped my mom in the garden. So, the fridge had  "manager's special" pork chops (meaning discounted because they are getting old-er), chicken tenders, ground beef, bell peppers, and the like from Food City. I also had chili peppers, tomatoes, and okra from the garden.

What to do, what to do...

Part of the ground beef went to burgers last night. This morning I finally cleaned out last night's burger frypan (I hate doing dishes and am a queen of procrastination) and fried up the rest of the ground beef with plans to freeze for pasta sauce.  However, my mind wandered.... Nothing new...


Ooh, shiny object!

So, I do so luv what are traditionally called "Sloppy Joes".  I cooked up the beef and pulled aside enough for one sauce.  The rest goes to a new sloppy joe recipe.

I did some quick research because I wanted quicker and easier. But I can't do simple apparently.  So I married simple and easy with my way of changing things up...

"Simple" is meat, mustard, ketchup and brown sugar as listed below. But, if you are like me and have the energy and time, added the "green".

Sloppy Joe-Bobs (Why do I call it that? Because I can...)

1 +/- lb ground beef (or turkey) cooked/crumbled
1/8 - 1/4 c bell pepper, diced
1/8 - 1/4 c sweet onion, diced
1/4 c mustard
1/2 c ketchup
1/8 c brown sugar
Dash salt
Dash black pepper 

Now imagine every ingredient listed, except the meat, has the words "to taste"  mentioned after it.

While cooking up the beef, I cut up the onion and pepper. I also added in a diced jalapeƱo and a diced chili pepper.

After ground beef is basically done (I like it very done), drain off the fat if you used cheaper ground like I usually do....

Add a little water, throw in the peppers and onions and cook on medium heat until they are softened up.

Add the rest of the ingredients as you see fit. If you need it a little saucier, add a tiny bit of water. Cook on low as long as you wish. If you keep it coverd, you won't need to add more water.

Serve on potato buns, or whatever you local favorite bun is... Mine is Kerns.

FYI, Sloppy Joes rock for breakfast....

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