Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Homemade Christmas Heaven

So, have you heard about  The Pioneer Woman? Her website keeps popping up from time to time, so I had to take a look. Holy Moly. Well, just check it out for yourself. She cooks, homeschools, takes care of her Marlboro Man, and takes wonderful pictures. She's who I'd love to be, but I'm not. 

I figured, however, that I could at least be a little like her and make her Cinnamon Rolls. Not for myself, of course, since I don't need this kind of help expanding my waistband. But, my neighbors and friends all got a pan of yummy goodness this morning. Yum. Oh, oh, oh! YUM!I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Too Good Not to Share!

I found a picture today of a meal that I made a few weeks back that I thought I'd share. 

So, there is no real story behind this meal. Rather, it is a trip down memory lane. When my Dad married my step-mom, Martha, she introduced several new foods to us that eventually became standards in our home.  Broccoli and rice with hollandaise sauce was one of those items. I don't serve it often, mainly because I am the only one in my family that like the hollandaise sauce, and and we all know what that means.  Well, it means that I eat it ALL! And, the main ingredient is butter!  Not good for the waistline or hips, and I don't need any help in either department.

If you haven't noticed, we eat steak around here often. My husband, Oscar is definitely a meat and potatoes kinda guy. And tortillas. Don't forget the tortillas!

So, it's been a while, right?

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's been a few weeks.  But, I've been searching for inspiration!  And, I found it in a squash.  A butternut squash, to be exact.

So, I few weeks ago I watched an episode of Christina Cooks on PBS. I generally find this show a little crunchy for my tastes... All vegetarian, organic, mushy, save yourself while you save the earth...Blah, blah, blah.  But, this episode was about eating foods that regulate blood sugar. Since I have insulin resistant PCOS, I took the show to heart. One of the recipes that she cooked was soup made with squash. I've never cooked squash before. It's kind of like gravy... An unknown.  A lot like pumpkin, but smaller, right?  But, I've never cooked with pumpkin before either (well, nothing more than that canned stuff you get in the store), so this is virgin territory for me.

So, I bought this beautiful butternut squash about a month ago, and then it sat there between my microwave and my stove, taunting me. By the end of last week I was getting ready to draw a face on it, name it Wilson and start having conversations with it!  But in lieu of a new friend that would eventually rot on me, I went looking for a recipe with chicken breast and squash in it.  My old friend, www.allrecipes.com came to my rescue once again with this winner.


I didn't have any green peppers on hand, though.  What to do, what to do.... Squash, celery and onions seemed like an unambitiously bland stuffing, and I was experimenting here, right? Then my eyes lit upon the apples sitting on my countertop waiting for my next cobbler. Ah ha!  I diced up some apples and sauteed the fruit and veggies together, and VOILA!

Yum! Brown the stuffed chicken breasts and then bake, add some steamed broccoli and cauliflower and a salad and you've got a MEAL!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Trying something new...

I am scared of gravy.

It is true.
I acquired this fear from my father.

Okay, well, I am not actually scared of gravy, per se. But, I am terrified of making gravy.

Let me start over.
My father can do anything. The man's skills know no limit. He can build a pole shed alone with his bare hands and a few tools. He can sew together quilt squares with engineer's precision. He can shoot a wild hog, then grind up the meat for sausage. The man is amazing.

But.... He can't make gravy. It's true. So, I figured if my Daddy, who can do anything, can't make gravy, it must be impossible, right? How could I, a mere mortal who can't build a pole shed or shoot a wild hog (although I have shot a rattlesnake☺) make gravy if my talented father can't do it?
Guess what? I can make gravy! I'd talked myself out of it for years, and all my attemps were miserable failures. I figured that gravy and I just weren't meant to be together, but we might see each other from time to time at a restaurant.

That is, until one afternoon I got an undeniable craving for white sausage gravy. It was irresistable. I posted to my online friends in hopes of getting a good recipe, but it seems that many of them were as lost as I was as to how to make sausage gravy, although I got some excellent recipes for brown gravy. So, my second line of attack after my friends when it comes to cooking is always http://www.allrecipes.com/. I perused several recipes, still intimidated and unsure of my ability to produce an edible gravy until I found Bill's Sausage Gravy.


Oh. My. Gosh. I was in hog heaven (pardon the pun☺). This recipe is easy and delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And, guess what? I can make sausage gravy! Who knew?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Now, that is what I call comfort food!

Tonight was meatloaf night. I don't serve meatloaf very often because Oscar isn't a big fan. However, it was a standby for my family when I was growing up, so I make it once every six months or so. Most of the time I cook to Oscar's tastes, so when I make this, it's one of the few times I cook to my own tastes. The only think missing here is the rice that the broccoli should be sitting on, and the hollandaise that goes on top of the broccoli and rice:-). But, I figured there was enough fat and carbs in this meal, so I refrained.

The meatloaf is my Dad's recipe, but with some embellishments. Instead of bread crumbs or saltines, I crushed Wheat Thin Fiber Select crackers. I was also liberal with the milled flax seed to add some omega-3s. It didn't seem to affect the flavor at all. I will say that using the Wheat Thins made adding salt unnecessary. It turned out pretty good, but a little salty, since I wasn't thinking and added the salt that was called for in the recipe.

Add in some fluffy homemade mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and some broccoli to justify the fat in the meatloaf (lol!) and you've got yourself a meal!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Easy, peasy, rice and cheesy.... Well, we'll do rice next time!

I was in a rush to make dinner tonight since we went to visit a friend after I picked up Malena from school. Malena had a great time jumping on her trampoline and visiting with her kids. She just loves their lanky lab puppy. I swear that dog is going to be a horse someday!

Anyway, I raided the fridge and came out with refried beans, corn on the cob, tortillas, and cucumbers. I toasted the tortillas and then filled them with beans and cheese and fried them in the skillet. Voila! Bean and cheese chimichangas. I boiled the corn on the cob and sliced the cucumbers, and dinner was served. This meal was a huge hit with the family, although Oscar said he would have liked another filler, maybe something like spanish rice. I'll definitely include that the next time I make this meal.

Goin' TexMex Tonight!

Last night we enjoyed a delicious taco salad with homemade guacamole, per Oscar's request. I wasn't really into it, because he despises taco seasoning and says that "only white people use taco seasoning". LOL! Since I am white, and I love taco seasoning, I'll have to take his word for it.He ought to know since he grew up in a refried beans and tortilla home, and his mom can cook like nobody's business! So, I heavily seasoned the ground beef to give it some extra kick. The sour cream, guacamole, and salsa did the rest of the job and it was num, num, nummy!

I made refried beans from scratch to round out the meal, and we topped it off with brownies, still warm from the oven. Not exactly healthy, but our tummies were happy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebrate good times! Come on!

Well, today is the 9th anniversary of the day Oscar and I got married! So, I cooked steak for dinner. Nothing too fancy. I would have preferred to grill the steaks, but we are out of propane. So I seasoned them and broiled them in the oven.
That's homemade potato salad on the side with a little cucumber salad for some tang. Yum!

Getting Started

I've been posting pictures of my successful cooking exploits on Facebook, but I think it will be fun to do that here, instead. I am not a very good, or very imaginative cook, but I am learning a little more everytime I try a new recipe. I love baking, but I rarely do it because I am always the one who eats it! I need to find some healthy, low fat, low carb recipes that wow Oscar and Malena. So, here we go!