Tag Archive | food

Holy Sh*t I CAN Eat That: Broccoli Salad

As you well know by now, I’ve got to watch my blood sugar. I come from a long line of people with diabetes. I have to watch my blood sugar like a hawk. My numbers are kept super tight. A fasting of under 95 and under no circumstances am I allowed to let me sugars get above 120. And I’ve been taken off my medication, which I’m both THRILLED about and pissed about because it means an even STRICTER diet. If you know ANYTHING about diabetes, you know that this basically means I can eat air. And that’s about it. If you aren’t insulin resistant in any way and have perfectly working beta cells, you can probably pull off those numbers while eating a banana split everyday. Us beta-cell-handicapped cannot. I can’t eat half a cup of plain yogurt with blueberries on top without spiking higher than that.

Finding things I can shove in my face that aren’t cheese or meat has become increasingly difficult. So I was totally thrilled when I found this recipe buried in “never tried this” pile.  I’m pretty sure I got this at my county fair a few years back. The extension office was giving away free recipe booklet things and I think I snagged this one up.

First ya take some sour cream

And add  in some ranch dressing mix and some mayo. I used miracle whip for this cause I thought it might give it a little bit more zing.

Now chop up some broccoli

And some cauliflower

And throw them both in a large bowl. Now throw in some frozen peas, too.

Toss the veggies together a bit, add a couple of chopped green onions, and dump the sour cream mixture on top of it an mix the crap out of it.

Chill it in the fridge overnight to gather flavor and top with bacon bits before serving.

The verdict: It was pretty damn good.

Honestly, I would buck up the ranch a little bit next time just to give it more flavor and funny enough maybe try regular mayo. The miracle whip didn’t really seem to add any zip to it.

But this is a good recipe for anybody really, especially if you are looking for a sort of primal or diabetic friendly recipe. Ok, yeah, it has mayo, which isn’t “primal” but it’s not the worst splurge ever. Tons of fiber, raw, pretty damn healthy!

———

Broccoli Cauliflower Pea Salad

1 bunch broccoli

1 bunch cauliflower

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 10 oz package frozen peas

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayo

3 TB ranch dressing mix, dry

bacon bits

Chop broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces. Toss with green onions and peas.

In separate bowl, mix sour cream, mayo and dry dressing together. Add to the vegetables, stirring to coat.

Chill overnight.

Before serving, top with bacon bits.

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2012: Zombie Apocalypse Intro

If you haven’t been in a bubble for the last 10 years, you know all about the freaking out of people every where about the “end of the world” this year. I actually am NOT a skeptic when it comes to mystics and prophecies, far from it. I’m pretty spiritual, I’m just not religious. But I’m also pretty logical. And I gotta laugh at some of this stuff.

Do I believe this is going to happen? No. I do not believe on Dec 21st of this year the world is going to blow up. Do I believe somethings are changing? Yes. Do I believe it’s possible? Sure, it’s possible. We are, after all, just like any other species on the planet. But here are some theories I’ve heard:

1. Mayan calendar ends. Means the world ends. This seems a little weird to me. Maybe they just didn’t look past 2012. Maybe it had to do with a celestial event. Rare celestial events happen all the time, several in just my lifetime. I don’t think this means the world’s gonna end. I mean, if you were going to make a calendar that goes like 3000 years in the future, you’d have to stop eventually (all that chiseling probably gets tiring), so 2012 seems as good a time as any.

2. Nostradamus. He predicted the end. Supposedly. He also predicted 1000 years of peace. Many of his predictions are also interpreted after the fact. Now, the nature of “prediction” is that they have to be accurate BEFORE, not interpreted as AFTER.  I’m not saying he’s all full of crap, I’m just saying a lot of his stuff is basically molded to fit something that happened, not the other way around.

3. The zombies are coming. I don’t think I really have to acknowledge this, but, still that’s what we call “sh*t hitting the fan” in this house. When the zombies come. Obviously, I don’t think the zombies are actually coming. (Mr B wants me to add the footnote, as a believer in zombie outbreak, that the CDC has an actual zombie outbreak plan on their site and it should taken seriously. Okie doke.)

4. Environmental catastrophe, water shortages, collapse of current societies due to resources being eliminated or altered. This seems more likely to me.

5. The caldera under Yellowstone blowing, changing the sun, the weather, the atmosphere and killing a lot of us worldwide. This really isn’t an “IF” it’s a “WHEN”. They know this has happened before, and there are signs that it’s going to blow again. Old Faithful not being faithful any more, places heating up fast and unpredictably. But will it happen in our lifetime? I dunno. It’s 100,00 years overdue, but then again, 100 years in the span of THAT long is minute, so what are the chances it’ll blow in any of our lifetimes? Probably pretty slim. But I think IF I had to pick one, and put money on it, it’d be this one, but I still wouldn’t bet much.

6. Aliens. Well, considering we sent off that radio signal what? 50 years ago? And the closest aliens would be an many, many light years away, they won’t be getting our message for awhile and furthermore, if they were looking at us RIGHT now from way over there, they’d be looking at us 1000 years ago, with no technology and pretty primitive ways. If they were looking to harvest resources and destroy us all, they’d be SUPER pissed when they got here, realizing we’ve pretty much destroyed anything they’d wanted.

That being said, I’ve actually decided to take 2012 seriously. Not literally, but figuratively. I’ve decided to make this year all about survival. Having items for survival, learning about it, honing skills, and knowing what the right thing to do is. Mind you, this is NOT stockpiling food, cause that’s really kinda dumb if you ask me (I’ll get to that in another blog). But knowing how to GET food and more importantly water, shelter, fire, having stuff on hand, and WHAT stuff on hand. I’ll give you a couple of examples of what I mean, and what you can expect in some future posts of mine:

1. Know WHAT is important. Things like clean water, shelter, fire, and food.

2. Drying food, which is the best way to store food. You aren’t going to want to carry 200 pounds of sugar anywhere, and chances are, if something happens, you wanna be portable because at some point, you’ll have to move.

3. Honing skills like gathering, hunting, finding food sources, and cooking or preserving that food when you don’t have electricity.  And knowing which berries to eat, so to speak.

4. Learning how to make fire.

5. Natural medicines and the like, because really, if you scrape your knee and the sh*t has hit the fan and it gets infected, that could kill you.

6. Toughening yourself up so you can actually survive. Physically and mentally.

7. Probably the most important: Getting water. Storing water. Cleaning water. Without water, you are dead. Quickly. Period.

8. Skills. Because THAT is what’s REALLY gonna keep you alive.

I won’t lie. I’ve always been enchanted and drawn to survival situations. I watch those shows. I read the books. I’d do it for a living if I could. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my modern conveniences but I also appreciate how fragile they can be.

I just wanted to give you a little info, and hope you enjoy future blogs I post about this. Maybe you’ll learn something too.

Crunchy Chicken Boobs

As you probably well know by now, I’m going through my “I never did this” recipes and am finding quite an overwhelming stash to get through. I also had gone a little crazy on buying chicken breasts. They were on sale. And a REAL good deal. I mean. Real good. They had to be because I actually don’t like chicken breast. I find it way too dry. I much prefer whole chicken, from my co op actually, but it was just way too good a deal AND I have so many recipes that call for chicken boobs.

When I ran across the recipe, it seemed pretty easy. And since that day I seemed to be being super lazy, it was a perfect fit.

First, grab some chicken boobs and slather them with mayo. Well, that’s what the recipe says anyway. Says more specifically to coat them with Miracle Whip. Which I didn’t have. So I used ranch dressing. Yes, I had mayo, but it was REAL mayo, and it probably wouldn’t add that “zip” the recipe was looking for so Ranch dressing seemed the way to go.

God that looks vulgar. Anyway…

Now you are gonna pop open a box of stuffing. Stove Top style. I used the chicken flavored one. And to that add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Mix that up real good. Don’t grind it or crush it, just leave it as is.

Now dip the chicken in it and coat it with the stuffing mix.


Now, slap those on a foil covered cookie sheet and stick it in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Well, mine actually took 45 but that could be the size of the meat.

And out it comes.

See? Easy peasy. Not even worth writing a recipe down. I love recipes like that, so simple they are in your head.

I ask my “testers” to tell me not whether the recipe is “good” or not, but whether it’s good enough to repeat because honestly, I’d like to get rid of some of the thousands of recipes I have.

The verdict on this was, and I was surprised, yes, it was a repeater. When I tried it it was nice and tender with an outside crunch and actually pretty pleasing. It’s a bit plain for me, but that could perhaps be because of the omission of miracle whip. This could EASILY doctored up and seems a good staple meal too. Maybe hot sauce? Thousand island dressing? Italian dressing even? It’s not exactly diabetic friendly, but it’s certainly NOT the worst thing you could.

Try it, doctor it up, let me know. I’m thinking this is one recipe for chicken boobs that might have some serious potential!

Stupid. Freakin’. Bread.

Right. So. By now you know the seething hatred between me and bread. Or you only have to look back some posts to figure it out. And here I am again. Trying to make it work.

You can’t say I’m not putting my part into this relationship!

I ran out of bread, store bought, and I didn’t feel like running to the store. The Texan also loves Hawaiian bread, and I had the ingredients for it. Stupid bread. I figured it’d do just fine as a PB&J sandwich bread.

So I held my breath and tried not to cuss too much. I grabbed out the ingredients. And I started. Again.

You’d think I would learn.

So, add the water and the butter to the stupid bread machine.

Now add the stupid cake mix. This is supposed to be what makes hawaiian bread different. Whatever. Stupid bread.

Now add the stupid flour. And the stupid yeast. In a stupid well inside the middle of said stupid flour mix.

I set the stupid bread machine to light crust and walked away.

I didn’t peak. I swear. I swear I swear I swear.

I walked away and did other things so I didn’t go mad.

And THIS, dear readers, is what I get!

Are you F*@(ING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? What is THAT? It caved in?

This is the part where I normally curse a lot, complain, tell you that God hates me and try to figure out what happened.

I’m not doing that today. I’m on FREAKIN STRIKE!

Ugh.

I don’t care. They’re gonna eat it anyway and LIKE IT!

The Perfect Italian Beef

I love Italian beef. I’m also a Chicagoan, and I’m going to tell you right now that outside Chicago, there is really no such thing as Italian beef. I’ve been everywhere, and it just don’t cut it. It’s like trying to get a Chicago hotdog out of Chicago, A Philly cheesesteak outside Philly. You can do it, just ain’t the same.

So many of my friends that move out of state tell me at one point or another how they miss Italian beef. It is REALLY good.

My BFF’s mom actually sent me this recipe years ago and I made it ever since. Is it true to form Italian Beef from a greasy hole in the wall in Chicago, no. But it’s still DAAAAMMMMNNNN good. In some ways it’s BETTER than a greasy hole in the wall in that instead of being shaved beef, it’s chunked and meatier and heartier. I’m drooling thinking about it.

It’s perfect because it’s a crock pot recipe. That means minimal work. And maximum flavor. I made it for super bowl because it can be made the night before no problem. Actually gathers flavor that way.

First, get yourself a chuck roast. I use grass fed.

Dump that bad boy in the crock pot with some oregano, red pepper flakes and some onion soup mix.

Now add a jar of peproncini’s with the juice. Mind you you don’t have to cut the stems off, they get nice and soft and you can do that after they cook if you want and just make sure not to serve any up.

Now dump in a can of beef broth.

And a can of French Onion soup.

And in 8-10 hours, you’ve got a soupy, delicious, meaty, spicy mess.

When you serve that puppy up on some crusty italian bread, or french bread, don’t skimp on the juice. A real Italian beef should be so soggy the bread is kind of falling apart.

It’s got some spice to it too, it’s not at all wimpy, so if you like your spice, this is for you. And it’s SO damn good. Freezes AWESOME too!

I never ask this of you but don’t question me on this, just make it. It’s freakin GLORIOUS.

————

CP Italian Beef

3 lb chuck roast

1 can french onion soup

1/2 bottle peproncini and 1/2 bottle of juice if you are using large jar, whole bottle of juice and peppers if it’s a small jar

red pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp)

black pepper to taste (about 1 tsp)

1 can beef broth

1/2 package of dried onion soup mix

1-2TB oregano

5 cloves of crushed garlic.

Put everything in your crock pot. Keep on high 4 hours, reduce to low and cook until tender, about 4-6 more hours. Break the meat the stem the peppers with a fork when they are tender, discarding stems when it’s served. You can make this the night before. Serve on hard rolls.

Surrender Bread

If you’ve read my previous posts, you realize me and bread are mortal enemies. Bread hates me, and I hate bread. Well, I LOVE bread. My body hates bread but more importantly I hate MAKING bread. And bread does NOT like me. It doesn’t like coming out right for me. It wishes me dead.

But I battle the beta cell killing diabetic poison thing almost every week and hope and pray for mercy. I have a bread machine because, damnit, I paid a lot for it and it WILL come through!

I found a recipe in my file box for French Baguettes. It required ONLY the dough cycle on the machine. AHA! I can try to do the hybrid thing, that way if it fails I will have TWO things to blame: The oven AND the bread machine!

My bread machine actually has a preheat function so I don’t have to worry about precise temperatures. Score.

The weird thing about this recipe was it didn’t call for a second rise. That’s really weird. Maybe I wrote it down wrong. I dunno. So, being that this is the first time I tried this recipe, I’m going to do it like the recipe says. Next time, I’ll try a second rise.

So, first, grab the water. Cause the bread machine book thingee tells me I have to add the liquid ingredients first.

Now I add the dry stuff.

This is how it looks before I turn it on.

Now I flip it to the dough cycle. Which kneads it and gives it a first rise.

Don’t let the simplicity fool you. Bread is a moody, evil bitch. And I’m done being fooled by simple recipes when all I ever get is freakin’ door stops.

So anyway, it’s set for 2 hours. So I go and proceed to do some knitting or some other such thing to keep my nervous mind off the probably going to fail dough that I’ll have to bake.

Once it’s done, you gotta roll it into wands. Normally, this is where you’d have a second rise but, as I said before, recipe doesn’t call for it.

It said to cut slits in the top, which I did.  It also said to spray it with some water or put a pan of water in the oven to make it crunch. No. That’s too much work for something that I was pretty certain was going to be disappointing. I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to the yeast beast. I refuse to put too much heart and soul into the bread unless I know it’s gonna come out.

And of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Sorry.

But I can tell you it actually came out good. Was it super light and fluffy? No. But it wasn’t super dense either. It was good enough that all try baguettes were eaten at dinner. So this is something I’m going to try again, perhaps this time with a second rise and with the water misty thing.

*squints eyes* Make no mistake. I still don’t trust bread. I still think it’s out to get me. I still think that at any time, at any place, it’s going to fail on me. Fool me once, shame on you….Fool me twice….

———-

French Baguettes

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3 cups of bread flour

Use dough cycle on your machine and add ingredients as called for in your bread machine instruction book.

Remove dough, divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll into skinny wands. Place on baking sheet coated with cornmeal. Slash top with 3 diagonal cuts.

Place in 450 preheated oven. Bake 12-15 minutes depending on thickness.

When done, they should be deep brown and sound hollow.

Place water in the bottom of a pan in the oven or spray with mist of water for a crunchy crust.

Joe Brownies

Thanks to the recipe app on my ipad, I’ve been inputting recipes for weeks. I’m not complaining, this actually gives me a chance to try all the recipes I’ve had and didn’t try. It “surprises me” with random recipes, so I’ve been making something different near everyday. I love it.

This time it gave me Coffee N Cream Brownies. Where I got the recipe? I’ve no idea. But it’s an interesting take on brownies using instant coffee. Let’s try this shall we:

First, melt some unsweetened chocolate and butter in a saucepan. I have tons of unsweetened chocolate. Think I went bonkers on a clearance sale. Then I realized not many recipes actually CALL for unsweetened chocolate. Oh well.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something sexy about melted chocolate

Then put some eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Stir in the melted chocolate goodness.

Now combine flour and baking soda

And add that to all the other stuff


Pour that into a pan and let it bake. Try not to taste it. Ok taste it. Just try not to eat it all.

While that’s baking, go ahead and make the frosting. It’s interesting because it calls for powdered sugar, soft butter, heavy whipping cream and instant coffee. The instant coffee doesn’t dissolve though, it leaves specks through the frosting. It’s SUPPOSED to dissolve mind you, mind didn’t.

And make the glaze. Melting whipping cream and chocolate chips together.

While all that’s going, take out the brownies and cool them on a wire rack. Perhaps maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to maybe perhaps have a little taste of the brownie at this point. Maybe. Perhaps.

Once it’s cool enough, go ahead and frost it with the coffee frosting.

Now dump the chocolate glaze on it.

Stick it in the fridge to cool.

At first check, it didn’t appear the glaze was going to harden. Which is a great tragedy because I love taking half of everything I make and freezing it for lunches or snacks. But sure enough it did harden up quite nicely.

The verdict? Pretty freakin’ good. The coffee adds an interesting, bold taste that holds a little bit of bitter against a background of very sweet and I really liked it. I didn’t have a whole one because, well, there isn’t enough insulin in the world, but my “testers” really liked it. I ask them to judge my recipes not by whether or not they are “good” but whether or not it’s something they’d “request” again. I have literally thousands of recipes and the name of the game is to get RID of the ones that aren’t totally awesome. That is if I live long enough to make all of them.

So I suggest you try this if you love brownies. Course you shouldn’t do this if you are diabetic. Come to think of it, you shouldn’t do this at all because it’s bad for you. But it’s a yummy, yummy bad for you.

———

Coffee N Cream Brownies

Brownies:

1/2 cup butter

3 squares, 1 oz each, unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

Filling:

1 tb heavy whipping cream

1 tsp instant coffee

2 tb butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Glaze:

1 cup, 6oz, semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan over low, melt butter and chocolate. Cool slightly.

In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Combine the flour and baking soda, add to chocolate mixture.

Spread into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool on wire rack.

For filling, combine cream and coffee in a small bowl. Stir until coffee is dissolved.

In small mixing bowl, beat butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add coffee mixture. Beat until creamy. Spread on brownies.

In a small saucepan combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Spread over filling. Let stand 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in refrigerator. 16 brownies.