Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

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Did you know that Louis Armstrong used to sign his notes Red Beans and Ricely Yours? I like knowing that Louis Armstrong liked his food.

I was introduced to this dish by my college roommate's sister in law who was from Louisiana. Today, it got me thinking about all those other legume and rice dishes that people love like pigeon peas and rice, black beans and rice. Beans and rice get eaten first.

I used this recipe, mainly. But without any hot sauce, because my kid does not like it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reducing my Carbon Footprint

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Last year, I decided to stop using paper napkins.

Why?

One: Cloth napkins are better at wiping fingers and spills
Two: Cloth napkins are better for the environment because I throw away a lot less stuff. Yes, I have to do one more load of laundry every three weeks and I have no idea if that is really any better than the resources used to produce paper napkins.
Three: Cloth napkins feel a lot nicer than a scratchy paper napkin. It makes a meal feel a little luxurious.

I still use paper napkins for outdoor grilling activities. And actually, with a child, I like using a kitchen towel as a napkin. It can be an improvised bib as well as place mat. So I keep an eye out for when kitchen towels go on sale. One thing I like to do is buy a seasonal kitchen towel, like that Valentine's Day one up there after the holiday for 50% off or more.

In fact at our last two holiday parties, we used cloth napkins for the 30 people who were at our house. More than one person remarked how nice that was.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fruit Salad

The kidlet is currently obsessed with fruit salad.Thanks Nick Jr.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oven Meal

Whenever I make what I call an oven meal, I always cook the vegetables in the oven as well. Less clean up.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Radish Avocado Onion Salad with lemon juice

Radish Avocado Onion Salad with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

We grew the radishes.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Recipe Changes

I am making the vanishing oatmeal cookie from the Quaker box when I noticed they have changed the recipe. Instead of the two sticks of butter you are supposed to use, they are now saying 14 tablespoons, but it is still 1/2 cup.

I wonder if this is for calorie savings? I have to say, if you want to save calories- DON'T EAT COOKIES!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maple and Fruit Oatmeal

McDonald's sent me a coupon to try out the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. Here the picture I took before I tried it. This costs $1.99 in the Metro Atlanta area.

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Overall, if you want oatmeal from a fast food place, it is good. It is really sweet for me, though. And I liked the apples and dried cranberries and raisins, but I wish there had been some toasted nuts like pecans to add a different crunch. The texture of the oatmeal was a bit too mushy for me as well.

But I also get an 18 ounce canister of oatmeal for 55 cents which makes about 10 portions of oatmeal at home and I can add whatever fruit I like and LOTS of pecans at home. Which is what I usually do.

But if I was out and about and really was hit with an oatmeal craving, McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is what I would buy.

Honestly, I have never been out and about and thought, "Damn, some oatmeal would be good right now."

I have had that thought about McDonald's deep fried potato products.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner

There are pieces of cow wrapped in pieces of pig. Yohboh says this is a shout out to KC.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Burger

Sometimes, all you want is a burger.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hello Kitty Cake Pops

These do not taste very good. Also, my edible markers SUCKED. Anyone have a recommendation on those?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Banana Coconut Bread

I took this recipe and used butter instead of the oil and yogurt. You know, to make it healthy.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

I got this recipe from the internet originally. This is the evolution:

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3/4 cup good whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 T worchestire sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 T dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

Take the first seven ingredients and put them in a small saucepan. Put it on low heat and let it simmer for about 30-45 minutes. What you want is the taste of the whiskey without the fiery kick of the alcohol. Take it off the heat and add the lemon juice.

Serve with a smoked pork butt.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

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I made these directly from the recipe. I would not change anything. SO GOOD!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Parmesan Thyme Crackers

Another baby shower recipe.
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Parmesan Thyme Crackers adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

1 stick of butter
3.5 ounces of grated Parmesan
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vodka

Cream the butter in your mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add the next five ingredients until well mixed and comes together. If it dry and crumbly add a teaspoon of vodka. It should come together. If not add another teaspoon of vodka (I used vodka because it has a lower freezing point so when I cut the crackers to be baked it would be easier to slice. Also when they are baked, the vodka has a lower boiling point that water so it make a more flakier cracker. At least in theory anyway) until it comes to make a dough. Roll it into a log, wrap it and freeze for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice into finger width slices. Put on a half sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Made about 24.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tofu Lemongrass Bahn Mi

I made these for my friend's baby shower. They were a big hit.

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Tofu Lemongrass Bahn Mi (this is an overnight recipe)

1 large daikon radish, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
Salt
Sugar
Rice Wine Vinegar

2 packages extra firm tofu, sliced about half the size of a deck of cards
3 lemongrass stalks
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 thinly sliced English cucumber
Cilantro springs

Mayonnaise
Siracha

2 toasty baguettes

To make the pickles:
The night before take the carrots and radish and place them in a refrigerator container. For every layer, sprinkle salt and pepper. Pour rice wine vinegar to cover. Let this sit in the refrigerator overnight.

To dry the tofu:
Also the night before, take your extra firm tofu and put it on some paper towels in a quarter sheet pan. Put another layer of paper towels on top of the tofu. Stack another sheet pan on top and put a heavy can on top. Let this sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, there should be a lot of water in the paper towels.

The following morning, make the marinade for the tofu. Put the lemongrass, soy sauce, garlic, pepper and sesame oil in a food processor and let it puree. Slowly add the vegetable oil and it should emulsify, like a vinaigrette.

Take the tofu out and put them in a single layer in a zip top bag. Add the marinade and try to get as much air out as you can. Put back the bag in the fridge for at least an hour. Longer is better, but an hour is good.

After sufficient time has passed, pan fry the tofu until it gets a nice brown crust on each side. Set aside to cool.

Mix some mayonnaise and siracha together until it tastes the way you like it.

To assemble the sandwich, slice your bread in half. Add some mayo, layer the diakon pickles, carrot pickles, cucumber slices, tofu and cilantro sprigs in the bread. Slice in half or thirds.

Makes enough for two big eaters.

Eat because they are yummy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baked Rigatoni stuffed with ham

I have posted about this before. It is really good.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Grocery Challenge

So I challenged myself to buy only 100 dollars worth of groceries for the month of January.
Here are my rules:
1) Meals out do not count.
2) That being said on average we eat one meal out a week, which we normally eat with a coupon.
3) I eat most of my meals at home, as does my child. Yohboh brings lunch with him most of the time. He also seems to get a free meal at his job every week or so.

Well I did not.

I spent $104.08.

My downfall was the ground cumin I bought in bulk for $5.69. If I had not bought that, we would have been all good. The big thing for us was that after the holidays we had SO MUCH food. Also, we had a big snowstorm that prevented me from grocery shopping for a week. We have a few friends who come by every week for dinner so we fed them as well. I know some people are going to be shocked at how little produce I bought but I had a lot at the beginning of the month and we have a freezer full of veggies as well.

I think I get the most mail when I publish my list of what I bought for the month. The items with an asterisk (*) are the ones that I got for free using coupons. I did add the sales tax from the free items into my total.

What I bought this month:

Dairy
4 Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt
4 dozen eggs
2 Yoplait Smoothie Mix
4 Egg Beaters
19 pounds Yo Plus Yogurt *
4 Mini Babybel 10 packs
1/2 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces heavy whipping cream

Frozen
4 boxes Power of Fruit bars
4 Whole Fruit Sorbet

Meat
8 pounds ground beef
2 pounds of pork chops
7.85 pounds ham
5.5 pounds whole chicken
1.12 pounds rib eye steak

Pantry
4 canisters Quaker oatmeal
4 Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats
4 jars Peter Pan Peanut Butter
2 packages Swiss Miss Hot cocoa *
1 tube mini M & M's *
1 Reese's peanut butter cup *
4 2 liter diet soda
1 pound split peas
4 bags Wise BBQ chips
10 12 packs of Coca Cola *
Hamburger Buns
1 Loaf Arnold Multi Grain Bread
1 package yellow cake mix
Bonito Furikake
1 pound of ground cumin

Produce
3.3 pounds of bananas
2 heads of lettuce
1 head of broccoli
2 turnips
2 pounds of carrots