google search, doesn't always work

Loading...

Lijit Search, click on "site" tab after you search for more results

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fifteenth recipe created by me: Crunchy Toast

I have always liked toast and butter.  

I liked it so much, that when I was a teenager, I made up a song about it:  "Toast and butter is very very good.  Toast and butter is my most favoritist thing in the world.  TOAST AND BUTTER!!!"  OK, that's not much of a song, just a silly kid singing random phrases, but anyway.

Today I officially created my fifteenth recipe:  Crunchy Toast.

I decided to add a little twist to my beloved toast and butter.  I added some grated parmesan cheese, and some bacony Bac-O's.

Actually they were generic Bac-O's, but you know, crunchy bacon bits.

Those are two of my favorite condiments.  I like to add them to a lot of things.  Macaroni and Cheese is an example.

It was awesome, of course.

So there you go... Crunchy Toast.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

rotisserie chicken in a crock pot

How is it possible to cook rotisserie chicken in a crock pot?

You see, normally when you cook chicken it a crock pot, it becomes "stewed" and it falls off the bone.  Which would be good if you want stewed chicken that falls off the bone.

Rotisserie chicken is normally cooked in a rotisserie, and has crispy skin.

So to cook "rotisserie" chicken in a crock pot, you have to do something a little different.

I prefer drumsticks, so I cooked 5 drumsticks.  But you can use this method with a whole chicken.

First you line the bottom of the crock pot with balls of aluminum foil, to keep the chicken elevated.  Or you can use onion quarters.

Then you season your chicken.  I used lemon pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Then you coat the chicken with olive oil.

Keep the lid of the crock pot cracked open with a fork or spoon.  An oval shaped crock pot works best for this.

The recipe says to cook it on low for 8 hours, but I wanted it to cook faster, so I turned it up to high.

The skin was moderately crispy.  If you want the skin to be super crispy, you can finish it off in the oven.  

It smelled and tasted SO good!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fourteenth recipe created by me: Sloppy Joe Tacos

All right, I didn't want to have only thirteen recipes created by me-- that would be bad luck.

So I came up with a fourteenth recipe, after deciding that I really prefer sloppy joe seasoning, to taco seasoning on ground meat.

So the next time I make tacos, I'm going to make sloppy joe mix, and put it on taco shells.

And there you have the 14th recipe created by me-- Sloppy Joe Tacos!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thirteenth recipe created by me: Smoked Gouda Tacos

This recipe was created for the very simple reason that the only cheese I had on hand to put on my tacos, was smoked gouda.

I wanted tacos, so I browned one pound of ground chuck.  Drained.  Added a packet of taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of beef broth.  

The recipe called for 2/3 cup of water, but I prefer to use beef broth.

I mixed in the seasoning and beef broth, and spooned the mixture on a taco shell.

Added some grated smoked gouda, and sour cream to make a taco.

It was messy, but good!

Smoked gouda is a little unusual to put on tacos, but hey, I like smoked gouda.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I finally taught myself how to use a stovetop percolator

More than 10 years ago, I bought a stovetop coffee percolator, just in case I might need it.  I never used it.

I figured it was simple to use-- just put water in the bottom, coffee in the top, and boil on the stove, right?

Well, yes, but there's a method to using it-- otherwise, the coffee will be no good. 

So today, I finally taught myself the right way to use a stovetop percolator.

How much water and coffee depends on how many cups you want; I made four.

Four cups of water, five tablespoons of coffee.  Note that the standard is ONE tablespoon of coffee to ONE cup of water, but I like my coffee a bit stronger, so I add an extra tablespoon.

You don't need to add a coffee filter if you use coarse ground coffee, which you're really supposed to use for percolators anyway.  To get coarse ground coffee, you have to buy whole bean coffee and then grind it with a coffee grinder on the coarse setting.

Once you've added your water in the bottom and coffee in the top, put it on the stove.  If you have a gas stove, use medium heat; if you have an electric stove, use medium high heat.  Bring the water to a boil.

Watch the top of the coffee pot.  It will have a see-thru knob.  When you see water coming up through the knob, reduce the heat a notch or two and start the timer.

You want it to "percolate" for 8 minutes.

When 8 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the coffee maker.  Let it cool for a couple of minutes.

Notice I wrote this shortly after I wrote my previous article about popcorn.  Yep, I had popcorn and coffee.  What a combination, for a lonely Sunday evening.

Using the Hamilton Beach popcorn popper

Yes, I know.  I just made popcorn the other day.  And now I've made popcorn again; This time with the Hamilton Beach electric popcorn popper.

First, you must take the black lid cover off the clear plastic lid.  This allows the steam to escape.  Don't forget to take it off!

Then add 3/4 cup of popcorn and 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.  I use Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil, but you can use cooking oil.

Put the lid on, making sure you have taken the black cover off the lid.  If you want butter, you can put up to four thin pats of butter on the steam holes, so it can melt into the popcorn while it's popping.

Plug in the popcorn maker, and it will begin to work.

Once popping has slowed to 1 second between pops (and the machine will be pretty full by this time), unplug the machine.

Now put the black lid cover on the lid, especially if you had butter on top.  

Turn the machine upside down, because the lid will be used as the popcorn bowl.  Take the machine off the lid.

Now you have freshly popped popcorn.


I made my first banana bread

Today I made my first banana bread.

It was done out of necessity.  I had three over ripe bananas and had to do something with them.

So I peeled the bananas, and mashed them in a bowl until they became smooth.

Melted half a stick of butter in the microwave, and mixed it in with the bananas.

Added 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1 beaten egg, and mixed it all together.

Then added 1 1/2 cups of SELF RISING flour.  Self rising flour is important.  If you don't use self rising flour, then you will also need 1 pinch of salt and 1 tsp baking soda.

Mixed in the flour until it became a batter.

Poured the batter into a loaf pan.

Into the oven at 350 degrees.  Mine was done in about 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

the presto microwave popcorn popper

What?  This isn't "ramblings on microwaves!"  Whatever happened to cooking popcorn in cast iron?

Well, yes, I have done that before, but this is not your usual microwave popcorn.  It's an actual popcorn popper, that you use to cook real popcorn in the microwave.

It's very easy to use.

You need a Presto Powercup concentrator, to put at the bottom of the popper, or it won't work.  You can buy the concentrators wherever the poppers are sold, or online.

So, put a concentrator at the bottom of the bowl.  Then add 1/3 cup of loose popcorn kernels, and 2 tbsp of oil.  I use Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil.

Put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, or until it stops popping, whichever comes first.

Add salt and whatever seasonings you like.  Don't add too much salt, like I just did.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Raw Potato and Baking Soda to clean rust off cast iron

So why did I abruptly stop posting three months ago?

Because my new found freedom was abruptly stopped, that's why; The place I had just moved into, burned down.

Luckily, most of my stuff was spared; Not all of it.  

My cast iron cookware was all spared.  However, between being randomly sprayed by fire hoses, and then  thrown into storage immediately before the place was bulldozed, some of my cast iron now has rust that needs to be cleaned off.

I was told that rust can be cleaned off cast iron, using baking soda and a raw potato.

So I tried that with the 9 quart pot.  I sprinkled baking soda in it, a little bit of hot water, and scrubbed with a raw potato cut in half.

It didn't take much scrubbing, and the rust spots came right off.  It works!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A couple of experiments: Sea Salt on Steak, and a makeshift propane grill

Years ago, I tried a method of tenderizing an inexpensive steak using salt.   Unfortunately, I did it wrong.

So tonight, I decided to try again, and do it right.

I took a 7 bone steak, and seasoned both sides with sea salt.  Previously, I had used table salt; Do NOT use table salt!

Since it was only a half inch thick, I left the salt on for a half hour.  The salt stays on for one hour per inch of thickness.  Don't leave it on too long.

After the time is up, rinse the salt off completely.  Then grill the steak.  

This time, the steak did not taste salty, although it did flavor the steak.  I was happy with the results.

I grilled my steak on a makeshift propane grill.

You see, I don't have a propane grill, and I really have no place to put one.  But, I do have a Bayou Classic propane burner.

I figured that I could turn that burner into a propane grill, by putting a cast iron grill pan on top.  I used this one, which fit perfectly on top.

Did it work?  Well, yes, with a bit of a learning curve.

First, be sure you are wearing an oven glove, because at one point the grill pan started to slide, and I had to move it back with my hand.  Which, of course, you cannot do with your bare hand!

Second, the meat stuck to the pan, and I had trouble flipping it.  Which is to be expected with new cast iron, even if it's pre-seasoned.  All cast iron will stick the first few times you use it.

But you can help alleviate the sticking, by applying a thin layer of corn oil, or peanut oil, on the pan before you put it on the grill.  Corn oil and peanut oil have high smoking points; I would definitely not use olive oil.

You could use a Lodge double play pan on top of a propane burner, as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

red lentil soup

I never had red lentil soup before.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot, along with a tablespoon of minced garlic.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk.

Add a chopped onion, a chopped red potato, and a chopped carrot.  Saute for a few minutes.

Then add a 2 cup bag of red lentils and 6 cups of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils and veggies are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion mixer.

Season with pepper, paprika, and salt.  Add lemon juice if you like.

I made this in a rice cooker, but you can use a pot on the stove.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

boneless pork ribs in the rice cooker

There goes me and my rice cooker again...

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the rice cooker.  Turn it on.

Coat boneless ribs in brown sugar.  Put them in the pot and dump the rest of the brown sugar from the plate in with them.

Add some dark beer, worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Cook the ribs until done.

Next time I'll add less worcestershire sauce, and I also prefer bone-in ribs to boneless.  But the ribs were still good.

parmesan garlic drumsticks

Formerly, I had a tradition of making chicken wings on superbowl sunday, whether I actually watched the superbowl or not.

So I wanted to resume that tradition, but, I did not have any wings, and did not want to go to the store to get some.

I had some drumsticks on hand, and decided that it was close enough.

So I made parmesan garlic drumsticks!

Melt some butter; To the melted butter, add minced garlic, dried minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Brush drumsticks with the butter mixture.  Lay them on a cast iron pan.  Into the oven at 350 until done.

When they are cooked, brush some more of the butter mixture on them.  Add some more parmesan cheese.

Yep, they were just as good as the wings!   

using the hamilton beach breakfast sandwich maker

It's no secret that I love egg mcmuffins from McDonald's.  I always have.

So, when I was lucky enough to find a brand new Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker at a thrift store...

Now, don't expect a sandwich you make on this, to taste anything like McDonald's.  

McDonald's has some type of magic trick, that makes their food taste a certain way, that you and I do not have.

That would be like expecting a hamburger or chicken nugget you make at home, to taste like McDonald's.  It just won't.

But, after a few uses, I finally figured out how to make it taste a lot less "not like McDonald's".  

What the instructions don't tell you to do, is to toast your english muffin in the toaster beforehand, and then butter the outside of it.

Butter the inside of it too, if you want, but outside is very important.

It's a couple of extra steps, but believe me, it's worth it.

When you butter the outside of the muffin, you won't have to use Pam.  The instructions say to spray the surfaces with Pam, and that makes the sandwich taste funny, even if you use butter flavored Pam.  Use butter!

Add a little butter to the plate where you cook your egg, before you drop the egg on it.

Otherwise, follow the instructions that come with the appliance.

The ingredients are, of course, a toasted and buttered english muffin, a slice of cheese, a slice of canadian bacon (or ham), and one egg.

First you plug in the sandwich maker to preheat, and wait for the light to turn green.

Then you put the bottom bun, a slice of ham, and a slice of cheese in the bottom compartment.

Then you crack open an egg and put the top bun on top of the egg.  Close the sandwich maker.

When the light turns green again, slide out the center plate to bring the sandwich together.  Be careful because the appliance is very hot.  Use a metal spatula to serve the sandwich onto a plate.

My guess is, whoever bought the sandwich maker and donated it immediately, had followed the instructions to the letter and decided it was nothing like McDonald's.

Well, if you use Pam, and don't toast and butter the muffin beforehand, you probably won't like the results.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

rice cooker spaghetti sauce

Hey!  This is "ramblings on cast iron", not "ramblings on rice cookers!"

Well, yes, but, it's my blog, and I really like rice cookers.  So I am experimenting with things to cook in them.

Today I cooked spaghetti sauce in a 16 cup* basic rice cooker.  As in, just one switch for "cook" and "warm".  Not a bunch of fancy settings.

*If you have a 14 cup rice cooker, that will also work.  The pots are actually the same size.  Most companies call theirs a "14 cup", but Black & Decker calls theirs a "16 cup".

It's pretty much the same as if you would cook it in a pot on the stove.

Brown 1 pound of ground chuck, a chopped onion, and 1 spoonful of minced garlic on the "cook" setting.  This is not a "set it and forget it" task; You have to stir the mixture around to make sure it cooks evenly.

If you want to also add raw sliced mushrooms, or raw sliced zucchini, then add that too.

Of course, since you are stirring, you won't be using the lid.

When the meat is browned and the onions are soft, drain, and put back in the pot.  You will have to reset the "cook" setting.

Add a can of diced tomatoes, and the tomato sauce of your choice.  I also added a can of mushrooms, because I didn't have any raw.

Stir the sauce on the "cook" setting for a few minutes.

Then switch to "warm" setting, put the lid on, and keep warm until ready to serve.

You can boil pasta in a rice cooker, too.  The same way as you boil pasta on the stove.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

how to use the makin bacon



Pictured above is called a "makin bacon" microwave bacon maker.

"What?  You don't make bacon in the microwave!  You make bacon on cast iron!"

Actually yes, that is correct.  I wanted to try this to see if it was easier and less of a mess.

Well... it is fairly easy, but, not less of a mess.

You drape the bacon pieces over the "T" racks, put a paper towel over it, and microwave one minute per strip.

Be aware that the strips on the edge will cook faster than the strips in the middle.  

So, you will have "just right" bacon on the edge, and "under done" bacon in the middle.  Or, you will have "too done" bacon on the edge and "just right" bacon in the middle.

To remedy this problem, don't cook too many strips at one time.  Only enough to have them hanging on the edges.

It is an easy way to cook bacon, but not "no mess".   I don't think there is a "no mess" way to cook bacon.

Personally, I much prefer bacon cooked on cast iron.  



my first use of the "whirley pop"



This is a whirley pop.

It's a stovetop popcorn maker.  

So, why use this?  Why not just use a plain old pot?

The whirley pop has a crank, that you turn while cooking, so that the oil and salt is evenly distributed all over the corn, and also keeps the corn on the bottom from burning.

Believe me, it's a lot easier to turn the crank, than to continuously shake the pot while you cook.

They sell "kits" to use with the whirley pop, but you don't have to use a kit.

Just use 1/2 cup of popcorn, 3 tbsp of oil, and 1 tsp of salt.

I was very happy with the results.  It didn't take very long to pop at all, there were very few unpopped kernels, and NO scorched kernels.  Which is my pet peeve!

I'm not fond of microwave popcorn, because it usually results in either half the kernels being unpopped, or, it's all scorched.  Yuck.

Monday, January 18, 2016

stir fry using stuff in the pantry

So, after two years, I am finally in a place where I am able to cook.  As a result, I will be posting a lot more often.

There were a few items in my pantry that I wanted to do something with.  So I decided to make a stir fry.

I had a box of rice noodles, a jar of satay peanut sauce, a can of bean sprouts, and some salted peanuts.  I figured I could do something with that.

So I made the rice noodles according to the directions on the box, which came with a seasoning packet.

I threw the seasoned rice noodles into an electric wok.  Added the can of bean sprouts and peanuts, along with some fresh cilantro, and some raw shrimp.  Then turned on the wok and stir fried until the shrimp and cilantro was done.

After it was done, I opened the jar of satay peanut sauce and stirred it in.

I regretted that I did not have chow mein noodles.  I love to add chow mein noodles to stir fry.

It looked like shrimp and peanut flavored slop, but as I love shrimp and peanuts, I really liked this stir fry.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Experimenting with rice cooker cooking

Why, it's me!  I know it's been a while, but I don't get to cook nearly as much as I want to anymore.

Today I experimented with cooking something in a rice cooker, besides rice.

A rice cooker is just like a pot on the stove.  So, whatever you can cook in a pot on the stove, you can cook in a rice cooker.

I used a 16 cup rice cooker.  This was not a "fancy" rice cooker with any special features; It just had a "cook" setting and a "warm" setting.

What I made, was a form of beef teriyaki.  

I cut up a 2 pound chuck roast into cubes, and chopped up a yellow onion.  Put them in the rice cooker with 1 spoonful of minced garlic, and turned the rice cooker on the "cook" setting.

After the meat was browned and the onions were soft, I added some raw mushrooms, a can of beef broth, and a bottle of stir fry sauce.*  Added some onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper.  Continued to let it cook.

*Next time, I will use straight teriyaki sauce.

When it started foaming, I turned it to the "warm" setting and left the lid on.

After a while, I wanted to thicken the liquid.  So I added some corn starch, stirred, and turned it back on the "cook" setting until it started bubbling.  Then turned it back to the "warm" setting.

After a couple of hours slow cooking on "warm", it was ready.  Serve over rice and with crunchy chow mein noodles.

I read somewhere that a rice cooker on the "warm" setting acts like a slow cooker.  To some degree it does, but you may need to check periodically to see if it's getting lukewarm; If it is, turn it back to "cook" for a few minutes, then back to "warm."

I liked it, but next time I will use regular teriyaki sauce instead of stir fry sauce.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Have you ever made tartar sauce? Well, we're going to make tartar sauce!"

No, I have never made tartar sauce before today.

In fact, I don't even like tartar sauce.

Tartar sauce of course is not cooked in cast iron, because it's not cooked at all.  

I used olive oil mayonnaise, because I despise real mayonnaise.  You can use real mayo if you want; that's what the normal recipe calls for.

Add chopped green olives, minced onions, chopped parsley, dill pickle relish*, capers.

*the recipe called for "your choice of pickles" so I'm sure sweet pickle relish would be fine.

Also add lemon, or lime juice.  I used lime juice.

Mix it all together and chill.

I liked this tartar sauce, and I normally don't like tartar sauce.  So that should tell you something.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finally got chicken and dumplings right

I've made chicken and dumplings in the past. 

The last time I made it, it was OK but I knew there had to be a better way to make it.

Here's what I did this time, and it turned out perfect:

Cut up some onions and celery.  I wanted to add carrots, but I didn't this time.

Cut up raw chicken breast into pieces.

Put them all into a pot and cover with chicken broth.  Add minced garlic, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are cooked down.

Remove the meat and veggies from the liquid temporarily.  

Take some defrosted frozen biscuits (or make your own biscuit dough out of bisquick).  

Cut them up into small pieces, coat them with flour, and drop into the hot liquid.  Again, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the "dumplings" are cooked.

Add the meat and vegetables back to the pot.

Add one can cream of chicken soup, and one can cream of celery soup.

Stir the pot and serve.

This was the perfect recipe.  I finally mastered chicken and dumplings!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The most recent "wonderful" stew I made

I love to cook, and where I am living now, I don't get to cook as much as I used to.

But occasionally it IS my turn to cook.  Sadly, I had to sell most of my cast iron, and the rest of the pieces I still have, are in storage.  

But I do still have my crock pot.  So, I made the following recipe for crock pot beef stew:

Cut up some flank steak into cubes.  Brown them on the stove in a skillet, in cooking oil and worcestershire sauce.  Add black pepper, seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Put the browned meat in the crock pot.  Add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic.

Add more worcestershire sauce, a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of cream of onion soup, a can of beef broth, a packet of Lipton onion soup mix, and a little bit of Kitchen Bouquet.

Turn on the crock pot.

This is a good dutch oven recipe too!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Click here to read my story, and contribute to my cause:

http://www.gofundme.com/65t9ow

I had to leave my abusive, adulterous husband with nothing but what I could fit in a 5' by 8' box, and my car. 

Now I need to divorce him in order to be completely free of him.

The problem is, Legal Aid won't even talk to me until I've been out of the house for six months. Waiting six months runs the risk of him filing first, which would mean that he could force me to go back to Texas for court, as many times as he wants, for whatever reason he wants. Obviously, that would be an undue hardship for me, not to mention unsafe for me.

My estranged husband makes about 10 times the amount of money I make, so he clearly has the upper hand in this. 

Thankfully, my lawyer is being very gracious in working with me on the fees, but it still isn't cheap, and I still have to pay the court costs. So, I'm setting up this page. 

Please do NOT feel like you have to donate anything; You are just as much my friend if you contribute as if you don't. And please do not feel obligated to any amount; Five dollars would be just as appreciated as five million. 

It's awful that he's the one who cheated, and I'm the one who has to pay, but, it is what it is; There is no law that requires an abusive, adulterous spouse to contribute one cent to the victim's legal fees.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The song is the same, but the meaning has changed


I know this blog is titled "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on songs Kathy wrote years ago."

But I would like to post the lyrics of one of my favorite songs that I personally wrote, in 1998.  

Back then it was referring to different people and a different situation, but, it applies to me today, so I'm posting it here.

There was a time when I finally was a part of something
I was useful, I was loved, I was so happy there.
But then one day they turned and locked the doors without a warning
They claimed that God shut it down.

But why would God betray me?
Why would God yank from me what he knows is so dear to me? 
I could never see, for the life of me, how God could be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.

Did God really betray me?
Was it really God who yanked away what was so dear to me?
The places God has taken me, I know that he could never be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.

She came into my life and said that she just wants to love me
She took me in and gained my trust and helped me grow.
But then one day she turned and walked away without a warning
She claimed that God told her to go.

But why would God betray me?
Why would God yank from me what he knows is so dear to me? 
I could never see, for the life of me, how God could be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.

Did God really betray me?
Was it really God who yanked away what was so dear to me?
The places God has taken me, I know that he could never be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.

Don't try to tell me what I know is not the truth.
Don't try to tell me that I don't know what I'm saying.

I took the risk and came to trust a man I so respected
He seemed to be so wise and so full of compassion.
But then one day he said "you're not to ever talk to me"
and he claimed that God told him so.

But why would God betray me?
Why would God yank from me what he knows is so dear to me? 
I could never see for the life of me how God could be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.

Did God really betray me?
Was it really God who yanked away what was so dear to me?
Those of you who made such claims, how dare you tell me God could be so cold
That is nothing like the God I used to know.
No that is nothing like the God I used to know.
No that is nothing like the God I used to know... 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Is your spouse cheating on you?


I realize this blog is "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on cheating spouses."

However, my recent life tragedy, which explains why I haven't posted much at all in the past few months, has prompted me to write an article as a public service to others out there.  

Here are some warning signs to look for, based on my recent experience, indicating that your spouse may be cheating on you:

1.  A close friendship with someone of the opposite sex, that excludes you.  There's nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex, but if your spouse is spending a lot of time with that friend, and not including you, that's a red flag.  For example, the day my husband went to a job fair with a female coworker; It's completely understandable that the wife would not accompany her husband to a job fair.  But several hours later, he had not returned, nor called.  So I called him, to find that he had gone out to lunch with her after the job fair, and now he was at the bowling alley with her.  Now, as his wife, why had I not been invited out to lunch with them?  And he KNOWS I like to bowl-- why didn't he think to invite me to go bowling with them?  Because he was having an affair, that's why.

2.  He buys an article of clothing that is out of character for him; It's a style or color that is not something he normally chooses.  For example, when my husband bought a new pair of running shoes.  He almost ALWAYS buys grey shoes with navy blue trim, but these shoes were fluorescent orange, pink and green.  Not only does he NEVER wear those colors, he's quick to criticize ME when I wear them!  His female friend had taken him shoe shopping, and she had picked out the shoes.

3.  Money missing is a dead giveaway.  Not only large ATM withdrawals, but purchases for which there is no merchandise (because he bought it for someone else).  For example, my husband spent $67 at a store, right after he lost his job; When I asked him what he bought, he said it was something for his female friend.  What was he doing buying stuff for another woman, when he just lost his job?  And how could SHE let him buy stuff for her, knowing that he had just lost his job?

4.  Which leads to the next sign:  He loses his job for no apparent reason.  He told me it was due to "budget cuts", but had that really been the case, they would not have immediately replaced him with another employee.  The real reason was, he had snuck off the job have sex with his female coworker.

5.  Unexplained online purchases, for which there is no merchandise.  Many adult dating sites charge a membership fee.  Do a search on the phone number and see what comes up. 

6.  He wants to kowtow to the wishes of this opposite sex friend, even at the detriment to the family.  For example, right before we had a counseling appointment one night, his friend called, wanting him to go to the gym with her.  He whined, "I don't know what to do!  She wants me to go with her!"  I said well, tell her you have an appointment, and you can't go!  I mean, seriously?  If 1.5 hours a week to save the marriage, is that much of an undue hardship and an extreme burden... 

7.  Which leads to another sign.  If you are in marriage counseling, and he walks out of every session whining about "having to go through this bullshit" and "It's not fair, wah wah", he's probably cheating.

8.  This opposite sex friend has a concern about a mole on his chest, and wants you to make a doctor's appointment for him.  Obviously at some point, she had seen him up close with his shirt off.

9.  He avoids your friends.  Most of the time, when I wanted to go out with my friends, he would either decline outright, or ask me to leave without him and he would join me later; Of course, he almost never did.  In one case, he had a ticket for a play that had cost $20; He showed two hours late.  I found out, he had been with his female coworker behind my back.  In another case, he purposely scheduled a get together barbecue at her house, on a night that he knew we had plans to meet with my group of friends.

10.  He surfs backpage.com; that's the local prostitute listings.  No, he is NOT "just looking at the pictures".  And if he's calling the numbers, he is NOT "just talking to them."  Nobody goes to the barbershop just to look at pictures or talk to the barber!

There are lots of other signs, and this list is not all inclusive.  This is just my personal experience; Looking back on the two months before I found out what was going on, those were the "red flags" shown to me.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another impromptu ribs recipe

Just another recipe for baby back ribs.

This was done in the crock pot, but there's no reason it can't be done in a cast iron pot too.

Brown the ribs in a cast iron skillet on the stove.

Put in the crock pot.

Add liquid smoke, a can of coca cola, some BBQ sauce, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and some beef broth.

Cook all day on low until done.

They fall off the bone!  I serve with BBQ sauce on the side.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

bacon gravy

I saw a recipe online for bacon gravy, and one day I'm going to make real bacon gravy.

Although the other day, I made bacon gravy out of a mix.

Yeah, I know.  That's cheating.

I used J&D's Bacon Gravy country style mix packet and followed the directions.

Anyway, the recipe I found for real bacon gravy, is pretty much the same as for classic southern sausage gravy.

Except instead of sausage, you use bacon grease for the grease, and little bacon pieces.

2 tbsp bacon grease, 2 tbsp flour, 2 cups milk.

Heat up the bacon grease, whisk in the flour, add the milk.

Then add tiny bacon pieces and mix in.

It's the same as for breakfast sausage gravy.

Serve over biscuits.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My first real red beans and rice!

Yes, you read that right.  I'm from South Louisiana and had never made real red beans and rice before!

Oh, I had made them from a can.  I'm talking about from scratch, from dried red beans!

Ideally you should use Camellia brand red beans.  Those can be bought from cajungrocer.

First you soak your dry beans in water.  I soaked them overnight.

Drain the beans, then put them in a pot and cover them with chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer.

Be sure you stir the beans regularly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

While the beans are simmering, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a cast iron skillet.  Then saute some sliced smoked sausage (or some cubed ham), chopped onions, chopped celery, and minced garlic.

When the onions and celery are soft, add them to the pot, along with a couple of bay leaves.  Continue simmering.

When the beans are done, add a little bit of thyme, and cajun seasoning; I used Tony Chachere's.

If you want to make the beans "creamy" new orleans style, take a cup or two of beans out of the pot and mash them, then put them back in the pot and stir.

Serve over rice.  Don't put the rice in the same pot with the beans; They're meant to be served separately.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My latest cooking blunder, don't do this, and how I fixed it

So I was recently given this great recipe for roast; It's a clone of how my grandmother used to do it.

However, don't do what I tried to do:  Instead of a roast, I used top sirloin steaks.

You see, roast is meant to be cooked all in one piece, and then sliced afterwards.

If you slice a roast before you cook it, it will become dry and tough, like shoe leather.  And of course, steaks are already sliced.

I was able to fix it by putting it in a crock pot with some beef broth, and cooking it on low all day.  That helped moisturize it.

But anyway, the following recipe is awesome for roast:

Season the roast with seasoned salt, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

Put cooking oil in the cast iron pot.  Sear the roast on all four sides.

Add more of the above seasonings, plus worcestershire sauce.  Add some chopped onions and minced garlic.

Cover and cook on low heat for a couple of hours.  This can be done on the stove or in the oven.

After the roast is done, remove it from the pot into a shallow pan, and slice it.

Mix a packet of brown gravy mix with 1 cup of water, and pour over the sliced roast.

Add kitchen bouquet if you have some.

Serve with rice.

This can be done with a beef roast or a pork roast.

Just don't do it with steak.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another way to make bland vegetables, delicious

My last post talked about a great way to make bland vegetables, delicious.

I discovered another way!

This works with canned, fresh, or frozen vegetables.

Add butter and extra virgin olive oil.  Add seasoned salt and sugar.  Cook.

If you're cooking carrots, you might opt for brown sugar instead of regular sugar... but carrots are also great with regular sugar!

I'm often not motivated to eat vegetables, because plain vegetables are bland.

But this recipe, as well as the previous recipe, would definitely motivate me to eat more vegetables!