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Sunday, December 30, 2012

my first rice pilaf

I've loved rice-a-roni all my life.  I still love it.

I never realized that it was, essentially, rice pilaf.

I made my first "from scratch" rice pilaf today.  

There are many different recipes for rice pilaf, but I just made the basic recipe.

Melt some butter in a cast iron pot.  Pour in the dry, uncooked rice.

Saute the uncooked rice until brown.

Pour in some chicken broth at a 2:1 ratio; In other words, if you have 1 cup of rice, pour in 2 cups of broth.

Heat to boiling, which won't take long, then reduce heat to low and cover.

Simmer on low until the rice is fully cooked.

It was quite tasty.

If you break up raw spaghetti and saute it along with the uncooked rice, you'll have homemade rice-a-roni.

Monday, December 24, 2012

my first roasted ham!

I made my first roasted ham today!

I could have got one of those boneless spiral cut hams, with the package of glaze included.

But I decided that I've never roasted a ham before, and I wanted to do it "old school!"

I didn't really have a recipe.  I used a half a "bone in"  ham.

I just threw it in a covered cast iron pot, with the fat side up.

I added a can of sliced pineapple with the juice, some brown sugar, some dry mustard and some ground cloves.

Next time I'll add less ground cloves, and more dry mustard and brown sugar.

It was also suggested to me that I could have added some coca cola!

I roasted it in the oven, covered, at 325 degrees.

It was delicious!  I'll remember to increase the brown sugar and dry mustard for next time.

There was a considerable amount of liquid in the pot, which I reduced on the stove to make it thicker.

Be sure you use a "bone in" ham for this recipe.  I tried it on a boneless ham and it wasn't anywhere near as good!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Practical use of the cast iron waffle maker

I got a cast iron waffle maker two years ago, and never used it until just now.

In fact, the only reason I used it today, was just to say I used it at least once, because I'm planning on selling it, since I never used it.

Cast iron waffle makers are meant to be used on the stove.  Preheat the waffle maker on both sides, and be sure you're wearing oven gloves when you flip it!

I used the recipe for waffle batter on the bisquick box.  

You might think that waffle batter is the same as pancake batter, but it's not!  It's different.

Waffle batter contains cooking oil, in order to make it crispier.

Historically, waffle batter has also called for separating the egg whites from the yolks before mixing, but I didn't do that.

I initially sprayed the waffle maker with baker's joy, which kept it from sticking.

I made the mistake of not spraying baker's joy again before adding the 2nd batch of waffle batter, and it stuck.  You have to spray every single time!

I was concerned about the waffle batter oozing out of the sides, but that didn't happen, because I didn't put too much batter.

It did make good waffles.  I enjoyed my first cast iron cooked waffles.

I still plan to sell it though, since I don't make waffles often enough to justify keeping it.*

*UPDATE:  Unfortunately, according to WAGS, I wouldn't be able to sell it for much.  

So, I might as well keep it, and continue to enjoy cast iron cooked waffles.

The stainless steel enameled cookware knob

This is a stainless steel replacement knob for Lodge Color enameled dutch ovens.

Why should you care?

Well, of course, if you need a replacement knob for your Lodge color enameled dutch oven.

But I have a different reason:  My current knob on my enameled dutch oven is perfectly fine, but it's the old style knob.

The old style knobs were made of black phenolic plastic; As a result, the enameled dutch ovens were only oven safe to 400 degrees.

Two years ago, they switched to the stainless steel knobs, making the enameled dutch ovens oven safe to 500 degrees.

Personally, I'd rather have a pot that's oven safe to 500 degrees.  

So I was happy to learn that I would not have to buy a new enameled dutch oven, in order to improve it's oven safe temperature.  I can just get a replacement knob.

Granted, I'd prefer another color, but the red one was on sale, and I care more about the food, than the color of the pot.

In addition to improving their knob, they came out with two additional colors for their 6 quart pots.

So, if you have a Lodge Color enameled dutch oven, check the knob.  

If the knob is black, it's only oven safe to 400 degrees.  If it's stainless steel, it's oven safe to 500 degrees.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

twelfth recipe created by me: ground round stew, or yum yum stew?

This is the twelfth recipe created by me, and I can't decide whether to call it ground round stew, or yum yum stew.

It's a stew made from ground round.  

And actually, I was reluctant to try it because I wasn't sure it would be good.  

But when I did try it, I said "yum yum."  Hence, the inability to decide on a name!

I'm not a big fan of stew meat because it's so tough that I don't want to eat it.

So I tried making stew with ground round instead.

Browned the ground round in a cast iron skillet; Added worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Added the drained beef to the pot, along with cut up carrots, onions, and whole mushrooms.

I had planned to add potatoes too, but there wasn't enough room in the pot.  Potatoes would have been great though.

Added two cans of cream of chicken soup, mixed with milk, and a packet of Lipton onion soup mix.

Let it cook on low for several hours.  

It was, well, yum yum.

This would make a great outdoor camp oven meal, over coals.

my first green bean casserole!

For thanksgiving this year, I made my very first green bean casserole.

That may sound surprising to you, but, I never liked green bean casserole until this year... for some reason, now I all of a sudden like it.

I used the Lodge 3 quart chicken fryer, which doubles as a casserole dish.

I used the exact recipe found on a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, plus I added some bread crumbs, because I like them.

You need green beans, of course.  Fresh is best; Approximately four pounds of cooked fresh green beans.

Or the same amount in frozen or canned is fine, too.

You also need two cans of campbell's cream of mushroom soup, mixed with milk. 

Add some French's fried onions, bread crumbs, black pepper, and soy sauce.

Into the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  Top with some more onions and bread crumbs and let the top brown.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

turkey sausage gumbo the lazy way

So what do you do, with your leftover turkey?  

For the record, I actually didn't make my turkey in cast iron this year, although I made the sides in cast iron.

I used a roaster oven.  That was very convenient, and left my oven free for other things!

I like the way the turkey turned out, very moist like I like it.

If you want crispy skin, then you do need to brown for 30 minutes in the regular oven.

But anyway, this post is about turkey sausage gumbo.

I was in HEB, which is a local grocery chain, and they were demonstrating this Cookwell and Company gumbo mix.

I liked the sample, so I got a couple of jars.

All you have to do is add your own meat, according to the instructions.

I used leftover turkey and some smoked sausage.

I also added a cup of chicken broth.

I'm letting it simmer in a crock pot now.  Although you can certainly simmer it in a cast iron pot if you want to!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I was banned from posting to the Lodge facebook page!

Yes, you read the title right.  I was banned from posting to the Lodge facebook page!  

And yes, I WILL tell you all about it, on my blog.  After all, they certainly cannot ban me from my own blog.

Many people post to the Lodge facebook page, with questions about their product; Since I use Lodge cast iron on a daily basis, I am very knowledgeable, and can answer many of the questions.

One lady posted that she tried to use the Lodge double burner griddle on her induction stove, and it would not work, because there was not enough contact between the element and the pan, to turn on the burner.  

She stated that she called the Lodge customer service department, who suggested that she "try heating it up very slowly, so it will heat evenly."  

Well obviously, that suggestion did not work, because the burner would not turn on in the first place, let alone heat evenly.

So I explained that they gave her the correct answer, to the wrong question.  

The stated solution was for using the double burner griddle on ELECTRIC stoves, not induction stoves; The employee had misunderstood her question.

Now, as you can see, that was a FACTUAL statement.  It was not in any way slanderous, nor derogatory in nature.

However, the company was offended by that comment, and as a result, permanently banned me from ever posting again.

What was most troubling, was that they didn't bother to tell me.  I figured it out 3 weeks later, when I found that all of my comments had been deleted, and I was no longer able to post.

So I emailed Lodge, to be told "Yes, you have been banned.  Our communications committee decided to ban you after a negative comment about our customer service department."

No apology whatsoever.  

They could have deleted the comment, if they didn't like it.  

Or at the very least, contacted me. 

Does this heinously unprofessional and disrespectful behavior toward a fiercely loyal customer, mean that I will boycott Lodge products?

Not that it would mean anything to them if I did, obviously.

I still have to admit, it is the highest quality cast iron cookware you can buy.

But, I can always buy it from a third party ebay seller.  That way, the company no longer benefits from my purchases.

I realize that the hundreds of dollars I've spent on their product is just a drop in the bucket to them.  

But if this is how they treat someone who has been a loyal customer for years, imagine how they regard someone who has never bought their product!

Monday, November 19, 2012

London Broil made out of shoulder roast

In this post, I made London Broil out of chuck roast.

I had every intention of making it with flank steak this time, but boneless shoulder roast was a lot cheaper, so that it was!

I had a bottle of Tabasco brand steak sauce, which I marinated in for several hours.

The put it under the broiler until it was done on the outside.

It was still rare on the inside, but I liked it that way.

The Tabasco brand made it spicy.  

If you'd rather not have it spicy, then A-1 steak sauce, or worcestershire sauce, would have been just as good.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dakota Buckaroo marinated ribs

Have you ever tried Dakota Buckaroo marinating sauce?

It's an all purpose marinating sauce, for chicken, beef, or pork.

I wanted to try it on baby back ribs, so I marinated them in this sauce before slow roasting in the oven at 250, in a covered cast iron pot.

After they were done, I removed the ribs, and "reduced" the liquid in the pot, by heating it on the stove uncovered, and adding Wondra flour to thicken. 

Then I poured this thickened sauce over the ribs.

It was good on the ribs, for sure.  However it was not "sweet" flavored, like I'm used to.  It's "zesty".

So I also warmed up some bottled barbecue sauce, and added that too.

I still have some of the marinade left; Maybe I'll try it on burgers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can you cook a turkey in a volcano stove?

Someone posed the question on a yahoo discussion group:

Can you cook a turkey in a volcano stove?

The company says yes, but... 

When I cooked a turkey in a camp oven, I used a Lodge 14 inch deep camp oven.  

And I still had to remove the breastbone, so it would fit.  

You can't use a 14 inch camp oven in a volcano.  It only fits camp ovens up to 12 inches.

The turkey I roasted was medium size, 14 pounds.

A smaller turkey MIGHT fit in a 12 inch deep camp oven, and you'll definitely have to remove the breastbone.

So unless you can get a turkey small enough to fit in a 12 inch deep camp oven, my answer would be no.

chicken cordon bleu casserole

This is a crock pot recipe, but you can also make it in a cast iron pot, in the oven at 250.

You could also cook it in a camp oven with coals!

In the pot, put in some thin chicken breasts that have been pounded down.

Add some thin sliced ham, provolone and brie cheese, and cream of chicken soup.

That's it!  It's basically chicken cordon bleu, with sauce instead of breading.


salmon marinated in brown sugar and beer.

I got this recipe from the local grocery store.

I saw salmon that had been marinated in brown sugar and beer.

So I decided to make it myself!

All you need is brown sugar and beer.  

Soak the salmon in the brown sugar and beer.

Then transfer to a pan.  Into the oven at 350.

Yes, it was that easy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

my first homemade yogurt!

I made my first homemade yogurt!  

I was nervous about how it would turn out, but indeed, it is bona fide yogurt.

Yogurt is not made in cast iron.

Most of the time, you heat the milk on the stove, and if you're using cast iron, the seasoning will dissolve into the milk.  

But believe it or not, I did not heat the milk on the stove.  How was that possible?

I used a unique yogurt making machine, called the miracle yogurt maker.

With this machine, you don't have to heat the milk on the stove, or measure the temperature.

You take a quart carton of whole milk -- make sure it's whole milk!

Let the milk get to room temperature.  If it's too cold, it won't work.

You need a "starter".  There are powdered starter cultures, but I used a container of Activia brand yogurt.

The yogurt also needs to be at room temperature when you mix it in the milk.

Plain yogurt is preferred, but I couldn't find any plain Activia, so I used a random flavor.  

I chose Activia because it has good active cultures.  You can use any yogurt you want, but be sure it has active cultures.

Mix in some powdered milk if you want thicker yogurt.

Put the carton inside the machine, plug it in, and leave it for 24 hours.

The instructions say 12, but that was not long enough.

If you like more tart yogurt, you can leave it for 48 hours.

Refrigerate overnight before eating.  The yogurt will thicken in the refrigerator.

I had it with blueberries!  

You might want to add sugar if you're used to sweeter yogurt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

my first homemade peanut butter

I made my first homemade peanut butter!

You don't use cast iron to make peanut butter, of course.  

All you need is a food processor, no cooking required.

Unless, of course, you want to roast your own peanuts.  But mine were already roasted.

I used Planter's roasted peanuts, and peanut oil.  Added a tiny bit of sugar.

At first I put in too much peanut oil, so had to add more peanuts to compensate.

It wasn't as "smooth" as store bought peanut butter, although I'm sure it would have been smoother if I'd whipped it more in the food processor.

It was grainy, but I've always liked extra crunchy peanut butter, so that wasn't a problem.

It tasted like... Planter's roasted peanuts that had been ground up in peanut oil.  

Actually, I really like Planter's peanuts, so I found it to taste great.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finally, I'm publicly coming forward on this:

I realize this blog is "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on bullying awareness." 

But because this is National Bullying Awareness month, I am publicly coming forward with my stance on the weightism issue, for the first time.

I posted the following article on my personal Facebook page, and decided I wanted it to have a bigger audience.

For those who are actually teachable:  What is appropriate, and what is NOT appropriate.

I live with the fact that every day, I will be subject to bigotry and discrimination, because I am overweight. 

I recognize "the look", and know immediately that I will not be taken seriously. 

And I was always afraid to publicly speak up about it, because I figured that people would tell me I "brought it on myself" and I "deserved" it.

No one deserves to be bullied, for any reason.  

Whether you think a person's weight is a "choice" or not, the debate will go on forever.  But there will NEVER be any question, that being a jerk is a choice.

At my husband's former job, his regional manager had never met me, and knew NOTHING about me.  

He saw me through his office window, and proceeded to laugh and make derogatory comments.  

He asked my husband "How can you stand to be married to a fat pig woman?"  He eventually fired him, and cited that as one of the reasons.

We had no recourse whatsoever.  There is no law prohibiting employment discrimination based on weight.  Had he made a racial slur, for example, we could have taken legal action.

What a shame, that this man has two children, who are being taught that this behavior is appropriate and acceptable.  And what an even bigger shame that he professes to be a "christian."

I'm all too aware of the severe health risks associated with being overweight.  I'm not at all offended when a doctor tells me about it, because he is a doctor, and that is his job.

Just for the record, a few days ago I finally started taking steps to take care of it, on my own-- But, I'm being fairly quiet about it, because this is for ME, and not for anyone else.

I am absolutely not doing this to become more "acceptable" to those have already rejected me.  

I don't want them around me even after I have lost some weight, because they've already shown me what kind of people they are.

 I do NOT owe anybody an apology, or an explanation, for my weight.  Especially not to anybody who demands one.

I don't mind when someone is genuinely concerned and wants to offer support to me.  But more often than not, that isn't the case at all.  

There are appropriate things to say to me, but most have taken it upon themselves to say things to me that are NOT appropriate.

So perhaps you have a friend or family member that you're concerned about, and you really do want to know how to help them.  The purpose of this writing is for those people, who are actually teachable. 

The weightist bigots, obviously, will not be. 

And just so we're clear, as soon as I figure out that a person is so shallow, to tie the worth of a person directly to a number on a scale... my relationship with that person is done. 

So, I'll start with what you CAN say to me, provided that I KNOW you, and you genuinely want to offer support:

1.  You know, I found this recipe the other day for grilled fish with fresh herbs, and it was wonderful.  Here's the recipe.  I think you'll like it.

2.  Have you ever tried swimming?  It's great because it works out your whole body and it doesn't wear you out or hurt your joints.  I think you'll enjoy it.

3.  Did you know that massage therapy can help you?  That alone won't help you lose, but it will make you feel better and you'll be more likely to exercise.

4.  Have you ever tried walnuts and sliced peaches?  It's a great snack, I think you'll like it.

5.  I know the first time you exercise is the hardest, because you're so tired.  But I promise, once you start, you won't be so tired anymore, and you won't be so stiff, and you'll sleep better. 

6.  I found that playing the wii is a lot of fun, and makes the time go by a lot faster than walking on a treadmill-- I know that's a bore.

It's a short list; sadly, the supportive comments are much fewer and farther between.

There are also many comments that are NOT appropriate.  

Many people think that comments such as this will "motivate" the person to lose weight by shaming them.  It does NOT work-- and that's not their real motive anyway.

These comments are NOT a product of genuine concern, but of hateful intolerance:

1.  YOU haven't had BREAKFAST?  (in a catty, condescending tone)

First of all, I know you would never ask that question to someone of a normal weight.  

Second of all, it is NONE of your business what time of the day I eat breakfast.

2.  YOU already HAD breakfast!  (in a disgusted tone)

OK, since what I eat and when is obviously very important to you, I'll bother to educate you: 

 I cannot eat a lot of food in one sitting.  So, instead of three regular sized meals a day, I break up my meals into several small ones, about every three hours.  That's what I do; That is what works for me. 

So, yes, I did have a small bowl of cheerios three hours ago, and yes, now I'm having a half of a breakfast burrito.  

My eating schedule is not dictated by you, and neither is anybody else's.  Get over it.

3.  In a big hurry to get something to eat, huh?

Yes, as a matter of fact; I am on my way to WORK.  I will be driving an hour, to work a 16 hour shift.  When was the last time YOU did that on a Saturday? 

4.  You know, you COULD DO SOMETHING about it.

First of all, how do you know I'm not?  You assumed. 

Second of all, you COULD DO SOMETHING about being a shallow, bigoted jerk.  

The rest don't even deserve a response:

5.  There is NO WAY YOU could possibly be hungry.

6.  YOU could go a WHOLE YEAR without food and be just fine.

7.  Are you ready to eat?  I bet YOU ARE!  

8.  Hey, you didn't take ALL the donuts, did you?  

(Spoken to me by a man about 3 times my size).

9.  Not that you're THAT LITTLE!  (ha, ha)

10.  I don't want my tax dollars paying for your (fill in the blank) !!

Several people have told me this; one was a 15 year old, because "his tax dollars pay for it, it IS his business!"  Everyone knows how many thousands of dollars 15 year olds pay in taxes every year.

11.  Why don't you (fill in the blank) ??

Why don't YOU (fill in the blank)??

12.  You can't eat that!  That has FAT in it!  or, That has SUGAR in it! 

what doesn't?

13.  I would kill myself if I looked like you!  

Oh really?  Do us all a favor.

14.  You know, if you REALLY want to kill yourself (by being fat), I have a gun you can use... save yourself the trouble.

15.  Food is REALLY important to you, isn't it?  I can tell!

16.  Wow, you really can EAT!  

(Spoken as I was eating GRILLED FISH, of all things-- after I had been sick for two days!)

17.  Jesus was very bony and he didn't eat much.  You'll never be a REAL christian until you can go without food for a long time, like Jesus did.

(No, I'm not making that up.  Someone claimed it was a "word from God for me.") 

18.  Your therapist must not be doing her job, because you still have a weight problem.  If I was your therapist, I'd be focusing on that!

19.  I'm going to leave my McDonald's bag out and see if you dig in it!

(Spoken by a woman twice my size).

20.  You look like a (fill in the blank).

As a general rule, if you wouldn't say it to someone of a normal weight, you shouldn't say it to someone who is overweight. 

And I realize I'm preaching to the choir; The people who really need to be told this, will never learn. 

I guess I'm just hoping that I will help someone out, who honestly doesn't know what they should and should not say.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lodge mini servers in a toaster oven?

Someone asked on the Lodge facebook page, "Will the mini servers fit in a toaster oven?"

Lodge's answer was, it depends on the size of your toaster oven.

And it does... but from my observation, most of the time, they will.  Unless your toaster oven is very small.

I have a medium to large sized one, that can fit a 12 inch pizza.

I don't see why the mini servers would not fit even a small to medium oven.  

My advice would be to measure the inside of your oven, and then check the size of the piece before you order it.

Lodge also sells "serving griddles" without handles, which I would think would be perfect.  

There is a 7 inch handleless griddle, for example.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scampi Splash Salmon

I'm always looking for different ways to make salmon.

So in the grocery store, I found an ingredient called "scampi splash", and it was right by the fish department.

If your store doesn't sell it, you could almost certainly make your own.

The ingredients were olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil, and crushed red peppers.

Come to think of it, that's similar to italian dressing.

Anyway, pour the "scampi splash" over the salmon and bake in the oven at 350 until done.

It was that easy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

"on the fly" rib recipe

This labor day rib recipe was made up "on the fly", using ingredients I had on hand and wanted to use up.

Slab of baby back ribs in a cast iron pot.

Add beer, honey, soy sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Cover the pot.  Into the oven at 300, for a couple of hours.

Then remove the ribs, and "reduce" the liquid on the stovetop until it thickens into a sauce.  

Pour the sauce over the ribs.

I also steamed some fresh corn on the cob in beer.  I thought it added a neat flavor!

Ribs are very easy.

Can you put a potjie pot in a volcano?

I don't have a potjie pot, so I wouldn't have been able to tell you if you could use a potjie pot in a volcano or not.

But I am on the yahoo group volcanostoveusersofaustralia, and someone posted the above photo, indicating that yes, you can!

The pot is a Best Duty brand, #3 flat bottomed potjie.  

#3 refers to its size.  A #2 potjie would also work, but it doesn't look like a #4 or larger would.

The pot is sitting on the center grill, with the coals on the bottom.

Remember, if you are using a pot with legs*, then you need to put the coals ON the center plate; Otherwise, it will not get hot enough.

*I'm not sure if a potjie with legs would work on a volcano or not.  I've only used American style camp ovens.

Would I ever get a potjie?  Possibly, but I have enough American style camp ovens that I don't need one.

Now, I realize that I have quite a few readers in Australia, so if any of you can tell me a specific benefit to using a potjie over a camp oven, please do.

According to potjiepotusa, the main difference is that a potjie has longer legs and can stand directly in the firepit.  

Whereas an American camp oven has shorter legs and must be hung over a fire with a tripod.

So I guess the real determiner is whether or not you plan on cooking over an open fire, and want the convenience of not having to use a tripod.

I don't have a firepit, as there is a "burn ban" where I live.  I just use coals on my concrete table.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pork chops and applesauce!

I've always been a fan of the Brady Bunch, and that's where I first heard of "Pork chops and applesauce."

And I thought that was the strangest thing; Pork chops and applesauce?

Evidently, it's a common dish in the midwest, which is not where I am from.  

Twenty five years later, I still had never made nor tried "pork chops and applesauce."

So I decided to try it!  And it was very easy.

Center cut pork chops.  Season with black pepper.

Lay out on a cast iron skillet, and pour applesauce on top.

The chops will take longer to cook due to the applesauce.

Into the oven at 400, and cook until the internal temp of the chops measure 160 degrees.

The applesauce will caramelize in the oven of course.  Yum.

I believe on the show, they had plain pork chops, with applesauce on the side.  

But I loved the applesauce cooked on top of them.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My first fish tacos

When I first heard of fish tacos, I thought, yuck, fish tacos?

Because after all, tacos are made with beef, right?  I've always had tacos made with beef.

But I decided to try making them for the first time.

There are several different varieties of fish tacos.

Some are made with fried fish, and some are made with grilled fish.

Almost any white fish will do, but I decided on grilled tilapia fillets.

And, some are made with soft flour tortillas, some with corn tortillas.

I like crunchy taco shells, so that's what I used.

And then the toppings can also vary.

Some like them with shredded cabbage or cole slaw.

I used chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, and shredded mexican cheese mix.

The sauce is usually a lime sauce.  I made my lime sauce by mixing sour cream and fresh lime juice.

Some like their fish tacos with tartar sauce, but I loved the lime sauce.

So to summarize how I made my first fish tacos:

Grill some tilapia fillets.  

Warm some crunchy taco shells in the oven; Be sure to watch them so they don't burn!

Have some chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro and shredded mexican cheese handy.

Make the lime sauce by mixing sour cream with fresh lime juice.

Assemble the fish tacos and eat!

They were good, but I still can't wrap my brain around the idea of tacos made with anything other than beef.

Although I've been told that shrimp tacos are delicious, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

my first grilled bananas!

I had my first grilled bananas!

They're very easy.

Just put the unpeeled, whole bananas on the grill.

Grill until they're dark.  

You need a spoon to eat them.  They're great with ice cream!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"shake and bake" chicken cordon bleu

I recently made my first chicken cordon bleu.

The other night I made it again, but differently.

This time I cut the chicken breasts in half before flattening them, as I realized I should have done last time.

Then, instead of stuffing them first, and then coating with parmesan bread crumbs, I shook the unstuffed breasts in shake and bake first.

I used classic chicken shake and bake.  Actually, the generic store brand version.

Then on top of the coated chicken, I put a slice of provolone cheese and a thin slice of black forest ham.

I think it needed more cheese, so I would most definitely add more cheese next time.  At least two or three slices instead of one.

And possibly add Brie cheese as well as provolone.  Brie is delicious too.

Into the oven at 350 until done.

I liked the "cut in half" chicken breasts better than the whole chicken breasts, as it gave a more even balance of chicken to ham/cheese.  

But, it still needed more cheese.  I like a lot of cheese.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Now it's honey mustard BBQ ribs!

In my previous post, I made honey mustard BBQ chicken.

I decided that the same recipe could be applied to ribs!

See, I had this bottle of French's honey mustard that I've been wanting to get rid of.  So instead of just throwing it away, I decided to use it up by cooking with it.

Strange as it may sound, that bottle of honey mustard was a gift.  And it was fine, but it was sitting in my pantry for way too long!

Anyway, I got some "pork finger ribs", which I'd never had before.  I usually get baby back ribs.

They were OK, but not as meaty and flavorful as baby back ribs.  So from now on, I'll continue to stick to baby backs.

I coated them with French's honey mustard, and KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce.  Also added some black pepper.

Slow roasted in the oven in a covered cast iron pot, at 250.

The sauce mixture was excellent, and I'm sure on baby back ribs, would have been great!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

honey mustard BBQ chicken

So I saw a recipe on the back label of my bottle of French's honey mustard.

It was actually for chicken stir fry, but it called for marinating the chicken in a mixture of the honey mustard and BBQ sauce.

So, that inspired me to make honey mustard BBQ chicken drumsticks.

I marinated the drumsticks in a mixture of French's honey mustard and BBQ sauce.

Laid them out on a cast iron skillet.  Into the oven at 350 until done.

It was quite good, and very easy!

A revised recipe for hot artichoke dip

I previously posted in this article, my recipe for hot artichoke dip.

This past Friday night, I was at a party and someone brought in this amazing hot artichoke dip, and told me what she had put in it.

I combined her recipe and mine, to make a revised version of  that amazing hot artichoke dip!

Two cans of whole artichoke hearts, drained.  One block of cream cheese.  8 oz sour cream.  

Blend in a chopper.  Then pour the mixture in a cast iron skillet.

Add paprika, then add shredded mixed italian cheese.*

*This particular mix contained parmesan, romano, asiago, provolone and mozzarella.  But you can use any shredded italian cheese.

Also add some grated parmesan cheese (which is different from shredded).

Bake in the oven at 350.

I really tried to make bacon donuts

I really tried to make bacon donuts.  I really, really did.

While I'm sure they could be made from scratch by mixing bacon bits into the dough before frying, I went the quick and simple way and bought some donuts, with every intention of making bacon donuts.

Then I fried up some bacon.  Laid the donuts out on a cast iron griddle, and placed the bacon strips on top.

Warmed in the oven at 250.

They would have been great bacon donuts, I'm sure.

But when I took them out of the oven, I ate up all of the bacon.  

So then I had just regular donuts again.  Not bacon donuts.

Oh well.  Better luck next time... maybe.