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Showing posts with label Doggy Bag.
Showing posts with label Doggy Bag.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shrimp n' Grits For our Facebook Friends


Mom's status was simple. She had just made a shrimp n'grits casserole and was chilling and cheering with the guys as the U.S.A. soccer team took on Ghana. Fortunately, the casserole turned out much better than the game. Considerate it a consolation prize.

It was devoured before Mom thought to take a photo, but here is the basics of the easy, low country吉林快三遗漏 comfort food recipe:

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup grits
1 cup (or more) of shredded cheddar
1 cup (or more) of mont jack
1 bunch of green onions
1 green pepper
1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 lb cooked, peeled shrimp (wild caught, please!)
1 can diced tomatoes and chiles, drained
sausage (optional, but we had some good Charizo)
salt, pepper, olive oil and other preferences

Bring chicken broth to boil, stir in grits, cover, reduce heat and cook grits.

Mix grits with cheeses, saving some cheddar for the topping

Saute garlic, chopped scallions (save some of the greens for garnish) and chopped pepper, add to grit mixture. Add shrimp and diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper.

Cook sausage, drain fat and also add to mixture.

Pour into lightly greased, 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Cook for 40 minutes at 350.

Let it firm up, then get out the forks because if you're like Shuga D, you might just eat it straight out of the pan.

Pictured is the UK's "Sammy the Shrimp." Go Paraguay!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Eggs No Ham



p.s. Mom's Pop actually has chickens that lay beautiful blue/green eggs!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Meatless Monday!


Tonight, after dinner, Shuga D rubbed his belly and said he was glad it was Meatless Monday. Mom cooked up a meal that made you forget that the majority of it was grown from the ground. Here we go:

1 eggplant
2 eggs, beaten (Mom used fresh farm eggs from her Dad's very-loved, local chickens!)
Grated Parmesan
Fresh Mozzarella
Angel Hair
Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Marinara Sauce

Slice the eggplant lengthwise and then cut in half, into squares, until you have enough for matching "tops" and bottoms" (a.k.a. a sandwich). Lightly brunch the slices with olive oil, liberally salt and pepper and bake on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Dredge each slice in beaten egg, then Parmesan cheese. Top one slice of eggplant with a slice of fresh mozzarella, then top with another slice of eggplant. Place in hot oil, fry and flip after bottom is brown. When done, lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Okay, so it isn't the healthiest Meatless Monday. But the eggplant were organic, the eggs were fresh and local, she didn't use flour and the dinner made you want to slap your mama.

The eggplant "parms" were nestled on a bed of angel hair and ladled with some organic marinara sauce. Mom also chopped up a zucchini length-wise and used the same parm-egg mixture and fried them up, too! Even a picky three-year-old would eat these veggies!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Candy's Land Joins Meatless Mondays!

. It's simple. Cut out meat one day a week, traditionally Monday - just as they did during the days of conserving during World War II. The goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent to improve the health and welfare of our greatest temples - our bodies and the earth in which they exist.

As members of the movement, expect to find a meatless recipe here in Candy's Land, every Monday. Tonight, it was stuffed bell peppers. Here you go:

2 large [organic] green bell peppers
tub of fresh salsa
rice
Veggie ground
salt / pepper
Coriander
Cumin
Pepper Jack Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook rice. Heat up the frozen veggie ground by mixing it in a saucepan or skillet with the tub (or jar) of salsa. Mix the rice in the veggie ground and salsa mixture. Quarter each pepper, leaving just the ribs, stem and seeds. Grease pan. Layer pepper slices. Fill with rice, veggie ground and salsa mixture. Season with spices. Layer with cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes for a healthy, cheapie and wise supper.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby, It's BEEN Cold Outside



It's late and the evening, and Mom and I have our cold noses pressed up against the even colder window pane, hoping for some specks of sleet, a few flurries, or heck, just a snowflake. It's as still as a silent night out there, despite the hysteria at the grocery store today where Mom witnessed a raid on milk, bread, ground beef and bottled water. Gotta love the South. We ride out hurricanes and heat waves and tease tornadoes, but an inch of frozen participation puts us in "buy out the batteries and button down the hatch" panic mode.

Mom was just there for soup stuff, and judging by the looks of the top pic, you're probably wondering what kind of ingredients was she smoking. But that boiling pot of kinda
gross-looking green stuff is hands-down, one of Mom's favorite comfort soup recipes. After one hearty bowl tonight, Shuga D whole heartily agrees. It's so cheap, easy, flavorful and slightly healthy, that you would think Kroger would have had a run on beans and cilantro today instead. Here we go:

It's Easy Being Green Chili (Vegetarian)

2 cans or Northern Beans (three-cheers for organic!)
2 small cans of diced green chilies

1 small can of salsa verde
Cilantro - about 3/4 of a bunch, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
sour cream (garnish)
chives or green onions (garnish)

Saute the onions in extra virgin olive oil (or butter) u
ntil slightly brown in a deep skillet or stock pot. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Add two cans of beans, with liquid, and one can of water. Then the chilies and salsa. Bring to a boil. Add cilantro. Liberally salt and pepper. And let simmer for about seven minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with green onions or chives. Yep, that's it.

See, it's not so bad looking steaming from the bowl . . . especially with a side of grilled cheese cooked up by Shuga D tonight that included cheddar AND Gorgonzola. Mom is also a fan of making spinach tortilla cheese ques
adillas with this to keep the green theme.

We may not see snow, but serve it hot and melt away the fear.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Since We're Putting out the Manger Scene . . .


Let's manger on vegetarian "Shepherd's Pie." This is an easy, no-brainer of a blueplate special when Mom has a lot going on but still wants some good, warm comfort food. Without precision, here it is:

1 bag of Morningstar Veggie Crumbles (i.e. ground soy meat)
1 can of Le Seur peas (drained)
1 bag of shredded cheddar
1 container of pre-made deli mashed potatoes (found in the dairy section)
1 bunch of scallions
couple of spoonfulls of sour cream
pat of butter
a little ketchup and Worcestershire
salt and pepper
Paprika

Grease the bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil. Spread thin layer of frozen veggie crumbles and some chopped scallions. Mix in ketchup and Worcestershire to taste. Salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for about five minutes - long enough to thaw the crumbles. Remove casserole dish. Add can of drained peas. Microwave mashed potatoes according to directions. Stir in butter and sour cream. Spread mashed potatoes over peas and veggie ground. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Put back into the over and bake for 15 minutes or so until the cheese is a melted top layer. Serve with chopped scallions on top.

Obviously, the carnivore in us can sub real meat in lieu of the veggie crumbles, but trust me on this . . . even Shuga D doesn't know the difference. Fake out your meat and potatoes and leave the cow away in the manger scene.

Candy Lou loves you!
Make a favorite!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Wishbone of Thanks


Last year, Mom and Shuga D were kind of new in incorporating their respective holiday traditions. But this year, Mom knew exactly what to look forward to . . . and it just so happened to come early!

Shuga Mama Jean made a batch of her infamous turkey soup before Thanksgiving this year. And it was a good thing she did because by the time Mom gets back into town after Thanksgiving, it would have all been gone.

Too bad we can't share the recipe for Shuga Mama Jean's turkey soup here in Candy's Land, but we hear it is labor-intensive, involves a well-picked turkey carcass and has so many ingredients -- from cabbage to noodles to potatoes and more -- it's just better to enjoy than think through it all.

Mom's favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. While it often gets bypassed for the commercial superhighway that is Christmas, Mom has clung tightly to the Thanksgiving tradition of coming to the table, bowing our heads and giving thanks for each others' presence . . . whether at the table at her mom's house in Tennessee, the beaches of the Gulf Coast, here in Macon, the mountains of Alabama, serving the needy at a soup kitchen in L.A. or looking down from Heaven above . . . It's a holiday where our hearts are as full as our bellies.

If Mom wins the wishbone pull, she only wants more of exactly what she's got. And more turkey soup, of course.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Doggy Bag: Easy Peezy Minestrone

Forget fluffing the sweaters, Mom went straight from summer to winter by breaking out the crockpot. Let the soup season officially begin! Tonight, it was slow-cooked Minestrone soup (well, Mom's version if not by exact Italian definition). Remember, she doesn't measure; she goes with her gut. Here's what she did:

Carton of organic veggie broth
BIG can of diced Italian tomatoes
Regular size can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
Jar of Pesto
2 zucchini
1/2 peeled white onion
can of Northern beans
Cup of pasta (we used mini wheels)
1/2 pack of thawed frozen chopped spinach
Parmesan cheese

Pour veggie broth, diced tomatoes and can of beans (don't drain) into crockpot. Add chopped onion and zucchni. Stir in pesto (we used about 3/4 of the jar) and spinach. Cook on low for about nine hours. Add dry pasta about 15 minutes before you're ready to turn it off. Serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top, crusty bread on the side and a glass of red wine within reach.


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Blue Collar Cocktail Hour Shower Recipes: Mac 'on Corn Casserole & Beanie Weenies



Last week, Mom and Super Mom SGM threw the man formerly [and sometimes still] known as the Blue Collar Scholar, i.e. Chris Horne, and his beautiful, blushing bride-to-be Dr. Heather Braun a wedding shower.

But in the style of Thursday's infamous intown Cocktail Hour, this wasn't your ordinary wedding shower.

The wish list? Anything you would "see on TV." The booty? Everything from the Bump-It to the Egg Genie to a toenail clipper with headlight and magnifying glass . . . amongst other things.

There was a tub of PBR, fresh made lemonade (spiked or not), $2 Chuck and "Proud to be Southern" apps like cornbread and pickles, as well as tin pans piping from the oven, smothered, covered and steaming in butter. Paula would be proud.

Here are the recipes:


Mac 'on Corn Casserole

2 cans of corn
2 cans of creamed corn
2 cups of dry pasta noodles (elbow mac in this case)

stick of butter

1/2 big block of Mexican style Velveeta, cubed

2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (the more cheese, the better, in Mom's book)

Mix all of the ingredients in one of those big foil pans (or more earth-friendly, large casserole dish). Do not drain the juices from the corn - the water cooks the pasta. Bake all together for an hour at 375. No salted needed . . . the cheese covers it!


Blue Collar's Beanie Weenies

Giant can of baked beans
Pack of cocktail weenies

6 slices of bacon

Brown Sugar (to taste)
Mustard (to taste)

Maple Syrup (to taste)
1/2 onion, chopped

green pepper, chopped
3 pats of butter

2 cups of Jim Beam


Mix your beans, mustard, syrup, brown sugar, onion, pepper, butter, cocktail weenies and Jim Beam in large tinfoil pan (or big casserole dish). Layer slices of bacon on top. Sprinkle with more brown sugar. Bake for an hour at 375.

Try not to have a heart attack.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pick a Pepper


You want to get fresh? There’s a way to do it, cheap and easy. Go to the produce section. Pick some peppers. It can be any peppers. For Mom, she chose to go rainbow in her recipe – one red, one yellow, one orange and one green. And with that, she made a hearty meal for her and her sweetheart that fed their bellies and her need to wind down from a Monday. Here’s what she did:

Peppers of Assorted Colors

Ripe Mango

Bunch of Scallions

Lime

Can of Black Beans (Kroger has cheap organic!)

Rice

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sour cream

Various seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, jerk seasoning, chili powder, cumin, coriander – whatever you’ve got in the spice cabinet)

Chop peppers length-wise into thick wedges, discarding the seeds and rib core. Place peppers in oven dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, jerk seasoning and/or garlic powder and roast at 375 for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, chop up the scallions and cube the mango into small bites. Make your rice. Warm up your can of black beans, seasoning with cumin, coriander, chili powder or whatever else you desire and stir in a hefty dollop of sour cream (as well as a little hot sauce). Add the mango to the finished beans. Make a bed of rice. Spoon the black beans into the center. Add an assortment of peppers around the sides, sprinkle with scallions and give it a little squirt of lime.

Not sure whether to credit Pacific or Caribbean influences, but it tasted as good as something tropical. And by picking a couple of peppers, it was just as easy to get fresh as it is after having too many of those paper umbrella drinks.

Hang Loose,

Candy Lou

Monday, August 10, 2009

Drunken Pot Roast: A Working Girl and Hungry Man's Meal

I've been tortured with the smell of the slow cooker for the past 24 hours. Mom put a pot roast in the crockpot around 2 p.m. yesterday with some Vidalia onions, carrots, celery and beer . . . yes, beer.

Here is the recipe (and remember, Mom doesn't measure):

Layer bottom of slow cooker with chopped Vidalia onions. Put in pot roast, fatty side down, that has been rubbed with dried or fresh dill and pepper seasoning. Add chopped celery and carrots. Pour entire carton of vegetable broth (Mom uses organic with no MSG). Add packet of onion soup mix. Pour in almost entire bottle of beer. Cover and cook on low for at least 24 hours.

And that's just what she did. It was already smelling like 吉林快三遗漏-cooking after just a couple of hours yesterday. By the time Mom and Shuga got 吉林快三遗漏 this evening, the entire house smelled like somebody had been slaving away at the stove for us all day. And me and my brother and sister mutts were salivating at the kitchen counter.

And now, for the gravy on top:

Mom ladeled out some of the juice into a saucepan, adding a scoop of flour and cranking the heat until it came to a boil, all the while whisking away. She added a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, as well as a palmful of dill, and up from the sauce pan bubbled a creamy gravy goodness that went along well with the traditional (deli) mashed potatoes and peas.

We would have taken a picture, but the ultra-tender meat meal was consumed before the flash.

Yum, Yum,

Candy Lou

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Doggy Bag: Easy Assembly Required

There hasn’t been a Doggy Bag in a while because the only ones Mom has been feeding in the kitchen lately is me and my brother and sister mutts (by pouring dry dog food into our bowls). Mom has been craving some one-on-stove time where she can cook what she does best. She’s the first to say a top chef, she’s not. She’ll never be a baker, doesn’t believe in measuring devices and handling raw meat still makes her want to hide under the table . . . So don’t expect a Cheesecake Factory worth of choices. Still, she enjoys a little apron time that involves her cutting board, fresh ingredients and moment to sit back and stir.

Here’s one of her and Shuga D’s favorite dishes she created after over-shooting a box of pasta and ending up with large tangle of leftover noodles.

Ingredients:

Fresh Arugula
Goat Cheese
Chopped pecans (or walnuts, but since Shuga works in a , we keep them in stock.)
Prosciutto (or not)
Lemon
Cooked pasta
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small pat of butter
Salt and pepper

Make a goat cheese mixture with, salt and pepper, a little olive oil and zest from ½ the lemon. Toast pecans with a little olive oil and salt, set aside and save skillet to sauté arugula greens in butter, olive oil and juice from ½ the lemon. Add pasta (if cold, allow to re-heat) and a small ladle of water (use starchy pasta water if freshly cooked). Stir together until liquid heats through. Remove from heat. Toss in goat cheese mixture, pecans and torn shreds of proscuitto. Add zest and squeeze juice from the rest of the lemon on top. Eat it hot or chill for a summer pasta salad.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grits are Groceries, but Cupcakes are Forever



Texas T turned 31 on Saturday, so the Little Creative Crew (LCC) got together for a laidback evening of wieners and Wii at the spring-tuned Dunwody (Appletini and Boots) abode. But even low-key, there is never not a jaw-dropping moment with the LCC. The surprise of the evening came when Texas T was coaxed into the dining room for the big reveal . . . Where there stood Mark Ballard behind the candle glowing tower of his blissful birthday cupcakes, 吉林快三遗漏made especially for her. Yes, Mark Ballard’s cupcakes may be the way to just about any sweet-tooth’s heart. But if there was ever a recipe for such a sweet gesture, Mark knows it well and baked it into every lovely bite. It’s amazing what simple swirl of icing can do for the soul! Macon needs a Ballard Bakery. Mom says the cupcakes alone could boost Macon’s economic development because they are better than Magnolia and less baggage than Manhattan!

Since it was a covered-dish affair, Mom cooked up a pot of Texas T’s Chili-Cheese Grits. Here is the basic premise:

Grits

Chicken Broth

Can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese

2 cans of diced chilies

Small container of sour cream

½ stick of butter

Pack of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Chili powder

Salt and Pepper

Cook grits according to directions (4-8 servings). Mom mixed 50/50 chicken broth and water to get it started. When the juice came to a boil, she liberally salted before stirring in grits. As the grits came together, she stirred in ½ stick of butter, can of cheese and two cans of diced chilies, juice and all. Once the cooking was done, she stirred in the entire container of sour cream, the entire pack of cheese and a hearty shake of chili powder and pepper. This was low fat in no way, but grits are so messy to cook, than when Mom does, she goes all out. She made eight servings, so there’s a heap of leftovers, which she looks forward to later frying into grits cakes with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Below you'll find Texas T's booty.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Doggy Bag: Veggie Sloppy Pockets

I may be battered, bruised and stitched, but I’m 吉林快三遗漏 with a cone around my head and everyone is relieved. Since Mom and Shuga D don’t want to be a minute apart from me, dinner is in the kitchen tonight. And what better way to celebrate the end of a Monday and the return of my dearly beloved self than with comfort food.

This is a recipe for the Manwich of a modern woman, one who turns her nose up at gender-biased labeling. Mom’s re-worked the classic comfort food and given it a veggie twist. A red meat-craving carnivore like the best of us, she finds Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles a less messy, more healthy alternative. Most hungry folk can’t tell the different between textured vegetable protein and ground cow (or turkey or buffalo). But know this ain’t no Sloppy Josephine finger sandwich, either!

Ingredients:

Bag of Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles

Croissant or pizza dough

Can of [Wo]Manwhich Sauce (Hunt's Bold is what she used)

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced

1/2 large bell pepper, diced

1 shallot, chopped

ground black pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

mozzarella cheese

Saute shallot and diced pepper in extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic. Stir in bag of veggie crumbles (can do so frozen, thaws quickly). Heavily pepper. Stir in can of sauce and heat through. Roll out dough on greased cookie sheet (helps if sprinkle cornmeal or bread crumbs on sheet so dough is easy to work with). Cut in four rectangles. Spoon veggie mixture onto each rectangle (about 1.5 large spoonfuls). Place small slice of mozzarella cheese on top (or sprinkle, but Kroger now has fresh whole milk mozz balls under their store brand). Seal dough so it forms mini-calzone or pocket. You will have a good bit of the meatless mixture for leftovers (burritos, buns, by itself). Bake in oven pre-heated to 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Mom served the sloppy pockets with mushrooms sauted in butter, white wine, garlic and lemon. Cheap and easy . . . unlike my vet bills.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doggy Bag: Just Another Stormy Monday Stew

Actually, I didn't hear a lick of thunder all day. But between the constant pitter-patter of the rain and my muddy paws, I was less enthused about my spongy squeak toys (I left outside) and opted to spend the day curled up in bed . . . Mom was jealous. But she did have a fairly productive day at the office working on the latest issue of address Macon. She forfeited an after-hours Bragg Jam music committee to go to Gray and tend to Miss Pro, my steed sister with 15 years seniority. Mom was a little soggy-bottomed after hauling feed buckets in the drizzle, but she still wanted to get her hands in something hearty for her own dinner. Here's what she did (in a roundabout way):

1/2 eggplant
1 whole zucchini
2 large cloves of garlic
2 shallots
1 can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
dried basil
extra virgin olive oil
boil-in-a-bag brown rice
whole grain baguette
cheese (in this case, leftover gouda and brie)
salt and pepper

Chop up 1/2 an eggplant and entire zucchini. Peel and finely dice the garlic and shallots. Heat up the olive oil. Saute the garlic and shallots. Stir in the eggplant and zucchini, saute for a minute, and then add one cup of water. Let the veggies simmer until water absorbs. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil. Add one can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Toast baguette. Remove from oven and cut into small rounds. Brush rounds with olive oil. Top with small slices of cheese (or not) and pop back in oven for a couple of minutes until cheese melts. Serve eggplant mix over bed of rice with toasted bread on the side.

The smell was enough to keep my nose twitching and tail in hopeful thumpings. But other than the wayward raw eggplant from the cutting board, no leftover tablescraps for me. All I got was a lousy rawhide and a handshake. I guess the sun will come out tomorrow.