Wednesday, March 26, 2014

     Heck of a week so far, it's all okay - no worries - we have alcohol which must have been created specifically for these special times...thank the heavens! (what a joke, ya'll know I have "these special times" every night :) Okie Dokie, let's get to it! Tonight's fantastical meal looks like it must come from chicken cutlets!!! OOOH YEAH, I have just the ticket for these sweet babies, "Chicken Cutlet Purses". I'm so tickled, I adore these things!!
     Taking a little gander around the kitchen, this is what I've got:
                  1.  4-6 chicken cutlets, depending on who's eatin'
                  2.  4-6 slices of baked ham, sliced thin
                  3.  4-6 slices of Swiss cheese (the packaged Swiss comes in long rectangular slices so if 
                       that's what your using, cut those slices in half)
                  4.  a handful of fresh spinach leaves (you only need 2 or 3 per cutlet)
                  5.  Italian style breadcrumbs, just enough to coat the purses (I know...more freakin'
                  6.  some parmesan cheese for sprinkling
                  7.  1 garlic clove, peeled &  a little smooshed
                  8.  2 beaten eggs 
                  9.   salt & pepper
                 10.  a little olive oil for baking and drizzling
       Got it all together???  Let's top off our glass and get to cookin'!
                        Pre-heat oven to...take a guess...yup, you got it, 350 degrees (shocking huh)
  Grab a small baking dish (an 8x8 size should do)  Drizz about a tablespoon of olive oil around the bottom of your baking dish then place the squashed garlic clove in the oil. Put the dish in the micro for about 30-40 secs. on high to flavor the oil and just let it sit while you prepare the chicky.
Find a couple of dishes, one for the egg & the other for the breadcrumbs. Lay the chicken on a flat plate. Salt & pepper each cutlet. Place one square slice of ham, one slice of cheese and 2 or 3 spinach leaves on each cutlet. Sprinkle a little parm cheese on top of everything.
   Carefully fold each cutlet in half, the best you can & don't worry if anything is sticking out, big whoop! Stick 2 or 3 toothpicks around the edges of the cutlets to keep them together (sounds like lots of trouble but believe me...well worth it)! Take the baking dish out of the micro. and remove the garlic. Now, with love & tenderness, take your 'purses' and moisten each one with egg then very carefully cover them with breadcrumbs. Place each one in the baking dish and sprinkle a little more parm on top. Just a teeny tiny bit more olive oil over the top of each little breaded 'purse' to help brown and ready for the sauna! MMMM, I can't wait!!
    Bake in the oven, uncovered for approx. 20-25 mins. Again, DO NOT OVERCOOK! Dry chicken is gross  :)  Fill up yer glass, fix a little salad and oh yeah! (don't forget to take out those stabby tooth picks).    Now, time to feast on these DERN TASTY jewels...Wahoo!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

       And so it continues, another Wednesday...another freakin' dinner for family consumption - what about me??? Why doesn't anyone cook for me??? Well who gives a rat's patooty, gotta cook!! It's okay, life will be MUCH better after cocktail time! Ooooh yeah, now a little more relaxed & settled a bit, time to stick my head in the freezer. What frozen rock do we discover this fine evening? Why, it's pork chops...I have just the thing, I'm thinking SCRUMPTIOUS!! In fact, I see something else I will use with this one...bacon...yes, I said BACON! I must tell you, I really try to take full advantage of the buy one get one free deals at the grocery store (or any store for that matter) so when bacon is on 'BOGO', I load up!  Time to get down to business -We're doing "Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops".
           This is what I have:
           1.  4 (sorta thick) pork chops, I like bone-in cause the bone brings more flavor
           2.  8 slices of bacon (yes, again, I said bacon :) That will be 2 slices per chop but you can really only need 1 (but don't be stingy)!
           3.  some of your fave bbq sauce, you don't need much, a few tablespoons should do
           4.  just a pinch of salt & some pepper to taste
        Pre-heat the oven to 350 (of course)  Another good, long drink...aahh, sweet! Now
Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up). A roasting rack would be great for these chops to drain the grease during baking.
Next, sprinkle a tad bit of salt (not too much, bacon is salty enough) and as much pepper as you like on each pork chop. Wrap each chop, as evenly as possible, with one or two slices of bacon. If you are having trouble keeping the bacon on, stab a toothpick or two into the pork at the ends of the bacon.
       Bake for approx.15 mins. Take them out of the oven and remove the toothpicks if you used em'.
       Brush each pork chop, both sides, with a little bbq sc and stick them back in the oven.
       Cook for another 10-15 mins till no longer pink inside (do not over cook, pork dries out quickly)
        If the bacon is not crisp enough for you, stick them under the broiler for just a few minutes per side to crunch it up a bit but DON'T overcook!!! Cut a little slice into the center of one of the chops to check for doneness. If the redness is gone, remove them from the heat. Done and done!
      Serve these with a little extra sauce on the side and maybe some creamy mac & cheese...oooh, YUMMOLICIOUS and as always, DERN TASTY!   Now, go eat :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

       PLEASE...give me strength, is it the weekend yet??? Yeah sure, just one of those days I guess - No problemo, let the wine flow!! There now, life is good again to the freezer!
    I spy with one of my eyes (I got a leaf from the damn oak tree in the other one and it's swollen) a baggie of large shrimp, Excellent! Let's cast our nets (hehehe) on "Teriyaki Shrimp with Fried Rice" for tonight's meal , DELECTABLE!!           This is what I have:
      1.  1lb fully cooked lrg shrimp, tails on (this bag has about one & a half lbs but who's counting)
                  p.s. you can always use raw shrimp, it will just take a little longer to cook
      2.  1 cup cooked rice (as I'm sure I have mentioned before, I use the 'quick' cook brown cause of my doggie food but you use what you like best)
      3.   bottle of teriyaki sauce (it will only take a few shakes, according to your own taste. I've got lo-sodium, it tastes just the same as reg. in the end) 
      4.   1/2 cup veggies...brocc, carrots, gr. beans etc. whatever you need to use up. (I always have bags of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer for my chickens, I think I've mentioned that before too but oh well, I said it again so enough already :) 
      5.    1 or 2 green onion (I have a bunch in the fridge drawer and I need to use them before they start to shrivel and rot. Thin sliced reg onion will work too)
      6.    1-2 tablespoons veg oil or if you just happen to have sesame oil (I keep my soy sc, teriyaki sc & sesame oil in the fridge door with the salad dressings to keep them fresh)
      7.     Now, if you really want to go all 'chef boyardee' and you happen to have a lemon, fresh parsley or sesame seeds...well ARE amazing, I'm proud of you! A few options with this dish would be some sprinkles of fresh parsley & lemon zest over the top at the end & a spoonful of sesame seeds cooked in with the rice. Mmmmm
      Must relax some more, sip sip sip (gulp) there, good...that's better. Here we go.  Let's cook!!
 Fix the rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large, non stick fry pan (or a wok if you really want to show off)  heat your oil on med - med high. When oil is hot, drop in your veggies. Stir veggies around for 3 or 4 mins then plop in the cooked rice. Shake a few tablespoons of teriyaki sc (or more if you want but taste for saltiness first) This is where you will sprinkle in the sesame seeds if your using them. Toss rice & veggies around till veggies are fully cooked and rice is browned & covered with the teriyaki sc. Throw in the shrimp and cook long enough to just heat the shrimp through (cook raw shrimp until it turns completely pink throughout). How fast is that??? Really, that's all there is to it. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some chopped green onion, fresh parsley and a few scrapes of lemon zest right over the top. GORGIOUS, you got it baby!!!
               Like I always say, DERN TASTY!!! Have a great rest of your week :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

      Take a moment, breathe, now have a cocktail. Aahh...isn't that better? Of course it is! Told you so!! Time to see what's in the freezer...This IS a discovery - it's meatloaf mix (ground beef & ground pork packaged together). Just fab, this night will be "Stove Top Lasagna",  this night will be remarkable! I do believe this is probably one of my favorites...easy to make, easy to eat - let's get on with it.     This is what I have:
   1. 1lb ground beef & 1lb ground pork (a couple lbs of whatever type of ground meat you have will be fine and DERN TASTY)
   2. about 6 lasagna noodles (along with different kinds of soups, spices & sauce packets, I always have a variety of pasta noodles in the pantry for a quick 'go-to' meal in a pinch. Today I have reg lasagna noodles which I will have to boil separately but say, who says you can't layer with spag or ziti noodles - who cares? No boil noodles would save time and use less pots that must be cleaned but of course...ain't got none)!
   3. pasta sauce  (home made is usually better but I am using one of my favorite store bought jars that I have on hand)
   4. mozzarella & parm cheeses are really a must in this dish (nuts...I only have an 8oz bag of shredded mozz in the fridge which isn't really enough but I also have a 16oz plastic container of shredded parm & several little bits and pieces of asst. cheeses so I will use every kind of cheese I have in the house, it's all good)!!
   5. 1/2 of a med onion, diced (some diced green pepper would also be awesome)
   6. 2 minced garlic cloves (you can sprinkle some garlic powder over the meat if you don't have fresh cloves).
   7. I happen to have an 8oz package of sliced white mushrooms in the fridge so I will definitely use them up in here (don't have em', don't need em' BUT they do add a little something I love, canned or jarred shrooms work too)
   8. salt & pepper (if you like things a little spicy, sprinkle some red pepper flakes or a pinch or two of go hot stuff :)!
                    Geeze, that's a mouthful, got to refill...there - and begin!!
   Plop the meat into a large, high sided skillet, salt and pepper to taste (sprinkle a few good shakes of garlic powder here if that's what your using) & cook on med heat until browned. Meanwhile, boil the noodles 2 or 3 mins under package recommended directions & drain, set aside. When meat is done, spoon onto a paper towel to soak up excess grease but leave the rest of the grease in the pan. Keep heat on med and throw in  your onion & mushrooms. Cook about 4-5 mins to soften. If your using fresh, add the garlic here. Lower the heat to med-lo & cook 2-3 mins more. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC!!!  Drain off the grease. Put the meat back into the pan with the veggies and stir it up a bit till well combined and meat warms up. Remove 1/2 the meat mixture. Spread the remaining meat mix evenly over the bottom of the pan. Pour enough pasta sc over the meat and spread around just enough to cover the meat. Lay about 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (cut or rip it to fit, whatever it takes to cover)  Now sprinkle the mozz (use 1/2 the bag if you have 16oz.'s. I will only use 1/2 of my 8oz bag with extra parm on this layer). I also have 1/2 of a leftover 8oz container of ricotta I must use up before it starts growing so I'll just scrape a few little spoon fulls onto the noodles and get rid of it.You can really use as much cheese as ya like. Here comes a good handful of the parm. spread it out. Got some cheddar...why not??  Repeat layers.  Top it all off with the rest of your cheeses (if you happen to have a few herbs such as parsley or basil, rip up a few leaves & sprinkle on looks pretty) Cover the pan and simmer for about 15-20 mins until the cheese is all melted and everything is bubblin'.    Dear Lord...I am so thirsty :)
          Ooooh...Fantastical!!!  Voila'  "Stove Top Lasagna"!  Uncover. Let it sit for a few minutes before digging in. Serve with some garlic bread or not. MMMM...So DERN TASTY!!!