Archive for the 'Carrots' Category

Recipe: It’s Ash Wednesday – already

|February 22, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's hard to believe that it is already Ash Wednesday.  It seems like this new year is going to fly by quite fast!  It's a no-meat day – actually – it's a day of fasting.  Then it's the Wednesday and Friday no meat days.  At least that is how it has been in my family.

It's still tax season – and yes, I do taxes – although I have cut it way down and I only do a few close friends now.  I don't want the headaches and I don't want to do taxes past April 15th.  I did taxes for so many years – and I am ready to retire from it completely – except for a handful of close friends.

I'm still trying to use up as much yarn as possible to get rid of it.  And it's that time of the year when my babies' school has their Chinese auction and theme baskets.

Princess is in 7th grade now and they no longer expect the 7th and 8th graders to participate.  Instead they use them the night of the auction to run around the gynmasium delivering the baskets that parents have won.  Some of those "baskets" weigh a ton!  I have seen some pretty large laundry baskets overflowing with goodies!

They even auction off a bike, Sabres jerseys, Buffalo Bills items, etc. and they do make a bundle on it each year.

Last year the kids classes both did "baking" baskets.  Well I wrote and donated a baking book which really was quite popular!  Everyone wanted it.  I did email copies to those that wanted it – and I am thinking of sending out to my members if they want it.

This year the little guy's class theme is MOVIE NIGHT.  So I am presently working on a Movie Munchies cookbook.  And I have decided that I will also make a movie basket of goodies, add another cookbook to it, and have him donate that as well to the school.  It will make him feel extra special. 

That sent me "dumpster diving" at WalMart.  You know – those wire bins they toss movies in for $5 each.  I'm going with classics – I found 20 Alfred Hitchcock movies in one DVD case, and 25 John Wayne movies in another case, and 200 classic cartoons (from the good ol' days) in another case.  I want to go back to pick up several more DVD's and possibly a DVD player as well as popcorn, popcorn salt, etc.  If the DVD players are a bit too pricy – then it's going to be a popcorn machine.  We'll see.  But I need to get it all together within the next week or so!

No pics – but some goodies I have made –

I made a scalloped cabbage dish to go with pork steaks – really easy and good!

Just chop your cabbage into 1-inch peices and par-boil for about 10 minutes; drain well.  Toss in your casserole with some medium/thick white sauce and a bit of ground black pepper.  I also added steamed sliced carrots.  Really perked up the flavor.  Topped with some plain bread crumbs and dotted with butter – 350* F. to heat through.  Additional white sauce drizzle over the pork steaks which I just skillet fried in olive oil, seasoned with the basics – Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, parsley.

Quite easy to make – and a hit!

 

Since I had cabbage left over, a few days later I made some lazy cabbage rolls.  Couldn't make regular cabbage rolls because I had cut up the head of cabbage in such a way I couldn't.  but where there is a will there's a way –

While I was cooking my ground beef in the skillet (the basic seasonings and in olive oil), I was chopping and par-boiling my cabbage.  Before my meat was cooked, I added some grated onion and finely minced red bell pepper – not alot – just enough.   I also cheated because I had leftover rice from the night before from a different meal and I used that.  I drained my meat mixture and cabbage, added the rice and tossed in tomato soup (partially diluted) and transferred to my casserole.  Once again – 350* F. until heated through.  Fresh hot rye rolls and a salad of greens topped it off.

It's been such a mild winter but it's been a comfort food one as well.

I hope you give the recipes a try – just eyeball it all – you'll do just fine!

Stay warm!

 

 

Recipe: Creamed “Refrigerator” Soup

|October 1, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's been two solid weeks of this flu – I must be very lovable because it just will not leave me. Just when you think it is going away, and you start to feel better for (almost) a day – then it knocks you back down.  Seems like everyone has it too.

Soups – homemade soups – that has helped me so much. Everything from chicken noodle, creamy onion, sausage and cabbage, tomato rice and today's concoction –

Creamy "Refrigerator" Soup

It's to the point that whatever is in the fridge is going into the soup – something has to help with this flu.

I melted a bit of butter in my soup pot, then I added a LARGE diced onion and 2 stalks of celery (diced), minced celery leaves, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, parsley and a bit of water – just to soften for a bit – which of course I am sick and impatient so I immediately added about 6 to 7 cups water and some instant chicken bouillon.

I know the onion and the cracked pepper will help.

Cleaned and sliced 3 skinny carrots – those were the ones hidden in the middle of the bag – added to pot.

There's a ham steak in the fridge and I cannot eat a whole ham steak – way too much for me. So I cut off a piece to enjoy with some pineapple for tomorrow's dinner and I diced up the rest of the ham steak and added that.

Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes; add diced cabbage and frozen peas; simmer until cabbage is tender. Add milk and heat through – do not boil milk!

Even if you're not ailing – it's still a very good soup!

Recipe: Chicken, Roasted Veggies, Cream Sauce, Cole Slaw, Cheese Salad

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

From February 2011 –

I don’t think it could be any colder than it is today and yet it is going to get worse. I’m tired of shoveling and I thought it was too cold to snow – but of course – I should not have even thought of that. I should know better. My driveway is calling me now – but it will just have to wait until later.

Yesterday the roads were atrocious and I had to drive into the city to watch the babies, get them ready for school and take them to the bus stop and then pick them up after school. The morning commute was a nightmare – took me 3 times longer to get there and had to park in a parking lot and walk the rest of the way to get to their house. No city plows.

After school was better – arctic cold – but the roads were in better shape and the snow subsided. So I drove through the drive thru at BK and got 3 hot chocolates before I picked them up from the bus. Believe me – they were really appreciated! I know I needed it because their bus was late and I freeze in the car waiting for them.

On my way home in the morning – even with it storming, I stopped at the market and picked up a package of chicken thighs to make for today’s dinner. Once I got home and shoveled again – I got to start making dinner for today. I have an abundance of various block cheeses and we absolutely love cheese salads. You can see that recipe and the pictures at my post – A day to spend in the kitchen –

This morning I decided to make my coleslaw for today. Using a simple hand grater I shredded my cabbage and carrot and grated a bit of sweet onion to add to it. For the dressing – (eye balling it all)

In a small bowl, combine:
About 2 T. sugar
2 – 3 T. white vinegar – whisk to dissolve

Whisk in:
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
A drizzle of vegetable oil (about 2 T.)
About 1/3 cup mayo (salad dressing is fine – but I had mayo opened already in the fridge)

Whisk well, pour over cabbage mixture, mix well; cover and refrigerate until dinner time.

As far as the cabbage mix –
3 – 4 heaping cups cabbage, shredded
½ large carrot, shredded
A few tablespoons grated onion

I didn’t want to make too much.

Moving on to the “chicken department” – which I will post another continuing saga with Tyson at the end –

You just have to love buying packages of Tyson chicken thighs – I swear it. You never know just how much of what is tucked under the perfect looking thighs. I know I cut off more than a pound of fat and excess skin from them – and I only purchased eight of them. You grab a thigh out of the package and there is enough skin on them to wrap around them twice! But I trimmed them of excess skin and fat, thoroughly washed in cold water with salt – twice, and rinsed well; pat dry.

Placed in my roasting pan and drizzled with olive oil, turning to coat. Seasoning:

Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
Parsley
Garlic
Just a bit of onion powder

I seasoned the inside first, turned and seasoned the skin side; covered with foil and roasted at 350* F. for about 1 3/4 hours or so until done.

Meanwhile, I prepared my veggies for roasting:

Russet potatoes, cut into chunks (** see AFTER my Tyson “report”)
Cauliflower, cut into florets
Carrots, cut into chunks
Cooking onions, cut into wedges

Just toss with olive oil and season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, and parsley – transfer to baking dish and cover with foil – placed on the top rack about an hour into cooking the chicken and the veggies were done in 45 – 50 minutes.

Instead of making pan gravy, I decided to make a cream sauce –
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup whole milk
About ½ cup sour cream

Heat through without boiling.

Chicken thighs, roasted veggies, cream sauce, cheese salad and coleslaw:

Made a delicious hot meal for us today!

And now for the continuing saga – Tyson chicken –
I’ve been cooking chicken for decades – I know my chicken. Granted, chickens were better years ago – let’s face it – what wasn’t? Well last week I purchased a Tyson Roasting chicken. Looked good. It wasn’t frozen (just a note here.) I remove it from the bag, drain all the yucky liquids out of it, cut off it’s ass – yeah, you know me – asses off first! Then I proceeded to rip out all the fat and innards they didn’t clean out, cut off all the excess fat and skin and clean in cold salted water – TWICE. Rinse well, pat dry, and place in my roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season, shove a cleaned carrot stick and celery stalk with the leaves in the cavity, tie the legs, pour in some chicken broth, cover, and into a 350* F. oven. Looks good. Smells good. I wanted to use the carcass to make homemade soup.

Mind you – my chickens, just like my turkeys – fall apart. Always tender, juicy and good.

I basted several times. And when I removed it from the oven – I had met up with an armored chicken from the Twilight Zone. A sharp knife would not penetrate the skin. It was rock hard.

???????????????

Something is wrong – really, really wrong here. So I pull out my weapons of mass destruction (heavy duty knives) and I start to SAW this bird apart. Sure didn’t get too far with it. The sound of sawing the skin was scary alone.

Needless to say – it was a meatless – or should I say – chicken-less meal that day. A real disappointment.

No we didn’t starve – I have meat in the fridge and some turkey leftover from a previous meal that I was able to quickly cook for us to eat.

But as far as that chicken goes – I don’t know where the hell it came from! The thighs I made today were good – but that bird – scary thought of what it would have done to us if we ingested it. Although I don’t think we would have been able to bite into it. Never in my life did I ever encounter anything like that! Even the turkey cooked for Christmas in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was more tender than this thing.

**And – now to start on the Jolly Green Giant and his ho-ho-ho valley of veggies. I purchased a 10 pound bag of Russets – and I have only found 3 potatoes so far in the bag that were not rotten inside. They look good on the outside – and I was going to make baked potatoes the other day when I bought the bag (on Thursday) but something told me to cut them open and check them out. Yucky brown!

Oh well – is it just me or do you have problems with lousy produce as well?

And I won’t even ASK if anyone has ever encountered a chicken that could not be cooked and cut!