Friday, December 31, 2010


So for the last couple of months I've had a major mental block about posting.
For now I will promise that I will be posting again and soon!
I love you all for your wonderful support through the last couple of months! It goes without saying that I have some of the best friends and readers in the whole world! I'm looking forward to a New Year and everything that it will bring!
Much Love and Many Blessings

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Soup, Potato

I've been looking for a way to start this blog for well....gosh how long has it been?...2 months? maybe more?
Nothing would come. I've not forgotten you; more like the words have forgotten me.

So I'm simply going to post a recipe that I made 2 weeks ago. My friend Amy Beasly requested it. She thought it was delicious, and said it would be "A great Game Day Food". She is so funny!

Potato Soup with chicken and white beans:

1 potato/person, peeled and cubed
1 chicken breast/ person, frozen
1 onion/4 people, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can of white beans or 2 if you like the beans
Chicken stock enough to cover the potatos and chicken
1 nob of butter

Sautee the onion and garlic in the butter until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and chicken. Cover with the stock and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove the chicken and set aside. In small batches (trust me), pour the potatoes and broth into a blender and process until smooth. I had to have an extra bowl for this since i did it in batches. One day maybe I will have one of those fancy hand blenders that you just stick in the pot! What a dream!

Pour the smooth soup back into your pot and put back on the stove on low to keep warm.

Go back to your chicken. Cut it into cubes and throw back into the pot. Mine was perfect, but if yours still has some pink just cook it a little longer in the soup. Add the can of white beans.

Put into bowls, top with cheese if you like, and enjoy! 

What I want:

Dynamic PMX98 Hand Held Blender / Mixer, 8 Gallon


What I can Afford

KitchenAid Hand Held Blender - KHB1000B


Monday, September 20, 2010

Food brings us together

We went to the fair tonight. It was the typical (I guess) fare of food. You know the type- cheese on a stick, corn dogs, indian tacos, turkey legs, funnel cake, caramel apples, fried pickles, lemonade, and my favorite the German Nuts.

The booth for the beautiful Bavarian Nuts is in the exhibition hall closest to the petting zoo. The smell of sweet and spicy nuts fills the hall. They are full of warm flavors like cinnamon, brown sugar, and the roasting process brings out the wonderful earthy flavor. The pecans literally melt in your mouth.

When we found out two or three days ago that we would be going to the fair, I automaticaly thought, "I would love some of those spicy nuts."


So we went into the exhibit hall and my nose perked up and immediately pointed to the end of the room.
I'm not ashamed to say that like a child, I pushed and prodded and pulled my sweet, tolerant, and understanding hubby to the point of no return. We passed all of the outragous jewlery and Ed Hardy clothes. We made it past the funeral home booth, and I think possibly a musical cowboy.

We were there. My nose took in the full embrace of the heavenly smell. I opened my eyes and the proprietor's eyes met. Ryan tried to move on, but I held my ground! Smell doesn't give you calories, but I must admit I wasn't worried about calories!

All of a sudden in the midst of my aroma euphoria, I heard the proprietor say "I thought y'all moved to Europe or something?"

We had sold him one of our mattress sets in May of 09'. We talked to him about what we had been doing, and asked about his cutie kids.

Best part is that I got a free sample, and then...

and then....

My sweet, wonderful, crazy awesome husband bought me a paper cone of warm roasted almonds and pecans!

I love that hubby of mine!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Comfort food and beginings.

If you have read my very first blog post you know about my most distinct memory of food. A pig name Sally and an Uncle named Ben. A match made in heaven!

I haven't ever told you though where my true love of cooking started. One of my greatest cooking influences, my Papa Fouse!
We would go and stay with them, and papa would make pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy, BBQ (he made his own sauce), and so much more!

On Saturday mornings at 10 am, he would watch Justin Wilson without fail. They kinda look a like. Well maybe not a ton.

Anyhow, JW was the first chef that got me interested in cooking. I remember how he would say "One teaspoonsfull, I want to be sure I don't lies to people about the teaspoonsfull, there you see." Cause he put it in his hand. Or "I gar-on-tee it". Did I mention he's awesome!

Ok so I didn't use the "holy trinity" of Cajun cooking, celery, pepper, and onion.
I did use onion and garlic. So this may not be the true authentication of Cajun Gumbo, but it was very good!

What I used:

Leftover turkey (you could probably use one chicken cut into pieces)
Smoked sausage (you should use Gumbo (andouille) sausage if you can find it)
4 strips of pepper bacon 
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove
3 cups water
3 cups of broth
4 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Louisiana hot or tobasco sauce
  salt to taste

Start by cooking the bacon in the pot that you'll be making the Gumbo in. Once you've cooked the bacon and it has rendered most of its fat take the bacon out and turn your heat to low. Start adding the flour to the pot slowly.
You want to make sure that as you add the flour you get all of the lumps out before you add more flour. It should resemble a custard when your done...this is because you are also adding broth as needed to help it stay a bit moist.
When you have a nice brown roux (about 5 minutes) thrown in the onions and garlic and cook them for another 2-3 minutes, keeping in mind all the while, that you need to keep your roux moist.
Here is a video on how to make a roux that might help you if you are a virgin rouxster (hehehe):ROUX

To this mixture add the worcestershire sauce and the hot sauce. Stir!

Start adding the water and the rest of your broth. Stir, Stir, Stir. Make sure that all of your roux and liquid get completely and thoroughly mixed. Once they are mixed add the wine.  

Taste it and if you think it needs salt add some, if it needs more pepper sause add some!

Now add the meat (exclude the bacon).

Let this come to a boil and then simmer for about an hour.
Here is the kicker you have to put this into the fridge and let the flavors meld! I would really actually recommend this for any soup, but especially the Gumbo!

I know that probably some of you are saying this isn't true Gumbo. You are kind of right. I made this to suit my family. Personally I would have added File' already and okra, and some wonderful rice!
Instead I put out a pot of rice, fried the okra, and left the file' on the table along with extra hot pepper sauce. This made for a happy family.
Someone once told me that Gumbo is like Minestrone You add everything but the kitchen sink.

All I know is that this was my first time making Gumbo and I will be doing it again. It was comforting like bread pudding and and warmed the soul like a good bourbon. I can't wait to do this again without stipulations from others! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

My weakness....In Amarillo

I'm stuffed to my eyeballs; filled with my favorite soup in Amarillo.
Everyone knows where to get it...this lovely soup. MyThai...Toom Yum Noodle Soup!

Oh I love it. It is a stinky little piece of heaven. The beautiful pinkish, for it was a bit pink with chili today, broth is spicy and sour. The huge bowl (literally bigger than my head) is filled to the brim with ground pork, thin sliced chicken, lots of noodles, bean sprouts, lemon grass pieces, and two shrimp. 

I'm slightly uncomfortable right now. I ate the WHOLE thing....well, not quite the whole thing, all the stuffs and some of the broth.

It's become a beloved tradition in this odd sort of place in our lives that we meet with our dear friends the Underwoods and Sandy for lunch on Fridays when we are in Amarillo. Melinda and Sandy work together in the Medical District, so we always go to MyThai because it is close and fast!

I know what they will order and they know what I will order! It's a favorite. I don't do that at other places, just order 1 thing over and over and over, but I love the soup. And I might add that I have tried other things there, and some are good, I just love the dang soup.

Actually let me give you another soup of thiers that is also on my favorites list there. Thai Coconut soup. The broth is silky smooth with a hint of spice and lots of wonderful coconut flavor. It's chockfull of chicken and green onions! YUMMY!

So, "Wheel of Morality turn, turn, turn. Tell us the lesson that we should learn. Lesson #7: try the soups." Hahaha, Animaniacs, but really if you don't want stinky try silky!

If you read this then I would like your input! Do you have a great soup that you love? Any good french onion recipes? We are getting closer and closer to soup season, and it's time to share your favs with others! Please and thank you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Can you smell it. Bright and a bit pungent as well.
I love Garlic. No matter what you do to it!
Roast it! Sauté it! Mince it! Shave it! Grate it! Slice it! And of course Fry it!

Ok did I mention I heart <3 the Garlic!

I had to use it in a recipe this last week. My mother-in-law, Donna, had this new kitchen tool that she wanted me to try out. It's a garlic roller, but not what you would normally think of as a garlic roller.

What it does; well it does what it does with peeled garlic cut into smaller pieces.
Let me just show you the pictures.

Garlic in! 

Roll, Roll, Roll, With all your might kids, Roll the dang snot out of the dang Garlic!
Done! Not bad! It was however more work than just slicing and mincing myself. All together I give this a D. If you like to invoke the help of children then it might be a C at best. I would say don't waste your moolah on this gadget.

Roasted Root Veg and Butternut Squash! YUMMMY!

1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 Red Onions
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 lb. of potatoes cubed into 1", I used a white and rather creamy type
Carrots, in thick strips, about 1" wide
Parsnips, in thick strips, about 1" wide
Turnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
3 sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
(I do have to recommend HIGHLY the fresh, it's just better)
Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt)
Fresh Ground Pepper (again just better)
Olive Oil (enough to coat all of the veg)
1 cup of broth

Heat the oven to 450* F. and Roast the veg for 30 minutes. Take it out and let it rest for 10 minutes. Turn the oven to 350* and add 2 ladles, or about 1 cup of broth. The type of broth is your choice. I had chicken on hand so I used that. Turn all the veg around to coat in the broth.
Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. If you like your roasted veggies to be a little crispy you will want to keep them in about 5-10 minutes longer than that!
They are done, enjoy!

This recipe has been modified from one I found in a Magazine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Cake I don't have a name for!

This is the beginning of an Idea!

Idea starter 
(PS: this video is hilarious and you should watch it)

The idea morphed into something that is uniquely my father.

The only 3 things that stuck from the Cherpumple
were the cherry pie, apple pie, and Cream cheese Frosting (homemade)
The cakes are Banana supreme, Lemon Supreme, and Pineapple Supreme.

Here we go!

This cake takes forever to make. For Reals! Hours!

I wrote my acceptance speech for the life time acheivment award I will win one day!
It goes a little something like....

Hey It's DONE! Finally!

Duh duh duh! Look out for monster cake!
It's like Hypnotoad! 
All Glory to Hypnocake!

Then we cut the cake and well.......
It deflated! 

Here is the deal: It tasted Great! It wasn't too rich, but it was wonderfully tasty! 

If you are brave enough to try this you will get rave reviews!  This is the ultimate in cake! The King of CAKE!
Fair warning though is that it takes a lot of patience and time! 
Have fun!

Oh, I think I have a name...... Sir Cake Cherlemappinpeachnana!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pizza with a Complete Protien Crust!

Ok after I wrote the title I realized that sounds like the gross mushy stuff from the first Matrix movie.
Dozer : It's a single celled protein combined with synthetic aminos,
vitamins, and minerals. Everything the body needs.

Gross. Quinoa is nothing like that runny stuff, but it is a delicious complete protein! For Reals! 

Quinoa!, a great substitute for almost anything grain wise. If you have celiac disease then this is the stuff for you! It's the stuff for anybody! I love it!

Here are some ways that I use it.
1. Rice in soup. Make the quinoa separately and put into individual bowls.
2. Risotto!
3. Stuffing for anything
4. Breakfast grains
5. I bet it would be good as pancakes
6. My favorite so far....Pizza Crust!
So good. Here are the specks!
2 1/2 - 3 cups of Boliling water or Vegetable stock (adds great flavor)
2 -2 1/2 cups of Quinoa
2 eggs
1 tsp of Garlic, minced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Mozzerella cheese
1 tbls of flour or quinoa flour (to be gluten free)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cook the quinoa in the stock until it is softened. It needs to still have a bit of crunch to it, b/c you will bake it in the oven twice. This takes about 15 -20 minutes in a pot of boiling liquid. Tomatoe juice or a spicy bloody mary mix would be fun to try in this recipe....I might do that next time (I'd call the cajun queen).

Let the quinoa cool to room temperature. While it is cooling measure and mix together the eggs, garlic, milk, flour, and cheese. The eggs, flour, milk, and cheese will work together to bind the crust together!

After the quinoa has cooled add it to the egg mixture. Get your hands in there and get's the best part!  When you feel you have thoroughly mixed all of it together, pat it into a pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Take this time to get your pizza toppings ready.
I made a veggie pizza with pesto sauce and lots of cheese!
Munster, feta, and mozzarella cheese.

Bake your pizza for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly!!!!!
Slice and devour!

Quinoa crust, a New Sensation!

Disclaimer: this pizza was only semi-healthy due to the fact that it contained copius amounts of cheese!
Kyle A. Duncan: "Cheese is the fat man's candy!"

Love ya more than moleasses! (tehehe: refer to previous joke from the father's day post)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stirfry for breakfast??


I have 2 breakfast recipes that you will love. They are healthy and super tasty!
The first one is vegetarian. It doesn't have to be, and by all means if you are a meat eater, add some left over grilled chicken or turkey bacon.

I was completely inspired to create this recipe. We had gone to the farmers market  here in Amarillo and got some beautiful home grown veg! Love it!
With the addition of frozen edamame I was in heaven!

Here is what you will need:

4 hard boiled eggs (to learn how to boil an egg. Doing it that way leaves no ugly grey line!)

1-2 tbls Olive Oil
1 cup of frozen edamame
1 red bell pepper, sliced in rings (leave the middle in to keep the sides up when you slice. Remove the white middle when you have rings!)
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1 tbls. of flaxseeds
Salt and pepper to taste
2 swirls in your pan of honey

So you basically start with the olive oil. Let it get warm and then add the edamame, let this get slightly tan before you add more. Once it is slightly tan, add your pepper rings. Be sure to use the hat pieces too!
This is the hat! Let that get just short of done. You want it to have a little crisp when you bite into it. Add your cranberries and flaxseeds for a minute or two.
Salt and pepper to your liking! Here is the fun part! Take the pan off the heat and drizzle with 2 swirls of honey. Local if you can find it is best. Stir and put in a bowl with a lid to keep warm. My make-shift lid was a plate.

Take your pan back to the burner ( it should be med. heat). Add another tsp. of Olive Oil. Cut up a banana into slices and sauté the slices. Two minutes on each side should do. Of course, you must now add another swirl of honey to this meal! Now your bananas will hold the tbls. of flaxseeds that you will need to immediately add (I didn't and wished I did). If you don't have flaxseeds use sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Add a squeeze of lemon and you are ready to plate all of the lovely food!

Start by peeling and slicing or halving the boiled eggs. Then take a pepper ring from your SF and put it on the plate. Fill the ring (if it overflows that is ok) with the rest of your SF! Then to the side add some bananas! Yummy! style? Yeah!

Here is what you will need:

3 oz. of left over chicken
1/4 cup of edamame
1 oz of mixed seeds
           full Recipe
           1 oz pumpkin seeds,
           sunflower seeds, & flaxseeds
           Mix together and keep in freezer!
1 tsp of cumin
1-2 tbls of Siriacha sauce (also known as rooster sauce)
1 tbls of Molasses (b/c I love it)
3 dashes of soy sauce
1 tsp of garlic

Side note: I <3 Jamie Oliver...he gets so excited about healthy food!
Ok back to what you need.
Baked Polenta: Pick a mushy polenta recipe and cook it. After it's become leftovers take out a cupcake pan and spray it really well. Pack in the cold polenta until the holes are full! Bake at 400* for 15 minutes or until the polenta is a very nice tan color!

Now the last component Poached eggs (however many you need). If you don't know how or you just need a reminder of a great technique go HERE.

Ok so you will obviously want to start by poaching your eggs. Then get the polenta in the oven.

I forgot to say this before but if you want to leave the chicken out do could substitute slices of firm tofu for it.
You want to start the "stirfry" part by sautéing the chicken in olive oil. This is mostly just to warm it up. Add the edamame and cook till it is almost a caramel brown. Salt and pepper to taste at this point. Add in the seeds and cumin. Turn your burner to low and drizzle with a bit more olive oil to keep it from sticking.
Wisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce and pour on top of the stirfry. Take off the heat immediatly! If you don't the molasses will burn and it will be gross.

Time for assembly.
Start with the Polenta cake. On top of that goes the poached egg. Smother with the stirfry and sauce! This was so so so good!!!

   The great thing about breakfast is that it isn't just breakfast! It can just as easily be lunch or dinner! YaY for food that can be anything you want it to be!

You know I love you more than my spatula! - Meg

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Tricia McSwain! The Baked BEANS!

I can not take credit for this recipe. I got it off of a Paula Deen!
"I been known to lick a stick (of butter)!" -Paula Deen

This recipe she actually got from another enthusiastic fan, actually TWO other fans. When I first decided to do this recipe I couldn't remember their names, So..., I kinda made up my own. I have made it vegetarian and meatetarian (sorry I couldn't help it), and both ways are big fat hits! 

Let me do the basic vegetarian way!

2 28oz cans of Bushes vegetarian baked bean
1 big bag of fried onions + 1 can of fried onions
1 c. of Molasses
1 c. of Barbecue sauce
1 8oz can of crushed pinapple
I also like to add in veggies with this one: bell peppers, carrots, you could put in whatever veg  you like! Actually the next time I make it I'm going to add raisins and see how that goes over!

Mix all ingredients reserving the 1 can of fried onions. Remember to taste! Adjust the taste with salt and pepper!
Put into a preheated 450* oven covered with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the beans are bubbling! Pull the beans out and remove foil. Sprinkle the 1 can of onions over the top and bake for 10 more minutes!

Now you are ready for a cook out!

Meat version:

2 28 oz cans of Bushes baked beans
1 lb of pepper bacon
1 cup of molasses
1 cup of bbq sauce
1 bag +1 can of fried onions
1 8oz can of crushed pineapple

Same instructions as above, but 1 extra step. Fry the bacon, crush it, and put half in the bowl. Mix the other half with the 1 can of onions and reserve for the top of the beans!

This is not my photograph, but this is what they look like!

and because I will not post probably until after the 4th! Happy Independence Day! I hope you make some very special memories with the ones you love!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brought to you by popular demand!

Ok so last night I made Stuffed Baked Pork Chops. They were awesome, and quite honestly made of random stuff in my pantry.

I don't have any pictures of it, so I will try to describe them in great detail.

My grand idea for this dinner had originally started as italian based goodness, but it completely morphed into good ol' comfort food.

What you will need:
Boneless Pork chops (however many your family requires, mine required 4)

1 whole sprig of rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried. (you'll want to strip your sprig of all the leaves and throw the branch away.)
Some ground thyme and sage. Salt and Pepper to taste.

1/2 an onion, chopped or diced

 1 of whatever your favorite squash is peeled and diced into small cubes. I used a lovely green and white striped summer squash. If it were fall I might have used butternut or pumpkin.

1/4 of a bag seasoned croutons crushed

8 multigrain crackers crushed

I find that the big round ones work best.

Chicken stock
Dijon mustard
Sliced Provolone cheese
1 leek

Ok, so start by preheating your oven to 375*. Peel the first three layers of your leek. Wash it of all the dirt. Then slice it like you see above.
If you have a cast iron pan, by the way, that is what I recommend you use for this recipe. Everything should fit in a medium one nicely! If not, then use one that can go from stove top to oven!
Melt a 1/2 a stick of butter or heat up 1 tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, your choice, in the pan. As soon as it is melted (I did use the butter. I find I don't have to add more, and with oil you will need to) sautee the leek slices on medium low heat until golden brown. Turn off the heat.
Next make your stuffing.
Mix together the chopped onion, croutons, crackers, and 1 big squeeze of dijon mustard. It should look fairly dry and crumbly. Chop up the rosemary leaves if you are using fresh, and add them in with 1 1/2 tsp of thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
These next two steps are important: you will be alternating them until you have the right mushiness and flavor. Add 1 tsp of sage and stir, then add 1/4 cup of stock. Stir. Taste. Ask, "is this the right flavor for me?" If you don't think so, add 1/2 a tsp more of sage. Remember about your mushiness. No one likes dry stuffing right? So you want your stuffing to not be quite a river, but the consistency of oatmeal. At this point forget about the measuring cups and do little bits at a time. Remember you can always add more, but you can NOT take away! Do these steps until it is where you want it to be.  ( I know that this is vague. To be honest this was a learned tecnique from my memaw and mom, and I'm not quite sure how to put it in writing. I hope it works for you.)

Next you will want to butterfly your chops. If you don't know how to do this HERE is a great tip video!

To stuff your pork chops:
Take one of the butterflied chops lay half of a slice of provolone cheese on either side. Then add one spoonful of the stuffing. Close your chop, and toothpick it. Salt and Pepper both sides of the closed chop.
Once you have all of the chops done this way, start heating up the pan again. Add more oil if you used oil (this is your call, but I find that it may need it).
You should have a significant amount of stuffing left over too! This is a goody bonus!
Once the pan is sizzling hot, add in your chops. Cook them for 4 minutes on each side. Add the rest of the stuffing to your pan, and slap it in the oven. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
The cheese should be bubbling out of the the chops and the stuffing should be golden brown. And, do you remember the leeks? They have caramelized and become part of the stuffing! Lovely!

I served these with corn on the cob and Alfredo mashed potatoes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day: My dad's favorite dish

Pork and Beans. Seriously. He loves them. He emailed me in January of this year stating, "I'm doing a 365 days and 365 P&B recipes challenge." My dad is hilarious, and I'm proud to be his daughter, so in honor of him today I'm writing a post about his favorite food.

When you look it up on Wiki., it has a simple page, or so it seems.
Pork and beans in the general sense of a recipe is rendered pork fat and navy beans. If you buy them at your local gorcery then you get a can of these two ingredients also stewed with tomatoes. This however didn't happen until the 1800's. "it was well established in the American diet by the mid-1800s. The 1832 cookbook The American Frugal Housewife lists only three ingredients for this dish: a quart of beans, a pound of salt pork, and pepper.[3] According to the 1975 Better Homes and Garden Heritage Cookbook, canned pork and beans was the first convenience food." Wikipedia

Where do they come from then? While wiki says it is unknown, I'm bound and determined to find out.  Well to find that out my little mousey mouse has to do some clicking!

I believe that pork and beans is derived from basic bean dishes.  Pork and beans is considered to be a typical cowboy, on the trail, type food. You might think that the closest thing in the USA to be the ancestor of pork and beans are Boston Baked Beans, however P&B showed up around 1832 in the frugal housewife cookbook. Boston Baked Beans didn't come about until 1919 when Boston was flooded with Molasses. mom's favorite Molasses joke: "3 moles, a papa mole, mama mole, and baby mole were in their hole. Papa and Mama Mole stuck their heads out the top. Baby mole asked Papa mole what he smelled, and Papa said, "I smell pancakes with butter!" Baby asked Mama mole, and mama mole said, " I smell Bacon and eggs!" Baby mole said, "All I smell is Mole-asses!"

So a no for Boston Baked Beans. Let's see what else we can find.

One link was for Fabada. It's a spanish dish in origin. I think it looks awfully familiar.

There is also and egyptian dish called Ful Medames. This has been a traditional dish in daily egyptian life. As a matter of fact, the cooking method (which is that they are buried to cook) is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud. The only difference in this dish is that there is no meat except the boiled eggs on the the side.

The picture below is ful medames.
Ok, ok, I was just having fun with these. They will establish though that beans even pork and beans have ancestors from all over the world.

So my mouse finally clicked on Baked Beans. They are generally made from pork.

The traditional beans, navy beans, used in baked beans, are originally from North America. They were taken to Italy in 1528 and France in 1547. Some say that France brought cassoulet and that is where, with the addition of other nation's traditional bean recipes, we get baked beans.
Now according to the first article I read about Pork and Beans, tomatoes were not originally used in Pork and beans. I submit therefore that the original ancestor of Pork and Beans is.....CASSOULET! :O
Well there you go; those are my findings. Remember to make the dad's in your life some special food today!

I made my dad his favorite!

P.S.: this is a creepy little boy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Dinan Family

Our friends Aldo, Megan and their three kiddos had us over for dinner tonight.
Aldo made Mauritian food for us. Yummy!
That is where Aldo is from, Mauritius, Africa.

Mauritius is an island country off the east coast of Africa. To understand the flavors that we experienced you have to know what the history of rule in Mauritius has been, and where it's cultural influences have come from.

1. The Dutch claimed the little island first in the 15th century, that's the 1400's. Then they abandoned it.                                                            
 2.The French took over and taught the people: Frère Jacques, frère Jacques, Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous? Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines! Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don.

3.  The Brits took control during the Napoleonic Wars (that was in the early 1800's). 

4. In 1968 Mauritius became independent. 

 Let's not forget that Mauritius has it's own culture and influences from being apart of Africa and in the Indian Ocean. The have a Creole Culture which according to wikipedia means: "The usage of 'creole' in the islands of the southwest of the Indian Ocean varies according to the island. In Réunion and the Seychelles, the term 'creole' includes people born there of all ethnic groups.[3] In Mauritius, on the other hand, the term excludes white people.[3] In all three, 'creole' also refers to languages derived from French." Mauritius is considered to be a blend of Indian, Creole, European, and Chinese influences.

Two facts you may not know:
1. Mauritius was the fifth location ever to use postage stamps.
2. Mauritius was the only know habitat of the extinct dodo bird.

So, last night we had a delicious meal of sausage with a gingery tomato sauce. There were clounds on my plate of lovely fluffy white rice. A beutiful river of garlic-ee Lentils flowed care free around everything else. 

 This isn't what we had last night, but it does look similar. I can still smell the heavenly aroma as if it were hugging my nose.

I hope that if you aren't someone who likes to be adventurous in what you eat, that this will inspire you to try something new. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Posole or "Pozole"

I love this soup! It makes my day everytime I get to eat it. I first learned about it when I worked at Eat-Rite Health Promotion Center. The best thing about it is that it's so tasty, and bonus, it's super simple! I love it!

Pozole is traditionally from Mexico. It's a dish that you would typically find in Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, México and Distrito Federal.

hmmmm......there were names on states a minute ago.

Well get on with it.

Researchers find this dish of particular interest. Because, ancient Mexicans believed that humans were made from Masa or cornmeal dough. Seeing as the soup is made with meat they believe that it was reserved for rituals and special occasions.

It has been speculated by anthropologists that the meat used traditionally was human. As is well known that cannibalism was present in ancient Mexico, they speculate that after prisoners hearts were torn out in the human sacrifice their bodies were chopped up for the soup.
Of course, after the Spanish stole the land and planted cathedrals they outlawed cannibalism. They then started using pork for the dish, because it "tasted very similar" according to one Spanish priest. Anyone hungry for some bacon?

This is disturbing sorry!

Ok now that non of you want to try this soup let me just say that my recipe calls for chicken.....not pork. However, if you are not grossed out and want to switch out pork I would recommend pork shoulder.

Meg's Posole:

2lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup of chicken broth. 
1 onion chopped
1 zucchini chopped
6 garlic cloves minced
3 large leaves of kale rough chop
1 1/2 tsp of oregano
Fresh cilantro (1 handful chopped)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp of cumin
2 cans white hominy (look by the canned corn)

Put your chicken in a large soup pot and cover with water. Add 1 cup of chicken broth. I prefer the chicken broth, but if you are without it add 1 1/2 tsp of salt to the water. You can always adjust the saltiness of your dish later. You can always add, but you can not take away! Cover your pot and bring it to a boil.

While you are waiting for the chicken to cook...probably about 10-15 minutes, chop and mince away. Open the cans, and measure your seasonings!  

Once your chicken has cooked remove it from the water. Bring your broth to a gentle simmer. Once it is at a gentle simmer add your veg and seasonings! Don't add your hominy yet.

Now you will want to cut your chicken in chunks. Add that to your soup. Now add the hominy.

Bring all of this to a boil together. Taste it and adjust your seasonings (if it tastes good to you don't change it). Once it comes to a boil turn off the heat. Let your soup cool for about an hour, and then put it in the fridge overnight!!!
Putting your soup in the fridge overnight gives all of the different flavors fighting for your mouths attention time to get along and meld together.

Whenever you are ready the next day take it out and warm it up on the stove. Serve with homemade tortillas or cheddar cornbread!!!!

I made this today! My sister is coming for lunch tomorrow! It's healthy so I know she will like it! She calls it "happy food"! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
 These were taken next day for your benefit!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


It's that time of year! Summer! And that means watermelon time! I'm eating some right now!

Math Equation for you!
Summer =A
Watermelon =B
Any Guesses?

If you answered LOVE you are correct!

Did you know that watermelon has a long history?
It is speculated to have originated from Africa. There were seeds found in ol' King Tut's tomb. The moorish invaders took it to Europe. Did you know that it first made it's appereance in an English Dictionary in 1615? It's true! In the 10th century the Chinese were working their food voodoo on watermelon. As a matter of fact.....this will be quite controversial for some of you, but they were pickling the rind way before the U.S. was the U.S. AND.. The Vietnamese say they had those ruby reds way before China did.
WOW that's a lot of history for a melon.

Now here's the fun part...How many ways can you eat it?

According to my fella...the best way to eat watermelon is to have a quarter of the melon in your hands, outside, and going after it face first. Juice runs from your mouth, to your hands, to your elbows, and down your shirt until you are super sticky all over! After you're finished all that is left is to run through the sprinkler to get the sticky off!

Some like it sliced, diced, salted (NOT my favorite at all), sugared, Juiced, with Cream, crushed with ice, fizzed (use plain soda and mix with juice), sandwiches, yogurt, shakes, soups, salads, and of course salsa!

Here is a new one! Can you believe I found a recipe for FRIED watermelon. Unintentional, honest...I totally happened upon it!

 Alright all that is left is for you to go and get some of wonderful fruit that Oklahoma thinks is a vegetable (for reals)! Have Fun!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The "Southern" Triangle

On the way back from Florida we took a actually missed a turn.
We were then on the road. I know, I know, we had already been on the road, but this was the smaller road. Call it the road of small town America...........this turned into a LONG trip.

We ended up having to stop in a town that we were passing through on this road. I can't remember the name, however, I do remember where we stopped.

We walked around. I found a nice apple and some crackers. There were pictures of the Piggly Wiggly character dancing all around the top of the store.

After rounding a corner I came upon a display of all things pig. I mean this- they had everything. Pickled pig lips, pickled pigs feet, fried skins, smoked pig loaf, ect. It was all there. I was a bit grossed out.

We finally found our way out of the store and got on the road. We kept on driving and driving and driving. Georgia is not that big of a state right....or at least not the bit that we drove through.

Needless to say I was tired of driving. We drove from Valdoosta, GA to Jasper, AL. By the middle of the drive I knew what was going through my mind couldn't possibly happen, but it did seem like a very real possibility.

It  seemed as if we were going through a "southern"  Bermuda triangle. It was a perpetual endless drive through small town after small town. We were lost to a fate of The Piggly Wiggly pork products as our only source of nutritional value....

feet and lips
You can't make this stuff up....there really was smoked pig loaf....I'm glad there are people who can enjoy these things, as for me, well.....As K-La Mac would say, "I'm over it!"

Let me end with this...there are apparently ways to eat pigs lips and one of them gets a shout out for sounding like a gross out.....