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Entree

Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini, Mema’s way.

Mema was my husband’s mother (and Mema to grandkids and great grandkids) and all of us always had our favorite things we wanted her to make for us for holidays/birthdays/special occasions.

As a kid, my husband would beg for his “own” date nut roll when his mom was making them to give to friends at Christmas. My kids always liked her chex mix and there were always cans of the mix ready when we went to visit.

I remember going to GA’s house for dinner one night when we were dating back in high school and his mother had made chicken chow mein and he kept saying you are really going to like this and I did and I still make it years later.

Other favorites were her pimento cheese, pecan rolls, white beans and cornbread. Everyone had their favorites and she would gladly make them for their special day. And, at Thanksgiving she always wanted the same thing – cranberry relish, cornbread dressing (of course cornbread), giblet gravy (who doesn’t like giblet gravy) and sweet potato casserole. My family now is divided on whether to put marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes. I’m sure Mema used the marshmallows.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ Pasta

Key Lime Shrimp with Trottole Pasta

Good and bad from Poppycocks…

So, the bad I will get out of the way first. We had dinner one night at Poppycocks in Traverse City, MI and my husband had the worst meal ever. It was cold, the plating didn’t make sense, vegetables looked raw and even after sending it back it still wasn’t good or even hot. In almost 50 years of marriage I don’t think he has sent anything back. The fish had no color and looked steamed and who puts a big chunk of cold tomato under a cooked piece of fish.

Now to the good. I really felt quilty eating my delicious Key Lime Shrimp and Pasta dish. It was so good and the lime flavor was so refreshing. I offered him a bite (only one) which he refused because he was waiting on his plate to be reheated. I think maybe they took the plate back and just looked at it and brought it back. So much for the SPECIAL of the evening.

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Entree/ Side dish

Sweet Corn Risotto with Goat Cheese

Michigan corn!

On a recent, very long, road trip (3,500 miles) to see our son and family in Chicago I bought corn.

So the trip started from Texas and stopping in Missouri for a few days and Chicago for a few days we made our way north around the lake. Did you know that it is 1,000 miles around Lake Michigan?

We had to deal with 4 hours of rain leaving Texas, then another 4 hours the day we left Missouri and guess what, another 4 hours of rain driving up the Wisconsin side of the lake before getting to our final destination (almost) on Mackinac Island where we stayed a couple of days, enjoyed biking around the island and tea at the Grand Hotel. Leaving there we headed towards Traverse City visiting a lot of little lake towns along the way; and no rain!

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Entree/ Poultry

Forbidden Bowl

Not forbidden anymore!

A few weeks ago I was in Austin staying with my daughter and we had lunch (and shopped) one day during her lunch break. There’s nothing more fun than lunching with a daughter (or son) and shopping.

We had lunch at the Flower Child Restaurant which is in the Domaine in Austin. They have quite a few locations in AZ, CA, GA, MD, NV, TX, and CO; so if there is one in your area you have to try this dish; you will love it.

FC makes everything from scratch and they cover most diets like paleo, vegetarian, vegan and can even do sugar-free. The Forbidden Rice bowl is one of the favorites on their menu and was a favorite of mine from the first bite. So after picking through the bowl and looking at the menu description I decided to make my own version. How hard could that be; all I had to do was come up with the red chili hoisin sauce which I managed pretty easy.

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Entree/ Morning Foods/ Pork

Jalapeño Gravy with Chicken Fried Pork Tenderloin

Jalalpeno Gravy, love at first bite.

On the way to Big Bend National Park back in the Spring we stopped at the Holland Hotel in Alpine, Tx one night and I had chicken fried wild boar with a jalapeño gravy. After arriving in Big Bend we had chicken fried something again. More chicken fried anything than I had eaten in a year. The jalapeño gravy was the best part of the dish and was worth every bite because I knew I’d be making it once we returned home.

So when I called this post Jalapeño Gravy WITH Chicken Fried Pork Tenderloin that is because I love the gravy and you can literally put it on anything chicken fried. I made this when the kids were visiting one weekend and I served it for brunch; but it could easily be a dinner entree with or without the biscuit supporting the pork tenderloin which is pounded out flat, egged, floured and fried and smothered with this wonderful gravy.

The Century restaurant at the hotel had a beautiful little courtyard where we dined. And as usual, I quizzed the waiter about the jalapeño gravy. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the gravy was milk gravy with some jalapeños and a little chili powder to turn it a pinkish color. Anyone who is a fan of milk gravy and know how to make it could figure the recipe out in a minute.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Redfish with Crab Maque Choux

Love at first bite! Sadness at last!

What I remember about this dish the first time I tasted it; well it was love at first bite. My son, Paul, made it one weekend when they were visiting The Woodlands. Anything he cooks is always delicious. But this particular dish brought sadness too.

The sadness from eating this dish came when there was one bite left on my plate and I knew that was going to be the last. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way about anything I’ve eaten before but the redfish along with the corn maque choux and topped with lump crab meat was just so good and it’s always such a memorable experience watching/helping/being a sous chef to him.

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Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables

An easy dish to make with your leftovers.

Recently when our son Paul and his family were visiting we went to our favorite sushi restaurant and had dinner at the hibachi tables. Milo and Donovan (2 of our 6 grandsons) had never had rice thrown at their faces, watched a volcano of onion rings shoot flames out the top or see the chef twirl knives around.

It was a fun night and had me wanting to put fried rice on my menu for the week.

I guess my introduction into Chinese food would be eating chicken chow mein at my husbands house way back in our high school days. My mother never made anything Asian I can think of while we were growing up but she did love my mother-in-law’s chow mein. My sister and I both use to make a fried rice with crumbled bacon in it and it was/is quite good. This version has some vegetables and chicken and a few mushrooms thrown into the mix.

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Entree/ Poultry

Orange Chicken with Veggies

Beautiful chicken dish.

I love cooking and eating Asian foods and one of my New Year’s resolutions was to cook it more often.

My favorite dinner party would be to make my homemade egg rolls, maybe some type of dumping with dipping sauces for an appetizer and then a small bowl of my Egg Flower Soup, followed by some Teriyaki Flank Steak, Fried Rice (or lo mein) and a Bitter Greens Salad with Yuzu Dressing Oh, and of course to go with the main dish, my Shrimp Foo Yung.

I’ve never tried any Asian desserts I have liked that much. Almond cookies or ok but that’s not dessert. Maybe my Bananas in Creme Fraiche rolled in Coconut on top of some raspberry puree would make a tasty dessert and my Nutella Cherry Dumplings along side the banana rolls for a little added crunch.

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Beef/Veal/ Entree/ Morning Foods

Beef Hash and Eggs

Put an egg on it!

Did you grow up eating hash (not that kind)? I remember having it once or twice as a kid but it wasn’t something on our weekly menu. I remember working with a girl decades ago (that’s a long time) and remember her telling me she cooked the same thing each week. Meatloaf for Monday night supper, chicken for Tuesday, maybe burgers for example for Wednesday and she would repeat the meals the next week.

I don’t repeat meals often and I have this blog to thank for that because I’m always trying to come up with something new to post. We do have burgers, pulled pork, chili, anything bar-b-queed showing up again and again but not on my weekly menus.

Usually when I do a beef roast, it is cooked with potatoes, carrots and onions. What else could you put in a pot roast? Never though of putting mushrooms in with the mix; I think that addition would be great and will try that the next time.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Thai Shrimp and Eggplant Stir-Fry

Thai food anyone?

A lot of recipes I do come from things I’ve eaten at restaurants and have tried to recreate, some recipe are things I have cooked over years of being married and some are recipes I try of other peoples. Usually I’m tweaking with things I want to change in the recipe.

In the case of this recipe I only made one change or maybe two. I added sugar snap peas which I tninkadd a needed crunch factor to the recipe and also some color to lighten the dish up. I did also add some soy (or Tamari) sauce with the fish sauce only because I hate the smell of fish sauce but know it adds a lot of flavor to Asian recipes. My only other recommendation would be to only use one Fresno pepper. Even though we like things really hot around here, two peppers make for a pretty steaming hot dish. If you can’t find Fresno peppers substitute a jalapeño.

There are all types of noodles you can serve along with this dish. I made my husband Udon noodles but you can use rice noodles, ramen, or soba noodles. I made my dish with black rice so if you are wanting rice try the black (not wild or brown rice or some good old white rice even though it’s not as good for you as the black or brown rices.

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Entree

New Years Resolutions

Keeping those resolutions so far?

So, we are into our second month of the new year. Did you make any resolutions and have you been able to keep them?

Our new years day always starts with either pork belly (or hog jowl), black eyed peas (of course), cabbage, and cornbread. There is hardly ever any deviation from this menu. I added some pico this year to go with my black eyed peas but that was only because I hadn’t made any chow chow in a couple of years and didn’t have even a jar tucked away in my pantry.

A New Year’s resolution is suppose to be a change you want to make in an undesired trait or behavior or something you want to accomplish in the new year. Off hand I can’t think of an undesirable trait I have (I’m kidding myself, I’m sure) and I know I have no behaviors I want to change (well, maybe a couple) but I would like to accomplish a few things this year like have my broken foot finally heal, and go to the gym more often, read more books, cook more, travel more and try to get rid of more stuff I do not need. Continue Reading…

Entree/ Pork

Pepperoncini Pork Roast

Cute little wrinkled peppers partner with pork butt.

So, even though your name probably isn’t Peter and you haven’t just picked a peck of pickled peppers you don’t know what to do with, keep reading below and I will tell you what to do with the ones you will buy from the market.

I’m sure everyone has had pulled pork. We grew up eating pulled pork bar-b-q and when we first moved to Texas we never saw it on menus — mostly brisket and sausages. Now we see pull pork everywhere.

Have you ever had pepperoncini pork roast? So juicy and tender after cooking for 5-6 hours (oven or slow cooker) it falls apart just looking at it and then whether you put it on top of some homemade mashed potatoes or put it into a flour tortilla shell for a “peppered pork taco” or just eat it as is, you will get the peppery (not too hot) taste of the wrinkled little peppers along with the spices and onions that have almost cooked away to nothing.

I first saw this recipe of Haylie Pomroy (Fast Metabolism Diet) and knew exactly how I wanted to do it. If you want a lot of flavor and a lot of juice, don’t use a pork loin roast. Period. No pork loin, never in my opinion. I use to buy pork loin to cut in pork chops and finally realized that all though there’s no fat/bone, there’s also no flavor. So if I want a pork chop, I’m paying “extra” to get that bone. Just kidding, usually boneless is more expensive but you lose so much in flavor if you aren’t cooking meat on the bone.

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