Sabtu, 14 April 2012

A little slice of heaven

When I was kid my family didn't have a lot of money.  A single mom with two little kids . . . it was rough but we didn't suffer.  Mom made do with what she had . . . she was economical; she gardened and canned the produce, she bought milk and meat from local farmers, she shopped with coupons and looked for bargains.

There was always food in the house but you didn't eat anything without prior approval; groceries were purchased for intended meals.  And, because we lived about 30 miles from the nearest grocery store you couldn't just go pick something up at the corner store if you ran out.  

And, because we lived so far from the store mom did one major shopping trip a month . . . that's right . . . grocery shopping once a month.  Everything that was freezable was frozen and everything else was either refrigerated or non-perishable. Towards the end of the month pickins were getting slim.

I was what would be classified today as a latchkey-kid. So, when I got home from school and wanted a snack sometimes I had to get creative. Chips, pretzels, corn chips?  I don't think so . . . mom didn't have junk food in the house.   Getting close to shopping time there wasn't always stuff to make a full-blown sandwich.    But there was always bread.  

Options were often minimal . . . sometimes I'd make a cheese and mustard sandwich.  

Peanut butter and jelly was another choice.  Sometimes I might make a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich . . . don't knock 'til you try it; sweet and sour and crunchy.  And if there were Bacos . . . peanut butter and Bacos; sweet and salty and crunchy.

Now if the cupboards were really running low there was always mayonnaise or ketchup.  So, I'd hook myself up with a plain ol' mayonaise sandwich (or Miracle Whip, even better) or a plain ol' ketchup sandwich . . . take a piece of bread slather some mayo or ketchup on it and eat.  Don't laugh . . . sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.

My favorite, however, was cinnamon/sugar bread . . . smear some margarine on a piece of bread and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Like a little slice of heaven.  

Cinnamon Toast Rolls

12 Slices of Very Soft, FreshWhite Bread
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
Cinnamon Sugar (1 TbspCinnamon to ½ Cup Sugar)

Preheat the oven to 375degrees.

If desired, cut the crustsfrom a slice of bread.  Roll until verythin. Spread both sides of the bread with melted butter and then sprinkle oneside with the cinnamon sugar, making sure to cover very well.  

Fold eachside into the middle and then gently roll up and place in a buttered minimuffin tin.  Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar.  

Alternately, you can fold thebread into a triangle, and then fold into another smaller triangle and place ona parchment-covered baking sheet.

When all of the rolls are made,bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are just starting to turn golden brownand get a little crisp.  Remove from the muffin tin to cool.

If desired, drizzle with someicing made with powdered sugar that's been moistened with a little milk.

Jumat, 13 April 2012

Firewater Friday - Beer makes men smarter

I heard on the news that there was a study that was done by the University of Illinois that revealed that beer makes men smarter.  Well, if that was the case then my hubby would be a freakin' genius.  Oh wait . . . his is (really he is) !  Hmmm . . . that certainly explains a lot.

The study explains that drunks . . . I mean men . . .  that have imbibed a few brewskies do better at solving brain-teasers than their soda drinking buddies.

40 men were given a series of analytical word puzzles to solve.  Half of those men had been given a couple pints of frothy goodness and the other half were told to go pound sand. 

To the surprise of many . . . the lushes were not only able to solve 40% more of the puzzles but did it 25% faster!  Go beer hounds!! 

The study went on to show that even though the bacchanalian beer buddies were better at solving creative puzzles their memories were actually worse than their stone cold sober compatriots.

Well, you can't have everything.

Godiva White Chocolate Mint Martini

1 Ounce GodivaLiqueur
3/4 Ounce SmirnoffVodka
1/2 Ounce WhiteCrème De Menthe

Combine GodivaLiqueur, vodka and crème de menthe in cocktail shaker with ice.  Stir.  Pourinto cocktail glass.

Kamis, 12 April 2012

New Brew Thursday - Doubleheader . . . Saranac Caramel Porter and Harpoon Chocolate Stout

Since I started writing reviews for the new beers that I drink I've notice an ever increasing awareness of the complexities of the flavors of different beers and a growing appreciation for styles of beer that I never truly enjoyed before.

Take porters and stouts for example.  I always considered them heavy beers with strong flavor.  This is true and yet it's not.  They certainly can drink like a meal but they can also spin an intricate web of subtle flavors that combine to make for a truly pleasurable drinking experience.

Saranac Caramel Porter . . . brewed by Matt Brewing Company is just a such a beer.  This 127 year old brewery located in the heart of the Adirondacks created a perfectly delicious porter.  

The caramel aroma and flavor are unmistakable and, yet, it is not an overly sweet beer.  Due to it's low carbonation, it pours with a light frothy head that dissipates quickly.  It has a soft mouth feel . . . very smooth.  Along with the caramel, there is a roasted malt flavor that finished slightly bitter . . . a nice balance of complex flavors.

A medium-ish alcohol content . . . 5.4% ABV . . . makes this a nice beer that you can enjoy a few over a couple hours and not be slammed.

All-in-all a very good beer.  Two-thumbs up!

Check out their other beers on the website or visit them on Facebook.

A stout that follows along the same lines is Harpoon Chocolate Stout.  You open that bottle and your pouring chocolate beer . . . dark chocolate beer.  Slightly sweet and a little bitter . . . a delight to be sure.

This yummy stout is brewed by Harpoon Brewery which has plants located in Boston Massachusetts and Windsor, Vermont.  

What makes this beer so chocolatey?  According to Harpoon it is brewed with an abundance of chocolate malt and a touch of chocolate. Enough said.  

It pours a dark rich brown . . . almost black . . . with a light brown head.  Chocolate, of course, is the primary flavor but there are hints of nuts and coffee, as well.  Not particularly sweet and finishes bitter with very little hoppiness.

This stout a got a nice mouth feel and is not overly carbonated.  It feels and tastes just right, in my estimation.  A beer to be savored and enjoyed . . . I think its a good curl-up-with-a-good-book beer or to be shared while relaxing good friends.

Just try to stop at just one.  Very drinkable at 5.9% alcohol by volume.


Check out their other beers on the website or visit them on Facebook.

Rabu, 11 April 2012

Anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good.

Alicia Silverstone . . . I remember when she used to be cute and perky.  Now? She’s just freaking weird.  Maybeshe was abducted by aliens . . . aliens from Ferenginar to be exact.

Wait . . . what?  Huh?Where did that come from?!

Something that I saw recently in the news about the cluelessactress.  She mouth feeds her child . . .like he’s a little baby birdie or something. Seriously!

Ferengi women traditionally softened food for members oftheir family by chewing it.  See?  I actually went somewhere with that!  How cool am I?

Pre-chewing is a common practice . . . among women incultures where they don’t have access to food processors, that is.  I’m sure even a vegan-hippy-nutter likeAlicia Silverstone has a food processor. You know what?  I bet if a motherfrom backward indigenous culture would do if she had access to a foodprocessor? I bet she’d use it!

Oh, and by the way, the name of child in question  . . . Bear Blu.  I'm sure he'll thank her for that name when he's 16.  Like I said . . . weirdo!

That is all . . . moving on . . . 

White Chicken Enchiladas

These are lickthe plate clean good

10 soft tacoshells
2 cups cooked,shredded chicken
2 cups shreddedMonterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chickenbroth
1 cup sour cream
4 oz Chopped SunDried Tomatoes

Preheat oven to350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan

Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and placein pan.  Top with sun dried tomatoes.

In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thickand bubbly.


Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.  Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdledsour cream.

Pour over enchiladasand top with remaining cheese.

Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown thecheese.

Selasa, 10 April 2012

Why I Like Velveeta

Velveeta . . . you know the stuff.  It can barely be called cheese . . . and it’snot really, not even to the USFDA.  It’s considered a processed cheese food product.   I like the fact that they had to include the word 'food' in the classification.  Like there was a question about whether or not it's food . . . well, maybe there is. 

I’ll admit that I like it. Like spam . . . it has its place in my kitchen but by no means would I putit up there with my beloved super sharp cheddar or luscious creamy brie. 

I've noticed that, depending on where I shop, I may find itin the refrigerated dairy section or I may find it on a shelf somewhere else inthe store.  The question is . . . does itneed to be refrigerated?  Well, no . . . not really.  

It is shelf stable because it is so very,very ultra-super-duper highly pasteurized and it’s not truly cheese and it is vacuum sealed itactually does not need to be kept cold.  Somewould argue that you don’t even need to refrigerate it after it’s been opened .. . well, I err on the side of caution and not go that far. 

Velveeta has a longevity that rivals uranium but to keep itfresh it’s best stored in an airtight container after you’ve opened it.  Refrigerate or not . . . I’ll leave that upto you. 

For those of you cringing over the thought of consumingVelveeta . . . remember when the power went out for weeks and weeks in parts ofthe country after Hurricane Rita and the subsequent snow storm?  Well, because Velveeta has such a long shelflife it is excellent to keep on hand to go with your long or short termsurvival supplies.  It’s great forcamping, too.

Just remember that as well as Velveeta keeps it does lose some quality over time . . .yes, I know, quality is a relativeterm.  Whatever  . . . just make sure you mark the date ofyour stored Velveeta.

If you’re a fisherman . . . keep a plastic container ofVelveeta in your fishing tackle box.  Believe it or not, trout like the stuff . . . whethera week old or a year old, they don’t care.  

And if you want to give those fishies an extra special treat, stuff a pieceof garlic into the inside of the cheese ball . . . you’ll have cheesy garlicstuffed trout on your table in no time . . . well, processed cheese food product and garlic stuffed trout, anyway.


Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

2 Cups Cooked andShredded Chicken
4 Cups (8 oz. Dry)Cooked Spaghetti
8 Oz. Velveeta {OrMore}, Melted
1 Can Cream OfChicken Soup
1 Can GreenChilies {Or A Can Of Tomatoes With Green Chilies}
1/2 Tsp. GarlicPowder

Mix altogether andpour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the top with some shredded cheddarcheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min. or until bubbly.

Sabtu, 07 April 2012

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do

I'm a horrible person and I'm probably going to Hell but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  

There's this person in the office where I work who apparently doesn't have enough to do. He flits from door to door and desk to desk talking to anyone who happens to make random eye contact.  Not necessarily full eye contact either . . . once could be looking in his general direction and that would be enough to invite conversation.  I'm not talking once in a while that he does this . . . but every day several times a day.

Sometimes I get tangled in his talkative web and it might not be that bad if the conversations contained even the slenderest thread of coherent of thought process.  But it's usually random weirdness that doesn't have much to do with much of anything that is relevant.

And sometimes it seems as though he's speaking some Khoisan language as he walks by and starts making a weird clicking sound with his mouth and punctuates this with knuckle tapping on the partition of my cubicle.

Today he stopped at my cubicle with a couple clicks and knocks and with a great intake of breath began babbling a stream of nonsense.  I listened politely for as long as I could tolerate it without blood leaking out of my ears or my head exploding.  

Then as if my telephone suddenly began to ring (which it didn't) I lifted one finger in a hold-on-a-sec gesture, picked up the handset of my phone and began a non-existent conversation with no one.  He walked away and instant relief ensued.

You might say to yourself . . . how would I get away with such a ruse?  The man is clueless . . . what can I say.

I'm totally going to Hell.

Breakfast Galette


1 1/4 CupAll-Purpose Flour
1/2 TeaspoonKosher Salt
1 Stick UnsaltedButter, Cubed and Cold
1/4 Cup Water, IceCold


3 TablespoonsRicotta Cheese
1/4 CupMozzarella, Shredded
2 Slices Bacon,Cooked and Cubed
1 Slice Ham, Cubed
3 Large Egg Yolks
Salt And Pepper

In a medium bowl,mix together all-purpose flour and salt. Place flour and unsalted butter infreezer for 5 minutes to chill.

Combine flourmixture and butter. Mix until you’re left with what resembles coarse meal, withpea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing until it justbegins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holdstogether, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little morewater and mix again.

Remove dough frombowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape into a discs, beingsure to not over-knead. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least1 hour, and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to a 10-inch circle with a1/4-inch thickness. It’s okay if the edges are shaggy and it’s not a perfectcircle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Scoop ricotta ontothe center of the dough, spreading out to make a large circle, stopping 1-inchfrom the edge of the dough. Sprinkle on grated mozzarella cheese. Fold edges ofdough over the cheese. Transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator for 15minutes.

Whisk togetheryolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash. Bake until crust is lightlygolden brown, 25-30 minutes. Take galette out of the oven and gently placeyolks atop cheese. Arrange bacon bits and ham to your liking and place back inoven for 2-3 minutes, or until yolks set.

Garnish with saltand pepper.