At Least Twice A Week

Do you make a list when you grocery shop?  I have always had a regular list typed and I keep copying and highlighting what I need that week.  I add things that are for special recipes that I want to try at the bottom.  You get the picture.

So this morning I was searching the internet to find a site that does it for you.  I had heard about one and couldn’t remember the name but when you google ‘grocery list maker’, you get a lot of results.  I was kind of amazed.

These people must have had quick speed to get the name, Grocerylistmaker.  It’s a good list maker.  You just click what you need and print it.  It’s very simple but you don’t always have your computer out and ready when you realize that your kid ate all the peanut butter and put the empty jar back in the pantry.

Kitchen Monki — I am glad I came across this one.  It is interactive with the recipe planner and list maker.  Plan your meals and voila, the list done.  Print it or send it to your phone.  There are thousands of recipes, food news and humor.  And I love the little monkey face!

Keep and Share offer ready-made lists for all different types of diet.  You just print the pre-made list and off you go.

I stopped after these three.  There are so many out there and if I didn’t quit, I would never leave and get my shopping done.

So I’m off with my list in hand!

Live well, Laugh often, Love much!

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Summer!!!

Posted on: June 6, 2010

Does anything say summer more than food cooked on a charcoal grill?  I don’t think so.   We have used a gas grill for years just because of convenience.  Something lately has made me want to smell the fire and taste that the food was actually grilled.

We bought a small Weber grill so we could do just that.  And ya know, it was wonderful.  Watching the coals change from black to grey with the fire burning red-hot in them.  I was so excited.

I figured we would take it quick and easy and make hamburgers for our first adventure in charcoal.  What could be better? 

And they were.  Grilled perfectly medium rare.  You know the flavor that comes from the grill and I know you love it as much as I do. 

It is a sign of summer.  Sitting outside with a beer or margarita, enjoying the company of family and friends and eating food with flavor that you can’t reproduce in the kitchen. 

Luckily I live in a place where summer stretches out for a long, long time.  Unfortunately though some of the time when it is hovering around 100 degrees and the humidity is sky-high it is unbearable to be out in it.  But we make do.  A few friends, cocktails and a dip in the pool can make it good again.

And as for the finished burgers…..(sorry for the picture quality, the plate was moving so fast that I had to snap it fast.

It’s nothing special to look at.  A beat up, dark green metal box with index cards inside.  But it is whats on those cards that make this little box so special.  You see, I was lucky enough to receive my mother’s recipe box after she died and I find something new every time I look through it.  Some of the items I can’t remember ever seeing her make and some are just like old friends.  I have to admit that I can’t reproduce most of them or maybe I just remember hers being better but I still try, time after time.

Since it is Memorial Day weekend we are doing the traditional grilling and spending loads of time outside.  I am not a big fan or mayonnaise or mustard based potato salad so the first place I went to find something different was the recipe box and I came away with this one.

I love the little notes that are included so that you don’t forget the little things or make a mistake.  My mom wrote the recipes as if someone was speaking to her, telling her what to write as they cooked.  Maybe they were.  Things like you can boil the potatoes while you fry the bacon and you can use onions or scallions but if you use onions, you have an extra step.

It turned out really well.  The taste was just what I wanted and my husband loved it.  We had it with hamburgers and might just have the leftovers today with whatever comes off the grill. 

We are going to call it -Neva’s German Potato Salad

2 lbs new potatoes, washed and quartered

6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (save grease)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup onions or scallions chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon, crumble into pieces.  Boil potatoes while you fry the bacon.  If you use onions and not scallions, sweat them in the bacon grease.  The potatoes should be tender but firm, you don’t want them to fall apart.  Take onions out of pan.  Add flour, sugar, water and vinegar to skillet with the bacon grease.  Heat over medium heat until thick, constantly stirring.

Add bacon, onions and potatoes to skillet until coated.  Be careful not to break up potatoes. 

Salt and pepper to taste.

Came across these and they made me smile.

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. – Groucho Marx

All I’m saying is that somewhere out there is the man you are supposed to marry. And if you don’t get him first, somebody else will, and you’ll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that somebody else is married to your husband. – Marie/When Harry Met Sally

He got me invested in some kinda fruit company (referring to Apple Computers). – Forrest Gump

I hope you find things that make you smile today!

It was my pick this week for Martha Mondays and I knew I was going to want to do a brunch type thing today so I picked the Potato and Zucchini Hash from May’s Everyday Food.

It’s so easy.   Two russet potatoes, One zucchini, one onion, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Chop everything into the same size pieces.  I didn’t and it took awhile for the potatoes to cook but not long for the zucchini.

Heat the olive oil then add the potatoes and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep the heat at medium high so the outside of the potatoes get crusty and crunchy.  Toss them around so that all sides brown.  Then I turned the heat down a bit so the potatoes would finish cooking through. 

When the potatoes are cooked through add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally.

Top with a fried egg.  The recipe calls for it to be sunny side up but I can’t do that so I cooked it on both sides but left the yoke runny.

Although it took longer than the 30 minutes that Everyday Food says it takes, it was really good.  Hubby loved it, Son wouldn’t touch it (he’s at the no onion and is that a vegetable? stage).  I thought it was wonderful.  The potatoes had crunch and the zucchini was cooked perfectly.  The yolk of the egg made a little sauce for the dish.  It made a lot and I am thinking of using the leftovers in breakfast tacos during the week.  Reminded me a bit of cottage fries with added zucchini.

As an addition, I also made the Savory French Toast BLT from the same Everyday Food.  Son made the french toast and I loaded it with lettuce, tomato and bacon.  This along with the hash made a great brunch.  The bread was sweet without being overpowering and the recipe calls for cooking the bacon in the oven which is what I always do so I knew it would be could.  We will definitely be making these when we have breakfast for dinner. 

I hope everyone else on Martha Mondays enjoyed my pick as much as I did.

Since Son wasn’t eating what we were making and he was making the french toast for us anyway so he made the rest of his breakfast.  It looked like an awesome meal.  He said it was the best and I thought it looked delicious.

There is no place closer to heaven than Texas in April.  Every year the wildflowers come up with no help from anyone other than a higher power.  And they are always spectacular.

Take a drive along any highway in central Texas during late March or April every year and you are treated to a wonderful show of colors.  Oranges, many shades of blue and purple, yellow, they are all so beautiful.

Years ago, Blue Bell Ice Cream had an ad campaign that simply said something like ‘ice cream s0 good,  the cows think Brenham’s heaven’.  I think the cows are right.

We packed a picnic and enjoyed the sights and it was a great day.  And now we know that there’s no place like Texas, especially in April!

Picnic Lunch:

Turkey Sandwiches with Basil Mayonaise (remember to keep these chilled) – Your everyday turkey sandwich but jazzed up with basil mayonaise.  Gives it a little more flavor and makes it special.

Fruit Salad – mixed fruit with a honey yogurt sauce.  We dipped ours instead of eating it with a fork.  Lent itself to a more romantic picnic for the two of us.

Jolly Rancher Martinis – Mix at home, pour and enjoy.  For the adult crowd only..

1 oz watermelon pucker

2 oz vanilla vodka

1/2 oz sweet and sour mix

1/2 oz cranberry juice

Shake over ice and strain into glasses.

Then enjoy.

I read the recipe.  And then I read it again.  I wasn’t sure I could do something like cut the backbone out of a chicken.  I hated the week in high school cooking class dealing with chickens so much that I skipped class the day that we learned how to properly cut them up.  Yes, yes, now I know how important that lesson is but then, it was as bad as the frog in biology.  But anyway back to now, the recipe is out of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart’s May 2010 issue.  I am a member of an online cooking group, Mario Bosquez’s Weekend Cooking Challenge and that is where I came across it.  One Saturday a month, we all cook the same recipe and compare notes and results while helping each other learn new techniques.

The ingredients are so simple, a  3-4 pound chicken, a quartered onion, quartered new potatoes, thyme, lemon slices, olive oil, salt and pepper.

After you do surgery on the bird by spatchcocking, season him up, slide some lemon slices under the skin along with thyme springs.  Toss the onion, potatoes, thyme and olive oil in a bowl then season with salt and pepper. 

Lay the chicken in a roasting pan or very large cast iron skillet flat (yes it will lay completely flat) then add potatoes and onion.  Cook at 500 degrees, that’s right, 500 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Cooking Lesson 101 – Chicken should always be 165 degrees away from the bone.

It is unbelievable how good this is.  The chicken skins is crispy and lemony.  The meat is so moist and juicy.  The potatoes roast perfectly.

I may never roast a whole chicken any other way but this.

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© Karen Schaeffer and At Least Twice A Week, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Schaeffer and At Least Twice A Week with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.