At Least Twice A Week

Posts Tagged ‘cooking

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!

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.

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.

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I am now a blog junkie.  I subscribe, I read and some times I go back and read them again.  But the most important thing is I learn from them and I am trying the recipes and crafts that I see other blogger’s doing.  It’s a new dimension in my life.

Yesterday, Geneva and I made Focaccia.  I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread so I jumped right in.  I found this recipe on Alexis Stewart’s blog ‘Whatever’.  Yes, Martha Stewart’s daughter, she cooks too.  The recipe actually comes from Saveur.

I was amazed at how easy it was and I decided that all of my past failures with bread have to do with one little thing, water temperature.  I don’t think I ever checked the temperature of the water before mixing it with the yeast. Now I know.

Getting back to the bread….yeast, sugar and water mixed with flour, salt and sugar after it foams.  Add warm water and oil, knead and leave it alone to rise.  But it in a cast iron skillet to rise again.  The recipe calls for olives but Hubby isn’t a big fan so we substituted onions and I threw on some crumbled bacon with the halved cherry tomatoes.  I can’t tell you how much the bread lover in me liked this.

The weather is bad and neither Hubby nor I want to go out to the grill.  We took the next best alternative and turned on the oven.

I made this up as we went.  And after the smoke settled on – wrapping them in foil or not, we got things going.

I made a sauce with 1 1/2 cups of catsup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon honey,  1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 1/2 medium onion (diced small), and 3 gloves of garlic (diced).

Heat the oven to 350.  Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place on rack in a roasting pan.  Brush on sauce heavily.  Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours basting every 20 minutes or so.

They were pretty good.  Not the best but when you can’t get outside, they will do just fine.


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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.