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All posts for the month July, 2014

Bastids

So why is there a bird on the post of a food site? It seems these little feathered f*#@wad foul are not only loud, but aggressive, territorial, and destructive. We had our excitement about creating a garden, quickly uprooted as every day after work we would find our seedlings pulled up, broke in half, or dug up and the whole thing gone. Needless to say that some thoughts in the illegal nature came about when trying to figure out how to deal with them, but there is a police officer that lives next door.

Bird NettingI opted to head to Freidman’s and got some bird netting, bamboo stakes, and some garden staples. Can you say PITA! It’s not pretty but it’s functional and that, is what I need to stay out of jail. I replanted seeds for the zucchini and yellow squash that got completely ripped out. I replaced a few corn and added another. We are still waiting for the bell peppers to poke through.

Garden with bird netting

 

Not all meals are prepared with a fair amount of thought put in to it. Sometimes when you need something really quick and easy, something to just get in to the feedbag, strap on to the kids and be done with it. Almost anything that is already put together can be significantly improved with a little doctoring up. Take pasta dishes in a box for example. This one came with a pouch of Velveeta cheese substance inside to mix with the pasta/rice. Nothing says “yummy” like some unknown mix of yellow died chemicals that someone passed through FDA and called it cheese.

We took some left over chicken, a little bit of broccoli, and some of the left over sauteed zucchini and cut in to small pieces. This was then all thrown in to the mix just before finishing the cooking so it all heats up sufficiently. As tempting as it was. the cheese pouch was was merely tapped in to for a little color. The real stuff, sharp cheddar, was brought out and grated over the dish, and given a quick shot in the oven to melt it.

Working late this day, I wasn’t around to document the preparation, but I was in time to enjoy the final product. I was hungry enough that I even forgot to snap a pick before almost finishing it.

Pasta Rice

Simple dinner tonight, so simple that the camera (pronounced: phone) never came out. Last night’s leftover pork steaks breaded in a mix of Dixie Fry and Back Of the Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub and fried in canola oil made a great base for today’s last meal. With the zucchini slices I decided not to over do it as I may have last time. Today they just get coated in oil, California Pepper and garlic salt. From there they slide their way on to the preheated BBQ grill. Temperature was hovering around 250 and time wasn’t too long before removing.

With the oil and crusty bits from frying up the pork yesterday, a few other ingredients are added and the whole mixture is simmered and stirred until a great tasting gravy is formulated. Poured that over meat and mashed potatoes sided with the zucchini and a great easy quick meal is ready to feed the family.

Portabella and beefLast night I went and got some portobello mushrooms for a side dish. This dish will be one that will end up as a “I shoulda done this, or I shoulda done that” dish, but hey, isn’t that how we figure things out? For some it’s a slower process and can be very frustrating, producing anger issues. I think Gordon Ramsay took a really long time. At the end I will have my opinion as to what I should have done differently.

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Sauteed Zucchini An easy veggie, sauteed zucchini on the stove top. In a large sauce pan, place a fair amount of canola oil, few splashes of teriyaki, splash of soy, Worcestershire, and vinegar. salt as desired. I added Bicentennial Seasoning and Back of the Yards Garlic Rub for some extra flavor.  Turn the burner to high and let it start to boil. Once going place zucchini sliced in thirds in the pan and turn a few times to keep from burning. I prefer them a little firm when I pull them off, but some may want more cooked.

 

Enjoy

 

Last night’s dinner was not only simple, but also very frugal. The chicken thighs were from Costco as was the Mac and Cheese. Sweet white corn from a local market was on sale at 5 for $1. You can’t do much better than that.

The chicken was thawed then sprinkled with Pepper-Lemon Seasoning and Bronzeville Rib Rub, both from the Spice House. After Q’ing until almost done. we slathered with Hickory BBQ sauce (whichever is on sale is fine).  Meanwhile, two of the ears of corn went right on the grill and mine, since I like it to marinade, got wrapped in foil with butter, California Pepper, and Vulcans Fire Salt. The Mac and Cheese, well come on, how can you dispute hundreds of thousands of dollars put in to R&D to make the perfect blend of chemicals and pasta?

That’s it. Simple, pretty quick and really inexpensive.

Salmon DInnerLast nights dinner was also quite easy without lacking in the flavor dept. We took a salmon filet and cut it in half. Put each half on some foil and on one, we put some spicy teriyaki sauce over the fish, We left the foil open for cooking. The other half got butter, garlic an rosemary (fresh!) chopped up pretty fine. After putting on the filet, folded the foil over and sealed it up like an envelope.

The green beans were canned and the white rice was leftover from dinner the other night. Everything got reheated just before taking the salmon out of the oven and enjoyed with a glass of red and a viewing of Madagasgar 2. Another easy meal that didn’t take long to prepare or cook.

 

Chips and Dip

While we were putting in our garden we got hungry for something to eat. Neither one of us wanted to put much effort in to making something, so she whipped this out pretty quick.

It is simply some of the left over Stroganoff dinner, refried beans, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. The meat, beans and cheese were heated in the microwave and then the sour cream and salsa were added. Quick, easy and pretty good. The beer and or tangerine grapefruit margarita are optional, but on the hot day, was enjoyed to the fullest.

Chips and Dip