For something that I wasn’t even interested in to start with, I have invested enough time and effort that I damn well going to see this to fruition! As our first garden, we are quickly taking notes on what to do or not to do next time. For example, with the location of the garden now, the taller tomato plants should have been on the other end so when there is the majority of the sun, they aren’t casting a shadow over the over plants. Here’s our basil plant that is doing great. We read that you have to pinch off the seeds that grow at the tops to keep the stalks healthy. We saw the difference. Basil   Continue Reading

Lend Me Your Ear

 

Simple great summer side has always been corn. If you’re a fan of corn, especially that on the cob, and have only enjoyed the yellow variety, I must insist that you try white corn. Sweeter and in my opinion, more flavorful. But no matter whether your loyalty lies on the yellow or the white, do yourself and your guests a huge justice and do not boil your corn. It will change and degrade the flavor and texture of this vegetable.

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New York Steaks

 

I usually buy the vacuum packed packages of tri-tip steaks from Costco.  Anything at a lower price break is tough and really meant to be cooked in a way that I don’t try or have the knowledge for.  I’ve always been happy with the cut of the tri-tip, it’s not a bad cut at all and it’s priced well enough that you can get many nights meals for a reasonable price.

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Crawfish

Today on the way back from a trip to Roseville (a little town about 2 hours away and was 103F today) the beautiful Mrs suggested taking a detour on the way home and get some crawfish for dinner. We hadn’t ever tried cooking them but it sounded great as I had once before been introduced to them, again by her. A little Google action on the phone before departing and voila! We have a destination.

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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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