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It's about food, restaurants, recipes and just plain eating.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wasting Away

A friend was telling us about a "recipe" for something she called a Redneck Margarita.  I googled the name but could not find the exact recipe she gave us.  It was unique because there were only four ingredients and the same quantity of each.  She further told us we could leave any leftovers in a pitcher in the fridge and it would last a couple days.  Not sure I believe that - not the lasting part, the leftover part.  Why would there be anything leftover???

So here is the recipe.  I think it fits right in with my recent theme of easy & fast.  Don't blink.  It probably takes less time to make than it does to write it down.

1 can (12 oz) frozen limeade mix
1 can (12 oz) beer
1 can (12 oz) 7-Up or lemon lime soda
12 oz tequila (use the limeade container to measure).

That's it.  Stir it up (or for slushy margaritas put it in a blender with some ice) and serve over crushed ice or ice cubes in glasses.  Garnish with lime slices or little paper umbrellas if you have time, and if you have room in the glass.

Salud!

Quotable quotes; in the category Well Just Don't Waste The Lemons!

"If life gives you limes, make margaritas."  Jimmy Buffet

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Opaa!

So I have been reading through my Greek cookbook.  Our newspaper has one of those columns where readers write in asking for their favorite recipe handed down from their great grandmother which they lost when they moved - you know the type - and someone wrote in asking for an "authentic" recipe for Tzatziki sauce.  I copied the recipe from my book and sent it in.  It should be authentic and it comes from one of our local Greek restaurants.  I like to send recipes in to the newspaper.

The Tzatziki is easy - peel and shred some cucumbers into yogurt with a dribble of vinegar, some minced spearmint & green onion, a bit of sugar, salt & pepper.  Chill and serve.

But then I found a "recipe" that was even easier!  Anyone who has eaten lamb chops or other meats in a Greek restaurant knows you need bread to sop up the pan drippings.  Here's how to replicate that delicious "sauce" at home.

Once you have removed your cooked lamb chops, pork chops, chicken or what have you from the skillet, squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into the pan.  Add about a half cup of boiling water.  Stir vigorously to scrape up all the browned on bits from the pan, simmer to let the sauce reduce a bit and season with salt and pepper to taste.  That's it!  Easy, delicious, authentic, what more could you ask for? 

Quotable quotes; in the category So That's Where That Comes From!

"But darlin', when a woman has a husband and you've got none, why should she take advice from you, even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other hi-falutin' Greeks?"

Mrs. Paroo, Marion's mother.  Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Sayin' So from The Music Man by Meredith Willson

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Say Potato

I love potatoes.  Mashed, fried, French fried, boiled with butter and parsley and perhaps best of all, roasted.  I love the way they get brown and crusty and the way the skins get crackly.  Trouble is, I am the only one in the house that likes them.  The Man tolerates them but does not appreciate their golden goodness, their crisped edges or their wholesome skin-included goodness.  Consequently I either don't make them or I make too many and often toss the leftovers (I have not yet found a perfect way to prepare leftover potatoes).

But last night I had an inspiration.  I knew I would be making roasted chicken and I wanted to make potatoes with it.  I thought of only cooking a couple, then I decided to cook the usual number and to try making potato salad from the leftover potatoes.

I used red potatoes and new, white potatoes, both with thin skins.  I scrubbed and quartered them, added them to the roasting pan with the chicken, dribbled a little olive oil over them (okay, I confess - I cheated and sprayed them with vegetable oil spray) and sprinkled seasonings - salt, pepper, salt free seasoning blend - and popped them in the oven.  After an hour or so the chicken was done and the potatoes were delicious and browned, tender inside and crusty outside.

Later, I cut the remaining potato pieces into smaller chunks and tossed them with some dill and sweet pickle relish and some mustard (pickle juice is also excellent but I did not have an open jar and would still have had to mince some pickle).  I seasoned with a little more salt & pepper and added diced celery, a couple blobs of mayonnaise, tossed, and set it in the fridge.

It's good.  The potatoes, while tender, are a bit firmer than if they had been boiled, and the roasted flavor comes trhough.  It's similar to but different from other potato salads.  Try this and add your own touches.

Quotable quotes; in the category I Don't Know, They May Solve Some Of  Mine. . . . And I'm Willing To Try!

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."  Douglas Adams, English writer, humorist.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Even Easier!

A few weeks ago I posted a few of my favorite EASY recipes.  Well since then I found another one.  I believe in sharing so here it is.

Yes!
 I had bought bananas.  For some reason I keep buying bananas when they are on sale, even though I really don't like to eat bananas.  Inevitably they get to the point where I no longer want to eat them at all.  I like them when they are bright yellow and maybe just getting one or two dark spots.  After that, well, no thank you.  But instead of throwing them away I stick them in the freezer.  Then when I want to make banana bread I thaw them and mash them and I am all set.

Mmm . . . No.
I have a fabulous recipe for banana bread.  Unfortunately, it is in a cookbook that I have misplaced.  No problem!  A box of banana bread mix in the pantry will do the trick (incidentally I have also added mashed banana to cake mixes to make a banana bread that is very good).

I read the instructions.  They are about the same as the Cranberry bread last time.  This time I had milk so I chose to make the muffins.  I thawed one of my frozen bananas (they were on sale a few weeks ago) and checked the box.  Whaddaya know - it says I can add mashed banana for additional flavor.  It also says I can add chopped nuts or chocolate chips. 

Chopped nuts would be a delicious addition and I love chopped nuts in banana bread or muffins.  But Mr. is not around and I hate chopping nuts so . . . guess what.  Chocolate Chips are also suggested.  I know I have a bag in the cupboard, right behind the package of wild rice and the jar of barley.  Personally, I cannot stand those frozen bananas that are dipped in melted chocolate.  But that's no reason to be close minded.  A little chocolate can be a beautiful thing.

Banana Chocolate Muffins:  Prepare banana bread or muffin mix according to package directions, adding a mashed banana and about a half cup of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared bread pan or paper lined muffin tins.  If you are daring, scatter a few more chocolate chips over the top and bake according to package directions.  My  mix said it would make a dozen muffins but I actually got fourteen!

Optional:  cool completely, then combine about 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar with a spoonful of milk or cream and stir until smooth.  If too thick add a few drops of milk or water.  If too thin add a bit more sugar.  Spread a little dollop onto each muffin or the loaf of bread.  Enjoy for breakfast, dessert or as a snack.

Quotable quotes; in the category Orange You Glad I Didn't Say . . .

"The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech."
Clifton Paul Fadiman, American author, radio and television personality