Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sergeant Joe Pepper... erm, I mean, Sausage and Pepper Joes

I ate too much dinner tonight.  Seriously.  Hours later and I am still sitting here like a stuffed woodtick, semi-regretting all the food I ate.

No... that's not true.  I regret nothing!

Well, maybe a little.  My stomach hurts from all the delicious food I ate.  Next time, do I what I say in the recipe I'm about to tell you about rather than what your tastebuds think you should do.  You'll likely thank me later.

Tonight for dinner, I made these fabulous Sausage and Pepper Joes... every time I see the name as I write it, I read it as Sergeant Joe Pepper... I'm sure he is a nice guy but this post is not about him.

Click on the sammich to get the recipe!
But... dinner. Man, my tummy hurts!  With these joes, which I mistakenly served on hoagie rolls instead of hamburger buns, I made the perfect potato skins.  I will rarely say this about my food but I truly think they rival skins served in restaurants.

Click on a tater to get the recipe!
Here is a pic of the whole plate.

I should also only had 2 skins instead of 3.  And see that broccoli?  That's my conscience coming to light by making sure we had something green.  :)

Now, this meal is not as unhealthy as you may first think.  The buns are homemade and contain white-wheat flour, the joe mixture has extra lean ground beef, homemade sausage using the lean pork I ground myself, and no added fat (yay for nonstick!).... except the cheese.

Each potato skin has just 1 oz of shredded cheese, less than a slice of bacon, and was brushed with less than 1/4 Tbsp of butter.  Of course, I ate 3.

Still not health food but a lot better than it could have been. :)   And hey!  We did have broccoli!

What's your favorite comfort food that you've lightened up some?  Do you ever have eater's regret?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What to do... besides eat chicken, fried rice and yogurt?

One of the reasons I don't post as much as I should/could is because I'm not exactly sure what I want to do with this blog.  I initially created it to show the things I was crafting, sewing, creating, etc. but my interests have shifted over to food... in case you didn't pick up on that.  Do I want to concentrate on one over the other here?  I'm not sure.  I mean, I haven't been creating as much as I would like but giving myself deadlines goals would be the push I need.  But I also spend A LOT of time in the kitchen as well as researching recipes, techniques, food industry issues, and the like.  Should I share those?  I definitely have a non-traditional household that seems to work.  Should I blog about that?  Should I do a balance of all of those?  Should I do weekly things, like pick a day where I showcase one things from all of those?  Maybe have a post a week about food, one about crafting/art, one about my life, one for anything else random?

I have read post after post from other bloggers about why and how they do their blog.  I just need to make a decision on what direction I want to go then GO!

I just don't know.  I do know that I could make this blog something wonderful, though.  I'm just too indecisive.  I blame it on being a Pisces because, you know, why take the blame? ;)

I would love feedback about this.  I really, realy would!

In the meantime, I do have 2 things to share.

1.  I made yogurt!
I picked up this little Dash Go yogurt maker via Groupon Goods for half  price and am SO glad that I did!  I have been making it every weekend and it makes exactly enough for my 5 work breakfasts plus starter for the next batch.  It's really simple, too.  Heat the milk in a double boiler to 185°, let it cool to 100°-110°, mix in 1/2 cup of room temp yogurt, put it in the machine, turn it on, wait 9-10 hours, put it in the fridge, strain and go!  It makes about 1 liter at a time.  Once I remember to get cheesecloth, I can make it into Greek yogurt but it's good just slightly drained as well.

I eat it with 1 tsp of honey and about 1/4 cup of Berry Cobbler Granola.

2. I don't care much for cilantro... (*waits for the gasps to subside*) ...nor rice... (*waits for the bigger gasps and disapproving murmurs to subside*) but I made an amazing meal the other night that contradicts both of those admissions.

First is the Sweet and Spicy Cilantro Chicken I made using a recipe I found over on Recipe Girl. I just changed the directions very slightly.

Sweet & Spicy Cilantro Chicken
by Sarrah "Sashi" Steiner
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25-30 min
Keywords: entree chicken cilantro Chinese
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~2 lbs)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c jarred minced garlic, drained
  • 1 c loosely packed cilantro (~ 1/2 a bunch)
  • 3/4 c Asian sweet chili sauce (I use Taste of Asia Sweet Chili Sauce which can be found with the Asian food items in most chain grocery stores )
Rinse and dry the chicken. Slice in half horizontally to make 6 thin pieces. Place in large resealable bag.
In mini food processor or blender, puree olive, garlic and cilantro together until as smooth as possible. Pour into the bag and seal, removing as much of the air as you can. Massage the mixture over the chicken to thoroughly coat. Refrigerate up to 24 hours, flipping and working the mixture over the chicken. If you aren't able to do this, it'll still be good!
Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear. 10 minutes before the chicken is done, brush 2 Tbsp of the sweet chili sauce on each chicken piece.
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With it, I made a super easy veggie fried rice... without egg since one in our household doesn't do eggs.  We used broccoli, sugar snap peas, and sweet red bell pepper in ours but you could use any vegetables you like.  You can also use whatever rice you want... you just need 4 cups of it.

Click here for the recipe I used.

Not counting the marinading time for the chicken, the whole meal took just 30 minutes to cook.  And if you cut the chicken up and mix it in with the rice... well, you just may drool because the sweet and spicy of the chicken mixes really well with the salty of the rice (from the soy sauce).

Oh!  I guess I have 3 things to share!  I ground my own meat for the first time!  I got a super good deal on a pork loin at Costco so ground 6 lbs of it for my homemade bulk sausages that I make.

The one thing I learned is that I need to choose a fattier meat to grind or add fat in with it... which is very counter-intuitive to my lower-fat thinking.  The sausage (Italian and chorizo) has been on the dry side but still tastes good. :)

If you blog, how did you decide what direction to go?  Did it evolve or did you start it with a certain goal in mind?