Tag Archives: food

Snack of a Lifetime: Store Brand Extra Cherry Mixed Fruit in Natural Cherry Flavored Light Syrup

I’m not going to lie to you. Tonight I ate a frozen Stauffer’s lasagna and fed my daughter Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli. Those are our favorite foods. I had intended to crack a tin of store brand extra cherry mixed fruit in light syrup to class things up. This is the sort of thing I do when my husband is out for the night and I have had the stomach flu for a week. Don’t judge.

Of course, all of these cans and frozen goods came straight from the store and needed to be brought to serving temperatures. So I popped the lasagna in the oven, fed my lovely her ravioli at room temperature (because that’s the way she likes it) and tossed the fruit cocktail in the freezer because nothing says tacky like warm tinned fruit.

Fast forward a few hours. My sweetheart went to bed and I got a craving for a late night snack. Not being able to find anything, I settled on a glass of water hoping maybe I was just thirsty. I opened the freezer for some ice only to discover that I had forgotten my fruit! It was frozen solid, but still sounded delicious, so I popped the lid anyway. 

I mentioned briefly that I have had the stomach flu for the past few days. I have lost about seven pounds from the combination of not eating and being actively, you know, sick. Today was the first day I felt like really eating anything. So I’ll admit that my judgement might be clouded by my body’s desire to replenish itself any way possible. But I swear to you, friends, frozen fruit cocktail straight from the can is a thing of beauty. Don’t let it pass you by.

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Food Friday: Feta Cherry Meatloaf with Dilled Sweet Peas

My friend Russell is the best gift giver I know. Every time I get something from him, it’s nothing I even knew about yet exactly what I’ve always wanted. For instance, this Christmas he got me this, which really delighted me as a fan of the series and a blossoming artist. Oh, and a poster of the Handsomest Man Alive. One year, however, I feel like I really got him something awesome, too. Not because I think he particularly enjoyed it, but because it has benefited me at least once every week since then. It was a cookbook, and it had the recipe for the best meatloaf I had ever tried. I tweaked it ever so slightly, and now it suits my tastes even more. Here’s my version. Continue reading

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Food Friday: Cilantro Apple Salsa

I was going to post about this much earlier, but lost my phone with all the pictures on it. The same week I washed my iPod with the rest of the laundry. It was a bad week for my electronics, but aren’t they all? Fortunately, I found it again, so now I can tell you all about this dish. It’s my new favorite salsa. That’s saying a lot, because my old favorite salsa is really spectacular. I’ll share it with you one of these days.

This one is super easy to make, not terribly expensive, and tastes fresh and crisp and complex. Also, since it’s not tomato-based, your guests will be dazzled at how creative a chef you are, and we all know that’s what appetizers are for. Continue reading

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Food Friday: Vietnamese Egg Rolls

My cousin’s mom is Vietnamese. I haven’t seen her in a billion and twenty years, but I remember some of the food she used to make and man, was it ever delicious. She made the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had, but the only ingredient I can remember (title vegetable aside) is fish sauce.

My mom and I used to constantly make this chicken she showed us, and it was the simplest thing in the world. You just cook some chicken somehow (no seasoning necessary), then cut it into chunks. Wrap each chunk in a baby spinach leaf, then dunk the whole thing in a mixture of soy sauce and lemon juice. It’s the simplest recipe I know, but the flavor was so intense. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Look at you guys, squeezing a bonus dish out of me!

The real reason I bring her up, however, is because of these egg rolls. She used to make the best egg rolls. They’re not like what you find in the local Chinese restaurant, all crammed with cabbage and whatnot. They don’t even look the same. These are mostly whitish, unless you get the special burny ones. Mmmmm. My mom asked her for a copy of the recipe a long time ago, but what she received was a list of ingredients that only vaguely resembled what actually went into them. In fact, nobody got an accurate recipe from her, ever. Fortunately, someone wrote down what she did as she did it one time, and because of that person’s bravery and my friend Sara’s willingness to actually go through all the ass pain of making 90+ egg rolls, my cousin and I get to enjoy them once or twice a year. Delightful!

Sara was gracious enough to write up the whole procedure for me to share with you. This is almost certainly because she knows that none of the rest of our friends will go to all the trouble to make these and steal her thunder if she’s willing to do it twice a year herself.  Her very own recipe and method is after the jump. Thanks, Sara! Continue reading

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Food Friday – Sunday evening edition: Cilantro lemon tuna salad

I just made the best tuna salad of my life and ate it all without taking a single picture. I didn’t make it to be all fancy and blog about ot. I made it because I hadn’t eaten in eight hours and needed something in my tummy immediately and hadn’t been to the store in a while, but had some decent odds and ends to throw together. I’ll tell you guys, it was incredible. This is kind of how it went. Continue reading

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Food Friday: Road Trip

By the time you read this, I will be in Oklahoma. Finally! There are people I want to see and places I want to go and things I want to do, all of which hold super special places in my heart. But I’m not going to lie, I am really looking forward to the food. Here is a list of the places I intend to eat.

Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store, home of the everything good at all.

By the time this post is up, I will have already started. I guarantee it. There is a Braum’sin Kansas. The good folks over at The Lost Ogle seem to disagree, but a burger, sundae, and limeade from Braum’s is one of very few actually perfect meals. Sure, it takes forever to get your food, but these people are making art, and you have to just let them do it. You can’t rush something that beautiful, unless you are eating it. It’s totally easy to rush eating it.

I mentioned Johnnie’s in one of my other posts, but I don’t think I really got my point across. I read a review on Yelp once that said, ” Drive to Johnnie’s, get a burger with sauce, get back in your car, leave the state.” You see, Johnnie’s special sauce is the most valuable substance on Earth. If I am ever in peril, I am certain the thing that would do me the most good is a sauce transfusion. This will be my dinner when I pull into town, assuming I get there before they close. Otherwise, I am not above eating a burger and onion rings for breakfast.

I promise I miss more than just hamburgers, but there is also Big Ed’s, home of the Big Ed burger. I can almost guarantee I won’t order one of those, though, given that it feeds about eight people and I can only eat for maybe six.

You know that's right.

When I’m tired of burgers, I’m heading to Cattlemen’s. Cattlemen’s has been around forever, in the same location in the stockyards, which makes perfect sense because it is the best steak I have ever had anywhere, ever. RoadFood.com agrees that it’s worth the trip.

Too much beef? No problem. Pearl’s has great fish. My standard is the pecan crusted trout, but I’ve never been disappointed by something I’ve tried there.

All these dinners, but where will I go for breakfast? Easy. Jimmy’s Egg. I can’t actually remember what it is I loved so much about Jimmy’s Egg. What I do remember is going there nearly every weekend with my mom until we moved to Colorado, and there was always a line that went out the door, so it must have been really something.

And I couldn’t visit the state without stopping at Taco Bueno. After steaks and seafood, I’ve got to save money somewhere, right? Peole say that it’s just another fast food Mexican place, but here is my response to that: MexiDips and Chips. It’s guacamole, refried beans and queso, all served in little bowls made out of corn chips, and a big ol’ pile of additional chips for dipping.  Mmm.

Those are all the places I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more. The problem is that I’m only going to be there for four dinnertimes. I don’t know how I’m going to fit all this food into my schedule, let alone my stomach. But I promise you this, dear reader, I will try.

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Food Friday (Tuesday Edition): Raspberry Ladybug Cake

I know, I promised you pictures of my daughter’s birthday cake nearly a month ago, but I have some good excuses. For instance, all the good pictures were on Katie’s camera. And then, last week I forgot entirely that I have a blog. But now I have my head back on straight and Katie gave me the good photos, so there will be no further delay. In fact, I am writing this post a day early so that I will not space on it tomorrow. Because I care about you, friend.

Pretty, pretty cakes

I found a recipe for raspberry cake with cream cheese icing in one of my mom’s old cookbooks. It was basically just a box of white cake mix, some frozen raspberries and half a pack of raspberry Jell-O. I hadn’t tried it before making it for this party, so I was a bit nervous about it all while it was baking. Fortunately, it looked and smelled great coming out of the oven, and the cakes turned out of the pan more easily than any other cake I have ever made. No exaggeration. They were lovely.

My little darling had said for months that she wanted ladybug cake for her birthday this year. And since I am a good mommy, I spent some time planning. I thought I would bake a cake in one of those big, glass mix-and-measure type bowls and then it would be rounded and the cake itself would be a ladybug. Cute, right? But then I remembered that one of my favorite things in life is writing in icing, and an actual ladybug wouldn’t have a great place to write “Happy Birthday, Abigail!” without looking weird. So I went with plan B, a ladybug inspired cake.

All that food coloring...

The icing was more or less standard cream cheese icing with the other half of the Jell-O mixed in. Oh, and an entire little bottle of red gel food coloring. And a smidge of black, of course.

I have to tell you, it was delicious. This is a cake I will make again. But it got me thinking, I bet I could make ANY flavor of cake as long as there’s a frozen fruit and matching Jell-O. If you think I’m correct, leave me your suggestions in the comments. I’ve seen similar strawberry cakes, so I’m hoping for something different. Maybe peach?

Ta da!

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Food Friday: La Sabrozita

Sauceome!

I had intended to tell you all about the enormous vat of soup I made this week, but then I had lunch with SophistiKatie and she showed me something that changed my life forever, I assume. I mean, it’s still a little early to tell, since it’s only been about 3 hours since we ate, but can’t imagine I will ever be the same.

We just had bean burritos. No big deal, right? Just tortillas, refried black beans and shredded cheddar. How can this be so exciting? I’ll tell you how. We added sauce.

I’ve heard people say things like, “This is a big pile of awesome drizzled with awesomesauce!” I still don’t know what is in the pile, but you can bet this is the drizzle. It’s called La Sabrozita Limon Salsa. It’s a tomatoey, vinegary, limey sauce that you can use to spice up things like tacos, enchiladas, chicken breasts, or even your empty Big Gulp cup. It’s really mild, so you can pour it on everything if you’re a wimp (like I am) but still love big flavors (like I do). You don’t even have to go to a special store to get some. Katie found hers at Walmart. I will probably find some there tonight.

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Food Friday: Curried Lentils

You know that's right.

This is what I had for dinner tonight. I’m not kidding you. I can cook things like this now. About two years ago, it would have been off the table, but thanks to a few friends, I have leveled up.

There are so many things I love about this dish. It’s healthy with all of its lentils and vegetables, it’s easy to make and, most importantly, it is loaded with flavor. I hope some of you try this. It’s so simple but really impressive if you are cooking for friends, and we all know how good it feels to get unwarranted praise.

Here’s a kind of rough how-to guide. None of the measurements are exact. If you get the spices right (which is, like, totally the easiest thing) you can put nearly any vegetable you like in it. Play with it to find out what suits you. Continue reading

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