Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pot Pie For My Husband

One of my DH favorite dishes is what he calls Meat Pie; I say it’s just Pot Pie, either way its good stuff. He prefers chicken and veggie, were as I like mine made with leftover beef stew, if  there ever is any. Actually, anything could be made into a Pot Pie, leftover rotisserie chicken, Thanksgiving Turkey, even ground beef. This is another recipe that I really don’t have a recipe for, I just wing it mostly (I had to sit down and think about this one). DH likes me to cook the pie in my old cast-iron skillet, that’s how his mother did it, also a double crust too if you please.  The crust is always nice and crispy, never sogged out.

So why don’t we get to it…

DH’s Favorite Meat Pie

Crust

2 ½ C. Flour

2 tsp. Table Salt

2 sticks Butter, cold & diced

2-4 Tbsp. ice cold Water

Filling

3 C. diced Chicken (or any other meat you like)

½ C. Onion, diced

½ C. Carrots, diced

½ C. Celery, Diced

½ C. frozen Peas

1-1 ½ C. Chicken Gravy (homemade is better, but the jarred stuff is fine)

½ tsp. dried Thyme

Good pinch of dried Sage

S&P to Taste

 Prepare the crust first. In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt, just to combine. Add the butter and pulse until large crumbs form, the size of big peas. With the machine running, add 2 tablespoons of water at first, the dough should just start to pull away from the sides of the bowl; add more if needed. Dump the dough out, it should be a bit crumble-y you’ll need to press it together. Divide it for the top and bottom crust; you’ll want a little more dough for the bottom. Wrap each one in plastic wrap, shaping them into discs and stash in the ‘fridge for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Now let’s make the filling while the dough rests.

In a large skillet sauté the onion, carrot and celery in some Olive Oil, until crisp-tender. Add the remaining ingredients of the filling and simmer until well heated. Roll out the bottom crust and place into a Cast-iron Skillet, folding the edge over the side of the skillet. Don’t stress this part, it doesn’t have to be perfect, if you get a hole or you’re shy at one corner, just do some patch work, no one will see it, the filling will cover it all up. Pour in the filling and place rolled out top crust with vent holes cut into it. Pinch and crimp the edges of the dough; brush with about a tablespoon of cream or half & half. Bake in a preheated 375⁰ oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the crust is GB&D (golden brown and delicious). Allow to cool for about half an hour before serving, that baby is HOT!  This skillet will feed a family of four nicely, with a salad along side. It’s very warming on one of these cold and dreary evenings.

I just thought of something, if you had some leftover potatoes from the night before, you could throw that in.  Or if all you had on hand was frozen veg, that would work too, just don’t sauté those.  Whatever you dream up will taste great, remember, a recipe is just someones idea, make it your own.

[Edit: next time, try adding some leftover cooked Potato chunks, sauteed Mushrooms, and even a bit more Gravy-we like it saucy ;)] 

Poke or Hawaiian Fish Salad, It’s Just ONO !

Yesterday was Aloha Friday, and I started to think of my home, Hawaii. I suppose I should stop thinking that way, seeing as we’ve lived in the middle of the desert going on SIX YEARS now. Some things you just don’t give up, like the foods that you were brought up on and love and miss terribly. Fish is HUGE in Hawaii, duh, it’s only surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. A lot of kids learn to swim even before they learn to walk, I was no exception. I had a boyfriend that took me for our first date spear fishing, which was so much fun.

What I really wanted to share was all of the fish that we had on our last trip back home to Hawaii. I should rephrase that, Poke or Seafood Salad. I shared my Tako Poke or Octopus Salad, it’s cooked, not all Poke has to be raw. I also make a Mussel Poke for DH (I’m allergic) and the ingredients are the same, just substitute the cooked Octopus for Steamed (and shucked) Mussels and there you go.

This all goes GREAT with an ice cold beer.

Primo Beer

*translation-ONO: Good Food

ALOHA!

 

WOW !

WOW !

Oops!

My faithful laptop of eight years decided that he (I call HIM Harry or PITA mostly 🙂 ) was going to be a pill and not work anymore. DH insisted that he buy me a new one for Valentine’s Day, but I think that spending a hundred bucks to give Harry a transfusion was better than $500 + for a brand new guy. So, with that said, we just got PITA back from the nice young-geeky-boys and I need to catch up. I will return tomorrow, I hope that you with too.

Come Back Soon!

Let’s Have A Snack

Snacks are part of our diet, well let me expand on that. We try to eat 5 small meals each day that are lower in calories and healthful (is that a word?). Our day consists of your typical B,L&D; then in between, 2 very small plates, the type that you may use for hors d’oeuvres at a party. I found a bunch of different ones at different kitchen stores, I told you all about my obsession for kitchen stores, right?  I like to get white dishes, that way you can mix and match without having to think about it. DH could care less about plating techniques, “It’s just food, put it on a paper plate and then throw it away, no cleanup!” NO! That’s why we now have an automatic dishwasher my friend. Gee whiz, I never thought about it before, but I have 5 sets of dishes, is that too much?

But I’m getting away from the topic today, snacks.

The other day, I was looking around the pantry and ‘fridge for our late afternoon snack; nothing was appealing to me, but the 3 dozen eggs I had kept calling me. Yeah, deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs

The particular regime that we are following allows for 2 eggs a day, yeah, that’s it. This may sound pedestrian, but think about it, not very many people will pass up a deviled egg. At parties you’ll hear at least once, ‘ooh, I haven’t had one of these in awhile’. Wait just a minute, HAVE you every made deviled eggs, JUST for you?  They can be made in a multitude of ways, fancy or plain jane, this time, I went for middle of the road.

Deviled Eggs

I am of the Alton Brown camp on the hard cooking of eggs. Once the eggs are cooled in an ice water bath and peeled, CAREFULLY, I slice them in half from pole to pole (from the fat end to the skinnier end), let the cooked yolks fall into a small bowl.

For eye and tummy appeal, I place the hollowed out whites on to a small tray that has been lined with chopped greens, whatever is not nice enough for a salad, we’re not going to eat it anyways. To that small bowl, add a very small amount of fat-free salad dressing and a minuscule dash of spicy prepared mustard. Take a large spoon with a stout handle and mash away, until it’s very smooth. Add the flavorings of your liking, I went with dill pickle relish, grated sweet onion, dill weed, S&P, and cayenne.

The vehicle that I used to now get the yolk-mixture into the whites without a huge mess, a zip top baggie; spoon into a plastic bag and squeeze the mixture down towards one of the corners. Snip a small hole off of that corner, not too big, start small and then squeeze some out into the bowl first, this way I can gauge better how it with look as a finished product. Now, slowly start to fill each cooked white half, using a circular motion. Oops, if you don’t like the way one came out, that’s okay, very gently scoop the yolk-mixture back into the small bowl and start again.

I added a final flurry atop of each egg of more dill weed and smoked paprika, which I feel is an underutilized spice that should be in your cabinet.

Now, let’s have a snack.

Deviled Eggs

Chicken Skewers For A Cocktail Party

We got invited to a pot luck cocktail party last July (I know, I’m just catching you up), so I figured I’d make cocktail-sized teriyaki chicken skewers on the grill…it was for 20 people! I was at the grill in 102º heat for an hour and a half making 50 half sized kebabs.

I could only find 12 inch long bamboo skewers in my utensil drawer, so I soaked them overnight and then cut them in half with my very sharp kitchen shears, so that they wouldn’t split or turn to charcoal over the fire. I wanted to make something for the party that did not require a plate, napkin or any communal dipping into anything.

I sliced boneless-skinless chicken thighs into strips (which I always have in the deep freeze), soaked them over night in a bottled teriyaki sauce (yes, I cheat sometimes and keep some in the pantry) and threaded them up in the morning. It was very time consuming, a little more than an hour to skewer the buggers.

While grilling the first batch, I discovered bamboo that has been soaked overnight in water, still burns! My solution was to take my squirt bottle and shoot the exposed bamboo, also to move the meat down the skewer to cover up to pointed ends. The other conclusion I came to, no grilling in the middle of the day in the heat of summer, what was I thinking? As I finished each batch of these cuties, I put them onto a rimmed sheet pan with a rack to cool.

I thought about the presentation and remembered that the dollar store has a terrific selection of plastic trays and they’re only $1. I went with the clear platter and lined it with some almost ready to pitch out lettuce leaves from my crisper. I artfully arranged the meat sticks atop and there ya’ go. The great thing about this whole deal was that the hostess doesn’t need to be worried about washing another platter someone brought and try to figure out who to give it back to. My mother used to mark all of her platters in big-bold-sharpie-pen ‘SUE’, prior to taking them over to anyone’s house. When we go to these shindigs, somewhere during the evening I let them know, they can just put it into the recycle bin.

Chicken Skewers For A Cocktail Party

My husband was tickled with the end result; this was a party for a co worker who is leaving. He predicted that this would be the first dish to disappear and it was, by golly! Everyone asked, “Who made the kebabs” and DH piped up, “My beautiful wife”.

AAAWWWW! Did I tell how much I love this man? He enjoys sharing my food with other people just as much as I do.

If you wanted to make something similar to this, you could use any marinade that you like. Meat skewers are an easy dish and like my DF says, it’s party food. I can’t say that I really have a recipe, but you got the idea of it though, right?

This Is NO Diet Food, This Is Good Food!

This has been DH responses to his meals of late.

Quietly, I have cut back on his steamed white rice, bagels, dessert, snacks (well, he gets what I’m calling smart snacks) and really the same things that we’ve eaten for years, just rearranged a bit.  Do you see a pattern, white stuff and sugar, very limited.  Oh, and potatoes are only ‘bad’ when you put a stick a butter and a pint of sour cream all over it…

A friend of mine asked me the other day if I had any secrets, yeah, don’t tell ‘em anything, just ask questions: ‘How’s that tasting?’  I know the components that are well received in our house, I just play them up and leave out or drastically reduce the production of the ingredients that are sticking to our waistlines.

Since I do all of the domestic duties, or as I refer to the fact that I am the COO and my husband is the CFO (there’s a perfect Ying/Yang goin’ on), I do all of the grocery shopping; therefore I can decide what food items to buy. Ice Cream had been a must in our freezer; I just forgot to buy some, aw shucks.

This is NO diet food

Gong Hei Fat Choi, Happy Chinese New Year!

I totally forgot about it!  

Back home in Hawaii, we would be lighting up a long string of red firecrackers, to ward off the mischievous spirits from our homes and places of business.  It was a must for me to give a red envelope filled with coins for luck and prosperity for the coming year to the lion dancers.  Oh and eating so many different, yummy goodies, SIGH!   I don’t think that I’ll be finding that here in the middle of the desert.

In the Chinese calendar, this is the year of the Snake. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. This could be taken metaphorically to mean that a Snake could never have a problem with his family starving because he is such a great mediator, making him good at business.  The Snake is keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise.

year of the snake

Do you know what ‘sign’ you are?

A Very COLD Blurb…

Oh My Gravy all over my two scoops of rice, that’s OMG !  in my world …

DH woke me up this morning saying, ‘I’ve moved us up North, IT’S SNOWING, LOOK!’ and throws open the blinds.

WOW! I had to take a walk-about and take pictures.

HEY! I’m from Hawaii, I never saw this kinda’ stuff until about 5 years ago.

I think that it’s pretty cool as I sit here, looking out the window, watching it snow, knowing that it’ll be gone soon; snow doesn’t last for very long here in the middle of the desert.

A Different Pasta

Did you feel the Earth move yesterday afternoon?

My husband who says, it’s gotta’ be like how I had it as a kid, dyed in the wool, American-Italian, ate whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce for lunch. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Good food isn’t bad food, but too much is.  I really just wanted him to try pasta another way.  You know, we may eat this more often.

** did ya’ see how I made all fancy like and plated the pasta into that swirl thing like they do in the restaurants… uuu… yeah right, let’s eat **

MANGIAMO !!