Category Archives: Dinner

The Best Chicken Cutlets I’ve Ever Made!

No really! As we ate this dinner the other night, I just kept telling myself, I gotta write this one down, it’s so delicious.

I don’t fry very many dishes for DH and I, you know, trying to watch what we eat and all. But sometimes a girl needs something decadent, ya know.
This was it for me, at least it was the other night.

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Milanese

serves 2

2 boneless-skinless Chicken Breasts, 1/4 inch thick *
1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 Egg, beaten
2 C. Bread Crumbs (homemade is best, of course)
1/2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
2-3 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil, 1/4 inch up the side of your Fry Pan.

In a small bowl, combine the Bread Crumbs, dried Herbs and Powders. **
Season the Chicken on both sides with the S&P.
Set up a ” breading station”, I use paper plates for the dry and a dinner plate for the wet, that makes clean up easy.
Very lightly coat each side of the breasts with Flour, then dip into the Egg and lastly into the Seasoned Bread Crumbs, pressing that into each side well.
Transfer to a rack in a rimmed baking pan; allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. This ensures that the Breading stays on the Meat while cooking.
Heat your Oil to about 340° (I like to use an Electric Skillet for this).

My new kitchen toy, I’ve never had an Electric Skillet

Shallow fry the Cutlets until golden brown; transfer to a clean rack in a rimmed baking sheet to drain.
Sprinkle to tops of each Cutlet with the Cheese and serve.

We like our Chicken Milanese served up with Cheese Tortellini and a Salad

* Chicken Breasts now-a-days are HUGE ! What I do is split them horizontally in two, place them between 2 sheets of Plastic wrap and pound them out to the desired thickness. In this case, I go for about 1/4 inch. Now you could buy Chicken Scaloppini, but compare the price and you’ll see why I do this step.

** Now, you just made your own Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs by utilizing leftover Bread that you ground to crumbs yourself and added the spice profile of your choosing. Or, you could simply buy the stuff in the Blue Can!

Cook for your family!

Hamburger Curry Stew, Cheap And Friendly

***

I’m re-blogging this post from February 6, 2018.  Why you ask?  Well, I’ve been re-reading my Blog and thinking about how much of my “Cheap And Friendly Family Meal” recipes actual cost.

So what I’m doing here is adding the cost of each ingredient in Red and then a total as well.

Now keep in mind that prices in your area may be different from what I calculated, but still, this is an inexpensive meal, period!

And ya know, during this whole SIP Mode that we’ve been in, it’s getting harder and harder to come with something out of the box to put on your table, I know I’ve been stump many a night.  I sure hope this will help you.

***

 

Most of you know that I am from Hawaii and we MUST  be careful with our pennies, because EVERYTHING is so expensive over there.  Ground Beef is something that is readily available as well as an inexpensive protein.  You can even find this dish on menus in restaurants in Hawaii, that’s how much we like it!

I was challenged the other day by an “online pal” to come up with Budget-Friendly dishes that featured Hamburger, Root Vegetables, Beans, Potatoes, Lentils, Rice, canned Tomatoes and frozen Vegetables.  There are so many ways you could put that list of ingredients together and come up with a super supper!

But my mind kept creeping back to an old favorite from my childhood.  I didn’t really have a recipe per se, I usually cook by feel but wanted to put together a recipe for her that would make sense.  I did a search on the WWW and found a YouTube vid from CookingandCrafting; it hit a note for me and I took it from there (Mahalo Beth).

Auntie Doni’s Hamburger Curry Stew

(4-6 Servings)

 

1 lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey or Chicken)  $5.00

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil  $0.03

½ -3/4 C. Sweet White Onion, diced  $0.15

1 Celery Stalk, sliced  $0.10

2-3 C. Beef Broth  $2.00

2 C. Potatoes, diced (use whatever kinda of `spud you have)  $0.88

1-2 Tbsp. Curry Powder (to taste)  $0.25 – including the S&P and Flour

S&P to taste (you GOTTA  taste as you go!)

1 ½ C. frozen Mixed Vegetables (or just Peas and Carrots too, any kind is good)  $2.00

1 Tbsp. Flour

______________________________________________________________________________

Total: $8.41

4 servings = $2.10/serving

6 servings = $1.41/serving 

In a good sized pan, heat the oil over medium-high; add the Onions and cook until just translucent.  Now toss in the ground Beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, brown well.  Drain off any excuse fat.  At this juncture add the Celery, Broth, Potatoes, Curry Powder and S&P to taste.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a good simmer and cook for about 15 minutes (maybe 20 if you cut the Potato kinda big-ish), or until the Potatoes are tender.  Add the frozen Veg, bring back to a boil and mix the Flour in a cup with some extra Broth; slowly add this to the pot to make some good kine GRAVY!!!

Simmer until thickened and the Veg is heated through but not soggy and falling apart.  Taste it again, howzit, good?  Adjust at this point, more Salt, no?  Pepper?  Curry?  How’z the gravy?  Maybe some more broth?  Me, I couldn’t stop TASTING!

MMM!

Serve over steamed White Rice or as is, any which way, it’s ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian)!

Enjoy!

And as always, remember a recipe is just someone else’s idea, take and make it your own.

A Taste of Home, Kalbi Rib Dinner

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice, that’s OMG!  in my world if you’re just joining in
Recently, I discovered our local Carniceria and what a find!  It’s a Butcher’s Shop and man oh man, am I a happy camper.
Back home in Hawaii, we would have take-out from this small Korean restaurant and they made the best Kalbi or Galbi Ribs. This particular dish requires a specific cut of Beef Short Rib, it’s called Flanken and I had yet to find that here! 

WELL!
Look what I found 

AND I just so happen to have brought back from Hawaii on this last trip, Noh Foods Korean Barbecue MixDOUBLE YAY!!
 

I got to work pretty quickly on this dish.

Super simple, I made a bag with my FoodSaver, chopped up a bunch of Green Onions, mixed the contents of that dry mix with Water and Vegetable Oil and some toasted Sesame Seeds, chucked everything into that bag and sealed it. I parked the Ribs in the `fridge on a rimmed baking sheet over night.

The next evening, I fired up my grill and it was almost time for grind!
Earlier that day, I went over to our favorite Sushi take-out joint and collected two trays of different Sushi to go with our local-style feast.

I also put together My Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of Rice.

*BELCH*  excuse me 

THAT was ONO!!

Don’t ever, ever, I MEAN EVER buy this yeast!!

 

I went on the hunt yesterday at our local markets,
to find yeast so that I could make Pizza.
I found Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast,
sounded okay, it’s for Pizza, right?
I bought 2 three packs.

After a long day of cleaning out the garage,
I had really thought of driving 40 minutes
up the road to get Pizza/Calzone take-away,
but in the end I thought that was foolish and
made homemade Pizza instead.

I followed the recipe on the envelope to the letter,
baked it as described for 12 minutes at 425°,
until the Cheese bubbled and the crust was browned.

 

 

It came out like a biscuit, NOT PIZZA!

 

 

I made two and we only ate about a 1/4
of one of them. We gave it the old college try,
but that was TERRIBLE!

I NEVER throw out food, but this is not fit for Man nor Beast.

I looked it up online to search for reviews on this Yeast,
and found one put out my Cook’s Illustrated :

“According to the package, Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast allows you to mix, stretch, top, and bake pizza all in one go, with just a few minutes of kneading and no rising time at all. In addition to active dry yeast, the product contains a cocktail of chemicals and enzymes designed to relax the dough. Dough relaxers partially inhibit the formation of strong gluten networks, keeping the dough pliable and easy to stretch and making it quick to rise in the oven.

Given that the structure and flavor of a top-notch pizza crust come from ample fermentation, we were skeptical that dough made in so little time would be any good. When we mixed up a batch, our suspicions were confirmed. Although the dough was incredibly well behaved, stretching without snapping back and rising quickly during baking, its texture and flavor were unimpressive. The crust was leathery, not crisp, on the exterior and spongy and soft on the interior. What’s more, it was bland and devoid of the aromatic complexity that is produced in fermented dough. So we’ll pass on this turbo-charged yeast, preferring to take our time and make pizza dough the old-fashioned way.”

I couldn’t agree more with ATK/CI! I only wish that I had
seen this prior to investing $3

Oh well, I’ll put it into the Food Bank Donation box,
maybe someone else will enjoy it.

In the meantime, I’m still hunger, I suppose I could
scratch up a sandwich later,
that’s if I get the gumption up 

Arizona To Florida Road Trip October 2019 ~ Part 1

First Stop …

Once a year, DH and I make a pilgrimage to Southern Arizona to see our doctors.
Now this may sound odd, but it took us a long time to find good health care once we moved to the “Mainland” and it’s become even harder since moving to Northern AZ.
We do have GP’s up here for the odd cold, flu shots and whatnot, but the big stuff is taken care of with our tried and true doc’s down South.

I found this great Hotel/Condo/Time Share, not sure what it is exactly, because each time we’ve been in the past three years, it changes.
But we love the place.
I reserve us a one bedroom apartment with a king sized bed. There’s a Living room, dining room, full kitchen and covered patio. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything that you’d need to prepare and serve three meals a day. The lanai has a gas grill, which is a HUGE plus for us. Oh, AND there’s a washer and dryer in the apartment!!! +++++

 

 

What I do is go to the grocery store once we’ve gotten situated, it’s less than a mile away, stock us up with whatever foods we will need for our stay and we’re golden!

 

 

The complex has a nice pool, splash pad for the kiddos, and hot tubs scattered throughout.

 

 

Our apartment on this stay has a lovely view!

 

 

There are a few restaurants that we go to while in Southern Arizona, not many, but we do go out to eat every so often. On this trip, we had breakfast at Sahuaro Café, MMM!

 

 

Also on this trip, we did a take out order of Mama’s Sicilian Deep Dish Pizza, meh. I think we’ll stick to the thin crust.

 

 

The apartment complex provides a few things to get you started, such as coffee, paper goods AND some microwave popcorn! I made us up a big bowl sprinkled with some of our Furikake to enjoy as we watched a movie in the very comfortable Living room one night.

So we’ve made the full round to all of our doctor’s, now, it’s time to get this Road Trip going!!

A Dinner Request

Sometimes, you just want something simple, tasty, and nostalgic for dinner.

DH had made what I thought at first was an odd request for supper, “Let’s have Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs one night”.

Okay!

I made a little more grown-up version of a School Lunch favorite with Trader Joe’s Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese, along with a lower sodium, tastier Hot Dog, cut up and pan-fried-crispy.  I thought that Peas & Carrots would really throw it all into the kiddo range, dont’cha think?

😀

One-Pan Herb de Provence Chicken & Veg Supper

I keep hearing about Herb de Provence Roasted Chicken and wanted to try this for myself, but on a smaller scale, and with vegetables.

DONE!

Geez, I really should write this down, that was really tasty AND I got a big thumbs up from DH.

 

Auntie Doni’s One-Pan Herb de Provence Chicken & Veg Supper

Serves 2+

3 B/S Chicken Thighs

1 C. New Potatoes, halved

1 C. Baby Carrots

1/2 C. Onions, chopped

2 Tbsp. White Wine

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. Herb de Provence

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350⁰

Line a sheet pan with Tin Foil

In a small bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients

In a large bowl add the Chicken & Veg, pour the Wine and Oil over everything, coat everything well

Sprinkle in the Spice mixture and evenly distribute over the Chicken and Veggies

Spread into the prepared sheet pan in a single layer

Roast for about 45 minutes, turning everything half way through

Cooking until the Chicken registers 165⁰; the Vegetables should be done at this point too

MMM!

Remember that a recipe is just someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own

ENJOY!

Chicken Cacciatore, Another Sunday Supper

I’m pretty sure that I’ve made mention previously that I really like to make some sort of Italian-Inspired meal on Sundays, hence, Sunday Suppers. 

One of the dishes that I enjoy is Chicken Cacciatore, MMM!  It’s a pretty simple main course and can be multiplied, made ahead, and any leftovers freeze beautifully.  My version is a bit different than what you’ll find in other kitchens.

 

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Cacciatore

2+ servings

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided

2 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs, diced bite-sized

½ C. Onions, chopped

1 C. Mushrooms, diced (I prefer Crimini)

1 C. Sweet Bell Peppers, diced

¼ C. Wine (optional)

1-2 C. prepared Marinara (I buy Trader Joe’s jarred sauce, tastes just like mine homemade)

 

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the Mushrooms until they’re golden and next add in the Onions and Peppers; sauté until the veggies are crisp-tender, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and sauté the Chicken until brown and a little crispy around the edges.  Deglaze the pan with the Wine (or a bit of Stock or even water is fine), add back in the veggies-mixture and your preferred amount of Marinara, make it as saucy as your family likes.  Stir well; lower the heat to a bare simmer and cover.

Here’s where you can start your sides, like homemade Fettuccini, or any other pasta, potato, rice, noodle, what have you, to serve with you Cacciatore.

When ready to serve, check your sauce, you may need to add some water if it’s gotten too thick.

As always, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

Kara`age Chicken Made With My Newest Kitchen Toy

This is my newest kitchen toy, a T-Fal Snacking Fryer that I found at Tuesday Morning for only $19.99!  The MSRP on this baby is over $40 and I’ve had my eye on this fryer for some time now.  I like it because it has a nice vented lid that keeps all of the popping oil contained AND with an electric thermometer built in, the heat remains consistent, which makes for non-greasy fried foods, every time!

For my maiden voyage with my new deep fryer, I decided on making a local-plate-lunch-style meal of Kara`age Chicken (aka Japanese-Style Fried Chicken), YUM!!

I followed the directions on the box of Kikkoman Kara`age Seasoning Mix, set the coated pieces of boneless-skinless Chicken Thigh meat on a wire rack as the fryer came up to temperature (just watch for the light red light on the front panel to go out).

MMM!

I then cooked the Chicken in batches to a deep golden delicious crispy brown and drained it all on paper towels.

I had already made a batch of My Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of steamed Rice to round out the plate-lunch-style supper for us two.

MAN! That was ONO!!!

Next time around, we need to make some of my CopyCat Zippy’s Macaroni Salad too, oh yeah!

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

I haven’t made Guava Chicken in for-ever !!

Mostly because, I couldn’t get the frozen Guava Juice Concentrate any longer.

WELL!

On our last trip through Las Vegas I found the International Market, YAY!!

So let’s go!

 

Wow, I had to think about this one.  I did not know that there was such a thing as Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice and  I have yet to find Guava Chicken anywhere but Hawaii.

I don’t have a recipe, really, I just MAKE IT.

Guava Chicken is something I learned from my SIL (DH’s sister). Every time that we all went to the beach for the day, she would bring Guava Chicken and Fried Rice. My BIL would grill the meat on his little hibachi and there’d be other goodies to nibble on after Body Surfing for the afternoon (I shouldn’t go there, it makes me homesick). To me, that’s Beach Food.

So years later, here we are In The Middle Of The Desert and I NEED  to have little pieces of home every so often.

Guava Chicken

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken

1 12oz. can Guava Nectar Concentrate

(if you can find the brands from Hawaii, that’s best, but Goya will do)

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1/2 C. Oyster Sauce

1/2 C. lightly packed Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium Aloha Brand)

1/2 C. Ketchup

1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

5 lbs. Chicken thighs (we buy boneless-skinless)

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinade for at least 24 hours, the longer the better. Grill (or bake or broil, I like the charred bits, it’s more like going to the beach) until the meat is completely done, an internal temperature of 165º on an insta-read thermometer

Fried Rice

Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice

this ain’t rocket science! it’s all just leftovers…

start off with steamed White Rice that’s leftover for maybe 2-3 days in the `fridge to dry out

add whatever ‘Goodies’  you like:

scrambled Eggs or that Omelet you didn’t finish

Breakfast Meat (we use Linguica or Portuguese sausage), chopped**

Spam, yup, that’s right Hawaii’s favorite meat!**

Green onions

White onions

IF you must, frozen Peas and Carrots

Soy Sauce (we prefer Aloha Brand)

Sesame Oil

Toasted Sesame Seeds to make it all pretty at the end

 

Preheat a large fry pan, or Wok if you have it, with some neutral oil like canola.

Once you see wisps of smoke coming off the pan, you gotta move fast

Throw in the rice, stir it around until it’s hot

Add in your Goodies, stir again

Pour in enough Soy Sauce to just color the rice, barely

Stir; cover and cook for a few minutes

Dish it up with a drizzle of Sesame Oil and some Sesame Seeds, maybe some more

chopped Green Onions too

Hawaiian Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

**Tip – the Spam and the Linguica really make it, or some Teriyaki Chicken, SIL uses Turkey Hotdogs and Bacon**

ALOHA