Category Archives: Eating At Home

Smothered Chicken, Round Two

I don’t know why, but I have been thinking about that Smothered Chicken dish that I made awhiles back …

SO!

Round two

I went back to re-read that post and took my own advice, I added some

well browned sliced Crimini Mushrooms,

YUM!

Now, DH and I aren’t always the biggest fans of Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breast, but that was awesome!  This recipe is a real keeper, for sure and that’s what I do from time to time when I’m stumped as to what to make for dinner… I refer to my previous blog posts, go to the Media Library and drool over some of my photos.

Cook for your family!

Instant Pot® Egg Bites, My Way

Okay, so this is IP cooking for only my 6th time, so
here we go.

 

I saw some Egg Bites for sale in our local market for a fairly good chunk of change,
and I thought, I could make these for far less money in my Instant Pot®.

Game on!

I did some research on the WWW on Egg Bites and did
my usual of a mish-mash from different recipes
to create my own version.
Mainly because, almost all of the recipes called for Cottage Cheese,
which I know darn well that DH WILL NOT EAT! Never tried that with him, nor will I ever 

Here’s what I did:

 

Clean 3 four ounce mason jars (well 2 + an 8 oz’er `cuz that’s all I had)
Butter the inside of each jar, well (ssshhh! don’t tell DH )

In a 2 C. measuring cup, whisk together:
2 large Eggs
1/4 C. Whole Milk
2 Tbsp. grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
S&P to taste

In the bottom of each jar, sprinkle about 1 tsp. Bacon Bits
(reads as to your taste)

(I cheated, photo courtesy of Walmart.com)

Pour in the Egg mixture to fill each jar about half way.
Cover with tin foil.
In your Instant Pot®, place the trivet along with 1 cup of water.

Carefully place the filled jars onto the trivet.
Close and seal your IP.
“Steam” on “Normal” for 8 minutes.
Do a Natural Release for 10 minutes.

Release the vent value and using a jar lifter (or a pot holder works too),
remove the jars to a cooling rack.

Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese between the 3 Egg Bite tops.

Run a butter knife around the edge of the Egg Bites, extricate to your plate…

… and devour while still warm.

Our opinions?
Both DH and I said the same thing, it’s okay, but we don’t see all the hop-la over these.  They’re basically omelets.
I think if I were hosting say a Sunday Brunch Buffet, I would serve these, but for just us two, meh, NO!

Now, to be fair, I will try this again using the Cottage Cheese, just not when I’m feeding DH 

So, how did I do on beating the price of the pre-made Egg Bites you may be saying?

Here’s how I figured it:

Eggs: $2.50/dz. = 20¢/Egg
Bacon Bits: ($1.33/30 Tbsp.) ÷ 3) ÷ 3 = 2¢
Cheese: (38¢/oz. X 2) ÷ 3 = 25¢
Milk: ($1.90/qt. ÷ 16) ÷ 3 = 4¢
Butter: (22¢/oz.) I used about 1 tsp. total = 11¢ ÷ 3 = 4¢

I come up with 55¢ per Egg Bite.

Now, granted, I’m not the best in math, but …

These prices are based solely on what I paid here in Arizona at my local markets. Of course your costs may vary, but still, it gives a pretty good picture…

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

The Best Shrimp Scampi I’ve Ever Made!

There seems to be a pattern going on here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert …

But truly, this is the best Shrimp Scampi I’ve ever made!
I’ve tried this dish a bunch of times, but never got it
quite right. Then I saw a magazine recipe (I forget which one)
that suggested making a Shrimp Stock with the shells

Let’s try this!

Auntie Doni’s Shrimp Scampi

1/2 lb. 16/20 Shrimp, shelled & cleaned
1 C. Water
S&P to taste
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp. White Wine
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

In a small pot, boil the Shrimp shells in that 1 cup Water, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.
Strain and set aside the liquid.
Season the Shrimp with S&P.

In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter over medium-low heat; add the Oil, Garlic, Parsley and Zest, cook until the fragrant.
Add the Shrimp and continue to cook until the Shrimp are just pink, turning only once;
add the Wine to mix by swirling the pan and reduce for a coupla minutes.
Pour in that reserved Shrimp Stock, give it a good stir and simmer on low for 1-2 minutes.
Add the Lemon Juice and Red Pepper Flakes.
If the sauce is too thin for your liking, swirl in a teaspoon of cold Butter to thicken.

Serve in a warmed bowl, with an added flourish of fresh Parsley,
and devour!

`Member now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea,
you take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Thanksgiving 2020 With Social Distancing

THIS, has been a very odd year that is going down in the books,

FOR SURE!

DH and I were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends and friends-of-friends at one of our local country clubs, but with the World in the state that it is, we’re just going to stay at home.

So, really it won’t be much different than most other years, just that it’ll only be us two.

My Mother, who now lives in California, is basically in lock-down at her Senior Living Community. The admin gals there asked us not to come out to visit from Arizona, mostly because you just don’t know what kind of bugs you’d be bringing along for the ride.

In years past, I’ve made an entire Turkey, even if it was only for two, and then freeze the leftovers. Well, I went freezer diving out in the garage the other day, and came up with half of a Turkey breast …

I ditched that!

This year I’m going to make a Turkey Tenderloin, along with the usual side dishes.

What I look forward to the most is leftover Stuffing!

And of course …

PIE!

Apple Crostata for DH and Pumpkin for Moi 

Cook for your family and stay safe everyone!

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!

Anchovy Vinaigrette

Well, it’s Salad Season again and I love to make my own Dressings, which brought to mind this post from 2017 :

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/a-different-twist-on-salad-dressing/

I didn’t tell you all about the Anchovy Oil that I save and use in the recipe above.

 

 

My Husband is crazy for these little Fishies, me, can’t stand them! I hunted high and low for Anchovies from Italy, and finally found them at Cost Plus World Market, love this store!

Once DH has finished a jar of these babies, I save the Oil for Vinaigrette.  But you can read more about that part in the thread above.

ENJOY!

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 

Meal Kits In Grocery Stores

In Hawaii, we have a big chain supermarket called Foodland.
Recently, they started carrying prepared meal kits in their Foodland Farms store at Ala Moana Shopping Center.

We went here several times, and I gotta tell you guys,
I’m so glad that we do not live on Oahu any longer,
because I would be here all the time, and spend a fortune!
What a fabulous store! (take a look at the website)
I love Foodland in general, they are my grocery store of choice
when we’re back home.

 

Their Poke Bar is the best on the Island, for sure!!
(we went every day, and I’m not kidding, to buy fresh Poke)

Anywhos, here’s some of what I found:

 

 

These just some of the Main Dishes offered at Foodland, and they change them up from time to time.  The price runs between $14.99 all the way up to $21.99.

 

 

Let’s not forget about a Side Dish.  And again, they change periodically… you can se the prices of these 😉

 

Having taken a look the ingredients, I’m thinking I just might make some of these myself.

 

Menus For The Quarantined Life ~ Part 16

Exclamation Day 14 and I’m DONE!!!

We have not come in contact with anyone for 2 weeks now
and I’m DONE!
Granted, I will still practice “Social Distancing” but I NEED
to get out of here!
At least go for a drive out in the country, or something where
there’s no other folk, just to be out and about.
Breakfast

For myself, I went with a nice, comforting bowl of
Congee or Jook. This is a Chinese dish, basically
it’s Rice and Turkey Porridge, I call it YUM!
DH can’t stand the stuff, so he had cold cereal 

Lunch

I was out of any sort of Lunch Meats, and we were both
Jonesing for an Italian Hoagie!
So we decided to support our local Pizza joint with take out order!
I spruced it up with some Olive Oil, Oregano and Hot Cherry Peppers.

Dinner

I grilled some Ground Beef Patties and scratched up
another Hawaii-Style comfort plate of
Hamburger Steak Plate!
MAYBE there’ll be cookies later for dessert, we’ll see 

Menus For The Quarantined Life ~ Part 15

Day Thirteen

I’m thinking that once we hit the 2 week mark,
we’re good, I think.
But I probably will sit tight for awhiles longer.

 

 

Breakfast

I decided to make a large-ish morning repast

This is my plate, which you could tell, because there’s
butter on my Toast 

We skipped Lunch again today …

 

 

Dinner

Since we didn’t have lunch, dinner was early today.
Grilled marinated Salmon Fillet,
steamed Green Beans
and the ever present steamed White Rice.

 

 

Dessert

… will be Land O Lakes recipe Chewy Jumbo Chocolate
Chip Cookies with some Arizona Pecans added in.
I really like this recipe, ALOT!