Category Archives: Just Plain Food Stuff

Brats & Tots

We have a new favorite item from Trader Joe’s, Soft Pretzel Sticks, but we talked about that a coupla times already.  I was thinking of other ways that we could enjoy these, well, I’m calling them rolls.  When I was at Sprout’s awhile back, I was perusing the meat case and spied some gorgeous Bratwurst.  Now wouldn’t that be great on those rolls, topped with TJ’s Sauerkraut, some Mustard and TJ’s Potato Tots on the side?  I really like this Sauerkraut, it hasn’t got that over whelming Vinegar bite to it; it tastes more like homemade.

I preheated the oven to 400⁰

I lined a pan with parchment paper, laid the sausages down and with a sharp knife, gave each a good stab or two so that they wouldn’t burst open in the oven and then go dry.  They baked for about 20-25 minutes, until the internal temperature reached 160⁰.

At the same time, I baked the Tots following the directions on the back panel.

For the last maybe 10 minutes or so of cooking, I threw in the rolls to heat through.

Let’s assemble our plates.  I split open each Soft Pretzel Stick and got started.

DH likes just Spicy Brown Mustard on his share, as well Ketchup to dip his Tots in.

For myself, its Dijon Mustard and Sauerkraut on my Brat; I made a small dish of Tartar Sauce to dunk my Potato Tots in.  Oh and what’s Brats & Tots without a brew?

ENJOY!

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Buttermilk Pancakes With Melted Butter And Real Maple Syrup

I think that Pancakes are simply a vehicle in which to shovel as much melted Butter and Real  Maple Syrup into you mouth as possible…

Eat more Pancakes!

Sunday Brunch Out At The Lone Spur Café

DH and I don’t go out to breakfast very often, but we started talking about The Lone Spur Café and how we hadn’t been there for breakfast in a really long time.  So, let’s go!

I’ll go first.  This is my favorite breakfast/Sunday Brunch item of all times!  This is the Cowboy Benedict.  You’ll get 2 Biscuits topped with a generously thick slice of Smoked Ham, two Basted Eggs, Country Gravy (don’t let that throw ya though, it’s the best Sausage Gravy I’ve ever flipped a lip over!) along with a side of either Country Potatoes or Hash browns.  I had the half order with Hash browns and I wound up taking most the Potatoes home.

DH enjoyed the Ham Steak & Eggs.  This a nice sized hunk-o-Smoked Ham, 2 Eggs (although that looks more like THREE Eggs to me) cooked to order and your choice of Country Potatoes or Hash browns.  DH had the “regular sized order” with the Country Potatoes and scrambled, but you can get a larger “Cowboy size”.

We were both stuffed to the gills, so we went across the street to the Court House Square to walk it off. Ya gotta love small towns!

Happy Sunday!

Greek Seasoning, ala Auntie Doni

You’ve heard of Greek Seasoning before right? NO?!  Take a look down the Spice aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll find only one brand of commercially produced Greek Seasoning.

Greek Seasoning from the supermarket

See the ingredients on the back panel:  Black Pepper, Garlic, Oregano, Parsley and “five other spices”, along with some other stuff.   On top of that, it’s not cheap either!

So I did an internet search for a recipe, a formula if you will; there are oodles of them. I already had all of the ingredients in my Spice Rack, so I put together a blend that we really like and I use it in and on just about anything.

Greek Seasoning Ala Auntie Doni

3 tsp. Dried Oregano

2 tsp. each Dried Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley and Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp each Dried Basil, Marjoram, Granulated Garlic and Onion Powder

That's alot of different ingredients!

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

I used a Mortar and Pestle

I go one more step and grind everything, working in small batches, in either a Spice Grinder or small Food Processor, or my favorite method, using a Mortar and Pestle, you’ll get a finer grind.

Store in an airtight container for as long as 6 months, but I don’t think it’ll last that long.  I put this in Salad Dressing, on grilled Meats and Vegetables, on Bread dough, like Focaccia before it goes in the oven, anything that you want a hint of Greek in.

I make multiple batches of my Greek Seasoning, they make great gifts 😉

ENJOY!

Pink Lemonade

While on my last visit to Trader Joe’s, I saw Pink Lemons.  Hmmm, what’s this? I murmured.   I turned around and one the helpful team members said, “Doesn’t that look interesting?  I haven’t tried those yet, but I’m going to.”

Okay, so will I.

I rolled the Lemons on the cutting board, using the heal of my hand for a bit before slicing them across their “equators” to ensure maximum juice release first off.

I’ve never made Lemonade from scratch before, so I did a quick search on the Internet and found several pretty simple, basic recipes, all saying about the same thing.

1 C. Granulated Sugar

1 C. Water

1 C. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Combine the Sugar and Water in a small pan and place over low heat, stirring until the Sugar is completely dissolved; allow to cool.  To a pitcher, add an additional 3-4 cups of water along with the Lemon Juice; stir and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Taste and adjust to your taste.

Easy.

Well, I didn’t exactly get a full cup of Lemon juice, so we adapt.  If it’s a one to one ratio of everything and then add additional water, no problem.

Geez!  All I got out of those three Lemons was two glasses of Lemonade, and does that look Pink  to you?  I thought not.  Oh well, it tasted lovely, though next time I make Lemonade from scratch I’ll try it with Meyer Lemons instead.

Crushed Pineapple Coffee Cake FAIL!

The other day I was going through the `Fridge as I do from time to time, just to make that nothing has gotten pushed to the far recess and forgotten.  I found a cup or so of canned crushed Pineapple leftover from a recipe that I can’t remember what.  Hmmm, that means it’s been there for a while and really should be used up.

I did a quick Internet search for recipes that called for just such an ingredient and found a Coffee Cake recipe, perfect!  I had all of the other items necessary, so let’s bake.

That didn’t work out very well, now did it.

Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say, adios as you dump that sucker in the trash.   It wasn’t fit for man nor beast, ACK!  I followed the recipe to the letter, I don’t think that we need to mention that recipe though. 😉

Oh well, we all have an off day now and again.

Fresh Fruit From California

DH and I just got back from California.  We drove out to the San Joaquin Valley to visit with my Mother. The best, as well as the worst time of the year to go is early Summer, when the fresh fruits are bountiful.

For years my husband would ask me, “Why don’t I ever see you eating fruit?”  Well, when you’ve spent a good number of your Summers in “The Food Basket of the World” , where you can pick our own tree/vine/bush ripened produce, sit own your Great Grandmother’s back stoop and eat a still warm from the Sun piece of fruit, you’re spoiled for life.  I always have had a hard time eating “store bought” fruit with no taste, no heady fragrance, no juices running down your arm, I mean, come on man!

REALLY!!  How delicious does that look? 

That’s a flat of Peaches and Nectarines, we figure probably about 20 pounds.  Two pounds of Cherries, 3 quarts of the biggest, red-est Strawberries I’ve seen in a long time; we also got 2 pints each of Blueberries and Blackberries.  All are so sweet and juicy, they taste the way that they should.  My husband kept whispering in my ear, “That’s enough now, don’t buy too much.”

Mom and her best-est friend from childhood, took us around to the different orchards.  Of course they each had know the families that own the fields for three generations.  There’s no street signs, so if you didn’t know where you were going, you’d be SO LOST! This rural farm lands.

On our car trip home, our car smelled like heaven!

We do plan on sharing our bounty with others, like Mr&Mrs Dear Friend’s as well as our favorite neighbor.