Sunday, October 26, 2014

For the love of balsamic vinegar

I have been trying to use cheaper cuts of meat to save some money so I bought some London Broil.  I don't love London Broil.  In the three years I've been living with SR I've developed a love for fatty, chewy and delicious cuts of meat.  London Broil isn't that.  Everyone else likes it, and it fits my budget, so I buy it when it's on sale.

What I DID do was make a really good sauce for it.  I followed a recipe I found on line but didn't add the cherries or cranberries, cause I didn't have any.  But let me tell you, it was delicious.

I have had oil and vinegar with bread and as salad dressing, but I've just started using it for cooking.  The sauce was sweet, and buttery and whatever the flavor vinegar gives you.  Vinegary?  I don't know, but it was delicious.

I think on better cut of meat it would be totally glorious.  As soon as our budget allows, I'm going to make it on a New York Steak. 

I also made some corn bread.  I was going to make it from scratch- the recipe is easy enough but when I went to the store to buy cornmeal, I saw this.

My mom used to make this.  And they were .59 for a small box.  Each box makes 6-8 muffins with just an egg and 1/3 cup of milk.  So I made two boxes and put it all in a 10 inch round pan and made cornbread.  Everyone loved it and we ate it all.

At that price, it's way cheaper to make it from the box and it was really good.  I guess that's why it's been around for so long. 

With butter and honey- along with the delicious sauce from the London Broil, dinner was warm and tasty and we are all satisfied and happy.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mom's Taquitos

I call them "Mom's Taquitos" because that is what my kids call them, but the recipe was given to me from my friend Arin, who's mom used to make them this way.  So this is actually Star's Mom's taquitos, but my kids won't remember that. 

Before I continue, I have to tell you that SR doesn't prefer these.  He likes his taquitos with ketchup.  KETCHUP!!!  It's repulsive and I tell him that every time I give them to him.

These however, are delicious.  Even as leftovers. 

I usually buy a big box of a frozen taquitos, or two boxes of 20.  It depends on the size of the pan you are using but I like having two layers.  I don't have the perfect size pan for it, but my 9x13 does ok. 

Pour a can of green enchilada sauce over it so it covers the top and gets in between them.  I use the mild flavor, because the medium is a little spicy for the kids, but I prefer the medium.  Then cover it with cheese.  I use the cheddar jack because that's the catch-all cheese that I keep in the house. 

Bake for about 30 minutes at the temperature the box dictates.



Doesn't that look yummy??  It really is yummy.  I top it with sour cream, and some green salsa.  It's divine.  I made it with some spanish rice and it was great. 

SR had his with ketchup.  I may need to leave him. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I am NOT the burger king

Burgers tonight. 

Sometimes I feel like a damn short order cook for a restaurant of grumpy impatient people who don't tip the waitresses.

Burgers used to be easy.  Add cheese, to some of them and go.

Now, kids have specifics.  Everyone has specifics.

Jerkface is easy.  Ketchup only.  Quantity 2
Bonehad (10 year old) he likes a double cheese burger.  No condiments.
Evil Spawn (age 7) he likes cheese, ketchup and mustard. Quantity 2
SR likes double cheeseburger with onions, bacon if possible and a little bit of ketchup.

That's 8 burgers, for 4 people.  And I haven't even eaten yet.

I did so much cooking that I didn't even bother making one for myself.  I was sick of burgers before I even had one. 

So I'll have some leftover meatloaf for dinner. 

I'm so tired by this point in the evening.

I come home, do homework, and cook, tend to the dog, the animals, some cleaning. All in between telling the kids to stop screaming.  Why are they ALWAYS screaming?  Are they hard of hearing?  Do they not hear each other?  They certainly don't hear me.

Sometimes this mom thing... it's exhausting. 

I'm not complaining... ok- yes.  I'm complaining.  I'm irritable and tired. 

and I smell like hamburger. 
It's kind of nauseating.

I'm going to shower and wash the grease off of me and go to bed. 
Mom is checking out for the night. 

Easy Sunday Meatloaf!!!!

Sunday I made meatloaf.  I found a recipe that might be the easiest meatloaf in the entire world.  It was easy to make and I suspect it will be delicious.

1 pound of ground beef
One egg
One cup of water
One box of Stove Top Stuffing.

It has all the seasonings and the breadcrumbs.  viola!!! 


Green beans drowned in butter and garlic.  Add rolls.  Delicious.

Dessert, I have brownies in the oven as we speak.  As soon as they are done the meatloaf goes in, and the last 15 minutes the cheese muffins will go in and I will make the green beans so they will be done at the same time. 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Finally Friday

What a long week it's been!!

I've been just dead exhausted.  Driving to work half awake and the same driving home.  By that I mean, halfway thru my drive I just become so tired that I have to force myself to stay awake by turning off my audio book and switching to music, or turning off my music and switching to my audio book.  My drive is very long.  60 miles, and here in SoCal that is a pretty ugly drive. 

I cooked the first half of the week and we had leftovers for the last half.  Yesterday, because everyone heated up whatever leftovers they wanted, I had extra time so did some of my chores- and then I forgot to eat dinner.  PB&J at bedtime, after figuring out why I was so hungry... and then to bed.

I did have one really great food WIN this week.  I made chow mien.  Now I am Dutch-Indonesian and growing up we had Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng) or chow mien (Bahmi) as a side for most meals that would take a side.  Oddly I never grew to hate these foods but I never learned to make them either.  SR loves Chinese food, and we usually go to Panda Express at least twice a month because he loves their chow mien.  I do not LOVE Chinese fried rice or noodles, because there is a difference in the flavor between Chinese rice and noodles and Indonesian rice and noodles.  For one, growing up my mother did not put peas and carrots in the fried rice.  She does now on occasion, but growing up, this isn't something I remember.  Also there is a different taste.  Until this week, I didn't know what that taste was.


SR wanted Panda Express this week, and while I am usually down for food I don't have to cook, it gets pricey with the two of us and three kids.  So I decided to look up a recipe for chow mien.  Specifically Panda Express Chow Mien.  I love the internet.  So I found a few and this one caught my eye.  My first thought was "PLEASE tell me those are not Top Ramen noodles."  Turns out they are not exactly, but once cooked, they may as well have been. 

First, what is white pepper?  I thought jokingly that maybe it's salt- but I made a safe assumption that it probably wasn't.  Unable to find any, I used ground black pepper instead.

Second, I have never used ginger root before.  It is not easy to get freshly grated ginger because it's all very pulpy.  I used the smallest holes on my cheese grater and had to scrape the ginger pulp out of the inside of the grater to come up with two teaspoons.  Do NOT rub your eyes until you have washed them after grating the ginger. 

I think 2 cups of shredded cabbage was a bit too much.  I will use a little less next time. 

Once all the grating and slicing and mixing and noodle boiling was done.  It all came together pretty fast.  The first thing I noticed was that this chow mien was not as dark as Bahmi usually is.  At first taste though, it was pretty decent.  I let SR taste it and he said it needed more soy sauce.  I gave it just a little bit more, because Americans have a way of over soy saucing their rice and noodles.  I figured if he wanted more he could add it to his plate.  It had a bit more kick than I wanted it to and I knew that the younger boys would complain about it.  I think it was the ginger.  However, SR and Jerkface thought it was FAN-tastic. 

I sent a picture to mom, and she asked if I used sesame oil.  I told her I hadn't.  She said the difference between Indo and Chinese rice and noodles is sesame oil.  Next time use sesame oil and soy sauce.  Skip the ginger.  I also found that the brown sugar and soy sauce makes what can be bought in stores as Kecap Manis, which is the Indonesian sweet soy sauce that we use as marinade for our satay.  (kabobs).  So next time I will skip the ginger and use sesame oil, garlic and kecap (or soy sauce and brown sugar).  That makes it Indo.  That makes it Bahmi.  (I think that is what also makes it a little darker, but that could have been the noodles I used.)  I know she also uses a little bit of shrimp paste and msg.  Mom would sometimes scramble an egg and dice that up and throw it in.  Sometimes adding leftover chicken, or shrimp.  She would sometimes make it spicy, which was always my favorite.  If I'm making fried rice, it's the same recipe, but adding cooked rice instead of noodles. 

I'm really excited to make this again.  I doubt it will ever be as good as my moms.  However, my kids and SR will love it just the same as I did.