Calling all sous chefs …

3 new recipes hit outta the ball park … all keepers!  One was inspired by my weekly blog snooping and the other two by my usual weekend activity of watching the Food Network.  See, good things can come from being lazy 😉

Tuesday’s dinner was so flavorful that we went back for seconds … we got through a half of (a second) burger each – tsk tsk, I know – but they were sooooo good! Make them and I dare you to not want a second one. They are easy to make by hand, no device needed to help you like the Stufz.  My husband saw it on a commercial and suggested it as a gizmo that I’d like, I bought it for him (for me) as a Christmas gift.  Basically it was a waste of $10 and took more time to figure out the contraption than it took for me to form 4 patties by hand.  It’s not hard to use but it’s not a non-stick surface, the meat is impossible to deal with! Don’t buy it. 

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Oh, the side! How did I forgot about the side dish? I guess it’s 4 new recipes then 🙂  As much as I think Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show is silly, she had Art Smith as a guest and cooked up his delish garlic-cheesy mashed cauliflower. I added too much garlic (is there really such a thing as ‘too much garlic’?) but other than that it was so creamy.

I haven’t cooked with ground beef in quite some time and I noticed a smell … a distinct odor … that lingered around the kitchen and my hands. Blech. I never realized how much it stinks but now that we’ve pretty much cut it from our diet, my Spidey Scenses do not like it. The sous chefs, did however. They came running from each corner of the house to investigate what their noses were picking up.

Maybe it’s not the bigger kitchen/house that’s keeping them out from under my feet … could it be that I’ve stopped using ground beef so they aren’t interested in the dropped food anymore?

Wednesday’s dinner: chicken wings and onion rings.  I was craving a “bar food” night sans grease and belly aches … these two recipes were dlish, healthy, and cheap! Geeze, now it’s up to 5 recipes … I can’t keep anything straight! The week went by too fast for me to even keep up with what I cooked. Anyway, I marinated the wings for a few hours prior to baking so when it came time to prep the onion rings I only had to focus on one thing.  This meal couldn’t have been any easier: hot sauce, honey (for the wings), panko, Old Bay, s/p … dinner’s ready! The onion rings are a bit labor intensive but so worth it; nothing difficult but they do take time.

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Yes you are seeing that bottom picture correctly … that is a packet of mayo from Chick-Fil-A, haha! The tangy cheese dipping sauce for the wings called for 2 TBSP of mayo and we don’t eat that anymore, so where do you buy 2 TBSP of mayo? A fast food restaurant, of course! And by “buy”, I mean treat yourself to a yummy lunch and pick up a mayo packet on the way out. That was the most expensive packet of mayo at $7.07 that day 😉

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Still love my Pampered Chef dredging station … 1: flour  2. egg/milk/flour mixture  3. panko/Old Bay;S/P – bake and plate. Now enjoy!

Thursday was a night I’ve been waiting for, a one-pot-meal: Mini meatball sandwiches. Thank you Ree Drummond – you fabulous Pioneer Woman, you.  Not only is it a one pot meal it also took under 30 minutes, bing bang boom – DONE! I used ground turkey instead and finished off the sausages that were called for with the stuffed burgers.  Once again the sous chefs came running. Honestly, I don’t understand why the stink of groud beef is so delightful to dogs 😉

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On top of that, I got my husband to help me! Man, maybe I do need to switch back to ground beef, lol!

Actually, he was starving so I said “I’m so glad you’re offering to help”… and cue his eye rolls. I didn’t want the stench on my hands again so it worked perfectly.

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It was quite nice, let the meatballs cook for 20 minutes while I relaxed. What a fantastic dinner idea; perfect for parties too – a few bites is the rule for party/finger food. We had plenty left over so by the time you’re finished reading this blog post, I’ll have scarfed down a few sandwiches as a much deserved late lunch.

 

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Tis the season for figgy pudding

With Halloween over we are officially in “Holiday Season” – time to indulge in food, drink, and good cheer … in small doses.   We had guests for the last two weeks which gave us a reality check that we really do need to be careful with how much food we intake.  While all meals were not horribly unhealthy, we just ate a lot of it; we also went through a few more six-packs if you know what I mean.   Restaurants were frequented as well, usually we have 1 date night per week but we went out maybe 2 times each week.  Even though we went on living our daily lives as normal it was hard to not have fun with our friends who just moved here. Yes we have 4 years to enjoy their company but we’ve really missed them the last year, it was good to catch up and hang out like old times.  Those old times are haunting us now, lol!

Josh’s sugar levels were all over the place, some reached 200.  He hasn’t seen those numbers since first diagnosed; he typically sits in the low to mid-100’s.  So even though I kept saying “we’ve been eating bad” – I got the cold shoulder.  I meant ‘bad’ with the concern of his sugar levels, not necessarily greasy or fast food ‘bad’.  This was a good lesson because it’s the first time we’ve had guests at our house [since the diabetes diagnoses] and it really showed us that with the holiday season fast approaching, we do indeed need to be more aware of what we eat while entertaining.   My family will be here for Christmas so you better believe I will be hounding Josh about what he eats; I’ll also do a better job of making just enough food so no one will be tempted with 2 or 3 servings!

On to the goodies we indulged in … man they were delicious.  I don’t regret the flavors of any meal but I sure do regret the amount I ate!

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Who doesn’t love a pretzel bun? It’s pretty much a trend right now and I completely understand why.  A giant soft pretzel that you can put your choice of protein (cheddar sausages for us) on. Hello! You can’t resist. Top that with American cheese, sauerkraut, and ketchup/German mustard, sign me up! We probably could have swapped out the tots & onion rings for a salad … but we didn’t. Talk about carb overload.  Now that we know where to buy these buns, I’m sure they’ll meet our dinner table in the future but making sure Josh doesn’t eat FIVE of them. Yepp.  *This recipe was a revamp courtesy of Chelsea – I’ll def. make it again; a great party/finger food sammie!  Originally planned were hot dogs/whole wheat buns, sweet p tots, and salad. As I started looking in my freezer I decided to clear it out and bake whatever we had.  Hence the salad getting cut, ha.
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Next on the line up: shrimp scampi pizza, 2 crusts: white & wheat. Another meal that doesn’t seem ‘bad’ but with all the butter for the sauce: fat turns into bad sugars.  How can one turn away butter though. I mean, it’s butter. It’s golden brick stature attracts people from afar. Of course you look at Paula Deen and what’s the first thing she cut from most of her recipes when diagnosed with diabetes – BUTTER! The sauce was amazing though, it had so much garlic I actually scared away one vampire that came to trick or treat 😉  No really, you could smell the garlic from our garage door before even entering the house. I loved it.  I’ll need to figure out a way to lighten up Chelsea’s recipe because we need that pizza in our lives.

Speaking of trick or treat … I have never seen so many parents driving along while their kids walked from house to house. Again, San Antonio is the most obese city in AMERICA for a reason. Get out and walk!!!!!

 

This was my Sunday activity:
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HOMEMADE PIEROGIES.  100% homemade in every definition possible.
I personally mashed the potatoes, diced the red onion and mushrooms, hand mixed the dough (Josh had to jump in and finish that), hand rolled the dough, hand cut the pierogi circles, and stuffed almost 3 dozen pierogies.  Josh boiled & pan fried them, kept them warm in a crock pot.  Was the 3 hours worth it to create these little boogers? YEPP!  Yes you read that correct – 3 hours.  I had packed my mixer and I don’t own a pasta thingy. Hey if you want something bad enough you gotta do what you gotta do!  So do you need a $300 Kitchenaid? Nope.  The mixer I have would have worked fine (old school Cuisinart that belonged to my mother); I could have used a hand cranked pasta thingy though, rolling took forever to get it thin enough and the consistency just wasn’t there [from pierogi to pierogi].

After all of that work I asked Josh how come bakers weren’t thin considering the amount of elbow grease goes in to baking … his response: because they eat everything they make. LOL 😉