Thursday, December 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER - 2013

My guest chef today is Kaitlyn, my granddaughter!  She is now 21 and beginning her own life away at school, but still comes to her "Granny's" house to spend the night.  The best part, besides sleeping with Granny and talking the night away, is that she is beginning to cook for us!
Christmas Day Dinner is a tradition at our house; a time when our daughter, son-in-law, my mom, and, of course, Katie Bug come to celebrate another year as a family.  It's an intimate time for just the immediate family, but often we share it with one of Kaitlyn's friends.  This year it was Mercedes, a high school friend.

The following recipes with the exception of the cornbread, she said, came from a search on Pinterest
She started a crock-pot pork-chop dish around noon and cooked it on low until meal time around 6PM.  It was simple enough, and best yet, she never had to touch it again until the meal was served.

Here is all she had to do:

Ingredients
  • Pork chops (she used 8 boneless pork-chops 1/2" thick)
  • 1 Ranch Seasoning Dry Mix Packet
  • 1 can Cream of Cream of Chicken Soup (plus 2 cans of water or milk)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and mix well.
  2. Cook on low 4-6 hours.
Around 4PM she began her side dishes consisting of macaroni, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (giving us a choice, but most, like me ate both kinds), mixed vegetables, and cornbread.
The macaroni dish was prepared normally, drained, Velveeta, colby-jack, and some shredded mild cheddar cheese and milk was added, and then poured into a baking dish.  She then added Panko bread crumbs and baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375.
She baked 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and put them into a baking dish.  To the potatoes she added a can of pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, salt, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and half and half and mixed thoroughly.  She baked it for about 30 minutes at 350.

The mashed potatoes were prepared normally, except for the addition of garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.
Katie then patiently chopped up fresh zucchini, yellow squash, orange bell pepper, and salad size tomatoes.  She placed the veggies into a baking dish and poured vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil over the pieces, salted and peppered them, and baked for 45 minutes at 350 covered.
Next, she turned up the oven to 450.  In a 4-cup glass measuring bowl, she added 2 cups of cornmeal, milk to make a batter, an egg, 1 heaping tablespoon of sugar, and 2 heaping tablespoons of flour in a large measuring bowl and mixed.  She put a large cast iron skillet with about a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in it into the oven.  When the skillet was hot, she poured in the cornmeal mixture.  The mixture should start to rise around the edges immediately.  Put back in the oven for 25 minutes.
Katie (R) and Mercedes (L) relax after Christmas dinner.  

All this, including a glass of Barefoot wine, (and a bowl of "store bought" slaw) was placed on our Christmas table and we dove in with both hands!  It was quite a change from the norm, and everyone seemed to enjoy it...most of all the family time.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year folks!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MAKE FRENCH TOAST FAST!

I was walking through the store last week, looking for something different for breakfast, when I spotted the Pepperidge Farm - Swirl Breads.  Then I remembered the  French-toast my mom used to make me.

The wheels turned some more and I thought, "Why go to all that mixing trouble, just dunk some of this "Brown Sugar and Cinnamon" swirl-bread!"


So I got a package and the next morning I just broke an egg into a bowl, added about 3 tablespoons of milk, whipped it a few times and plopped a couple of "swirl-bread slices, and cooked it in a med-hot frying pan coated with melted butter!

Man!  With a side of ham and a cup of hot coffee, it was the quickest and best breakfast I'd had in months!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

MUSHY'S QUICK OMELET RECIPE

This Sunday morning my wife wanted an omelet and that sounded good to me!

I heated the oven and popped in some canned biscuits, Pillsbury, of course, and started the coffee!

I then prepped the omelet.
I chopped up some onion, and put it into a hot pan of butter, along with some chopped jalapeno from a jar, and about half a small can of chopped mushrooms.  I sauteed until the onions were translucent, and removed them from the heat.
In a bowl, I put three jumbo eggs, some sea salt, some pepper, and some Tennessee Sunshine hot sauce.  I mixed up the eggs, then plopped in a small handful of shredded mild cheese, and the sauteed ingredients, and mixed everything thoroughly, ensuring everything was coated with the egg. 

In a hot skillet coated with some vegetable oil, I poured in the mixture.  I had a rubber scrapper and plastic spatula ready for duty.  With the rubber scrapper, I ran it around the edges as it began to cook to keep it from sticking, and when it was almost cooked from the bottom up, I gently used the spatula to flip the half cooked mixture into a half-moon position.  Sometimes you have to hold the position for the omelet with the spatula.
I gave it a few more minutes of cooking time on medium heat, and cut the half-moon in half.  I could then easily flip each half over for further cooking.  Sometimes it don't flip beautifully, as the photo shows, but it all taste the same!
I served half the omelet, a biscuit, and teaspoon of Muscadine jelly to my wife, who had poured the coffee and placed it by our chairs in the living room.  We were now ready to watch CBS's Sunday Morning show, a tradition of ours since we were married 33 years ago!

Note: For those of you that have never tried jalapenos with coffee, it's wonderful!  It's a new taste that's addictive.  It's the same taste you get eating leftover pizza that has jalapenos, with scrambled eggs.  A great wake-up call!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LESS GREASY STEAK AND GRAVY

Since the F4/F5 fusion/compression surgery, I haven't been doing a lot of cooking.  As a matter of fact, neither of us have been doing a lot lately, except trying to get better.  My wife has had some health issues, and is about to have a heart procedure that should bring her back to "life", so things have been slow lately.

I've messed around with salads again, as you can see above, and that usually makes us happy around "supper" time.  The theme goes along with my trying to walk a little each day on the treadmill, but I seemed to be slowly regaining some of the weight I lost after a previous surgery.

It was only lettuce (just simple Iceberg), tomato, onion, cheese, boiled egg, raisins, some chuck chicken breast, and a little jalapeƱo (seeded) on the side for kick!  It sure did hit the spot, even though the preparation was a involved, but when you've felt like doing nothing for so long, it was a real accomplishment for me.

However, what we really like is some good ol' Southern home cooking like the plate my wife made a few nights ago.  

She first boiled some potato hunks in water until a fork easily penetrates the heart of the potato.  She sat that aside to cool and began preparing the protein.

She then browned some tenderized beef round steak in a hot skillet.  Wanting to make the dish less greasy she put flour and water, some salt and pepper into a glass baking dish and stirred the mixture before finally plopping in the browned steak.  As the meat continued to cook covered, over the next 30 minutes, in the 350 degree oven, she would infrequently stir the flour into what little grease flowed from the meat.

Normally, the steak, the grease, and the browned pieces in the bottom of the skillet is all poured into making the gravy, but not doing this did make the meal less greasy without losing any of the taste.

While the steak was in the oven she whipped up the potatoes, adding salt, pepper, a little sour cream, and some milk.  She don't like chunky mashed potatoes like I do, so the mixer runs a long time, whipping them up into a fluffy mush.  A little butter is added at the end for additional taste.
We had a can of Le Sueur® Very Young Small Early Peas, and some left over coleslaw, so the rest of the meal was handy.  Oh yeah, we also had a package of King's Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, left over from a family gathering, so my supper was great!

Now, I don't know about you, but I like my peas plopped on top of my "mashed tatters", as shown.   Sometimes, when I'm not watching my waistline, I put a dollop of Miracle Whip into my tatters!  I learned that from my favorite uncle.  It's good!  Never heard of mayo/salad dressing in potato salad?  Try it...you'll like it!

So, the week hasn't been too bad after all.  I've had good company, good sightseeing, and good food, so life is getting back to normal 'round here!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

MUSHY IS HAVING A SALE!

As most of you know, I have been maintaining a large number of photographic art pieces online since October of 2011.  I greatly enjoy photography, and often surprise myself! 

I am currently offering a 25% discount on all my photographic art “mark ups” through July 31, 2013. 

Click on this link, http://paul-mashburn.artistwebsites.com/, or click below, peruse my galleries for the perfect art for your home or office, and enter the Discount Code: DMKPMV at check out!

I hope you fine something you like!

Mushy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hamburger Steak Supreme

Yeah, I know this is "Mushy's" cooking blog, but it should be known that my wife (Judy) is also a cook, and I'll admit, a much better cook than me.

It's pretty basic, but tonight's supper is just evidence that she feeds me pretty well.  It was just your basic "hamburger steak" with all her special trimmings, but it was wonderful, as the posted photo shows.
She is a southern cook, raised up knowing her way around the kitchen, studying under her mother's watchful eye.  All our meals are pretty much southern born, nothing fancy, but believe me, there is nothing better in 80% of the restaurants in the country.

She smothered the steak in sauteed onions and red peppers, topped the sweet potato with butter and brown sugar, and sauteed green beans on the side.

If you look at the plate, you can see why I was stuffed; that was a lot of food!  That was also great food!  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Testing Carla Hall's Glorified Grits Recipe

My wife and I enjoy The Chew most everyday on ABC, and we always end up hungry and curious as to whether or not we would have the same results in our kitchen.

So, tonight I decided to whip up Carla Hall's "Glorified Grits".  The recipe is a bit much to do early in the morning, especially when we usually just have one eye open until noon!  Doing it at night, after we've eaten supper and watched the evening news, affords us time to use both our eyes and have a ready made breakfast the next morning.

As a matter of fact, this recipe serves 6, so we should have enough for 2 or 3 mornings!

I did most of the heavy lifting, but Judy was there to separate the eggs and get the herbs out of the cabinet when I needed them.  It goes something like this:

Ingredients - 
  • 2 cups grits
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 garlic cloves (or a big tables spoon of minced)
  • 1 pound of spicy (we used medium) sausage
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano (chopped) (we used powdered and I suggest only 1/2 as much)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (leaves chopped) (again we used powdered(I suggest using half as much, because it was a little strong.  However, fresh may not have had the same effect.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (I plan on using a big hunk of Velveeta next time as well!  I will add to the creaminess.)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (or margarine
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425, and grease a casserole dish.
Uncooked mixture.
Pour all the milk, chicken stock into a heavy pot and start the mixture to boiling.  Add in salt and pepper, and then add the grits.  Constantly stir the liquid after it begins to boil, then turn the heat down to simmer until the grits get creamy and soft (and done).  One trick - when the grits pop out on the back of your hand...they're done!

In a big skillet, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the pound of sausage until it is brown and done.  You can add the herbs and garlic in right at the end.
Cooked mixture.
Put the sausage into the grits mixture and mix well.  Then blend in the cheese and butter.  Also add the whisked egg yokes.

The last ingredient are the egg whites which have been fluffed stiff with a mixer.  Fold them into the grits mixture last.

Pour the whole mixture into the greased casserole dish, place in the heated oven, and cook 25 to 30 minutes.  The top should be lightly golden brown.
It can be served immediately!

It was great!  We have to have a little tonight right after it was finished.  We can't wait until morning to have a larger portion!
         
   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PICTSWEET STIR-FRY NOT TOO SWEET

You know me, I'm always trying to streamline cooking for us guys, but this time I should have stuck to the tried and trued method of chopping fresh vegetable and adding my own seasoning.

I picked out a package of PictSweet Stir-Fry Chinese Style Vegetables the other day; thinking I could just cook up some chicken tenderloins and pop the cooked pieces into the mixture.  Didn't work out!

Although my wife and I ate most of your plate, the taste just wasn't Chinese, or spicy enough for us.  I did add some cayenne powder to the chicken as they cooked in olive oil and garlic, but it still came up short.  I even salted and peppered the chicken, but the seasoning that came on the vegetables just didn't satisfy our taste buds.
The vegetables came out rather tasteless and slightly rubbery to me.  So, before I try this again, I'll have to consider dropping in some major spicy seasonings of my own.

However, before that happens, I will stick to cutting up my own produce!

The best part of this meal...the Tyson chicken!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kielbasa And Greens Soup

I owe this one to my sister-in-law Charlotte, who passed it on to my wife, along with a "mess" of collard greens.  It's a new way, at least to us, to eat healthy garden greens of any "color", so to speak!

We already enjoy turkey kielbasa fixed in a variety of ways, but I always wondered if the tube-meat couldn't be enjoyed in a healthier way, rather than with potatoes and Velveetta cheese!  Turns out, there is.

Most recipes say to cut up the kielbasa and dump it into the total mixture right up front, but I just can't eat it without browning it a little in some olive oil and garlic.  Do what you want...it'll all be fine either way.
So, cut up the kielbasa along with the following (feel free to add your favorite soup vegetable):
  • at least 4 cups of greens (kale, mustard, collard, spinach, etc.); trimmed, washed, and chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced (if you brown your meat with garlic just do 1)
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth of stock
  • 1 15-1/2-oz. can of kidney beans* rinsed
  • 1 15-1/2-oz. can of great northern beans* rinsed
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry wine or water (or half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine everything in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, which is usually 4 to 5 hours on high, or 8 to 10 on the low setting.

*You can use any type and mixture of beans you prefer (except pork'n beans) for this soup.

This soup is found all over the Internet, and any recipe will make your "greens" tasty.  It's a very hearty soup and it will warm your insides on the coldest day, for about 160 calories per cup.
The broth is about all the salt you will need, but the soup can be spiced up to taste

One final note...if it seems too healthy for you, then add some cornbread...as did I!

Friday, January 11, 2013

KUNG PAO SCALLOPS WITH A TOUCH OF GRANDDAUGHTER

My granddaughter, Kaitlyn (Katie Bug we call her), spent the night with us last night, and usually we have a big breakfast together, however, today was Judy's "girlfriend luncheon" day, so there was no breakfast.  Judy did not feel like breaking the date, since it had been planned for a month, so Katie and I decided to have an "adventure" day.

She and I used to have "ventures", as she called them (as I've written before), when she was a little thing, and I always cherished those times.  Today was no exception, except that it was more of a lunch date rather than a ride through the country side or a hike.

She decided she wanted to go to P. F. Chang's, so off we went through the rain to Knoxville.
The place was filled with the "sad" working lunch crowd, and it felt so good to know I was retired and didn't have to rush through a meal and get back to work.  We took our time, knowing the only thing we had to rush back to was maybe a nap!

We continued the conversations we had on the 40-mile ride over our "hot and sour" soup appetizer.  She is quite a conversationalists, and very knowledgeable about current events, and worries a lot about the struggles of people today.  We talked about gun and drug control, and various ways they could be controlled, a little politics, school classes, and, of course, boyfriends.

I love these talks.  It helps me get into her mind, and possibly instill some guidance or direction from my life's experience.  Bottom line...I thoroughly enjoyed our day!  I love her so much, and these times help me worry less about her while she's away at school, and her future.

She ordered the CRISPY HONEY SHRIMP, and, as usual, I went for the spicy KUNG PAO SCALLOPS, stir-fried with peanuts, chili peppers and scallion!  I love the "hot bite" of this dish, and the crunch of the peanuts. Both dishes were suburb! I can say that because I tasted of her's too! 

Thank you sweetheart, for the lovely day!  I hope you and Papaw get to enjoy many more days like this in the future.  You are special to me and I'll never forget our time together.


Bailey's Sports Grille's Reuben

Just a quick word about Bailey's Sports Grille's Reuben sandwich!  

Great!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST SALAD

Seems like you always find me in the store looking for something to eat.  Probably, that has something to do with my weight, but we won't go into that right now!

Anyway, I spotted a package of Red Label™ Premium Unbreaded Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, and it sparked an idea for a salad.  

I don't like the way the packaged chicken always looks white and tasteless, so I chopped up the strips into medium to large chunks, and put them into a hot pan of olive oil and garlic!  

I opened a package of Fresh Express garden salad fixings, poured half in to two large bowls, added cut-up tomatoes, and hard-boiled a couple of eggs.  For me, that means waiting until the water starts to boil and then hit the timer for 10 minutes.
I covered it all up with a healthy layer of shredded cheese, put in a few peanuts for me, and a few pecans on Judy's, and then put a whole cut up egg on each salad, and then divided up the hot browned chicken chunks!

I drizzled on some light ranch, put a half-dozen crackers on the side of the bowl and we dug in!   Wonderful!

It's all so darn easy...anyone, even a man can do it, which is the way my wife prefers it! 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Easy Man's Gumbo Soup

So, I noticed this package of "gumbo soup mix", by Bear Creek, in the store the other day, and I said, "Hmmm, how can I fix that up!"  I said it to myself, not out loud, 'cause the store was full, 'cause someone had said it was snowing in the Smoky's!  That's all it takes around here!
So, back to the story.  

I plop the package in the buggy, pick up some frozen Sea Best salad shrimps (as Bubba would say*), and a big mohonking package of Hillshire Turkey Polska Kielbasa.
So, from there it is a snap!  Just pour yourself a little single malt, and watch for the pot to boil, and then dump in the gumbo ingredients.

Run some water over the shrimps*, cut up the kielbasa, pop the pieces into a skillet to brown, and then dump it all into the hot soup mixture!
See.  Anyone can cook!

If you want to make it a little more difficult, then make my cornbread to soak up all the juices!  
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