Wednesday, January 23, 2013


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'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 did I!

Friday, January 11, 2013


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!  


Tuesday, January 08, 2013


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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