Food


Well, we used the enchiladas the other day and I have to note that the corn tortillas turned to mush.  It was like ground beef mixed with light mashed potatoes.  I’m thinking the issue was putting the sauce on them prior to placing in the freezer.  Next time, we’re going to bake them first, then freeze, then place sauce once being used.  Maybe that will provide a better outcome.

Spouseinbox came up with a good one the other day.  We had some pretzels which were crushed while I cut up some chicken breasts into strips.  The strips were placed in a mix of egg and milk, coated with flour (which had appropriate spices mixed), placed in the egg / milk mixture again and then coated with the crushed pretzel.  I manned the fryer at 350 degrees and fried them for 2 minutes.  I would stack the result against any chicken place in town.  We paired it with the classic mashed potatoes and gravy, all made from scratch.  This can definitely be done again.

 

I know my blogging tends to be in the lower end of the volume scale.  The basic reason is that I blog for fun when the rest of life is caught up to such a degree that I can, or I just have sore feet like tonight and am giving them a rest.  We have three felines and that means a lot of litter, food and water supply.  Two automatic feeders now have positions in the house, so all I need to do is fill the hoppers once a week or so.  The water was an issue as it was on the bathroom floor where we walked and keeping it filled required a bit of attention.  The dogs had an automated bowl outside and I thought that might be a good idea for inside as well.  As ideas go, this one had babies and we are now sporting a set of “L” shaped shelves in the corner above the toilet with the lower shelf being the cat access area.  On the short shelf towards the window, there is a second shelf with a square hole cut and a downspout mounted.  This means that the hopper is removed from the serving bowl.  The cats can no longer steal from the machine before the next feeding.  The water bowl was a good idea, but as good ideas go, there were unplanned problems.  Being water, and plumbing, we had leaks.  I tried to tighten the fittings, I changed fittings, I reset fittings, I cut off the tubing and reset it twice and there was still a leak.  This evening, I tried to reset the tubing again.  This involved cutting off the end, putting plumbers seal on the plastic barb and reassembling the unit.  I put some toilet paper under it to detect leaks and after about an hour, there was water there.  I haven’t determined the offending location yet.  Oh well.  Plumbing.  I prefer electric – done by myself.  There usually are fewer problems that way.

Anyways, while going back and forth with the plumbing issue, spouseinbox started on the food for supper.  We had a spaghetti squash which I cut and put in the microwave one half at a time for 10 minutes each section.  This was done in a microwave pan with an inch of water and covered with plastic wrap.  Spouseinbox used some of our tomato sauce canned last year and mixed up a spaghetti sauce for the squash.  Once done in the microwave, I took a fork to each half and made noodles for each plate.  One squash fed three of us until our meters pegged.  The remainder of the sauce was mixed with more ground beef and onion and some cauliflower which was buzzed in a food processor to make it a substitute for rice.  This was mixed in the meat and sauce mixture and then stuffed into green peppers which had been boiled for about 3 minutes, then cooled.  That only used about half of the mixture, so I took the remainder of a box of large pasta shells and cooked and stuffed them as well.

We had more meat available, so spouseinbox took a can of salsa canned last year, and mixed that into another pound of meat.  After the mixture cooled, I took some and rolled it into corn tortillas to make enchiladas.  These three dishes were placed in the freezer for later use.

While I am sitting here typing, spouseinbox went into the bathroom to examine the piece of toilet paper placed under the plumbing job.  It’s wet.  We’re not done yet.  Yuk.  I so prefer electric.

There are lies, d*!^ lies, and statistics.  That stated, looking at numbers can be enlightening.  I found the link interesting though, but because of the first statement, don’t try to put too much into that hat.  Just saying.

This evening, spouseinbox had a great presentation.  A marinade was noted into which some pork chops were placed.  They stayed there for a couple of hours.  Next, some carrots were treated with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and placed in the oven for about 20 minutes.  The end result can be repeated again.  We put the pork chops on the grill for 10 minutes each side while the carrots were in the oven.  I’m thinking maybe try 8 minutes next time and the carrots were a bit crunchy, so could have baked a bit longer.  Since I don’t mind raw carrots, the crunch was fine.  The flavors were well utilized and the supper appreciated.

I got inspired this morning.  That is, I wanted a cinnamon roll.  It’s entire impractical to make just one, so I made a batch and took them to work.  I guess my reputation has started to grow since I was walking towards the building and noted the work van heading towards a satellite clinic.  The driver stopped in the middle of the road and asked for a contribution.  I gave away two rolls before even getting to the facility parking lot.  The recipe is simple:

just shy of 4 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup margarine, though I just use a knife and put in whatever looks like enough

2 tsp yeast

couple shakes of cinnamon

small shake of nutmeg.

1 tsp of salt – measured by pouring in the hand, of course

Place in machine and run dough cycle until into the last rise.  My machine takes a bit under an hour to get there.

Roll out on a floured board and make a rectangle about 8″ x 14 inches that’s about 1/2″ thick.  Next drizzle melted margarine over all but one edge of the upper surface to just coat.  Cover completely with cinnamon, except that dry strip along the long edge.  Add a little Nutmeg.  Roll from the coated long side towards the bare long side.  Wet the long side and secure to the roll.  Obtain about 3 feet of button thread.  Slide the thread under the roll and pass the ends across each other about 1″ from the end.  Pull.  This will neatly cut a 1″ thick circle.  Repeat this process until the entire roll is cut.  Place the circles on a greased pan and let rise.  Spray with water occasionally and putting on the stove above the heated oven helps in the rising time.  An actual proofing oven runs at 105 degrees and 100% humidity.  I don’t have that, so improvise.  It works.  For bread, I use an upside down cooler over the edge of the oven to catch the exhaust of the oven and help the bread to rise.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until just starting to brown.  Remove from the pan and let cool.  Frost with a mixture of powdered sugar and small amount of water which has been run in the microwave for a few seconds.  Enjoy.

Today is the actual election day.  The electors will perform their much anticipated task demonstrating the wisdom of the founders in balancing power of the large vs small population states.  Whenever I hear the popular vote meme, it’s interesting how few to none of the times the philosophy of the electoral college is discussed.  Rhode Island, for example is the smallest state and didn’t want to be steam-rolled in any national election due to its size.  After all, any tiny state would have little to no authority in a system where the total votes of democracy rule.  In the practical sense, the small states could be ignored while the populated stated are courted in a  total democracy.  Look at New York in a county fashion to see this in practice.  There are enough voters in a small few counties on the East of New York to effectively null the votes of the remainder of the state.  Hillary won the state in the early 2000’s in the NYC and Albany, and ignored the rest of the state.  There were enough votes in NYC to all her to ignore the remainder of the state.  The electoral college prevents that kind of election from happening nationally.  The small states get a proportionally higher involvement compared to the larger states.  Our founder’s wisdom is shown again.

China has removed one of our unmanned subs from the ocean.  It will eventually be returned to us – in pieces after everything has been thoroughly scanned.  I have read on the implications in the area and technology theft possible and thoughts on the same.  There is a politically viable angle as well.  This move allows China to do two things at once – slap Zero in the face and test the metal of Donald Trump.  Slapping Zero is too easy.  He is a Marxist/muslim who hates this country and is happy to cooperate with United States defamation wherever it is initiated.  This was signaled by his bowing incidents on the initial apology tour of the world at the start of his pathetic eight years.  This has been repeated more times than I wish to remember as well.  That said, it may be more to test the reaction of President-elect Trump than anything else.  I remember the election of Ronald Reagan and the release of the hostages on that very night.  They were only released because they understood that Carter was a wimp and Reagan would kick them back to (pick your destination).  China knows Trump as the businessman/investor who has done business there for decades.  Now they have to deal with him from a military/national standpoint and need a reference point as to how he will react to their aggressiveness in the area.  Under Zero, they have expanded bases to the south and claimed formerly sea under either international waters or under claim by other nations.  Will Trump cause a problem?  is probably a good question for them to ask.  This incident may be providing the answer.

I played cook over the weekend.  We had visitors for whom I made doughnuts.  There was a can of raspberry filling available in the pantry, so I decided to utilize some and make filled doughnuts.  The result was rather tasty, though a bit large.  I will have to make smaller doughnuts next time.  There was quite an amount remaining from the can of filling, so I looked up a recipe for filled cookies and found a simple one consisting of 2 egg yokes, 12/ cup sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 3/4 cup flour.  I forget if there was a dash of salt.  Anyways, blend the first three, slowly add the flour, and place in the refrigerator until small balls can be formed.  Depress the center of the ball and bake at 375 degrees for 12 -15 minutes.  Place a dot of the fruit in the depression and they are done.  It has been tasty.  I still have a few left, and granted, it is tempting to grab one when walking by – it’s not too much, they are small…

Yesterday evening, we arrived home from work and set about figuring supper.  I had previously pulled out a couple chicken breasts and we had salad fixings.  Spouseinbox cut the breasts into 1″cubes and then mixed a single egg with an equivalent amount of milk.  The pieces were place in the egg/milk mixture and coated, then put into a bag with Italian bread crumbs and shaken to achieve a coating.  During this process time, the fryer was heating.  Once all was coated, I started cutting up the rest of the salad items while spouseinbox manned the fryer.  We timed 2 minutes for each basket and once done, decided that Chick-Fil-A had competition.  This was placed on the salads and dressing was applied over the top.  Yum!

For supper last night, we decided to try something different.  Spouseinbox picked up a bag of fajita chicken and tortillas.  We already had some small colored bell peppers and cheese.  With advice from siblinginbox, I looked up a sauce recipe and of course didn’t follow it.  We did use it as suggestion and took about 1/4 cup mayonnaise  (actually the salad dressing variety) added cumin, garlic, sugar, paprika and a pinch of dried jalapeno pieces.  This sauce was applied to the tortillas, grilled chicken and peppers placed, then cheese applied.  We folded the tortilla and fried the result until it was crisp on both sides and the cheese was melted.  Restaurants, sorry, we have you beat.  It wasn’t too hard to prepare either.

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