Favorite Fall Foods: Pumpkin Banana Bread

Ms. Foodie loves the fall, and baking is signature. Here’s the result of a mix up of some recipes I found on the Internet. #pumpkinbananabread #purty #fallfoods #fallmenu #foodie #ieatthereforeiam

5 Burgers in the Los Angeles Area You Must Try This Summer

Been a while, but pursuing lots of non-food opportunities while still eating well! This caught my eye–I plan to try at least one or two of these burgers before Summer is out!

A Punk, A Camera, and An Empty Stomach

Summer has arrived, which means grilling season has landed upon us. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and most of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception…

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Breakfast for Dinner

After starting the morning with a wonderful Yoga class, the rest of the day has been mellow city.   And since Ms. Foodie is flying solo tonight for din-din, I figured I’d continue the mellowness and flow with Simple Fare.  And nothing is simpler than an omelette.

To give some richness to my omelette, I decided to whip the eggs with evaporated milk, and threw in some Basil for good measure.

I always keep White Shrimp in the freezer, because I’m a shrimp nut, and it’s easy protein and Omega 3s in any meal.  After peeling the shrimp, coarsely chopping them, then sautéing the crustaceans in butter, garlic, salt and pepper, I poured on the egg mixture.

As the egg base solidified, I added a 3-Cheese Blend of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella from Trader Joe’s, and for a bit of color, red and orange baby bell peppers!

It’s Jewish High Holiday season, so Challah is in large supply in every grocery store.  I decided to break off some pieces of the loaf, along with a glass of Tolosa Chardonnay, to accompany my meal.

And the rest of the Challah loaf will be quite useful for breakfast again–stay tuned….

Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger-marinated Pork Roast

Ms. Foodie loves slow cookers!  They are wonderful tools in any season, but particularly during the hot summer months.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to think about turning on an oven in 90 degree heat!  Slow cookers save you the trouble, and fit the category of one-skillet meals–except you replace the skillet with the crock!

I have six, including a baby fondue-style one.  Come to one of my holiday parties, and you’ll understand why…

But I digress.  The recipe begins, of course, with a good cut of meat.  A two-pound butt roast, with just a bit of marbling, did the trick.  I marinated it overnight in a cup of white wine (or wine vinegar), rosemary, basil, ground pepper, and sea salt.

The next day, an hour before placing it in the crock, I rubbed it down with Hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup of ginger root.

I sliced up four red potatoes and joined them with asparagus stalks and baby carrots.  I placed these in the bottom of the slow cooker, not only to help them cook more completely, but also to give them the benefit of all those yummy juices that will fall from the roast.

Then I placed the roast in, topped it with another 1/4 cup more of sliced ginger root, the remaining marinade, and some green beans.

I used the stalks and beans to maintain the subtlety of the Hoisin and ginger.  Depending on the flavors you wish to perfect, you can use more Hoisin, and pair it with a stronger green vegetable, like Brussel sprouts or broccoli.

I like to use the longer-cook method, as it makes for a more tender meat; Eight hours later, you have a complete, hearty, and stove-free meal.

Hubby gave it two-thumbs up!

Garlic-Ginger-Sesame Barbeque Chicken with Sweet-n-Sour Cabbage

If you haven’t noticed yet, Ms. Foodie is on a cabbage kick!  It’s a super vegetable that is versatile, and has so many health benefits: it’s a cancer preventative, its juice has been known to heal stomach ulcers and fungal infections, and it is rich in iron, sulfur, and antioxidants–what’s not to love?

I’m partial to both red and green, but red cabbage has TWICE the Vitamin C as green; so that’s my cabbage of choice for tonight.  I first quartered the head, then chopped two of the quarters into square chunks.  NOTE: Cabbage freezes well, so if you have no plans to use the rest of the head any time soon, place it in a freezer bag, make sure you get rid of all the air before sealing, and you’ve got cabbage whenever you need it!

With a touch of olive oil, I sautéed the cabbage with diced green onions, a couple of chopped garlic cloves, and a layer of sugar–no more than 1/4 cup.  After merging the ingredients for five minutes I added a 1/2 cup of water, covered the mix, and let it simmer for 30 minutes until tender, but not mushy.  Super easy, and super tasty!

Then I took a tablespoon of sesame oil and threw in some thyme, basil, rosemary, Sea salt and ground pepper.  After a few minutes of heat, I layered on chicken drumsticks and allowed them to lightly brown, turning constantly until the chicken is cooked, about 25 minutes or so.

Once the drumsticks are golden and fully cooked, I brought out the good stuff: the Ginger-Chili Sauce I used on my ribs a few days ago.  Slathering a generous amount on the drumsticks, and lowering the heat locked in that flavor in five minutes flat!

Complement the cabbage and the BBQ chicken with your grain of choice, and you have a Simple Fare meal that is ready in less than an hour.

I’m gettin’ my grub on!

Savory and Succulent Red Cabbage with Ground Pork

So Ms. Foodie took another hiatus from food blogging, and I know some of you hang on my every recipe.  So sorry, but it’s been a busy time.

For my return blog, I present a savory, succulent summer dish that is deceptively hearty.  It doesn’t require turning on an oven, and if you cook it with my recommendations, it only requires two pans.

Unfortunately, my camera card also took a hiatus, so I lost some of the prep pics–but you’re smart, you’ll get the vision!

Take half a head of red cabbage, and coarsely chop it into square-like pieces.  Line a non-stick skillet with the cabbage.  In a cast-iron skillet, cook a pound of ground pork until done, and even a bit brown and crispy.  Take the pork out of the skillet, but leave the drippings.

Mince about a 1/4 cup of fresh ginger, a 1/2 cup of onion (yellow and white are mellow), and two cloves of garlic.  Sauté the onion and ginger in the drippings until onions are clear and soft, add the garlic, and stir it in for a few minutes, but don’t overcook.

Transfer the ground pork to the cabbage-filled non-stick skillet and place the sauteed onion, ginger and garlic on top.  Here’s where the succulent comes in:  add a 12 oz. can of diced red tomatoes, then take the empty can and mix 1/2 cup soy sauce and a 1/4 cup rice vinegar together.  Add this on top of the mixture.

Place on low heat and let it slow simmer for 15 minutes.  Here’s where the savory enters: take a 10 oz. can of mandarin oranges.  Take about 1/2 the juice and add it on top of your mixture.  Throw in a few orange pieces for good measure, but not too many, as they can overpower.

Cover your mixture, lower your heat even more, and cook for another 30 minutes, until the cabbage is softened and the flavors meld.

You have a mellow, quick, yet complex dish that goes great over Jasmine rice, bread or pasta!

Simple Fare in a Skillet

So Ms. Foodie is perfecting the one-skillet meals.  The days are getting longer and warmer, which means that I want to be outside while the sun still shines and not slaving over a hot stove!

This Creamy Chicken skillet dish solves both of those problems.   After cutting up some chicken thighs, I sauteed the pieces in a touch of olive oil, Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper.  Chicken breasts work just as well, but I’m a dark meat kind of gal.

Once the pink was off most of the pieces and a nice broth from the chicken was bubbling, I lowered the heat to simmer and added minced onions, thyme, basil and crushed garlic.  I simmered for a few minutes, letting the spices meld with the chicken.

Here’s where it gets fun.   Add a 1/4 cup of brown sugar–light, dark, who cares?  As long as it’s brown.  After mixing it with the broth to produce a nice glaze, I added about a 1/2 cup of whipping cream and 1/2 of a freshly-squeezed lemon to the mix.  Now, you have  a nice sweet-tangy-creamy sauce going!

To polish the dish, I added some petite peas.  The sweet peas, coupled with the mildly sweet sauce, only enhance the dish.  But, you could incorporate a frozen or fresh vegetable of your choosing.

I upped the heat to just above simmer, say, medium, and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve it over rice, pasta, potatoes–whatever your favorite grain or starch.  My chosen one is Thai Rice Pasta–makes it light, but right!

What’s for breakfast? More Kitchen Cabinet Cooking

Ms. Foodie Patootie was very hungry this morning, which is rare–usually the coffee-IV does it for me for at least two hours.  So to continue with our theme of Kitchen Cabinet Cooking, I decided to whip up a favorite boiled egg breakfast sandwich that is easy to make, with ingredients you normally have on hand, come rain or come shine.

I’m not as young as I used to be, so fiber has definitely become more important in my dietary life: which is why I love these Alvarado Street Bakery breads.  High fiber content, organic ingredients, and it’s still tasty!  I toasted a couple of slices of Sprouted Sourdough while my eggs were boiling.

Now here’s where your preferences come in–what to include as an accompaniment to your egg sandwich.  Being partial to pork, that ham I have stashed in my store comes into play, along with some delicious Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Preserves.  But easy and versatile is the key, so you can use butter, mayonnaise or some other type of spread or protein that you enjoy and have on hand.   I’ve even used just salsa!  My sister Joan is a vegetarian, so she likes that one 😀

Once the eggs were boiled to my liking (hard), and I slathered my bread with the spread and protein of choice, I sliced the eggs crosswise and arranged them on top of my bread and spread.

You can eat it dainty  as two separate pieces, or put ’em together to make your sandwich.  I prefer the sandwich method.

I promise, it’s delish!