Tag Archives: food

Lazy Sunday Dish

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I would rather bite my tongue than say out loud, sometimes I don’t want to cook a fancy dish. Yes. A foodie cook who could easily eat a bowl of cereal with warm milk than actually think about what to make. That’s how I came up with this lazy Sunday dish. 

All you need is one steak, noodles, tomato, green pepper, garlic and onion. A dash or two of pepper, salt and curry. You start be flattening the steak and cutting it into squares. Season the steak then place in a hot pot with a bit of oil and add the garlic.  

 

You keep Turing the meat over in the pot until all pieces are completely brown. When all the meat is completely brown add three cups of water, the onion and green pepper slices and cover for ten minutes.  I like this dish spicy so I add hot sauce before covering. 

 

After cooking regular noodles according to package, place in a wok or frying pan and add 1/4 cup of kikkoman stir fry sauce. Be sure to turn the noodles over in the sauce completely coating them which should take about a minute or two. Be sure the heat on the pan or wok is low. You don’t want the noodle sticking.  

 The main items are cooked so all that’s left is plating your tasty dish and adding wedges f tomato’s. If I had done ripe avacado I would have place some slices as well. Easy, tasty lazy Sunday dish.  

 

Enjoy the Simple Things

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Whirl Magazine

I enjoy essential oils! Did I say enjoy, make that love essential oils! Their pure essence makes it possible to heal and cure the body of ailments. Bring wondrous scents to living space and uplift a dish. Though, I knew some of the oils needed to make a dish blaze like sun through a fog. I wasn’t exactly sure about the usage amount for many of the oils and there’s nothing worse than putting too much in a dish, ruining the taste for all time.

So I was greatly surprised when Whirl Magazine provided a contest to win the “Everyday Cooking with Essential Oils,” cookbook on their website and I won! Now the first thing I tried out was the Red Sangria mixture.

I had visited a Spanish restaurant in Cleveland last year were I enjoyed the most delicious red sangria! It was so good, I had more than one tasty glass full. When I asked the server she told me an essential oil was used but she couldn’t tell me which one. No bother now because I have my book and will be making my own.

Now, the book calls for lemon and lime essential oil to be used along with the other ingredients such as brandy, rum and red burgundy. I usually add extracts but the oil provided a different overall taste. Now, don’t make the mistake I did with my first batch thinking if a couple of drops are good, a couple more will not hurt. Uhm! Yes, it will change the taste to something you do not want in your mouth.

This was my mistake again while making the red pepper dip and pineapple orange sauce. Yuck! I will try both again and stick with the recipe amounts until I get a better hang of what to do.

Here’s the thing. If you don’t make mistakes or try to figure out things for yourself along the way, no way will you grow as a cook. Part of the fun and journey is making mistakes but the other part is having chefs, cooks and cookbooks pointing you onto a path to try.

Here’s to tasty and happy mistakes.

Cooking! The great relaxer!

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Tamarind Crusted Ham

On Tuesday, March 26th I was at my desk working at my television job when I started having pains on my left side. It started in my arm then moved under my arm into my chest and up the left side of my neck into my jaw. Of course, I didn’t realize I was having the signs of a possible heart attack. It wasn’t until I was talking with the Allegheny County 9-1-1 dispatcher supervisor Ms. Battle that I thought maybe something more was taking place. Ms. Battle while I was on the phone getting information on a story and telling her how I was feeling sent the medics to check me out. I didn’t want her to do so at first, thinking it was just some pain that will go away soon but she insisted I needed to be checked out. Long story short – I ended up at Mercy Hospital where they kept me for a couple of days, providing me with morphine for the pain and scheduling a stress test among other tests.

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Heart monitor

The doctor informed me that chest and jaw pain along with the arm pain are signs of a heart attack or stroke and with my health history. I could never be too careful. It’s when you ignore the signs and don’t take care of early warning signs is when you run into trouble. I must say the doctors, nurses and technicians at Mercy Hospital took great care of me, never making me feel like an idiot and always letting me know what was taking place and explaining what they were doing.

Following all the tests, I was informed I did not suffer a heart attack or stroke. Great news. The not so great news. They still don’t know what’s causing my pain or what’s wrong with me. Apparently, ten other things mimic the heart attack symptoms, so I have to go through a battery of tests to figure out what it may be. In the meantime, one of the things that may cause the pain and other symptoms is good old fashion stress.

Now thanks to having knee surgery in January 2013 on my right knee and putting a hole in my achilles tendon on my left foot August 2012. I have not been able to work out as I usually do to remove any tension from my body. The doctor pointed out I needed to do more to get myself in a relaxed frame of mind.  I may think I have stress under control but my body is definitely saying otherwise. So, until they (doctors) figure out what’s taking place with me I need to do what I can to reduce my stress levels.

When I arrived home from the hospital, I still had some morphine in my system and was still in an unmanageable level of pain so all I wanted to do was sleep. Saturday afternoon with some other pain medication in my system and a beautiful ham. I set out to make my tamarind crusted ham.

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Sauce on before being placed in the oven.

Cooking is my oasis! A place of beauty, fun and positive energy! Even when things are going to hell in a hand basket! Ha! I actually felt myself not thinking about my health scare, the fact I still don’t know what’s wrong or how I was going to move forward with my cooking dreams.

Getting into that kitchen it was all about having fun and seeing the end result of something that I made in my mind and seeing how it turns out. My tamarind crusted ham was a three hour slow process. And oh my, so very worth it! Even the bottom of the ham crusted over and the inside also had that sweet and biting taste. Yes, I added a bit of garlic and pepper to the ham.

Now, if I can only keep many of my friends from raiding my kitchen I may be able to enjoy a bit more than I usually do of dishes I create. Then again, if it’s all gone, it will be a good excuse to get back into the kitchen again!

Tasty Reminder of Home

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Cooking for me is a place where anything is possible, especially with trial and error! But most importantly, it’s a place where my fondest memories of growing up on the island of St. Croix were created.
Weekends inside my island home without trying became about food. Daddy making home-made bread, Mom either deciding to make something or taking us down to our great Auntie Edna for blood pudding, rice pudding and so many other delicious delights.
One of the things I learned early on to do in the kitchen is the “fattening” up of dishes such as red herring and salt fish. Just the addition of green peppers, onion, garlic, tomato and tomato sauce or paste can make these fishes flavors dance on your tongue.
So, when I’m missing home, I turn to my kitchen to give me the reminder I need. Red herring and brown rice is not only tasty but nutritious. I did not know that growing up only the great smell that told me red herring was cooking.
Here’s the thing. Sometimes the herring doesn’t make it into a pot to cook because I love eating it raw. My mom would have to hide the herring from me if she hoped to have weekend breakfast on the table. That’s the other thing about red herring. My family and I would eat it, “fatten” of course with cucumber and bread for breakfast sometimes adding boiled eggs or even spinach.
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Now the trick to a great red herring dish is hot water. Yes, you read it right. Hot water. When you are ready to prepare your red herring. You need to put it in a bowl and add hot water over the fish. Wait awhile. Then take the fish and start removing the skin and the bones; the hot water will make those items easy to remove.
Put the red herring in another bowl with some more hot water to remove additional salt. Remove the red herring from the bowl into a deep-frying pan that already has diced pieces of onion, green pepper, garlic, and tomato sauteing with a bit of oil. Then add tomato sauce and hot water and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Here’s where you can add some salt and pepper to taste.
Place the “fatten” red herring over some rice and you have a simple but tasty dish.

Spring is for new Beginnings!

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ImageSpring is the time many of us start cleaning up our homes and set new goals, forget New Years since too many of us are having to good of a time to remember what we promised ourselves. In 2012 I was geared to do a lot of blogging about one of my favorite past time: cooking! However, nature had something else in store for me. Just days after posting my second blog page I was hit by my doctor that I had thyroid cancer. If you must get a cancer, the doctors told me, thyroid is the one to get since the cure rates are just about 99-percent. The bad news was this was my third cancer! Not many people have three cancers and beat them all back. So, not very good news. Then to round out my fun-filled year, I fell at work tearing my right knee and achilles tendon on my left foot. Talk about going out with a bang! I still shoulder on and found moments of spirit lifting cooking in the kitchen.

Throughout everything I went through in 2012, I think it was in preparation for my next steps in 2013. During the last months of 2012, I tried something I always said I was going to do and I wasn’t going to let a cancer, a wobble knee or pained ankle get in the way. I’ll tell everyone about that adventure in a later post.

Sometimes change comes about after you push through things that are scary and hard and even embarrassing. Cooking is like Spring. Awesome changes that move you out of your element, force you to try something new and yes even fall flat in embarrassment when it doesn’t work out. But, you know like Spring, it shines on those bright moments letting you know that you’re alive. Time to learn and grow and move on.

So, here’s to new posts about my cooking adventures and how 2012 helped shape me into a better cook! Happy eating!