Thursday, July 24, 2014

Veggie, Tomato, Onion Breakfast Burrito

Let's face, breakfast time is the best time to experiment!

I have all day to clean up the mess I made. Seriously, I enjoy breakfast, and I'm generally making these for one because everyone else is already out, or doesn't want to be my guinea pig.

I've been making a lot of wraps lately, cutting down on the bread and toast (although not so much on the bagels -- I like my fresh bagels!).

This was my latest experiment.

Ingredients: Last night's leftover veggies, 2 eggs, some grape tomatoes and a slice of red onion, cut up real good.

Prep: reheat the veggies in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. There isn't much there. You can also take out some frozen vegetables and cost them according to the instructions. I wanted something a little chunky, not just peas, carrots and corn. (Not that there's anything wrong with those, but that's not what I was in the mood for.)

Scramble a couple of eggs. While they're cooking, cut up a few grape tomatoes and the slice of onion.

Put the veggies on the tortilla. Add the egg. Top with tomato and onion. Season it, if desired. (Salt and pepper to taste, as they say.)

And you'll see the following results:

No pictures of the wrap, because I'm still working on my perfect tortilla roll!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bagel Pizzas with Fresh Mozzarella and BBQ Sauce

Nothing incredibly original or stretching my skills here, but a good, quick snack nonetheless.

Luckily, I have a couple of good bagel stores in walking distance to get fresh bagels. (No pre-packaged, mini-bagels here!) And I can also get a fresh mozzarella, with or without salt. (We prefer without -- you can always add it if you need to.)

I didn't have any pizza sauce or leftover sauce from pasta, and I wasn't going to open a can of tomato sauce, figure out what spices I needed, for just two bagel halves. Next best thing, there was a bottle of BBQ sauce in the fridge from Dinosaur BBQ. A little on the spicy side, but that's a plus.

Cut open the bagel. Make a circular depression with your thumb going around the bagel. Put the bagel in the toaster oven and toast it for about half the time you normally would.

Spoon in BBQ sauce into the depression and spread it around. (Don't fill it like a trough.)

Cut up the mozzarella. Here's one time where the packaged stuff, particularly string cheese, might have been better. The fresh kind is a little watery, especially if you refrigerate it in water after you buy and use it the first time. I tried to dry the slice a little with paper towels. It worked a little.

Sprinkle some spices on top: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, whatever. Pop it back into the toaster oven and cook it some more. Watch that the cheese isn't burning ... or dripping all over the inside of the oven.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Apple Cider and Ginger Ale, A Nice Summer Beverage

Farmer's market is here every Sunday. Chinese take-out shows up here almost as often.

At the farmer's market, I'll likely to pick up a 1/2 gallon of fresh apple cider. If we order too much take-out, we tend to get a 2-liter bottle of Ginger Ale or Orange soda. (I suppose we might get Cola or something else if we asked in advance.)

Not too many soda drinkers in the house any more, so the bottle is still half-full. (Hey, optimist!) But it's going to go flat! (Pessimist!) And I need to finish the apple cider before it ferments (not likely to happen unless I totally forget it's there) and before next Sunday when I can buy some more!

Half a glass of cider with half a glass of ginger ale works out pretty well.



More pictures from the past month or so coming soon.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Another Summer (July 4th!) Celebration -- We've Got Ribs

I'm back for another summer, and maybe I'll update, and maybe I won't. But I'll start with this picture while the oven is preheating:

Why the oven on the Fourth of July? Well, it looks like a hurricane is about to pass by outside. Besides, that what my recipe calls for. And that's why I started doing this before seven in the morning!

I'm cheating here, a little. I made these on Mothers Day, so I have a little practice. And I had nearly half the rub remaining. I added some more brown sugar to tone down the spiciness because of the guests coming later (and because there wasn't enough, of course).

The beef ribs are from Costco. They were good the last time. Let's hope history repeats itself.

Speaking of history: Happy Fourth of July! Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Made My First Quiche

Not that difficult, really. I was surprised it was so simple. I saw a recipe online, so I copied it down. I have a few "friends" who have been posting things that are supposed to be healthy and simple. The "simple" is what sells me.

Just six eggs, some cream, broccoli, and cheddar cheese. Naturally, the shopping was the biggest problem. There was literally one box of frozen broccoli, despite the store carrying two national brands and their own store brand -- and it wasn't even cut right.

Cheddar cheese turned out to be on sale, so they were out of it. I got an off-name brand. About the only thing they had was the heavy cream. (They had eggs, too, but those were in the house.

I thought it turned out okay, and son liked it, but it wasn't very filling, and I needed something to go with it. (My wife was a little less impressed, probably because she knew that we needed something to go with it, and partly because she could do it better, I'm sure.)

Basically, it would've made a good weekend lunch, but it was missing something for dinner.

By the way, I did cook some bread to go with it. That will be the next update.

photo is coming -- I have to upload a few pics.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Spinach Omelette on a Hero Roll

Trying to make my eggs for breakfast a little healthier. There's a bag of fresh spinach in the fridge, so I took out a handful, cut the stems, washed, dried and cut up the leaves and added it to the pan while I was whisking the eggs. I went with two eggs instead of three. Small steps, you know.

Not a lot of extra prep time and I'm happy with the results.

No bagels in the house, but there were hero rolls, which we had bought for hot dogs. (You can actually fit two regular hot dogs on one roll, if you're planning on having two dogs any way.) So I cut the omelette up and spread it out a little.

I wanted to add some mozzarella, but we seemed to be down to the last string cheese, and I don't want to steal the kids' snacks.

Finally, I added a little salsa. The bread would've been dry, so it was either add some salsa or butter the roll. Salsa was the better choice.

No pics. It wasn't "photo-worthy". It wasn't ugly, either. But it was good and worth the extra time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Chickpeas, Rice ... That's a Wrap!

One of the problems I have with people posting recipes on Facebook is that they post Pictures of them, which I neglect to save in the way that I might save something that's written. For that matter, when it's typed out, I have a shot at finding it through some kind of text search.

A week or two ago, someone posted a picture for mix-and-match wraps. Take a tortilla and then add one item from each of the next four or five rows. I forgot to save it, even though I meant to.

Well, there are tortillas in the fridge from last night's dinner as well as the casserole we had, but I'm not in the mood for that. Besides, we'll probably have that for leftovers tomorrow night (or the next). But there are ingredients. There's the yellow rice, a container with chick peas, a glass dish with cooked asparagus, sliced sirloin steak (which I cooked a few days, but it was sliced up for last night's dinner), etc.

Goes together well.

Put some yellow rice, some asparagus and steak into a bowl. Microwave for about 45 seconds. In the meantime, put a little spicy mustard on the tortilla.

Put the heated ingredients on top, add some chick peas and sour cream. Wrap it up.

I'm enjoying it. Your mileage may vary.

Edit: As I type this, my son has decided to follow my lead and make a wrap. He skip all the other stuff, except the rice, and pulled out some leftover chopped meat. I miss those days. (Ah, hell. I'll probably do that tomorrow.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Making Zucchini on the Grill

We have a vegetable basket for the grill, so I tried grilling zucchini as a side dish.

Two things to keep in mind: first, zucchini shrinks when cooking. Just because there's a layer covering the entire bottom of the basket, it won't look like enough 20 minutes from now. Cut some more.

Second: keep an eye on things and don't trust what the knob on your burners say. The basket straddled the center and right burner, and both were between Medium and Low, closer to low. Everything looked good, so I ran inside a few minutes to work on salad. I was gone about 5 minutes when I came back and found the those slices over the center burner turning brown and smoking a little. Another reason to cook extra.

The stuff that didn't burn came out okay. I just wish I'd made more.
I also baked some plain Idaho potatoes. Next time, those will have to be spiced up a little.

What's a Good Recipe for Iced Coffee?

There's a heat wave in New York City, which means three or more days of 90+-degree heat, with the accompanying humidity. And yet, I still like having cups of tea or coffee. Now, for tea, I need a cool breeze or something. I can't drink tea in the middle of a hot afternoon. Coffee, on the other hand, I can pick up at any store at any time of the day (especially McDonald's where the large coffee is still a dollar).

The one problem I have at home is that tea can be made one cup at a time, but coffee requires a pot. Even half a pot, if I wanted, but still wasting a filter that could make a pot. So I made 8-10 cups, most of which sat there for a while, until I decided to try making Iced Coffee.

Note: I would not call this a success, but it wasn't terrible either. I could work on it (or I could just get someone else's recipe).

Basically, here's what I did: In a large cup (one of those plastic, extra-large drink cups from one of those stores) I put in
4 - 5 ice cubes
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
10 - 12 ounces of room-temperature coffee, previously brewed
3 - 4 ounces of milk

Then I realized that I needed to sweeten it because the ice cream wasn't going to do that much. So I added ...

a little Light Corn syrup, because we didn't have any Dark syrup,
a little Dark Corn syrup, which I found as I was putting away the light syrup
about a teaspoon of sugar
a little smidgen of honey

I was worried about it being too sugary and having to scrape the syrup off my teeth. Also, I was afraid that it was all going to settle too the bottom of the cup (the main reason I don't make unsweetened iced tea). In fact, there was some syrup stuck on the iced tea spoon I was using to stir the concoction, so I kept stirring vigorously.

In the end, it was refreshing and I could take the sweetness, but it still had a bitterness to it that I didn't like. Yes, coffee is bitter, but not if you sweeten it properly. I'll work on it some more.

Maybe even later today, if I put on another pot of coffee.

EDIT: I should read my own blog. I might've remembered this entry:
Drink With Maple Syrup, from 2010!

Back for Another Summer

Another summer break is here, and I'll venture to try to do two things: first, to experiment in cooking because I don't have a very large recipe file in my brain; second, record my successes and failures and post them here!

I failed on the second part last year. Most of this was because I wanted to post pictures to go with everything, but I didn't set time aside to upload the pictures. Part of it was because I didn't want to make multiple posts in one day, so when I did find time, I had a self-imposed limit. And then I didn't get back to it.

Let's hope Summer 2013 is better than Summer 2012, even if I'm the only one reading this.

And if I'm not here, I hope that means I'm doing something productive, like writing my hypothetical novel.