The Irony of the Internets

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Oh mighty interwebs, how you amuse me with your advertising and your behind-the-scenes formulas for placing the right ad on the right content.

And so, as I was searching for a delicious, yet not healthy at all, soup recipe, I found this.

Yeah, so given the choice of whatever torture, pill or unguent I have to endure for the “tiny belly” or to nosh on homemade cheddar beer soup, I’m gonna go with the soup.

And the beer. One for the soup, one for the cook.

Makin’ new (and old) traditions

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One of my favorite foods for Christmas has always been, bar none, tamales.

Oh sweet masa and meat and a bit of heat!

Delicious.

I never realized just how lucky I was over the years to have wonderful neighbors, friends and coworkers who gifted me with handmade tamales every year.

Yum!

All the way out here in California, I don’t have wonderful tamale making friends and I miss them.

So this year, my mom-in-law, a wonderful cook and a lady filled with holiday cheer, suggested we make up a batch of our own tamales.

Oh yeah, baby!

We have both pork and green chile with cheese.

Gonna be a New Mexico Christmas in my house! My kitchen smells fabulous!

And making them with my new family might just have to be a new tradition!

Feast your little eyes!

Wrapped up and ready to be steamed!

Apply the heat.

Steamy goodness!

Yeah, many of these little guys didn’t make it very long out of the steaming pot. Poor delicious tamales! Hope they make it to Christmas!

I am owned by a man named Joe

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Oh man.

Lemme just say it again, oooooh man.

I have become such a little b*tch for Trader Joe’s.

Gad, I love that place.

I never thought I’d become one of those people who are all about Trader Joe’s…but I am.

Well, it all started about last year when the ol’ economic climate got a little weird.

And The Good Man and I started looking for all sorts of ways to save a buck here and there.

We’ve cancelled our cable (buh bye Comcast! I giggled when I made that call!), reduced our home phone services, got discounts on the cell phones, turn off lights at every turn, keep the heat low, and then started taking a look at grocery bills.

Well, we knew we could improve our food costs and not sacrifice quality.

So I agreed to start cooking more. It helps stoke my creative fires, saves us a couple bucks, and is awfully nice to have a home cooked meal at the end of the day.

But if I was going to do this, it needed to be easy.

So The Good Man got a cookbook from the Library called “Cooking with all Things Trader Joe’s.”

The authors, Wona Miniati and Deana Gunn say they use Trader Joe’s as their sous chef, since there are so many prepared items ready to incorporate into dinner plans.

So I picked a couple recipes from that book and found them both easy to make and tasty to eat. We read labels carefully to be sure we’re getting good quality stuff (we try to keep both corn syrup and wheat to a minimum due to food sensitivities for both of us.)

And *then* we found out that Wona and Deana had yet a NEW book coming out!

It’s called “The Trader Joe’s Companion and Wona was coming to a local bookstore for an instore event.

Oh man…this got me hooked.

Wona whipped up a couple easy cold dishes right there in the bookstore, threw out a couple other tasty ideas and when we spoke with her, we found her so kind and generous with her time.

She just basically fully convinced me to embrace Trader Joe’s.

What sealed the deal is when I went in with a list to support six dinners, breakfasts for a week, snacks and lunches for me.

I walked out with five full bags of groceries, good quality stuff, and I’d spent just $120.

Wow. For about sixteen or seventeen meals plus snacks. Not bad.

Now, I’m ALL ABOUT Trader Joe’s. Yup. I don’t do things halfway.

If you are curious, last night for dinner I made Shepard’s Pie with turkey left from Thanksgiving, a bag of veggies from TJ’s, made gravy from their chicken stock packets, and frozen mashed taters.

It was *delicious*!

Other greatest hits?

Almond crusted pork loin
Herb crusted Tilapia
And my own lime chicken green chile enchilada recipe

Oh little bit of heaven, each one!

I’m happy making the food, The Good Man is happy eating ’em and it’s all good all the way around.

Thanks Joe!

Still life with punkin

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If that photo doesn’t make your mouth water than you’ve probably never made a pumpkin pie from scratch.

Mix all that together, pour in a pie shell and bake.

15 at 450 then 40 at 350. An hour later you have The Delicious!

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you are today!

Biscuit Monster

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So, now that we’ve gone and cancelled our cable, we live at the whims of what’s available on the public airwaves.

This means that I’ve been watching a lot more PBS lately. There’s some really fascinating stuff on there!

So I watched, with moist salivary glands, a show called “Everyday Baking.”

Host John Barricelli makes some naughty baked things on that show, and the recipes seem pretty easy.

I told The Good Man that I’d watched the show and was going to try my hand at making homemade biscuits.

That grown man, in a full Cookie Monster voice, said “biscuits?”

This morning, I printed out the recipe and placed it on the counter. I will make them later today to be ready for weekend breakfasts.

Every time The Good Man walked by the counter while getting ready for work and spotted the recipe, I heard “biscuits?!?”

He opened the fridge, “hon, why is there a bunch of cut up butter in here?”

“That’s for the biscuits, they said the butter needs to be cold and in small chunks.”

“Biscuits!?!?”

As he kissed me goodbye for the day, he bounced on the balls of his feet and uttered one last, “biscuits!?!?”

Oh man, with such Cookie Monster passion about these biscuits, now I’m sort of scared. What if they turn out like flour-y hockey pucks?

GAH THE PRESSURE!

Then again, I bought sausage to make sausage gravy. Just about anything tastes ok covered in sausage gravy.