Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Fruits of my Labors

   Posted by: John

Yesterday I had gone to Caldwell to do some work. When I was done I decided to drive down to some of the orchards and see if they had fruit ready to pick.  Most of the U-pick places were not open yet, but I did find a fruit stand that had some peaches that were picked that morning.  I bought a half bushel and this morning I got them prepped for the freezer.  I like peach cobbler.  But peaches are nearly always too expensive and canned peaches just don’t cut it.  Each bag has 6 peaches and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Here they are ready for the freezer. 

Peachy keen!


Smoking Chickens

   Posted by: John

Cathy decided to smoke a couple of chickens for supper.  Here’s how it went.

Chicken Puppet

Racked with soda cans of apple juice

Heading for the smoker

Loading the smoker

Chicken sauna

Tan lines



   Posted by: John

Albertsons had a killer deal for salmon filets, so I got a couple.  I decided that I would do them differently than I usually do, and came up with this.  Turned out good!

Baked Garlic Salmon


Something For Your Morning

   Posted by: John

The old saying is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Maybe it is but that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest, right?  Give me a stack of bacon any morning and I’m happy.  Good American breakfast…bacon and Mountain Dew.

I spent 2 years in Australia, and while I do not remember going out to breakfast much I do remember those folks and their Vegemite.  (Gag, choke, vomit…we used to kid around that Vegemite was Australia’s attempt at peanut butter.)  We had boxed cereal, eggs without the bacon (sob), French toast.  The best was getting a fresh lot of crumpets.  Totally unhealthy and incredibly delicious. 

Ever wonder what other country’s breakfast fare may be?  Well, wonder no more.  Here is a sample of Breakfasts Around the World.  Complete with pictures and descriptions.  Some of these look absolutely delicious and others…well, I will let the natives have them.  Bon Appetit!


Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

   Posted by: John

Along with the time of year for pie, it is also the time of year that a hot soup tastes real good on a cool day.  This recipe is quick and easy to prepare.  I like to let it simmer for a couple hours so the tomatoes are not in chunks and the vegetables have soaked in the flavor of the broth. 

Vegetable Beef Soup


Caramel Apple Pie

   Posted by: John

The weather is cooling off, holidays are just around the corner, and a cook’s mind turns to thoughts of pie.  Mmmm.  Not just any pie, but apple pie.  This cook loves a good apple pie and this recipe is awesome!  Keep in mind that it is intended for a deep dish pie plate, like this one.  I actually have 3 of these, as around the holidays I bake pie pretty often.  (It is also good for the chicken pot pie recipe I use.) 

Anyway, this pie is not difficult to make.  The hardest part is doing the apples, unless you have an apple peeler like this one that makes the job easy. 

I did not include a pie crust recipe in this, so use the one you already like.  Just remember that if your recipe is for a regular pie plate and you are using a deep plate for this pie you will need to make a little more.

Top the finished pie off with real whipped cream and you will be in pie heaven!

Caramel Apple Pie Filling


Enchilada Pie Recipe

   Posted by: John

My biggest issue with enchiladas is the sauce.  I don’t like them real spicy, but I also don’t like some of the sauces out there (Las Palmas).  For this batch I used the mild Old El Paso sauce and I thought they turned out great.  For those who want a little more zip to them, you can use whatever sauce you like and/or liven it up with some hot peppers.  Enjoy!

Enchilada Pie


Going Japanese

   Posted by: John

The other day we decided to go out for supper.  Karen picked the Fujiyami Japanese restaurant in Boise.  It’s a sushi house, but they have other things as well.  Good thing…I don’t like sushi.  So, while I had Teriyaki steak and chicken, Karen got this dragon thing.  Click to embiggen!

Japanese dragon for supper

It’s not sushi I guess, but it is quite the work of art! 

Details...that's why it costs so much!


Thankgiving Supper After Action Report

   Posted by: John

9 PM, and the day of feeding is nearly over.  The poor stomach has been stuffed for hours as a result of continuously eating way too much.  However…this has to be one of the best Thanksgiving spreads I have ever put together. 

Mary and Crystal are ready to eat

The turkey was moist and full of flavor.  This year I decided to put some seasoning on it.  I found a Turkey Seasoning  recipe and altered it some.  It really made a difference in the flavor of the turkey.  Stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, a small ham, rolls and croissants, olives, cranberry, deviled eggs…did I miss anything?  Oh yeah, the tofu stir-fry just for Crystal.

And yes, there was pie.  Pumpkin, banana cream and the best apple-caramel I have made yet.


Homemade frozen dinners part 2…Spaghetti

   Posted by: John

I decided today to try making some frozen dinners.  Spaghetti is quick and easy to make, so it makes sense from a getting started standpoint.  Since these are fixed size meals, I also decided to include a couple of sides.  For the sake of ease, I opted for mashed potatoes and corn.  The spaghetti sauce consists of a can of mushroom spaghetti sauce, 1 pound of cooked and rinsed ground beef and 1/2 chopped onion.  I used whole wheat noodles.

After getting the sauce ready and cooking the noodles, I mixed together enough of each to make 3 pounds of spaghetti.  Using a small scale, I weighed out the spaghetti in 8 ounce portions, for a total of 6 plates.  I made enough mashed potatoes to put about 3 ounces on each plate.  1 can of drained corn made for about 2 ounces each. 

Loaded Plates

After loading the plates, I put them in the freezer, uncovered, for about 2 hours.  Then, I wrote “Spaghetti” on 6 bags, along with the date, put the plates in the bags and replaced them in the freezer. 

Finished meal

I had a serving of sauce left, and extra noodles.  Ate the remaining sauce an some noodles, then put the rest of the noodles in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer for use in something else later on.


Homemade frozen dinners…solving a problem.

   Posted by: John

Cathy mentioned the other day about making homemade frozen dinners, like the ones you get at the store.  The problem with the store ones is not the price in so many cases, but the sodium and fat content.  At least until you get to the “healthy” ones, then you pay a few bucks each.  Of course, the convenience factor is hard to beat.  Heat for 6 minutes in the microwave and there is your meal.

If you are like me, I can’t cook a meal that comes out to exactly 4 servings for each item.  It’s more like 10 servings and there’s a lot left over.  Then, some of the leftovers will sit in the fridge and rot because everyone is sick of it after 3 or 4 meals of it. 

The frozen dinner problem has been what to put it in.  Sure, you can get Tupperware or similar products, but taking a container and remembering to bring it home, or into the house when you get home has proven to be less than consistent.  Today, I solved this problem, and rather cheaply, too. 

I went to Cash-and-Carry, a food service store, but open to the public.  I found 10 inch three compartment plates, and gallon size ziplock bags.  Sure, you can get these items at WalMart or wherever, but these were pretty reasonably priced.  These plates are microwaveable (cardboard fiber, not plastic or styrofoam).  Kind of like Chinet plates, but about 30% less pricewise.

Plates and Bags

Plate in a bag.

The plates fit inside the bags nicely.  The trick will be to put the food on the plate, freeze long enough to make the food solid, then put it in the bag.  That will keep the food from sticking to the bag so it can be removed prior to heating.  Plate and bag can be tossed when done.  The cost would be about 14 cents per meal.  Before you think that is awful, compare that to the cost of the food that would have otherwise been chucked.  At 5 per week, the total is less than 75 cents.  That’s a lot cheaper than any purchased lunch.

Over the period of a few weeks, after making a variety of meals and freezing leftovers, there will be several different things in the freezer, making for a variety of lunches and quick meals.


Deal of the day

   Posted by: John

I don’t know if the same sale is on where you live, but the Meridian Albertson’s has Mission White Corn Tortillas on sale for $1 for 30.  That’s a pretty good deal.  Of course, it is difficult to use 30 of them before the date is up.  According to the Mission web site, they can be frozen for future use, and recommended a vacuum sealer to do it.  I happen to have one.  When you are ready to use them defrost them in the fridge for a day or two and you are ready to go!  I happened to do 10 per package.

Corn tortillas ready for the freezer