Posted in Adventure, Food

Jicama and a Barbcue Place – Adventures in Food

Trying new foods is one of my “adventures.” Sometimes it’s food new to me, sometimes it’s a food prepared in a different way, or by someone who knows how to cook it, sometimes it’s a new eating establishment.

This month I have two food adventures to share. A new eating place, and a new food.

First up, Earl’s

Earl’s is a barbecue place in Edmond Oklahoma. I wish I’d thought to take pictures. It’s one of my cousin’s favorite places to eat and he treated me to lunch earlier this week when I had to be in the city.  The interior has a fifties vibe. The restrooms are labeled, Elvis (men’s) and Priscilla (women).  Inside the ladies room are large framed pictures of Elvis and Priscilla, one with them holding baby Lisa Marie.

The dining room has space between the tables so the guests aren’t crowded during the busy times, although we were lucky and were eating at an odd time, so the place wasn’t too busy. The tables are polished with just a little bit of texture remaining. Old license plates from around the country decorate the walls.

The food was good,  they didn’t skimp on the meat or the fries. Dessert was cobbler. I had blackberry, his mom had peach. They didn’t skimp on the servings there either. Mine might have been two servings somewhere else. No, I did not save part of it for later. Ate the whole thing then and there, and enjoyed it. I’m willing to go back next time he wants to go. I might even go by myself next time I’m in that part of the city.

Okra is a must

I first learned about Earls this summer with my cousins and I were traveling to California. We stopped at a barbecue place in New Mexico or Arizona and he was beyond upset that they didn’t serve okra.  I’m not sure New Mexico or Arizona knows about okra. Okra is served almost everywhere in Oklahoma and Texas, and I often order it, sometimes by itself.  I didn’t know okra was considered a staple side dish for barbecue. After all, I always have fries and or coleslaw. However, in his mind okra goes with barbecue, period. Which made it imperative for him that I eat at Earl’s so I could see how barbecue should be served.

It was a great day. Good food and good company.

A New Food

While I was in the city another friend asked me to pick up some   jicama. I thought she wanted it for her. But, since I won’t see her for almost two weeks, and we weren’t sure how long Jicama would last, it turned out it is for me. I hope I like it, I love saying the name “Hic a ma.” with a name that fun to say, it’s bound to taste good.

What is it?

According to the internet jicama is:  a Mexican yam bean or Mexican turnip. It is the edible tuberous root of a Mexican vine, jicama. According to the label on my purchase, and the nice man who helped me find it in the store, it is known as a Mexican potato.

 

Do you try new eating places often?

Do you try new foods often?

What was the last new dish you tried? Did  you like it?

 

 

Posted in Adventure, Food

Celebrate Life – Have Ice Cream for Breakfast

 

Life is a celebration. Sometimes, in the hectic day to day living or just trying to survive, we forget that. Today is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. The idea is to celebrate the lives of children who are fighting cancer and honor the memory of those who fought and lost. It’s a great way to remember to celebrate life, ours and others’. Children come in all ages. Those who are chronologically young, and those who are young in heart and spirit.

Cancer survivor, Jared celebrating life with ice cream
Cancer survivor, Jared celebrating life with ice cream

 

However, I mixed my dates up and had ice cream for breakfast yesterday in celebration of ALL children who are, or have fought cancer. Even made a special trip to the store to buy ice cream, because I don’t keep it at the house. 

 

Choices, choices, so many ice cream choices.
Choices, choices, so many ice cream choices.

Since today is the actual Eat Ice Cream day, I once again celebrated with ice cream for breakfast.

ice-cream-in-a-bowl-with-spoon

 

Today I will celebrate life by spending time with my grandson. How will you celebrate life today?

Have you ever had ice cream for breakfast?

How about dessert first? Ever eat dessert before the meal?

Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Join me on my Facebook page, Creating a Diamond Life.

 

 

Posted in Food, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Friday Food: Slow-Cooked Roast Served Three Different Ways

What did you eat this week? Anything exceptionally good? How about super easy? When I started this blog, this time, I thought I’d talk about fitness and food on Friday. I love alliteration. Let’s get real though, fitness isn’t going to make an appearance. At least it hasn’t so far. I’ll find another day to talk about exercise. It appears Fridays will be FOOD.

This week I thought I’d share how I served a roast several different ways. Cook once, eat multiple times. The roast in this case was pork roast, because that’s what’s in my freezer. The same thing can be done with any meat roast.

Monday

Before going to my critique meeting I put a roast in the slow cooker. Since I was running late (ha, normal for me) I didn’t take time to add carrots, potatoes, onion or celery. I just seasoned it with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper, tossed it in the slow cooker with frozen roast juice from the last roast. Added the lid, turned it on (after making sure I’d plugged it in) and be-bopped to my meeting.

When I returned my roast was falling apart tender and ready to eat. Except, I wasn’t hungry. No problem. Since I’d used a cooking bag (I couldn’t find a slow cooker liner when I wanted them) to make clean-up easy, I just lifted the bag out of the cooker, twisted it shut, placed it in a bowl (in case there was leaking) and refrigerated the whole shebang.

Tuesday

I divided the roast and the juice into four serving size portions. Might could’ve done six, but I wanted to have enough.  Three portions were put in containers and replaced in the refrigerator. They could have been frozen, but since I plan to eat them this week there didn’t seem to be any point.

The juice of the remaining portion was thickened into gravy, the roast cut into smaller pieces and placed in the gravy to be warmed. A couple of potatoes were boiled and mashed. The roast and gravy was poured over the potatoes for a filling meal. No, there were no veggies, would have been better, but I didn’t.

Tuesday evening I reheated the roast and gravy and used it to top a baked potato. Easy and fast.

baked-potato-topped-with-roast-and-gravy

Wednesday

Another portion of the roast was used in a roast and veggie mix.  The original recipe called for macaroni shells. Since I didn’t have any I used egg noodles and a little cauliflower. Next time I’ll use all cauliflower. Also, I didn’t have any bread to go with it, garlic bread would have finished it off great. No need for extra veggies since there was cauliflower and tomatoes in the dish.

Thursday

On Thursday I traveled to a livestock show to watch a couple of my grands show their pigs. I planned to stop at the store and buy some bread and cheese for what I was going to call a faux-philly cheesesteak. Big problem, the store burned down eight months ago. They are in the process of rebuilding, but for now the local  Dollar Store serves as an emergency grocery store. For their weekly shopping, residents drive to a nearby town.

Except, that town was 20 miles south, and I lived 20 miles north of where I was. I didn’t want to go in the opposite direction. I did the next best thing, I stopped at Dollar Store for bread, they didn’t have any cheese. At least not the cheese I wanted. So instead, for supper tonight, a basic roast sandwich with, meat, spinach, and avocado, using the newly purchased bread, with carrot sticks on the side was planned. However, by the time I was ready to eat, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounded like a better option.

pbj-sandwich

FRIDAY 

Because I had another stock show this afternoon, this time a sheep show, and for two different grands, I choose to make it easy. For lunch a roast sandwich with roasted sweet potato wedges.

img_3591

The rest of the roast went in a labeled freezer bag, along with the cooking juice. It will be used later for soup. I’d planned to make soup Saturday. However the temperature is predicted to be in the fifties. That is not soup weather to me.

That’s what was for dinner this week. Next week is anybody’s guess. 

What did you have for dinners this week?

Do you have meals in the freezer to go to on busy nights?

What’s your favorite go-to meal?

Linking this post up with the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Come and join us.

Posted in Food, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Five Foods

 

10-day-challenge-photo

I try to be adventurous and sometimes I find I like a new food, other times, no. Here are six foods that were new to me when I married.

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A sampling of a food.

1. Lamb chops – Even my husband had never eaten lamb. We live in cattle country. People here eat beef, or pork, we raise a lot of pork here too. There is the occasional vegetarian. When one of his students butchered his project lamb, he decided to share the meat. Oh gee, thanks. Neither of us was excited about it and we were both happy when the meat was gone. Several years later someone (probably another student) once again gifted us with some mutton. We re-gifted it to our friends Bill and Charlotte. They were ecstatic to get the meat, we were happy for them to have it.  This summer while visiting my cousin, his wife prepared lamb chops. I ate them, expecting to have a tough time, however, to my surprise they were good. I guess I just need the right person to prepare them. I won’t be cooking lamb anytime soon, but I might be more willing to try it when it’s offered.  

2. Okra. I never heard of the strange vegetable until moving to Oklahoma and meeting my husband. It can be boiled or fried, some people pickle it. Boiled okra is slimy and I’m not a fan, except when it’s in soup. Also not a fan of pickled okra, but then I’m not a pickle fan. Okra can also be sliced, dipped in batter and deep fried, or, sliced, rolled in cornmeal and pan fried. Either way its hot, crunchy, goodness can’t be beat

3. Lamb fries, calf fries, mountain fries, or mountain oyster. Whatever you want to call them my answer is, “no,” just no.  It’s not that they taste bad, they do NOT taste like chicken. It’s more they have no taste at all, just bland. The flavor is in the meal coating.  The dish is testicles sliced, rolled in cracker meal and fried. They are a staple in Oklahoma steakhouses. My daughter and I are always amazed that men seem to love them. Here is a video of them being prepared, https://youtu.be/kQYh76qtAtE  and a Chevy Chase clip.  https://youtu.be/DejWlekKQfI

4. Shrimp. Growing up my mother prepared blackened shrimp. Before blackened anything was popular. Needless to say I did not like shrimp. Until I met my husband. He introduced me first to deep fried shrimp. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved them. He had ordered them for himself, and I had ordered a burger. Good thing he liked burgers because poor man had to eat mine since he generously gave me his shrimp. Later I learned about cold cocktail shrimp, and grilled shrimp, even sautéed. Can’t go wrong with shrimp.

5. Calamari. Calamari goes on the same plate as lamb fries. No thank you. It’s not that it tastes bad. It’s that, like the lamb fries, it has no distinct taste, and is chewy. Not only had I not eaten calamari growing up. I didn’t try it until after he died and I was visiting my daughter’s family. My grandson loves calamari and offered me a taste of his order. Nice of him to offer, but I had no problem letting him finish off the order. Octopus and squid is found in the ocean. I live in Oklahoma, a landlocked state. Calamari isn’t local. I know, neither is shrimp, that’s different, don’t confuse me with logic.

There you have it, five foods that were new to me, until adulthood. How about you? Is there a food you were introduced to as an adult you’d never tried as a child?

Is there a food you didn’t like as a child but love now as an adult?

Is there a food you loved as a child, but now don’t?

Leave a comment. Let me know what you think of food.

Linking up with The Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

 

 

Posted in Food, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Healthy, Easy to prepare, Inexpensive Snack Foods

Snacks. Most people love them. They should be a food group all their own, proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, fats and snacks. Right?

No, not only do they not have their own food group, wrong, just wrong. We are told snacking, snacks, and snack food is all bad for us. We should shun them like they afe evil. Except they aren’t evil. They aren’t even “bad” for us. Snacks have gotten a bad reputation.

“Don’t snack, you won’t eat supper.” Anyone ever hear that? Maybe you even said it to your kids.

“No, I shouldn’t, it’ll go straight to my hips.” Another one we’ve heard, or said.

pie-or-cake-collage

Guess what? Snack food doesn’t have to be high calorie, unhealthy, or taboo. Snacks aren’t always cake, pie, cookies, ice cream or candy. Really.

You know what else? Healthy snacks are also tasty. Who knew?

boston-food-market-cropped

The best thing about healthy snack food? It’s easy. I like easy. Here are my top ten easy snacks for between meals, or sometimes as a meal.

There are fruits: img_3327

  1. Apples
  2. Oranges
  3. Pomegranate
  4. Banana
  5. Pineapple

Then, of course there are the vegetables. How could I be out of carrots? Went to take a picture of the vegetables and, no carrots. Just celery, avocado and cauliflower. That’s okay, you know what a carrot looks like.Noimg_3330

  1. Celery
  2. Carrots
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Snap Peas

There you have it, ten snack foods for when the munchie monster appears. Writing about all this food, and taking the pictures has awakened my munchie monster. Time to go feed her. That cauliflower is looking good.

Are you a snacker, or do you eat only at mealtimes?

What is your favorite snack food?

When do you most often snack?

Let a comment below and let share your feelings on snacking. This is post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

 

 

Posted in Food, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Black Eye Pea Patty – Another Way to Serve The Dried Pea

Beans, beans good for your heart

Beans, beans at the mart

Beans, beans good for your heart

Beans, beans in your cart.

 

Ok, that’s not how that little ditty goes. But, the words I learned as a child, and the ones my children (especially the boys) like to use aren’t considered lady-like or adult. While there may be some question as to when, if ever, I am lady-like or act adult, I try to pretend once in awhile.

However, you might be adult, so I changed the words up a teeny, tiny bit.

As this blog grows, and I become more consistent with posting (thank you Ultimate Blog Challenge.) Fridays will be about fitness and food. Today, it’s food. Enjoy.  

Also I’m not sure a black-eyed pea is a bean (even if I do use the word interchangeably. Am on a quest to find the difference between dry bean and dry pea.

In the meantime, what can be done with a pot of beans (peas) besides eating them by the bowlful? Because even I get tired of that.

bean-pot

After cooking the black-eye peas for New Years Day, I had an abundance left. Ate some the next day, then froze the rest in serving sizes. Yesterday, I took one of the packages from the freezer to eat. It was cold, peas (beans) sounded like a good plan. However, by supper the idea of peas did not appeal to me.

What to do? 

I found several recipes online for Pea Patties, or Pea fritters. Of course, I didn’t have everything needed for most of them, except one from the food network. You know the rebel in me couldn’t follow it exactly.

 First, it called for deep-frying. I love deep fried foods. But, they’re a lot of trouble and I wasn’t going to do it.

Second, it called for a chopped up onion. I had an onion, however it was big and I didn’t want to chop onion. Totally forgot I had chopped onion in the freezer. Oh well, next time.

I had noticed one ingredient missing from this recipe that was in most of the others, bacon. Of course, that’s one reason I went with it, I didn’t have any bacon thawed out or cooked. Instead, I used bacon grease for pan frying. I always save my bacon grease.

 

Recipe:

1 Cup cooked peas (I used juice and all, next time I’ll try draining them)

1 Egg (which I omitted, they didn’t need the extra moisture, maybe next time)

¼ teaspoon of salt (since I under salt most of my food, this was needed, you may not)

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon onion powder (real onion chopped up would have been better, about ¼ cup I think)

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ Cup flour (for binding, next time I’m going to try oatmeal, it’s my go to.)

Bacon grease (Since I didn’t have any bacon to add, and so many other recipes called for it, and since I wasn’t going to deep fry, I opted for bacon grease. Any grease, or oil that is suitable for frying will work.)

Mash the peas with a fork or potato masher. Add in everything else, except the grease. Mix everything together until well combined and a moist dough is formed. You won’t be able to pick it up and form a patty, but it will look like you probably could.

img_3200

 

Heat the bacon grease in a skillet (I like my cast iron skillet, but any skillet will work.) Plop, drop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the hot grease and flatten slightly so it will cook through.

Cook two to four at a time, depending on how big your skillet is. Mine is small (8”, ignore the dirty skillet and stove top.) You don’t want to crowd the skillet, it will make it too hard to turn the patties.

When they begin to crisp around the edges, slide a turner under them and flip.

When done, place on paper towel lined plate to remove excess grease.

Serve. I added garlic mashed potatoes and carrot strips. Enjoy. If I’d had some meat I would have added it to the plate. As it was this made a nice vegetarian meal, maybe vegan since I didn’t use any dairy. I think they’d be good deep fried and served as an appetizer on Blue Blood Friday.

img_31951

 

Have you tried a new recipe recently?

Do you follow them exactly or make changes?

How often do you eat meals that don’t include meat?

 

This is post six in the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

 

 

Posted in Food, Ultimate Blog Challenge

Black-Eye Peas; A New Year’s Day Tradition Revived

Did you have Black-eye Peas yesterday? Did you have cornbread, greens, and/or rice with your peas? Eating the peas on January 1, is a tradition that dates back to the Civil War. There wasn’t a clear explanation, or any explanation for that matter, that I could find.

Since no “official” story or explanation is available, I have my own:

collage-black-eye-peas-dry

During the war when those darn Yankees came through and took everything of value, including food, the peas were left behind. Black-eye peas take time to cook, time the soldiers didn’t want to spend. If they even knew how to cook them. Not to mention the peas don’t look “pretty” either on the vine or in the pantry. This left black-eye peas as one of the few foods for the southerners to eat during and immediately following the war. The peas were considered “lucky” because they helped keep the south from starving. They became a New Year’s Day tradition when the war was over, and the south was starting to rebuild. They were embarking on a new beginning and peas were a big part of that. Today, we eat them on New Year’s Day because that is a new beginning.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Black-eyed peas and I have had an on and off relationship. Growing up it was on. My mother cooked and served them every year on the first. After I married, my husband and I may or may not have had them, depending on our moods and what else we had going on. After his death I began going to my sister’s house for New Year’s Day. She, like our mother, always served black-eye peas.

A couple of years ago I decided I didn’t want to make that drive, I started having my own little get-together. It’s a great, low-key way to celebrate the new year with family and friends. No decorating needed, your Christmas decorations work just fine. In fact, you might use the “party” as a way to get your friends to help you put away your decorations.

The food is easy. A pot of black-eye peas, cornbread,  something to drink, tea, coffee, water, all work fine, depending on your group. Greens, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, or spinach, all make a compatible side dish but aren’t necessary. Some people also serve rice with their beans, again nice but not necessary. The star of the show is the pot, bowl of black-eye peas.

bean-pot

cooked-peas-in-the-pan

My recipe for Black-eye Peas (directions really, not much recipe)

1 1pound bag of black eye peas (a 3 pound bag if you’re cooking for a crowd, more if a large crowd)

1/2-1 onion chopped (depends on how much you like onion)

A piece of ham with fat (three or four strips of bacon will work if no ham is available, but the left over ham bone from Christmas works well. How much ham will depend on what you have, and how much meat you want in your beans.)

Salt.

Put the beans in your stock pot, bean pot, large saucepan and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Let soak overnight. Some people pour that water off before beginning to cook the peas. Cover the beans with cold water, add the ham and onion. Bring water to a boil, turn down and simmer until the beans are tender, the ham is falling off the bone, and the juice looks good.

Ladle into bowls, serve with cornbread and enjoy.

Forgetful option: Cover the beans with several inches of water, bring to a rolling boil, turn off heat, cover peas and let them sit for an hour. After an hour  (or a little more if you forget) stir the peas, add more water if needed, the ham and onion, return heat to a simmer. Cook until done. Serve.

bowl-of-cooked-black-ey-peas

 

I didn’t have guests over this year because my cast iron skillet won’t fit in my little toaster oven, and that’s the best way to cook cornbread, in a cast iron skillet. I can bake it in cake pans but it’s not as good. Sis was skiing in Colorado, so she didn’t have her usual gathering. I welcomed the New Year with my bowl of peas and some cornbread and visited with friends by phone. A perfect day.

My cornbread recipe

2Cups cornmeal (you can include flour if you want, just subtract the amount of flour from the amount of cornmeal-if you do 1/2 cup flour, use 1 1/2 cups cornmeal)

1 teaspoon (or less) salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk  (sweet milk or buttermilk, either will work)

1 tablespoon bacon grease (bacon makes everything better, if you don’t use it, any cooking oil will work)

Turn oven to 350, pour bacon grease or oil in cast iron skillet, or pan of your choice, place in oven to melt the grease.

Mix cornmeal (flour if you’re using it), baking powder, and salt together. Stir in egg and milk.

Take skillet from oven, swirl fat around to coat bottom of pan, pour excess in cornbread mix. Stir, and pour mix into hot pan.

Place in oven and cook 30 min., or until done to the touch. It will begin to brown a little.

Note: No, I don’t use sugar in my cornbread, you can I don’t care. My mother-in-law taught me to make cornbread, she didn’t use sugar so I don’t. Besides, I figure if I’m going to eat sweet, I want to eat real sweet, cake, cookie, brownie, not hint of sweet.

Hope you had a great day yesterday and the year continues to be awesome for you.

Do you eat Black-eye Peas on the first?

Do you have any other traditions for the New Year?

Have you have you added any new traditions to your life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you and getting your ideas.