Cajun Turkey Wings and Chicken Thighs

Turkey Wings 056About 10 years ago I got serious about baking the perfect Turkey. It took years of practice, because my mom usually cooked the Turkey for Thanksgiving. I purchased a large roasting pan and turkey kit with twine, injection needle, thermometer, etc.

Before I moved out on my own, I did not know how to bake a turkey. Turkey is an expensive meat, and I was too cheap to mess it up.

I had to start from the cooking basics. First learning how to fry and bake a cut up chicken. Then moving up to baking a whole chicken, a whole hen and finally, a whole duck.Turkey Wings 059

People loved my duck on Thanksgiving. So it was time to move up to baking a whole turkey.

But I had some secret weapons:

  • Bacon,
  • Butter,
  • Bag.
  • Smear the butter under the skin, and then stuff it with flavors like garlic, lemon and sage.
  • Bacon-wrap the turkey.Cookbook Recipes January 2020 022
  • Bag it in the Reynolds Turkey-size baking bag.

That Turkey was the bomb! It was tender, falling off the bone and finger-licking good.

But that meal only happened once a year for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Poultry for the rest of the year was baked or fried chicken wings or thighs.

One of my grocery stores had the turkey wings on sale for $1.34 a pound, while the chicken wings were $3.99 a pound. That was a no-brainer. Be cheap and buy the turkey wings! I also bought some chicken thighs, since they were on sale for $.65 a pound.Turkey Wings 007

Then I remembered my turkey kit from 10 years ago. I never used the injection needle, because I hate to get shots.

But then my grocery store had the pre-filled injection needle with butter marinade on sale.

That poor turkey has to get a shot from some who is nervous about getting shots.

I might have to have a beer first, to calm my nerves.

Paging Dr. Turkey Briner: It’s time to giveTurkey Wings 019 those birds a shot with a needle. Stat!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Turkey Wings, 2
  2. Chicken Thighs 6
  3. Honey, recommended: Sam’s Choice, 2 teaspoons
  4. Lemon (cut into 4 wedges), 1
  5. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, recommended: Knorr, 4 teaspoons, divided
  6. Herbs of Provence, recommended: Delish, 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked Paprika, recommended: McCormick Gourmet, ½ teaspoon
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar, recommended: Heinz, ¼ cupTurkey Wings 040
  9. Creole Style Butter Marinade, recommended: Tony Chachere’s Injectables,
  10. Creole Seasoning, New Orleans Style, recommended: Zatarains, 3 tablespoons for the poultry ( ¼ tablespoons for the fries)
  11. Chicken Fry Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 1 ½ bags (about 15 oz.)
  12. Panko Bread Crumbs, Italian Style, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  13. Cooking Vegetable Oil, recommended: Great Value, 1 ½ bottles (about 72 oz.
  14. Shortening Sticks, Butter Flavor, recommended: Crisco, 1 containerTurkey Wings 017
  15. Buttermilk Dry, Cultured, recommended: Saco, 2 teaspoons
  16. Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  17. Eggs, Jumbo, 2
  18. Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ½ cups, divided
  19. Potato Wedges, Deli style, seasoned, recommended: Great Value, 16 to 32 oz.
  20. Grated Parmesan Three Cheese Blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 teaspoons
  21. Water and teapot
  22. Paper bag, large
  23. Disposal gloves (I used at least 8)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the Lemon-Honey Brine. Boil water in the teapot. In a large bowl add honey, lemon, bouillonCookbook Recipes January 2020 029 cubes, Herbs of Provence, smoked paprika, vinegar and boiled water. Stir and let cool. After it is cool, you can add the turkey wings & chicken thighs. I added 5 medium-size ice cubes to cool it down, before adding the meat. This can sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  2. The day before cooking, add the poultry to a large gallon bag and massage it with the buttermilk.
  3. Then season with the Creole Seasoning and inject the poultry with the Creole butter marinade.
  4. The day of cooking, beat one egg and add to the chicken bag. Beat the other egg and add to the turkey wing bag. Massage the beaten eggs with the poultry.
  5. Mix the cornstarch with the chicken fry, dry buttermilk blend and granulated chicken bouillon in a Cookbook Recipes January 2020 024large paper bag. This is a good time to get the plastic gloves.
  6. Dip the poultry in the chicken fry mixture and repeat, back to the egg bag, adding additional buttermilk as needed. And finally, one last dredge in the chicken fry mixture. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes in the chicken fry mixture (refrigerated).
  7. Heat the shortening stick and cooking oil in a large cast iron pot until 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Fry the turkey wings first about 10 to 15 minutes per side, until the meat is no longer pink at the bone. I used a cookie sheet with wire rack to drain the oil. Put in oven while frying the thighs and fries.Turkey Wings 024
  10. Next fry the chicken thighs, for 11 to 13 minutes per side to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Then rest in oven with the wings. Reduce oven to 180 to keep the meat warm
  11. Next fry the potato wedges about 5 to 7 minutes per side. I drain them in a colander and sprinkle with the Creole seasoning and parmesan cheese.

I love to make it “Buffalo” style with Louisiana Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Dressing by Litehouse!

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Funkytown Limburger Burger

Limburger Burger 055I LOVE Disco music! It seemed like “funky” was popular back in the 70s and 80s. For example, songs like:

Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry or Funkytown by Lipps, Inc.

Then came along “Once More With Feeling” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, Season 6, Episode 7 in Nov. 2001.

I must admit that I love all of the songs, but my favorite is when Limburger CheeseXander and Anya sing “I’ll Never Tell,” “She eats these Skeezy cheeses, that I can’t describe.”

I guess that Limburger can be considered skeezy, stanky and only for the brave. I have an “iron gut” so I think I will survive this. If not, someone call 9-1-1!

I remember watching the 3 Stooges a long time ago, in an episode with Limburger cheese. They cracked me up. So in the name of science, I will try it. Maybe it won’t be so bad. After all, I like Feta cheese, Chitterlings and Kimchee.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Prime Rib Beef Steak Patties, 4Burger Prep4
  2. Limburger Cheese, recommended: Champion, 1 oz per patty
  3. Soft Pretzel Buns, recommended: Pretzilla, 4
  4. Liquid Smoke, recommended: Wright’s, 1 cap or less
  5. Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  6. Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  7. Granulated Garlic, recommended: Hy-Vee, ¼ teaspoon
  8. Chicago Steak seasoning, recommended: Weber, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Granulated Beef Flavor Bouillon, recommended: Knorr, ¼ teaspoonLimburger Burger 018
  10. Mushroom Rub Porcini, recommended: Manitou, ¼ teaspoon
  11. Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino, ¼ teaspoon
  12. Butter, Unsalted, ½ teaspoon, divided
  13. Balsamic Vinegar, 1 teaspoon
  14. Red onion, sliced
  15. Beefsteak Tomato, sliced
  16. Bacon, 1 slice per burger
  17. Sliced Dill Pickles, about 1 to 2 per patty
  18. Mustard, German/Organic, recommended: 365 Everyday Value, as neededBurger Wet Rub3

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. I had to prep the burgers in advance and then freeze them. Make a well (indent) into each burger. Divide the Butter into 4 pieces, and place in the well on each burger.
  2. Mix the Liquid Smoke, Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce, then apply evenly on burgers.
  3. Mix the Granulated Garlic, Chicago Steak seasoning, Granulated Beef Bouillon, Porcini Mushroom Rub and Truffle Zest. Apply evenly on top of wet rub.Burger Dry Rub2
  4. Bring patties to room temperature.
  5. Preheat a skillet and fry the bacon.
  6. Remove the bacon and fry the patties, 5 minutes, with butter-side down first, then 3 minutes on other side.
  7. Deglaze with Balsamic Vinegar.
  8. Add Limburger cheese to the 2nd side for 2 minutes and top with bacon.
  9. Remove patties and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Toast the Pretzel buns in the same skillet
  11. Slice the Tomato and Red onion.
  12. Add Mustard, Pickles, Tomato slice, Onion slice and Bacon on the bun. Top with the Burger and enjoy the funk!Patties4

On the “Funk-O-Meter” from 1 to 10, with Chitterlings being the funkiest # 10, I would rate Feta Cheese an 8 and Limburger Cheese a 4. It adds just extra “Umami” bomb of flavor. Sort of like an aged Swiss Cheese. Give it a try. You might like it.

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

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Beer Bratwurst and Kraut

Cookbook Recipes January 2020 020There was a fast food joint called Der Weinersnitzel back in the day. They had great Chili Cheese Dogs.

This meal reminds me of those good ole’ hot dog days.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Pork Sausage Cooked Bratwurst Craft Beer, recommended: Silva Sausage, 4
  2. Soft Pretzel Sausage Buns, recommended: Pretzilla, 4
  3. Swiss Cheese Aged, recommended: Sam’s Choice, 4 slicesCookbook Recipes January 2020 010
  4. Sauerkraut, recommended: Frank’s, 8 oz.
  5. Beer, recommended: Bud Light (or your favorite brand), 12 oz.
  6. Three Color Pepper & Onion Strips, frozen, recommended: Pictsweet, ¼ cup
  7. Liquid Smoke, recommended: Wright’s, 1 cap or less
  8. Celery Seeds, recommended: Tones, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Mustard, German/Organic, recommended: 365 Everyday Value, as needed
  10. Butter, Unsalted, ½ teaspoon
  11. Sherry Cooking Wine(or Vinegar), recommended: Holland House, 2 teaspoonsCookbook Recipes January 2020 015

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt Butter with dry Celery seeds for 1 to 2 minutes on low, in medium stock pan.
  2. Score Sausage and then brown for 2 to 3 minutes in butter.
  3. Add 3 Color Pepper and Onion strips and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.Cookbook Recipes January 2020 017
  4. Deglaze with Cooking Sherry (or Vinegar). I remove it from the fire first so there are no scary flames.
  5. Add Liquid Smoke, Drained Sauerkraut and Beer.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes
  7. Butter the Buns and toast them.
  8. Add the German Mustard and then melt the Swiss cheese on the buns.
  9. Add the Sausage and top with Sauerkraut, Peppers & Onions
  10. Enjoy your meal! (Guten Appetit!).

Cookbook Recipes January 2020 003

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Greek Chili for a Chilly Night

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 085I used to Belly Dance in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants back in the 80s. My favorite “taste” of Greek food included Gyros (with Feta and Lamb), Kabobs (with Sumac), Tzatziki (with Cucumbers), Hummus (from Garbanzo Beans AKA Chickpeas) and Spanakopita (with Spinach). So why not mix those flavors with my favorite dish: Chili?

My original chili was Beef Chili. My family loved it! It was thick, meaty and spicy! Using a slow cooker, instead of a stock pot, allowed all of the ingredients time to meld together. Next came CMcCormick Fiery Tastyhicken Chili made with Butter Beans, White Kidney Beans, Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage and chopped Polish Sausage.

To save calories, but keep the bold and spicy flavors intact, my next chili creation used Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage, Turkey Polish Sausage and Pork Chorizo. In fact, I liked it better than my “Slap Ya Momma” Beef Chili. None of the flavor was missing. And in fact, it was even spicier by using Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero peppers and the McCormick Tasty Fiery Seasoning Mix of Sriracha, Lime and Garlic!

The chili seasoning can make or break your chili. It makes all of the difference in the world. Back when I first started making chili, I would buy the cheapest chili seasoning. You know the one that is Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 003the store brand or 50 cents or less. Then I discovered Williams Chili Seasoning. And I will admit: they are the best. They are the reason why my Chili brings so many compliments.

I have to admit that McCormick Seasonings are stepping up their game. They released the “Tasty” blends, that bump up the flavor using Sriracha, Lime, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Basil, Oregano, etc. I love using the Lemon Zest to season my Tuna and Catfish Nuggets. And when you mix Williams and McCormick together, get ready for a spicy flavor bomb!

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 042I had 3 hours of sleep and my Dishwasher is broken. Which means, I am mixing the meats in the skillet, instead of washing a bowl by hand. I have the slow cooker set for 4 hours, just enough time for a catnap before my Chili dinner on a chilly (19 degree) day!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Lamb, recommended: Marketside Superior Farms, 2 lb.
  2. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 ozChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 040.
  3. Italian Sausage Mild, recommended: Great Value, 1 lb
  4. Spinach, frozen chopped, recommended Great Value, 12 oz
  5. Garbanzo Beans, Chick Peas, recommended: Bush’s Best, two 15.5 oz. cans
  6. Kidney Beans, Dark Red, recommended: Great Value, 15.5 oz.
  7. Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, two 14.5 oz. cans
  8. Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Chili Style, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 046
  9. Jalapeno Peppers, diced, recommended: Great Value, 4 oz.
  10. Chili Seasoning, Tex-Mex style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  11. Chili Seasoning, Original style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  12. Fiery Tasty Seasoning Mix with Sriracha, Lime and Garlic, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz.
  13. Mirepoix with diced Yellow Onion, Carrot and Celery, 8 oz.
  14. Garlic, smashed, 10-11 cloves
  15. Sumac, recommended: Zamouri Spices, ½ teaspoonChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 052
  16. Cabernet Sauvignon, recommended: Yosemite Road, 1 cup
  17. Balsamic Vinegar, 2-3 teaspoons
  18. Liquid to thin it out, such as Cola, Chicken Broth, Water or Ice Cubes (as needed, depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chili to be), ½ to 1 can.
  19. Plastic Gloves, disposal will do
  20. Slow Cooker Liners, recommended: Reynolds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gloves oChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 083n and ready to cut off the Garlic heads. Add them to the slow cooker liner and smash them with a small bowl.
  2. Mix ground Lamb, Italian Sausage and Pork Chorizo in the skillet and then brown in skillet for about 20 to 25 minutes. Add half of the Wine and Mirepoix. Cook on low for 5 minutes and then drain. I use an empty bean or diced tomato can for the grease.
  3. Drain and rinse beans. I top the beans with a dash of Sumac!
  4. Top the smashed Garlic with the remaining Mirepoix and Spinach. Then add the Tex-Mex Chili seasoning, Wine and Balsamic Vinegar. Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 049
  5. Add the Meats and then the Fiery Tasty Seasoning packet.
  6. Add the drained beans and then the Original Chili seasoning
  7. Add the 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes.
  8. Thin out with Liquids, if you want thinner Chili. I used a half can of Cola for a “sweet” touch.
  9. Add the Jalapeno Peppers and Sumac during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  10. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, stir halfway through.

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 086I like to top mine with Feta & Cheddar Cheese, Diced Cucumbers, Lime Juice and a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream.

 

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

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Pork Chop Surprise

Wish I had some pork chops after reading this. Maybe next week?

How I Cook — by Graham Stewart

E3213AAA-81D2-4E1B-A6FB-B1C8A8FC486033A4D7F0-1A78-4623-BBA0-DDF53FBD91DAF18A501A-35F5-44BB-B831-E09C572A43B0What’s the surprise with these pork chops? I am keeping it super simple with them. Normally I play around with what I am cooking. Our son Ian’s birthday supper is tomorrow so I am saving my playing till then. Tonight it’s just potato wedges, pork chops and a salad. Still this is a good supper and the chops are a little different. I have cooked pork chops this way for years, they cook quickly and since I like pork, taste great. I cut my own loin chops when I buy a whole pork loin. Mine are 1 inch thick, the thin ones from the supermarket won’t work for this. If you have a butcher it’s easy to get 1 inch thick chops. Some supermarkets will cut them for you also. The reason I am using corn starch in this recipe is because it forms a crust and seals the moisture…

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Stuffed Pork Loin chops

How I Cook — by Graham Stewart

EAB9E466-3E19-4D06-9948-DDE286B68F11I found a great deal on pork loin, they are always a good thing to buy when you find a great price. Cut some of it into chops and left the thicker end for a roast. Was thinking about what I could do with the roast, it’s been awhile since I stuffed one. So it came down to do I stuff chops or the roast, the chops won. A stuffed roast is a little much for just my wife and I. It’s just better to keep the roast for company. The stuffing would of been the same if I had of used the roast. Have come to terms with stuffing for meat. Been thru the fancy stuffing faze. Remember making a stuffing for a pork loin that was a little fancy and a lot of work. It had dried cranberries, chopped apple, onion, spinach, garlic, parsley, sage, honey, salt, pepper…

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Ring in the New Year with a Spicy Meatloaf!

Italian Sausage Beef Meatloaf20200101_173252

Making Meatloaf gives you so many opportunities to experiment with different flavors. I started out cooking Meatloaf in an oven. But once I began using a Slow Cooker, I have not used the oven since. Meatloaf is so versatile that you can play with using Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, Ground Pork, Ground Turkey or add Chorizo for a Mexican-inspired Meatloaf. Instead of Ketchup, I normally use Condensed Tomato Soup for the topping. This time, I wanted something different, so I am using Tomato Basil Soup instead.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Italian Sausage Mild, recommended: Great Value, 19 oz.20191231_022249
  2. Ground Beef, recommended: Great Value, 2 lbs.
  3. Meatloaf Seasoning, recommended McCormick, Two 1.5 oz. packets
  4. Cubed Stuffing Herb seasoned, recommended: Pepperidge Farm, 12 oz., divided (or use Salad Croutons)
  5. Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
  6. Diced Tomatoes Petite with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
  7. Tomato Basil Soup, recommended: Progresso. 19 oz.
  8. Mixed Vegetables with Carrots, Green Beans, Corn & Peas, frozen, recommended: Great Value, 12 oz.
  9. Mirepoix with diced Yellow Onion, Carrot and Celery, 8 oz.20191231_131028
  10. Garlic, diced, 10-11 cloves, divided ¾ and ¼
  11. Sweet Potatoes, frozen, diced, recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  12. Eggs, 3 Jumbo
  13. Balsamic Vinegar, 2 teaspoons
  14. Liquid Smoke, 1 capful
  15. Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  16. Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  17. Optional: Disposal plastic gloves
  18. Optional: Reynold’s Slow Cooker Liners or Reynold’s Aluminum Foil for the cooking vessel

INSTRUCTIONS:20191231_150135

  1. Beat 3 eggs in a mixing bowl, and set aside
  2. Combine the Ground Beef with Italian Sausage in a (different) large mixing bowl.
  3. To the meat mixture, add in gradually, the Diced Tomatoes, Mirepoix, Mixed Vegetables, Stuffing Cubes, Meatloaf Seasoning, Balsamic Vinegar, ¼ Garlic and Eggs. This is a good time to use disposable gloves for mixing.
  4. If using a Slow Cooker, line the bottom of it with half of the Stuffing Cubes, Sweet Potatoes, ¾ Garlic, Liquid Smoke, Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce. If using a pre-heated 350 degree oven, mix this with the meat mixture.20191231_151251
  5. Slow Cooker on High for 4 to 6 Hours or Low for 8 to 10 Hours, or Bake in 350 Pre-Heated oven for 1 hour.
  6. Top with Tomato Basil Soup during last 30 minutes of cooking time.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

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Surf & Turf Scampi Spaghetti AKA “spaZghetti***”

Surf and Turf Spazghetti 128I was grocery shopping a few years ago and had a small budget of $20.00 to $30.00. So I had to limit the list to “essential” items only and no “impulse” buys. I noticed the Cream of Shrimp soup by Campbell’s and wanted it so bad, but could not afford it.

Years went by and I had a bit more money to buy some impulse items. So I finally got to purchase 2 cans of the Cream of Shrimp Soup. I used it in Shrimp & Lobster Fondue. It was my first time using my Fondue pot, so it was not very successful. If only I had used a traditional pot (on the stove), it would have turned out perfectly.

Surf and Turf Spazghetti 134I decided to save my second can for my Surf & Turf Spazghetti! This is Spaghetti meets Shrimp Scampi, meets Lasagna, meets Pizza – all in one dish! And of course, I am adding that “Puttanesca” Umami flavor bomb!

I normally have more “meat” in my Spazghetti, but to keep it light, I am substituting a pound of Spinach, for a pound of Italian Sausage, that is usually added. This puts everything on the plate, meat, side dish and pasta. Before I begin, I separate by groups to make sure I did not leave anything in the fridge or pantry.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Surf and Turf Spazghetti 026Spaghetti Half Cut, recommended: Barilla, two 12 oz. boxes
  2. Italian Sausage, 1 lb
  3. Shrimp Scampi (frozen), recommended: SeaPak, 12 oz.
  4. Pepperoni slices, recommended: Great Value, 6 oz., divided
  5. Anchovies in Olive Oil, recommended: Crown Prince, 2 oz.
  6. Cheese Shredded Pizza Blend, recommended: Great Value, two 8 oz. packages
  7. Ricotta Cheese, recommended: Great Value, 15 oz. and Cottage Cheese, recommended: Belfonte, 15 oz.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 118
  8. Diced Tomatoes seasoned with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
  9. Diced Tomatoes seasoned with Green Peppers & Onions, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
  10. Tomatoes Wedges, Tri-Color with Olive Oil & Italian Spices, recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  11. Cream of Shrimp Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  12. Alfredo Sauce with Portobello Mushrooms, recommended Bertolii, 15 oz.
  13. Alfredo Pasta Sauce with Italian Cheese, recommended: Sam’s Choice, 14.5 oz.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 016
  14. Mushrooms Sliced, recommended: Green Giant, 8 oz.
  15. Bouillon Cubes Shrimp Flavor, recommended: Knorr, 2
  16. Seasoning Blend, frozen (Celery, Yellow Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Parsley Flakes), recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  17. Tomato Pesto, recommended: Mezzetta, 2 teaspoons
  18. Olives Italian Salad, recommended: Boscoli Family, 2 tablespoons
  19. Portabella Zesty Mexican Blend, recommended: Giorgio BlendaBella, 2 tablespoons
  20. Spinach, Frozen Chopped Steamable, recommended: Great Value, 12 oz.
  21. Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi Seasoning Mix, recommended: McCormick, two.87 oz. packetsSurf and Turf Spazghetti 132
  22. Tomato, Garlic & Basil Marinade Mix, recommended: McCormick Grill Mates, .5 oz.
  23. Olive Oil Black Truffle, recommended: Roland, ¼ teaspoon
  24. Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino Tartufi, dash
  25. Mushroom Porcini Rub, recommended: Manitou, dash
  26. Panko Breads Crumbs Italian Style, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  27. Grated Parmesan, 3 Cheese Blend with Parmesan, Romano & Asiago Cheese, recommended: Kraft, ½ cup
  28. Parmesan Aged Wedge, recommended: Frigo, ½ cup, divided
  29. Garlic, fresh, 10-11 cloves, dividedSurf and Turf Spazghetti 019
  30. Parsley, dry, ½ teaspoon
  31. Eggs, Jumbo, 2
  32. Butter, 4 pats, divided
  33. Optional: Turkey-size Oven Bag, recommended: Reynolds Kitchens (or line with foil for an easy clean up)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt 1 Butter pat with Olive Oil and add Truffle Zest and Mushroom Porcini Rub in stock pot for 1-3 minutes on low.
  2. Add Water and 2 Shrimp Bouillon cubes and bring to a boil.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 129
  3. Add Spaghetti and boil for 10 minutes. Next add the frozen Seasoning Blend and cook an additional 5 minutes, then drain. To that pot, add the Alfredo Pasta Sauce with Italian Cheese, 2 Shrimp Scampi Seasoning packets, drained sliced Mushrooms, Tomato Pesto and Cream of Shrimp Soup.
  4. Melt Anchovies in a skillet to cook down, and then brown Italian Sausage on top of the Anchovy oil. Add half of the garlic to the skillet last for a few minutes. Drain and then add the 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes, including the juice, Portabella Blend and the Tomato, Garlic & Basil Marinade Mix.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 022
  5. Beat the Eggs and blend in the Ricotta and Cottage Cheese, Spinach, Olive Italian Salad and 1 ½ Pizza Cheese package.
  6. Melt the last Butter pat and add to it the Panko Bread Crumbs, Grated Cheese Blend and half of the grated Parmesan cheese from wedge.
  7. Line the cooking pan with the Turkey Bag and a layer of Pepperoni and the other half of Garlic.
  8. Next add a layer of Spaghetti.
  9. Then add a layer of Italian Sausage.
  10. Then add a layer of Spinach/Ricotta/Cheese.
  11. Repeat the layers until you have used all of the Spaghetti, Italian Sausage and Spinach.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 119
  12. Layer with Pepperoni, but reserve some for the topping.
  13. Add the remaining half of the Pizza Cheese
  14. Top with the remaining Pepperoni
  15. Combine the Panko Bread with Grated Parmesan Cheese, remaining Butter (melted), Parsley and Shredded Aged Parmesan Wedge for the topping.
  16. Cook for 35 minutes in a 300 degree oven
  17. NOTE: I have to cook this part of it tonight and store in the refrigerator for dinner tomorrow. Reheat the Spazghetti for 15 minutes @ 350, if you do this the day before.
  18. Add the Shrimp Scamp ♪ on top of Spaghetti ♫**and cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees
  19. Save some of the grated Parmesan cheese wedge to sprinkle on top.Surf and Turf Spazghetti 088

** Did anyone catch the shout out to Dr. FunhouseOn Top of Spaghetti” song? Here are the lyrics, in case you were curious about it, and you can listen here:

https://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/ontopofspaghetti.html

On top of Spaghetti,
all covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,Surf and Turf Spazghetti 127
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer, Surf and Turf Spazghetti 112
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.

Surf and Turf Spazghetti 041** My Aunt Earnestine, nicknamed my Spaghetti to “Spazghetti” as a compliment. A lot of people use only ground beef in their spaghetti, but when I started using Italian Sausage instead, people noticed the difference.

By the way, the Catfish Nuggets turned out great!  The best I have ever made.  The secret?  Do what Sunny Anderson does and shake it in a paper bag.

Merry Christmas 2019!

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

2019 Cooking Ends: 2020 Cooking Begins

Samsung 870I created a Cookbook folder on my computer back in 2009. Since then, I have added my recipe creations and saved recipes for inspiration.

I am almost done working on my Cookbook. Hopefully, I will have it ready by January 2020.

I originally planned to publish my cookbook back in 2016. But, along came the thoughts and ideas for the Vampire Dancer Saga series, after seeing 3 bats in my house.

I LOVE planning my meals in advance!Samsung 871

That way, there is no excuse to order Pizza Hut, when the fridge or pantry is empty.

I try to plan my meals 1 to 2 weeks in advance, to allow “smart” shopping versus “impulse” shopping.

This week was Epic Tuna and later on, Pork Chops on Croissant Rolls. I love Salad as my side dish for dinner.

Samsung 866I am also prepping the Catfish Nuggets for tomorrow. For breakfast, during work days, I love eating Cottage Cheese with Diced Peaches.

I used to love eating a Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwich for breakfast. Or a Spam, Egg & Cheese sandwich, or a Sausage, Egg & Cheese sandwich. I am cutting out a lot of bread to lose weight. But I will take a break on my diet to make a Biscuit, Sausage, Country Gravy, Hash Brown, Egg and Cheese Quiche for Christmas.

Ground LambMy Christmas main dish will be a Surf & Turf Spazghetti with Truffle Alfredo Sauce, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Anchovies, Shrimp Scampi and Cream of Shrimp Condensed Soup. I even have Shrimp Bouillon cubes to boil the spaghetti pasta in. This will be epic!

For a lighter meal next week, I have a can of Baked Beans and I can chop and fry Polish Sausage to cook with it. A “Grown Up” version of Pork & Beans.

My lunch break during work days is only one hour. So I love to cook in advance and eat leftovers during the week. And then freeze the rest, when I get sick of eating it.

Samsung 862I like to make Black-eyed Peas & Cornbread for New Year’s Eve, or a pot of Chili. I plan on making Middle Eastern Chili On December 30th or 31st. The Ground Lamb is so expensive, but since it is a holiday, I will splurge.

If I know that I am planning a meal in advance, I also buy things on sale. I plan on making Meatloaf, and I have some of the ingredients now that can be used for other meals, in a pinch. For example: diced tomatoes. can be used in Spaghetti, Chili or Meatloaf. So I try to buy them on sale and stock up.

I ran out of Mirepoix, so I have to wait to make the Macaroni & Cheese with Cream of Mushroom Soup. Boo!

Samsung 864Along with the Surf & Turf Spazghetti, that is way too much pasta. But I still kept it in the picture with the Catfish Nuggets for my Happy Vance Day on December 21st. TODAY!

 

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

clip_image002

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

clip_image003

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

clip_image004

The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

INSTAGRAM
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Happy Vance Day! Tuna & Catfish Delights.

Tuna5My big brother’s birthday is on December 21st.

Sunrise: December 21st! Gone, but not forgotten and still very much loved!

The last meal he cooked for us was Catfish Nuggets and Macaroni & Cheese. He liked to use a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup on the Mac & Cheese, so I will honor his flavor.

I hope to cook my Catfish Nuggets with Mac & Cheese this weekend, either Friday or Saturday. In the meanwhile, I have Tuna to eat for my main meal this week. Not Starkist Tunajust any tuna sandwich, but an “Epic” tuna sandwich, dedicated to Tito Jackson. I was watching one of the Jackson 5’s TV specials and Tito mentioned a Tuna & Tomato sandwich. I am finally getting around to making one.

Epic Tuna & Tomato Grilled Swiss Cheese on Rye Bread!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Tuna, Yellowfin Solid Wild-Caught, with Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, recommended: Starkist Selects, two 4.5 oz. cans
  2. Tuna, Solid White Albacore, Gourmet Prime Filet Wild-Caught, recommended: Bumblebee, 5 oz.
  3. Tartar Sauce, recommended: Kraft, 3 to 4 teaspoons
  4. Tuna4Relish, Sweet Pickle, recommended: Vlasic, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  5. Cream Cheese, Garden Vegetable, recommended: Philadelphia, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  6. Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, recommended: Philadelphia, 1 to 2 teaspoons
  7. Tasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 1 teaspoon
  8. Celery Seed, recommended: Tone’s, 1/8 teaspoon
  9. Rye Bread, New York Style, recommended: Great Value, 2 slices per sandwich
  10. McCormick Lemon SeasoningSwiss Cheese, Aged, recommended: Sargento, 2 slices per sandwich
  11. Eggs, Boiled, 2
  12. Tomato, Beefsteak, 1 large
  13. Mirepoix (Yellow Onion, Celery, Carrot), 2 tablespoons
  14. Butter, 1-2 pat, per sandwich

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil Eggs, 30 minutes before, or the day of cook
  2. Combine Tuna with Cream Cheese, Tartar Sauce and Relish, to your desired consistency
  3. Add chopped Eggs, Tasty Seasoning, Mirepoix and Celery Seed
  4. Tuna1Add butter to skillet then toast the Rye Bread, and add Swiss cheese slices on top
  5. Remove and add Tuna to both sides with a Tomato Slice in the middle of the sandwich

Easy Catfish Nuggets

Ingredients:

  1. Catfish Nuggets, 1 lb.
  2. Fish Fry, Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 5-10 oz.
  3. Smoked SalmonTasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 2 teaspoons
  4. Cooking Oil, enough to cover the fish

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the Catfish with the Tasty Seasoning 30 minutes before or the day of cook. Then dredge in the Fish Fry 20 minutes before cook time.
  2. Heat the cooking oil for about 9 to 14 minutes, testing with toothpick to see if bubble when ready.
  3. Fry the fish, until brown and I usually move to a 300 degree oven, while I am using the same oil for fries.

Mac & Cheese for VanceTuna2

Ingredients:

  1. Elbow Macaroni, Large, 16 oz.
  2. Buttermilk, ½ pint
  3. Cheddar Cheese, Sharp, 2 lb.
  4. Panko Bread Crumbs,
  5. Swiss Cheese Shredded, 8 oz.
  6. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2
  7. Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  8. Butter, ½ stickGarden Vegetable

Instructions:

  1. Boil Chicken Bouillon cubes in water.
  2. Add Macaroni to boiling water and cook until below tender
  3. Shred Cheese in Food Processor (or use Velveeta cheese, 16 oz.), I have a block of cheese I need to get rid of
  4. Drain Macaroni and add Cream of Mushroom Soup, ¼ stick of melted butter, Buttermilk and ¾ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese into the baking pan
  5. Melt butter and combine Panko Crumbs with ¼ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese to the top of the Macaroni and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, covered with foil. Add Swiss cheese and bake an additional 11 minutes, uncovered.

Tuna3

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

clip_image003

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

clip_image005

Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

INSTAGRAM
https://www.instagram.com/shalimarali5/