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

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).

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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

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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)

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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).

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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)

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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:

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

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Taco Turkey Surprise**

A new twist on an old favorite.  Try Turkey Tacos, instead of Beef.Taco Turkey 059

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Turkey, recommended: Festive, 1.0 lbs

2. Ground Turkey Italian Sausage, recommended: Festive, 1.0 lbs

3. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 oz.

4. Taco Seasoning, recommended: Williams, 2.5 oz (2 packages)

5. Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Original, recommended: Rotel, 10 oz.

6. Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Mild, recommended: Rotel, 10 oz.Taco Turkey 061

7. Cheese Shredded Hot Jalapeno & Habanero Jack, recommended: Great Value, 8 oz.

8. Salsa Verde (or Cool Ranch) Tortilla Chips, recommended: Doritos, 5 to 7 per person or more

9. 3 Color Pepper & Onion Strips, frozen, recommended: Pictsweet, ½ cup

10. Salsa Chunky, Red, 2 teaspoons or to your taste

11. Salsa Verde, Green, 2 teaspoons or to your taste

12. Jalapeno peppers, diced, ½ teaspoonTaco Turkey 029

13. Sour Cream, recommended: Daisy, a dollop

14. Water or broth, ½ to 1 cup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat skillet for a few minutes
  2. Combine Ground Turkey, Italian Ground Turkey and Pork Chorizo
  3. Brown in skillet until done
  4. Drain grease
  5. Move meat to back of skillet and cook 3 Color Pepper & Onion Strips for 2 minutes
  6. Add Diced Tomatoes, Taco Seasoning, canTaco Turkey 035 of water or broth (using Tomato can) and cook on low for 24 minutes covered. Stir occasionally.
  7. For each serving, melt shredded cheese on top of meat
  8. Garnish with Salsa Red or Green and Diced Jalapenos
  9. Top with Sour Cream dollop and enjoy with Doritos Salsa Verde or Ranch!

I normally use Ground Chuck Beef for Taco meat and this was my first time using Ground Turkey instead. Ground Turkey rules! I did not miss the Beef and it was still very tasty, due to the flavor added by the Chorizo.

The Ground Chuck is $3.48 per pound. However the Ground Turkey was on sale for $1.00 per pound. Now the Ground Turkey is $1.50 per pound, but that is still way cheaper than the Ground Chuck.Taco Turkey 056

Once the Ground Turkey combined with Chorizo was properly browned, I could not tell the difference between the taste and look compared to using Ground Chuck Beef.

From now, I will save some cash $$$ and buy Ground Turkey instead.

**The surprise is the Ground Turkey Italian Sausage and Chorizo.

I love to smash my Dorito chips in a bag and then top the taco meat with the smaller bits of chips.

 

Taco Turkey 055Check 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:

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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)

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Beef on Beef on Beefy Stroganoff with Shrooms!

Beef – that’s for dinner!Beef Stroganoff 050

I LOVE Mushrooms! I did not care for them as a kid, but now, the Shrooms rule!

Here is my take on an amped-up Beef/Mushroom Flavor Umami Bomb! How much beef can this Stroganoff handle? Well, there is:

  • Beef Ground Chuck
  • Beef Stroganoff Seasoning
  • Cream of Beefy Mushroom Soup
  • Beef Consommé Soup
  • Beef Bouillon Cubes

Is that enough beef? Let’s hope so.Beef Stroganoff 003 (2)

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Beef Chuck, 2 lb.
  2. Beef Stroganoff Sauce Mix, recommended McCormick, two 1.5 oz. packages
  3. Extra Wide Egg Noodles, 16 oz.
  4. Mushroom Pieces & Stems (drained), recommended Pampa, 5.3 oz.
  5. Aged Swiss Cheese Slices: 11, recommended Sargento, 7 oz.Beef Stroganoff 005 (2)
  6. Baby Swiss Cheese Slices: 11, recommended Sargento, 7 oz.
  7. Sour Cream, recommended Daisy, 8 oz.
  8. Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup, recommended Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  9. Cream of Beefy Mushroom Condensed Soup, recommended Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  10. Beef Consommé Condensed Soup, recommended Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  11. Sweet Peas (drained), 15 oz.Beef Stroganoff 043
  12. Peas and Carrots (drained), 15 oz.
  13. Beef Bouillon Cubes, 2
  14. Red Onions diced, frozen, ¼ cup
  15. White Onions diced, frozen, ¼ cup
  16. Butter, 2 pats, divided
  17. Balsamic Vinegar, 2-3 teaspoons
  18. Worcestershire Sauce, 2 teaspoons
  19. Garlic (diced or minced), 5 – 7 cloves
  20. Olive Oil, ½ teaspoon
  21. Ground Parsley (dry), ¼ teaspoon
  22. Parsley (fresh), ½ teaspoon
  23. Water Bottle, 16.9 oz. (if you prefer to brown the beef, instead of boiling, you may want to just add a can of Beef Broth or water, per Stroganoff seasoning mix instructions)Beef Stroganoff 016

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil Beef Chuck with water for about 20 – 25 minutes until it turns brown (instead of red or pink). Use potato masher to break it up every 5 minutes. Or, you can also brown it. However, the water creates a beef “broth” so that you can add the 2 packages of Stroganoff Seasoning, Worcestershire, Vinegar, Onions and Garlic. Let it cool.
  2. Melt 1 Butter pat and Olive Oil in pot with dry Parsley for 2 minutes. Add 2 Bouillon cubes, fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Add Egg Noodles and boil for 11-13 minutes. Drain and mix in the remaining Butter pat and Fresh Parsley
  3. Mix the Cream of Mushroom, Creamy Beefy Mushroom, Beef Consommé, Sour Cream and Mushrooms and Peas & Carrots with the Egg NoodlesBeef Stroganoff 024
  4. Add half of the Noodle Mixture to the baking pan, top with 6 slices of cheese. Add a layer of the Beef Mixture and top with 6 sliced of cheese. Repeat Noodle Mixture with 6 slices of cheese and then Beef Mixture without cheese. Save 4 cheese slices for the final topping.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 350.
  6. Add remaining cheese slices and bake an additional 10-11 minutes to melt the cheese on top
  7. Garnish with Fresh or Dry Parsley for presentation.

We eat with our eyes!

The peas and carrots add a fresh pop of color to complete the Dinner Bowl meal. It has a protein beef, side dish pasta and veggies peas/carrots and mushrooms.Beef Stroganoff 022

The Noodles have to bring their own flavor to the meal! So instead of just plain noodles boiled in water, you want to use the Butter, Olive Oil, Beef Bouillon and dry Parsley to flavor the noodles. So that when you bite a noodle, it has enough flavor to stand up to the beef. I used to add Kosher Salt or Extra Coarse Sea Salt to my pasta. But to lower my sodium intake, I am trying to use different –non-salty options to flavor the pasta.

I love how recipes are flexible. Sometimes, I am out of fresh herbs and need to use dry herbs instead. I usually have larger diced garlic in my recipes. But I just got a new garlic chopper which allowed me to mince smaller pieces. So I was able to use more garlic in the Stroganoff.

My brother and sister-in-law test tasted this meal, and seemed to really enjoy it.Beef Stroganoff 047

Great Balls of Fire! Beam up the Beef Scotty! Captain: Make it so. Engage!

 

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

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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)

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GARLICKY GREEK LEMON CHICKEN

Greek Chicken Dinner 029The Umami Flavor Bomb!

On cooking show competitions it is always a compliment to hear that your food has Umami. You, know, that bold flavor bomb that comes from strong ingredients like garlic, bacon, onion, cheese, pepper, anchovies or lemon/lime, AKA the 7 wonders of the food world. u·ma·mi /o͞oˈmämē/noun: Umami

  • a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate.

I love food with Middle Eastern flavors such Sumac, Feta and Greek Chicken Dinner 026Greek Yogurt. I used to Belly Dance at the Kabob House. One of my favorite dishes was their Lamb Kabob and Rice, seasoned with Sumac. So here is my take on a baked chicken, marinated with Sumac and Greek Yogurt. Opa!

GREEK CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:

1. Chicken fresh bone-in, such as thighs or breasts, 2-3 ½ lb. (or use Frozen Chicken that you can defrost over 3 days)

2. Stubb’s Chicken Marinade Mix Citrus & Onion, 1 oz

3. Sumac, recommended Zamouri Spices, 2-3 tablespoons

4. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 8-16 oz.Samsung 309

5. Anchovies, recommended Crown Prince, 2 oz.

6. Feta cheese chunk, recommended President, 4 oz.

7. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish

8. Olive Medley (Kalamata pitted, whole and sliced, Green Salad sliced, Black Olives sliced) ¾ cup

9. Capers non-pareil, recommended Crosse & Blackwell, ¼ cup

10. Lemons, 2 (slice one and dice the other into 4 chunks)

11. Tomato, dice into 4 chunksGreek Chicken Dinner 014

12. Garlic, 5 cloves

13. Vinegar (your favorite, Red Wine, Apple Cider, Balsamic, etc.)

14. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

15. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

16. Naan Bread, 1 per meal

17. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon or less for Naan

GREEK CHICKEN INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Garlic Greek Chicken 015Fresh Chicken (add to Ziplock bag and cover with Sumac and Chicken Marinade). I was not baking my chicken that day, so I froze it.

2. For fresh chicken, add the Yogurt and marinade for ½ hour or longer

3. For frozen chicken, add the Yogurt to the bag and thaw in refrigerator for 3 days

4. Preheat oven to 325 when ready to cook

5. Season lemon and tomatoes with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

6. Add chicken to baking dish and cover with Anchovy oil

7. Put the Anchovies beneath the chicken pieces and top the Anchovies with GarlicGreek Chicken 003

8. Add the Olive Medley with Capers between pieces and cover with Feta Cheese Chunk slices

9. Cover chicken with Lemon slices

10. Pour vinegar over the chicken

11. Cover with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

12. Cover with foil

13. Bake at 325 for 1 hourGreek Chicken 006

14. Remove foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes

15. Add Truffle Oil to lemon and tomato chunks

16. Grill Lemon and tomato chunks

17. Remove and grill Naan bread for 2 minutes per side to get grill marks

SAFFRON RICE INGREDIENTS:

  1. Yellow Saffron Rice, recommended Mahatma, 5 oz.
  2. Turkey Broth and/or water 1 ½ to 2 cups
  3. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2Greek Chicken Dinner 001
  4. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish
  5. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 2 tablespoons
  6. Saffron, recommended Sun Brand, 5 to 10 strands
  7. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon
  8. Truffle Zest, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Butter, 2 pats, separated
  10. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon
  11. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon

SAFFRON RICE INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add Truffle Oil, Truffle Zest, 1 Butter pat, Rosemary and Tarragon and heat for 2 minutes in your sauce pan
  2. Prepare according to Rice package directions.
  3. Add Bouillon Cubes and Broth/Water to pan and bring to a boilGarlic Greek Chicken 011
  4. Add rice, cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Stir in Yogurt, Feta Cheese crumbles and 1 Butter pat

I am out of Tzatziki sauce at the moment. However, you can whip one up using Yogurt, Lemon juice (from the grilled lemons), Garlic and Dill. Perhaps, I will make that tomorrow, using my mini Chop Blender.

The baked Feta Cheese chunk slices mimic Greek Flaming Cheese: Saganaki! Even though it was baked, it did become crisp and benefit from the Olive Tapenade, Balsamic Vinegar and Anchovy Umami. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saganaki

  • In Greek cuisine, Saganaki (Greek σαγανάκι) is any one of a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan, the best-known being an appetizer of fried cheese. Garlic Greek Chicken 004
  • The cheese used in cheese saganaki is usually graviera, kefalograviera, halloumi, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep’s milk feta cheese. Regional variations include the use of formaela cheese in Arachova, halloumi in Cyprus, and vlahotiri in Metsovo. The cheese is melted in a small frying pan until it is bubbling and generally served with lemon juice and pepper. It is eaten with bread.
  • Other dishes cooked in a saganaki pan include shrimp saganaki (Greek: γαρίδες σαγανάκι, garídes saganáki), and mussels saganaki (Greek: μύδια σαγανάκι, mýdia saganáki), which are typically feta-based and include a spicy tomato sauce.
  • In many United States and Canadian restaurants, after being fried, the saganaki cheese is flambéed at the table (sometimes with a shout of “opa![2]), and the flames then usually extinguished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This is called “flaming saganaki” and apparently originated in 1968 atGarlic Greek Chicken 005 The Parthenon restaurant in Chicago‘s Greektown,[2][3][4][5] based on the suggestion of a customer to owner Chris Liakouras.[6].

That was the best and most flavorful rice I have ever made in my lifetime. It might be just as good as the Kabob House, but it will be just the Umami I need for dinner! Opa!

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).Greek Chicken Dinner 025

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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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)

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TACO PIZZA NACHO MASHUP

Taco Pizza Nacho Mashup 044My refrigerator and deep freezer has been called a “Food Museum” so I finally got around to cleaning out my fridge. I started by throwing out the old condiments. Some dated back to 2016. Pickle juice spilled on one shelf and dried up, so I had to use a knife to remove it.

On the next trash day, I can get around to cleaning out the deep freezer. In the fridge freezer, I found frozen food, dating back to 2017. Once I had a clear picture of the remaining, fresh foods, I could start planning my dinner menus for 1 to 4 weeks.

I am trying to get away with eating a Bacon, Egg & Cheese; Sausage, Egg & Cheese or Spam Egg & Cheese for breakfast. So now I eat Cottage Cheese with fruit, or Oatmeal with Orange juice. I am going to get away Taco Pizza Nacho Mashup 018from a “Bread-based” breakfast and go for a Taco Mix up, using Corn Tortillas, Scrambled Eggs, Pepper Jack Cheese and Chorizo (veggie) crumbles: Burrito style. Not every day, but just to get out of the rut of eating Cottage Cheese or Oatmeal every day. That can get boring.

I like to mix up other food meals. After cleaning the fridge, I knew that I had a Pizza leftover from making Naan Puttanesca Pizza. I froze the remaining one. So what to do with it?

I thought about making Taco Style Beef Macaroni & Cheese or Frito Taco Pie. But I wanted something different and came up with a plan to concoct a Taco Pizza.

Ground ChuckI love how food is so diverse, that it only needs a “vehicle” to bring the meal together. Instead of using a pizza crust, I have also made a Pizza Quiche with a pie crust as the vehicle. Or, for a smaller Thanksgiving meal, I have used the Stove Top Stuffing as the vehicle for an all-in-one dinner that uses a Turkey Breast, Oysters, Cream of Celery Soup and dried Cranberries. Come to tBeef Chorizohink of it, the next time I do that, I need to make it into a Shepard’s Pie and add Mashed Potatoes on top.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Chuck, 1 lb.
  2. Beef Chorizo, recommended Cacique, 9 oz.Doritos Salsa Verde
  3. Pizza Crust, recommended Stonefire Artisan Thin Crust Pizza
  4. Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, recommended Ro*Tel, 10 oz.
  5. Taco Seasoning, recommended Williams, 1.25 oz.
  6. Shredded Cheese, recommended Queso Quesadilla, 8 oz
  7. Taco Chips, recommended Doritos Salsa Verde, 5 to 7 chips per slice
  8. Olives- Sliced, Green & Black mixed, ¼ cup
  9. Jalapeno peppers, diced or sliced
  10. Sour Cream, recommended Daisy, 1 dollop
  11. Cooking Spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cheese QuesoPre-heat oven to 350, I also pre-heat the skillet and grill pan for 2 minutes before using
  2. Blend ground chuck and chorizo, then brown in pan
  3. Drain (Chorizo tastes great, but is very greasy)
  4. Mix Taco seasoning, Diced Tomatoes and Olives then add to beef
  5. Spray pan and heat Naan Pizza Crust for a few minutes on each side in a grill pan or skillet
  6. Move the pizza crust to a pizza pan and apply 4 ounces of cheese on bottom layer
  7. Add Beef Mixture on Top and bake for 15 minutes, then rest for 15 minutes
  8. Cut into 4 slices
  9. Crumble 5 to 7 Dorito chips on each sliceTaco Pizza Nacho Mashup 023
  10. Cover with 1 ounce of cheese and Jalapeno peppers on each slice (one at a time, as this will be 4 days of pizza for me). Only add the Doritos on the day you eat it, so the chips won’t get soggy.
  11. Put in Toaster Oven or Microwave to melt cheese for a few minutes
  12. Do a dollop of Daisy and then chow down on your Taco Pizza Nacho Mashup!

Recommended pairing: ♪Margarita Cha, Cha Cha♫! Daily’s Frozen Margarita Cocktail , 10 oz and Pepe Lopez Tequila 50 ml

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

Taco Pizza Nacho Mashup 029The 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

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

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The Perfect Steak

Steak Before and After 044Ribeye has always been my favorite steak cut. I like to dress it with blue cheese and steak sauce. This is my first time using the Stubb’s Ancho Chili & Garlic Texas Steakhouse Marinade Mix. But I love all of the Stubb’s BBQ products, so I think it will make a great dry rub.

I mixed the packet with olive oil, a touch of liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and a dash of Montreal Steak Seasoning in a zipper bag for 3 days.

I can use two of my favorite skillets to cook it. My grill skillet and cast iron skillet. The Cast Iron skillet can stand the heat of a hot oven. However, the grill skillet has plastic on the handle, so I use it only on the stovetop.

“Alexa, set a 30 minute timer: Steak.” I put it in the microwave, instead of the countertop, so the cat won’t eat it.Steak

INGREDIENTS

  • Ribeye Steaks, 2 (I take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to make it room temperature)
  • Stubb’s Ancho Chili & Garlic Texas Steakhouse Marinade Mix (or try Stubb’s Beef Soy, Garlic & Red Pepper Marinade Mix)
  • Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  • Soy Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Liquid Smoke, 1/8 teaspoon
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic, 1 cloveStubbs Marinade
  • Butter, 1 pat,
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles, 2 teaspoons, to your taste
  • Steak Sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Vinegar (Water, Beef Broth, Beer, etc. to deglaze)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Preheat Grill skillet and Cast Iron skillet for a few minutes
  • Add a “Garlic Hole” by cutting into the steak for the butter and garlic
  • Add Olive Oil, the Steak(s) and grill for 2 minutes per side, to get some fancy grill marks
  • Deglaze pan (save pan drippings to pour over rested steak with Blue Cheese)Steak Before and After 029
  • Add Butter and Garlic to Cast Iron skillet, with steak on top
  • Bake for 7 minutes
  • Remove from oven
  • Top with Blue Cheese and rest for 5 minutes
  • Slap on your favorite Steak Sauce with Horseradish, and chow down!

A great steak is like a great movie. It has a fantastic lead player, co-star and supporting cast.

I hardly ever watch movies. I get sleepy close to the 2 hour mark. Although I prefer to watch shorter 30 or 60 minute TV shows, I did take the time to watch some great movies lately, like:

  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Us
  • Crazy Rich AsiansSteak Before and After 032

I love all movies starring Julie Andrews, such as Mary Poppins, The Princess Diaries and The Tooth Fairy. She has tons of other great movies, but those are my top three favorites. I love, love, love the original Mary Poppins movie. I predicted disaster for Mary Poppins Returns. But in the end, I loved it, almost as most as the original. One of my favorite parts was the Dick Van Dyke dance scene. He still has it!

I love scary movies. My brother just rented Us, so I told him no spoilers. That was one of the best scary movies I have ever seen. I was hollering at the screen, like don’t go there! I am a huge fan of Lupita Nyong’o! She puts the “A” in Acting! She was terrific in The Black Panther! I loved her use of dance and voice in the movie Us.

Steak Before and After 035Fresh off the Boat is one of my favorite TV shows. Mainly because race does not matter. It does not matter if the family happens to be Hispanic, Black, Asian or White. Funny is funny, regardless. The Grandma is my favorite character on the show. Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh inspired me to watch this movie. It was so entertaining and funny!

I have my lead star ready – the Steak.

I have my co-star ready – the Salad

I have my supporting cast ready – the Horseradish, Blue Cheese and Steak Sauce

Steak Before and After 042Time to chow down with my favorite Wednesday night TV shows:

  • Guy’s Grocery Games
  • Property Brothers: Forever Home
  • House Hunters

Steak, that’s for dinner! I was so tempted to “lick the plate” clean, but resisted. It was so good!

Have a safe and happy July 4th!

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

Steak Before and After 033The 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

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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)

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Bacon-Wrapped Digger Dogs

Bacon Dogs and Window Well 030My daddy used to make Hot Diggity Dogs. A fully dressed Red, Fat Hot Link with mustard, hot sauce and sharp cheddar cheese, cut from the block.

I LOVE Hot Dogs. Back in my skinny days, before I was hired to work at Macy’s Downtown, I used to shop and eat the Macy’s Hot Dogs. They came in the fancy pleated holder with a toasted top-sliced bun. I was the queen of dieting back then, to the point that I would starve myself. On one occasion, I fainted in Macy’s because I had not eaten that day. I’m glad they did not hold it against me, when I applied for a job there.

That sweet memory with Dad will never happen again. But here is my take on his famous Hot Diggity Dogs!

INGREDIENTS:Bacon Dogs and Window Well 009

  1. Fat Hot Dogs, recommended Farmland Hot Smoked Sausage Links, 1 to 2 per person
  2. Bacon, Thick Cut, one slice per dog
  3. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, two, 1/4 inch cuts per dog (or Cracker Cut Cheese)
  4. Bun, Top-Sliced, recommended Pepperidge Farm Sweet Hawaiian, one per dog
  5. Celery Seeds, 1/8 teaspoon
  6. Mustard Ground, 1/8 teaspoon
  7. Liquid Smoke, 1/2 cap (or less), per dog
  8. Poppy Seeds, 1/8 teaspoon
  9. Water (or butter) to adhere poppy seeds
  10. Toothpicks, 2-3 per dog
  11. Water, to soak toothpicks for 30 minutes ahead of time
  12. Condiment of your choice, such as mayo, aioli, ketchup or mustardBacon Dogs and Window Well 011

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Cook bacon, until nearly done and still pliable. Then cool until you can touch it.
  3. Slice each dog in half, lengthwise. The Sausage links are already fully cooked, so you can split and lightly brown in the same skillet. You just need to heat the sausage and cheese in the oven to meld together.
  4. Apply liquid smoke, celery seeds and dry mustard on each dog
  5. Add cheese chunks
  6. Wrap bacon around dog and secure with 2 toothpicks
  7. Bake for 10 minutesBacon Dogs and Window Well 010
  8. Using the same bacon pan, blot most of the bacon grease out. Then, adhere water or butter on top of buns to “glue” poppy Seeds
  9. Cook on both sides in skillet for 2 minutes until light brown
  10. Remove dogs and buns from oven
  11. Remove toothpicks
  12. Dress buns and dogs with condiments of your choice
  13. Chow down!

THE VAMPIRE DANCER SAGA 5 IS DONE!

The story writing process has completed and ready for tweaking. For the first time, I am using original artwork, as opposed to using stock photos from Shutterstock, DepositPhotos and the Library of Congress.

Bacon Dogs and Window Well 032Check out the sample for Part 4 to be in the storyline loop: 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).

BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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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)

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TWITTER:
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