Breakfast for Dinner

20200303_191357Well, I am late to this party. Breakfast for Dinner Day was last Tuesday, February 25th. But I will still celebrate this anyway. A new cooking trend is using muffin mix for pancakes. The muffin mix is so cheap at $.78 per package, I thought, what the heck, why not try it.

When I was a kid, we made everything from scratch. I used to make pancakes all the time. The recipe was so easy to remember: Dry: Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder and Wet: Eggs & Milk. Those were sort of plain, but tasted really good 20200303_173651when topped with “Commodity” Syrup. One day, we got more money and could afford the Karo Syrup.

The benefit of using a muffin mix is that you can easily try new flavors, like Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, Apple Cinnamon, Wildberry or Cheesecake – all for the low, low price of $.78!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Muffin Mix, Banana Nut, recommended: Martha White, 7.6 oz.
  2. Buttermilk, recommended: Anderson Erickson, 1 cup20200303_183957
  3. Butter, recommended: Great Value, 1 tablespoon
  4. Egg, Jumbo, 1 divided
  5. Cooking Spray of your choice, recommended: Pam for Baking
  6. Syrup of your choice, recommended HyVee Butter Pecan

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Divide egg white and yolk. Mix the egg white until frothy.
  2. Microwave the butter in the same bowl that you use for the muffin batter.20200303_183817
  3. Add the muffin mix and buttermilk and mix with beater.
  4. Fold in the egg white froth, but don’t over mix it.
  5. Heat the skillet for 2 to 3 and then spray it with cooking spray.

I used a 1/3 cup to measure the pancakes, cooking in batches. Because the mix has nuts in it, this took a bit longer to cook, perhaps 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Add a side dish, like bacon and eggs, and you have a tasty treat that is great any time of the day.20200303_184342

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VAMPIRE DANCER SAGA 5 IS COMING!20200303_185858

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

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20200303_191357

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili 056I thought about making a Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf, but then decided to use the ingredients to make Buffalo Chicken Chili instead.

I love Buffalo Wings and usually eat them with Blue Cheese, Carrot Sticks and Celery Sticks. So I wanted to make sure those flavor profiles were present in this dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Turkey Italian Sausage, recommended: Festive, 1 lb.Buffalo Chicken Chili 053
  2. Chicken Breast Tenderloins, 1.69 lb.
  3. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 oz.
  4. Chicken Chili Seasoning, recommended: Williams, 1.2 oz
  5. Sriracha, Lime & Garlic Fiery Tasty Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz
  6. Chili Seasoning, recommended: Williams, 1 oz
  7. Cream of Celery condensed soup, recommended Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  8. Butter Beans, recommended: Joan of Arc, 15.5 oz.
  9. Mixed Chili Beans, recommended: Great Value, 15 oz.Buffalo Chicken Chili 001
  10. Cannellini White Kidney Beans Southwestern Style, recommended: Bush’s, 15.5 oz.
  11. Petite Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeño & Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, two 14.5 oz. cans
  12. Diced Tomatoes Zesty Chili., recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
  13. Diced Jalapeño Hot Peppers, recommended: Great Value, two 4 oz. cans
  14. Diced Mirepoix Mix, fresh (Yellow Onions, Carrots, Celery), 10 oz.
  15. Garlic, diced, 10-11 clovesBuffalo Chicken Chili 006
  16. Chicken Flavor Bouillon, recommended: Knorr, 2 tablespoons
  17. Turmeric, recommended: Tone’s ¼ teaspoon
  18. Celery Seed, recommended: Tone’s ¼ teaspoon
  19. Celery Flakes, recommended: Tone’s ¼ teaspoon
  20. Chicken Broth, 1 ½ to 2 cups, use water if needed to thin it out
  21. Vinegar (Rice Wine or Apple Cider), ¼ cup
  22. Blue Cheese Crumbles, recommended: Litehouse, 6 oz.
  23. Sour cream, recommended: Daisy, a dollop
  24. Slow Cooker Liners, recommended: Reynolds Kitchens, 1Buffalo Chicken Chili 004

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Freeze Chicken Tenders 20 minutes to make it easier to cut into chunk-sized pieces. Add to a storage bag with the Dry Rub.
  2. Dry Rub mixture is the Chicken Bouillon, Turmeric, Celery Seed and Celery Flakes.
  3. Mix ground Turkey Italian Sausage and Pork Chorizo, brown in skillet, remove and then discard any excess grease.Buffalo Chicken Chili 011
  4. Brown the Chicken Tender chunks in the same skillet.
  5. Add the Garlic to the Slow Cooker. You can use the Liner bag to “crush” the garlic with a bowl.
  6. Add the Diced Chili Beans on top of the Seasoning Blend.
  7. Add the Chicken Chili seasoning on top of the Chili Beans.
  8. Add ½ cup of Chicken Broth.
  9. Drain and rinse the Beans and add on top of the Chicken Broth.
  10. Add the diced Mirepoix.
  11. Add the Fiery Tasty Seasoning packet on top of the Mirepoix.Buffalo Chicken Chili 009
  12. Add the Italian Sausage, Chorizo and Chicken next.
  13. Add the Original Chicken Seasoning.
  14. Add the Cream of Celery Soup.
  15. Add the 2 cans of Diced Tomatoes. With Jalapeño & Habanero.
  16. Add additional Chicken Broth for your preference, along with Vinegar (of your choice).
  17. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, stir halfway through.
  18. I stir in the 2 4 oz. cans of Jalapeño after it is done to keep it extra hot.
  19. Top with Blue Cheese and a dollop of Daisy!Buffalo Chicken Chili 018

 

 

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:

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

Product Details

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

TVDS3 Front Cover JPEG

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

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)Buffalo Chicken Chili 025

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Buffalo Chicken Chili 055

Misogyny

Please enjoy this post from a fellow blogger.

BRAINCHILD

Our recent history should have made one thing clear. Women’s rights are human rights. Any foreign policy that fails to recognize this effectively dehumanizes half the human race.

What I am currently reading after I finished reading a hasidic woman’s biography. I am going to write about it next time!Thanks for your likes, comments, and support!

View original post

Kung Pao Pork Chops with Teriyaki Rice & Stir Fry Vegetables

Teriyaki Rice Stir Fry 019I used to work downtown and had the opportunity to choose a different place to eat lunch every day. One of my favorites was eating General Tso’s and Kung Pao Chicken at the Panda Express. So I want to use those flavors in my Asian-inspired Dinners.

One thing that I loved about my Mom’s cooking, was that she was not afraid to try new cuisines. I remember her making an “Asian-style” dinner using La Choy products. “East Meets West, La Choy makes Chinese food – swing American!” This dinner will include the Pork Chops and Teriyaki Rice.Kung Pao Pork Chops 037

RIP: Momma Bear slow cooker. I had 3 different slow cooker sizes to accommodate large, medium and small meals. So Papa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear slow cookers. The Momma Bear slow cooker somehow got grease trapped inside the cooking unit, so she had to be banished to the basement. I was searching for a 4 Quart replacement slow cooker, and came across the Presto Indoor Electric Smoker/Slow Cooker combination. I cannot be trusted with either a gas grill or wood/gas smoker. So I gave my smoker to my brother and had planned to buy an electric one to replace it. They were in the $100.00 range, so I put it on the back burner.20200211_145509 Until, I came across the smoker/slow cooker for less than $60.00. Cool! I can kill two birds with one stone. Found a cheaper smoker and a replacement for the Momma Bear slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Pork Loins, Chop Bone-In Brined Louisiana Style Griller, 3 lbs.
  2. Soy Sauce, recommended: Great Value, 2 teaspoons
  3. Sazón, recommended: Goya, 1 packet
  4. Kung Pao Sauce, recommended: Panda Express, ½ to 1 cup, per your preference **Teriyaki Rice Stir Fry 001
  5. Peanuts, Salted, recommended: Planters, two 1.75 oz. bags
  6. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Recommended: Huy Fong Foods, 1 to 2 teaspoons
  7. Sesame Seed Oil, recommended: Imperial Dragon, 2 teaspoons
  8. Fish Sauce, recommended: Thai Kitchen, ½ teaspoon
  9. Rice Wine Vinegar, Natural & Mellow, recommended: Nakano, 1 to ½ teaspoons, as desired
  10. Liquid Smoke, Applewood, recommended: Wrights, 1 cap
  11. Hickory BBQ Wood Chips, recommended: Western, enough to fill “Charring” cup, or your favorit20200214_182823e brand. The Wood Chips are not required if you only want to pan-grill the pork chops, use a slow cooker or BBQ Grill. This is optional, depending on your preferred cooking method.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Marinade the Pork Chops with the Soy Sauce and Sazón, overnight or up to 30 minutes. I had to freeze the Pork Chops after this marinade, because I was not sure how I was going to cook them yet.20200214_183421
  2. After unthawing the Pork Chops, I added the Fish Sauce and Liquid Smoke to the marinade bag, 30 minutes before cook time.
  3. Preheat a skillet and add the Sesame Seed Oil, then cook the Pork Chops for 2-3 minutes per side. I used a “grill” skillet to get grill marks on them. Add a splash of Rice Wine Vinegar to de-glaze the skillet.
  4. Next, you can use a Slow Cooker to slowly cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. At this point, you can add enough Kung Pao sauce to your preference. I am going to “smoke” the Pork Chops for 4 hours in the Smoker/Slow Cooker combo.20200214_234106
  5. Then I will put them in the Slow Cooker and cover with the Kung Pao sauce, Peanuts and Sriracha for 2 hours on low.

** You can also make your own Kung Pao (pao = peanuts) sauce using soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallions and/or dried red peppers. To save money and time, I preferred to use a shortcut by buying pre-made Kung Pao. I have most of those ingredients, but not all of them. So it was cheaper to buy the bottled sauce.

Side Dish: Teriyaki Rice with Stir Fry VegetablesTeriyaki Rice Stir Fry 013

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Teriyaki Rice, recommended: Knorr, 5.4 oz.
  2. Stir Fry Vegetables, frozen, recommended: HyVee, 8 oz.
  3. Chicken Won Ton Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
  4. Chicken Broth, recommended: That’s Smart, 2 ½ cups, divided
  5. Ponzu Citrus Seasoning Dressing & Sauce, recommended: Kikkoman, ¼ to ½ teaspoon, or use lemon or lime juice to add freshness
  6. Soy Sauce, recommended: Great Value, 2 tablespoons
  7. Stir Fry Oil, recommended: Tsang, ½ teaspoonTeriyaki Rice Stir Fry 007
  8. Butter, 2 tablespoons, divided
  9. Chinese Five Spice, recommended Tone’s, ¼ teaspoon
  10. Wonton Strips, recommended: Great Value, as desired
  11. Sriracha Sauce, recommended: Huy Fong Foods, ½ teaspoon
  12. Kung Pao Pork Chops (leftovers, including the peanuts), optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the Stir Fry Vegetables in a separate pot. Melt 1 tablespoon of Butter with Stir Fry Oil and Chinese Five Spice for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of Chicken Broth and bring to a boil. Add the Stir FryTeriyaki Rice Stir Fry 008 Vegetables and bring to a boil. Season with Soy Sauce and a dash of Ponzu Citrus Dressing. Cover and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate pot combine Rice, 2 tablespoons of Butter and 2 Cups of Chicken Broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 7 minutes.
  3. Combine the Chicken Won Ton Soup with the Stir Fry Vegetables and then combine both pots together.
  4. Thinly slice the Kung Pao Pork Chops (or other meat, or keep it meatless). I warmed up the Pork Chops slices for a few minutes and then added the Rice/Vegetable mixture. Heated together for a few minutes.Kung Pao Pork Chops 033
  5. I dressed this All-in-one Bowl with Sriracha Sauce and crunchy Wonton Strips.

Since I have 4 Pork Chops, that will be 4 dinners made in advance. Then combine them with the Rice and Vegetables for the rest of the week.

It was delish and something different for a change. I usually have Salad as my side dish for 4 days out of the week. The Stir Fry Vegetables and Rice will be a great substitute, to get veggies and fiber into my diet on non-salad days.

 

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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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)Teriyaki Rice Stir Fry 014

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Taco Turkey Rotel

I was in the mood for some Mexican flavors. Being the cheap person that I am, I purchased the GroundRotel 045 Turkey and Ground Turkey Italian Sausage, instead of Ground Beef and Pork Italian Sausage.

The ingredients are similar to my post on August 3, 2019. However, it seems like this was a lot easier to cook. Less ingredients and less steps = Less Work!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Turkey, recommended: Festive, 1.0 lbs
  2. Ground Turkey Italian Sausage, recommended: Festive, 1.0 lbsRotel 005
  3. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 oz.
  4. Taco Seasoning, recommended: Williams, 2.5 oz (2 packages)
  5. Fiery Tasty Seasoning Mix, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz.
  6. Hot Diced Tomatoes with Habaneros, recommended: Rotel, 10 oz.
  7. Petite Diced Tomatoes, Petite with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, Two 14.5 oz. cans
  8. Cheese Pasteurized Mexican with Jalapeno, recommended: Velveeta, 32 oz.Rotel 013
  9. Salsa Verde (or Cool Ranch) Tortilla Chips, recommended: Doritos, 5 to 7 per person or more
  10. Seasoning Blend, frozen with onions, celery, red peppers, green peppers, and parsley flakes, recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  11. Jalapeno peppers, diced, recommended: Great Value, 4 oz.
  12. Cola or soda to thin out, to your preference, recommended: Coca Cola, ½ to 1 cup
  13. Avocado, diced, suggested: Haas, 1 Jumbo
  14. Sour Cream, recommended: Daisy, a dollopRotel 009
  15. Slow Cooker Liner, recommended: Reynolds Kitchens, 1 Regular Size (fits 3 – 8 quarts)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Freeze the Velveeta Cheese for 30 minutes (the foil only, not the box).
  2. Combine Ground Turkey, Italian Ground Turkey and Pork Chorizo in the same skillet that you will cook it in. No extra bowl to clean – Woot! I turned it 10 minutes, 10 minutes, then 5 minutes, so it was brown, about the same time as the freezer cheese.Rotel 017
  3. Put the slow cooker liner in the crock pot and to that add the Hot Diced Tomatoes by Rotel
  4. Cut the cheese into 8 pieces (I cut through the foil) and top the tomatoes with the cheese chunks. I added about a half cup of Cola on top of the cheese chunks.
  5. Drain the meat grease; I used the empty Rotel can to dispose of the grease.
  6. Add the Williams Taco Seasoning on top of the cheese chunks
  7. Add the drained meat on top of the Taco seasoning
  8. Add the frozen Seasoning Blend (onions, peppers, etc.) on top of the meatRotel 028
  9. Add the Fiery Tasty Seasoning on top of the onions
  10. Add 2 cans of Petite Diced Tomatoes on top.
  11. Cook on low for 4 hours; stir to combine after 2 hours. At this point, you can add additional Cola, depending on your thickness preference. I used about 1 cup.
  12. After 4 hours, add the can of diced Jalapeno Peppers. I like it hot, so I included the juice. Combine and stir.
  13. I diced the Avocado and placed it on top.
  14. I crushed some Dorito Tortilla chips and put that on the top.
  15. Then I added a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream.
  16. Top with Sour Cream dollop and enjoy with Doritos Salsa Verde or Ranch!Rotel 032

I haven’t had Rotel in quite some time. And this was so good; I could not stop eating it. I hope that you will give this cooking method or cooking suggestions a try. Enjoy!

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)Rotel 049

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Broccoli Ham Mac & Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 069I was planning my meals and had some Rye bread, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese and mustard for a sandwich. With that, I had the makings of either Mac & Cheese or Broccoli with cheese for the side dish.

But my cat said otherwise. I forgot that I left the Rye bread on the counter. The cat tore into it and so I had to throw it away.

So now what could I do? Why not combine the remaining ingredients into a casserole?

This is even better. Now I have an All-in-One bowl that includes everything but the bread.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 065

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Broccoli Florets, frozen and steamable, recommended: Great Value, two 12 oz. bags
  2. Black Forest Ham slices, recommended: Great Value, 8 oz.
  3. Cubed Ham, recommended: Farmland, 16 oz.
  4. Elbow Macaroni, large, recommended: American Beauty, 16 oz.
  5. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, block, recommended: Great Value, 32 oz.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 007
  6. Baby Swiss Cheese, recommended: Sargento, 9 slices
  7. Seasoning Blend with celery, yellow onion, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, parsley flakes: recommended: Great Value, 10 oz.
  8. Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ¾ quart
  9. Eggs, jumbo, 2
  10. Butter, 3 tablespoons, divided
  11. Panko Bread Crumbs, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  12. Black Truffle Oil, recommended: Roland ¼ teaspoon
  13. Truffle Zest, recommended: Sabatino, ¼ teaspoon
  14. Porcini Mushroom Rub, recommended: Manitou, ¾ teaspoons, dividedBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 024
  15. Ground Mustard, recommended: Tones, ¼ teaspoon
  16. Ham flavored concentrate, recommended: Goya, 1 packet
  17. Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
  18. Broccoli Cheese Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
  19. Dijon Mustard, recommended: Grey Poupon, 2 teaspoons
  20. Parmesan Cheese blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 tablespoons
  21. Granulated Garlic, recommended: HyVee, 1 tablespoon
  22. Parsley Flakes, recommended: Spice World, 1 tablespoonBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 041
  23. Cornstarch, 1 teaspoon
  24. Oven Bag, recommended: Reynolds Kitchen, 1 Turkey size
  25. Aluminum Foil Sheets, recommended: Reynolds Wrap, 1 to 2

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the Cheese block into 8 pieces and freeze 30 minutes before shredding with a food processor (or use pre-shredded cheese). Put the cheese chunks into a gallon bag with the cornstarch (or flour) to keepBroccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 046 it from sticking. Also freeze the Black Forest Ham package.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of Butter with the Truffle Oil. To that add the Truffle Zest, Porcini Mushroom Rub ¼ teaspoon and Ground Mustard for 1-2 minutes in a large stock pot.
  3. Add water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the Macaroni and Ham concentrate packet and boil for 8 minutes. Add the Seasoning Blend and boil an additional 3 to 4 minutes and then drain.
  5. Whisk the Eggs in a large bowl. Add the Buttermilk, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup and Dijon Mustard.
  6. Brown the Ham Cubes in a skillet and set aside.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 006
  7. Zap the Steamable frozen Broccoli in the microwave for a few minutes, according to the package. Also, microwave the Black Forest Ham for a few minutes, since it was frozen.
  8. Combine the Macaroni, Broccoli, Ham Cubes and Shredded Cheese into the large bowl with the Egg mixture.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Cut the oven bag, so that it fits into a casserole baking pan.
  11. The first layer is 1 bag of steamed Broccoli. Top with ¼ of the Porcini Mushroom Rub.
  12. The next layer is 1/3 of cheese.
  13. The next layer is the Macaroni mixture.Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 014
  14. Layer half of the Macaroni mixture.
  15. Top with half of the Ham slices (cut into bite-size pieces) and top with 4 Swiss Cheese slices.
  16. Repeat the layers, ending with the 5 Swiss Cheese slices.
  17. Cover with foil sheets and bake for 30 minutes.
  18. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of Butter and combine with the Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese Blend, Parsley Flakes and Granulated Garlic for the final topping.
  19. Bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes.
  20. Remove and rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy your “makeshift” Ham and Cheese sandwich!

Take that kitty cat!Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 064

Cooking shows always recommend shredding cheese from a block. And doing that made a big difference in the taste. I love me some “block” cheese. It did have a “sharper” cheddar flavor, compared to using pre-shredded cheese or Velveeta.

But it was way more work, than opening a package of pre-shredded cheese. I had cheese everywhere on my counter, LOL.

But eating the leftover cheese bites, was quite the treat.

Broccoli Ham Mac and Cheese 070The end result was so yummy! This “de-constructed” Macaroni & Cheese was packed with Ham and Cheese flavors.

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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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!

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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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

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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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

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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