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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

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And Mashed Potatoes.


I went old school/lunch lady and served up the potatoes with an ice cream scoop.  It’s the little things, yo.

Here’s the great beginning:


Lean in a little closer and you can tell that those are bread-and-butter pickles.

Now I should tell you that this recipe isn’t filed under healthy cooking.


There’s a red onion in there under that cheddar, so at least there’s a vegetable.

35 minutes at 400 and you’re good to go.


Pay no attention to the fact that it’s swimming in grease.  Nothing to see here.


This is the last Rachael Ray recipe you’ll see around here for a while.  Spring is officially having an effect and it’s time to lighten up.

Eat Well and Savor.




Creamed Corn

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It just doesn’t have a ring, does it?


Creamed corn was one of those things I dreaded as a child.  Probably because it came out of a can.  Hard to believe since we had a whole garden dedicated to corn stalks and my mom used to freeze a ton every year.  Somehow, though, at some point I guess we would run out of the real deal and sure enough that would mean it was time for some deconstructed shepherd’s pie and creamed corn from a can.


Hard to believe something so bright and yellow can come out of that ugly dirty green husk, especially at this time of year.


Thanks to Ellie Krieger and Comfort Food Fix this was incredibly easy to make.  Just thicken some milk with cornstarch, add the corn and simmer for about five minutes.  I used my immersion blender to puree some of it.   It was better than the version from the can.

My mom has a similar version of creamed peas, but with butter, and you don’t actually cream the peas.  That one is up there on my repeat list for sure.

Eat Well and Savor.

Orange and Chocolate Zeppole

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Does this look like a science experiment gone bad?


I’ve said before that presentation is half the battle.  I don’t think that applies in this case, though.  These are basically little doughnuts; they just aren’t round.  I can live with it.

This recipe is from Giada’s Kitchen.  I thought I would mix things up and skip Everyday Italian for today.  GDL recommends mixing the dough for about four minutes until it forms a ball.  I’m quite sure that’s where I went wrong, you know, lacking upper body strength to whisk for four minutes straight and all.


They were still fryable, which is not a word.  I’m here to tell you that just because you add a suffix to an existing word that does not make it an actual word and a mean court reporter might sic you.


Alas, I digress.  They look good on the inside, don’t they.  Let’s just say there weren’t any leftovers.


Dress them up in some Orange Sugar and dip them in Chocolate Sauce.  The sugar is actually the best part.  Especially since there is a lot left and it will go in my coffee for the rest of the week.

Eat Well and Savor.

Cajun-Style Grilled Shrimp

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Here’s the easiest thing you’ll ever make:


Cajun spice from a bottle is all you need.  Well, that and some olive oil and lemon juice.  Personally, I only used half of the recommended amount and it was still way too hot for me.  I ate two and Jake ate the rest.  That’s my new diet tip.

This bright idea came from Christine Avanti and Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad.  While I realize it’s not her fault that I’m a wimp when it comes to spice, I can’t help but notice that this isn’t the first recipe from this book that I didn’t love.  I’m not giving up yet, though.

Eat Well and Savor.


Lord of the Onion Rings

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Let’s say that you made four burgers yesterday and you  have two left.  And then let’s say that you made some onion rings to go with them and there are none left.  A teeny bit of guilt may kick in about eating all those greasy onion rings and leaving your burger naked.  It’s Hungry Girl to the rescue.


Let me warn you about a few things with this recipe, though.  These guys are coated with Fiber One Original.  Personally, I love Fiber One so that’s not a problem.  But they’re also baked in the oven and after 25 minutes  at 375 the onion was a little crunchy and the breading was a little browned.  Maybe that’s not a problem for normal people, but I have onion issues.  I bet there’s a support group out there somewhere for me.


Eat Well and Savor.


Big Beef Burgers

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With Crunchy Sour Cream Onion Rings.


I know you don’t always need such a big close-up, but I’m usually trying to keep you from seeing  my messy kitchen.

Well, obviously there was very little health food to be found in my kitchen this weekend.


This is a Rachael Ray recipe.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think she’s known for low-cal.  In fact, I used to get her magazine when it first came out, before they changed the format to hard-to-read black backgrounds and such.  I remember folks would write in asking for nutrition info and the response would be along the lines of buy low-fat cheese, or something like that.

Anywho — I never say that, but it seems to fit here — I canceled my subscription, but I hung on to a few issues.  When I say a few I mean the first two or three years’ worth.  When I finally went through them and ripped out my faves I realized that the one thing in every issue that I wanted to try was the burger of the month.

Well, short story long, RR has come out with The Book of Burger.  Enough said.


RR doesn’t call for it, but I am a firm believer in everything tastes better on toast.  And, let’s be honest, even more so when it’s slathered in butter before it hits the griddle.


I really have to say that an 8-ounce burger is just too much.  If the rest of the recipes in this book call for it I’m going to have to downsize.  What’s inside you ask?  Just beef and Worcestershire sauce.  And in RR style, a drizzle of EVOO on top.  Personally, I consider that old-school.


Usually, at a restaurant, lettuce is the first thing I pull off of my sandwich.   In this case a little shredded iceberg is the perfect fit.


At this point, just by looking at these, you know this is serious.  RR says to cut these babies an inch thick.  That’s a little too much onion for me.


Next up:  Red Ranch Dressing.  Pretty much buttermilk, sour cream, and ketchup with a few Ranch-like ingredients thrown in.  Yes, that’s debris from dipping my test onion rings.


Needless to say, it was a good day.

Eat Well and Savor.

Spaghetti Sauce with Pork Ribs and Meatballs

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If I were to accept an award for this one I would have to thank Elizabeth Bard’s Grandma Elsie.  You know, I’m starting to think that it would be great to be part of EB’s family.


It all starts off with my favorite:  onions.   I know it’s hard to hear the sarcasm over the Internet, so you should know that onions have become an acquired taste for me over the years.  As I child I spent many extra hours at the table picking them out of my dinner.


Then add some seared country-style pork ribs.


As if that wasn’t enough meat, add some ground beef with dried parsley.


Then add all the tomatoes:  crushed, sauce, and paste.


About now is when you realize that you’ll need a bigger pot.  For the moment, just remember to add some herbs:  bay leaves, Italian seasoning, basil, oregano.   And don’t forget the sugar.


Then it’s time to move on to the meatballs.


Talk about your green eggs.  Move along.  Nothing to see here but ground beef, bread crumbs, and a couple of eggs with parsley, oregano, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and onion flakes.  Onion flakes used to be a staple for me.

Also, I don’t want to give away any Lunch in Paris secrets, but you sprinkle this concoction with ice water . . . it’s supposed to make them fluffy.

Obviously I was overwrought by the meatball-rolling, because this is where the photography ceases.


The sauce simmers for two hours, which gives you plenty of time to make the meatballs and brown them.  At that point I had to transfer some sauce and half the ribs to another pot and then I added some meatballs to each one and they simmered for another 30 to 45 minutes.  Just FYI – the first pot was an 8-quart.  Needless to say, we will be eating a lot of leftovers around here.  I see some meatball sandwiches in my future.

Again, the photography ceased here.  I would love to show you the inside of the meatballs or how tender the pork was, but after three hours of waiting I was a little bit hungry.  Especially since, as usual, I didn’t read the recipe and thought it would be only two hours.  Oops.

Eat Well and Savor.