Cooking

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a dish that is super simple and it has very few ingredients.  To make it a complete meal, you can do some garlic cheese bread.  Also, we usually fix a Caesar salad.

Ingredients

Pasta (I used Linguine)

Seasoning mix

3 room temp eggs (reserving 2 ladles of the hot pasta water)

Bacon (reserving 3 Tbsp of bacon grease)

Fresh mushrooms

Garlic

Large onion, sliced

Parmesan

Directions

Cook bacon.  Take out when done and crush.  Add in the garlic, mushrooms, and onion (spinach would be a good add-in as well).  Once the veggies are soft, pull them out.

Crack the 3 room temperature eggs and beat lightly.

Cook noodles in salted water.  Use the hot starchy water to ladle into the bowl with the beaten eggs.  Whisk in slow and fast to keep from cooking the eggs.

Drain the noodles and return back to pot.  Add in 3 Tbsp. bacon grease and the vegetable melody.  Use thongs or something to twirl all that together.  Slowly, add in the egg mixture and twist/mix the entire time.  Once that is all in there, add a lot of parmesan.  Keep on twirling until it is all incorporated.

So freaking good and so easy.

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Garlic Parmesan Chops Soup

Garlic Parmesan Chops Soup
 

Garlic Parmesan Chops Soup

As promised from yesterdays post, this is the Garlic Parmesan Chops Soup that is so good!  Bart was so impressed and the pot was instantly all gone!  So excited to add a new soup.

Ingredients

Pork Chops (I used boneless)

Seasoning

Bacon grease (or oil)

Butter

Seasoning

Parmesan Sauce

2 c. heavy cream

2 c. parmesan

Garlic

Spinach (chopped)

Fresh mushrooms (chopped)

Onion (chopped)

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Addition

Potatoes, washed and cubed (with or without skin)

2 c. cheddar

2 cartons chicken broth (you can make your own or use water and chicken bouillon cubes)

Cream of Mushroom Soup

How to Make

In electric skillet, pour in some bacon grease (or oil) and some butter.  I pounded my chops and then I seasoned them well with my seasoning mix.  Fry them up.  Once done, remove them from the pan.  Again, these were leftovers from last night, so all I did was chop them up into bite size pieces.

In the same skillet the chops were in, place all of the parmesan sauce ingredients in.  Stir until thickened.  This was again, leftovers from the night before.

Soup Process

Get your chicken broth boiling, add some seasoning.  Put in your washed, cubed potatoes and let them boil.  Once they are done, I scooped them out into a bowl, leaving the chicken broth water in the pot.

To that pot, I added the cream of mushroom soup, the parmesan sauce, and cheddar.  I whisked that all into the water to get all the lumps out.  Then, I placed the cubed leftover pork chops and let them simmer in there to warm them up and soften them up.  Once that was done, I added my potatoes back in.

So.  Freaking.  Good.

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Garlic Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce

Garlic Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce

Garlic Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce

Here is another new recipe that is a winner in our family.  Garlic Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce was easy to make and newsflash makes a great soup for the next day.  Be sure and watch for tomorrow’s post where I transform this dish into something my crew loves!

Ingredients

Pork Chops (I used boneless)

Seasoning

Bacon grease (or oil)

Butter

Seasoning

Parmesan Sauce

2 c. heavy cream

2 c. parmesan

Garlic

Spinach (chopped)

Fresh mushrooms (chopped)

Onion (chopped)

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

How to Make

In electric skillet, pour in some bacon grease (or oil) and some butter.  I pounded my chops and then I seasoned them well with my seasoning mix.  Fry them up.  Once done, remove them from the pan.

In the same skillet the chops were in, place all of the parmesan sauce ingredients in.  Stir until thickened.  You can either lay your chops back in there and keep it on low (this will prevent the cheese from burning).  Instead of doing that, you can also serve it up by laying your chop on a plate and scooping out the sauce to pour over.

I doubled the batch so I could do a recipe for the next day transforming this into a soup!

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Lipton Onion Soup Thighs with Rice

Lipton Onion Soup Thighs with Rice

 

Lipton Onion Soup Thighs with Rice

 
Oh, this is a good one too!  Lipton Onion Soup Thighs with Rice is what is for dinner.  The rice was fantastic!  This is another “throw together” kind of recipe.  I had lots of Lipton Onion Soup Mix packets.  Finding creative ways to use them without having a roast.  
 

Ingredients

 
Chicken Thighs
 
2 c. rice
 
2 c. chicken broth
 
1 can cream of chicken
 
1 can cream of mushroom
 
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
 
Garlic Powder
 
Seasoning
 
Shredded Parmesan
 
Panko
 

How to Make Lipton Onion Soup Thighs with Rice

 
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 13×9 dish.  In large bowl, combine the uncooked rice and chicken broth. Next add Lipton Onion Soup Mix, cream of mushroom, and cream of chicken.  Put in the bottom of dish.  On top, place the uncooked chicken.  Sprinkle some garlic over the top, as well as, panko.  Next, throw on some shredded parmesan.  Bake, covered, for an hour.  Uncover and bake for 25 minutes.
 
The rice was excellent!

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Chicken Fajitas and Rice

Chicken Fajitas and Rice

Chicken Fajitas and Rice

So, I took a lot of leftovers and sad looking veggies.  From there, I made Chicken Fajitas and Rice for dinner.  No picture because when I do something new, I think if it sucks, why would I want to document that?  Maybe this will be the year I am inspired to let me good and sucky food shine through photos.

Recipe

Chicken (I used boneless, skinless thighs because it is what I had on hand.)

Seasoning

Fajita mix (I used 3 packets)

Red, orange, and yellow peppers

Onion

Garlic

Queso Fresco

Flour Tortillas

2 c. uncooked rice

2 c. water

Teriyaki Sauce

Extra virgin olive oil (any oil is fine)

Preparations

For the rice, I used my instant pot.  I placed my 2 c. uncooked rice in, then added a packet of fajita mix, a splash of teriyaki sauce, and my seasoning concoction.  Set it and let it go.

I placed my cut up chicken thighs in a bowl and added fresh garlic, seasoning, a fajita mix packet, and lots of teriyaki.  Put the lid on the bowl and shook it up.  Placed it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least an hour (overnight or several hours is better though).

In my electric skillet, I added some extra virgin olive oil.  I sliced up a large onion and all my peppers.  I sauteed them with some seasoning and a few splashes of teriyaki sauce.  Once those were softened, I took them out.

In the same skillet, I cooked my chicken until it was done.  Once that was done, I added the veggies back in and used the other packet of fajita mix.  I turned it on low and covered it until the rice was done.

Serve on the rice or wrap up in a tortilla with some queso fresco sprinkled on top.  It was very good!

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Christmas Baking with my Oak

Christmas Baking with my Oak

Christmas Baking with my Oak

Here we are, getting ready for Christmas THIS WEEK!  Let’s not procrastinate.  So, here is my Christmas Baking with my Oak.  Every year, my Oak comes and bakes with me.  We have done this, faithfully, since I moved out when I was 20.  I am sure we have missed a year or so, but I honestly only remember 1 time that we missed.  So, we have been baking for 29 years.

List of Goodness

We are baking Bobbie Hill’s Nuts & Bolts (yes please and thank you).  This takes the longest as they cook on low for about 2 hrs.  They are SO good and bring me so much joy (and swelling).  Mom always makes (and screws up at least 1 batch) of chocolate and peanut butter fudge.  Crack. I will be making Crack.  It is SO good.  I think we will do some White Trash, Bon Bons, maybe some Oreo balls.  I was going to do Haystacks but forgot to get the noodles.  I have a recipe for a quick chocolate/butterscotch fudge that I may do.  There are other things that we will make, but that is what is coming to my mind.

Delivering the Goodies

We were not able to give the teachers anything because Hunter had a doctor’s appointment that day.  I am going get some cute little containers, wrap up the goodies and deliver them to his teachers.  He will be excited to see them.

My kids eat a lot but we also give away a lot.  This year, I would like to give some to my new neighbors.  I have yet to meet 2 neighbors and I really need to do that.  I’m such a procrastinator.  Actually, not a procrastintor.  Moreso I just don’t want too. I’m really not that friendly and I have massive trust issues.  We have not had a good history with neighbors.  However, the family that we have met are super kind!

Preferences

I actually prefer that NONE of my family be here when we bake.  Selfishly, I just want some alone time with my mom.  However, my kids are out of school and Bart will be home for part of the day.  My bigs got wind that Jojo is coming and now they are making plans to “pop” by.

Seriously people.  I don’t want you here 🙂  Jojo LOVES it when they all show up.  She loves sneaking sweets to the kids when I turn my back.  All I hear are giggles and people scurrying around.  It makes my heart so happy.

These are memories that will forever be embedded in their minds.  I pray that the Lord allows me to bake with my kids (which will happen on Wednesday) and grandkids one day.  I want to pass this tradition on.

I am so excited!

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Shelf-Cooking

Shelf-Cooking

Shelf-Cooking

Here we are, nearing the end of the year and I’m so ready for it!  I want to organize all the things, be a minimalist (my definition of it), get donate in order to live with more peace.  For now, I start with Shelf-Cooking, again.

This is really simple for me because I do not like to waste food.  I can make a casserole out of any leftovers.  Soup is my jam.  I’m creative.  Those things I can say with complete confidence.  I am not a food prepper/hoarder.  We buy what we need and we use it up.  I simply do not have the funds to go and stockpile things like Jordan Page.

Faithful Viewer

I was a faithful viewer of hers but over time, I realized she is not on the same playing field as I am.  Yes, she has 8 children.  Yes, as she states CONSTANTLY, they are “hers” and “biological” and she has “given birth to all” of her children.

Congrats to you.  For some reason, that just rubs me the wrong way.  Why do you have to stipulate how your children came into your family?  I mean regardless, my kids are my kids.  I gave birth to them one way or another.  There is no difference in how they came to my family.

I digress.

She also has like 5 kitchens, 2 nannies, and a husband that stays home with the kids.  She has multiple freezers/fridges and she has an insane storage area of food.  That is simply  not me and not my life.

For the Normal People

We are not big grocery bill spenders.  However, in the past, we did buy a cow and a pig once a year to help with meat costs.  Plus the meat was VERY good, lasted all year (and then some) and we got it at a crazy good deal because it was my granny’s cattle.

That hasn’t been an option for us the last few years, so we have had to add that back into our budget.  There are also times when (like during the holidays) that we have gone overboard in what we have bought.  That isn’t often, but with 7 kids, 2 son-in-laws, and 1.5 grandchildren, we have a lot of birthdays.

I cook for minimum of 5 people a night but we usually have my oldest kids and their crew over or my parents.  There are always a lot of people.  I do think about when it will just be my husband and I.  Like how do you even cook for 2 people.  I’m struggling when I only cook for 5 people.

Take Inventory

I take complete inventory of all things in my small chest freezer, my kitchen freezer, fridge (we only have 1), and my pantry.  I combine what I need to combine.  I write down what we are low on because I will forget.

I get my list, make my list, and then I create.  For every meat I have, I can come up with a meal.  This meal is either a staple (spaghetti, chili, hamburgers, chicken noodle soup, or breakfast) or it is a bit more complicated.

I try and use every thing I have and I only purchase the items that I am completely out of or what I need to complete a meal.  There is, however, that list of things that I’m running low on.  That is a running list for when I do my big shopping.

My Big Shopping

That occurs when I have completed all my list of suppers.  That is when we take the bare minimum of what we have (cream of some kind of soup, veggies that need to be used, 1/2 boxes of this or that) and I create a menu for a week.

Before, I would cook for a month.  Right now, we do not have the freezer space to do that.  So, until we buy another freezer, I will cook for a week.  I have the room for that.  Sometimes, if I have the space, I will cook for 2 weeks.

A lot of things can happen in 2 weeks and a lot of scheduling changes can happen.  I have had to learn to be flexible and move things around.  It isn’t easy for my Type A personality, but it is where I am at.

My Goal

My goal is to have an area that I can have my staple, easy meals on hand.  This is for when I go to hospitals, road trips, extremely busy, or things like that.  These are meals that my husband can easily cook and knows how to cook without me in his ear telling him step by step.  It also will prevent us from eating out…which saves money.

I’m not quite there (lack of space) but will hope to be there in the new year.  For now, I’m cleaning out, organizing, making lists, and preparing for what I hope to be a new habit in the new year.  I’m all about saving money, not wasting food, and creating enough to feed my family.

You will be amazed at what you can create with what you have and how that can save you money at the end of the day.  We are finally at a point where we have more money at the end of the month instead of more month left with no money.

We have come a long long way.

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