Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
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What to do with Mac n Cheese on a budget.

The Wife wanted to give the title for today's blog, "What to do with Mac n Cheese on a budget" I have allowed her to influence that decision today. With the second bite of lunch in her mouth she had today's title spoken.

Now for the rest of the story, Mac n Cheese was an accompaniment to last night awesome chicken breast dinner. This afternoon I sauteed shaved bacon with Fresh diced White onion. I small diced polish sausage and added in the remaining Mac n Cheese from last night. I finished off the Pasta creation with SamM salsa.The oven was heated up to 350 F.I sliced 1/4 inch slices of bread from a Fresh baked Italian loaf.Spread with butter and Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven for 10 minutes. I placed the current SamM salsa on each heated piece of bread.It was a very tasty and mouth watering addition to our meal. No desert today. The sweetness from the SamM salsa was most satisfying.

 

 
 

A late night Snack becomes Dinner

I failed to share a story yesterday because it came about at 10:30 pm. I was craving a late night snack and decided around 10pm I was going to build a Tuna Fish sandwich. Down to the pantry I went. Opened a can of Tuna mixed in Hellmann's Mayo and spread it on two thick slices of Hearty Italian bread.The bread was spread with the last of my Fresh Guacamole made from the Farmer's Market Avocados and SamM salsa {diced Roma tomatoes and White onions marinating in Rice vinegar Balsamic style} I finished off my creation with plenty of SamM salsa. And cut it into threes.

Upon consuming my sandwich near the Wife, I heard " I smell Tuna" "Oh! can I have a bite?" I gave up the last section of sandwich. Originally when I went hunting for a late nite snack she was munching on Potato stix. I refer to any snacks like that as diverticulosis snax. Why you ask? Because my brother had Diverticulosis from eating too many of those type of processed snacks.

Now for the rest of the story. I asked,"Do I need to make another sandwich ?" Her response was,"Yes, Pllleease" Back to the pantry, this time for the larger Starkist can.I did remember to ask,"Do I change any part of the recipe ?" Her response was, "More Miracle Whip" She did not know that meant a product change. No Hellmann's , Miracle Whip instead. I obliged and also switched to German Dark Wheat bread. This time I made two sandwiches cut into sixes and added sliced pickles on the side. Brought  drinks, Offered ice cream for dessert. We had ourselves a full blown meal. Laid awake til midnight and fell asleep while watching Hawaii five-O , taped on the DVR.

 

Tonight's meal made with Chicken Breast marinated in Dill juice will be repeated soon. As she cleaned up her plate, the Wife said " This was good" Tapping her fork on the plate, She said," You need to make this again" I will before I use up all the Chicken breast.



 
 

Another worthy Omelette constructed

Today I rushed away from home only to return at 1pm famished. The wife is starting a kitchen remodeling project. She wants to take down the fur-down above the cabinets. I am told our kitchen is dated. When I prepare meals for us I do not believe a modern kitchen will change how our food will taste. But then I do not watch all those home improvement shows that may dictate otherwise.

Anyway I cleared space at the stove stop. Cleaned away the construction debris and stated, " I will not be involved with this project until I feed my soul" The wife was also hungry so she agreed to wait for my help until after we ate. I sliced 1/4 quarter of a Fresh White onion, 1 Early Red Bell pepper placed them in a hot saute pan with Canola oil. The protein that we agreed on was Polish sausage that I julienned and stirred in. After a few seconds I had six Eggs whipped ready to add. When the eggs were done on the bottom I flipped them like an experienced breakfast cook. Once on their flipside I sprinkled shredded Colby Jack cheese  on my creation and placed a lid on the pan.

Now, for the finishing touches. Twice toasted thick sliced Hearty Italian bread. Topped the omelette with the current SamM salsa. The wife was very complimentary as I entered the living room. Polish sausage was her suggestion for this perfect meal. I am pleased with how the twice toasted Hearty Italian bread tasted.

And ,Yes I was committed to helping bring down the fur-down. Tomorrow will tell if I did too much. I will call in the experts before tackling the ceiling light above the sink, or the AC duct and oven vent pipe above the stove. The food will taste the same coming out of Fred's under-construction kitchen.

 

 


 
 

Lable the event Potluck; Pasta will prevail

 I was sent a hoax concerning a facebook charge for my account on facebook. This hoax has been circulating since 2009. Part of the report on Snopes.com makes mention to the fact your personal info may be hacked if you follow the steps to avoid facebook charges. Please disreguard and read the snopes report.

http://www.snopes.com/computer/facebook/fbcharge.asp

Read the statements. Scroll down to the origin. And stay safe.

And now a lesson for when the call for Potluck is given

 Those of us who attended Family Group tonight at the Pastor's house were told to bring a dish to pass for potluck. Every dish offered, except three,had pasta. I used the extra meat sauce from My Big Fat Greek meal. Added spaghetti noodles plus shredded colby and mozzarella cheese. Baked it for 20 min. at 350 F. finishing it with SamM salsa on top. With so many pasta dishes the parents gave their children a choice of Lasagna or spaghetti. The Lasagna won out tonight along with another Butterfly pasta dish that had cream and Pesto mixed into it.The rest of us took home 90% of what we brought. All the bread whether garlic or otherwise also was eaten.

Lesson learned. When the call for potluck is given. Bring fruit, Fruit salad or an accompaniment to pasta dishes.

 

 

 

 
 

Mandolin Manny makes for a delightful visit to Market

Today's market was filled with the sounds of Manny Lewis on the Mandolin.The sounds permeated from the Fine Furniture vendor booth. I have always enjoyed my trips through Jeff's booth admiring his Wall clocks and Weather stations.He told me today he uses Mesquite from South Texas. "They have larger trees in southern Texas as opposed to West Texas" Jeff explained. The item I miss the most at his booth was a bowl finely crafted out of a tree burrow. He sold it and now he must search for the next near perfect piece.

Which brings me to the near perfect sandwich I created when I arrived home from market. On Wednesday I picked up a 3# loaf of hearty bread. I thinly sliced two pieces for a perfect end to a summer lunch. To the bread I applied Fresh Guacamole and then added refried beans. Fresh sliced garden Tomatoes were next. Plus, just picked Watercress was used in place of any lettuce. The wife added Thick bologna to her sandwich and I finished off the Spam. We both truly enjoyed my creations. Because we both picked our own lunch meat.

It wasn't until two days ago that I realized the refried beans and the Hearty bread were a great match. I did add the current SamM salsa to the beans as a flavor enhancer. I am convinced this helped to sell me on the bread and bean spread combination.

Mandolin Manny I hope I am honored to hear you play on another 80 F day at Conroe Market

 


 
 

My Big FAT Greek meal.

Foodography or Diners, Drive-ins and Dives one of the two programs gave me inspiration for tonight's meal. As I was watching a segment on Greece and Greek cuisine the Chef made reference to," Cinnamon and allspice is used as  seasonings for all of our foods" They then proceeded to make Moussaka using only those spices to create the dish.The Chef explained," Moussaka is a very simple dish, Line the bottom of a casserole dish with sliced Fresh eggplant, add cooked ground meat seasoned with cinnamon and allspice, and top off with shredded mozzarella. Finally, Bake at 450 F for 20 min."

I took that advice and expanded on it for my dish of Moussaka. The most important advice I will try; will be the seasonings. Before assembling my casserole I browned 1/2 lb. ground beef.Crushed in four Garden fresh tomatoes. And seasoned with Tbsp ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp of cloves. It is important to understand I had to fabricate Allspice. True Allspice comes from an Evergreen tree. Here's a definition from the Culinary Cafe website:

General Description
Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of Pimenta dioica, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. After drying, the berries are small, dark brown balls just a little larger than peppercorns.

Taste and Aroma
Allspice is pungent and fragrant. It is not a blend of "all spices," but its taste and aroma remind many people of a mix of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Once I had this seasoned meat ready it was time for the wife to do a taste test. I tried it on her and she found it favorable. I was ready to move forward. I followed a similar recipe from earlier this week that did not go over real well. I was convinced tonight's would work because she gave the seasoned meat a thumbs up.On the bottom of the casserole I placed peeled sliced eggplant that had been dredged in ranch dressing and cracker meal before frying. To the seasoned meat and tomatoes I added rice pilaf left from a meal earlier this week. I used this as the body of the casserole. Finally I topped the casserole with shredded mozzarella and baked at 450F for 20 minutes. This Moussaka was a winner.

The Allspice/Cinnamon Greek seasoning was the key to the success of My Big Fat Greek Meal.

 

 


 
 

Guacamole, Guajillo and Pasta Tailgate Party

Today's meals were on the go. I returned home to The N. Texas vs Alabama football game re-broadcast from last Saturday. I had it recorded so I needed Tailgate food for this evening.

I brought home a large 4 pound loaf of Sourdough. Sliced off the end and started dipping it in the current samM salsa.If you remember the current recipe for the salsa you now know why I drowned the Tomatoes and Peppers in so much vinegar. I added three times the normal Rice vinegar Balsamic style in anticipation of this meal. I also was bad and went with the wife's favorite appetizer Pizza Rolls combination flavor. My entree for tonight had Macaroni pasta. Green peas, Fresh Guajillo peppers, Tomato sauce, 5-cheese blend, SamM salsa and Fresh Avocado.

It was a re-heat from a pasta dish a few nights ago. But I also changed the flavor profile by adding chilli and beans. And this time the wife loved it. Her only comment was "This is the pasta dish you added dill pickle brine to." I admitted yes, then found she enjoyed it much better tonight. With the added chilli it was not as sour. I always wait until she figures out that I am trying to re-sell a former meal to her. Done it for 20 years; will do it for the next 20 years.

The wife and I know the young man that sits in the broadcast booth and assists with the games re-play action. I could not get the game on Saturday in our current sports package so I had to tape a midweek replay. Spent time on the phone with the young man and he talked me through his part in the broadcast. All about the game tonight.

 

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SamM salsa and Pork with thin Mustard

This evening was the most awesome Pork meal I have created in a long while. After 45 minutes at 450 F I created a meal that brought me to tears. The wife was almost as ecstatic. 

She and I had the Green beans sauteed in Bacon and the Pork loin baked with sliced Fresh Bell peppers and Roma tomato. Plus she wanted Raman noodles for her starch. I went in a different direction with my starch. I took last night's Mac n cheese with Gaujillo peppers and placed SamM salsa on top. The current Fresh salsa has 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 Green Bell pepper and enough Rice vinegar Balsamic style to cover the vegetables marinating in the fridge.

I am excited about the perfectly baked Pork because I did not need a knife to cut it. My fork pushed right through it. One more reason why it was so mouth watering tender. I marinated it for 4 hours in dill pickle brine and thin yellow mustard. To make thin yellow mustard you wait until your fancy mustard is down to the last few squirts. Open the bottle and add in 3 times the water. Shake the bottle real hard with the cap back on and Vwah la You have mustard to help season food.

 
 

Hell's Kitchen Finale and my inspiration

Hell's Kitchen finale set the precedence over what I created tonight for dinner. I knew earlier today I would be using breaded sliced Fresh Eggplant. I began breakfast by experimenting with peeling, slicing and marinating the Fresh eggplant in Dill pickle brine. Three hours later I was placing sliced Eggplant in Ranch dressing and breading it with Herbed bread, Fresh Thyme and Parmesan cheese ground in the food processor. I then took the breaded Eggplant and fried it in hot Canola oil. The base for tonight's dinner had been discovered.

When it was time for dinner I placed the 9x9 casserole pan with oil in a 375 F oven for 20 min. I pulled out the hot pan and placed breaded Fresh Eggplant on the bottom. I then layered Ground meat, Tomato sauce, Pasta and White cheese. Topped it all with Parmesan Cheese before baking for 30 more minutes.

The wife said she would eat this dinner again only if I did not offer her another Pasta choice.I was creating what was in my mind. Something that I believed in; Like Paul in tonight's finale. When Gordon Ramsey told Paul he did not feel Paul's menu lived up to being good enough for BLT in New York, Paul regrouped and made it a winner. Sometimes a Chef needs to rely on past experiences marrying flavors he knows should work. And not being afraid to keep trying. I have one more eggplant and I will make a winner before the week is out.

 
 

No meals today; Just advice for the cook

7 Kitchen Tricks You Should Know

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Ironically, many of the following tricks for fixing common kitchen dilemmas aren’t widely known. But tuck them in your proverbial apron and you’ll have a far easier time resolving the following problems next time you face them:

1. How to Open Stubborn Pistachios
Pistachios are way too expensive to waste. Yet many of the delicious roasted nuts arrived in shells with little to no opening. Rather than attempting to bite them open or ruin your nails in a struggle you can’t win, next time try this foolproof method for opening stubborn shells: Take one half of a shell, stick it into even the littlest opening of an unopened pistachio, and turn the shell half like a key. The pistachio will pop right open!


2.
How to Easily Remove Egg Shells Dropped into Eggs


It happens to all of us: You crack open an egg and a tiny piece of its shell falls into the bowl along with the raw egg. If you’ve tried to get it out with your finger or a spoon, you know the slippery dilemma you face. Next time, wet your finger with water before attempting to fish it out. You’ll be shocked at how easily it can be grabbed and eliminated.

3. How to Make Burnt Pots Look New Again
Considering how much a nice set of pots and pans costs, you’d expect them to be easy to clean. But even the best stainless steel cooking gear gets black with use and cooked-on remnants.  If you’ve attempted to scrub them clean you have probably succumbed to the notion that they will never glisten again. But, if you spray pots with oven cleaner and leave them for a couple of hours the grime will wipe right off! Likewise stainless kettles.


Gadgets That Make Cooking More Fun

4. How to Refresh Crystallized Honey


You know that jar or bottle of honey that’s hardened and crystallized on your shelf?  It can easily be brought back to its easy-to-pour glory if you let it sit for 15 minutes in boiling water that has cooled for five minutes.


5. How to Soften Hardened Brown Sugar
Brown sugar hardens as its moisture evaporates over time in the cupboard. But you can easily re-moisturize it by placing the open sugar bag in a microwave with a cup of water next to it and zapping it on high for three minutes. Or you can place the sugar in a bowl, cover the sugar with a double layer of wet paper towels, and then cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap and let it stand overnight.


6. How to Remove Stains from Wooden Cutting Boards
Can rings and wine and strawberries stains don’t help the style of your cutting board. To get out stains, try sprinkling the board with salt rubbing it with lemon. For more stubborn stains, try an abrasive antibacterial kitchen cleaner and scouring pad. For the toughest, reach for sandpaper! And of course wash thoroughly afterward!

Beautiful Clocks for Every Room

7. How to Salvage Overripe Fruit


Fruit is expensive, yet it goes bad so quickly and easily. But you don’t need to toss your bruised or overripe bananas, peaches, or strawberries. The minute you see your fruit going bad, wash it, slice it, peel it (in the case of bananas) and freeze it in sealable bags. Then you have instant smoothie or pie makings anytime!

 
 

Pepper Staek or Beef Stew to finish slow cooked Beef roast

As I came home from Market today I was bewildered about whether to make Pepper Steak or or Beef Stew with 16oz.of Slow roasted Beef. The wife did not care, So I decided on Pepper Steak:

16 oz. cooked Beef diced 1/2 inch

Brown in frying pan. Add

1  Fresh Bell pepper, 1 Fresh Tomato, 1/2 an Apple. Granny Smith or whatever variety is available.When the Tomato sizzles, Add

Liquid, I used veg. juice from the fridge. Add

1 Cup sugar, 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar and Black pepper to taste.

Simmer for 5 minutes, Add more liquid if necessary to retain 1 cup for thickening into a sauce. Thicken with whitewash or cornstarch. I used white wash { 1 oz. Wheat flour and 2oz water}

This evening the wife had her meal over rice . I had mine over Raman Noodles.When I returned with my meal the wife was full of Praise.I bring her the first meal and then I return to the kitchen to jazz up my meal the way I want mine.That avoids the issue of me letting her pick and hoping she will not pick the version I really want.

We settled into an evening of Rolltide Football. We know the young man that handles the Replay in the broadcast booth.Bama beat North Texas 41 to Zipp/ Zero/ Nada.

The No. 2 Ranked Alabama Football Defeats North Texas, 41-0

 
 

As we wait for Slow Food USA event; I BBQ'd Monday's roast

Tomorrow morning Chef Michael Fleshner's Slow Food USA event kicks off at the Conroe Farmer's Market. Tonight I retrieved my slow roast of Beef from the fridge and used J.Porter's BBQ sauce from last week's cater to make an exceptional meal. It started by adding water to a small pan and adding in 1 inch diced potatoes. When the potatoes were cooked I shaved off 8oz. of Beef from my roast into the pan. Next came 3oz. of BBQ sauce and 1oz. of my current SamM salsa {Fresh diced Tomatoes, Spanish onions, Rice vinegar Balsamic style,diced Bell peppers, diced peaches and crushed Kiwi} I then placed an OROweat sandwich thin on a plate. Poured the hot mixture on the OROWeat. And topped my creation with ranch-style Guacamole.

Ranch Style Guacamole:

1        ripe Avocado, skin and pit removed

2oz.    SamM salsa, whatever the current version is

1oz      Ranch dressing

 1         Bell pepper, roasted if available

1/2       Fresh Lemon, squeezed

Place all in a small food processor { $15 dollars at Walmart} and blend till creamy. When I found this food processor at Wally World a few months ago it has turned out to be an exceptional kitchen gadget for preparing delicious sauces/ dressings for the wife and I.

Well tomorrow I will visit market in search of mouth watering fruits and veggies to create yet another Slow roasted meal. Chef Michael encourages you to check facebook's  Conroe Saturday am Market in the next few days for photos from the event.

HAPPY EATING and ROASTING  !!

 

 
 

Slow Food USA $5 dollar Challenge

Chef Michael Fleshner sent an E-Mail to me today about an Event happening at Conroe's Farmer's Market; Called the $5 Dollar Challenge. The idea is, We are to take back the fast food industry's perception that they are the only places to go to feed a person for $5 dollars. Find an event in your zip code where they are holding the $ 5 dollar challenge on Saturday Sept. 17, 2011. This is supposed to be advertised nationally on TV programs like 'Good Morning America'. According to Chef Michael the event in the 77301 area will happen at Conroe's Saturday am Market 8am - 1pm.

His idea for making the event work in our area is to have folks visit and purchase a container of Fresh Vegetables for $3-$4 dollars. Go to your local Grocery store and pick up a roast for $8 dollars. The Roast will feed 4-8 family members. Grocery stores in our area drastically reduce their prices around 2pm on Saturdays because they do not want to count  this product in their Sunday night inventories. $8 dollars for Roast plus $4 dollars for roasting veggies plus 4$ dollars for misc. items to complete the meal is $ 16 dollars. Divide $16 dollars by 4 family members and you come in at under $5 dollars per family member.

Chef Michael saw a blog I posted earlier this week about slow roasting a Beef roast for the wife and he was right I spent less than $10 dollars for the wife and I. It took me 5 hours to slow roast that wonderful meal. Tonight I am slowly re-heating the Stuff green peppers. I imagine tonight's meal that I started yesterday and am slowly bringing up to temperature will also qualify.

I have proudly met the challenge. I encourage all of my readers to do the same. And comment about how you achieved it. Google: Slow food USA $5 dollar Challenge if you desire more info.Or try the link below

https://secure3.convio.net/sfusa/site/SPageServer?pagename=5Challenge_Home

 


 
 

Texas Ranch-style Stuffed Green peppers

The news in Texas is showing the before and after pictures of forests and ranches blackened by wild fires. Tonight I am going to share my recipe for ranch-style Stuffed Green peppers. Many Bell peppers were picked up at Saturday am Market this past Saturday in downtown Conroe.

To start I halved 3 Fresh green peppers removing the stem and seeds and placed them in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of fridge veg juice . I always search my fridge for left over veg  juice before turning on the water faucet. For the meat filling I started with 1/2 lb. ground beef, 2 C of cooked rice, 1 C Ranch dressing,1/2 C of sliced Spanish onion chopped and a mix of minced mini Bell peppers. After mixing all this up I stuffed the pepper halves and let them sit covered in the fridge for several hours. I located a thick Tomato based sauce in my fridge that I poured over the peppers before baking them for 40 min. at 350 F.

Stuffed Green peppers is one of those entrees that taste better the next day. Over the next few days I will share how they turned out. In the meantime, the wife decided to try the Blueberry Banana Nut bread late last night. And she asked for it again for breakfast this morning. I sliced a square; serving open faced for her. Microwaved for 40 sec. and placed Butter patties on them before presenting it to her.Two meals back to back she must have loved it.

 

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Were all safe; So, Let's BBQ!!

The fires in SE Texas that I have been keeping an eye on are 70-85% contained. I believe the worst is over. We survived Labor Day and our Anniversary and the future will be brighter. All extended family and their homes remains safe.

So in light of all this, Let's BBQ!!! Tonight's dinner was BBQ. Beef sandwiches, sliced from last nights roast. Sliced Spanish onions in the pan with hot Canola oil. Thin sliced then 1 inch diced Beef finished with BBq sauce from last week's cater. All on a Sesame seed bun. The diced potatoes from last night were re-heated. Green beans sauteed in shaved Bacon brings us to the finished blue plate especial.

And lest I forget I waited all day to share a slice of homemade Blueberry Banana nut bread with the wife. She was too full so I ate a slice myself. Recipe: Dry ingredients sifted first.

1 C          Whole wheat Flour

 1/2 C       Self rising Flour

1 C           Sugar

1tsp.         Baking powder

Then the wet ingredients are mashed and whipped before combining with dry ingredients.

2              Eggs

2              Bananas

2 oz.        melted Butter

4              diced Walnuts

1/2 C        Blueberries

1 tsp.        Vanilla

With all ingredients blended I placed the dough in a pre-heated 9 x 9 baking dish that had hot Canola oil in it. And baked the bread to a golden brown at 350 F for 30 min. And then it sat to cool for 6 hours while I waited for the opportune moment to share it with the wife. It sits plastic wrapped on the kitchen Island until the next perfect moment tomorrow.

 

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Slow cooked Roast for 5 hours

I looked at the forest fire updates and noticed it still shows the fires missed my nieces apartment in Bastrop TX. by one block to the east. And the fire near Magnolia came up to the southern boundary of the property in Todd Mission TX. where they hold the Texas Renaissance Festival. http://www.texrenfest.com/ The Ren Cen Fest will begin as planned on Oct.8, 2011 according to the official site

Dinner this evening was started at 1pm. 275 F for a 5 pound roast of beef. I placed fresh sliced Spanish onions. Juice from the current SamM salsa {diced Tomato. Spanish onion,Variety of Bell peppers, Star Crimson pears and 1/4 cup Rice vinegar Balsamic style} Red Bell peppers and 2 Tbsp of Rosemary from Penzy's spices, on top. At 4 pm the wife pulled it out of the oven. At 5pm I placed the roast back in the oven after dicing {one inch cubes} of the Large bake potato and tossing them in the pan juices.The oven temp. was raised to 350F.

As is often the case the wife and I ate our dinner finished two different ways. For the wife, I thinly sliced 2 pieces of m.well beef placed them in a bowl with the oven browned potatoes . Poured pan juice on everything and cut a OROWeat sandwich thin in half for her. For myself I created a sandwich with the OROWeat thins. Two slices of Beef, Blue cheese dressing , SamM salsa and on the second sandwich I sprinkled Parmesan cheese. I also had the Oven brown potatoes. For dessert we finished the hot Banana pie with Chocolate swirl Ice cream, Chocolate topping and the fruit compote from our Anniversary Dinner.

 


 



 
 

Ten years after our 18th Wedding Anniversary

Ten years ago the wife and I woke up to America being attacked.  We were frightened for our family's future. Today I can say," We are O K !" The weather in Conroe was a perfect 75 F degrees and no wind. We arrived at market and visited with Jeff from Jeff's Fine Furniture to learn about his weather station clocks made on mesquite.Saw Scott with Scott Miller Photography and asked about fire fighting photos. Tammy from Scentsy had a story about the wild fires reaching to within a mile of her home. 

When we made it to Pat from from Peas Farm we were ready to buy produce. I picked up one Avocado , one Large potato, Tomato and several Green peppers. I also found Pears, Peaches, Plums, Kiwi and 30 Bananas. Dinner at my house this week will be an Adventure.

I am going to start with our Anniversary dinner. I baked a steak in a 400F degree oven for 45 min. that had Oregano, Sage , Rosemary, Black pepper and Tomato sauce on it. I topped off the steak with sliced Spanish onions. I took the Large baked potato cut it lengthwise. I cut crisscross marks in the flesh so it would bake in 30 min. Added sea salt and oil then added frozen butter slices into the crevices when I retrieved it from the oven. Boiling Broccoli crowns in veggy water from the fridge was the easy item. The wife was full of compliments when she handed me her empty plate with the usual potato skin on it.

Now time for dessert. I pre-baked a pie crust in a 9 x 12 cake pan that I made from a package. For the filling I sliced 20 Bananas into 1/2 moon slices. Mixed in 1 can of evaporated milk ,1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 cup of  melted Chocolate swirl ice cream, plus 2 eggs. I poured the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and topped it with two packages of instant Oatmeal that had been mixed with 1/2 stick of melted butter and 2 Tbsp. of powdered sugar. I then finished baking this for 20 min. at 450 F. When it was time to serve I placed the hot Banana pie in the bowl and added Chocolate swirl Ice cream topped fresh fruit compote. { Diced bananas peaches, pears and grape jelly}

I challenge you to find a romantic restaurant that will have on the menu all of the items that please my wife to a tee.

 
 

Roasted Pork Loin on the PIt with Farm Fresh veggies

Tonight Chef Michael and I did a cater for the Conroe Art League. We had Roasted Pork Loin done overnight on the Pit by John Porter resident artist at Thomas Kinkade Gallery on Main street. Using Oak for the smoke. We served it as room temp. sandwiches on OROWEAT Sandwich Thins.Our attendees to the event squirted on our homemade BBQ sauce. And had the option of adding Fresh sliced Spanish Onions or sliced Dill pickle chips. The compliments were flying all around the Owen Theater and Pocket Park in downtown Conroe tonight. 

When I returned home from the event that is when the wife and I ate. Her version of the sandwich was OROWEAT, two slices of pan fried Pork, BBQ sauce and Hellmann's mayo. With dill pickle chips on the side. I used OROWEAT with Guacamole spread on it. Sauteed Onion and two slices of Pork. I then added 1/4 cup Apple soda to the pan and reduced the liquid before pouring it on my Sandwich thin. I used my current SamM salsa as a side condiment. I ate 2 sandwiches and had to rest before writing this blog tonight. Bringing home leftover from catering jobs and re-inventing them adds excitement to my life.

 

 

 
 

It is time to free the fridge of Labor Day cuisine.

Today was doctoring up left overs from Labor Day menus.I started at lunch with the Wheat bun hotdogs where I added Guacamole to the bun. Fresh potato salad from the Large baked potatoes was created using Hellmann's mayo and French's yellow mustard. For dinner I ressurected the Apple soda marinated Pork ribs baking them at 350 F for 20 min. in a dish with 6 oz. of carbonated soda pop. We also finished the potato salad and I opened a can of corn that I sauteed with bacon and finished with the juice from the re-heated ribs. The wife was full with only half her plate consumed, leaving no corn.

We will always remember these first Labor day Festivities. With no children. Only my parents and brother with his wife at Canyon Lake. No trips to the marina for a picnic on the water. Only to check to see how far the wild fire spread. And then finding our way back to Houston driving around fires and through dense smoke that burned our lungs. My brother's daughter does not know the condition of her apartment in Bastrop TX.They have not allowed her back in so she stays sequestered at Canyon Lake where she took refuge yesterday. My own daughter is safe along I-45 south of Conroe. And the wife and  continue to monitor our area for smokeless skies. Y'All stay safe as your young'uns return to school.

 

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Labor Day wild fires and BBQ's in Central Texas

Today was a unique day coming home from our pleasant Day at the Lake. We had to re-route ourselves around 16,000 acres of Texas State Park burning near Bastrop TX. The wife and I chose a southern route via I-10 between San Antonio and Houston. As we passed mile marker 640 we were in a 15 mile stretch of highway of dense eye burning smoke. I could see the patches of black grass along the interstate and the smoke billowing from 2 Bastrop fires 60 miles to the north. Before we left Canyon Lake there were fires down by the marina at the lake. And after getting past the Bastrop fires there was another fire along the interstate. And a fire near Conroe along I-45. Even though we did not BBQ out doors this weekend for safety reasons. The wife and I smelled like we had been doing it all weekend when we arrived home this afternoon.  Now that we are at home I have picked up the necessary ingredients for SamM salsa. And I added Bell peppers and diced Peaches to the basic recipe. The wife's Roasted Rosemary potato salad was a big hit with the extended family. We added Miracal whip and Hellmann's Mayo plus hard boiled eggs to the items I spoke about earlier this week.

It is Tuesday and fires continue to devastate our area. My niece in Bastrop had to flee her apartment today. In a few days we may find out if the fires missed her complex. Last night my daughter had a wild fire about 5 miles from her apartment. The wife and I were on alert last night.With all the excitement around here I managed to make Guacamole from the Avocado I picked up at market on Saturday. After blending the ripe avocado meat in the food processor with Lemon flesh. I added my current SamM salsa { Tomato , Red onion , Balsamic vinegar, diced Peaches, mixed Bell peppers} Earlier today I purchased 2 one dollar Chicken Sandwiches at McD's. I put 2 TBsp. of Guacamole on each sandwich. The side dish was Rice pilaf and peeled Orange sections. It is two hours since dinner and I am still full.

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