Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
Exciting ways to use Produce
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First Blog and new SamM salsa

 Today was a day where we had enough leftovers in the fridge to eat all day and not have to prepare anything new. As I reviewed the first blog I wrote two months ago I noticed the recipe for SamM salsa has one changed ingredient. A month ago I found Rice vinegar Balsamic blend in the grocery store for $0.59 cents a bottle. I have a few bottles still in the cupboard and I have grown fond of using this product with the diced Fresh Tomatoes and White onions.

Here is the description of my latest Balsamic vinegar:

The light and tangy taste of Nakano's family of seasoned rice vinegars can add zest and flavor to your favorite meals. And seasoned vinegars are fat free and gluten free! Usage tips: Mix with olive oil as salad dressing; drizzle over strawberries or tomatoes; sprinkle on vegetables. Deposit found in bottles is a natural occurrence and does not deter quality.


Rice Vinegar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Brown Sugar, Diluted with Water to 4% Acidity (40 Grain).


Here is First Blog re-submitted

Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters I have returned to a passion of mine. 'Preparing affordable delicious meals for the two of us.' I shop Conroe Saturday am Market{SamM} looking for the freshest ingredients to please our tastes that have evolved during our child rearing years.

Let me share a few basics that I use regularly when creating our daily menu items.

1) I have learned to use meat first bases instead of salt to flavor our dishes.   {with the newest craze for Sea Salt I do experiment with this product}

2) I scour the grocery stores for the best price on Balsamic vinegar and buy fresh tomatoes, onions and different varieties of peppers from SamM for another flavor enhancer that I create.

 Recipe is as follows: 2cups diced fresh tomatoes

                                  1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

                                   1/4 cup diced onion

                                    {Spanish, red, green, or white onions--you decide}

It is good to experiment and with this mixture I get creative. I may add diced apples,peppers, or Mango. Once I even added burnt bacon.

3) I fry rice , add liquid from containers in the fridge, cook until the liquid is absorbed and save it for a dish later in the week.Normally the rice is purposely undercooked. When the rice is reheated in a dish a few days later it is fully cooked and has full flavor from marinating.

My wife at this time is my only critic.So when she says,"Fabulous meal" I am happy and feel I have accomplished what i set out to do. Make her happy so she can say one day, " I have enjoyed our time together"



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.


SamM salsa a winner again Say la Vie

Coming home this afternoon I could visualize 4 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese in the pantry. S0, I decided one needed to be cooked off. I started with cooking liquid from the fridge. Brought it to a boil and added the macaroni noodles. Thawed out 2 hotdogs under running water and 1/2 inch sliced them into the hot pasta. Opened the cheese packet into a jar and added 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Stirred, and added it into the hot pot. Separated 2 raw eggs and incorporated the egg yolks. Then whipped the egg whites until frothy, seasoning with Sea salt ,sage, and nutmeg. The Seasoned egg whites were added back in to the hot pot with the fire now turned off. After it cooled for 10 min. I portioned the pasta dish into bowls. And topped with the current SamM salsa { Tomato, Onion, Balsamic vinegar Yellow sweet pepper, & Spinach}

While I was creating this pasta dish the wife was eating nine of twelve mini cinnamon rolls.  When I received her bowl back from her , She ate the SamM salsa off the top and told me that is all she was Hungry for. I ate all of my pasta bowl and then some of hers. Say La Vie


SamM Salsa re-vamped for dinner tonight

Dinner tonight was Steak fajita. I had it leftover from a Sunday potluck at church. So what do I add to tortillia, Steak strips, Shredded colby cheese and shredded Lettuce that the wife packaged up and brought home. Simple, I add Mondays Rice and Broccoli minus the chicken. And then I take my SamM salsa, being sure to pour some of the Balsamic vinegar on top of the finished fajita.

 I did change the SamM salsa a little tonight by adding diced Yellow sweet peppers, Fresh chopped Baby spinach, Tbsp. of Balsamic vinegar and 4 more variety Tomato. I now have 2 cups of a fabulous salsa to season food the rest of this week.

SamM salsa is such a versatile seasoning agent. I picked up a Fresh loaf of Italian Bread today. Problably before I hit the pillow tonight I will cut off the ends of the loaf, dip them in the salsa juice. And have sweet italian dreams.


An exciting lunch using SamM salsa

Today I had stood with the fridge door open. Wondering what would be exciting to create. I saw SamM salsa , homemade 1000's Island dressing, Blue cheese dressing, dill pickles, Fresh spinach, Rice and Broccoli casserole. After scouring the landscape and not wanting to repeat last nights dinner yet,here is what I decided. I went to the pantry and found Starkist tuna, opened the can and drained off the juice. In a small mixing bowl I mixed:

6 oz drained tuna

2Tbsp. Blue cheese dressing

1Tbsp. 1000 island dressing

1/4 cup SamM salsa {tomato, spanish onion, balsamic vinegar}

I took the tuna mixture added it between 2 slices of wheat bread with Fresh baby spinach, sliced baby dill, and 3 sliced Fresh tomatoes. I wanted to make 3 of these sandwiches. I decided to stretch this wonderful creation over the next few days. I will make another one tomorrow.




My favorite visit to Conroe Farmers Market thus far

Saturday's visit to Market was very educational , creative , hands-on and engaging. In that order. Thanks in part to Pat from Peas Farm and Chef Michael Fleshner and his father. I understand their are photos on Facebook from the 'Pickle Shake' we did while learning to can pickles. Chef Michael's father was in his father's words" The first Dummy to learn how to can Pickles" from Pat. Several of us stood around laughing and watching as Michael's, father, shared his humor while learning something new. Pat started by having her students pick a pickle that suited their preferences. By the way, next week , Pat will be back in public school with a classroom full of 25 - 10 year olds. She commented that if she can teach Michael's father to can his pickles she will be ready for whatever the new school  year brings. After picking his cuke he was instructed to cut it in half, so it would fit into the mason jar. Then cutting each half lengthwise into eight spears stuff them into the mason jar. Take one Garlic clove chop it up and stuff it in around the spears. Add 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp of dill seed and a shot of white vinegar.Tighten the Ball lid on the jar and do the Pickle Shake. Open the lid and  top off with water. And every day for the next 5 days flip over the jar of marinating spears. Open on the sixth day and start enjoying.

And now the rest of the story: I had heard also if I waited ; Brandy, with Tupperware was going to do a Salsa using the equipment from her tent. So I stuck around for her demonstration. And then I was in a quandary. Did I want to take home a jar of pickles or a jar of salsa. I thought about it ; spoke openly with Chef Michael about my indecision. And here was his solution.  Go buy the jar from Pat. Put 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom and make the pickles on top of that and finish it with another 1/4 cup salsa. So now I had a plan. When I cut up my pickles though , I changed how I wanted to prep them. I sliced my cuke lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. I like pickles to lie flat on sandwiches. I also did not want dill seed so I skipped that step , waited till I returned home and added Fresh Tarragon. And finally added Balsamic vinegar to top off the ingredients in my pickle jar. The wife is not happy with the recipe I created for my pickles.I bought a jar of Baby dills for her at the supermarket this afternoon while grocery shopping.

My wife will start enjoying her store bought pickle, now. I have to wait till Friday. And you know what. I will do a blind taste test on Friday. We shall see who's pickle wins.

Baby Dill    or     Sliced infused salsa pickle     



Ate alone tonight

We arrived home from the days activities and the wife saw a neighbor outside , on her covered porch. "I have something to share with her. You make dinner I will see you soon", She said. We have been married over 25 years I should have known what to expect tonight. I made a wonderfully smelling Pork dinner. Sat down to wait. And read 3 chapters of 'Into the Wild' by John Krakauer. Ninety min. later I realized I will be eating alone.

So here's what I had waiting. Seasoned mash potatoes from the last of the Large baked potato. Quartered sliced Zucchini sauteed in Bacon pieces, with Green peppers. For a sauce I added Milk, Poppy seed dressing,rendered fat from corned beef drippings and brown gravy. This sauce was made from fridge cleanout containers. 2-3 oz of each item. And then to disguise its brown color I put it in a metal bowl with the Zuc and Bacon and melted Mozzarella cheese on top in a 350 F oven for 10 min. It was the highlight of the meal. Now, the Pork roast slices that have been marinating in old coffee and tarragon  for the last few days were my next challenge. So here's what I did, I put them in a hot saute pan , browned the three pieces on both sides. I then poured the coffee / tarragon marinade on top. Brought it to a simmer and added yellow Mustard, Tasted. It was bitter , so I added 1/4c Honey to balance the bitter and make it acceptable to my pallette. Covered it and waited; reading the three chapters, before realizing it was time to eat alone. When she wandered home I was writing this blog and she said, "It looks lovely , Honey"  I am not going to coax a remark from here about how it tasted. But , I was very pleased with the flavors from the meal I created.

Oh No! just a second, I just remembered the Garlic bread in the oven. Be right Back........ I am hollering down stairs to the wife...............OK , I am back. She said,"Don't worry, I do not smell anything, I'll take care of it"  Now I remember, I placed the bread in an off oven so it would warm while I was waiting for her. It may just be dried out. Wait till she finds out it was her Garlic bread from Little Ceaser's  Dinner was a bitter sweet adventure this evening 'cause I ate alone tonight


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