Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An old family favorite made-over!

I’m sure almost everyone who grew up in the 70’s had a version of this meal: ground beef with cream of mushroom soup served over pasta or rice.
My family called it “Casserole”. After I married, it was one of my “go to” meals because it was very simple to make, and my daughter loved it (and she was a picky eater so meals that she liked were made often).
This is still ground meat (although I am using the leaner, less fatty, ground turkey) and cream of mushroom soup. BUT, I added some uncooked sliced cremini mushrooms and served it over raw zucchini and raw yellow (or summer) squash, sliced thin to be like noodles. It is high veggie and very delicious.
I added sliced olives and a can of white corn to the sauce, just to add another element to it.
I originally was going to cook the mushrooms in the sauce, thinking it would enhance the flavor of the cream of mushroom soup. But, I forgot about them until right before I served it. The sauce had already simmered and everything else was ready. So, I thought, “Well, mushrooms can be eaten raw. They don’t have to be cooked. I’ll just add them to the sauce now raw, and then the next time I make it, I’ll simmer the mushrooms as it warms up.” After having the raw mushrooms, cooking them was nixed! The mushrooms – even raw – enhanced the flavor of the sauce. It was so extra delicious that I fell in love with mushrooms again.
If you are trying to limit your carb intake, or are cutting out pasta, I highly recommend this dish. It is so satisfying and yummy, you won’t miss the pasta noodles or rice.
Love yourself and be fulfilled!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Food for Mind = Open by Andre Agassi

Open by Andre Agassi

4 out of 5

This was a fast read. Agassi writes like he is having a conversation with you. I found myself intrigued and flipping pages to find out what happens next. As a tennis fan, I loved the behind-the-scense glimpses at the major tournaments. I loved when Agassi describes what was going through his mind and how he was feeling at certain times in certain matches. Some of those matches I remember watching and being on the edge of my seat because of the great drama that was produced. The romances in his life were also extremely interesting. The life of a tennis pro has never seemed easy to me, with all the traveling and constant training and odd schedules from day matches to night matches, losing first round or making it far in the tournament. Maintaining a relationship has seemed difficult unless the other person was also a tennis pro. Agassi's insight into that side of life was enlightening. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was entertaining and insightful. And, you don't have to be a tennis fan to enjoy it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Super Bowl burgers

That right there is a burger I could not fit into my mouth. And, it also is entirely homemade. Yep, even the bun. Well, okay, I didn't grow the tomatoes or lettuce, but you know what I mean.

We decided to go simple with our Super Bowl burgers, and that really just applied to the toppings. It is simply topped with mustard, red leaf lettuce and a few slices of Roma tomatoes.

The burger patty was made with ground sirloin, so we went a little fancy there. Seasoned with Montreal Steak seasoning, and topped with a good helping of cheddar cheese, the patties were delicious, very flavorful.

We would have grilled them up, but, if I remember right, the barbeque was out of gas.

The homemade buns were my brilliant idea. (Can you sense the sarcasm?)

I have been doing pretty well at baking bread, using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipes. So, I thought to try my hand at baking buns. I had the right idea on the size. But, what makes a hamburger bun super is not only the subtle flavor, so as not to take away from the burger ingredients, but the softness which allows a good bite without having all the ingredients slide right out the back of the burger.

Um, yeah, that's what happened with these buns. They were really good as artisan loaves that you would rip apart and dip into olive oil and seasoning, or just slather with butter. They were *not* good for burger buns. They just weren't soft enough. On the outside! The inside was wonderfully soft. But, the crust was too hard for us to actually bite through with any ease. So, all my ingredients squeezed right out the back when I bit down into my delicious and yummy looking burger.

That top bun is huge! If I would have just cut off the top crust, it probably would have worked just fine.

So, I still need to find a good recipe for burger buns. But, I'm not too worried about it. We enjoyed the food, felt good about it since it was all homemade, no preservatives, and we enjoyed the game. We had no real interest in the outcome. We just wanted to see a good game. And, if I remember right, it was a pretty good game.


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