Friday, October 26, 2007

Barf: Campbell's Chunky Grilled Italian Sausage and Peppers Soup

Whatzit: See Title

From where: Clearance rack at Scolari's

Prepared: Microwave

Rating: (that's 1 star for me swallowing it)

Talk about being disappointed. The best part of this meal was the milk. I had my hopes up cause I really like soup, and think the Chunky line from Campbell's is usually pretty good if you stay away from the dried out chicken. This one just got it all wrong. The sausage was like little pressed hamburgers. It was sweet, despite the fact the can is a whopping 1600 mg of sodium (that's 2/3rds your daily). AND I SALTED IT! They've got the taters down, and the thickness of the soup, but this one's flavor is just off. It's certainly got a pepper flavor to it, but not really sausage, and not really much of else. I think it's discontinued based on the buck I paid for it, and that's a smart move.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Cookin' Blues

I know myself well enough that I know I get in to patterns of boredom with cooking. Boredom is a harsh word though, it's more like constantly undecided and uninspired. I've cooked a couple things in the past week, new for me Beef Short Ribs in the crock pot, incredibly tender but not really too exciting. The other day I made a Stacked Chicken Enchilada Ray told us about, it was tasty, but not BAM WOW tasty. Burned out on chili for sure, haven't grilled in a week plus, and haven't been able to come up with something that's going to get me going. Near every day we watch something on FoodTV, so you think I'd get motivated, but the only thing I've done differently lately is sent in a $40 order to Penzey's. And that was only cause I had a coupon! Tracy has pushed me to cook healthier for us, which is tough for me since I'm a meat & taters kinda guy. I did do a salad the other day, but I've gotta load mine with cheese, eggs, bacon and tons of dressing, otherwise I hate it.

Categories I'm not too great at and need to learn are Fish, Chinese, simply more veggies that aren't in a soup, and chicken. Chicken should be a no brainer, I've got a few chicky recipes under my hat, need to branch out more... Hmm......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last of the Motomkins

I have to say I'm extremely pleased with our desert crop this year. It had a LOT going against it, time, soil, weather, etc and is no where near our KS crop last year. Overall we had plenty to keep me happy, though my favorite Brandywine tom didn't produce much. Everything's smaller, that's for sure, but plenty of Roma's to cook with, and plenty of super sweet dime size cherry toms. The very last batch picked before the cold snap wasn't enough to fill a five gallon bucket, but it was close! Enough to eat, share, make chili and can a few for winter soup. Too bad there are a LOT of green ones still left on the vine, but they will go back to earth by being compost.

Mother Hubbard's dog biscuits

Thanks Uncle Frank & Aunt Judy! Mother Hubbards is "natural" and "healthful", all we know is it was enjoyed!
A little surprise in the bag of goodies. A KITTY!

Take the picture already!!! TRYING not to drool....

Ready? Set? TREAT!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mexican Casserole, super simple

Campbell's has some really easy & tasty recipes on their soup cans, usually too simple in my mind but easy to modify to your own likings.
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Creamy Chicken Verde Soup (not always easy to find)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I actually omitted and toasted up some fresh garlic & peppers)
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I didn't cube, I shredded. Grilled, not microwaved)
  • 4 flour tortillas (8"), cut into strips (seems like too much, but it's not)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (plus some shredded white cheese)

Directions: Mix soup, water, garlic powder and chicken. Stir in tortillas. Spread mixture in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Top with cheese. Cover. Bake at 350ºF. 25 min. or until hot. I forgot to take a picture of it in progress, oh well!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Meatloaf and playing Hide The Sausage

Are there people that don't like meatloaf? Is it cause it was too dry or too much filler compared to the meat? Is the "right way" to have ketchup on the top that is cooked along with the loaf so that it kinda thickens up? Onions in it? (not me!). Tricks? Treats?

I like meatloaf and really have a bunch of "unique" things I do to make it all come together for me. I kinda have a written recipe thanks to my Pop, but really only use it as a guideline and mine is way off from his, trust me. First off, I use beef and ground sausage, usually half and half but at LEAST a good chunk of sausage. Second, I add a can of cream of mushroom soup in addition to eggs. Yeah, it's pretty wet. Lastly, I add a river of Mozzarella cheese in the middle plus more special surprises!
  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1.0 lb ground sausage
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 can Cream Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup or so shredded mozz cheese
  • 1 cup or so bread crumbs, I use canned Italian variety
  • spices of your choice and liking. Salt, pepper, celery seed, parsley, Italian blend

Pretty much mix it up and make a loaf! I usually have the bread crumbs on hand to adjust as needed, don't want it too soupy. I'll flatten mine out on a big cutting board then dump the cheese in the middle and kinda fold it up. It's not the easiest thing to do, kinda like playing darts with Jello. If you've not invested in a meatloaf pan, it's worth it. It's a two layer bread pan looking thing that has holes on the bottom for the grease to drip through. Cook for about 1 hour at 350, get your meat thermometer out and make sure it's in the 160 range. Undercooked sucks, trust me.

Here's the fun part! HIDE SOMETHING! It's not above me to sneak in things sitting in the fridge, or something getting a little stale in the cupboard. Years ago I was low on bread crumbs and used a bunch of crackers. What the heck, how about Cheetos's! I didn't smash them up, and the stark orange pieces was pretty funny looking, and tasted great! Somewhere along the line I added the cheese, man was THAT healthy! Then in another brilliant moment, how would Goldfish crackers look? Well, I can tell you it looks funny. This last one I made, I had a coupla hot dogs left, so what the heck right?