Category Archives: Back to Basics Cooking

Breakfast Pr0n


Food Pr0n – Chicken Wings

These were dipped in buttermilk, dredged in flour, and then fried.  The sauce is mainly soy sauce with honey with chili garlic paste, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and maybe something or another else.  I wasn’t following any particular recipe – I just winged it.  LOL I will leave now.

InstaPot Moroccan Chicken

This was pretty good.  I wanted to do something in the Instant Pot with a whole chicken I bought the other day. (Those poultry shears worked great.)  I liked this recipe when I skimmed it for ingredients, pretty much everything it called for I had on hand.  Subbed regular raisins for the golden kind, and used green olives instead of ripe, and added turmeric to the spice mix, maybe 1/2 tsp.

The couscous was from a box mix with a packet of garlic powder and other spices, it worked pretty well and was in keeping with the Mediterranean feel of the dinner.  They eat broccoli in Morocco?  Well, I like broccoli.

Breakfast Pr0n


I’ve added peanut butter to my current fave cookie recipe.  Not a lot, maybe a third of a cup.  It’s enough to taste but not so much as to throw the recipe out of whack.  This is in addition to the raisins I add, and the nuts that I leave out.We bought a couple more of those Kroger deli ready to bake pizzas.  This one has a couple of different meats and a couple of veggies.  I added olives, roasted garlic, salami, pickled pepper rings, and more cheese.  These are pretty good for store bought – fast, and relatively cheap at $6 bucks.It’s hard to get a good photo of pizza slices at the table.  I think they shoot better on cardboard than on a plate.I took this pic as an afterthought, there were some leftover taco dinner sides that I wanted to get a picture of so I loaded them onto this small plate.  I made that corn salad using canned corn – a premium brand of their Mexi-corn – and I wanted to point out that it suited the corn salad recipe very well, better than the frozen corn I would ordinarily use in the off season.I’ve had this roasted chicken photo laying about, not doing anything, so this is a good spot to drop it.  Those potatoes are from a new thing Kroger is peddling:  microwaveable package with a packet of a cheese-like powder and seasonings meant to be tossed with some butter and stirred into the hot potatoes.  Interesting idea but poorly executed, you can do the same thing with freshly grated cheese to much better effect.  You will need to sort the potatoes and use same sized ones in your dish.A little lunch pr0n for you.  Hard to beat hot dogs for easy!  I try to make them look like I took a little time so I chopped some fresh onions and jalapenos to go with the sweet pickle relish and the pickled red onions.  I’m going to have to make more slaw, that’s the last of the batch.More lunch pr0n!  The classic combo – with just a wee curve in the grilled cheese.  I could only find rye bread for the sammiches but it worked well enough.  No harm, no foul!

I wind this up with Bitsy, because she’s right there on the sofa and entirely unsuspecting.

Sammich Pr0n

Tired of Winter Cooking: Some Fresh Ideas

I’m so very tired of winter cooking. Stews, soups (ok, I’m never really tired of soup), roasted meats and veggies. Time to freshen things up.

But with what? The produce section is often disappointing with flavorless items that haven’t seen the light of day. But there are some bright spots and with those I can wave away the winter cooking blues.

First up: Peppers and onions.

This is the time of year when you can find a variety of sweet peppers in all kinds of colors at a pretty reasonable price. My recipes are usually fairly simple. Heat up olive oil, add thinly sliced onions and peppers, season with a dash of salt and pepper. Sauté until they soften and onion are golden. Remove from heat and now you can cook up any number of things: chicken marinated in lemon juice and pepper, thin beef strips marinated in teriyaki and ponzu sauce, pork medallions marinated in apple juice and a bit of apple cider vinegar. The ideas are endless. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, butter noodles, quinoa…

Or how about Fajitas? That recipe is here.

Next up: Fresh salads.

I found a nice jicama one day and realized I hadn’t made a batch of Jicama Slaw since last summer.  A big bowl of that in the refrigerator to munch on all week really lifted the flavor blahs. You can find the recipe here.

Two other summer favorites that are easy to make mid-winter: Potato Salads (recipes here) and Coleslaw (recipe here).

How about fruits?

Now is the time for Strawberries (recipes here and here)

Blood Oranges (recipes here)


And Grapes – one of my favorite grape recipes is Grapes and Sausagesrecipe here.

That should be enough help you get through a few more weeks of winter while dreaming of the fresh vegetables soon to come from gardens and farm stands.

There will be a puppeh update today or tomorrow. Until then…

Beef Enchiladas

Enchiladas with sides of Mexi-Corn, pico, guacamole and a dab of refried beans.I start by coating the bottom of a small casserole with sauce.  Fill the tortillas with a smear of refries, a dollop of seasoned ground beef that has been cooked with onions and peppers, and a bit of cheese.  Place them in the prepared dish, cover with more sauce and place into a preheated oven, I set mine for 375°.  These cooked for 30 minutes or so.  Sprinkle some cheese on top towards the end.

Half & Half Tortillas

Half AP wheat flour and half masa harina.  I saw some pre-made but uncooked tortilla in the store the other day and snagged a packet.  They were pretty good.  I saw that they were half and half and checked for recipes online.  I went with the simplest recipe: 1 c. AP flour, 1  c. masa, 1/4 c. lard, 1/2 tsp salt – cut the lard into the flour mixture and add a scant cup of water.  Too wet and they will stick to the tortilla press.  Knead into a nice dough ball.

Cover the dough in a bowl and let rest for 20 minutes or so.  Pinch off enough to roll  into golf ball sized portions.  I noticed that there was gluten formation due to the wheat flour but they still pressed nicely in my tortilla maker.

Cook dry on a hot griddle for about a minute per side.  You want to see the blackened spots.  The recipe made 12 tortillas, each about 5 or 6 inches.I served them doubled up like I would with the more fragile 100% masa tortillas but they were robust enough to not need  it.


I baked an actual cake a few days ago.  Box mix and canned icing so not a feat of kitchen prowess by any means but tasty, nonetheless.  We sectioned it into serving sized portions and froze them on a tray overnight,  They fit nicely into a plastic bag; returned to the freezer they’ll keep well enough to last until we eat them all up – pulling a piece or two per day to thaw for a snack while watching The Crown on Netflix.Mrs J hurt her foot so I’ve taken on much of the cat feeding.  The cats seem not to have shifted their loyalty my way by much although Ollie will follow me downstairs when it’s dinner time.Cornbread!  I have a 10″ skillet I use every time for this, and it is very good for baked beans, also.  It fits into the toaster oven with the door closed.  I like to fry a couple of slices of bacon in it, removing the bacon to chop for the cornbread, and pouring the batter into the hot grease to sizzle while the oven heats.  That crisp bottom is tasty!This is an explanation for my choice of “Picnicking Birds” as the title for the pictorial series I have been running.  Too much cheese?  The debate rages on!This is basically the same breakfast, sans bun and cheese.  That’s a garlic sausage we buy from a local meat processor that is pretty good.  Homie is the only kitteh that still wants to chase the “red bug”, but he is almost always crowded out by Gabe.  Gabe is the only dog we’ve had that even notices the bug, let alone chase it.  I buried a trial run of sauteed potatoes and carrots under this pile of steamed veggies.  I think I can do what I want to do but it will take another try or two – stay tuned!