Category Archives: Back to Basics Cooking

But There Are Two Sheets In The Box!

Yes, yes, there are!  Mmm… raspberry Danish!DSC_2308 (1600x1060)


Hamburger Helper

A sheet of puff pastry is what I’m talking about!  One pound of browned ground beef with gravy made from the drippings and beef broth, toss in a bag of frozen mixed veggies, cover with egg washed dough sheet –  20 minutes at 400 and Bob’s Your Uncle!

Nom Nom Nom

We had another beer butt roasted chicken the other day.  I’ve been limiting the seasonings on the raw bird to just a generous sprinkle of granulated garlic.  I wanted to make gravy and if you go overboard on salt the gravy will suffer.  Delicious!  Steamed broccoli and home fries rounded out the meal.  It was a big chicken so there was plenty left for……pot pie!  I made rather a hash out of the the crust.  Rookie mistake – I used a same sized pan to cut the rolled dough to size instead of laying it out over the fillings and trimming.  Plus I wasn’t sure whether to tuck the crust inside or make a lip to cover the edge.  “Plan ahead and work to the plan!” – Yeah, now you tell me!

I ate my mistake.  It was good.

Turkey Dumpling Noodle Something

We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room.  It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort.  I had dumplings in mind.  I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours.  The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin!  Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce.  I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings.  They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.

Sammich Pr0n

I’ve always liked tuna salad on toast.  This one has enough egg that it’s as much egg salad with tuna as it is tuna salad with egg.  There’s chopped celery for crunch and a bit of minced onion and plenty of sweet pickle relish and mayo.A reuben on rye.  I’ve settled on this machine recipe for the rye, it works fine every time.There are a couple of my homemade garlic pepper links under all the grilled veggies and mustard.

Breakfast Pr0n

Mmm… Biscuit(s) & Gravy

This is a biscuit from that last batch of Big Daddy recipe biscuits I made a few days ago.  We enjoyed sausage egg biscuits the first time and kept the leftovers in the fridge.  These were popped into the microwave for a quick reheat and served with a fast gravy made from saved bacon grease and some milk that was just a tad sour.  Still good for cooking!  The red sprinkle is some Cajun seasoning because I like my gravy that way.  I added a tad (half teaspoon) of Kitchen Bouquet to the gravy to give a bit of color.


It did snow a bit but it’s been melting off the hard surfaces pretty quickly.  The forecast mentioned lows in the teens for tonight but I think they are backing off that now.  Definitely a hard freeze, though.  Some of the local big parking lot stores had plants set out already, I hope they can get them indoors.I made another pineapple upside down cake late last night.  The pineapple bits were described on the can as tidbits so you know I had to include it in this post.Yesterday was still warm enough to tend the grill in shirtsleeves.  I got a pretty good scald on the burgers.  They say it won’t get back to at least 60 until next Saturday.I set the machine to the dough cycle and started it up, it beeped done but when I went to empty the dough it was half undone – a small ball of finished looking dough along side of a mess of flour.  It looked as if one of the two kneading arms within the machine wasn’t working.  I mushed the dough ball around and restarted it and it seemed to be working fine, the loose flour incorporated itself into the dough ball and everything turned out well.  I hope it was just a mystery hiccup that remains a mystery.Tuna salad with hardboiled eggs.  It also has sweet pickle relish, mayo, chopped celery and a bit of minced onion.  I like green bell peppers in there, too, but didn’t have any.This is a no-fuss dinner.  It’s a beer-butt roasted chicken with nothing more than granulated garlic dusted all over it, along side a baked potato, and steamed broccoli.  Mrs J and I have an accommodation in re dark meat and white meat.  She will not eat the breast so it’s mine by default.Mmm… sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with strawberry jam.  I made a minor change to the Big Daddy Biscuit recipe:  I added a half teaspoon of baking soda to go with the tablespoon of baking powder.  A TV chef making biscuits made a point of doing so with his recipe and they did puff up very well for me today.

Merry Christmas To Me!

One of my clients always gives me a great gift every Christmas. Often it’s a much needed spa gift card. This year, though, since I’d moved into a new home, he very thoughtfully gave me a gift card to a high-end kitchen store. Last week I finally had time to shop.

I used it to add new cookware to my collection. If you’ve been following along, you know I love my cast iron skillets. The rest of my cookware was high priced, high end JUNK. Seriously, it was suppose to be life-time cookware, purchased at a high end kitchen store that did nothing but pit, chip and stain. I replaced it several times under warranty, but gave up because it was more trouble than it was worth. And I wasn’t sure the chipping wasn’t toxic.

So I chose a mid-priced cookware set this time, figuring it couldn’t be worse than what I had and I was still going to rely mostly on my cast iron. I laughed  when I read the care instructions. A bit fru-fru compared to my indestructible cast iron. But I really like it, it’s been a dream to clean and heats up quickly – which I’m still getting used to – and cooks evenly


Getting Comfortable

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