Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kick Butt Teriyaki Beef Bowl

My (thoughtful, smart, caring, competitive, handsome & amazing) son celebrated his birthday recently and asked that his party invitation state "Be ready to kick butt". His slogan matched the venue which was a paintball party. In keeping with the theme, he chose the subsequent thank you card  and photo with the slogan "Thank you for helping me kick butt".  As a Mom concerned about the world around us I contemplated his slogan choice for a bit and decided to "roll" with it. It isn't the slogan that I would choose, but then again, I'm not and have never been a tween boy. As these moments pass I find myself admiring his unique spirit, realizing how fast (too fast) time is going by & reminding myself to let him be himself.  I found this quote on Pinterest and it serves as a little reminder for me to reflect upon.

life lessons.
Quote source:  http://imgfave.com/view/1944802

My son loves this meal and so I found it fitting to name the meal "Kick Butt Teriyaki Beef".

How to:

  • 1 1/2 ground beef
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Bragg's or soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • a few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • pepper to taste
  • sesame seeds to garnish
  • green onion, thinly sliced to garnish
  • Serve over cooked rice

Pan fry the ground beef and minced garlic until cooked.  Drain fat.  Place back in the fry pan and add Bragg's, red pepper flakes and pepper. Toss well, adding a little extra Bragg's to create more sauce.

Place cooked hot rice in a bowl. Top with meat mixture.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on top and serve.

      It's that easy!  And yes, this meal Kick's Butt!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Salmon Hash

Good Morning! It's been a week of house guests, dad's birthday, football, soccer, and even a WNBA game.   We won tickets through the National Guard for Hero Appreciation Night & although we consider ourselves to be "the country type", I've gotta say that walking through Seattle Center on a balmy night with live music in the background, Chihuly Garden and Glass Art in our midst and a general feeling of excitement and energy felt great!

Our Seattle experiences seem to be a little off beat and slightly different from our experiences at home. Our kids are still talking about seeing a man in downtown Seattle a few years ago incoherently talking to a newspaper stand and simultaneously kicking it. Last night's experience was unique as well. As we sat at the bar of a fast food place a man joined us and dined on his array of free sauces. My husband noticed and gave him some of our dinner. No judgement or expectation, just giving and sharing a quiet meal together. Kind words were exchanged as we departed and it left us all feeling like we want to do more.

The "Storm" game was fantastic and felt amplified by our Thunderstix (a 2 pack of yellow and green inflatable noise makers that are included with each admission). The Storm lost by 2 points to Connecticut Sun's for various reasons, like our sons football game on Saturday, the erroneous calls by the referees didn't help.  All and all it was a fantastically tiring week that resulted in too many leftovers.  My solution to the dilemma was to create a breakfast hash.

The salmon hash was especially loved by our 9 month old niece who was visiting us this weekend. She enjoyed the potato's and broccoli a lot!

How To:

  • 2 cups diced russet potato's
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli
  • a small filet of cooked salmon, flaked
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil

Pan fry the potato's in olive oil for about 15 minutes. Turning frequently to brown.  

In an egg pan fry red onions for 5 minutes. Add egg and scramble until cooked.

Add the egg/onion, broccoli, salmon, salt and pepper to the potato's. Heat for about 5 minutes then serve with ketchup, salsa and hot sauce.

What do you do with your leftover's?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grilled Zucchini Veggie Stack

Zucchini, red pepper, red onion, basil

I have a confession to make.  This statement reminds me of attending elementary catholic school.  Our little class of twenty something students walked in to the empty church & the feeling of awe and overwhelm would blanket over me. I knew I had to fess up to all the sins of recent times, the most memorable of which were feeding our dog as she hovered under the dinner table.   That was a regular confession. I knew it was wrong, yet, I fed "Babe" multiple times this way. Oh that sweet brittany spaniel, how could I not spoil her like that?  But I'm digressing here.  My latest confession isn't in the big beautiful church thousands of miles away. It isn't even about something that I shouldn't have done but did anyway.  It's a confession that looks like this:

Yup, there you have it. In big pink letters. I'm a wimp. You see, I enthusiastically use our grill at least 3 times a week, yet I have never, ever changed the propane tank.  It's not that I'm not capable or strong enough. These don't apply to me.  Years ago I worked at an insurance company as an adjuster and I heard a story about an unsecured propane tank that was being transported in the back of a truck. The truck was in a collision, the propane tank exploded and well, it's much to sad a story to talk about the rest.

So, you see, our propane tanks sit still on our deck & yet I'm unable to release the valve of the empty tank and replace it with the full tank.  Maybe it's really because I'm spoiled and I know that my husband will do it.  Thanks Love!

You're still reading, thank you! I haven't lost you yet-ha! I like to grill the veggies for this recipe. Since my husband is at work I'm going to give you directions on how this recipe was really made for the photos you are seeing.  I broiled these beauties and they turned out great. So the "long-short" is you can grill 'em or broil 'em.

Here's what you need:

Saucy Mama Sweet Heat

Slice the zucchini & red pepper to a 1/4" thickness. Slice the red onion to 1/8" thickness. Place in a large dish (I use a glass cake pan). Pour the soooo good marinade over the veggies & toss to coat. The sauce is so tasty and flavorful that you don't need to marinade it for long! Love that. These veggies marinated for 30 minutes and that was plenty.

Place the veggies on the top rack in the oven on Broil (High) for 4 minutes.  Remove and flip the veggies over.  Place veggies back in the oven for another 4 minutes.  Turn the oven off and allow to continue cooking for a few minutes.  Layer the veggies. Place the fresh basil on top. Add salt and pepper. Use a spoon and place a little extra Sweet Heat on the veggies and serve. It's that easy and it's that good! Try it!

Red pepper, zucchini, red onion, basil

I would love to hear what you're afraid of.....please comment below: 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Crabwich, Open Face Crab Sandwich

Ahh the life of the recreational fishermen!  Departing Birch Bay Village Marina in Blaine, we search for dungeness crab at Marine Area 7 North, in the Gulf of Georgia. We have been enjoying an open season on a Thursday through Monday schedule. Marine Area 7 North closes on September 30th. We've had a good run, soaked in lots of sun & enjoyed our time out there, but it's hard to imagine that our season will be over soon.

A few hazards that we've avoided this year are lost or stolen pots. The same can't be said for poaching. We've encountered 3 instances where the lid of the bait box wasn't attached or in our crab pot. What does this mean, exactly? The bait boxes with lids, located inside the crab pots, are designed to screw-on/off and this means that to remove the lid you need to unscrew it.  In summary, the poachers stole the crab out of our pots, stole the bait and the lid or tossed the lid and bait overboard. Next, they threw the pot back in the water. This was mighty kind of them, as they could have stolen the pots like they did last year. Until the market manufacturers an affordable waterproof mini camera/GPS to spy on the dirt bags who steal, all I can do is vent about it. So thanks for reading!

 How do we use the crab that we catch? One of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh dungeness is to make a sandwich spread to serve on English muffins.

This is my Mom's recipe (she's an incredibly talented cook) and I'm pleased to share it with you.

My Mom, Dad & Son

Here's what you need:

  • 1 cup of lump crab meat
  • 4 English muffins (split in half to make 8 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green onion
  • a few drops of Tabasco
  • a few drops of Worcestershire
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar/pepper jack (reserve a bit for sprinkling on top before baking)

Place the English muffin halves on a baking sheet and broil on low for 3-4 minutes or until toasted lightly brown. Remove and set aside.

Mix all ingredients and spoon on top of the English muffins halves. Sprinkle with Cheese. 

 Bake at 375 on the top rack for about 7 minutes or until heated and cheese on top is melted.

Serves: 4

Friday, September 7, 2012

Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've been known to not exactly always have a working "filter". The translation is, sometimes I say things that are best unsaid. This morning my husband was full of goofy energy and silly spirit.  I, on the other hand, was on a mission full of purpose. I created a check list of recipes to make using the large quantity of ripe zucchini and summer squash given to us by our good friends and their bountiful garden.

The list was not short or simple. So to hear the many calls of "Wifer" (yup, that's my nickname) from the garage or the slaps on my bottom as he breezed by this morning began to wear thin. At that moment I was overcome with a genius idea to blurt out "I'm going to call your boss and beg him to find work for you today"(of course I would never call his boss, it was just fun saying it!).  It wasn't an overly offensive statement. There have been worse.  But in a house like ours where my husband works in both construction and in the National Guard, time together can be scarce.

The ironic thing is, his boss called 20 minutes later &  he was, indeed, needed at work today.  His youthful energy was missed after he left for work & I discovered pretty quickly that all I was left with are a bunch of dirty dishes and clock watching moments.  I was anticipating the after school arrival of our kids and my husbands short visit back home before he leaves for 2 nights of what I like to call "Army Man Training". I'm here to tell you, "be careful what you wish for".

Beyond the dirty dishes and clock watching please enjoy a bit of today's deliciousness:

  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 2/3 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Cream butter and agave. Add egg, yogurt and apple sauce.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, oat bran and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture then mix on low.

Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour into the muffin tins and this don't rise much so feel free to fill them nearly to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ps- If you've made my muffins before (the oat, flax, blueberry muffins) you'll know that I don't tolerate a dry muffin that needs to be choked down with coffee or water.  This dandy is full of texture and moisture, which isn't for everyone, but hey, that's what makes the world go 'round.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crab & Shrimp Deviled Eggs

We are in full swing of back to school activity & even accomplishing a "first" in our household.  The Hello Kitty alarm clock in our daughters room fills the air with a unique beeping noise. Joining in and adding to the  early morning not-so-pleasant orchestra is a big box brand masculine-enough-for-a-tween-boy alarm clock.

While our kids are mastering the difference between the "Off" button and "Snooze", I rush to scramble the eggs and toast the bread, remembering that my daughter doesn't like too much pepper on her eggs and that my son prefers apple butter over Nutella on his toast. Our, well actually my ultimate goal is too walk the near mile downhill to the bus stop.  It's a risk we haven't taken in the 5 years of school bus rides (besides the days that we were snowed in). If we leave too late we will need to walk up the steep hill and hope to get to school on time by car. If we leave too early we risk the early morning chill.

We took the chance and between slight grumbles of "can't we just drive down" and "what if we miss the bus" we made some discoveries.  First, our shadows turn us into giants and our feet size is disproportionate to our shapes. Next, we spotted a bunny dash into the bushes. Last, Ava spotted a plant in a neighbors yard with low hanging branches similar to the plant in her classroom.

In no time at all we arrived at the bus stop with a few minutes to spare and a friend waiting to greet us. And it's in these school moments that I yearn for the classic comfort food that I grew up with.

I'm pretty sure the crab and shrimp deviled eggs don't cast a "giant shadow" but the taste makes up for their lack of stature. My mom's deviled eggs have been a staple at family functions and gatherings for as long as I can remember. One of the great things about parties and gatherings were the leftovers that always tasted better the next day. But really, one doesn't need to throw or attend a party to make deviled eggs. This recipe is easily reduced in half.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 12 eggs
  • Pot of water to boil eggs 
  • pastry bag with tip 
  • 1/2 cup of real mayo
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • a dash or two of hot sauce like Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Paprika to garnish
  • Bay shrimp and lump crab meat to garnish
  • Parsley to garnish

Boil water then add eggs, ensuring that you have about an inch of water above the eggs.  Remove from the stove and allow the eggs to cook for 15 minutes.  Cool eggs then peel.

Using a serrated knife cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Place yolks, mayo, mustard, onion, tabasco, garlic powder in an electric mixer on medium.  Mix for 2 minutes until creamy.  Using a spatula place filling in a pastry bag with tip.  Pipe the filling into the halved white eggs. Garnish with a shrimp or crab piece. Place a tiny piece of parsley next to the seafood. Sprinkle a bit of paprika to add color. Chill and serve.

Yield: 24 pieces

*Deviled eggs can be made a few days in advance.

       I would love to hear about your school memories 
                             or school "firsts"! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Perok Fish Pie and Foodie Pen Pals

I stepped into a time zone last week at my folks house as they hosted a school reunion. Decades old memories lay across the table. The understated smell of dust mixed with old news print, a hint of must & character of things from years past filled the air.   I heard lots of chatter with the tell tale accent of alutiq. I heard Russian words used in place of English & according to Wikipedia it's indeed called Runglish.

There were black and white photos strewn across the tables. Old school year books & annuals from many moons ago.  Magazine articles of weddings, obituaries, crab queens, grand openings & birth announcements.  I heard stories of my grandmother, my name sake, whom I sadly did not get to meet, giving neighbor children 10 cents to run quickly. How exciting & what a luxury  it was to get 10 cents from a neighbor mom and be able to buy an ice cream cone. Were ice cream cones really 10 cents??

It wasn't just the photos, smells, & story telling that brought a little bit of Kodiak, Alaska to Washington State.  The food on the table was pure Alaska. I was delighted to see the customary Perok. It's the fish pie that can take days to make. Infact, this perok took Mary three days to make.  Her son caught the salmon & she cooked the fish on the first day. On the second day she prepared the eggs and root vegetables. On the third day she cooked the rice, made the crust & assembled and baked the delicious perok.  As my Mom says, making perok is a labor of love.

Also from far away, I had the pleasure of receiving a box of foodie pen pal goodies. This month my goodies came from Toni at Running, Loving, Living 

Thanks Toni! Tasty food!

     Do you have a favorite dish that pays homage to your heritage?