Tuesday, April 25, 2017

R is for Rains of April

All the rain and dark skies might make it seem that the April showers are stealing the sun’s thunder.

Somehow, it makes it seem as if the bright daytime star in the sky is remaining stoic and detached from the day and though we try to grapple with the reality of this spring cycle, it tends to affect our mood a bit simply because gray skies create that kind of effect.


The storms can be a very jarring experience for some. Especially when the sky cries its waters in a steady downpour and is in the full flowering of its strength.  

Who doesn’t yearn for the sun to modestly shine when the weather is like that? To wake up determined to pursue the day, only for the soaking rains to be somewhat of a character assassination is something to consider. Don’t allow doubt to seek lodgment in your mind.  The clouds might be so bright that they blind the truth of what is ahead but trust me, the best is yet to come.

Maybe these days of April rains are the days when you can hone in on your strategy to
achieve your goals. While it is storming outside, let the storm in your brain, lead you to coming up with great ideas that you can write down because your vision of the future is worth thinking about and releasing into the earth. While the blue skies are being masked by gray clouds, think about ways that you can affect the landscape when the rainbows knock the rain out of position. Even if you feel that it is too wet outside to enjoy the fresh air, you can still embrace the front porch, plus, sugar doesn’t melt in water, it only sweetens it, so even if your umbrella does not work, a fresh supply of Mother Nature's water, watering plants, grows them; so keep that in mind.

Prepare for your escape while it is raining so that when the stormy weather ends, you can apply your outlandish ideas in broad daylight. That way, you never miss a beat, even if you miss being outside, because it is raining and you don’t feel like getting soaked up in it.

One thing to smile about with all the rain is to consider the end result. After the rain drizzles away, the flowers will rise out of the soil to a platform of prominence. Your toils are also seeds planted that rise like flowers to face the sun. Feels good to know that once we are truly able to cut the chains of misery, that our hearts of gold and our passions and efforts will also have the opportunity to sizzle like the summer sun. The rain is a good time to get your ideas or your inventory ready for those tender moments.



Here is another thing to consider while the rain is taking over the April days. If you are one of those people who have no choice but to splash in it like penguins, be careful driving in that weather. It seems, these are the days that people forget how to safely maneuver their vehicles. Road rage, though it might be a part of who we are instinctively can be pacified with the rain as it pacifies the overheating earth. 

If you have to take public transportation, be patient with the people all around you, all carrying baggage, their entire lives, luggage and umbrellas with them to get to where they want to go. Make sure not to let anger get the best of you just because someone else’s baggage might be heavier than yours. 

Maybe you can make some soup for the family so when they come in drenched, they can have something warm and hearty to eat. Add some good spices to it like turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic, parsley or onions which is very good for your health.  So it won't just be warm and hearty, but healthy as well.  

And what a great day to watch a nice movie like, Stormy Weather. See Lena Horne and Bojangles in action. Such a beautiful and fun film to watch. Plus, it's still Jazz Appreciation Month, so why not? 

 
Stormy Weather  

Whatever you do, make it a great day. 
Hope yours is full of overflowing productivity. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

O is for Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges

Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges

Prior to Easter Sunday, I planned to cook a huge meal and to serve a nice feast to my family.


I already had in my mind what the menu would be. We’d have lamb chops, buffalo turkey wings, rice, ravioli lasagna and more. I also knew that I wanted to make potatoes and at first, thought of making them au gratin. Then, I remembered that I was already making ravioli lasagna which had lots of cheese in it and decided to oven roast them and they came out good.

Potatoes seems to be a meal within itself. If you have nothing else but potatoes, you can be eat and be satisfied.  But within a meal that has many different dishes incorporated in it, nice to have a variety of different choices that you can pick and choose from, just in case you do not want to have everything, oven roasted potatoes can appeal to both young and old.

So how do you make them?

First . . .

Cut up some potatoes into little square wedges and wash them.

Then . . .

Melt a 1.4 cup of butter.

Prepare a plate with spices such as sazon, salt, garlic, pepper, onion powder, parmesan.

Dip potato wedge first in the butter and then into the spice concoction and put them into an oven pan.

Place in oven for about 45 minutes and voila, you have some easy to make and very flavorful roasted potato wedges that everyone can enjoy.

For more potato recipe ideas that you might enjoy cooking for your family, you might love this recipe book entitled, Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, And Baked; And Fried Too by Raghavan Iyer. Looking for a unique potato dish; you might find it in this book. Check it out today on Amazon.


Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked--and Fried, Too!: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes

Disclaimer: The content featured in this post is at my own discretion as a consumer and cooking member of the household who desires to share a recipe and food item I created. I will bot be compensated for posting this recipe. However, if you click on link and purchase this recipe book being sold from Amazon Distributors, I will be compensated because I am an amazon affiliate.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Salmon and Peppers

I have tried sausage and peppers many times, but I wanted to try he peppers concept with a different meat and I did and it came out great.

Salmon and Peppers



I love salmon. It is my second favorite fishes after Mahi Mahi and I am often cooking and experimenting with it, trying out new recipes and seeing what creative meals I can make with it. This time I decided to try it in a different capacity and what a great idea that was to pepper it. The salmon came out nice and juicy, flavorful, tender and my family really, enjoyed it.  Today, I am sharing with you the recipe.



Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Serving size 5


Ingredients

5 Wild Caught Salmon Portions
¼ cup of orange juice
2 tbsp Butter
Garlic powder
1 packet Sazon con azafran
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
½ can of diced tomatoes
1 onion
Italian dressing
Soy sauce
Salt



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut and dice red pepper, green pepper and onion and cover the bottom of a baking ban with ½ the content of the peppers.
3. Take each salmon fillet, wash it under cold water and place each fillet in the backing tray.
4. Take garlic powder and crust each fillet with it. Add a dash of salt to each fillet. Add a bit of sazon packet to each fillet. Sprinkle with orange juice and soy sauce. Add a piece of butter a top of each fish.
5. Take the rest of the content of the pepper and onions and cover the fish fillet. Add tomatoes.
6. Place baking tray in oven and let it cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until the salmon has browned.





Pairs well with rice dishes. Add a bit of chardonnay to your glass to entice the meal. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Slow Cooker Stewed Chicken

I was speechless when I first tried using my slow cooker and noticed that I did not have to abandon other things I wanted to do just because I was cooking a meal. It is one of those kitchen appliances that gives me this unshakeable confidence that anything I cook in it will come out great. I cannot remember how I stumbled into knowledge of this cool cooking tool, but I will say that it made my stew chicken come out better than I ever expected it to.

Me & Cooking

I am someone who might go into a cookbook or on Pinterest to find a recipe that interests me and that I want to try. I am also a person who will look at a recipe and improvise. But mostly, I am a person who improvises without looking at any recipe and instead vibes with an idea of what to make. I knew I wanted to make chicken; it was the how to prepare it that I was not sure about. Then I looked at my slow cooker and then I decided that I would make it stewed.

Slow Cooker Stewed Chicken


Ingredients

Chicken Breast
Vinegar
Lemon Juice
Salt
1 Onion
A Dash of Garlic Powder
Vegetables of your Choices
½ Can of Crushed Tomatoes
Barbecue Sauce
Soy Sauce
A pinch of ginger powder
A Dash of Turmeric
1 Packet of Sazon
1 dash of seasoned salt
Water

Instructions

1. Take chicken breasts and place it in a large pot with enough water to cover it, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Place it over a large fire and let it boil on the stove for about an hour.

2. Remove from fire and throw out the water. Remove excess fat and skin and rinse each piece of chicken under cold water.

3. In crock pot, cover bottom with barbecue sauce. Layer it with soy sauce and then layer atop it with pieces of the chicken.



4. Add water to cover about half the crockpot, seasoned salt, garlic, turmeric, sazon, and ginger. Add vegetables. Slice your onion and cover the entire content of pot with the onions and then add tomatoes.

5. Place cover over the crockpot and set heat on high and let it cook for about 4-5 hours.

The chicken comes out tender, juicy, flavorful 
and the aroma around the house is unbeatable. 
Best served hot. Pairs well with rice. Perfect for a family meal.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

With good intentions, I wanted to make something warm and hearty for my family to enjoy during the day so that whenever they felt the urge to have something good to eat, they could. And so, I decided to prepare some slow cooker lentil soup and what a great idea that was.

I learned a memorable lesson which I will share with you if you are interested in making fresh lentil soup from scratch. If you are going to use dry beans, it will take about 8 hours or more in your slow cooker, even on high heat, so if you have a veracious hunger to eat now, then don’t try it in your slow cooker and instead, cook it stove top. But if you want a meal that is bursting with flavor that you do not have to be watching over all day while it slow cooks, then this might be for you.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
Cooking Time 8.5 Hours on high heat/ 10 hours on low heat


Ingredients

Two 32 Oz Vegetable Broth
½ Cup Dried Lentil Beans
½ Cup Dried Red Lentil Beans
Two Carrot Sticks, diced
Two Celery Ribs, diced
One clove of garlic
½ can of plum or diced tomatoes [optional]
A Dash of Turmeric Powder
A Dash of Italian Flavoring
A Dash of seasoned Salt
2 Tbsp of butter
One TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions

1. Add Broth, Dry Lentils, Garlic, Italian Seasoning, Turmeric, and salt into slow cooker. Put slow cooker on high and cover it.


2. About four hours later, add diced carrots, celery, tomatoes, butter and vinegar, and continue to cook lentils on high for four hours or until lentil beans are tender.


3. Serve hot. Nicely pairs with warm Italian bread.

What I love about slow cookers is how the flavor just bursts and how the aroma just takes over the house and makes you look forward to the meal that you will soon be able to have. I also like that you can keep your crockpot on warm without it cooking so that you do not have to feel obligated to nuke it in the microwave. The preparation time is short but the cooking time though lengthy, is worth it considering the final product.

Some Things to Consider If Using This Recipe

I chose vegetable broth for taste and because there was not meat in the recipe but if you like chicken broth, beef broth or even water, might work better for you; so use that. I love tomatoes and so I add it to everything that I cook, but it is not necessary to add to the recipe though I feel that it adds to the flavor and I love it.  

Lentil soup is perfect for a cold, winter day and at any time of day for any meal. Enjoy it hot and feel the heartiness all over your senses. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hash Brown Crusted Egg Muffins

I tried a new recipe today and I am so excited to tell you about it because it actually came out good and tasted good to. When I say good, I will admit that I am oftentimes accused of cooking Cajun everything or more like burnt everything. LML!  Also, I am one who looks at a recipe and then I do my own thing adding my flair to make it somewhat to my own liking which does not always end up successful. This recipe however, did not come out burnt or bad at all. Actually, it came out like a muffin and was a really tasty breakfast.

It is said that breakfast is the essential part of the day. So why not start your morning off with the easy and fun to make hash brown crusted egg muffins?


Hash Brown Crusted Egg Muffins
Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes




Ingredients

9 Eggs

6 Slices of Turkey Bacon

A handful of fresh spinach

½ Cup of Cheddar Cheese

A dash of ground garlic

Frozen Hashbrowns

Olive Oil Can Spray



Directions

Preheat oven at 415 degrees. Use oil spray to grease the muffin

tray and fill each compartment of it with hash browns (enough to 

fill the bottom and put in the oven.) Don't have a muffin tray, get 

one at Amazon here: Wilton Recipe Right Nonstick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan


Place bacon on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Leave both 

bacon and hash browns in the

oven for about ten minutes.


In one bowl, cut up cheese into small 

cubes. In another bowl, scramble eggs 

and add garlic.


Remove muffin tray and in each cup, 

add a layer of spinach. Atop 

it, place one slice of semi-cooked bacon 

in each cup. Atop  bacon, add cheese.  

Atop. Add eggs to fill the top of each layered cup. 


Place in oven and let cook for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are 

cooked to your desired texture.



Should come out like a corn muffin which pairs well with coffee or 

orange juice. Also, easily store-able for another day because it will 

not spoil overnight if refrigerated. Each muffin has about an egg 


and a half or less in it, so two is not so bad to have depending on 

your eating capacity. Also nice for a breakfast party. 



Best served warm. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Oh Honey, So Refreshing . . . Ginger Tea!

Who said that you couldn’t fall in love with a cup of comfort?

I am not here to bind you with the science behind the taste. But, I am amazed at how a mere beverage had the power to take my breath away.

I try not to miss an opportunity to have a refreshing cup of tea in the evening hours. I won’t go to the extreme of saying that Ginger Honey crystals with Lemon Tea is the best cup of tea I have ever had; especially since I am not an advertiser or being paid in any way to speak on Prince of Peace corporation’s behalf. But, I will say that it is a very good one. Even my father liked it and now it has become a regular in my kitchen’ cabinet.

This tea is not made with a tea bag. Each packet is filled with ginger honey crystals and lemon that dissolves into the hot water and tastes like actual ginger root tea with honey and lemon. I think that ginger has natural caffeine in it though it is refreshing but if you do have a cup make sure you add two cups of regular water to your H20 intake if you even drink just one cup. Caffeine eliminates two cups of water from your body.


Just in case you are looking for a new tasty and refreshing tea that I think is great for those suffering from an ENT infection such as a minor cold, this might be a good tea to try. It is spicy because of the ginger, tasty because of the honey and great on the throat because of everything that is in each bag. Yummy is all I can say! 

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