Monday, November 28, 2011

stuffed pumpkin recipe

close paraphrase of Fred F's Facebook status update; published with permission

• Hollow out one small pumpkin
• Cook up brown rice, and then some hamburg, fish, or ground turkey in a frying pan with chopped green and/or red peppers, onions, and garlic.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Smear butter on the inside of the pumpkin and add a few of your favorite spices
• Smear butter on the outside.
• Fill the pumpkin with the rice, etc., put the "hat" on it
• Wrap the pumpkin in aluminum foil, and
• Bake it at 350 degrees for 2 or 2.5 hrs.
• Poke it with a fork to check if it's soft enough.

Beverages will be either a hearty red or an amber hard cider, which is Fred's pick.

And don't forget to bake the pumpkin seed! They make a great snack.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

good earth mediterranean chicken

old world style meets 21st century convenience

Recently I prepared and enjoyed "Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta," a new to me product from Restaurant Favorites, a company that's recently come onto the scene.

restaurant favorites mediterranean chickenThis good earth meal starter is such a good deal and tasted so good, I'm going to stock up on a few more to keep on hand. Since you need to provide your own fresh chicken, some milk (I used sour cream, yum), olive or whatever your oil of the moment may be and a cup of water, it's not quite complete off the shelf, but with those additions the kit provides plenty sufficient to feed two people generously. I've given it only 4 instead of 5 stars because it is a bit too salty, but otherwise nicely seasoned with possibly a tad too pronounced on the oregano end—or maybe not, depending on your own preference. I also detected a citrus overtone that blended in nicely with the other ingredients.

Not only was the sale price an incentive, this is the kind of meal starter you could vary by making it with pork chops, adding in other sautéed veggies or, as I did, using chicken thighs with the skin still on. "Chef-inspired tips" in a box on the instructions side of the box suggests similar changes or additions. I realize the manufacturer suggests boneless skinless chicken breasts for their purportedly greater healthiness and already-almost prepared convenience, but to me they're also too bland. Whole grain pasta is a nice touch, since it hasn't been bleached into nutritional near-oblivion and offers a classic nut-like flavor and slightly chewy texture that accompanies the other ingredients nicely. What else is a plus? The package doesn't advertise the word "healthy" anywhere that I could see it, but does promote its "not artificial flavors / no preservatives." Try it, I hope you'll like it and return for more.

my amazon review: old world style meets 21st century convenience

Saturday, November 05, 2011

gourmet rich!

duncan hines chocolate chip cookiesAlthough I didn't buy this cookie mix on Amazon, I needed to write a review and tell the world of cyberspace how outstanding the cookies are! The recipe couldn't be easier, and uses the common ploy of having the baker add eggs and butter that could have been included in the mix so they'll feel they're actually doing something. I tried to underbake them just slightly and they came out moist, rich, and flavorful, tasting and feeling like a high-end boutique bakery product. I stored them in a closed container and they still were moist 24 hours later, which is a real plus. Duncan Hines long has made good products that aren't unrealistically expensive; this is one to keep on your shelves in case of sudden guests or an unexpected potluck or other invitation.

my amazon review: gourmet rich!