Tag Archives: Cooking

A healthy dish that didn’t taste like sand or worse…

I’d like to share this recipe that I found over at clean eats in the zoo.  If you’re anything like me you get sick and tired of your kitchen rut and shoving the same stuff down your throat.  I like to try new things and my family members (much to their dismay) are my taste testers.

We try to eat healthy but let’s face it, many of those “healthy” recipes wouldn’t even gain a sniff from my food obsessed Lab.  Yeah, they are pretty bad.  But I have to wonder if these healthy foods are the way food items really should taste and are we so strung out on processed foods to recognize the taste of good food?  Could it be?!?  Then I bite into a brown rice biscuit that crumbles apart in my mouth like sand and can’t help but feel the longing for a moist ooey, gooey white one loaded with leaky gut causing gluten and wheat.

But I digress.  Here is a truly kick-butt, mouth watering, healthy recipe that even the kids ate.  Well, they picked away the cabbage but that was totally expected!

Enjoy!!

Spicy Asian cabbage rolls with sliced avocados and frozen bananas

Recipe: Spicy Asian Cabbage Rolls

1 large head cabbage

Chicken marinade:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced small

2 TBSP sesame oil

2 tsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 TBSP coconut aminos ( I picked mine up at Whole Foods)

2 tsp red chili pepper flakes (you can use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)

In the skillet:

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP sesame oil

4-5 green onions, diced small

salt and pepper to taste

In a Ziploc bag, combine all the ingredients in the chicken marinade. Close and let sit in fridge for an hour or two. *Note: You can do this without marinating, but the flavors are much better after sitting for a while.

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover a full head of cabbage. Bring to boiling. Meanwhile, take out the core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Turn off burner, and place whole head of cabbage into pot. Heat “in the skillet” oils over medium heat. Add contents of Ziploc bag to skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green onions and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Gently pull one full leaf of wilted cabbage off of head with tongs. Drain off water, lay in a 9×13 pan, and add chicken mixture. Roll up tightly and lay in pan. Repeat with the rest of the leaves until the chicken mixture is used up.

Cover tightly with foil, place in 350-degree oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sunshine sauce, if desired. (I tried it with and without the sauce, and it was great either way!)

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This is how the REAL women do it.

At least that’s what I’ve been told.  By women.  I’d be slightly more suspicious if it were the men who were dishing out this info while dishing some of the fruits of the real women’s labor into their traps.

Three generations of us real women (the 14yr old 4th generation was exercising her right to protest in front of the TV) gathered in my kitchen today and bulked up our biceps, triceps, glutes, fingers, and sweated buckets, almost as heavy as the ones we were lifting…

….to and from my stove.  Here are some of this year’s kitchen sights:

The prep

My peachies in their new homes

The trap filling goods of real women. All in a day's work! Much more bicep building ahead.

This sweat labor includes peaches, salsa, and pickled green beans.  Next on the agenda is massive amounts of plain ‘ol greenie beans (which are next to impossible to find this year!)

If it were not for the crack that my mom secretly snuck in those beans last year (I just know she did) then I wouldn’t be taking on this time sucker.  But once you take a bite, you fly like a kite (at least your taste buds do).

So what’da think?  Do you feel we sweaty and questionably bulked up women are real women? Now I know why farm girls can be scary and sport biceps rivaling that of their male counterparts.  OR do you believe as my daughter, who took one look at our living off the grid faces and repeated multiple times,

Real women go to the store!”

Do they?  I am at the store a lot.  And I can food (this year I actually did ’cause my Mom wouldn’t let me play the learner card).  Does that mean I am a real woman squared?!  All of you bulked up real women raise your canning jar or shopping bag because this is how the real women do it.

Enjoy this post that I wrote last year during another real women feat.

GUESS WHAT MY MOM TAUGHT ME TO DO?!?

Here’s a hint…..

Yes, we busted out her pressure cooker, blew off the dust, brought it to my home and began the adventure.  I respect those individuals who can because it is a lot of work!  Truth be told my mom did most of the work since I was “learning” but still, we’re talking hours here people.  Even with all of the work there is just something satisfying about looking over rims and rims of jars.  See….

….and thinking ‘I did that!’ Wow.  Now, one may consider tomatoes to be enough for the day but not my mom.  She is a true slave driver and we tease her mercilessly about her whip crackin’ demeanor.  In addition to the gazillion tomatoes, she brought a bushel of green beans too.  My 80+ year old Grammie began slaving away with those experienced bean snapping hands.

Grama threatened instant death…like snapping my neck rather than the beans death….if I placed anymore than a photo of her hands on this site. Sooooo, I will comply since I have a fondness for my cute little neck.   Since Grama is hands off, enjoy more photos of the beans!

OK, enough of the bean photos.  My mom did not say anything about keeping her photo off this site so here is the woman who taught me all I know 🙂
Thanks MOMMY!!!!

A whole lot’a ugly!

I walked into my local grocery store today and guess what? The price of food has gone up…AGAIN.  All food.  Even the cheap, processed, fake junk is on the rise.  Speaking of fake, processed…I never understood why grocery store meat contained the little caption “caramel coloring added.”  Caramel coloring?  Meat has color to begin with so why the need for added coloring?  WELL, I recently discovered that meat will naturally turn grey as it sits on the shelf.  Yes, I don’t eat much meat and I have limited exposure to the stuff. I was BFs with meat until my younger brother went on a vegetarian kick that turned into a life style when he was a teen.  He took it upon himself to rescue his carnivorous family from our evil ways.  This salvation consisted of him shouting unpleasant stuff  like “That’s gonna rot in your gut for months!” with each meat laden fork-full we tried to enjoy.  If the above approach failed then he was thoughtful enough to provide us with a never-ending supply of putrid meat articles (conveniently placed at our meat fest place settings).  Before I knew it, I began to think animal flesh was rather gross and fiber became my new BFF. Sigh, he had me at gut rotting.  

….Grey meat.  Grey is a good thing.  Grey is our body’s friend.  We shoppers don’t like to see grey meat because it looks old and gross so enter our little friends caramel coloring and sodium nitrate.  Caramel keeps the meat looking pretty while we cook it and sodium nitrate allows it to remain the cancer causing neon red color for months of shelf-life. 

Disturbing. 

You can buy nitrate free lunch meat for a body part OR just tell your family the stuff is evil and move on. If they fight you just show them this:

Today, during a moment sale price enticement, I bought 4#s of evil for the kid’s lunches.  I also bought a grand daddy size of Benefiber.  I’m thinking if I dose enough in their food they will blow a load before the wickedness is actually absorbed.  I like my delusions and I like Benefiber.

To make me feel like a better mom and smooth my 4# guilt, I raided the fruit and leafy greens isle. The clementines that my family loves to devour are now priced $1 more per box.  Fresh fruit and veggies are nearing organ and body fluid donation prices. I’m partial to having two kidneys even though science informs me I can survive on one.  Maybe Mr. Pavlov can take one for the team and donate some of his boys.  He loves to boast of their swimming ability and should get a respectable price = lots of fruit for the donation.  Hmmmm…..that gives a whole new concept to “…fruit of thy loins…”

We want to eat healthy and we are making better choices but these prices aren’t making it easy for us.  And two of my three bambinos are professional eating machines.  Puberty, hormones, and growth spurts are causing raging appetites and with them, food bills.

How do you guys manage? 

From bogus meat to price gouging…it’s all ugly to me.

Who’s your boss?

The "Path" to Hoboken NJ

The next portion of our NYC journey takes us to Hoboken NJ to Mr. Cake Boss himself.

TLC’s Cake Boss is one of the kid’s favorite shows.  I believe Buddy fills the extreme baking void that I, the non-baker mom, have left in their lives.  I am rather thankful for his presence in our home and do not harbor any feelings of resentment or jealously even when the kids respond “Mom, how’come your cakes never turn out like that?”  I can easily reply “Ah, because you see, he creates works of art that could be displayed in a museum!”  How can Mrs. No Bake Pavlov compete with that?  I can’t.  That’s the beauty.

It was a no brainer that Mr. Cake Man would be elevated to a high priority level of must see attractions.  But common sense (I seem extremely gifted in this area) told me that we would not be the only cake crazed fans of Mr. Fabulous so I did my research…..research that informed me of the crazy crowds, long lines and baked goods that didn’t quite measure up as expected.  GREAT.

We do for our kids and do we did.  My research informed me:

  1.  Tuesdays are the slowest day of the week
  2. Get there early
  3. Be prepared to wait
  4. Expect rudeness
  5. The baked goods are so-so
  6. People are crazy

After a little travel confusion we arrived at 11:30AM…later that desired.  The line was already a half of a block long and growing.  We secured a spot and within a mere 10 minutes the line grew two blocks and spilled across the street!

A conveniently located clock across the street to make one painfully aware of the agonizing wait.

 As you can see from the clock above we were in line (Outside) for 1 hour and 30 minutes before we ever reached indoor heat.  THEN we had a 30 minute wait inside.  We only had to move a 1/2 block.  The people across the street?  Their wait was 3 1/2 to 4hours before their skin felt indoor warmth.  Ouch. 

For those of you who know Mr. Pavlov and me you know that we don’t do lines.  This was the mother of all lines and a total labor of love for our precious darlings.  I’m quite confident that we will cash in on this sacrifice for many years to come whenever our offspring dare utter “We don’t get to do anything!!” I will simply grin, tympanic membrane to tympanic membrane, and respond “Ahem….remember the 2 hour wait in line in the freezing cold?”   

While I did not get a photo of the actual length of the line (My brain was somewhat hypothermic and sluggish) here are a few of our line frolicking.

I cant feel my fingers!

The crazy "adults"

"Look whats above my head!" Mr. Pavlov is in touch with his inner child.

This gives a whole new meaning to window shopping Weve reached the window!!! Almost there now....

 Once inside you were given a number and got to experience more waiting.  Dos is oh so excitedly (not) showing that we are #13.  After the counter reaches 100 it cycles back to #1.  We have a number journey to go.

Im kinda done with this.

The view from inside looked like this:

How many humans can you heard in a small shop?

Other voyeurs

In possession of the goods

 While Buddy was hiding for his life we did get to see a special baker…

I got my eye on yous psycho fans!

 Psycho fans we almost became when after enduring the elements, mankind and Kronos, we were callously informed that they only had a single – one – uno – solo- Lobster Tail left!!!!  We wanted 5.  What famous bakery runs out of popular items??? I wanted to take the roll of baking string which, was directly above me and bungee jump from the employee’s neck but instead I forced a smile and took the last Lobster tail along with these:

A lobster tail in a world of Neapolitans

C is for Cannolis

We left the lair of Cake Boss and discovered Mexico. Starvation was in full effect and Mexico looked like a great place to stuff our faces.  This line-free place rocked my taco world!  My taste buds were in culinary heaven. 

Mexico and lunch

 Now what everyone was waiting for….dessert.  Our youngest decided to get funky with his oral abilities and sent a little saliva flying right in the direction of the (open boxed) cherished pastries.

They are thinking "Eww, did any of his gross spit get on my precious?!?"

 Who cares.  All normal tendency for grossedoutness was forgotten and the possibly tainted baked goods…devoured!

Content sugar rushing smiles were worn by all as we made our way back to NYC.  Mr. Pavlov and I felt crazily satisfied.  Research point #6 is a fact – people are crazy.  Everything else is open for debate.

Crazy is what makes life fun.

Post Superbowl: Where even the young are hurtin’

I’m not much  of a sports fanatic.  This is by choice.  I was [past tense] a crazed sports freak.  But I seem to get too involved and then ultimately crushed when my beloveds do not win.  So I decided in 1992, after the ultimate heart failure loss, to observe from a safely unattached distance.  However, I know that Steeler fans are  CRRAAAAZY-dedicated to their Black and Yellow and I admire that. 

I know everyone has something that they like to do for games and Superbowl.  Once we stupidly actually went to a Steeler game and froze beyond freezing.  I never knew that my corneas could ice over!  The pain seared through my eye sockets with each blink. AND would you believe the stadium sold out of Hot Coco?!?  Therefore,  the lack of hot product forced me to lean into my seat neighbor’s personal body space, just above her steaming cup of Hot Coco in order to defrost my partially frozen corneas.  Yea, we didn’t go again after that near blinding, frost bitten experience.  

Usually our Superbowl Sundays go something like: sleeping in (thanks to the beauty of Saturday night Church service), grabbing some take-out or inhaling homemade spaghetti at the parent’s and then returning home so the hubs can retreat to his basement, which he zoned for maximum testosterone output.  It is here that he can indulge in his TV addiction by feeding it with Football time and other man pleasures like hunting or Military shows…often uninterrupted.  We, being myself, the female child and youngest son, usually remain upstairs while the two males yell, groan and engage in general species bonding time.  The kids are usually in bed at a reasonable hour and all is well the next AM regardless of the game outcome.  I can remain safely detached and obtain game info from those emerging from the TESTOSTERONE CAVE.

This year we changed our usual routine thanks to some friends who decided to host a Superbowl party.  We sported the Black and Yellow and were off for some Superbowl FUN!  

We are ready!!

It was great.  I got into the game and felt that old excitement returning.  The friends were awesome and the food filling!

Let’s GO!

Nice Job Kim!

 

Remember my post on the nightmares of Filipino food? click here WHHAAHHHAAA.  I though about bringing Balut (Ba-loot) or some other HELLISH EVIL but Pancit got the vote and she scored!  Don’t worry.  Pancit is just noodles, chicken, peppers and other totally edible stuff  – totally absent of fully formed leathery DUCK!

Yum, Pancit is SAFE

 

The youngest was actually motionless for all of 5 minutes while Fergie “shook it” and belted air through her vocal cords.  Although I’m convinced he was more interested in the gyrations than the dying cow singing part.

He's still....must be the Black Eyed Peas

And I realized that I can watch sports without getting too messed up over the losses.  Fear the beard…not the team!

Now shave that thing!

Everything requires balance.  I can see this now thanks to some help from appendages on the light fixture.

I can see things more clearly now...

But I must tell you….we were hurting today.  I don’t know how some people can stay up so late (yea, I’m a total out of the closet night owl and one to talk…I know) and still function well the next day.  I was ready to shoot-up on some of this and deal with the death later…..

When Starbucks just doesn't cut it!

I was about to blame it on my nearing 40 age bracket but then I noticed something…………..

Post Superbowl: Where even the young are hurtin'

Yep, Post Superbowl:  Where even the YOUNG are hurtin’ INDEED!

Close your eyes and swallow.

I’m usually bold enough to try anything in the food world at least once.   I guess the “you never know until you try it” adage was permanently seared into my soul.

This outlook on food almost killed my psychological well-being and digestive track when I was dating my husband, who is Filipino.  I initially approached the exotic food with great caution, similar to what I imagine walking through a mine field would be like.  I strategically placed meager amounts of the unknown substance(s) on my plate with the utmost uncertainty…Closed my eyes, opened my mouth (maybe chewed a little) and swallowed.  However, after my taste buds danced and exploded with delight, I began to inhale multiple servings of delish rice, chicken, noodles and other veggies.  I eventually quite asking what things were and simply heaped mounds of steaming hot [presumed] goodness on my plate. 

It was during this time of hog slopping that I discovered an important fact.  Not everything in the food repertoire was, by my standards, edible.   Here is a brief example.

Eggs, right?

Take this little gem.  Upon my first encounter with these guys I assumed that they were hard-boiled eggs.  Given the fact that I LOVE hard-boiled eggs, I skipped with delight at the sight of these babies. HOWEVER because I am talking about my frightening exposure to the dark side of Filipino food, I think you can deduce that something evil lurked beneath the shell.

Meet the contents of the egg.

SCREAM!!!!

They call this lovely Balut (Ba-loot).  Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture. They are enjoyed in the Philippines and the fifth and seventh levels of hell.

I hit you with the worst first because I’m cruel like that and you guys are tough.  Now that you have regained control of your stomach and digestion organs, here are some other fun times at the table that I enjoyed – totally unaware until something deep inside my innards began to question things.

looks innocent enough…I thought.

My friend, Diniguan which is also called “Blood Pudding or Chocolate Meat.”  This dish is simmered in blood until it creates a thick gravy-like substance.  But, baby  it ain’t no gravy!!  If you like the taste of liver…I do not and this taste is what produced the rapid expulsion of the material from my mouth and caused the Filipinos to giggle at the white chick spewing chunks of blood meat all over her plate, you may enjoy Diniguan but here is what you should know.  The ‘meat’ is often stomach, intestines, ears, heart and snout. YUMMY! 

fit for a queen

But what the queen should know is that she is eating Mr. Ox tongue.  I know we have this dish in America too but this girl never met Ox Tongue before.  The texture of this little fellow let me know immediately that I had been tongued!!

The place of eating Ox Tongue

Blissfully unaware and food tripping in the Philippines, we loaded up our plates and gorged on the hot, steamy stuff.  However, if you look closely at my son’s face (he was much younger at the time) you will notice that he, or his intact tongue, discovered something was not quite legit about his food.

Umm, MOM I really don't want to eat this and my hand is being forced to touch it!

Last in the line up of disgusting is the baboy, or pig.  I know many enjoy this particular delight world-wide and often involves bon-fires with kegs of beer and drunk, hooting humans.  This cuisine was an easy one to maneuver around and did not produce the cardiac standstill that the Balut did.  However, I did manage to try a piece.  It was, ah, different tasting than the store-bought pig that we consume.  It has a wild taste, like deer. 

Alas we arrive at the reason for this post.  Forget about the fully formed baby duck and other tormenting entrees.  We will now discuss Pizza.  Nice, safe Pizza.

My daughter ordered a Big Mac Pizza and asked me to try a piece.  I had never heard of such a thing.  A pizza made like a Big Mac?  But after exposure to the above mentioned how could I really argue with her safe request????? Big Mac Pizza prepare to meet my Gastric contents………

It was GREAT!!!  It tastes just like a Big Mac minus McDonalds nasty, processed, life sucking beef patties.

I even packed some in my lunch today –

Messy goodness!

– and enjoyed every.single.messy.bite!  Now that’s the stuff I’d try any day!!

Eat me is not to be used as an excuse….

Since I am incubating my muffin top (click to see previous post) I decided to do it up right!  I decided to indulge in so many extra calories that I will drip sugar sweat all over my elliptical. 

Today I fired up the oven and cranked out the baked goods like some non-human conveyor belt.  Equally as rapid was the taste testing and oh, was I reminded of how sick one can become after mass amounts of sugar consumption!  I operated like a well oiled machine.  Some on the tray, some in my mouth…Some on the tray, some in my mouth.  I felt like Laverne and Shirley working on their brewery assembly line job, only I remained in my kitchen bathed in flour and dehydrated from sugar overload. 

 Yes, muffin top you have great possibilities this season. 

Laverne and Shirley on the assembly line

 As I was assembling and cooling my goods I happened to notice something.  Let’s see if you can identify the common denominator in these photos…ready?

Photo #1

I spy with my little eye...something....

 
Photo #2 

I still spy with my little eye…

 

 See it or should I say her?  Yes, my biggest baking fan and supporter.  She is patient.  She is crafty.  She will wait and attack with perfected table surfing skills which would earn her a 10.0 should she be scored.           
                                                                                                   
 She is none other than my faithful food driven Lab.  She will sample my creations with or without permission regardless of the final outcome.  Burnt, dry, doughy, or divine it doesn’t matter to her.  Agility and air assault are combined with one big inhalation and the goodies are gone.  Not even a single crumb is left behind as a reminder of what was.  The plate is licked clean and if one would feel inspired to take a closer look (like say, the baker whose goods are suddenly GONE), the streaks of dried canine saliva are evident.                                                                 
 
The kids, when being piggish, have actually tried to use the table surfing dog as an excuse for vanished product.   However, if these above mentioned canine spit streaks are absent then the dog is pardoned and the kids are judged guilty.  The chocolate stains on their little mouth(s) also helps to excuse the dog from certain doom.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                   

After the rage passes and a few deep breaths are taken, I must admit that her effectiveness is rather impressive.  She can clear a table faster than anyone or anything I’ve ever seen…and I’ve been to many all-you-can eat buffets and have experienced (up close and personal) the “folk” who frequent these joints.  I think the XXXL adult bibs with personalized food stains troubled me the most. 

Shiver, back to my food stealing lab…..

Eat me!

My children, who have turned into food stealing lab defense attorneys, have launched their case as “Mommy, it’s almost as if the food is beggin’  for her to “eat me.”  And she does.