Cooking · Dining · Food

Rediscovering Oldies But Goodies

Or, maybe just discovering new ideas.

As someone who started to cook in a farmhouse kitchen and who loves good food, I love to learn about food. I remember when the Galloping Gourmet was on TV (waaaaaay back in the early 70s). Sadly, in my neck of the woods, PBS signals weren’t that strong so I didn’t have the luxury of watching Julia child then. Later on however…

Fast Forward a Few Years

I fondly recall watching the PBS weekend home shows that included Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet) among many others. I learned a lot.

When the Internet and streaming arrived, I discovered many other places to find good cooks who shared their best recipes, ideas, tips and tricks. Here are some of my recent discoveries. Check them out:

Graham Kerr’s Kitchen

As a result of wife Treena’s health issues, Graham Kerr started to learn new ways to create meals with healthier foods that were easily prepared, and quite tasty. What he discovered and created are some interesting ideas that can be easily customizable based on your own tastes.

If you are looking for healthy recipes with some creative ideas to create some amazing food check out the series.

You can find the series on YouTube, iFood.TV and Amazon Prime.

The very first episode of the series.
Glen and Friends Cooking

Glen and Friends is a Canadian based show produced for YouTube but found on iFood.tv (as LeGourmet). Glen and wife Julie focus on vintage recipes from cookbooks from his old cookbook collection bu there is a wide variety of foods covered. The recipes are interesting, the flavors different from what we think of as the average food profile of the day.

Glen has tackled a wide variety of things, including a series on discovering the recipe for KFC chicken.

A recent addition to the YouTube channel.
Wyse Guide

Wyse Guide was a surprise I found on YouTube. Definitely the youngest of this crowd, Kaleb brings a wide variety of material to his website and his YouTube channel.

Want to learn the basics of baking? How to preserve and can foods? Find easy and tasty weeknight meal recipes? Kaleb’s your person!

One of his recent YouTube videos.

Thanks to streaming, there has been quite a bit of cross-pollination of many, many shows. Several of Julia Child’s series can be found on PlutoTV on her very own channel. Ditto for America’s Test Kitchen. You can also find The Hairy Bikers on the BBC Food channel as well as over on Tubi and Crackle. Ciao Italia and P. Allen Smith are also found on iFood.tv. These are all free streaming channels.

I’ve found cookbooks over on Amazon, too.

If you are learning to cook or are looking to expand your repertoire, these are great options.

Have fun!

Cooking · Food

Baked Sandwiches

A great alternative to cold sandwiches that you can make your own!

I recently pulled a pack of pulled pork from my freezer and decided to use it in a slightly different way. A few years back I found a great recipe for a baked sandwich that was easy to make, tasty, and very flexible.

Roast Beef and Swiss Sandwich Bake is excellent on its own, but you can switch out the meats and the cheese(s) to use what you have.

I used the pulled pork, used Dijon mustard and a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Delicious!

What About?

Here are some ideas you might consider:

Sliced chicken or turkey with provolone? Taco meat? Pulled meats?

The sandwich reheats well but you can eat at room temperature, too. I’m thinking packed lunches, picnics, backyard meals, the options are broad. Serve with a side salad or some fresh vegetables, maybe some soup.

Let your imagination go!

Happy eating!

Around the House · Musings

Getting Back to Normal?

The kids are heading back to school soon. The weather is starting to head toward what the end of Summer usually looks like. In places. 🙂 Folks are starting to think about a change of pace that could either be a slow down or a speed up depending upon the kids in the household.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to stop thinking about Summer Meals and start diving into some hearty recipes that are not only satisfying but tasty, too.

Granted the move toward Fall will take a while – my local weatherman is predicting 90+ degree temps in the coming days – but in the meantime it is a good idea to start checking the markets to see what is on offer, what fits into the budget, and what changes we might make.

The Holidays are also on the way and that will mean some extra budget planning, not to mention time planning, for those who are looking at gift giving.

Yep, we are heading back to Normal.

Yikes!

Around the House · Cooking · Dining · Food

A Bread Board That Works!

If you are like me, you love homemade or artisan types of bread. If you are also like me, cutting these loaves can be a trial.

In my case, I have a wonderful, sharp knife, but the effort to slice the loaf without crushing it, or getting a slice that is a bit, um, mis-shaped, is a trial.

For several years I looked to find a solution to this problem, thinking that I might purchase an electric knife to solve the issue. I admit, I did not know about the bread slicing guide until I happened to trip over a reference in one of my searches.

I needed something that would make the slicing easier, provide a variety of slice sizes, and would be easy to store away. What I found astonished me.

Behold, the Natural Bamboo Foldable Bread Slicer! Click on the link for more information.

Pay attention to the information guide and note that while this is an easy to use product, there can be a bit of a learning curve. Like many first time users, I set mine up backwards – with the platform that the bread sits on lower than the knife guide. When I turned it over (right side up), it worked great!

It is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store. At first I was concerned that the bamboo would be damaged by cutting, but that hasn’t happened yet. I do have issues using the knife, but I expect that to work itself out over time.

Oh, and I have not purchased an electric knife. 🙂

I purchased mine through Amazon, but as you can see on the link above, you can purchase directly from the manufacturer – and check out all the other products they have available!

Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: Desperate Undertaking

This latest addition to the Flavia Albia series, not to mention the Falco series, is a sit on the edge of your seat thriller.

Desperate Undertaking by Lindsey Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a decided fondness for authors who can create, and sustain, a series with characters and locations that are compelling. In this case, two series.

For those of us Falco Fans, Albia comes face to face with people that Falco and Helena encountered 15 (20?) years prior. It wasn’t a joyful situation.

This situation adds layers to the tapestry that Davis created when she developed both the Falco and Albia series. There is some cross-pollination simply because of the ebb and flow of people that come and go in our lives.

The killings are brutal. There is no doubt that whoever came up with the scenarios (yes, plural) is creative. The horror of discovery is matched by the desperate search to find and stop those responsible. Motive is a huge question – why were these people killed? The answers are chilling on several levels.

As I listened I found myself in awe of the creativity of the writer. While there is a lot of detail regarding a lot of things, thankfully there is not too much detail about certain things. If you have a fluid imagination be warned. On the other hand, the settings and background are beautifully rendered. I admit I would have liked to have a map but one really isn’t needed.

The characters are beautifully rendered. As usual, there are new folks we haven’t encountered in addition to those who came from prior books. The location is also brought to life. Rome in all its complicated majesty is almost a character in and of itself. Not surprising all things considered.

While I would strongly recommend this book to any Falco or Flavia reader, I do think that if you are new to the series you might be a bit lost in understanding the history of the people involved. But that is just me.

That being said, I am going to find the book that this particular work springs from and dive back in. As I recall from the last time I listened/read it, it was one of Falco & Helena’s best adventures.



View all my reviews

Food

Why Did I Wait So Long To Try This?

Finally, a great tasting salsa that is Just Right. For me.

I’m one of those folks who do not like spicy or hot foods. My idea of chili has a maximum 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder.

Salsa is one of those things I enjoy in moderation but won’t make at home. Buying salsa at the store can be tricky. I go for ‘mild’ actually preferring something 50 degrees cooler. And let us not forget that tomatoes and acid go hand in hand, which makes it just that much less enjoyable.

Every once in a while I get an urge for some salsa and the search begins. I toy with the idea of picking up the same brand I bought the last time until I remember that that experience was not really enjoyable. Decent flavor. Okay. Nice texture. Okay. Acid reflux for days. No thanks.

A few years back America’s Test Kitchen did a taste testing of bottled salsas and picked a winner. I appreciated the test, but at that time the brand wasn’t available in my area.

Fast forward a few years. I recently caught that same episode with the taste test. Check out the taste test here:

I wondered if the winning brand was available in my local stores. Yep, it was. I added it to my shopping list along with a bag of my favorite tortilla chips.

Boy! Was I glad I did!

Chi-Chi’s Brand has quite an array of products including salsas. I picked up their Thick and Chunky Salsa – in Mild, of course – and really enjoyed it. Even a few days after the jar was opened, the contents held their flavors, weren’t acidic or bitter and tasted as good as the first taste.

Yes, there is some heat and tang to the sauce. No, it isn’t spicy and hot in that numb your mouth way. At least the Mild version I tried wasn’t. I can’t comment on any of the others.

Yes, I could make my own, but I don’t eat it enough to go to the trouble to find everything I need.

I’m glad I saw that taste test and took the minute or two to find it in my local market. This is something that I can imagine using in a variety of ways, not just on chips.

Check it out and see what you think!