Mexican chicken

November 21, 2015

Mexican? Not really. But good.

Mexican? Not really. But good.

Which is only vaguely Mexican, and about 100 percent rural Southern, but is nevertheless pretty doggoned good.

I had gotten out and run errands all day — post office, bank, several shopping stops. It was coming on 3 p.m., and I didn’t have anything special in mind while I was wandering through the grocery, when I commenced to think about potentially cooking dinner. It was Friday, and I could have technically gotten by without cooking dinner, but I figured it was going to be cold, and I didn’t want to go out, and I really wasn’t in the notion for carryout.

So I was wandering the aisles at Kroger, thinking about what to cook, and I settled on Mexican chicken, which, while it is canonically made in the slow cooker, can certainly be cooked on top of the stove. That was likely inspired by an earlier trip to WalMart, where I’d picked up the one food item I will go to WalMart for — the Great Value black bean and white corn salsa, and I was still thinking in that notion.

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Thanksgiving menu

November 20, 2015

turkey dayAs I need to plan my Thanksgiving menu, I figure I might as well make a blog post out of it. Because Thanksgiving, my favorite of all the holidays, is less than a week away, and I will have two-thirds of my family there, and we need to eat early because Son-in-law 2 wants to hit WalMart when it opens at 6 Thanksgiving night.

Me, I’ll sit home and eat leftover turkey and nap on the couch. My shopping will be on Cyber Monday.

Anyway. Menu.

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Pot roast, Day 3…

November 19, 2015

soup n pc

Similar to above illustration. This is one from last year. I failed to take a pic  of the latest version.

…wherein we make the best vegetable beef soup in the world.

No brag, just fact. This stuff, people, is just excellent. It will fill you up, warm you up, make you happy, and probably improve your love life. And, provided you have followed my earlier instructions on how to make your pot roast, it’s damn near foolproof.
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Pot roast, Day 2

November 18, 2015

beef and gravyWherein the versatile pot roast becomes a beef-and-gravy entree.

This is so simple as to barely warrant a post, but it’s just so good.

The recent pot roast, being that just two of us dined on it and it was a good-sized one to start with, left me with a lot of meat. I contemplated roast beef sandwiches (debris po’boys!), but decided, mostly because I felt like mashed potatoes.

Real mashed potatoes. With lumps.

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Oh, you lovely, beautiful confection, you.

Oh, you lovely, beautiful confection, you.

A coconut cake, in fact. The cake that is perhaps my very favorite cake among all cakes (though pineapple upside down cake and ricotta cake come close). The cake that my Mama used to make the old-fashioned way, either grating the coconut on the box grater (and trying not to grate knuckles in with it; blood really shows up against coconut) or just getting out the sausage grinder and mincing it up that way.

Me, I have the advantage of fresh-frozen coconut from the grocery, and I use it in copious quantities. It’s one product whose taste doesn’t vary much from the real, fresh item. (Sans blood.)

Mama used to frost her coconut cakes with seven-minute frosting, which has never been one of my favorites. I don’t like buttercream on a coconut cake, either; it’s too sweet. But Mama came across this ultra-simple frosting for this cake years ago, and I’ve adopted it for my own, and it’s wonderful.

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…because I have cooked a pot roast.

And a fine pot roast it was. (Local, pastured, grass-fed and grain-finished beef from Nine Oaks Farm makes a big difference, I might add.) Child A and I enjoyed it greatly, and will likely enjoy it again tomorrow, and will enjoy vegetable beef soup from it later on this week.

There are no photos of said pot roast. Because it looks like a pot roast, and all of ’em, at least all of mine, look alike, and that ain’t too photogenic. No matter. They’re wonderful.

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Busy-day dinner

November 10, 2015

Thirty-minute dinner, right here.

Thirty-minute dinner, right here.

Sometimes, a day just swarms on you. Jumps goofy. Goes to hell in a handbasket.

Mine did, yesterday, with poor time management screwing up the first part of it and an unexpected call to be emergency childcare changing plans for the last, and today as well. So I found myself getting back home at almost 6, with dinner still to fix.

There are two easy fixes to this problem of how to get a quick protein ready to go as the centerpiece of a meal: Stop and pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery, or stop and pick up a pound of barbecue at the local barbecue joint.

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