BBQ Beef, Spanish Rice, Mexican Grey Squash

This meal was so flavorful, that the BBQ beef was practically superfluous.  The Spanish Rice had wonderful flavor from herbs and bacon, and a bit of body from a modicum of cheese.

Mexican Grey Squash is much like zucchini, only better. It cooks quickly and has a really thin skin. It seems to absorb the flavors of the onions and peppers, with just about any seasonings enhancing the overall ambience. It will complement Mexican or Italian cuisine, with appropriate seasonings.

I haven’t specifically ever tried to make a soup out of the grey squash, but have tossed leftover bits into a catch-all type minestrone.

If you see it, give it a try!  ;->

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A Penne for Your Thoughts

Remember the Eggplant Ragout and the Mini Penne?  Well, of course there was leftover penne (so handy to have at the ready), so a quick lunch was available by sautéing some pasilla and red peppers, and scallions – then adding a spoon or two of fresh salsa.  A couple of scrambled eggs finished off this lovely repast.  My new favorite herb for this sort of thing is now Tuscany Sunset from Penzey’s, and topped with a dollop of sour cream, this was just the most fabulous lunch!

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New Kind of Clip

Some things just make me smile!  These clips – and the box they came in – certainly fall into that category.

For many years, I have been using the small and medium black binder clips, made for office purposes, on a lot of things in the kitchen, but they are B O R I N G !!!

On a lark, I ordered this box of a bazillion small (but only five of the larger ones you see here) clips.  They are shaped like clothespins, have a very sturdy spring, and are quite nicely done for ease of use.

The clips are quite sturdy, even those small ones, and give me a jolt of joy every time I find a use for them!

My first use was on my lovely bag of coffee that greets me in the morning!  WIN-WIN!!

I was more than pleased with this product, especially as the metal box has a very nicely embossed surface with cute cats on it, accompanied by fish and flowers.  Who could not smile when seeing this lovely array of happiness?


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Day of the Iguana

We’re not sure if this is the same iguana as was around a couple of weeks ago, but isn’t he magnificent? Love the inclusion of his lovely tail. Many thanks to my son, The Iguana Wrangler, for providing me with this lovely shot.

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Eggplant Ragout and Mini Penne

Eggplant . . . not my favorite food, but WOW – this turned out great.  And unexpectedly easy.  I read somewhere years ago that it improves the stringent feeling of eggplant if it is salted and drained before cooking/roasting it.  Sometimes I even remember to do this.

For this particular dish, I remembered.  I diced a medium-sized eggplant into small bits and then sprinkled them generously with salt and put them back into the refrigerator.  After a couple of hours, I drained off the brown fluid.  Turned out we weren’t hungry enough that night for a whole new batch of food, so I just fixed up one of our famous melange meals that we are so fond of.

Next day:  Well I can’t remember why, but I didn’t fix it that evening either.  I just drained off the accumulated brown liquid, and put it back into the refrigerator.

Last night, I dragged it out, again drained off the liquid, and scraped it into the frying pan to brown a bit.  I added chopped leftover roast beef, onion, peppers, fresh salsa, chopped fresh tomatoes, and one slice of precooked, crispy bacon.  Then I cooked it for about half an hour, and then sprinkled in some Italian-type seasonings to taste.

The mini penne cooked fairly quickly and I grated up some mozzarella cheese for sprinkling on top.  I guess at this point, it would qualify to be ratatouille, or maybe Eggplant Parmesan.

I tend to like sour cream on this sort of dish, so I didn’t put either cheese on mine, leaving it all for DH to slather on his.  Rightly I guess I should have run the cheese-topped dish under the broiler to top brown the cheese, but I didn’t, and it was delicious as it was!

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Burger Queen

That’s me!!!!  Ever since his college days in Tucson, DH has been an avid fan of cheeseburgers.  We have them often.

But will there ever be a burger better than those at Louie’s Lower Level on the University of Arizona campus at mid-century?

I’ve certainly tried.

This burger above started with roasted green and yellow peppers, with a slice of jalapeño cheese in the depression, topped with a quarter piece of crisp bacon and a scoop of grilled onions.  The burger on top of that is nearly superfluous.  Add that luscious tomato, pop it onto a sourdough roll, and wow – what a lunch!


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Beer Brats and Cranberry Beans

As usual, this meal is a melange of several different cultures, but the outcome was very enjoyable.  The little sausage bits are German beer cheese brats, with Mexican pasilla peppers and regular red bell peppers.  I should have tossed in some onions, too, but was too lazy.  There was a bit of collards left, and of course, there is almost always NOLA Boy-approved beans and rice at the ready. That’s smoked paprika on my portion.  His was doused with the more traditional Tabasco sauce.

These are cranberry beans, which are quickly becoming a favorite, even over the big kidney beans that have held that lofty platform for a long time.  Cranberry beans seems to make the mushier beans-in-their-own-sauce dish that is apparently more authentic than regulation beans

The tomatoes were left from the cheeseburgers at lunch time, and pumped up the more sparse amount of veggies that night.  All in all, a very satisfying repast.


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