Category Archives: Food

White Chili

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I had a lot of interest in this when I posted on FB about having white chili for dinner. I actually have more friends on FB than I have blog followers – some are duplicated – but if five people over there wanted my recipe, maybe some of you do, too?

First off – I’d not made this in years. Hubby always gives a rating to our big meal of the day and he gave this a 10/10. A rarity! We expected leftovers but instead ate the lot. Oink!

Secondly – this is in US measurements. I don’t love you enough to convert them! Well, I do love you. I’m just strapped for time right now.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon aniseed 

1/2 teaspoon dry, crushed red chili peppers

4 large garlic cloves, diced finely (fresh are the best) 

1lb chicken, cubed

1 cup chicken broth

7oz can of green chilies

1/2 cup cream

3 15oz cans of cannelini beans
Grated cheddar

Dry or fresh Cilantro

I will say in advance that we don’t eat onions, and the aniseed seems wrong to me for this recipe. I have never made this with either of those ingredients. But, this is how I got the recipe originally, so I’m giving it to you that way. It’s not the kind of recipe that needs to be exact. Play with it! 

I also have a nice big cooking pot with an anti-stick coating, so I make it all in one pot. Saves on the washing up!
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, aniseed and red pepper flakes. Sauté 5 minutes, and push the onion to the side.

Season chicken with salt & pepper, sauté approx 5 minutes. (I don’t bother with the seasoning, it doesn’t need it).

Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of ‘bean juice’. (Last time I used 2 not 3 cans, as we didn’t have a whole pound of chicken. I did find that I wanted more beans. It sounds like a lot, but they are soooo tasty).

When the chicken is browned to your liking, add the beans, chicken broth, bean juice, cream and green chilis. (I can’t get these here. Old El Paso brand sells them, but I have never found them in Ireland. I used one 4oz can, bought in the USA, that expired in 2012!  Best of luck where ever you live, as I don’t have a good replacement idea. Maybe a very finely chopped green bell pepper would work, but I think it would taste too ‘green.’ Or another variety of green, mild pepper. Unless you want it hot, then go crazy with jalapeños).
Simmer the lot about 10 mins until chicken is fully cooked. (In our case, we leave it there for a good hour. We don’t like to be rushed and it doesn’t make a difference).
Serve into bowls (makes 4-6 servings, hahahahahha, we two piggies ate it all in one sitting), top with shredded cheddar and sprinkle with cilantro (I hate fresh cilantro but the dry stuff is okay for me. Hubby likes both).
I know I have some vegan/vegetarian friends here. I don’t see why this couldn’t be made with substitutes for the chicken, broth, cream and cheese. 

Deth Nog 2016!

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I have a good few amazing new blogger friends this year who have never heard about Deth Nog! Time to set that right. 

My dad always made (and hopefully still does make) some seriously potent home made egg nog for Christmas. Of course as kids, we were only allowed a sip or three, as it was heavily boozed up.

We always bought milk in the typical big American gallon jug. Milk that was used for drinking, of course, and for everyone’s morning coffee (we kids had “coffee-milk” which was mostly milk with coffee splashed in – no concerns about caffeine being bad back then. And I’m glad. That drink was awesome, and it made us feel included in family rituals, and very grown-up).

So. One year, mom blearily added the eggnog (made in an empty gallon milk jug) to her morning coffee. I’m sure she had a great day at work! We had a great new tradition- labelling the jug to prevent accidental morning tipples.

Me being me, I’ve run with the idea over the years. Here are my efforts over the years I’ve been blogging.


2010, I think.


2011


2013? Lokii and Spot.


Definitely 2013. Maybe I made two batches.


2014.


2015. I think. Ah, who cares.

Freshly made tonight and finally labelled with the year so I don’t get mixed up again: crappy skulls on top of trees! Oh well, I tried. At least the trees look okay. It’s Sharpie marker – only one chance to draw.

And now to the important part: how to pleasantly poison yourself and your family. US and EU measures both provided.

US version:

(need an empty 1 gallon milk jug)

1 cup (1/2 pint) each of:

Brandy

Blended whiskey

Rum (not light or dark – do not use spiced rum, yuck!)
4-6 whole eggs – depends on how big they are, of course
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (I think I hit about the middle between the two)

1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg (may need a bit more, I didn’t have the measure written down! Dad said start with 1/4 and add more if you think it needs it. I’ve used as much as whole teaspoon of each and it was fine.)
Beat eggs until smooth.

Add cream and a bit of the milk, doesn’t matter how much but not TOO much just yet!

Add all the alcohol. Add the sugar.

Stir until the sugar melts.

Add nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pour into empty 1 gallon jug, top up with milk until jug is full.

Shake well!

Not-US Version: Okay, same thing but converted into metric! Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect, it’ll be tasty.

(need two empty 2-litre milk jugs)

237ml each of:

Brandy

Blended whiskey

Rum (not light or dark – do not use spiced, yuck!)

4-6 whole eggs – depends on how big they are, of course

473ml heavy cream

4 to 8 tablespoons sugar (I think I hit about the middle between the two)

1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg (may need a bit more, I didn’t have the measure written down! Dad said start with 1/4 and add more if you think it needs it. I’ve used as much as whole teaspoon of each and it was fine.)

Beat eggs until smooth.

Add cream and a bit of the milk, doesn’t matter how much but not TOO much just yet!

Add all the alcohol. Add the sugar.

Stir until the sugar melts.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pour into empty jugs, try to put the same amount in each, oh how fun, and top up with milk until jugs are full.

Shake well!

Note: I can’t find ‘not light and not dark’ rum here; I just use the white or clear rum. 

Please do let me know if you try it! 

Educational Garlic Post

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Remember this thing I posted (mixed in with loads of flowers, I know, it got ignored).


Well! It turns out this a called a garlic scape. They are only found on hard-neck garlic. 

I never buy garlic to plant: I shove whatever I bought in the shop into the ground when it gets all growy-green, dried up and inedible, therefor I have never had a clue what type of garlic I was growing. Turns out that over the years I’ve been doing this (except for this beastie), we have only purchased the soft-neck variety for cooking.

It turns out you can eat the scape, too! Google ‘eating garlic scapes.’ How cool is that? 

I won’t eat this one as it would be a paltry meal. I’ll take the other path that says when the scape is less like a snake and more like a stake and standing upright, it is time to harvest. I might split the bulb and make more for next year as I love garlic and some of the recipes out there sound delicious. 

Thank you to Quickcrop.ie for the education in garlic scapes. 

Miss America…

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…is something I rarely do. But today I saw something so awesome I’d like to hop a plane to California just to try it.


Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos. It is mac and cheese, deep fried in a Cheetos crust.

I want this bit of frankenfood in my mouth right now. I don’t care how bad it is for me. I want it in my bellah. I want deep fried Cheeto smell all over my fingers. And orange teeth. 

I haven’t had Mac and cheese in a couple of years, and I haven’t had a Cheeto in over a decade. If anyone deserves to eat this, it is me!

Here’s a taste-test video. Damn him, damn him to hell for getting a bite of comfort-food heaven (he might be going there already for saying ‘digging it’ so damn often).

I’m also annoyed that they spelled it n’ instead of ‘n. Burger King, fix that! I love you.

Forgot to Title… Meh.

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I’m currently fighting for space in front of the fire with the two boys. I can’t get a picture as it is too dark, but Lokii is jammed between my thighs and Spot is making sure that I cannot stretch my legs.

Oh wait, iDJ just came in and I got him to take a pic of us. This is live-blogging, folks!

 

He Himself has recently brought to the house his old electric guitar, and bought a small amplifier. He was just playing, and I tried to get a pic but he stopped too soon. He is going to figure out how to hook up a microphone to the amp so I can sing while he plays. This is something I’ve wanted us to do together for a very long time!

 

An earlier, ‘action shot’ of Lokii when he was doing his stretching exercises. Along with my feet still in winter indoor booties and the dog bed (brown thing with green fluff) that Lokii is entirely responsible for chewing up. Little shithead.

I think our robins have abandoned the hose-reel nest. They weren’t expecting us to be outside so much, or throwing smoke in their faces every weekend when we grill. iDJ just loves to grill.

 

Not taken tonight: this was last weekend. But since I have shared kitty pics, I must include a doggie pic of Neko looking so sad that she can’t have BBQ. Tonight we are having sausages, drumsticks, and my homemade hamburgers. Maybe an ear of corn for me, if I get up away from the lovely fire and open the oh-so-difficult package of Spanish corn for him. *snark*

Back to the birds – we bought them dried mealworms. Because, supposedly, robins love them. I opened the package and they smelled really good. So I ate one. On purpose, and all. It actually wasn’t bad – like popcorn without butter and salt. Nicely crunchy, a slight taste of fat. So maybe they just need warming, and salt.

It didn’t bother me to eat one, as mealworms don’t have legs or a distinctive head. Does that even make sense? Maybe I’ve just been reading too much about alternatives to protein in our diets and wanted to give it a go. Seriously, it wasn’t disgusting at all. 

What I Do to Chicken Wings

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I love chicken wings. When I cook them, they are baked, dry – no oil or butter – and I only add the sauce at the end.

In my old age, I have discovered that I adore crispy chicken skin. This is rather difficult to create when baking instead of deep-frying, and more time-intensive. The whole idea of eating fatty anything on purpose is hard for me – bordering on disgusting. But if it is crispy-crunchy-salty-hot? All good!

Since we don’t have dedicated wing restaurants here, the only time I get chicky wangs (yes, I call them that, fuck off, it makes iDJ happy when I talk southerin) is occasionally in the pub for a birthday/special event, or if I make them myself.

The pub ones are edible, but not crispy, so I end up leaving behind most of the wing as I can not eat greasy soft fat. Bleurgh. It makes me feel ill to even think about it – unless the soft fat is butter, which I could eat with a spoon. Mmm, butter.

Anyhoo. When we make wings at home, they come in a big package and need cleaned (feather removal) and cut into sections. This is where I probably diverge from most people who make wangs at home. You either don’t cut them up, or you do cut them up and then discard the wing-tip.

The wing-tip, if crunchy, is my absolute favourite part of a chicken. I would gladly take all those bits that restaurants in America toss out and feast until I turned into a chicken. You know that threat your momma always gave when you ate too much of one thing? Sort of like ‘If you make that face, it will stick’? I’m thinking of the one where she said, “You are going to turn into a _____!” (FYI – mine as a kid would be a black olive, a BBQ rib, cheese, or a ham sandwich.)

The thing with me is… I don’t just eat the meat and skin. Oh no.

I eat the bone.

Crunch crunch crunch!

If it gets chewy at all, I stop. If it stays crunchy? I eat the whole damn thing. For example:

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Chicken wing-tip before I ate it…

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Wing afterward. I have left the two joints, as they weren’t crunchy enough.

Nom! Devoured. I really enjoy eating the bones. It sure might be weird, but I’d like to think of it as eating all of the chicken except for the cluck.

Anyone else do this? Sled, you are exempt from the question, if you managed to read this far!

We use Frank’s Hot Wing Sauce, which luckily we can buy here. But what I do miss are teriyaki wings, and garlic butter wings, as I don’t know how to make the sauces with what I find in Ireland. I’d love some tips! Pun not intended.

Provenance

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Right, so. I’m behind on posting, on writing, on interacting with all my lovely blog-friends. My brain just hasn’t wanted to share. It’s been months actually since I’ve made an effort. So, I have very little today.

I have a lot of followers from the USA, and I wanted to talk about the differences between the meat I buy in Ireland, and what you all get in the US.

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First of all, we have a national quality standard.

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Secondly – dude! I can go to this farm and meet your man, if I want to. His name, his address, is right there on the package of steaks.

The provenance is always listed on non-processed food – not only meat, but fruits and vegetables. It makes me wonder why the US can’t, or won’t, do the same for their food. Wouldn’t you like to know that you are buying potatoes from Israel when you live in Idaho?

If You Give a Cat a Lollipop…

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I still have leftover Halloween sweets/candy. Last night I was sitting in front of the fireplace, my Siamese boy Lokii on my lap (as always when fire is nearby), and I had a rare hankering for sugar. I displaced Lokii long enough to grab a Chupa Chup lollipop (or sucker, whatever you call ’em) from the kitchen, and returned to warm our mutual arses in front of the lovely fire.

Lokii – being a feline stomach on legs – wanted to know what I kept sticking into my mouth. So I let him have a sniff.

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He was interested. The flavour was strawberries and cream, after all.

Most of us have heard that cats cannot taste sweet. So I wonder what, exactly, made him want my sucker so badly? What did he think it tasted like?

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Because he loved it.

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He looks like a demented Orc from the Lord of the Rings films.

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Nom nom nom!