food:: stir-fry & a trip to the asian market

My son loves stir fry, Mongolian grill style.

On a regular basis (well let’s just say almost daily), he asks if I will take him to his favorite restaurant.

I am raising a foodie.

My child will try anything at the Mongolian grill.  He shows more enthusiasm, and is more adventurous than I would have ever thought about Asian cuisine.  Often at dinner time, he will work on stir fry dishes at home with me::

Recently I bought him 3 cookbooks to get him thinking of new things to try.  When you have a picky eater and ya find something they like, ya go with it.

To make things a tad more interesting, the other day we made a trip to the local Asian market.

He’s not digging the seaweed at the present moment.

I hope I can get him to try some sushi with cooked fish at least.  And that would be because I am the one that gets squeamish over the raw stuff.  And calamari. I cannot get past the rubber-band texture.  Or the wiggly little legs.  Ewwwww.  I get the mental picture of the little suction-cups springing back to life and sticking to the edges of my mouth as if to say nooooooo I want to liiiiiive!

As a trial run to learn how to make the sushi, we had Sushi Night at a surprise birthday party.

There were 7 of us girls and we kicked the guys out.  They were just jealous we didn’t invite them because all they could come up with was something along the lines of “fine ~ we don’t want to go and be around y’all acting like a bunch of drunk lesbians anyway”  Oooooh, burn.  So we did what we do best.  We took the opportunity to act incredibly silly and girly.  We made sushi like we were having a craft-day at summer camp and found something to giggle about nearly every 3 seconds.  We danced in the living room and discussed the finer points of lip gloss that has a light up applicator and a mirror.   (btw ~ it’s called Pure Illumination and that shit rocks!)

And at one point we were convinced that the next Sushi Night, we were going to try asparagus & spam sushi.  But that might have been the shots talking…

Anyway, we also got to talking about our caloric intake and we decided that we were already making Weight Watcher sushi because everything in it was healthy.

So we renamed it Skinny Bitch Sushi.

~ crab rangoon::  1 pkg. room temp light cream cheese, 4 chopped shallots & about 3/4 lb. cooked crab ~

~ sushi & shots ~

sushi:: seaweed, cucumber, avocado, carrots, sesame seeds, rice, tuna, eel (my least favorite) & the crab rangoon

shots:: those would be buttery nipples with butterscotch schnapps & bailey’s irish cream

(use a spoon to pour the bailey’s over towards the edge of the glass and your shots will be layered)

~ and those implanted jewels would be my friend D’s birthday-gift-to-self ~

Even the guy that did it told her she was tough when she didn’t.flinch.once.

D is the coolest badass-iest chick I know.

Oh, and the jasmine tea was divine.  I highly recommend it to those so inclined.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

food:: meatball recipe

It’s always worth having a few meatballs in the freezer for quick week-night meals.

meatballs for freezing::

2 lbs. ground turkey (or beef)

1 lb. ground pork (or pork sausage)

2 eggs

1/4 – 1/2 bread crumbs

1/2 c. minute rice

2 – 4 T. grated parmesan cheese

1 T. italian seasoning

1 tsp. minced onion

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands and roll into 1″ – 1 & 1/2” meatballs.  Line them up on a broiler pan.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on their size).  I check them every 10 minutes all the way through the baking process so they don’t burn.  Let them cool on the broiler pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Freeze for at least an hour and then put them in freezer bags in meal-sized portions.  Makes about 6 – 8 dozen meatballs.

It’s a very forgiving recipe and substitutions are easy.  Try adding fresh minced garlic, onion, green peppers, or change the seasonings up completely to suit your taste.

food:: beef & noodles

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie made me some homemade pasta.

Then, a few days later he made more.  Like A LOT more.  Like several batches more.  I have a pasta-making-machine at my house right now.  He’s made noodles repeatedly, he’s made pierogi, he’s made ravioli.  I think he has a hankering for pasta and I must not be cooking it enough.

This is the resulting bounty that I have frozen because MY GAWD we can’t eat all this as he is making it…

How adorable is that????  Be still my dough-heart…

Seriously, I have a freezer full of these…

And this was all before the ravioli fest weekend.

So, this is the Frankie recipe for homemade beef & noodles circa 1982::

I swear…it turns out perfect…every time.

 Thanks for stopping by!

food:: martini appreciation night…woof.

~Martha’s Bar & Grill~

We recently had a reason to throw a party.

After 24 years in the Air Force, Martha’s husband is finally done serving our country.  He didn’t want a big deal made on base, (he’s the no-nonesense type) and didn’t want a ceremony.  So we threw a surprise party at my pad.

~taco & nacho bar~

~and lots of Martha’s martinis~

depending on the size of your crowd (and your martini shaker) these can all be doubled or tripled as needed

Martha’s Martini Recipes

raspberry chocolate dessert martini::

2 parts double chocolate vodka

2 parts irish cream liquor

1 part raspberry liquor

sugared rim

lemondrop martini::

1part each ~ citrus vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice (fresh squeezed or organic bottled are best)

sugared rim

pink lemonade martini::

1 part each ~ pink lemonade vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice

splash grenadine

sugared rim

 blue citrus martini::

1 part each ~ blue curaco, citrus vodka, simple syrup

sugared rim

french martini::

1 part vodka

1 part raspberry liquor

2 parts pineapple juice

1 part grenadine

sugared rim

And that friends is how to get schnockered, Bond style.

life:: my new sink is pimp

…at least that what my teenager said when he checked in after school today…

because this crapola is what we replaced today::

…totally fugly…and that’s what it looks like after I bleach it like crazy…

If you know me in real life, you also know that living in the country with well water, I have issues.

My plumber has told me that the water in my well is the worst he has ever seen.  I really don’t like being at the top of that list.  What it translates to is that I have him on speed dial and we hang out together at the local bar occasionally.   His wife is a lovely girl I might add…but I digress…

My mechanical room is the dream room of the Mario Brothers…freakin’ pipes and purification machines everywhere.

So this is the new one that was installed today::

Not real exciting, but if you are a world-reknowned chef like me ~ it ROCKS, heehee.

Since I have spent the past few days dealing with my issues (read ~ water leaking everywhere and OCD cleaning to keep my ceiling in the basement from leaking), I haven’t been able to do anything that resembles fun (read ~ crochet and other crap).

But I did have an awesome weekend of chef-ery that I enjoyed…(pre-sink-leak).

Check out the Great Ravioli Fest of 2012 that we accomplished:

THREE messy cooks in my kitchen…you can bet your ass that involved lots of laughs.

A quadruple batch later…DELISH.

AND several gallon bags full of ravioli goodness in the freezer, and a couple of gallon bags of pierogi too…

w00ty~w00t!

Oh, and I also need to document my Valentines’s Day gifts too::

just because they were so sweet…

~day one~

~day two~

w00ty freakin’ w00t!

Those were some yummy chocolate covered stawberries!

(Yup ~ had to eat a couple before I remembered to take a photo)

So, if you really want the ravioli secrets – check out Martha Stewart’s website because I stole all my recipes from her ~ and the rest ~ well, as usual I winged it)

Have a ridiculously amazing day  ~ and thanks for stopping by 🙂

food:: spaghetti braid

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

We did.  It was quiet this year, and I needed that.  Time was spent with my parents and my brother’s little family.  My favorite part of course were the antics of his munchkins.  There were lots of laughs and more food than we needed.  Weight loss is definitely on my New Year’s Resolution List again!  But we’ll get to that in a few days…

Are you sick of turkey or ham leftovers already?

Yeah, it’s kinda like that around my house too.

So bag ’em and tag ’em and throw ‘em in the freezer for later use.

This spaghetti bread recipe is worth the minimal effort.

As I have been writing this post, my teenager asked me to add his comment.

“Tasty!”

You can find the full recipe here.

Enjoy!

food:: yup…still a messy cook

Hey there 🙂

More holiday baking time for me this weekend.

Here are the newest additions to my Christmas gifting.

While stirring the turkey roaster full of a double batch of Chex Mix (recipe came straight from the box ~ nothing fancy) I managed to flip an entire spoonful across the room.  Like I said before, something always has to hit the floor when I’m cooking.  Makes me really miss my dog.  He was incredibly helpful in this area…the cats, notsomuch…

I got sidetracked, like I tend to do quite often, and conjured up a jar of ranch dressing mix for myself.

1 for you…2 for me…1 for you…2 for me…you know, like you’re sharing M&Ms…well that’s how I share them anyway…

After that I started on the really super messy stuff…

And by the end of the day I literally had smears of melted chocolate on my face and a pretzel had landed in my hair.

A pretzel with sprinkles.

But I had fun.

food:: I am a messy cook

My name is Lisa Victoria, and I am a messy cook.

But damn…I have fun.

I am working on Christmas gifts for my neighbors and friends (and a couple for myself) and thoroughly enjoying my kitchen time.  Most of the time I spend in the kitchen I see as a chore.  I mean, don’t we all?  Every night, get your butt home from work and try to hit all the food groups to feed the ones we love so they will get the hell away from us and we can move on to do what we really want to do in the evening instead of catering to their basic human needs?  OK ~ that’s a little harsh…let’s go with Mommy is a little tired after a long day, and she needs some relaxation instead of cooking and cleaning…

Not so much lately.  I am doing my Christmas “baking”.  I am making the fun stuff after I give them a nutritious frozen pizza…or at least something that resembles all the food groups.

I have been told on more than one occasion that it’s not dinner unless something hits the floor.  I get into my cooking.  This endeavor has been particularly messy.  Deciding to make Christmas gifts in the kitchen takes commitment, or maybe I just need to be committed or something like that.  I have been working on ranch mix, cocoa mix, onion soup mix, and Texas Roadhouse style honey butter.  If you haven’t been to Texas Roadhouse and had the honey butter slathered all over their yeast rolls – my friend – you are missing out.  Anywho, I have made a deplorable mess of my kitchen.  All I am hoping is that my friends enjoy the stuff I have been working on.

hot cocoa mix:

1 c. powdered milk

1 c. cocoa powder

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

mix and pour into 3 pint jars

or layer ingredients and add a layer of 1/2 c. mini chocolate chip or 1/2 c. crushed peppermint candies and use 4 pint jars to leave more room at the top

I write the directions on the lid *1/3 c. cocoa mix with 1 c. boiling hot water*

Then I moved on to a double batch of  honey-butter…

and then a few chocolate filled spoons to stir the hot cocoa, because really who doesn’t want a little more sugar in their cocoa?

I made the onion soup mix for me.  I seem to always need a packet of it when I hit the grocery store ~ so hopefully it will taste good when I season the roast this weekend.  BTW…I used crushed celery seed instead of the celery salt listed above.

And now friends, break time is over and I must go prettify these jars for gifting and clean my kitchen so I can do it all over again tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!

life:: how I spent my Thanksgiving vacation

For this to work you have to sing this part in your head to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

**Ahem**

5 GORGEOUS PIES

4 RUNAWAY HORSES

3 MARTINIS

2 SILLY FRIENDS

AND A ‘POSSUM IN A LIVE TRAP

It all started with a frozen turkey…

Picture Thanksgiving Eve…plans made to dress the bird, bake a pie, iron a few linens…

You have thawed the turkey in the fridge for 3 days and when you get the roasting pan ready, the stupid bird is still frozen.

Yeah, that should have been my first clue that the night would not go as planned.

We’ll bake pie instead at Martha’s house while Tom takes a little swim in the sink.

Two martinis into the 5, yes 5 pies that were rolled and filled and baked there was a knock on the door.

Ma’am, I think 3 of your horses and a pony got loose.  They are headed south on the road.

Hmmm, not our horses, but we know who owns a pony in the neighborhood.  It’s also pitch black outside.  We have no street lights out here either.  Calls were made, spotlights & harness were quickly found, ATVs were fired up and the search party was mobile.  Do you know how difficult it is to find black and brown horses in the dark?  Horses that are no longer on the road?

I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow details, but the needless to say they were all eventually found, harnessed and lead back to their home.

Back to cooking.

Since the pies are done at this point, maybe one more drinkypoo because lemondrop martinis rock.

Tom seems thawed enough for dressing and has been trussed and seasoned (like this).

At this point we are still laughing about the Great Thanksgiving Horse Escape and the fact that a grown man has ridden Pineapple the pony all the way back home.

Like we weren’t gonna stop for THAT photo op.

At this point we’re back at my house, giggling and finishing up the logistics of the table leaf and the good china and the serving platters and the phone rings.

It’s Martha’s husband,  There was an opossum in the barn terrorizing the cats and it’s in a live trap now.  What do you think we should do with it? 

What to do, oh what to do?

*insert evil laugh here*

Hmmmm….we could drop it off at an unpleasant guy’s house in town…maybe we shouldn’t drive at this point….and we could probably get arrested…but we REALLY wanted to drop it off at his house….

We asked our designated driver who said, yeah sure ~ you just keep brainstorming that one ladies.

 In the end, we decided to let him free in the woods and tell my son that he would really like the new kind of ham we were serving with Thanksgiving dinner.  He didn’t buy it, but it made for fun conversation at our Thanksgiving dinner.

And everything turned out just lovely!

Have a great holiday weekend 🙂

food:: life in the corn belt

Hello – just stopping in to brag about my gardening.

Hey – cut me some slack, I spent many hours sweating my heiny off working out there this weekend.

Sometimes ya just gotta brag.

This is why I love living in the corn-belt.

Sweet corn & cucumbers and a salad for dinner.

~heirloom tomatoes, kohlrabi, & cucmbers from today’s harvest~

~love the sauted squish~

~so much homegrown goodness~

It has been just divine to eat fresh veggies for every meal this weekend.

I love my Farmer Frank (that wonderful hubby of mine).

~fresh berries and ice cream for late night dessert, mmmmm~

I even got my pillow finished too – woohoo!

I hope you had a great weekend too 🙂

Hurray for free groceries.

PS ~ we grew our own lettuce too.

Take THAT Walmart!