Sigh... Today you will need to squint, cross your eyes and stand on your head to see the connection with what I served and the recipe I was using.
There was drama in the "Inspired" household yesterday.
It takes a bit of explanation... I am going to guess that most of you rule your kitchens. Your hobby, your duty, obligation, joy; all depends on how you look at it, but the room and contents are yours to control. Others may use, but by invitation (and usually supervised) only. Not so in the "Inspired" household.
First, I am a guy. Sexism rears it's ugly head every so often and my Jackie occasionally plays the wife belongs in the kitchen card. Even though I have made 99% of meals from said kitchen, she still views it as partially hers.
Next history. Unlike most of you, I am new to cooking. It started about 6 years ago when I sold a business and retired. I was very very happy playing on-line poker, eating bon bons, catching up on my stories (that Ericka Kane), the usual things, when Jackie told me something that would change my life... On another day when there was drama in the household (OK, let;s just say fight and be done with it), Jackie said, "The least I could do would be to have dinner ready when I get home". Well, being a guy, I jumped on the opportunity to do the least amount of work and agreed to start cooking. I mean how hard could that be? Piece of chicken, a can of soup and add Velveeta cheese... done. Prior to that drama (fight), I had cooked 1% of our meals and barely knew we even had different sized pots, let alone what to do with them. The kitchen and all of it's contents were hers and I spent at least a year fumbling my way through and feeling like I was only invited into the kitchen.
Gradually, I started rearranging, organizing drawers, adding and putting into storage to the point that I am not sure if Jackie can find a cooling rack if her life depended on it. But, under supervision, she of course was welcome to visit my kitchen.
And then yesterday...
I knew what I was going to make. I studied the recipe and inventoried my supplies. Everything was set.
We are going to re-seed our lawn. I live in the suburbs and lawns are very important out here. Big topic of conversation over the fence and a man's worth is measured by the lushness of his lawn. So, I spent the morning mowing, raking, verti-cutting, seeding and watering. Several hours. While I was doing that (and missing my stories), Jackie chose that time to organize our pantry. Yes, it needed to be done. Yes, we had outdated food from the day we moved into our house 10 years ago. Jackie made the decision that anything open was just going to attract ants and best to start fresh. So, flour, sugar and RICE; all in sealed bags, were tossed.
And that's when the ... drama hit the fan. I came in from working all morning, missed my stories (anyone know what happened yesterday, I feel like I can never catch up now) but knew that I was all set to make this recipe.
I just hate going to the store for one item. I can usually figure a substitute for what I need. And that's what I did with this dish.
But first, let me tell you a little about one of my favorite bloggers... Biz of My Bizzy Kitchen. Biz is another of those folks that followed me from my old blog. On paper, her blog would not really be a mesh with my type of cooking. She is an "insulin dependent diabetic (although Type 2)". I am always thrilled and just a little guilty when I post a dessert and her comment is that the dish is proclaimed, "Insulin worthy". She is also actively trying to lose or at least maintain weight. Something very difficult when you have to adjust blood sugar levels all the time. Currently she is following Weight Watchers, so her recipes come with "points values". While I have my own weight issues and I have had my time in meetings (WW, not AA), I am having better luck avoiding processed foods and a morning walk with my maintenance, and have decided to avoid a limiting diet...
She hosts a now annual event called the 101 days of summer challenge where she sets a goal (like her sister Jenn's goal of exercising each day (harder than it sounds, no days off... but I digress)
What draws me (and keeps me coming back) is Biz's writing style. Very personal. you get not only a recipe, but usually her entire day's worth of food. We see her breakfast pizzas, what she takes to lunch, when she eats out, the choices she makes in order to enjoy a beer (or three) during the day and still stay within her points. Anyone considering WW, or anyone using the WW system would be well served to take a peek at her blog.
You also get to know her family and her life. She shares adventures with her Freshman age daughter, her twin sister (who also is a food blogger, Slim-Shoppin - where eating right starts in your cart) and her husband. I joke about my stories, but Biz has had a bit of her own soap opera life that she shares on her blog. She has two posts about the two people who changed her life that she highlights on her top index line, one talking about her daughter and her past (click here). The other is a moving fun read about her husband (click here) and how they met (on-line) and their first date (penniless and with borrowed clothes). It would have been a very amusing story without the last few lines when you realize that she wrote this story on her 8th wedding anniversary while her Tony was having surgery.
Yeah, like any good soap opera, when someone writes a personal blog like biz does, showing the human side of life, ups downs, swings and sways, you get to know and care about the characters. I have never really been a part of too many blogger meet ups, but in just a couple of minutes a day, reading about life and following their "stories", you start to care. When her Tony had his surgery last year we (her blog followers) cared and worried and more than one candle or rosary was said in our house. When the surgery went well and with Tony bruised, battered but recovering, we also rejoiced and in a small way shared in their joy. Unemployment, career change, step parenting issues, health scares, insurance interruptions could make for a depressing read. But Biz is always upbeat, always cheery and always expecting something better.
And in answer to a comment thread that was on her blog, yes, even bloggers who only drop in occasionally really do care about the people whose stories we follow, even without meeting. In real life, not just in cyber life.
It's a joy to catch up with her stories... and beside, how can you not love someone who is willing to show this photo on her Bio page, hanging it out for anyone to grab and repost on a different blog to show the world of her love of food...
Just writing this up, looking over posts that I had read over the years I have been looking in on Biz's "stories", puts my little drama in perspective. Think I will go and hug my wife...
And remind her of how wrong she was (sweetly).
Now, as to cooking, Biz is a wiz!!!
If you take the time to read over a few of her posts, you will see that her food features real ingredients, very few "low fat" alternate items that always leave me blah. Her dishes are filled with flavor (she does like the hot stuff and not just talking about Tony). Not a lot of diet food talk, just really good food that happens to be low cal. Veggies and roughage run amuck through her blog, but she loves a good steak (and the bought a smoker this year!!!). If I have to diet, I would love for Biz to be my personal cook.
|Click the Photo to be taken to|
Biz's post for her ULTIMATE STUFFED PEPPER
And then my drama.
But, Ah well, when life gives you an empty rice bowl, make Ultimate (walking taco) Stuffed Peppers. Stay positive, make the best and plan for good things to happen... And they did.
It's not a terribly complicated thing I did. In fact, it reminded me of my sainted mother and her 60's era cooking... Meat, sauce and velvetta.
2 Red bell Peppers (Grown in my very own garden BTW)
1 pound of hamburger (browned)
2 TBS Taco Seasonings
1 diced Candy Onion
1 cup Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup pour-able Monterrey Jack Queso Cheese
and a few handfuls of Fritos
No need for instructions...
Well Biz, sorry about not following your recipe to a tea, but I sure did enjoy this inspiration. Hanging onto this idea when the kiddees visit next time. I really think this is a million buck recipe if you had a house full of kids (maybe add some peas for more veggies). The fritos in the base absorbed the tomato sauce and became a very nice mix of soft and crunchy spicy corn muffin- ish taste. This accident is now a great recipe that we will make again!
So Thanks Biz... A real inspiring winner (and I am sure yours were great too!)!!!
So, if I have tweeked your interest in Biz and My BIZZY KLITCHEN Blog, head on over and say HI for me!
And for a quick look at what she blogs, click on the logo link image to the right. You will see all the eRecipeCards that biz has submitted to eRecipeCards.com. You can add her recipes to your eRecipeBox (once you have a free account).
See how useful the site is and how easy it is to find new favorite bloggers!
These posts continue to highlight bloggers and recipes that I have found on "eRecipeCards.com"..