Monthly Archives: January 2012

cooking with kaseface: jerky turkey sangwich

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Mmmmm. What can I say about sandwiches except that they’re pretty much the best food ever.  I love a good sandwich.  The sandwich I’m going to share with you right now is a personal favorite of mine.  It’s warm, melty, spicy, crunchy, and delicious.

So let’s start with the meat.  If there is one thing that I will splurge on at the grocery store, it’s deli lunch meat.  I have a particular affinity for Boar’s Head brand pastrami seasoned turkey.  It was my favorite for the last five years, at least.  Well, I went to Kroger the other day and saw jerk seasoned turkey breast.  I thought to myself, if this tastes like I think it’s going to taste, I am going to have a new favorite lunch meat.  And I do.

The turkey is very spicy, but also a little sweet.  You could also make this sandwich  “southwest style” and add avocado to off set the heat or just to make it even more delicious.  I like to make a fruit salad with whatever fruit is in my fridge to go along with it.  It can also off-set the spice.

Jerky Turkey Sangwich

2 pieces multi-grain bread

3-4 slices of Boar’s Head jerk seasoned turkey

1 tbsp dijon mustard (I use Annie’s Homegrown)

1 slice pepper havarti or pepper jack cheese

small handful of mixed greens

3 slices roma tomato

3 or 4 rings of red onion

a bit of margarine

1/3 avocado (optional)

freshly cracked pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 400.   Spread Dijon mustard evenly onto both pieces of bread, then place turkey onto bottom piece of bread.

2.  Add the cheese, tomato, and onion on top of the turkey and crack pepper over both sides.

Spread margarine on the outside of bread and bake for 4-5 minutes or until warm.  Once warm, broil until cheese is melted through and bread is golden brown.

3.  Take out of the oven and add mixed greens and avocado and assemble sandwich.

 

This sandwich is so easy to make and it’s really satisfying.  I love to top the fruit salad with sliced almonds or add honey to nonfat plain greek yogurt and use that as a dressing.   The sliced almonds add a great crunch and also taste sweet with the fruit, especially with bananas and mango.  Enjoy!

cooking with kaseface: peanut butter banana oatmeal squares

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I told you I would do better!  Last night I was unexpectedly free when I was supposed to have been busy.  So I took advantage of my night off by going to my favorite work-out class, danceaton.  One day I will write a blog post specifically dedicated to how amazing this class is, but for now I’ll just say I’ve been four times this week because I have so much fun and it’s such a great workout.  I digress.  When I got home I got on Pintrest and came across a recipe that another friend pinned for peanut butter banana oatmeal squares.

Having absolutely nothing to do, I was probably a little too excited when I realized that I had every single ingredient this recipe required on hand at that moment.  As usual I made a substitution, but only a small one.  I had quick cooking oats, but I also had several flavors of organic instant oatmeal on hand.  After a 5-minute internal debate, I decided to use a package of apple cinnamon in place of 1/2 cup of the standard.  I would like more banana flavor too, so next time I am going to use 1 1/2 to 2 bananas.  That being said, I also topped mine with banana.

They turned out well.  I ate them for dessert last night and this morning they tasted especially delicious cold.  I will enjoy them for breakfast all weekend.  Let me know if you make them, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you. Here’s another link to the recipe.

cooking with kaseface: baked potato soupy soup

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You may have noticed that I almost never do cooking posts, and this is despite  the fact that I cook quite often. I rarely have the patience to sit down and remember what I used.  I already have a few drafts of recipes written up for this category though so I am trying to do better.  However, I am not one to strictly adhere to a recipe myself.  I usually just do a little research about what ingredients the meal entails and investigate the ratio of liquids to solids.  I am also apt to make several substitutions.

All of that being said, last night I decided to make baked potato soup.  First of all, when I eat baked potato soup, I always think of Houston’s restaurant.  They have, hands down, the best baked potato soup I have ever had.  Growing up, I always wanted to have my birthday dinner at Houston’s just so I could get the baked potato soup.  A lot of the times, they didn’t have it the day we went, but when they did I was in heaven!  For the record, at the Addison location, they serve it on Wednesdays.

Yesterday being Wednesday, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try to make a similar version. I did some research here and also combined what I liked from another recipe I found on Pintrest.  I substituted butter, sour cream, and half the half and half for margarine, nonfat plain greek yogurt, and chicken broth, respectively.  Additionally, I cooked half of a piece of turkey bacon only a little bit and let it simmer in the broth mixture at the end. I was very pleased with how the soup turned out and now I can have delicious baked potato soup any time I want!  This recipe yields 4 servings.  I hope that you’ll try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

Baked Potato Soupy Soup

1 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 1/4 cup half and half

1 cup lowfat milk

5 Russet potatoes

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp margarine

1/2 cup nonfat, plain greek yogurt

1 1/4 tsp celery salt

1 1/4 tsp fennel seeds

1 1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper (however much you like, I used a lot, probably a tablespoon)

Garnishes:

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese

fresh green onion

2 strips turkey bacon, chopped (cooked very crispy)

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Wash and scrub potatoes, pat dry.  Rub with olive oil and poke a couple holes in them with a fork.  Place on a baking sheet covered with foil and bake until tender, about an hour and 15 minutes.

2.  While you’re waiting for the potatoes to bake, cook the bacon until crispy.  Dry, chop and set aside.  Grate the cheese, chop both of the onions.

3.  In a skillet melt the rest of the margarine and saute the yellow onion over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

4.  In a large pot heat broth, milk, and half and half over med-low heat.  Stir in fennel seeds and 1 1/2 tbsp. margarine and cook until just under a boil.  Do not bring it to a boil.  When you feel it is about to boil, quickly remove from heat and let cool.

5.  Once your potatoes are finished baking, let them cool enough so you can handle them.  Peel and discard the skins of four of the potatoes and put them in a large bowl.  Leave the skin of the fifth potato on and cut into quarters.

6.  Add greek yogurt, celery and regular salts, pepper,  and even a little green onion if you’re so inclined to the potatoes in the bowl.  Stir.

7.  Strain the fennel seeds out of the cooling milk mixture.  Place potatoes in food processor or blender and add the entirety of the milk mixture.  Blend until texture becomes smooth.  It should be soupy, but not too soupy.  Not necessarily hearty, but thick.

8.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the quartered potato with skin and the yellow onion.  Season to taste (I added a tbsp of cream cheese, salt, a little creole seasoning,  more freshly cracked pepper of course-make it your own).

9.  Simmer on low to let flavors mingle and until heated through, at least 15 minutes.

10.  Ladle into bowls, making sure to include a skinned potato quarter in each serving.  Top with cheese, fresh chives, and turkey bacon and enjoy!

Resolves

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All right, I guess this is my first official post of 2012, that’s exciting! Yes, I may be playing it fast and loose with the word exciting, but, here we are regardless.  Today I’m going to write about some of my resolves so far this year, specifically having to do with my career.

For the last two years my career has been bringing people food and/or drinks in exchange for whatever amount of money people decided to give me.  Glamorous as that is, 2012 showed me pretty early on that I should probably start pursuing career goals that are a little more…lofty.  Which is easier said than done, but the important thing is that I have made the decision not to ever, ever, ever wait another table or tend another bar.  Ever.  With my luck, I’m never going to succeed in an industry that is based on taking so many gambles.  Additionally, I hate it.

Although I’m still not sure what exactly I want to do,  I can tell you what I don’t want to do!  And I”m willing to put in the time and effort to find a career path that I mostly love (yes, love) instead of one that I mostly hate, because I have a support system that allows me to do so.  For a long time I felt like a failure because I live at home and my dad helps me out with my expenses.  Even now I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me.  However, I  have a dad who will never turn his back on me and is always willing to help.  So instead of dwelling on the fact that I need help (ouch, my pride), I try to focus on how blessed I am to have it, not everyone does.

I am going to do some nanny and babysitting gigs in the meantime (do you have kids? need a trusting nanny or babysitter in the Dallas area? I’m great with kids).  Additionally, I love them.

I don’t know if not settling for a mediocre career path will lead me to success or ultimately be a disaster.  I do know that a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders at the prospect! Wish me luck.  In the meantime, I have a lot of spare time so I’ll  be getting back into couponing and cooking soon.  Til’ next time…

Year End Review 2011 Pt. 3

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Being in Baltimore was a breath of fresh air.  Almost everything I needed was within walking distance of my apartment and I consistently took advantage of that.  My favorite place to walk to was the library. It was in Canton Square and it was a small, musty little place but it was quiet and charming.  I also had a chance to visit the Baltimore Museum of Art, Little Italy, and even had a gym membership in the heart of Harbor East.

I met some really great people while I was there and I had so much fun.  October brought really beautiful fall weather.  I visited Dallas in October because it was time for my ten year high school reunion.  I had a great time and I got to see some old friends, some going back as far as second grade!  It was really one of the highlights of this year and I was so glad that I got to attend.

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Another highlight of October was Halloween weekend.  What a fiasco!  We celebrated Halloween on Saturday and, for some reason, mustaches on Sunday.  Anyway, I had my camera both days and took some of the funniest pictures I have ever seen.  Part of what made the weekend so fun was reviewing the pictures with half of the people in them present, and everyone laughing at each other and themselves.  I know that night stands out as the hardest I laughed all year.

November was pretty low-key, I went to the gym nearly everyday, cooked a lot, and hung out at home. Thanksgiving was really nice.  I’ve always spent Thanksgiving at my house but my eyes were opened this year to the exciting world of other people’s houses and families and I was very happy to be a part of their celebrations.  I also made my own little Thanksgiving dinner that turned out to be pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

In December it was time to start getting ready to leave Baltimore, but not without visiting New York City first!  One of my friend’s bands was recording their new album and rented an apartment in Brooklyn for a few weeks.  Having a free place to stay saved a lot of money and allowed me to stay way longer than anyone who doesn’t live in New York ever should (five days).   The highlights of the trip for me included food trucks, the Guggenheim Museum, FAO Schwartz, the store windows on 5th avenue, Rockefeller Center, and stand-up comedy.

There were only two days in between leaving New York and coming back to Dallas.  My last day in Baltimore was spent packing and enjoying one more visit to the Inner Harbor.

I definitely miss looking at the beautiful views.  My last night in Baltimore was spent at my home away from home, J.A. Murphy’s.  My coworkers were there to send me off, and they even surprised me with the most badass Natty Boh shirt I’ve ever seen.

I was sad to leave Baltimore.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to go back for more adventures.    My dad came up to Baltimore to help me with the long drive back to Dallas.  It was fun, I enjoyed getting to spend some time with him.  There was lots of time to ask questions about his childhood and learn a little more about my family history.

Christmas was enjoyable. I spent it with my brother and my dad here in Dallas.  We all contributed to this huge feast that included macaroni and cheese, jalapeno dressing, chicken and dumplings, and mashed potatoes.  My dad shared some of his cooking secrets and we really just enjoyed each other as a family.  Of course my mom was in all of our hearts throughout the holidays.

I suppose that pretty much wraps up 2011.  Of course I couldn’t find a place to mention everything, but I did experience what’s coming up in the video twice this year.  These concerts were so entertaining I had to share just a little bit with you because each time I attended I was cheered up exponentially by my favorite rapper.  I dare you to watch it at not smile (my favorite part comes about 2:15 in).

Did you smile?  I did.  Holly and I decided to bid 2011 adieu in a spectacle of balloons and confetti at the Polyphonic Spree show.  It was mesmerizing and joyful and I think that, for us, it was the best way to ring in 2012.


2011 was an extraordinarily difficult year for me but I survived it.  There were times that I was ready to throw in the towel, but somehow managed to find something to keep me going.  For that, I am grateful to my friends that reached out to me and provided laughs, words of encouragement, hands to hold, and  shoulders to cry on along the way.  Here’s to new beginnings, lots of laughter,  and even more love.  Here’s to 2012!