Sunday, January 18, 2009

24 degrees outside? Break out the summer shorts!

The dangerous cold has lifted... time to get on with life.

For me (and the rest of the people in the area) that apparently means going to the store.

Saturday was shopping day. The day started with a trip to Sam's Club. And apparently everyone was in as big of a need for toilet paper and coffee as me, since EVERYONE seemed to be at the store when I was there. I shoulda gone on Friday night.

I don't enjoy trips to Sam's Club. They didn't always used to be so bad, but as more people have gotten memberships over the years, the place is becoming as bad as Wally World. Unattended kids running around, people swarming for free samples (seriously... do you need to form a crowd three people deep for quesadilla samples?)... heck, there was almost a riot at the place with the roasted chickens by the meat... I thought some lady was going to clothesline me so she could grab the chicken I had in my hands. Ugh.

After that, the produce mart and regular grocery store were a cakewalk.

Actually, the product mart was even more fun than that.

I don't know if the deli dudes at Eurofresh read my blog or if there are just more people shopping there that are interested in what major stores seem to consider "nasty bits", but they've been hitting it off the charts lately. Since I first found veal bones there they have been excellent at usually having some out with the rest of the meat, as well as other bones for soups and stocks. I knew I needed to get my freezer chicken stock supply restored, and figured I'd just buy some wings or something and use those.

No need!

Apparently, they now sell dirt cheap packages of chicken necks and backs. Oh yeah.

When all was said and done, my meat haul when I returned from the stores....

And NOT pictures is the cooked chicken and ribs I picked up at Sam's club. Chicken will be used probably tomorrow for dinner, and the ribs are in the freezer, waiting for Superbowl Sunday.

In all the meat pictured above is two packages of the chicken necks/backs, two packages of ground beef, two packages of ground turkey (good sale), a package of turkey culets, a flank steak, mild Italian sausage, two packages of chicken wings (also for Superbowl Sunday).... and apparently other stuff, since there are more packages there than I am recalling right now. Oh yeah.. a package of country ribs. 'N stuff.

The country ribs, flank steak and sausage were for Sunday dinner.

But before that.... see anything missing?

Ah. The Final De-Christmasization of the House. Christmas tree is put away. Just as much fun as the day it first goes up.

So... um... yeah... by the time all the shopping/putting away and cleaning was done, it was late.

We ordered pizza.

Hey, a girl needs a night off sometimes.

But tomorrow was another day... the hubby went over to his folks for awhile, so I was left alone in the house. Blew threw some stuff on the Tivo and I was kinda bored. So I decided that I needed to make another big batch of Soup.

Cook More 2009: Soup, soup, soup, soup, soup, soup, soup soup!

(sung along to the Monty Python "Spam!" song)

Cheddar Chicken Chowder

I've actually made this before... long ago, the hubby and I were both home, snowed in from work, and I whipped some of this up for lunch. As I recall, I didn't exactly follow the recipe then, and I didn't follow it exactly this time.

Starting off, I only had some green pepper... not red....

See that lovely brown stuff on the bottom???

Foodies call it "fond". Anne Burell calls it "crud". I just call it "yummy stuff". You don't ever want to waste that yummy stuff on the bottom of pot. It's not icky, burned on stuff. It's goodness. Tasty, tasty, goodness.

A little bit of chicken stock and some scraping the bottom of the pan and it'll come off... making your food tasty, and your pot easier to clean....

Anyway.... I know I have cooked, shredded chicken in my freezer somewhere, but apparently it's playing hide and seek. I made several trips between the kitchen and the basement freezers, looking for it, with no luck.

And since the homemade chicken stock has not been done yet, time to go for the good boxed stuff...

Seriously... if you're going to use a stock/broth you get from the grocery store... ONLY by Kitchen Basics. I've sworn by the stuff for a long time, and I stocked up my mom's pantry with some for the week since I figured she'd be on a broth-type diet after her recent incident. After having weak chicken broth at the hospital for a few days, she was amazed at how good this stuff was.

On to the recipe.... ok... no frozen corn on hand but I think a couple cans of canned corn....

Make that one can of corn, one can of creamed corn. And apparently some pimentos that I was planning on using over the holiday to make some pimento chees that I never got around to.

In ya'll go!

Oh... and that went in with the LOG of frozen cooked turkey that I was able to find. The ever-ellusive chicken is still in the freezer, somewhere.

I have to say... this stuff was as good as the first time I made it.


Even forgetting the crumbled bacon on top (I did use some bacon fat to cook the veg) this was darned tasty. Creamy, cheesy, and it works well with turkey.

Dinner was a snap tonight... Italian Sunday Gravy again.

This is kinda the point where you start to skim some of the fat off the surface. Big old grease slicks are not pretty, but this is still some tasty stuff.

This time I did not cut back on the garlic, and since I didn't use spicy sausage (only mild... haven't found a brand of spicy sausage that I like) I added probably a heaping half tablespoon of red pepper flakes, and wowsa... all the difference in the world. It doesn't make it "burn the mouth" spicy... just gives it a nice, overall spice and flavor. Red pepper flakes are kinda like garlic... kinda overpowering when "raw" or added without much cooking, but when you let them cook for a long time, they do some really nice things.

And with that... the weekend is over... on to the workweek. Ugh. At least with MLK Day tomorrow there is no school traffic, which adds a little less frustration to the day.

But there is a bright spot... hopefully tomorrow I'll get my copy of Polish Heritage Cookery... someone in the hubby's family needs to make pierogi from scratch, and I've decided that is me. I know his dad's mother was always the great cook of the family and she used to do all this stuff... someone else needs to bring it back. I *WILL* be doing some type of homemade pierogi for Easter.

1 comment:

Hurricane Mikey said...


Every time I come here, I leave hungry...