Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cheeseburger Casserole

I was hurrying out of the grocery store and rushing to my next errand, trying to get it all done during my lunch break.  I'm deep in thought as I scurry down the row of cars and stop short next to mine.

The driver side door is wide open.  Did I forget to shut the door?  I always lock my door by touching the outside lock button so I'm sure I don't lock my keys in the car.  Did I not shut the door and lock it?

I take two steps closer.

Shit!  Who ever broke into my car is still in the driver's seat.  Do I yell, do I walk up and demand they get out and leave my stuff alone?

The person sitting in the driver's seat has totally white hair, is a woman and about 85 years old.

Did she get confused when she saw I left my door open and sat down because she thought it was her car?  Is she hurt?

At this point I rush to the aid of the poor delusional elder.

Crap, I don't own a Jeep, I own an Escape...that isn't my car.

And it's Monday.
So I made this for dinner.   Bacon-Cheeseburger casserole is quick, easy and doesn't care what kind of car you drive or if you remembered to shut the door.  I just hope Tuesday goes a little smoother.
Lots of bacon is needed because someone (cough..Dave..cough)
keeps eating it off the top

I like mine with avocado and tomato, pass the ketchup.

Cheeseburger Casserole
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 small onion, diced small
1 lb. ground beef, or moose
2 Tbsp. sugar free ketchup
1 Tbsp. mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar or colby jack cheese

red onion, diced

In a medium frying pan, over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate.  Leaving the fat in the pan, add onion and sauté until translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add ground meat and cook, breaking up any large clumps.  When browned, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add ketchup, mustard and cream cheese.  Stir until well mixed.  Top with grated cheese and either cover with a lid until cheese is melted or place under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Sprinkle bacon bits over top and serve with desired toppings.  Serves 4

1 year ago:    Chocolate-Cocnut No Bake Cookies and the Texting Fiasco
5 years ago:   Grilled Chicken with Mango and Jicama Salad
7 years ago:   Frog on a Lilly pad

April 30, 2019   Sunrise 5:21am  Sunset 10:17pm  Temp. H 66/ L 37°F

Friday, April 26, 2019

Rhubarb Mimosa

I made this rhubarb cake when I saw all the snow, but I only had frozen rhubarb so I cooked it  and reduced some of the liquid before I added it to the cake, and I saved a little for my Friday night drink of the week.  The Rhubarb Mimosa!  I love it.  It is tart and a little sassy and really brightens up my glass of champagne.

Now, I usually order my mimosa without the orange juice because orange juice is just a waste of space in a champagne glass, but his rhubarb sauce in my champagne might just have to be the Spring drink of the season.

Rhubarb Mimosa

1 Tbsp. rhubarb sauce

Place rhubarb sauce in glass, top with champagne.  Enjoy

How I made my rhubarb sauce
4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup granulated sweetener, I used Boca Sweet (more or less sweetener to liking)
2 Tbsp. water, if using fresh rhubarb

In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, bring rhubarb and sweetener to boil, reduce to simmer and let cook and reduce for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  Use for topping ice cream, this rhubarb cake, on toast, or in this drink!

1 year ago:    This Sums Up My Week
5 years ago:  Carrot-Ginger Soup
7 years ago:  S'mores S'more ways - One of these boys graduates from high school this year!

April 26, 2019   Sunrise 5:35 am  Sunset 10:03 pm  Temp. H 47/ L 23°F

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Rhubarb Coffee Cake and the Mean Joke

Mother Nature is a mean trickster (that's not really what I wanted to say, but I'm trying to keep it clean).  Fairbanks had wonderful warm, sunny weather last week while I was stuck in a snowstorm in Minnesota.  I get home and woke up to this...

I am not amused.  The house was cold and Dave hasn't been building a morning fire since it has been so warm, so there was no wood in the house.  I was cold, tired and irritated.  So I baked.  I made this rhubarb coffee cake from All Day I Dream About Food.

In the real world, rhubarb is a spring thing, but in Fairbanks where we get 3 inches of snow in mid April, rhubarb hasn't even started to wake up yet.  I love rhubarb and have a plant in my yard so I freeze 4 cup batches and I can have it all year. 

Rhubarb is not something Dave enjoys, so when I use it I eat it all...or I share with my co-workers, which is what I did this time.  Everyone enjoyed it, even the regular sugar and flour eaters.  I was even asked to make it again, soon!

So, I hope you enjoy it and I hope you don't wake up to snow any time soon.

Rhubarb Cake
All Day I Dream About Food

I had frozen rhubarb so I cooked it, reduced it and then added the rhubarb sauce to the cake.  If you add frozen rhubarb it makes the middle of the cake mushy because of all the liquid it releases.  This gave me a little extra rhubarb sauce to use in my drink of the week...details on Friday!

1 year ago:    Chocolate Waffles
5 years ago:  Stitches and the Practicing Doctor
7 years ago:  Blueberry Muffins and a Lot of Snow

April 24, 2019  Sunrise 5:43 am  Sunset 9:57 pm  Temp. H 39/ L 25° and snow

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Update on the Truck and Cheese Wrapped Hotdogs

Dave has been working hard on the truck.  I've been helping the day or two I'm home between trips.  The last weekend I was home we got the last couple bolts out, both front fenders off, and the radiator drained and out.  Thanks to the hippy boy for helping! 

So, with all this work we needed lunch that was fast, filling and delicious.  I have been craving hot-dogs, something about spring and summer just scream hot-dogs to me, so I planned cheese covered hot dogs and these don't disappoint.
Notice the gate across the garage door, so the dogs don't come "help"

Draining the radiator

Pieces and parts, and a bird's nest from the neighbor

An old bird's next the neighbor cleaned off his window top. 
I collect them and put them in my greenhouse.

Heat your hotdogs thoroughly.

Use two pieces of cheese for each hotdog.
Fry your cheese; colby jack for me, pepper jack for Dave.
Add your desired toppings, I like mustard.

Once the cheese is crispy on one side, roll the hotdog to cover.

I used an offset spatula to help with the rolling.

Continue to fry until cheese is crispy and golden brown.

Dave chose to have kielbasa along with his hotdog.
Cheese Wrapped Hotdogs
hot dogs, kielbasa, and/or smoked sausage
two slices of cheese per hotdog, I like Sargento
mustard, ketchup or relish, optional

Heat skillet or griddle to med-high heat, I heated my griddle to 350°F.  Heat hotdogs until warmed through. Move to one side of the griddle.  Place two slices of cheese on griddle - overlapping edges a bit.  Heat until bottom of cheese is browned.  Place hotdog on cheese and lift edge of cheese with a knife of offset spatula.  Using spatula to help, roll hotdog with cheese to fully circle it.  Continue to cook cheese wrapped hotdog until all sides are golden brown.  Serve with condiments.

1 year ago:   Treats for My Neighbor - Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
3 years ago:  Smoked Paprika Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and the Fall 
5 years ago:  Tips from the Road and Getting Tired, Grumpy and Forgetful
7 years ago:  Anita's Green Drink and Throwing Sausages and My Mother in Law

April 16, 2019  Sunrise 6:12 am  Sunset 9:31 pm  Temp. H 49/ L 27°F

Monday, April 8, 2019

Brownie Bark for the Road

I'm home for the weekend, just long enough for Dave to do my laundry, work on the truck a bit, and make a treat I can take with me.  I'm back on an airplane tonight for another week of work on the road.

One of the things I do on the road is organize and run teacher job fairs for Alaska School districts. I contract with hotels, order the rooms, order the food, advertise, and then make sure everything is going as it should during the event.  These people are looking for teachers for their schools and children and spend a couple months on the road, they often don't get to go home for the weekend, like I do.  This is a tough job, and with the national teacher shortage (did you know that?), it gets harder and harder each year.  The one thing I can do is to make sure they are well fed.  So, I make sure there is a nice breakfast, delicious lunch, and a sweet treat/snack in the afternoon.  The only problem is I sit there looking at and smelling the sweet treat.  Now, I've told everyone I don't eat grains so there is a little accountability on my part, and I know if I indulge in a cookie my stomach will hurt and I'll be rushing to the ladies room, so it really isn't worth it, but sugar smells so good.

Now, I always take a "safe" treat with me in my suitcase, usually Lily's chocolate.  But that last trip I was really craving brownies.  I figured I could make and take some with me (I also always pack safe crackers) so while everyone else indulges in cookies and brownies I can have something too.

I had to make this recipe twice.  I really notice an aftertaste, or after feel with Swerve (erythritol has a "cooling effect" for some people) when I get more than about 1/2 cup in any recipe.  I took the first batch over to my neighbor and she loved them, erythritol doesn't bother her.  The second time I made the recipe I used Boca Sweet, which is kabocha extract.  This gave me the taste I craved, but it did not crisp up so they are like eating the edges, which is my favorite part anyway, so a win-win!

These are delicious, like every Carolyn Ketchum recipe I've tried.  They are chocolatey, delicious and the perfect little bite with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea.  I won't care what anyone else is eating, I'll be having this.

Brownie Bark
All Day I Dream about Food
link for original recipe is here: All Day I Dream About Food

1 year ago:    Almond Bread for Avocado Toast
3 years ago:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars and the Lost Work Key
5 years ago:  Lessons from the Road - The Lost Diamond Bracelett
7 years ago:  French Onion Soup for a Stressful Week

April 8, 2019   Sunrise 6:41 am  Sunset 9:05 pm  Temp. H 50/ L 27˚F