Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Name is Ouiser...

...and I'm totally addicted to the television show "Good Eats" as well as other GOOD shows on Food Network and its sister channel The Cooking Channel.. Every time I watch, I feel the overwhelming desire to attempt to make whatever is being shown. I can actually cook fairly well, though admittedly in my teen years I seriously SUCKED at it. I actually food poisoned my then best friend. TWICE. To this day, I have NO IDEA how I managed to do that. I also managed to turn corn PINK. No idea how that happened either. All I did was put corn on the cob in boiling water. That's it. No food coloring, nothing and it turned a nice shade of light pink.

Ah well.

In the 20 plus years since then, I'd like to think my culinary skills have sharpened somewhat. These days though it's all about making appetizing, inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, palate tingling food that a certain Chubby Fisted Wee Man will eat. Granted, he'll eat just about anything you put in front of him, but there are some foods I wish he'd eat MORE of.

Wee Man approved foods include: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, bacon, peas, green beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, yogurt, chocolate pudding, mashed potatoes...

Do we see a trend there? He doesn't care for broccoli much, is kinda iffy on cauliflower, corn is 'meh', so I'm constantly looking for ways to integrate those foods into something that he'll actually eat. Hence part of my addiction to cooking shows. (And the secret desire to get my own show...I can see it now...Iron Chef: Redneck Style)


So, I came up with what I'd like to call a bastardized risotto...

Cook some orzo in chicken broth.
Add parmesean cheese (about 1/4 c.)
Add a few tablespoons of cheddar cheese powder (bulk of course)
throw in some diced onion, bacon bits and green peas.

It's quick, filling and you get your basic food groups covered. It's definitely Wee Man approved.

Today's lunch consists of baked potatoes stuffed with leftover pulled pork from the Pulled Pork Recipe I posted. (I made a metric assload of it and froze some, so now we're eating on the frozen stuff). Cheap, filling and yup, Wee Man approved. We'll overlook that he likes rubbing the taters in his hair as though it were some new fangled hair styling cream.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Old McOuiser Had A Farm...

Ousier here. I still haven't made it to Publix yet. Unless they have a SUPER SALE or something I probably won't. As I said before, the drive for no real savings to speak of just isn't worth it. The Hubby and I did do our usual weekly shopping at Kroger though. (I <3 Kroger). This week the sales actually matched what I had Q's for AND needed (yay stockpile!) I budgeted for 100 dollars. In the end, after all the Q's and Plus Card savings (if you don't have a plus card you really SHOULD get one, it's free!) I spent less than 70 and saved 25% off everything. We also used our accumulated Fuel Points (another advantage of the Plus Card) to fill up the truck. We had 283 points and you get 10 cents off per gallon for every 100 points so we saved 20 cents a gallon. Of course, gas prices being what they are we still paid 3.27 a gallon but ah well.

We're quickly nearing the end of February (eek!) and that means it's time for....


Course, we'll overlook that I have a black thumb and couldn't even grow a chia tree last year for Christmas. But I love Chia, and my mom gets me a new planter every year, so I keep trying. That and I've found a local source for chia seeds. Did you know that Chia will actually grow to about 3 feet tall and yes, it IS edible. Even the seeds. Naturally, you would plant that in soil to achieve that. (There's your useless knowledge for the day)

So with my Burpee Seed Catalog in hand, I'm going through and trying to decide what I want to attempt to grow this year. Tomatoes for sure, maybe some watermelons. I dunno. I plan on using planters for this (since we don't own the land here) so I'll need to make my selections carefully.

Also in the works are finishing that rocking chair by the 4th of March (aka Wee Man's birthday). I had Hubby draw a rough draft for the toy box. THAT won't be finished by then though. This is going to be an awesome toy box though. I had him design it large enough that when the little one no longer plays with toys he can store things in it. This box will carry him throughout his life. Almost like a hope chest I guess you could say.

Needless to say, there are lots of things in store here this season in Ouiser-Land. And eventually Truvy will be back to update with the randomness that is her life*lol*


Monday, February 13, 2012

Not So Cruddy Goodness! (and a few recipes to boot!)

Thankfully the Crud™ seems to have made it's last hurrah around here (knock on wood). I went almost completely deaf for a week due to it (I bent over in the cooler and WOOSH suddenly my ears were blocked with fluid. Mainly my right one seeing as how I already have limited hearing ability in my left ear already. (Not hereditary thankfully so Wee Man should be safe)

My eye cleared up after about 24 hours and my ears FINALLY popped a few days later meaning that I didn't have to have customers (or Hubby) yell in order for me to hear them ever so slightly. I did however manage to brush up on my lip-reading skills so that's a plus I suppose.

I never did make it to Publix though. Their 'deals' just really aren't cutting it for me and the drive hardly seems worth it, considering that it's a 45 minute drive one way just from my house. Kroger is only 25. Food Giant is 8 mins. So obviously you know where I did the shopping. And yes, I DID go by myself, and finished the whole gamut (drive included) in about an hour and a half. AND STUCK TO THE LIST. Granted I went over the 100 dollar budget, but the 10 pound Boston Butt took up a good portion (as in almost 20 dollars of that).

And now a recipe:

Ouiser's Super Tasty, Super Easy Pulled Pork

1 Boston Butt
1/2 bottle of Wicker's Baste and Marinade
3/4 bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 c. Brown Sugar
Rub with a pork seasoning rub

Squish into a crockpot and program for 3 hours on HIGH
Once timer goes off reprogram for 10 hours on LOW

Note: You will probably have to drain liquid after the fat layer that is found on all butts starts to de-solidify. I personally ended up having to drain off 3 cups.

How do you know when it's done? when you poke it and the meat collapses in on itself!

Remove from crockpot and shred either by hand or forks. This will make a LOT of pulled pork, so make sure you have containers and bags to store for freezing. It'll keep for a good 6 months in the freezer. Just a little tasty hint of summer to come :) The priciest part of course is the meat itself, but considering how many meals you can get out of it it's fairly cheap per serving.

I also made Potato Soup yesterday too..

Ouisers Tater Soup

32 oz of chicken broth
1 c. water
6-8 potatoes, diced
1.c onion
1 T garlic, minced
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c. sour cream
bacon bits
shredded cheese

in a skillet, saute the onion and garlic with butter just until the onion starts to turn opaque. Put into pot of chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.

Peel and dice 6-8 potatoes (varying sizes) and add to pot. Once potatoes start getting tender, reduce heat and cover til potatoes are completely done.


Add the milk and sour cream, bacon bits, cheese (to taste preferences) and mash (or you can add the mix to a food processor if you want a silkier soup with no lumps, but I usually either just mash or mash and then blend with my immersion blender to remove the largest lumps.


Note this also makes a LOT of soup. A good two meals worth if not more. It freezes well also and is fairly inexpensive to make. This is good cold weather, feel good food. Which is good since it's BLUE ASS COLD HERE CURRENTLY.

Wee Man has started saying a new word recently.

Yup. Ouiser (and Hubby!) need to watch their mouths...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Four Days

That's how long we had "Ouiserville Healthiness". Four..DAYS...

Now I'm all sick, coughing, sneezy, snotty (hell-O) I just went through TWO boxes of Kleenex in LESS than TWENTY FOUR HOURS!! Whucking HELL??? Today at work I ended up getting splashed in the eyeball by some mystery liquid (I THINK it was water) while dumping the trash. The fact that I'm now running a fever however makes me wonder...and the Red Bitch showed up too. I'd ask what next, but I know better...

Little man of course is perfectly fine now. So is Hubby. GAH!!!!

So, due to my lack of taste (figuratively and literally), I decided to try some Wasabi Peas.

I tasted nothing...



So, our new Publix opened yesterday, and I haven't been yet. I've only ever been to Publix ONE time in my life and that was almost 10 years ago. I liked it then, but they DO seem a bit pricey, so we'll check it out this weekend (assuming I'm not like DEAD or something...damn bugs....) and give a full report afterwards. Our local Kroger does seem to be trying to cater to the need for change (see:Sushi!) so we'll see how the two compare in Ouiser's World and whether or not the extra drive would be worth it. There do seem to be a few deals this week, so who knows, maybe I'll get lucky! I also understand they have a fairly decent coupon policy.