Archives for posts with tag: recipe

gravy-1 copy

It’s really funny how as I get older, certain cooking techniques just seem to come more naturally. I don’t know where I gleaned some of the information that I apply to my cooking; quite possibly from Food Network, mainly because it’s the channel I watch the most, by far.

Used to be I couldn’t make macaroni and cheese without a full-blown, step by step recipe. I recall using an Alton Brown recipe that required me to temper an egg into the cheese sauce. After all that trouble, the mac & cheese sucked.

Now I know how make a killer mac & cheese with one hand tied. Ditto with creamed spinach, and now, gravy.

I can remember the first time I had to make gravy. I had just moved to Arkansas to live with a home-town fellow who was stationed at Eaker Air Force Base. We were having a couple over for dinner, and I had no clue how to make gravy.

The wife, a good old southern gal, was kind enough to help me. The final product tasted fine, but was so thick, it didn’t really pour. You sort of had to plop dollops of it onto your plate.

As years passed I stuck to either the canned version,  or the stuff in the envelopes that you mix with water. In most cases it was just easier and a real time saver. I mean, it was just gravy after all.

I’m not sure what clicked in me a year or two ago. Perhaps it was from when my sister cooked Thanksgiving for us, and her gravy rocked. she had left a huge container of pan drippings in my freezer, and one evening I decided to use it to make gravy.

I think this is where all those years of watching “Chopped,” “Barefoot Contessa” and Triple D payed off. I sautéed some onions and celery, made a roux, whisked in the stock/drippings and seasoned to taste. A drop or two of Kitchen Bouquet and viola! I had a really good gravy.

For a while my daughter liked her roasted chicken served with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. But not any longer. She knows mom’s gravy is killer – one that makes a respectable pool in her mashed potatoes.

Thanks to Food Network, I guess I’m actually getting wiser as I get older…

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A little something for everyone - including too much cooking for mom

Tonight’s dinner is one where we make do with what is in the house. No shopping for chicken cutlets or ground beef. No picking up pizza or chinese. We are cleaning out the fridge and the cupboard and getting creative with dinner. It’s something we do every now and then to a) use up what we have in the house, and b) save a few bucks.

The ingredients that are in abundance tonight are soup, eggs and potatoes. I have been commissioned to make french toast for daughter #2, fan tailed potatoes for daughter #1, crab soup for hubby, and I am making some simple mashed with veggies for me. Well balanced meal? Hell no. But that’s half the fun.

The only boner in this plan is that rather than cooking one meal for the whole family, I am cooking 4 separate little meals. This gives me four opportunities to burn something on my flat tops! (see yesterdays post to “get” this joke)

This also means more dishes, but really, that’s okay.

I plan on having hubby do them.