Overheard in the commisary

I was walking past the baked goods, trying to avert my eyes from the Little Debbie cakes, when I heard a child say in an awed voice, “Yay! White doughnuts!”

Her father answered succinctly, “No.”

The child was quick to clarify. “I wasn’t asking for them. I was just saying, Yay.”

This made me laugh. She was saying, “I was just cheering for the existence of white doughnuts, Dad. And reminding you that they were there. In case some miracle happened and I might get to eat a white doughnut. At some point in my life.”

I feel your pain, kid. I can remember looking longingly at various treats in the grocery store I knew my mom would never buy.

Sigh.

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But guess what? I’m an adult now. 

I bought a box of Swiss Cake Rolls.

And ate one.

Heh heh heh….

Barbecued Pork Sandwiches

Photo_44186D50-C61D-9CF2-7A56-A9EFFAA050C3I had planned to make BBQ pork in the crockpot, but it turned out we were out of barbecue sauce.

All I could find was a pair of sauce packets from McDonald’s.

But I did not despair! Here’s what I did.

In the morning I put into the crockpot:

1 Pork Loin, salted and peppered
4 cups water
4 beef bullion cubes
2 BBQ sauce packets

I cooked this on low all day and then shredded it with two forks about 30 minutes before serving.

Oh, and I bought some sauce and buns to top it with during the day.

Success!

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It tasted great and the kids loved it as well.

The down side is, my husband refused to eat it. He thinks shredded pork looks like cadaver guts. (One of the perils of attending medical school, I suppose.)

But I did manage to use up the leftovers in a stew that he likes, successfully hiding the meat’s appearance among the mixed vegetables.

Bwa ha ha…

Living in paradise is expensive

I had a weird craving the other day… for spaghetti squash.

And NO. I am NOT pregnant. Shut your mouth now.

I went to the regular grocery store to buy it since I didn’t feel like braving the commissary for only a few items.

(The commissary is the grocery store for the military, if you didn’t know. They give us a discount on food. And there is usually a big crowd there.)

So I found the squash I wanted at the regular store and grabbed a few other things. Then I waited in the short line to pay.

The bill seemed a little high. I checked the receipt as I left.

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That squash cost OVER NINE DOLLARS!!!!!

(See the photo if you don’t believe me.)

Next time I’m braving the line at the commissary.

My Award-Winning Chili

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EASY CHILI

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Brown the hamburger, and then mix all the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. We usually serve it with cooked elbow macaroni.

This is my mother-in-law’s awesome chili recipe. I love it because any recipe based on canned food is my favorite.

And yes, it actually won the church chili cook-off once. FIRST PRIZE. Although we may have cheated just a bit.

Not intentionally. Much.

But it turns out than in a vote-based competition, placement is paramount. We were chili number one on the ballot  that year, having by some miracle arrived early. Being number one in line ensures more exposure and garners more votes.

Also it doesn’t hurt to have seven people in the family to stuff the ballot box.

And now I can call this recipe “AWARD WINNING!”

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On a side note, this recipe is in a handwritten book my mother-in-law gifted me and my sisters-in-law with.

It is a real treasure for grown children to have their mothers’ and grandmothers’ recipes in handwriting form.

So I recommend this as a gift to all you grandmas out there.

And if you want to put this chili recipe in your recipe book, remember to call it AWARD WINNING.

That’s very important.

 

Crockpot Lasagna

Photo_34D29915-8520-095C-0AB0-78DC7897520CThis recipe that I got from “Simple and Delicious” magazine turned out pretty well.

(Here’s the link to their website but you have to have a subscription to look at the actual recipes.)

I’ll warn you that I am the inaccuracy and substitution QUEEN when it comes to recipes, however.

First of all, Here’s the original recipe in bold:

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna
•1 pound ground beef
•1 medium onion, chopped
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
•1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
•1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
•1/2 teaspoon pepper
•1 package (8 ounces) no-cook lasagna noodles
•8 cups (32 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
•1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
•1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce

  • In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce.

Okay, so I mostly followed the first step, except I heated up some leftover meat sauce we had from spaghetti the day before and just added a big can of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce to it.

Okay, so I didn’t really follow the first step.

  •    In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper. Spread 1 cup meat mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Arrange four noodles over sauce, breaking noodles to fit if necessary; layer with half of the ricotta mixture, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup meat mixture.

This part I did according to the recipe. Although making those rectangular noodles fit into the round crock pot? It requires a little more than “breaking to fit.” I felt like I should get out an X-Acto knife. It was messy; I won’t lie.

  •    Top with four noodles, spinach, Alfredo sauce and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Continue layering with four noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup meat mixture. Add any remaining noodles; top with remaining meat mixture and mozzarella cheese.

I have to say, this is the most interesting part of the recipe. Adding Alfredo sauce AND regular red spaghetti sauce? Amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it!

Maybe I need to get out more.

  •    Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.

Well, even I couldn’t mess up that last step.

I was surprised this recipe came out as well as it did. Everyone ate it and it actually resembled real lasagna, unlike most crockpot recipes, which are just noodles and sauce and cheese in a jumble.

Plus nobody complained about the spinach, since its annoying healthiness was tempered by the yummy Alfredo sauce.

This picture is just to show you how pretty the food can look when not made or photographed by me.

Baking for the Lazy

Or, My Very Favorite Cookies, HOORAY!

At the commissary I saw they had Hershey’s Kisses on clearance for 99 cents.

Okay, I’ll admit, they were in red and green wrappers, and Christmas was about nine months ago, but still…

NINETY-NINE CENT KISSES!!!!

I could not pass that up. Come on to town, Santa! I’ll take chocolate anytime!

To further celebrate, I bought peanut butter cookie dough in the dairy section so that I could make:

THE (DELICIOUSLY) EASIEST COOKIES ON EARTH!!

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(Yes, I know this picture is terrible. That’s why this is a HUMOR blog, and not a cooking blog. Or a photography one, for that matter.)