Tag Archives: main dish

One fish, two fish, red fish, yum fish

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There’s just something about summer that makes me want to cook fish. Maybe it’s because fish live in water, and I associate summer-time with putting on my cute little Speedo and goggles and swimming in the ocean (actually, I don’t exactly swim per se. I can dog paddle when in a life or death situation but I’d much prefer to lay on dry land while watching other people splash around in the water. My weekly bath in the kitchen sink is about as close to swimming as I’d like to get). Or maybe it’s because during the winter months I spend so much time cooking up hearty stews and casseroles containing lots of chicken or legumes, that I’m totally ready to change it up a bit with a something different. Something seafood-y. Something saucy. Something muy delicioso.

Well anyway, whatever the reason may be, I’m happy to say that as of this week I’ve been soooooo in the mood for cooking some fish. Some flaky, buttery, fresh Alaskan Salmon fillets to be exact. Now originally I wanted to have mi papa grill these little babies outside on the barbeque, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans up her sleave and decided to rain on my BBQ parade. So in the oven they went. And you know what, I think I’m glad I was forced to bake them instead because they turned out so incredibly tender and moist (why do people always chuckle when I say that?)  Served alongside some Jasmine rice and garden fresh green beans, this made a tasty and surprisingly easy weeknight dinner for two.

So there you go mi amigos. And go I must do for it’s the beginning of the weekend and I’m ready to party. And by party I mean go for my evening walk with mis padres, eat my kibble, squirt out a little poo or two and curl up on the couch with mi papa while licking my paw for about an hour. Pretty exciting stuff.

Now just as soon as he gets home, we can get this party started.

Be sure to wear your sunscreen

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Hola mis amigos! I apologize for my lack of blogging lately and for failing to post any new recipes. No excuses really. I’ve just been spending a lot more time sunning myself out in the backyard and a lot less time sweating my furry butt off in the hot kitchen. Spring time has officially hit us up here in the Pacific Northwest (finally!) and I’ve been doing what I can to enjoy as much of it as possible before it turns dreary again. Plus mi mama was out of town for over a week and it’s never fun to cook for just one person. Even if that one person is my favorite human being on the planet (te amo Papa). So in between sunbathing, digging up hidden cat poop treasures in the garden, modeling my new Speedo for the French Poodle down the street and going for long walks to the dog park, I’ve only managed to squeeze in a few hours these past couple weeks to devote to creating culinary masterpieces in the kitchen. I’m not gonna lie, there’s been a lot of plain pastas with bottled spaghetti sauce and store-bought veggie burgers served for dinner as of late– not exactly gourmet.

However, on one night last week I decided I’d had enough of warming my tiny brown body in the afternoon sun and actually prepare something more extensive than just Hot Pockets for dinner (edited to add: I do not condone the consumption of Hot Pockets in any way for either mis padres or anyone else for that matter. Unless of course you’re constipated and looking for a sure-fire way to induce severe diarrhea).

We had a little over 2 cups of leftover brown rice in our fridge that needed to be used up, and my initial thought was to whip up a little batch of vegetable fried rice or throw it into some sort of a chicken casserole. But then I had a little pep talk with myself and decided I could go even more above and beyond with my creativity. And what I came up with ended up being a huge success and earned two paws thumbs up from mi papa. Who knew leftover rice could lead to such a deliciously wonderful outcome.

Well amigos, I better be going. The sun is still shining, my Speedo is clean and ready to be donned and I’m thinking of going for a little swim out back in our inflatable kiddy pool. Now if I could just figure a way to get down from this huge deck chair….

They may be sloppy, but these Joes definitely aren’t wimpy

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Fun fact: Did you know the original Sloppy Joe sandwich was invented in the 1920’s by a restaurant cook named Floyd Angell in Sioux City, Iowa as a variation of the popular loose-meat sandwich?

Or that they are referred to as “Yum Yums” in parts of the Midwest and “Wimpies” in Pennsylvania?

Or that the term “Sloppy Joe” is not a food at all in Australia but instead refers to a hooded sweatshirt with a furry fleece lining much like wool? Imagine the weird looks you’d probably receive in an Australian restaurant when trying to order a Sloppy Joe with extra pickles.

So, this past weekend I decided to use my new Dutch oven and make my own little variation of the Sloppy Joes: aka the Untidy Teenies. But instead of using ground beef, turkey or cow tongue (yeah, they use that in some parts of New Jersey…. nasty) as the main protein source, I made the animal-friendly decision to prepare them vegetarian and use red lentils and beans instead. And in all honesty, I think they turned out a heck of a lot tastier than other kind of sandwich of this variety, while still maintaining all their awesome sloppy-ness.

And don’t be shy about asking for extra pickles to go along with these babies. Just be sure to also ask for extra napkins. These untidy Teenies have a tendency to spill all over your fleece-lined “Sloppy Joe”.

Speaking of spills, I “accidentally” got peanut butter all over my face after sticking my head in the open jar and mi mama thinks I need a little bath. Hey, that’s what happens when you leave a jar unattended on the coffee table.

Hey can’t a guy get a little privacy!

Even little chefs need a break sometimes

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Hola amigos! Long time no see. Did you miss me? Sorry I went MIA for so long, but I was taking a much needed rest. The past couple months have been totally loco around here and I was beginning to feel the effects of too much action and not enough down time. Therefore I took the opportunity this past week to unplug from the both the computer and the kitchen and just chill. Mis padres went on vacation to Disney World (without me!!! how dare they!!!) and I got to stay with mis abuelos for the week (the other most magical place on Earth). Boy did those two spoil me rotten. So many cuddles and so much lap-time. And unlike mi mama and papa who are total dunces when it comes to cooking, both mi abuelo and abuela are fantastic cooks and don’t require my culinary genius-ness in the kitchen. Thus allowing me to just relax on my favorite blanket with a rawhide and a Greenie and wait for them to finish what they’re doing so I can make the rounds licking cleaning up their kitchen floor. Now pair that with the half dozen or so baby carrots I was able to lure from mi abuela on a daily basis, and I was definitely living the life. Not that I don’t totally deserve it. I don’t know of too many other 8 year-old Chihuahuas who do so much for so many other people. I’m such a giver. There really should be a museum named after me. Or at least a dog park.

So now that mis padres are back in town and I’m back in my own house and my own kitchen, I’ve been cooking like crazy and doing what I can to get back into the groove. The break was nice, but I definitely love being back to my culinary ways. I can rest when I’m dead (which will be many many many years from now I promise, Mama).

One of the first meals I made once I got home was this quick and easy one-pot dish that is a healthier spin on Hamburger Helper’s Chili Mac. This version contains ground turkey breast and an abundance of vegetables and spices. So yummy, so delicious and on the table in less than 30 minutes.

So there you have it compadres. Teeny’s back and better than ever. And a year older than when last I posted. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention I celebrated my 8th birthday this past Sunday? Feliz Cumpleanos to me! And check out the great presents I received.

Doesn’t get better than this 🙂

Better call in Kevorkian

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Well it finally happened. As much as I had hoped and prayed we could go through the whole winter without it happening, it did. It first took hold of mi papa over the weekend and unfortunately, it’s now grabbed mi mama by its grasps and all hell has broken loose. What is it, you may be asking? Well, mi amigos, it seems mi mama has come down with a nasty cold. And by nasty, I mean, when she gets sick, things turn nasty.

We tried to keep this from happening, we really did. When mi papa first began displaying signs and symptoms of his sickness, we tried to quarantine him to the bedroom and attempted to keep him as far away from mi mama as possible. The haz-mat suits were donned and the house was sanitized on an hourly basis. I made chicken soup and slipped Nyquil and Vitamin C tablets under the door to his room. And yet despite all these efforts, she still awoke this morning with the dreaded illness no one (especially me) wanted her to come down with. It’s not that I really mind sick people. Heck, they make the best laps to sit on due to their maintaining the same position for hours and sometimes days at a time. I don’t even mind the coughing and hocking of mucous so much either. What I do mind, though, is the constant whining and complaining and the complete lack of usefulness that generally seems to occur when some people are sick. And by some people, I specifically mean mi mama. Talk about drama.

You would think she’s on her death bed the way she moans and groans and refuses to do anything other than lie on the couch watching reruns of Project Runway and Jersey Shore. All household chores cease to get done, there are used tissues and snot rags laying all around the house and dirty soup dishes in the sink. She wears the same crusty sweats and slippers for days at a time, and I’m pretty certain neither bathing of the body nor washing of the hair takes place during this week of fun either. Basically our home completely shuts down for the week and mi papa and I spend as much time as possible out “running errands” and “taking care of important business,” until things return back to normal and she starts to resemble a human being again.

We’re currently in Day 1, so wish us some luck. And please do yourself and everyone you know a favor and stay as far away from our home as possible. Unless of course, you like watching crappy reality television with a stinky she-devil. Then by all means, come on over and take her off our hands for awhile… but be careful, she bites.

So anyway, not to change the subject (because I’m sure you really want to keep hearing about snot and phlegm), I would like to share with you a recipe I made last week, back before all this chaos began. I promise it has nothing to do with bodily fluids or sicknesses and everything to do with delicious sauces and cheeses and butternut squashes all brought together in a decadent and totally delicoso vegetarian lasagna. Seriously, this might be my best main dish recipe to date. Just ask mi abuela 🙂

Alright mis compadres, that’s all I’ve got for now. I just heard mi mama making some noise from beneath her blanket on the couch, and I’m going to try to find a place to hide before she grabs ahold of me to cuddle with her.

Maybe if I stay really still and keep my eyes closed, she’ll think I’m a plant.

News flash: It’s not March yet

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So last night as I was updating my calendar with all the upcoming events and appointments I need to attend, I noticed something unusual. Today is not the first day of March like I had originally thought. Nope, today is actually the last day of February. What the heck! When did February start having 29 days? What makes the year 2012 so special that it gets to have 366 days instead of the just 365? I was so confused and I immediately barked at mi mama to ask her what the deal was. She looked just as confused as I was and came to the conclusion that my Enrique Iglesias calendar must just have been misprinted. She did point out that the calendar would be correct in Spain, though, where Enrique is from because they’re 8 hours ahead. Hmmm…. yeah, so as much as I wanted to believe her explanation, I just wasn’t totally convinced. So instead I looked it up on the internet, because everyone knows Wikipedia is the source of all information. And lo and behold I found the answer I was looking for. Apparently this year, 2012, is known as a leap year which means that it gets an extra day added at the end of the month of February. This is done every 4 years in order to keep the calendar year in sync with the atronomical year. Pretty cool, huh. And here I thought it was just another day. P.S. To all my lovely single senoritas, according to the all-wise Wikipedia, it is considered acceptable for a woman to propose marriage to her favorite Chihuahua bachelor during a Leap Year… just putting it out there.

Therefore, in honor of this oh so special day, I have a delicioso recipe to share that will make you want to leap for joy and then leap into the kitchen to whip up this dish for yourself and all your loved ones. Because nothing says Happy Extra Day in February more than four lovely breasts… of chicken, that is (hey, keep it clean amigos. Mardi Gras was last week).

 Honey-Sesame Chicken Breasts and Potatoes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 yellow potatoes, cut in half then in quarters

1 large red bell pepper, cut in strips

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sesame oil

chopped green onions, for garnish

Directions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13×9″ baking dish with cooking spray.

2) Place potatoes and bell pepper in bottom of dish. Top with chicken breasts.

3) Combine all other ingredients, except green onions, in a small bowl. Pour over chicken and vegetables.

4) Cover dish with foil and bake 40-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

5) Serve with a side of rice and sprinkle with green onions.

6) Enjoy!

The perfect way to end those extra 24 hours in February.

You know what is a not-so-perfect way to end the day? Having to go for my evening walk to the dog park in the cold and rain. Good thing I have a cute little coat to protect my delicate fur from the harsh elements.

February 14th: Not just for lovers

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Well the Giants may have won the Super Bowl yesterday, but Teeny definitely won when it came to being the ultimate party host. Not only did everyone have a great time noshing all the delightful goodies I had prepared for the day, but there were no unpleasant party fouls or guests who had to be thrown out or have their shoes pooped in. Overall, it was a huge success and now I’m looking forward to planning the next little holiday shindig coming up soon. But what holiday party do you have on the agenda, Teeny, you’re probably asking. Well National Organ Donor Day, of course. Coincidentally it just so happens to also fall on the same day as that lesser known and not-at-all publicized holiday, Valentine’s Day. Now I know some of you out there are probably planning to do really romantic activities on that particular day involving chocolates and champagne and telling your significant lover how much you love them… well heck, there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing in honor of all those who have “organ donor” checked off on the back of their driver’s licenses. Instead of baking little pink sugar cookies in the shape of Cupid and hearts with arrows, you can make them in the shape of a liver or a spleen and ice them with buttercream dyed the same shade as bone marrow. Nothing says “have a happy holiday” more than receiving a blood-red, kidney-shaped snickerdoodle. Am I right?

Unfortunately I don’t want to give away all my plans for baked goodies for my National Organ Donor party just yet, so instead I have a recipe for you today that doesn’t involve any human body parts… or any animal parts, for that matter. So if you came here looking for a recipe for Gallbladder Stew or Urethra Pancakes, my apologies. Perhaps next week. In the meantime, here’s something you may enjoy to make, especially on one of those busy weeknights when you’re short on time but still want a delicious homemade dinner on the table.

Spicy Vegetarian Jambalaya

2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

1 cup long-grain brown rice 

2 tsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 cups vegan sausage, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

14.5 oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 tsp Creole Seasoning

1 tsp hot sauce like Cholula

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Heat water in a saucepan over high to a boil. Add rice, cover and turn heat to low. Allow to cook 30-35 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, celery and sausage. Cook until onions are tender.

3) Add tomatoes, beans, Creole seasoning, hot sauce, salt, pepper and rice. Allow to simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes.

4) Spoon into bowls and top with sour cream and more hot sauce, if desired.

* You could totally make this dish non-vegetarian by substituting shrimp or chicken or andouille sausage for the vegan sausages. And if you’re really short on time, use instant or leftover brown rice instead of making the long-grain variety from scratch.

So there you have mi amigos. Something tasty to spice up an otherwise blah Monday night.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need get my booty in gear. I have a pilates session this evening and need to make sure I’m sufficiently stretched before I go.

 Mmm, gotta love some Downward Facing Dog.