October 19, 2017

Hamburger Steaks

Posted on October 25, 2013 by in Home & Hearth, Recipes

Growing up, we always loved Mama’s hamburger steaks. There was nothing like coming home and smelling the onions bubbling in there with the generous hamburger steak patties and knowing we were in for a hearty and delicious supper. I liked mine with extra onions, my sister liked hers without any at all, and Daddy liked whatever Mama put on his plate.

This is a simple recipe and uses the family favorite: ground beef. You know, in the age where we have entire networks devoted to nothing but food, we have surprisingly few tv peeps using ground beef. This is all good and well, of course, but sometimes I think the food channels have greatly overestimated our grocery budgets :) .

See the rest of the story & the recipe on page 11 at www.santafegoodnews.com/Issues/SouthernComfortIssue.pdf  & a link to 30 Recipes for Ground Beef by Christy Jordan.

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Bananas – Great Food Choice

Posted on April 22, 2013 by in Granny Knows, Home & Hearth

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Galloping Foodie Hits the East Coast !

Posted on February 14, 2013 by in Home & Hearth, The Galloping Foodie

Galloping Foodie Hits the East Coast !

Where the heck is Bristol, CT?

 

It’s way up in the northeast section of the country, and it’s where my baby daughter and her husband live. It’s 1803 miles from my front door and it took us about twenty seven hours to drive it straight through. We had to make a delivery in New Jersey, so we made arrangements to go visit her and her husband Mike, after the load was delivered. The first night we were so exhausted we ordered pizza and called it a day. Bless his heart, her husband said that he wanted to take us all out for dinner on the second night to get us a real New England meal. I was game and him buying made it even better. Thanks Mike!

Food#1

A light marinara sauce served over linguini.

 

Food#2

Veal Parmesan, a lightly breaded veal topped with melted Mozzarella cheese and a light marinara sauce served over linguini.

 

 

The Boss and my daughter wanted seafood and wanted to go to a place called Aqua Terra because they had great seafood. They called to verify they were open and found out it had changed its name to Tuscany’s Steak and Seafood, but they were open and had fresh lobster. We loaded up and headed out and this trip happened last month, so in case you are wondering yes, it was cold, (13 degrees to be exact). I wouldn’t have gotten out in that type of weather, but Mike being of hardy New England stock explained that it was a dry cold and there wouldn’t be any ice or snow to contend with on this short trip. I nervously said that I would drive, because I do NOT like driving on ice and snow, but I was too nervous to trust anybody else’s driving. I’ll admit it, I don’t mind saying I’m scared when I am. The drive to get to Connecticut was no cake walk for me, believe me. (Check out Seeing God’s Country, in this issue.)

Food#4

Seafood Platter: Stuffed lobster, scallops, stuffed clams, shrimp, tilapia and spinach and bacon stuffed mushrooms.

Within a few minutes we arrived at the restaurant. We crunched across the snow covered parking lot and made it to the front door without incident. The restaurants ambiance was pure New England with dark paneling, large windows, decorative knick knacks on the walls, etc. There was a wood burning fireplace in one corner, so I asked the waitress to seat us near the fireplace because the Boss loves them and dry cold or not, it’s still cold.

I ordered Veal Parmesan for $18.99, (a lightly breaded veal topped with melted Mozzarella cheese and a light marinara sauce served over linguini). The Boss and my baby daughter (Liz) decided they would share an entrée. They ordered the Tuscany’s Captains Platter for $28.99, which is this month’s cover shot. (Stuffed lobster, scallops, stuffed clams, shrimp, tilapia and spinach and bacon stuffed mushrooms.) Being a true New Englander, Mike, ordered the fresh lobster at market price.

We sat around and waited for about twenty minutes on our order, but man was it worth it. The ladies each enjoyed what they said was a delicious cup of lobster bisque (they didn’t share), while Mike explained that in this part of the country, most restaurants are also pubs. He said that back in colonial times the men of a village would spend some of their free time each day at the neighborhood pub, and that’s how they learned the news of the day,  (by word of mouth news reporting). Both the Boss and I were astounded at the size of the platters and the amount of food they placed before us. I said to myself as I stared at the two plates of food in front of me, (there is NO way I’m going to be able to eat all that). My plate was almost overflowing with tender (no knife required) veal. It was covered with a dark red marinara sauce and cheese. In my opinion this was the real deal Italian food. The linguini noodles were cooked just right, and they too wore the red marinara sauce. I believe that this meal was perfect and I’d recommend it to my best friend.

The Boss and my daughter shared their platter and they ate and ate till they finally just gave up. There was no way they could finish all of that food. Mike said that his lobster was great, and his only complaint was that it didn’t come to him whole, because he wanted to chop it up himself. He showed us Texans how to shell and eat a New England lobster. The food was great, the service was excellent, and the ambiance was nice and cozy.

Till next time eat out often, spending your dining dollars on good food, and demand good food and service from your eating establishments.

The Galloping Foodie

Tuscany’s Steak and Seafood

253 East Street

Plainville, CT 06062

(860) 793-1600

www.tuscanysteakandseafood.com

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DRINKING LIFE a book review by Elizabeth Trahan Corey

Posted on October 16, 2012 by in Home & Hearth

Drinking Life

Keeper of the Water Trilogy

Part One

So on a whim, looking for a cheap read, I picked up this first title, Drinking Life. I have never read anything by this author in the past, but the blurb didn’t suck and it was cheap. I did not realize until I began it that it was technically a YA novel, which I do not generally enjoy. The writing style and content in YA’s is generally not to my liking. I stuck with it though, and am immensely pleased that I did. I ended up purchasing and reading the entire trilogy today, one book after the other. Drinking Life

Cons to this series:

There were some minor editing issues. Missing words here and there, incorrect usage of hear/here, their/there, etc. But not so common that it hindered my understanding of the writing, or so nagging as to pull me off the story line.

This guy is NOT a romance author.

If you picked up this book looking for some fantastical love story, this is not it. While the love triangle in the book is impactful, this is not this author’s strong suit.

The one re-occurring complaint that I had about this series was this: You have this strong Amazon character, who epitomizes both inner and outer strength. And you make her a blubbering ninny over this guy who repeatedly denounces her in public, while sweet talking her in private, explained away by inner monologues about how she just knows he is telling the truth when he talks to HER, and she just trusts him. Thankfully, the author did NOT focus heavily on the romance factor as the books moved along.

Pros to this series:

There were no vampires, werewolves or fairies. Thanks for that, I’m a bit burned out!

He did a wonderful job of integrating a wild concept into this book. Some may complain that the first book took too long to identify the Amazonian legends that are the basis of this series. I applaud the author. Had I known that that was what this book was going to be about from the get go, I would not have continued. He sucked me in wondering what the heck was going on, so that by the time he did introduce this far out there concept, it was too late for me and I had to buy the next book.

He never got on a pedestal about anything. He introduced all of these well known, crusading characters, and didn’t take the opportunity to preach on any of their causes. Being an avid reader, I find more and more authors using their novels to preach at me about things they support: being vegan, recycling, world peace….. none of which belongs in any of the genre’s that I read. I’m not after a self-help book, I want to be entertained!

The story line moved quickly. Very few down times, never thought to myself “Self, this book is boring, go do something else“. As I have the attention span of a goldfish, that is saying something.

There was no cookie cutter ending to this story. It was all set for the classic happy ever after (which I LOVE, don’t judge me!), and he ripped it right out of my hands, but in such a way that I didn’t mind so much.

The author built a fast paced, engaging, believable world and characters. The bad guy and motives were believable. The good guys and their motives were believable. AND the good guys were not saints (that happens too often).

SPOILER ALERT

Having John have to die, while it seemed almost hastily manufactured, appealed to the vindictive side of me that could never really believe that Zannia bought all of his crap so many times. Zannia had repeatedly had karma bite her in the hind parts throughout this book, so him getting off scot free might have bothered me had that happened. (Kudos to the author for realistically making all of his betrayals still occasionaly get the best of Zannia).

In hindsight, the guillotine might have been a bit much. If I stop and try to think logically about the logistics of it being built and set up and none of the sane, regular humans knowing about it and protesting (what else do you use a guillotine for except slaughtering people?), then it really bothers me that it was set up in an otherwise completely believable world. Buuuuut…… then I recall that I set out to read a fun, fantasy novel. All in all, the author did a fantastic job of that.

Overall, the series is great. Perfect? No. But pretty great. I’m off to check out Kevin George’s other series.

By. Elizabeth Trahan Corey … (Your Connecticut Connection)

 

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast Tacos

Posted on July 27, 2012 by in Granny Knows, Home & Hearth

Breakfast Tacos

Nothing in the pantry?

If you’ve got eggs and tortillas, you’ve got a meal. Cook up some kind of meat, scramble the eggs and add cheese. Viola, in minutes you’ve a hot, filling and relatively healthy meal!

You can add salsa, refried beans, onions, peppers, potatoes or anything you have laying around that you’ve ever seen in a burrito. I have even chopped up leftover french fries and used them.

Cook it Up

All men and children love burritos. It is also very easy to add and subtract ingredients based on personal tastes and to adjust how spicy it is.

These were made with a fabulous NEW product we found at Arlans in the refrigerated section. It’s one of our GOOD THINGS this month because it’s affordable, $2.69 a package, they are hot & fresh and they keep for 3 weeks with no preservatives. They are in the egg and dairy section.Fresh Flour Tortillas

They are not the best tortilla you have ever eaten and I can make better, but you can’t beat the convenience and there are no more tortillas molding in your bread box or on the counter!

“Granny Knows”

 

If you enjoy reading the (Granny Knows) column, you may also enjoy the (Galloping Foodie) column and other tasty recipes in previous editions by clicking on the

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Chicken-cide

Posted on July 26, 2012 by in Home & Hearth, Urban Acres

Chicken-cide

Good morning friends and neighbors.  Newt, the greenhorn farmer here again writing about my exploits around our citified farm…

It’s time again for a report on the chicken flock, or what’s left of them.  Varmints are afoot in the chicken house.  One evening, I walked out to the chicken yard to throw them some old bread and table scraps from Annabelle’s kitchen and I saw a white house cat munching on the carcass of one of my large white chickens. Now this was just an ordinary white house cat, not a wild variety.  We live in a semi-rural area and I’ve seen several cats skulking around my property, and I never thought a thing about it.  I had a hard time believing that a domesticated ten pound house cat could kill an almost full grown chicken. Then I remembered how a feline kills.  They grab their prey and clamp their jaws around the windpipe of the hapless victim, smothering it. This lovely house cat was munching on my chicken when it looked up and saw me approaching.

I threw a scoop of chicken feed at it, plastic scoop and all, but kitty cats are quick. 

 It scampered up a tree, jumped onto the roof of the chicken house, and disappeared like a white streak in the evening darkness.  Prior to this I had kept my pit bull ranch dog, Koda from chasing cats, but if I ever see another one in my yard, I going to turn the sixty five pounds of teeth, anxiety, and bad attitude loose.  She probably won’t be able to catch one, but maybe they will steer clear of my chicken house in the future. We got rid of the possum problem, now its other people’s house cats killing my investment and hard work.

The number of the flock is down to about 25 chickens, so now Annabelle and I are thinking that we are probably going to keep them all for eggs.  They all look like hens for some reason, so hopefully soon we are going to have fresh farm eggs for breakfast.  The life of a green horn farmer is so wrought with obstacles.

Onto to other things about the farm:  Mowing the grass has taken a lot of my time and strength lately.  It’s been raining every other day, and the grass has been growing like bad weeds.  My Craftsman push mower quit running on me, and I had to mow with an old style centrifugal force manual push mower that Annabelle had bought at a garage sale sometime in the past. The purchase of this back breaking mower is how the Craftsman push mower came to be.  I tried once or twice when she first bought it and I pronounced it way too difficult to use, but now I was in a pickle.  I can mow the front yard with my lawn tractor, but it mows unevenly and the front yard has two big trees and a ditch to contend with every time you mow.  I broke out the old centrifugal force mower and got after it.  The grass was cut evenly but higher than I liked it.  I had to mow every other day with this old antique mower to keep the front yard from looking unkempt.  Antique Lawn Mower

This went on for several weeks, and then I ran across a face book post by an old friend, Howard Phelps.  It seems that after Howard retired from law enforcement he started a lawnmower repair business out of his house.  I called him up and told him my problems and he said “sure bring it on over”.  I took him my Craftsman 6 horsepower push mower and a gas powered weed eater.  He kept them four days and called me back and said they were ready.  I asked him what he had to do, and he explained that the carburetor on each machine was just clogged up and dirty.  He cleaned them up, replaced the necessary fuel filters and they run perfectly.  I am running his business card with this story because I know him to be an honest fellow who apparently does good work, and has reasonable prices.  I’ve been mowing grass like a fiend ever since I got the mower back. Kemah Lawn Mower Repair

Last month Annabelle bought me a great new wheeled gas powered weed eater.  It’s a Ryobi T-720 model with a 4-cycle engine (no mixed fuel), with two wheels and a trimmer head.  It starts real easy, and seems to be very powerful.  It can whack the hell out of weeds, but for some reason it tends to break the string off when you use it on full power.  I’ve bought a different brand of plastic string to use on it. I’m hoping that it solves the problem.  Heaven knows I have plenty of use for it around my place.Ryobi weed eater

News Flash, Stop the Presses!

The murderous possum that has been terrorizing the chicken population of the Green Acres farm has been hunted down by a duo of Texas peace officers in a ambush reminisent of the Bonnie and Clyde shooting in 1934.  One member of the posse alerted another member and although it was a dark and rainy night the elderly LEO approached the killer with weapon drawn.  The murderer had struck again having just killed a teenage five pound hen, who was just starting her life anticipating have many eggs and perhaps a few chicks of her own.

The elderly LEO approached the murderer and illuminated the killer with his weapon mounted flashlight. The killer looked up from his victim and flashed a toothy smile, just daring the LEO to act.  The LEO saw that a chicken-cide had just occurred and reacted quickly to protect the lives of the terrified bystanders who were frozen in fear.  He took careful aim and fired one life saving shot that ended the career of the murderous possum.  This killer had killed both adult and baby chickens during his four month rein of terror, and he met his fate during the commission of his last heinous crime.

The elderly LEO hurried to get out of the rain, reported his actions to his supervising partner, and called it a night.  He slept fitfully that night but realized that it was just excess adrenalin and not remorse over eliminating a killer. I hope you enjoy this little story, and don’t forget to give old Howard a call if you need small engine repair.  He’s a good man just trying to make a living by giving his customers good service.  Till next time, may you have fair weather, and a cool breeze to make your farm work more enjoyable.

Newt

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House of Cigars Factory

Posted on July 26, 2012 by in Home & Hearth

House of Cigars Factory

I’ve been smoking cigars about ten years now and  I’m what you call a daily smoker who smokes for pure pleasure.  People that smoke cigars everyday usually smoke the lesser quality machine made cigars that are produced domestically.  I’ve been fortunate enough that I can smoke premium imported cigars from countries that have a long history of making high quality cigars.  I usually pay about $30.00 for a bundle of twenty cigars, so I pay about $1.50 a stick for my everyday cigars.

We were out of town when I noticed that I was out of cigars. Once again I had left home with inadequate supplies, and the Boss had to rescue me. She got out the smart phone and started looking for likely places to buy cigars.

We were approaching Dallas, when she came across a business called the House of Cigars Factory in www.houseofcigarsinc.com Farmers Branch, Texas. We figured a cigar shop that touted itself as a factory might have cheap cigars. We used the GPS to get to 13901 Midway Road Suite #110 in Farmers Branch, and naturally it led us in the most round-a-bout way possible with more red lights that you and shake a stick at. We finally got there and found a young Hispanic (Cuban we found out later) man sitting at his little work station making cigars. I was encouraged at this sight because I just knew we could buy a bundle of cigars that he had hand made for a cheap price.  I was wrong!

We were led into the walk in humidor by a sales person, and the walls were lined with handmade cigars. I noticed that none of the cigars had any bands on them, and ask why? The fellow explained that all banded cigars are made at nine (9) factories and all of them use pesticides on their tobacco that gives the cigar a metallic taste. I’ve smoked hundreds of banded cigars and I have never detected a metallic taste in any of them.  Maybe my cigar palate isn’t as sensitive as the people he knows.

After selecting a couple of cigars we watched the young man making the cigars.This young man was highly skilled at his craft, and explained that he has been making cigars since he was a young boy in Cuba, and that all of his family members still make cigars there.

I once purchased what was reported to be an authentic “Cuban Monte Christo” at a small tobacco shop near Miami. I smoked it on the day of my youngest daughter’s wedding.  I can’t say if it was a real Cuban or not, but it was some fine cigar. I hated to see the end of that one, but alas they all come to an end.

The two cigars I bought weren’t cheap, a Manhattan and a Bo West blend but they were definitely fine cigars as well.  When I smoked them they were as advertised, light and mild, just like I like them.  I hope you enjoyed this little foray into the world of fine cigars, and if you can recommend a good one that I can purchase locally, feel free to email me at juniorsboy@santafegoodnews.com and maybe I’ll review it for this column.

The Daily Smoker         My Ashtray

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The Galloping Foodie Goes to Mickey’s Diner!

Posted on July 17, 2012 by in Home & Hearth, The Galloping Foodie

GOOD LOCAL FOOD…

The Boss and Jacob’s Momma (my oldest daughter) decided they were hungry and couldn’t wait on me.  They had seen a new eating establishment on FM-1764, called Mickey’s Diner and wanted to check it out. The place had been a tamale shop until recently, now it’s been renamed and reopened as a diner.  After perusing the breakfast/lunch menu they both decided on what’s called the Blue Plate Lunch Special, which for that day was: red beans and rice with sausage and chicken fettuccine.  The blue plate special changes daily and sometimes there’s one item, but they hit the jackpot and got to try two.

Everyone knows the poem that reads, “Now all little Cajun boys are made of gumbo, boudin, and sauce piquant… but red beans, rice and sausage are also a staple in the swamps and bayous of south Louisiana.  I have eaten this slow cooked rice stew if you will, since I could eat solid food.  My momma made it, my grandmamma made it, and my lovely wife, (The Boss) can also make a good pot when she sets her mind to it. To me there is nothing better, except maybe crawfish etouffee or jambalaya or hell I like it all!  But good red beans and rice is hot and spicy, and fills the tummy just so.

This is what my daughter (being only half-Cajun) ordered for her lunch, and she couldn’t eat it all, so I met up with her and she gave me the left over’s in a square Styrofoam pooch box.  I brought it home and it was still warm and good to go.  I heated it slightly, and put some homemade butter on the cornbread and I ate till I almost hurt myself.  It was very good and made me miss my momma’s cooking.  You see I was the babe of the brood and my momma always fixed my plate first before my older brother and sisters could muscle me out of the way. Which might be why I overeat today.

The Boss ordered the chicken fettuccine with grilled mixed vegetables.  Now I didn’t get any of this food, but it looked good in the picture, and both the Boss and Jacob’s Momma said it was some kinda good. I can only believe what they said and they are both pretty picky eaters. The Boss paid Mickey’s Diner a very high compliment by saying that it is now our “GO TO PLACE”, when she doesn’t feel like cooking, or we’re in a hurry to eat, etc. Based on this and what I tasted, I can say you will get good food and your dollars’ worth at Mickey’s Diner. They are open from 5AM to 3PM right now, but are considering doing dinner as well, in the future. “You can go there and pass a good time, apparently they did!”

Till next time, eat out often, eat locally, and support your local restaurateurs.  It’s good for everybody involved.

The Galloping Foodie is sponsored by H.I.S. Ministries. Please support your local food pantries, they are our hands to help those in need.

Mickey’s Diner – Restaurant

10527 FM-1764   LaMarque, Texas 409-925-3311

 

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Stand Up AMERICA

Posted on July 17, 2012 by in Home & Hearth, Sweet Tea And Common Sense

Taken from Sweet Tea & Common Sense July 2012 Issue

by Lynn Trahan

Unity is the Answer… A House Divided Falls

Hate and anger will not solve our problems in America. Pitting one political party against another will further divide us. We stood together arm in arm after December 7th & September 11th and we had peace among us. The only solution to the problems we face is that we face them together under one almighty leader, God. There is strength in unity and weakness in division. We must decide whom we will serve, ourselves, money or our God, by whatever name we call Him. To have our focus return to something or someone larger than ourselves is our best bet for unity, peace and prosperity. While we argue over all of our differences, we erode our nation and give it into the hands of the wicked. Yes I said wicked. If you are not accountable to God, you are easily accessible to be used for wickedness. You’ve got to stand for something and decide whom you will serve.

The Grand Old Party is not so grand anymore and I’m not saying that because I’m a democrat, I’m saying that because they can’t find a representative that’s worth representing me. Each party is presenting people that are not worthy of our votes, but we are and have been for years voting merely for the lessor of the 2 evils. That’s not grand, that’s not even close to grand.

The Democratic Party is no better and I’m not saying that because my husband is a republican, I’m saying that because they have the same problem. They are supposed to be liberal and progressive, but they have allowed themselves to become so progressive that they have just driven their party into hell. I don’t believe that just because the squeaky wheel has money behind it, that it should be allowed to run amuck.

Mainstream America is not a bunch of lunatics. They are the backbone of our country and they deserve to be heard and represented by reasonable moderate parties who are not being paid by anyone but the American people to govern as their conscience dictates. If that means voting across party lines to get the best person, then I guess what we need to throw to the curb is party loyalty. Loyalty is a good thing, until its corrupted. If everyone in this country would do their civic duty and vote and they voted their conscience, we would have the right people in office, because our true leader would see to it. Unity in voting is power, individual power, not corrupt political power.

Anyone or any party who attempts to get your vote by using anger, hate or lies should not get your vote. The Good Book says you will know them by their fruit and creating a platform built on hate is bad fruit and it won’t suddenly turn sweet when they take office.

We need a firm hand to get this country back on its feet, but we don’t need an evil one to represent us. We are not evil and our representative needs to be one of us. We are the majority and the majority of us are good people. So I ask you to take a look at who your party is putting in the pool for you to choose from and who the other party is putting in and make a choice based on what you feel is right in your heart. There is no one man or one party or one religion that has all the right answers to help us get to where we need to be. It’s up to each one of us to do our part and as the saying goes “Let God sort them out.”

 

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Granny Knows About Turkey

Posted on April 26, 2012 by in Granny Knows, Home & Hearth, Recipes

Granny Knows About Turkey…

Pregnant, can’t have nitrates?

Economically challenged, can’t pay $7.00 a lb. for lunch meat?

Trying to lose weight, isn’t everyone?

Want healthy food?

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.

 

At .99 cents a pound, it’s the cheapest, healthiest, and most delicious alternative protein source around. It also freezes beautifully for last minute meals. Just spray with cooking spray, season it inside and out, cover with foil and place in oven at 350 degrees until timer pops out or legs wiggle. I boil the neck and organs and freeze for later use in dirty rice or stuffed peppers. This is a perfect Sunday meal fresh out of the oven with some side vegetables and then you have the rest of the day to get it boned, packaged and frozen.

I make stock out of the quickly removed big bones, the water I boiled the neck in and any vegetable scraps from whatever we had at lunch. While it simmers, I slice and bone the smaller pieces. In one afternoon I can get a whole lot of lunch meat and pre-cooked easy meals for a fraction of the cost of store bought lunch meat and TV dinners. Turkey can be substituted for chicken in any recipe and for ground meat in most. Pound for pound, you just can’t beat it for good health, economic savings, calories or flavor.

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