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Joanna's, Anything Cooking?

Joanna's Anything Cooking 
 
Feb. 25, 2011 6:37 am 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2011 11:19 am

Anything Cooking?

Welcome to my new blog. I have been cooking now for almost 40 years, starting at about the age of 10.  My mom was a single parent as my father had died just after my 7th birthday.  She worked hard every day, six days a week to provide for my sister and me.  I was the youngest and I guess "plagued" to be the "little caretaker" of the family.  My mom would come home from work, so tired and yet had to get going on dinner. I was just about 10 and I began watching Graham Kerr, "The Galloping Gourmet" every afternoon when I would get home from school.  I found his cooking amazing and decided to pass it on to my mom and my sister by cooking dinner. I admit, the first 3-4 months was rather hilarious; the failures, the messes my mom would eventually need to clean up and then the disapproving glances from my older sister as she would take her first bites. Eventually though, I did become a pretty good little cook.  Dinner became an experience for all of us and especially a "retreat" for my mom as she didn't have to worry about cooking supper. I started developing my "pallat" at a pretty early age and I loved the concept of mixing flavor, texture and color with food preparations.  Supper eventually became an "event" within my family.  A time that we all looked forward to as we not only experienced a rather tasty meal, but had about an hour of time together each evening to share our daily experiences. What was going on with school, who the current crush involved, the wars that seemed to be brewing within our neighborhood social strata and finally "how my mom's day had gone?"

My flavor for cooking continued into adulthood.  As an unmarried, young adult I loved to cook for my friends. I was always the one inviting them over for supper to try a new recipe and they actually looked forward to the invites.  If any of my girlfriends had an issue with cooking, it was always me they would call for help. My newest beau's always loved a great dinner and it was one area I could really "shine" in. It did seem to me however that the 'ol saying, "A way to a man's heart is through his stomach" did not seem to be the panacea for "finding a great man;"  I truly must say many a toad crossed my path in my twenties.  When I was 29 I did meet the man I would evenually marry and he truly loved to eat.  He hadn't had much experience with food, other than to grab something at hand because he had to eat.  I certainly believe that one of his perks for knowing and marrying me was to begin a "culinary experience" that few men have the opportunity to experience.

My blog will be about "Anything Cooking."  It will always be something related to, or about "cooking"  I may add things to cook, cooking tidbits, ingredients, a little nutrition along the way, or what's possible for a quick dinner.  Remember that "cooking" can be much more than "mashed potatoes and gravy!"  Cooking and eating is much more than preparing a meal, eating it and then washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.  Cooking includes so much more!  This blog will  explore the "so much more" as well as the "meat and potatoes.

Be sure to check my new posts, I think you will find them idea provoking, whimsical, interesting and you most likely will gain a few tips and some new and easy recipes. You may even find a laugh, or two along the way.
 
Comments
Feb. 25, 2011 7:07 am
I am looking forward to reading your blogs! I agree that cooking is so much more than putting a meal on the table! At our house many meals are prepared with everyone's help - though we are "partial" empty-nesters now that our youngest is away at school. Hubby & I enjoy cooking together. Can't wait to see more!
 
Maggie63 
Feb. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Looking forward to this joanna and I am glad that I get to taste your cooking almost everyday, I think your a wonderful cook and have enjoyed all the good food.
 
Jul. 4, 2011 1:26 pm
Your Grilled Italian Burgers were the hit of our Fourth of July dinner. Out of six thick burgers, only one remains. It's our new family burger recipe. Thank for a winner.
 
Aug. 15, 2011 8:23 pm
I am so sorry that I have been so lazy. I will try to keep something "fresh" going on my blog. Thank you for all the wonderful comments.
 
Aug. 16, 2011 11:19 am
Retraining your eating habits to include using "leftover's." I was a typical kid in the 50's and 60's with no dad and a working mom. As far as groceries, cooking and eating we sometimes had a hard time making ends meet. My mom worked six days a week at the local Kresge's Dime Store and made about $1 an hour when she first started. We lived on leftover's for about 3-4 days a week. Sunday's was "roast, or chicken" day. We always had some sort of meat which would provide us with leftover's for almost the entire first part of the week. I do remember so often asking, "we're having that again?" I think that is why as an adult I have been so resistant to those leftover's, but now I am finding if you add a little adventure to your thinking, those leftovers don't have to be so monotinous. Let's take a look at the typical pot roast, or beef roast and what can be done with that. First, there is always the 'ol standby of either hot beef in gravy on bread, or a bun and some really nice mashed potatoes with gravy. Add some green beans, or another low carb veggie of your choice and you have a great oncore meal. Don't want the hot beef? How about a nice beef stew? Cube the beef, add to the gravy, simmer in some chopped onions, cut up carrots, cut up potato, maybe a few whole green beans and "whala - beef stew." One of my favorite oncores to the beef roast is cut up roast beef, simmmered with onion and sliced mushrooms, dumpling noodles, a can of cream of mushroom soup, one cup of milk and you have a great hot dish. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and you have Stroganoff. What else can we find to turn our beef roast into? Using a food processor we can turn that beef into Chile, too many different casseroles to count, or the old standby - beef sandwich spread. Trust me, hospitals, nursing homes and many a household have used many a left over roast beef for beef sandwich spread. Ya know what, it's great. Using a food processor chop the beef and put in a mixing bowl (approx 2 cups). Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onion depending on how much you love onion, same amount of sweet pickle relish with pimento/red pepper, 1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonaise, optional heaping tablespoon horseradish sauce, S&P to taste and whala you have the absolutely greatest beef sandwich spread. You can make a sandwich, have on a bun, compliment with some nice soup, or serve with chips for a light lunch. Also, feel free to experiment with this recipe. I have added a little chopped hard boiled egg I had "left over" to the mix, a little chopped celery. Use your imagination. For me, a nice left over beef roast can give me all kinds of options for the remainder of the week. The most important thing is to use your imagination and be versitile, don't let "boring" leftovers stop you from using them.
 
 
 
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Sweet Pickles Mom

Home Town
Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
Living In
Coon Rapids, Minnesota, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2006

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Dessert, Gourmet

Hobbies
Knitting, Gardening, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Music

Links
 
 
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About Me
I am a non-working Registered Nurse. I have loved to cook ever since childhood. I love the outdoors and warm weather. Living in Minnesota and being from Wisconsin you would think I would enjoy cold weather and activities associated with, WRONG! I hate the cold and stay indoors almost the entire winter until Spring "breaks." What do you do in the winter? Cook, of course. I love experimenting with new, complicated food dishes and of course I love the taste of my own cooking. I love animals and have a Minature Schnauzer, "Pickles." She is a total joy!
My favorite things to cook
I love to make different Italian dishes. I tend to like spice so I am intrigued by India, Mexico, Thai and anything made with a "bite." Being of German descent, I have some favorite all time recipes that were my mom and dad's. Kliska is one of my families favorites. It is potato dumplings that are browned with bacon and pork pieces until the dumplings are crisped on the edges. Along with the pork pieces and bacon you have alot of chopped onion and a pinch of nutmeg; very tasty, but loaded with cholesterol.
My favorite family cooking traditions
As aforementioned I love to make Kliska. One of my best friends who is Swedish, makes a similar Klub which is a large potato dumpling filled with diced pork, onion, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. She wraps the dumplings which are coated with butter in aluminum foil and then dropped into boiling water for about 30 minutes. Being German, I do like the 'ol standbys of sauerkraut and pork ribs, sauerkraut and weiner's, sauerkraut and whatever. Sauerbraten, red cabbage and potatoes are a nice combination too.
My cooking triumphs
I just recently watched a cute "date" movie for about the 15th time with Lauren Hutton called Sweet Treats. She's a chef who combines with the male lead to form a team contesting in a cooking contest. In that movie they make a Torta Barozzi which is a very chocolate, non-flour torte. Was a rather complicated recipe, but I made it and it turned out "wonderful." It is a chocolate lovers dream.
My cooking tragedies
I never remember those cooking tragedies. I just never make them again and "move on" to greater things. I will say, I never serve a recipe that I have not made previously! Also when cooking meat, don't over cook and "always" use a meat thermometer!
 
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