Taco meat (Whole 30)

My next door neighbors, Matt and Diane, clean out apartments after the tenants move out for our land lord. They find some of the most interesting stuff people leave behind. Sometimes it’s interesting in a OMG!!!! That’s disgusting. I can’t believe they left that behind way. Sometimes its interesting in an OMG! Thats awesome! I can’t believe they left that behind way.

Yesterday, Matt and Diane gave me a stand mixer that someone left behind in an apartment. They plugged it in and said it worked. There was a set of bowls that went with it. They know I love to bake and thought I might like it.

It was clear just by looking at the mixer it was an antique but it was in awesome shape so I said sure I will take it. This morning I sat down and did a little research. I found out that the mixer is a Hamilton Beach Model K stand mixer from the 1940’s. It is extremely rare to find a model k that works and even rarer to find a model k that has its two original bowls, which mine has and they are in perfect shape. I have to do more research on the bowls. On something this old this old, Hamilton Beach could have issued reprodutions of the bowls. At this point I am not finding any indications the bowls are reproductions. This mixer is definitely falling into the OMG! This is so awesome! I can’t believe they left it behind category. I can’t wait to get it cleaned up and give it a try.

Taco Meat

From Dessert For Two

1 TBS olive oil

1 lb ground beef

1 TBS tomato paste

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat a 10 inch frying pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef, tomato paste and all the spices. Cook the meat ovet medium – high heat until the meat is is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

I have a love/hate realationship with America’s Test Kitchen magazines, like Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country. Every time I sit down and read the magazines, I learn something new. The recipes I have tried have always been good. But OMG!!! They can take a simple recipe and add so many ingredients and steps to it makes me want to just give up before I even get started and I am a fairly experienced cook.

Every so often, however, America’s Test Kitchen publishes a recipe that is perfect in its simplicity.

Pickled Cucumber And Onions

Adapted From Cook’s Illustrated

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 TBS water

1 TBS sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

8 oz cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut into thin slices

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

Whisk vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Add the cucumbers and onions. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Ranch Burgers (Whole 30)

My doctor called and gave me the go ahead to do a Whole 30 for the food elimination part of trying to find out what is causing these damn hives. I am starting July 1 because it does take some time for me to prepare mentally and food wise for a round. It really can’t come soon enough for me. It really sucks to be a food blogger who is afraid to eat.

My head knows, in the grand scheme of things, most food allergies aren’t a big deal. The chances of my having a life threatening allergy are very small. It isn’t cancer or Alzheimer’s or anything like that.

My food loving heart, on the other hand, is certain I am going to have to give up everything I love to eat and survive on dry brown rice and beets for the rest of my life. Because there are only so many ways to prepare dry brown rice and beets, I will have to shut down my blog and find another far less satisfying hobby. In case you hadn’t noticed, I am a worst case scenario kind of person.

The more likely scenario is I will find out what is causing these hives, eliminate it from my diet, and continue exploring all the foods I can eat and you all won’t notice the difference.

In the mean time, I am getting ready for my Whole 30 by preparing some freezer meals from The Family Freezer. I prepared two batches of my favorite sausage stuffed mini peppers and a batch of ranch burgers.

Family Freezer is full of recipes you can prepare, without cooking anything, and freeze to cook at a later date, in the crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove. Go check her out if you like the convenience of frozen tv dinners but not all the crap they put in commercial ones.

Ranch Burgers

From The Family Freezer

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

2 TBS dried parsley

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp onion flakes

1 1/2 tsp dried dill

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the meat and all the seasonings. Get in there with your hands and mix well. Form into 3 8 ounce patties. Yes, those are big burgers but the patties shrink alot.

Place them on a tray lined and place in the freezer until frozen. When frozen toss the patties in a freezer safe plastic bag, labled with what it is and a use by date of 3 months.

When you want to cook them, pull out the desired number of burgers at least 2 hours before you want to eat. I cook them in a frying pan about 6 minutes on each side. The cooking time depends on how thick they are.

Brussels Sprout and Potato Hash (Whole 30)

Today was like Christmas in June. When I got home from work there was a package at my door. The package was from my parents. They are moving to a much smaller house in a few weeks and they are getting rid of stuff that is no longer useful to them. The box was full of things my mom thought I might like and have use for.

Some new Hull brown drip dishware for my collection.

A few cute knick knacks for my living room because mom knows my thing for frogs and parakeets

The absolutely coolest thing, though, was my baby book and a bunch of memorabilia from my childhood. My mom sent me my baby book.

Wasn’t I a cute little shit?

There were report cards from 1st grade all the way through graduation that confirmed something I always suspected. I have always been really, really good at reading and always sucked at math, except for 11th grade when I sucked at math and American government.

But the coolest thing in a box full of cool things was a note from my grandma Goeser, who passed away when I was 14.

It was so much fun to open this package and look through all the stuff.

Brussels Sprout and Potato Hash

3/4 lb Brussels sprouts

1 russet potato, unpeeled and chopped

1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts then halve them and coarsely chop them. Place them in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, thyme, onion, garlic and oil. Stir to combine.

Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, stir them and spread in a single layer again. Drizzle them with more oil if necessary. Roast 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

At this point, I scoop out the amount of vegetables I want to eat and crack two eggs over the top. I continue to roast the vegetables until the eggs are done to my liking. Its usually about 10 minutes. I cool the rest of the vegetables and save them for more breakfasts later in the week.

Dill Pickle Bread

I bought dill pickles at Aldi yesterday so I could make Two Sleever’s Big Mac salad all summer. Then I saw this recipe for Dill Pickle Bread. I knew I had to make it because it was one of the weirdest sounding recipes I have ever found.

I am going to be totally honest, this recipe isn’t going to appeal to everyone. In fact, you’re either going to love it completely or absolutely hate it, there really isn’t any in between. I, personally, love the super sour, super sharp taste of this bread. If you aren’t a fan of sour tastes, I would skip this recipe.

Dill Pickle Bread

Adapted From Delish

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 TBS flour

1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pickle juice

1/4 cup chopped dill pickle

1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 5 inch loaf pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine sour cream, canola oil, egg and pickle juice.

In another medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the greased tin.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove bread from tin. Cool completely before slicing.