Dinner

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Recipes best served at the evening meal.

German Potato Salad

My wife requested I make this last night on Christmas Eve to go with our traditional supper of lobster. With me unemployed this year we could have never afforded to buy lobster, but fortunately my wife had 4 of them in the freezer from when she'd found them dirt-cheap and prefrozen back when I was among the employed.

I am not a big fan at all of the potato salad we all know so well from family picnics - drenched in mayonaise as it is. But German Potato Salad on the other hand is heaven on earth! It is a completely different thing altogether, with tart malt vinegar, bacon bits, celery and more. And it goes together surprisingly easy with a mini chopper food processor.

If you are vegetarian, I'm sure this may still be worthwhile, but to me the bacon really makes the recipe. Especially since I used my home made bacon this time around.

Turkey Organ Sausage

Here is a nice one I whipped up a couple weeks ago when we brined a turkey. It just popped out of my head based on what we had around :-)

I took the organs from a medium sized turkey and just put the organs in my large cast iron pan on about 1/4 heat on my electric range and turned them a few times over 15 minutes. I then tossed them into my mini-chopper food processor with about 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal that was left over from the boy's breakfast. I tossed in 2 really small end-of-thumb sized potatoes with skins on but this would be about the same without them. Also put in 1 tbsp of summer savory, 1/2 tsp salt (or less to taste), 1/8 tsp pepper. And I put in a few good tablespoons of fresh turkey fat from my mason jar, and a couple of cloves of garlic.

Simple Calzones

Calzones are surprisingly easy to make. Here is a simple method to do it completely from scratch. Just take some fat and flour or corn starch and make a roux, then dilute with stock to make a thick sauce or gravy. Add salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs and spices you like. Mix in your meat and cook well, then fill your calzones with the meat and some grated cheese.

Refried Beans and Burritos

Refried beans can be a healthy snack, or a full meal if you want them to be. You can wrap them in a flatbread as I do at the end of these videos and turn them into a burrito, or you can dip corn chips into them for a snack. Or for a full meal of taco salad, lay down a bed of corn chips, then some refried beans, lettuce, tomato, green onion, bell pepper and whatever else you want on top. Then top it off with a bit of sour cream and your favorite hot sauce. Delicious, and nutritious!

Personal Pizza Night

Sometimes when we do pizza, we do one big one for the whole family, and vary things a bit by doing parts with some ingredients, and parts with other ingredients - so as to keep everyone happy. Mainly the boys since neither my wife nor I are particularly picky when it comes to pizza. But sometimes it is more fun to do personal pizzas and let everyone build their own from the bottom up. I'll roll out the dough and then let the boys have at it, dressing it up as they see fit. It is only slightly more effort than doing one big one, but it is a whole lot more fun!

Making Sausage

For some time now I've wanted to get into sausage making, and finally made the leap today! Actually, I tried it once about 10 years ago but only the once. And now I recall why - that Kitchen Aid sausage stuffer attachment is just terrible! Really difficult to work with, and incredibly slow. The basic problem is that the vertical tube leading into the feeding chamber is tapered when in fact it would be most effective if it were the same diameter the whole way down. The plunger should be perfectly engineered to fit snugly down in there, but it is not. You start plunging down on the mixture and more of it oozes back up the sides than makes it down into the feeding auger. If you take a look at purpose-built stuffers they are exactly as I describe how the Kitchen Aid should be.

Nonetheless, it did get the job done, and the results were really good. But I cannot for the life of me imagine using this thing very often because it would just get way too frustrating. I'm going to buy a proper stuffer for sure.

Home Made Chicken Nuggets

For quite some time now I've wanted to figure out a way to make my own chicken nuggets, because the boys love them so much, and generally speaking they are not very good for you. Ironically, we did manage to find some vegetarian "chicken" nuggets that do well on the nutrition front, but are pretty expensive. And the boys just won't believe us that they do not have chicken in them :-) Finally I started playing around with things and came up with a really great recipe. Especially because it goes together so easily.

Jamies Molasses Baked Beans

I have received many compliments on my baked bean recipe, so I have decided to share it with the world. It started off as a recipe from a slow cooker recipe book, but I have since played with it so much it's become my own. Enjoy!

Home Made Hamburger Helper

Yeah, I know, the proper name is "Goulash", and I already did an article and video on this a few months ago. That does not change the fact that this is one of my all-time favorite meals both for its simplicity and yumminess! It is especially yummy when you use good quality local organic beef like I do, bought directly from a local farmer and good friend. And of course home-canned tomato sauce. I checked my inventory and I still have 3 x 750ml jars from 2005 which are getting to the end of their shelf-life, so I used one of those. And I also only use whole wheat pasta for anything I make, so that it will be as healthy as possible.

This is as easy to do yourself as hamburger helper(tm) ever was, but far more fulfilling. And better for you too.

Leftover Rice Balls

Here is a great idea for leftover rice that I picked up the other day on one of the blogs I follow - deep fried rice balls! I know, I know, it already sounds awesome, doesn't it?

So I put the bug in my wife's ear for the big container of leftover brown rice in the fridge, and she made it her own with a little twist - in addition to the cube of cheese in the middle she also mixed grated parmesan and asiagio into the rice. Wow they were great, and the kids gobbled them right up. Recipe below.

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