Monday, May 28, 2018

Fire Grilled Chicken Pobalano - Deal of the Day Review

A little bit Cuban with black beans and a little bit Mexican with mild poblano chiles, and a whole lot of flavor resides in my latest Latin-style Deal of the Day.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I am always thrilled to see the evol. brand of frozen fare in the deli case of my local 99c only StoreFire Grilled Chicken Poblano by evol. is a hearty and delicious brown rice bowl that is loaded with veggies and topped with white meat chicken and a dollop of cheddar cheese.

Frozen and Defrosted

There is almost too much flavor, but I'm not complaining. The veggie medley contains corn, red and green bell peppers, green poblano chiles, onion, tomato, and cilantro. All cooked just right.


The corn kernels are crunchy and the peppers are soft but not mushy, as is often the case with frozen then defrosted veggies.


The poblano chiles pieces are large enough and what little heat they carry is mild, only becoming apparent by the time you almost get to the bottom of the bowl.


The white meat chicken pieces are plentiful enough. I got one large nugget and about 3 to 5 smaller ones. With grill marks, the chicken meat was not dried out, as is often the case with white meat. This is real chicken, not a processed loaf, thank god.


And melted on top is a small amount of cheddar cheese. I would have liked a bit more cheese, but this is mostly a chicken/veggie/rice bowl. The cheddar is mild, and when mixed with other ingredients, practically disappears into the background. But that's okay.


Finally, you get your fill once forkfuls of brown rice are factored in. The brown rice is tender and done perfectly - not mushy or too toothsome. And a light amount of tomato sauce binds it all together.



evol. prides itself on hormone-free meats and natural veggie ingredients, so you know what you're getting.


Even the microwave bowls are partially made from recycled plastic. Although we are talking plastic here - maybe evol. will evolve to biodegradable paper bowls one day.


The ingredient list is short and this bowl is a lean meal. Although only 9 ounces, the ingredient mix leaves you quite satisfied, for an extra light lunch or dinner.


My latest Deal of the Day is a feel-good and feel-full meal. So how does evol.'s Fire Grilled Chicken Poblano bowl rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best?


Oh, I think you can guess by now...this meal rates a perfect 9 ! If you run across this Deal of the Day anytime get a few for your freezer - at almost any price.

The melange of flavors in this Fire Grilled Chicken Poblano bowl are the bomb!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cherries and Yogurt - Video Recipe

Fresh fruit and yogurt go well together in my latest recipe video, Cherries and Yogurt.


Pre-mixed yogurt with fruit is too sweet for me. It is easy enough to slice and pit cherries to mix into yogurt. I use about 3 to 4 cherries per small yogurt container. The fruit and yogurt mix will keep a few days in the refrigerator -- if you can resist finishing it off on one sitting!


This isn't so much an original recipe as a recipe reminder of how easy and nutritious it is to add fresh fruit to yogurt.

Cherries are notoriously expensive, but for a month or so they come down in price, and I always get a few large bags during the summer season. At first appearance, they are around $2 per pound, but wait a week or two and the price quickly drops.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I like to add them to yogurt or as a mealtime dessert -- I'll also nibble from small bowls throughout the day. They are especially good in yogurt, like almost any seasonal fruit would be. And if cherries are too expensive or hard to get, you can substitute with your own local fruit stand favorites, or even can/jar cherries.


Fresh cherries are a little messy to work with though, so you want to rinse off any surfaces that the cherry juice pools on, and especially clothing or kitchen towels.


It's easiest to slice around the cherry pit and twist cherry halves apart, then dig out the cherry pit. Once you get going it only takes a few minutes to get a cup full. You can go online to get a special device that pits them as well.


Anytime I find fruit on sale at my local 99c only Store, I immediately think of a light breakfast. My most common homemade yogurt with fruit including: strawberries, pineapple, sliced mango, blackberries or blueberries.





As for yogurt I just use plain. Vanilla and other flavors are usually too strong and often have added sugar. But, if you like a certain type on sale then use it.

Sometimes an unusual brand will show up on sale like this creamy French-style yogurt called "oui" made by Yoplait. It was so good I got half a dozen jars. They also had a lemon flavored that held up well with the addition of sliced cherries.


Oui is advertised as "French Style," whatever that means. But it is milder tasting - less sour than typical yogurt, with a slight almond flavor.

As with any new find at a 99c only Store, I will try it in the car parking lot, and if it's good then I will go back and get a whole bunch more. I've learned you gotta be impulsive there or it may be gone an hour later -- snooze you lose!

So do check out my latest stop-motion animated video. There's really nothing to this recipe and anyone can make it. Sometimes less is more, for a perfectly delicious recipe.

Cherries & Yogurt - Video
Play it here. video runs 56 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cherry Pancakes - Video Recipe

It's cherry season in California and now is the time to get them cheap. They come on sale at my local 99c Only Store and Latin market for, you guessed it, 99 cents per pound. So watch my video below to get a breakfast recipe I think you will enjoy: Cherry Pancakes.
Cherry Pancakes - Video

Play it here. video runs 1 minute 46 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Cherries are notoriously expensive, but for a month or so they come down in price, and I always get a few large bags during the summer season. At first appearance, they are around $2 per pound, but wait a week or two and the price quickly drops.


I like to add them to yogurt or as a mealtime dessert -- I'll also nibble from small bowls throughout the day. They are especially good in pancakes, like almost any seasonal fruit would be. And if cherries are too expensive or hard to get, you can substitute with your own local fruit stand favorites, or even can/jar cherries.


They are a little messy to work with though, so you want to rinse off any surfaces that the cherry juice pools on, and especially clothing or kitchen towels.


It's much easier to just pop one in your mouth and chew around the cherry pit. But for pancakes it's best to slice around the cherry pit and twist cherry halves apart, then dig out the cherry pit. Once you get going it only takes a few minutes to get a cup full for my Cherry Pancake recipe.


A chopstick or plastic straw can push out a cherry pit, too. You can go online to get a special device that pits them as well.




For the pancake batter I use a commercial brand. If you have a homemade recipe then use it. I can get a large box of dry pancake batter at my local 99c only Store. Regular grocery store sells it cheap enough, too.



Start your day right, with my fruity cheap$kate breakfast of Cherry Pancakes.


Ingredients (2 servings, using a pancake mix)

  • 1 cup pancake mix - use any favorite.
  • 3/4 cup water - okay to use milk for a richer pancake batter.
  • 1 cup of pitted and sliced cherries - roughly sliced or chopped. Use any cherry amount that suits your taste. Okay to substitute with any fresh seasonal fruit like: blueberry, peach, apricot, strawberry, and even sliced banana or canned fruit.
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil - to grease skillet. I like coconut oil. Add more when needed, depending how many pancakes you make.
  • Butter and favorite pancake syrup - add as much as you like. I sometimes substitute coconut oil for butter.
  • Okay to use vegan pancake batter.


Directions
Prepare pancake batter according to package directions. My pancake mix calls for 1 cup of flour and 3/4 cup of water.



Mix pancake ingredients in a bowl. When mixed it will be like thick country gravy.


Start to heat the pan over a medium/low heat.

Rinse off cherries. Removing the cherry pit is messy, with red juice that will stain clothing or a wood cutting board, so don't wait too long to rinse off any juice that gets onto surfaces or clothing.


I like to slice cherries this way: Cut though to the center of a cherry and rotate slice all the way around and twist cherry apart. One half of the cherry will have the cherry pit. Slice to remove the pit.

You can let the cherry pieces be on the large size.

Mix sliced cherries into pancake batter. Or arrange cherry slices on a hot grill and pour pancake batter over them.


Add oil to pancake pan and pour on the pancake batter. Brown each side of the pancake. Mine took about 2-3 minutes for each side. It really depends how hot your pan gets. The box directions above mentions cooking time to brown each side as 1.5 minutes each....hmmmm, they must be using a super hot pan!


If you want a dark brown pancake presentation, then just cook one side to get the right amount of brown, then cook the other side for a minute, to finish cooking through the raw batter. Serve browned side up, on the plate.


Serve hot with melted butter or coconut oil, and favorite pancake syrup.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day Recipe Videos - 83 & Still Cooking

I owe it all to Mom, at least where I get my cooking chops (and any good sense I have.) Just check out our cooking videos below to see what I mean.

She grew up in Texas on the Gulf Coast, in a small shrimping town called Port O'Connor. There, I learned to love seafood.

Her father was a shrimp boat captain. So, while we couldn't afford steak, we had all the fresh caught seafood Big Daddy would skim off the top of the catch. Shrimp season was short, but crab and oyster season soon followed.

Big Daddy & Big Mama

Mom had movie star looks (like a young Elizabeth Taylor) and smarts, and a scholarship to college if she wanted it, but had no extra help from her parents.


So after high school graduation, she was soon married and I arrived on the scene, followed by my brother and sister.

Billy, Berry and Brenda

My Dad was in the military so we moved around. Mom and us kids eventually settled back in Port O'Connor, after a divorce. Dad was quite a character and the life of the party, but he was also a little too profligate in the alcohol consumption department.

Billy Doyle Robinson

Mom went back to work as a waitress, so I learned how to literally pinch pennies when she poured handfuls of customer tips on the kitchen table for us kids to separate and count.


Mom got back on her feet and found love again with this shuffleboard-playing fellow below, Ken.


After a couple years, Mom remarried and a final sister was born (catch up with youngest sister Denise's Eggplant Recipe, video here.) We moved to neighboring Louisiana the year I enrolled in Junior High School. There she picked up a whole other way of cooking, Cajun-style.


My high school daze were spent in Gonzales, Louisiana, the self-professed Jambalaya Capital of the World. So you know this town is serious about chow. Click here to see a culinary video tour of some local Cajun cuisine at the weekend Flea Market, including: Crawfish Pie, Boudin Balls and, of course, Jambalaya.


And here's our first video we made together in my Los Angeles kitchen - and my late wife, Amy, even makes an appearance at the very end of the video. You'll get a kick out of Mom rockin' the cast iron kettle. I make her Cajun Jambalaya more than any other recipe - it's simply delicious.



Here is a link to her Jambalaya recipe with text and yummy photos.

Mom was always popular with my high school buddies...especially during lunch or dinner time. She brought her Tex-Mex Enchiladas to Cajun Country, and my Louisiana friend Marvin ate them up!

Me, Marvin & Dennis

During my last visit to Louisiana, I had him over when I filmed Mom making Tex-Mex Enchilidas. Marvin liked the Enchiladas so much, he had a flashback to our high school daze.


Make sure to watch my wacky recipe video to the end, that's when our flashback hijinx really get to smoking (wink, nudge.)



Mom takes a star turn with her next video recipe, her popular Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.


It's a traditional Southern dish and its cheap, too. Just chicken, sausage and the Cajun veggie trinity of bell pepper, celery and onion. What gives Gumbo it's unique taste is a dark brown roux, which is flour cooked in oil until chocolate brown.

Just check out the video below - Mom will take you through the steps. And, as an added bonus, my oldest sister Brenda makes a nagging appearance a few minutes in.



Click here to read all about making Mom's homemade Gumbo, from roux to rice!

My Mom's Cajun Potato Salad is the perfect side to her Gumbo and Jambalaya. When she visited me in Los Angeles I got her to do it on camera. I couldn't help but give her a hard time about the recipe. I called it Cajun Mashed Potatoes and she called it Cajun Potato Salad - well, I guess you'll have to watch the video below to see who wins that argument!



I satiate my sweet tooth during visits with Mom. And the best of her pastry delights are Mini-Pecan Pies. If I couldn't make it for the Christmas holiday, then she would send a shoe-boxed size package with a dozen of these tasty pies.

Mom attracts a kitchen-full of hungry relatives, when these pies come hot out of the oven. And it's a miracle they were done right, because this Chef de Shutterbug was shoving a camera in her face (and a hot oven) during the whole procedure. We butted heads a few times, but fortunately, it all turned out fine.

I even came up with a way to dodge the high prices for pecans - so check out the video below to learn my budget secrets.



And click here to see Mom's Mini-Pecan Pies recipe with text and tasty photos.

Mom has lived half her life in Gonzales, Louisiana. My last vacation visit there fell on Christmas, and she pulled out all the stops with a huge holiday spread, that included Pumpkin Pie. I got her on video making it, and it turned out perfect, as you will see below.


The recipe is a traditional one made with simple ingredients. The pumpkin came from a can, but the crust was handmade with wheat flour.



All the easy to follow steps are written out here, and with delish photos, too.

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely ladies, and especially to my Mom - I love you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...