Monday, April 19, 2021

420 Celebration - High Times & Recipes

 Acapulco Gold, Texas Tea, Panama RedMaui Wowie, Mary Jane, chronic, ganja, pot, weed, grass, dope, herb, joint, blunt, roach, cannabis, reefer, spliff, fatty, jay, doobie, and locoweed, are just some of the euphemisms for marijuana.



Many pot shops have a green cross or green type somewhere on their building. This comes from when marijuana was first legal in L.A. for medical purposes only - I guess it's a play on the Red Cross?

Click on any photo to see larger.

This month 420 is celebrated and I missed the Smokeout because I was shooting marijuana store customers in line and store facades for this blog post...how ironic is that? I don't blaze up every day anyway.

Patients/customers practicing social distancing with masks during Covid-19.

If you're are out of the loop, 420 or April (4th month) and day 20, is an international celebration of all things marijuana. The term "420" supposedly originated in 1971 here in California by a bunch of high school buddies who would meet at 4:20pm to smoke weed. You can read about it here.


When California introduced medical marijuana legally in 1996 I waited a couple of years before I got a prescription. Like a lot of locals, I was paranoid about putting my name in a database of users. But after a while, I realized that I'm never gonna run for President or head the FBI.

FYI my medical condition was a pain in the...elbow.

Getting a prescription was a farce really just pick your ailment and the doctor charged $100 bucks back in the day. Now it's legal in California so that song and dance is no longer played.


I've been a contributing citizen to the economy and a creative artist most of my life so all the boogeyman stories of reefer madness don't fly here.

When I was in high school I primarily used it when listening to music, as it was the 1960's and getting high brought a heightened experience and meaning to the lyrical and sonic content of songs by The BeatlesRolling StonesThe KinksJefferson AirplanePink FloydBob Dylan, etc.


And it was just a fun thing to do with friends on the weekend and long summer dazes.

Just watch my Mom's recipe for Tex-Mex Enchiladas to see my high school buddy Marvin and I have a 1960's flashback hanging out and listening to album rock in my bedroom.



These days I like a cannabis-infused edible from time to time. They will last an hour or so, just right for an art show, movie, or musical concert at the Hollywood Bowl.


Check out some of the concerts I've seen there, including a Willie Nelson concert where I've never smelled so much marijuana in my life!



I'll leave you with another recipe should you be in need of some munchies while celebrating 420  - that is, not my recipe but my brother from another daddy, the Swamp Chef plus our nephew Zak! Check out a tasty cheesy Cajun Nachos video!


Monday, April 5, 2021

Fig Pancakes - Video Recipe

My favorite jam is chunky Fig Jam and I'll add a new pancake favorite, Fig Pancakes.

California is not the cheapest place to get them, but sometimes they show up at my local 99c only Store. What I see much more often are dried figs. 


Even dry, the figs are still fairly moist like giant raisins and can be used for my Fig Pancake recipe.

It's surprising figs are not cheap here as I have lived on streets that have fig trees and they are very prolific with hundreds of fruit per tree. Maybe it's because the fruit is so delicate?

But recently I found a tree a few streets away in my present neighborhood. Once they start to ripen you have a week or so to pick the fruit before it rots and ants and flying insects get their share.

Figs are ripe when soft and sweet. The flesh inside is fragrant and loaded with small strawberry-like seeds. I eat the skin and all but do remove a stem if attached.

I've seen green figs that stay green when ripe and other green figs that turn dark brown or black when ripe. 

Ripe figs are very sweet at their peak. They are also juicy and sticky and will burst open where pressed. They can get a bit mushy so you have to slice them carefully.

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 or Dollar Tree. Regular grocery stores sell it cheap enough, too.

So start your day right, with my super-sweet cheap$kate breakfast of Fig Pancakes.

Fig Pancakes - Video
Play it here, video runs 1 minute, 55 seconds.

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

The box directions above mention cooking time to brown each side as 1.5 minutes each....hmmm, they must be using a super hot pan!

Ingredients (2 servings, using a pancake mix)
  • 1 cup pancake mix - any favorite
  • 3/4 cup water - okay to use milk for a richer pancake batter.
  • 1 - 2 figs - sliced. Enough slices to cover with batter. Okay to slice or roughly chop figs.
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil - to grease skillet. Add more when needed, depending on how many pancakes you make.
  • Butter and favorite Pancake Syrup - add as much as you like.



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.


Rinse and carefully slice ripe figs, remove the stem if necessary. I like a thick slice so usually, I get about 3 slices per fig. Okay to roughly chop figs


Start to heat the pan over medium/low heat. Arrange figs on a lightly oiled grill or frying pan. Pour on the pancake batter.


Brown each side of the pancake. Mine took about 2-3 minutes for each side. It really depends on how hot your pan gets. The box directions above mention cooking time to brown each side as 1.5 minutes each....hmmm, 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. Serve browned side up, on the plate.

I serve Fig Pancakes hot with melted butter and your favorite pancake syrup.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Easter Egg Recipes - Leftovers Series

 For some, it's all about eggs for Easter this Sunday and I have a basketful of recipes for leftover ovums the kids can't finish. So read on for using up eggs that are hard-boiled, because there is no way youngsters can put away that many.


In these pandemic days, the Easter Egg Hunt will be kept all in the family or on computer video. Well, you can still have a hardboiled eggy good time.

And be sure to set aside a few raw eggs for some of my recipes listed below (click on any recipe name to see the original blog post.)


Eggs are still a great deal. Lately, I get my eggs from a local Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, a dollar for half a dozen medium eggs, and sometimes they even carry a dozen for a dollar.



The easiest leftover use of eggs is a simply delish Egg Salad. It's the quickest and easiest way to use up leftover boiled eggs.


Half a dozen cooked and peeled Easter eggs mixed with a little mayo and some chopped celery will yield a bowlful of creamy deliciousness that can go between 2 toasted slices of bread, as a topping for your favorite salad, or serve spread on your favorite crackers as appetizers.

Ingredients (about 3 sandwiches)
  • 6 eggs - I used small eggs. Boiled, peeled and chopped. about 2 cups total after chopped.
  • 1/4 cup mayo - I used light mayo. Okay to add more. Add an extra teaspoon at a time to reach desired creaminess. Large eggs will need more mayo.
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped - including leaves on the stalk -- if it comes with them. About 1/2 cup total after chopped.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Water to boil eggs.
*Many recipes call for mustard, I like it without. But you can add it - try a teaspoon Dijon or regular mustard. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder.


Directions
In a pot add eggs and cover with an inch of water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Just when eggs start to boil, turn off the heat completely and cover the pot with a lid (or plate.) Let sit for 15 minutes. Eggs will continue to cook in the hot water. (Okay to use any favorite boiled egg recipe you may already have.)


Meanwhile chop one stalk of celery, including leaves. Chop finely.


After 15 minutes, remove eggs and rinse off in cold water, so you can peel them without burning your fingers. You can also let them sit in a bowl of cool water with some ice cubes for about 5 minutes.


Now time to bring it all together. Peel, discard shells and chop the eggs. You can add them as you chop to a large bowl. I usually chop the eggs in half, then place them yolk side down on chopping board and finish slicing.


Add all the chopped eggs to a bowl. Mix in the chopped celery. Finally, scoop in 1/4 cup of mayo. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Try out a small spoonful of Egg Salad. At this point you can add more mayo if you like, a teaspoon at a time to reach desired creaminess.


I find less mayo and mustard (optional) the better, as they easily overpower the mild egg flavor.


A scoop of Egg Salad goes well with your favorite vegetable salad. Egg Salad is a tasty party dip on your favorite chips or crunchy veggie slices. Also, try a spoonful on an avocado half. But I like an Egg Salad Sandwich the best.


This recipe is easy to double using a dozen eggs -- just add another 1/4 cup of mayo and another rib of chopped celery. Keep finished Egg Salad covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Okay, let's take an ovum break -- for kids there is a lot of chocolate on the scene like this.


Another early recipe of mine is a silly Devilish Deviled Eggs I made one Halloween. Fun and tasty. Of course, leave out the spicy chili peppers for kid-friendly bites. And you can find all the yummy recipe details from my food blog by clicking on any recipe name.


For extra eggs you haven't boiled yet (or set aside,) there are a lot of my cheap$kate recipes to choose from, like a filling Pasta alla Carbonara with egg yolk and crumbled browned bacon over spaghetti; or a baked omelet-like Frittata with pasilla chili, chorizo, potato and cheese.




Scrambled eggs come in many variations. Jewish delis have a couple of good ones that I've adapted. I get corned beef on sale during St. Patrick's Day, so it's only natural to have some of it sauteed with eggs (even better is pastrami made from corned beef - my recipe is here.


Small packages and cans of salmon come cheaply and I like to add it to my Jewish Breakfast Scramble. And add a dollop of cream cheese and you have a lighter substitution for Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel. Try it sometime, I know you will like it, too.


Booze and eggs go together, especially if you're making my Homemade Eggnog. This video recipe is one of my holiday favorites. You won't believe your eyes when you see my intoxicated antics after imbibing on one Eggnog too many. Be sure to watch this recipe video all the way to the end!



One of my earliest published recipes is also one of the quickest and easy to make: Scrambled Eggs and Sundried Tomatoes. I like to keep a jar of pungent dried tomatoes in herbs and oil in the refrigerator, right next to my carton of eggs. For a non-oil, lighter version, use plain dried tomatoes in a plastic pouch, too (this is what my wife uses.)


Eggs make a great binder for my sister Denise's Veggie Eggplant Burgers. (You should make sure to check out the video we made that features a wacky shopping spree in my local 99c only Store.) And you want to add a scrambled egg or two when you make my cheap$kate version of Chinese Fried Rice.


Ever make Crepes Suzette? There's not much to it really, just eggs, flour, milk and to quote Julia Child's nephew: "lots of butter." And who's the famed chef's nephew anyway?

Well, just watch the video to see this outrageous character shopping in the Hollywood Farmer's Market -- then moving on to the kitchen to show you how to make a tender and delicate pancake-like dessert.



 Do you have a package of frozen veggies in the freezer accumulating frost, and a crisper drawer full of veggies that are close to being thrown out? Well, just rinse off the frozen veggies and slice off the brown spots from the bell pepper and onion to make my colorful Veggie Frittata. For this photo story recipe I ran out of eggs, but my neighbor Nuno was kind enough to lend me a few. (How's that for a cheap$kate move, free eggs!)

If you have a small patio garden then I have a couple of nutritious recipes to use the freshly picked bounty. An easy veggie to grow is bright green Swiss Chard. Just saute it for a couple of minutes and add it to your favorite omelet recipe, my recipe is here.


Every time I change out the dirt from my teeny garden, seeds sprout willy-nlly. Often it's some kind of squash, that never bears fruit. Oh well, that's okay because the flowers make a great Squash Blossom Omelet.


I grew up in the South and was raised on Mexican food for a while. Almost everyone in Texas has tried Migas, which are tortilla pieces scrambled in eggs. And, you can't get simpler than having Refried Beans and Eggs. I didn't think I would like this meal at first, but learned that scrambled eggs elevate any humble ingredient!


Refried Pinto Beans & Scrambled Eggs

I get all types of Mexican chorizo at my local 99c only Store, including beef, pork, and soy (vegetarian.) Mexican chorizo is different than Spanish chorizo, mainly it's the texture. Spanish chorizo is hard like salami and Mexican chorizo is soft like ground meat. It's a pungent and flavorful protein that mixes well for Chorizo and Scrambled Eggs. And use it to stuff a Breakfast Taco or Breakfast Burrito.

Click to magnify.

Huevos Rancheros are the Eggs Benedict of Mexican cuisine. A corn tortilla with refried beans and a fried egg that's topped with crumbled queso fresco (cheese,) and your favorite salsa, is a decadent and filling way to start the day. Make a batch of this your family sometime, it's quite easy to do when you follow this cheap$kate's recipe.


You can top any of my Mexican breakfast entrees with a favorite jarred salsa or go here to see my list of Homemade Salsa Recipes, with links, that include:  Roasted Salsa Verde (tomatillo,) Red Chili (2 dried types - but the same recipe,) Pico de Gallo and Mango.


Click on any photo to see larger.

Looking to impress an overnight guest, then serve them my recipe for Eggs Florentine for breakfast. This creamy spinach and egg dish will keep any afterglow going. And if that doesn't work then I have a sensuous Fried Egg on Breadcrumbs with Asparagus.



I like a challenge. A favorite breakfast fast food is the classic Egg McMuffin. It's not as cheap as it used to be, so I figured out how to make my own cheaper version. And I share it with you in this homemade video recipe.


And for an extra hardy breakfast be sure to add my Old School Hash Browns to the menu.


If you are flush with cash and your ship has come in, then make like a bonus bloated Wall Street con artist and serve up my Billionaire's Crab Omelet. (I even give you a cheap$kate shortcut, just in case the stock market crashes, your government bailout  is rejected, and all your chips have been cashed in.)



And for my latest egg recipe video, I made a classic French-style Cheese Omelette. What's the difference between it and the ones you get at a typical American diner? Well, it all about technique, mainly you just soft scramble the eggs in butter, add the cheese and gently roll the egg to close up the omelette. Most American-style omelets are cooked dry, while a French omelette is slightly moist in the middle. It's a different way to cook an omelette, but I've grown to like it.



Eggs for dinner? Heck yeah, especially when pizza is on the menu. Break an egg on your favorite homemade or store-bought pizza during the last 10 minutes of oven baking. A mix of creamy yolk is a sumptuous topping, so be sure to try my Pizza with Egg recipe.


And finally, if you're looking for a bit of levity, well, I have an early morning fried egg comedy video to brighten your day, here.



Whew, that's a lot of ovum riffing, I'm exhausted. You've just scrolled through over 10 years of recipes from my food blog.

And if you want even more egg pictorial poetics then click here to view a fun video.

Cooking with eggs is cheap. While not as inexpensive as they used to be, it's still affordable, especially when you use any of my creative and tasty recipes listed above.
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