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Posts from the ‘Lake Tahoe’ Category

Fall Walks, Bears in the Creek and Roast Pork with Gravy…what could be better?

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Roast Pork with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots

I felt a little bit guilty yesterday writing about bad fried chicken purchased in a grocery store without writing about some of the Yes!Chef! made food that we have been having here at the Schmautz Haus.  Yes!Chef! loves the fall because he loves fall cooking.  He likes to make slow-cooked meats, home made gravies, fresh mashed potatoes, slow roasted veggies…I could go on.

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The Sad Tale of Fried Chicken Little (A Brief Story in Bad Taste)

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The other night Obie T. Dogg and I were coming home rather late from viewing a gorgeous sunset over Lake Tahoe.  We were both tired and hungry and Yes!Chef! was not available to cook for us.  So, I stopped at the local grocery store (hoping that the grocery store would prevent me from stopping at the Taco Bell) to see what I could make quickly.  I was immediately hit in the nose by the smell of chicken.  I looked at the roasted chickens and they looked like they had been there for a while as the meat was pulling away from the bone (indicating dryness).

But I was hungry, so I stopped for just a minute to look at the fried chicken.  As I said, I was hungry.  I almost never buy fried chicken.

I must have been dreaming of the fried chicken that Yes!Chef! made once.

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His fried chicken was extremely good…crispy, lightly battered skin and moist and juicy on the inside.

Like I said, I was hungry…which is the only excuse I have that would cause me to buy 5 pieces of fried chicken from the grocery store.    It smelled good under those heat lamps.  It looked good under those heat lamps and I just lost my head.  The clue was “heat lamps.”

When I got in the car, Obie acknowledged that I had made a good purchase because he was hungry, too, and it smelled delicious.

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(Luckily, I had the foresight to buy broccoli, too.)

We got home and opened the little bucket and pulled out two fairly plump looking chicken pieces.  I tried not to notice the difference in appearance.

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Here is a lesson in why you shouldn’t buy already-made-store-bought chicken that has been sitting under the heat lamps for who-knows-how-long.  If I had been smart, I would have gotten my chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I cheaped-out.  Actually, if I had been smart, I would have gotten a sandwich for less money and, as it turns out, much better tasting.

When I cut away the thickly battered and doughy tasting skin, the poor little chicken was cooked to death.

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It makes me want to cry.  (Lucky for me Yes!Chef! rarely reads this blog, otherwise he would cry and tell me that I had wasted my money.)  There are so many things wrong with this, but the biggest thing is that the chicken is over-cooked.  You will also note how little chicken meat is underneath all that battered skin.

Yes!Chef! and I have a theory as to why so many of our friends love his food so much.  I think the general public eats too much of the above already cooked to death meals because they are quick and we shop out of hunger.  This pre-cooked grocery store food dulls and desensitizes  your taste buds.  This kind of food makes you think this is what food is supposed to taste like.  Then, when you taste properly cooked and seasoned food you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

As I said, luckily I purchased broccoli because at least it was fresh. I cooked it and sprinkled some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese on it.  I was able to eat one of the pieces of chicken, but I gave the other piece to Obie chopped up in his kibble.  (He didn’t complain.)

If you want a recipe for fried chicken that’s better than Kentucky fried, try this.

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Or, better yet,  make this fabulous quick barbecued chicken because it’s fast and tasty.

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The lesson I learned? Let’s just say that Obie has been eating a little chicken with his meals for the last couple of days.

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Don’t do this to your family.  Don’t even do this to your dog.  Just say no and buy a sandwich instead.

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Be a dear and let’s just keep this little boon”dog”gle to ourselves and not mention it to Y!C!  Thanks.

Busy as Bees Crockpot Balsamic Beef

Crock Pot Balsamic Roast Beef

Crock Pot Balsamic Roast Beef

Ah, here it is…autumn cooking.  Isn’t there something special about autumn?  Apples, crock pot creations, baked sweet potatoes, spaghetti?  The kitchen is in constant ‘good smell’ mode in autumn.

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He came bearing peaches. And we loved him all the more.

Grilled Ribeye and Grilled Peaches with arugula, blue cheese, thyme, pecans and honey balsamic dressing

Grilled Ribeye and Grilled Peaches with arugula, blue cheese, thyme, pecans and honey balsamic dressing

The headline quote sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?  I made that up because I couldn’t find any good peach quotes.  And who wouldn’t love someone that brings you 12 perfect peaches?  A friend of my youngest son’s showed up the other day to play some video games and he brought us the peaches.  I think I will adopt him.

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With Much Love and Strawberries

Marinated Strawberry Salad with arugula, Fennel and Pepitas

Marinated Strawberry Salad with arugula, Fennel and Pepitas

I think love and strawberries go together.  After all, you can dip strawberries in chocolate, or drop them into champagne, or slice them up and serve with ice cream drizzled with chocolate.  All of these are romantic and put you in the mind for love.  And between Yes!Chef! and myself, we have been making quite a few strawberry recipes lately.

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