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Pizza Passions!

19 Nov

I am in disbelief that I have never shared a post about my lifetime obsession with the savory pie and all time obsession- pizza!  This has been a hot pie summer for me where I have made and consumed many rounds.   I was then reminded when my dumplin asked, “why do you watch that show so much?”  He was referring to another of my favorite foodie syndicated cancelled shows (#mikeandmolly), King of Queens, that I stream often when I need a laugh break or background humor while I’m working.  Once I rattled of the reasons I had my aha moment: “because it takes place in New York, they eat pizza, they talk about pizza, they show plenty pizza, and they’re all hilarious!”

This show still is a family favorite (when mom was still with us) and now my own little family loves along with me.  Kevin James as the man child husband to Leah Remini, his brash bossy wife, are hilarious alone.  Add to their routines her outlandishly annoying father, who lives in their basement, and their hilarious side characters of friends and neighbors and I’m sent into a fit of giggles at the nonsense they get into!

Set to backdrops and scenarios in NYC, I am transported and reminded of my two separate trips to New York with sorority sisters and my cousins.  Honestly both times I was overwhelmed by the food oasis NYC is, I now realize I only ate pizza once each time, and both in the walk in by-the-slice neighborhood locations unique to the busy big apple streets.  Before those two trips I encountered a struggle to find my go to pizza place in Texas.  Pizza Hut, once a family go-to, had changed in taste, Dominoes felt like a mushy grease fest in my mouth, and the random local joints just didn’t hit the flavor sweet spot to me. 

Then my AmeriCorps group decided to go do some project planning at the pizza place up the street from the university, Nizza Pizza, which I had avoided solely due to the ever changing temporary business location they had taken up residence in.  I just didn’t have trust in that location across from my brothers high school alma mater.  When it was an ice cream chain (with workers coughing on our chocolate dipped cones) and the random businesses and restaurants that had briefly taken up residence I had little peace of mind in regards to cleanliness.  Little did I know I was missing out on an Italian style pizzaria right in the heart of Arlington!

My tastebuds had been revived and my holy grail pizza pie style was solidified.  I’m a thin crust, pep and sausage, sweetly robust sauce, savory spices, and sizzling cheese kinda gal!  They delivered in NYC size and flavor with slices you can fold, fresh salads and dressings, delish pasta servings, and New York cheesecake or cannoli for a full feast.  Requisite red and white checker pattern tablecloths, and vitrine filled with dessert choices to entice anyone with or without an appetite.  Nizza Pizza soon became a favorite to order for sorority gatherings and campus events I welcomed with joy.

I miss NP and, now living in Missouri, fill my thin crust void with homemade pizzas or Jack’s pizza, a top notch frozen pizza (since Red Baron, a former favorite, seems to have shrunk in size but not cost and the crust seems to be a smidge thicker and cuts the roof of my mouth) a few of which are shown in the video above.  Am I complaining?  Sorry if it seems so, I just have picky tastes when it comes to Za (shout out Spence played by Patton Oswalt).  Of course when budget doesn’t allow we have to settle for a store brand frozen pizza at Aldi or Walmart, but there’s not too many pizzas I’d turn down now. Sometimes, if we want to be decadent, we add sliced black olives, more meat and cheese, extra fennel seed, garlic and Italian seasoning.

I don’t prefer BBQ, white sauce, Hawaiian…no doubt if that’s all there is at the party I will nibble. I’ve even made keto fat head pizza twice, which is really good when you get the dough right.  When you don’t…just eat the toppings!  Pizza is my cheat meal, luxury treat, and comfort food all in one and has been a delicious companion thought my life: first move in meal at new houses on the floor surrounded by family, sleepover birthday party make your owns, girl scouts and school trips to cook in the restaurant kitchens, house parties, dorm room gatherings, movie nights, etc.  Whatever the occasion, I welcome the memories and, if on the menu, all the pizza! 👁️💓🍕


Double Dutch

6 Jul



When the heavy cream needs using and limited ingredients is an obstacle, try the simplest no churn ice cream ever!!!   This began as a frozen cookie desert and ended with leftover ice cream.  Of course I found the cookie dessert in Lee Bailey’s Country Desserts cookbook, as I have ma’s collection now.  Of course I would refer to it first in a dessert emergency!  She has tons but in terms of pictures and recipes for EVERY treat in the book that puts this book at the top! Why would you even include a recipe without a pic?!

Start by taking a hand mixer to 2 cups heavy cream over 3 full tbsps of cocoa powder and 2 tsps of vanilla and super fine sugar till its cafe au lait colored, puffed and stiff.  The chocolate powder mixes better and the taste is amplified when you blend the powder with the extract and sugar first.  This dessert is finished as you layer and stack cookies (on top of +-crossed plastic wrap)in a loaf cake form.  14993676822341019654869

I used Walker shortbreads cos that’s the cookie the house had on hand, but wafer cookies are best and your favorite biscuit is even better!  My alteration was I used that chocolate whip only for the inner layer and, to the left over cream in bowl, *folded in a small can ~ 14 oz.~ of condensed milk. Frost the outside of the stacked cookie mousse loaf and wrap to hold shape while it freezes.  The rest pour in a sealable bowl and freeze for delicious quick homemade icecream!💞🍧🍦





Taking My Taste Buds Back!

25 Sep

chipsSo volunteer G’ma Simmons gave some of us pocket change so I went on our drink run.  And if you a give a mouse a drink, of course they’ll want chips to go with it.  I wanted chips.  I really wanted old school wavy sour cream and onion Lays. I saw these instead and was a bit skeptical at first, I don’t eat truffles, proper. (I bought a backup Doritos) However…they were Awesome!  The New flavor vote Truffle Fries was just the substitute!  Not only are they the delicious sub, they remind me of Macedonia Baptist Church Vacation Bible School snack (Nikki do you remember!?!)-Wavy Sour Cream and Onion chips with red Kool-Aid of course!!! I don’t know why those seemed like the best chips in the world at the time: crunchy, perfect amount of creamy tangy dustiness…Nommyum

I will be voting.  For the idea submission, thank you Angie Fu, wherever you are.  For the fruition, thank you Lays<3

Birthday Po Boy Oh Boy

27 Aug


Yesterday was bAbY’s Birthday and I let him(ha) have a break from the kitchen and pulled out my fry skills for Spicy Ranch Shrimp Po Boys (for the adults-mini bAbY had regular ranch), scratch remoulade, and a salad.  He approved of his birthday meal with a clean plate, a compliment, kiss AND a dap… Pleased.  THEN next morning I have leftover shrimp and my girl Angie is making fried potatoes…yes I see the fried pattern but you are allowed to splurge and it was someone’s birthday at some point :)YUMMO.

shrimp salad shrimp breakfast

Slowly I turn…

17 Aug

spaghetti scramble

As I resolve to take on more responsibilities in the domicile and for the sake of the family unit, I have had to make sputtering returns to the kitchen.  With appreciation shown and told, as well as off hand kudos I gain confidence again…at what I’m good at.  Let me stop the poetics and be real! I still burned the bottom of the skillet spaghetti (but not too bad the top was unsalvageable or inedible).

So now helping me is my new love…Barilla No Boil PastaPronto pasta I call it skillet pasta cos you dump, cover with water let it cook of then add tops and sauces!  No pot or pre boil.  The second time I was distracted as usual by who knows what and forgot the liquid was going away lol.  I add diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, garlic, scramble ground beef (ma’s original) or scrambled pork sausage (our ghetto rigged delish remix), spinach and butter!

Here’s a list of house faves I have pleased the king and prince with: Mimi’s Famous Meatballs (his name not mine :P), pancakes from scratch or a box,  Tex-Mex tacos and nachos, lasagna,pork chops (he flipped when I coated in white cornmeal and honey mustard-he ain’t used to that flashy meat lhh), and Brown sugar cherry glazed salmon and semi-salad Nicoise (no anchovies)!  Yeah I saved that fancy meal for last and his first.  That’s what got him and he said he ain’t seen it like that since!!  Hey I just let him handle his kitchen until he needs me-I’m second string cook for rainy days but I’ll bust ya guts with the yumminess!!!

P.S.!!!!!slowly turn into this hotel-YAY!!!lady-gaga-ahs-hotelSo who dat coming to American Horror Story Hotel!?! Mother Monster ❤

For the graduates…

21 Apr
Bake Sale Granola

Bake Sale Granola: honey, PB, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon toasted rolled oats

Food Rx

4 Jul

I don’t always just eat what’s healthy and necessary for my body. Let’s face it I love too much about the kitchy-ness and cuteness in the edible arena, but I am consciously practicing limiting the excess. Let’s take an episode of Dr. Oz I watched recently about reducing kitchen clutter among the packaged products and the storage products as far as safety and health are concerned. I really enjoy Dr. Oz and feel he does a great service to making the public aware of the schemes of food and drug companies, unnecessary or dangerous products and practices within those industries, as well as good nutritional info that does not (always :)) relying on supplements, diet and fads. This episode had information on the trickyness of food labels and demonstrating that the combination of any of these so-called “low-fat” or “no trans fat” boxed-bagged-canned products can put you and your family at more than the daily values/servings by lunch! Reading the entire nutritional info and ingredients is the key.

The doctor also explained why it is necessary to get rid of some old plastic dishes even undamaged outdoor plastic-ware from backyard barbeques and swim parties. The cancerous and toxic BPA chemicals that are no longer sealed into the surface as properly as when first purchased and used with hot foods and using them hot from the dishwasher can cause transfer after periods. This transfer is ingested but unseen by the eye and consumers are unaware if the items are visually still undamaged. However, my issue was that they paraded a bunch of new plastic-ware, albeit with new plastic technology that is less harmful. Whether it’s ergonomic or just cutesy with space-saving set-ups, it just leads to MORE CONSUMPTION and refilled space that doesn’t have to be filled by every new product bundle that comes out. Why? We still haven’t dealt with the massive overstock of the old and the now newly tossed out piles by your viewers, the ones in the segment and random people who don’t recycle!! Laughing hella hard but very serious. Our supply is outweighing the demand now, there needs to be more ‘Reducing’ from the Reuse and Recycle mantra, please and thank you!

I must admit I recall my days in junior and senior high school home-ec classes-do schools still have those!?!- and we learned about reading food labels to recognize fat calories and the rest was pretty self-explanatory. Yes, food labels and the packaging has evolved with the ever-changing assault of “ingredients” food companies try to sneak into our systems but I truly don’t like to see a lot of random chemical-ly words in the list of supposed food items, not including some preservative and coloring agents unavoidable. Since I am rather picky about the things I do buy, taste and allergy wise, I will share some of my favorite naughty little things that share rotation with a fairly balanced diet *wink,wink*:

[]PoPTaRtS!!![]     OMG my fave since a kid at home with mum n dad LOL! But weirdly only the Unfrosted Strawberry kind which is an item I would always toss in my purse if I was leaving the house for a while, headed to work with no lunch, breakfast on the go during early morning drivers ed, etc! I have been on a ban of the Brown Sugar since freshman orientation my first year of college. I tried to eat one the morning of the last day and couldn’t stomach it. The frosting and cookie parts were hard and like plaster, the sugar filling was too sweet and felt like sand in my throat. At the time and to this day I am not certain it wasn’t just a dry mouth from the fear and anxiety that my dad would be leaving later and I had said goodbye to my mom and brother in the south but wouldn’t see them again for a while. Nervous little freshman but I made it through the best year and long distance separation from them just fine. I still didn’t want that pop tart again though! Close second is the Chocolate Fudge which is like a mini chocolate pie dessert in a pinch when I want something chocolatey and sweet.
Sadly not even a grocery store donut can fill that void. How can grocery store bakeries with real people baking still taste processed??? Wherever I have lived…no region has surprised me yet. Granted I haven’t lived everywhere but enough from where I have lived have failed to ruin the dream for me.

*Red Baron/California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas*    Crusts- on point, sauces- definately on point in flavor and ratio to crust and toppings, toppings- I’m not too exotic when it comes to pizza toppers because texture is important when I’m munching, but CPK and their BBQ or spicy Italian flavors, the Spicy Sicilian is my fave. CPK also gets a plus because their microwave mini pizza are the best in flavor and finished completely edible product! No hard crust pieces to crack your teeth on (those edges could chip a tooth). Jack’s frozen pizzas were a price switch for a pizza bargain, my cousin buys the multi-pack of four since she has picky boys who seem to never want the same pizzas at the same time, but when I want to indulge I upgrade to RB or CPK!

<>Frozen sweets<>    The Banquet Apple Pie for ninety-three cents makes a fairly quick personal pie and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream taste just like a homemade oven baked pie.  The crusts cook perfect in the oven or micro.  There’s a Very Berry one but I’m haven’t tried yet, perhaps that’s a good taste bud adventure for the FOURTH!   A red cherry and blueberry pie with vanilla-white ice cream…Nom-O!

For quick dindin I keep ~Michelina’s~ frozen entrees in the freezer box often, and they only cost $1!!!  I prefer the Chicken Fried Rice and the Fettucine Alfredo since I don’t like to gamble with the quality or squish factor of frozen “meats” LOL!  The alfredo sauce has a good flavor and is creamy without needing any doctoring (although I usually add a little more basil;)

@Beefy BUBBA Burgers@     which I first discovered in Target’s frozen aisle are the juiciest, meatiest frozen burger I’ve tasted:)  I also eat them bunless like a steak, an option given on the box, and make a steak covered in buttery Havarti topped with stewed roasted tomatoes and some herbs over rice.  This is a fancy ode to the “Porcupine” foil dinner I remember my mom making for dinner when I was way young.  a hamburger cooked in foil with rice and saucy tomatoes; like a campout meal!

#Cereal#   All different kinds from the healthy flakey clustered bunches to the kiddy sugar-coated crunchers:D  I love cereal for any meal and snack and sometimes mix them in the same bowl…yea-I’m a ‘mixer”, I KNOW I’m not the only one though!  This trend began for me early only because I realized I couldn’t always choose between cereals I wanted to eat for a sitting, so instead I sampled them all at once!   SHOUT OUT>>If ANYone can recall a Rock Road cereal that used to be sold back in the…late 80’s, early 90’s??? I think there were graham cracker square flakes and fudgey marshmallows, but beyond that my memory fails me and I am sad…that cereal was delicious, I miss it, and ‘Thank You” ma for introducing my mouth to it!

%Cookies%    Mother’s the pink and white packaged brand stopped production of my favorite peanut butter cookie, well processed cookie in general.  The Peanut butter Gaucho was perfectly flavored, peanutted, and dunkable like the Oreo, another preferred sweet biscuit.  I just remember going to retrieve my luxury weakness (they were not cheap), and couldn’t find them.  For a short while I thought it was a little wait, maybe the grocery store didn’t order enough inventory.  Then I did some research online and discovered the news.  Others hearing the news earlier had opportunities to stock up on them before they were taken off shelves for good…another good product I miss.  I tried to replace with a store brands newest Chocolate Chip Cookie since the box said they contained all natural ingredients but to me even margarine is not more natural than butter.  So only every once in a while do I consider getting those, but honestly I haven’t even had a cookie in months and can’t remember the kind the last was!?!

*Pop Secret Homestyle Popcorn*  Popcorn is awesome hulls and all.  Yes those darned things can be troublesome to the gums but I won’t give up popcorn due to that.  I did see on QVC hull-less popcorn, but ordering ‘popcorn’ off the tv is kind of overkill and defeats the instant factor to getting popcorn (unless you order a lifetime supply I guess).  Homestyle flavor is just like seeds popped in a cast iron skillet at home on the stove and eating it out of all the different sized metal mixing bowls mom has in the house while we watch movie sprawled out in the living room!  Aah good times.  The salt and real butter ratio is perfectly balanced and hopefully a better option than the dangerous overconsumption of the oily yellow-orange stuff on the other Butter flavors.

{]Breads[}     I usually stick to tried and true white or wheat, buns varied depending on the occasion or entree but I recently decided to mix it up with the deli choices.  Rye I thought was a middle ground from wheat and not too far into pumpernickel or the darker rye since I’m not to fond of the tangy breads like those or sourdough.  I tried a brand St. Louis Famous Style Robust Rye, with the Caraway seeds!  It is super delicious and hearty, sliced wide for large-mouth sandwiches.  I like it with deli, homemade horseradish egg-salad, and as toast with breakfast.  I can’t get into making bagels and have no clue how to make english muffins so I buy these too and love to use for savory and sweet concoctions.

Well that’s a few of my pantry quick faves.  I’m kinda in a munchy mood laying out all those food memories haha.  What are some of ya’lls????


*Snowed Inn*

2 Mar

Snowed InWell my few snow days turned into random mini~vacays and I can’t complain about that!I finally got the opportunity to stop and get more ‘out of the mind box’ and onto paper. I like to feel productive lol. I also had the chance to do some brisk hiking;), staple stretch cooking, and experiment with turkey meat. My heavenLee friend eats nothing but on a regular basis and so any chili I’ve eaten of hers most likely had turkey if meat, but other than that not too much use in my own kitchen so I thought I’d give it a rotation.

I did prepare for the coming snow storm but once most of the upper city was cleared I got a little cabin fever and took to the streets a pied. Oranges and apples were my fresh sweets, oatmeal, cereal, and pancakes my hot sweets or breakfasts. Taking a look at the photo menu you might think I’ve overloaded on the bland and the carbs but it wasn’t a sedentary time in the least with all the walking in the snow I’m doing, so I didn’t get the “itis”. Also the fragrance and flavors were far from bland, I didn’t care that there was little color! So, during the back and forth to work and passing time I nommed out on:

*with or without celery is delish!

*with or without celery is delish!

Broccoli cube steak stroganoff

Baked potatoes

Turkey sausage alfredo

Turkey sausage alfredo

Broccoli onion Ramen boil with sour cream sauce.  I use only a sprinkle of the seasoning packet if I have none of my own.  Way less sodium!!!

Broccoli onion Ramen boil with sour cream sauce. I use only a sprinkle of the seasoning packet if I have none of my own. Way less sodium!!!

Birthday Bonds!

24 Jun

In June the maternal side of my family has a large celebration for all the June birthday babies-and we have PLENTY!  This midwest party was a blast with the pool and cold sandwiches to keep us busy and full!  I provided the spinach wrap BLT’s! YUMMY!  My dad included first at a past SuperBowl party of his, then I was more hesitant because I wasn’t a fan of spreads and wraps then.  Over the years, I’ve wrapped many things and can get used to a quick sandwich that doesn’t make my temples sore due to tough, chewy bread (*coughJmJncough, cough*). 

They were well received and gone after the buffet line!  I like that=D   Even heard my aunt going on about them while I was in W.C. I was making while people arrived and lots of questions to start-what’s that/what’s in that/what’s that green stuff/that looks like pizza/smells like breakfast!  That was the broiling bacon permeating the house.  When they were done all were pleasantly surprised<3  I am so glad this idea came to me!  I used: Laughing Cow cheese wedges, organic spinach and arugala mix, chopped Roma tomatoes, and thick cut bacon!  The rest of the party was awesome: pool volleyball with some extra hands-we always get others involved in our partying-music, freestyle rap (lil short one LOL), sinkin like stones (some more than others), games, cards…we kickd it.  Now back to paradise…*dreaming* Haha!!

Gypsy CaRaVan

13 Jun

My CRV has morphed  into the traveling kitchen-and closet,  pantry, and sometimes office- but that cannot stop me.  I fell freer and complete with constant access to my belongings.  Perhaps (at times) a bit too freeing but I must remember to live and live today!  I am resigned to one pot cooking but I can handle that no problem.  I did impress my younger second cousin at my treatment of a random pack of noodles but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  I threw in some seasonings, fried egg, and snipped baby carrots for a veg.  It is never a good time to slack on the pyramid!

Quick & Filling Breakfast

She thought I was scrambling up some sausage or something and kept asking her mom “what’s Mimi cooking, I want some”, even asking when or if I’m home so I can cook for her!  I will concoct another nosh for her as she is a slightly picky eater-no ramen and no cheese for starts!  As well as the fact that I have become a situational vegetarian as of late, I don’t think she would appreciate beans as a substitution for her protein!  That house keeps meat on tap-ya heard LOL:))

alright back to the pavement>>>