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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Oliver’

It was a slow start and hmmm…..well, the lettuce looks good.

Take a peek.

IMG_4876

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Jamie’s documentaries in England created major changes in the school food system. Junk was banned as were vending machines, and students were required by law to take at least 18 hours of cooking lessons before graduating.

And why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t children be taught the things they truly need in order to survive in this world? How to cook at least six meals, how to brush and floss properly, how to finance and budget their money, how not to get pregnant and catch STD’s? I wasn’t taught ANY of that in school. Some I learned from home, and some I learned on my own. Life would have been so much easier if these things were required along with English, math and science.

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We usually eat the chicken barbecue because chicken is better for you, blah, blah, blah. But  I ran across a few recipes for Barbecue Beef Sandwiches which got me to thinking. WELL. The chicken BBQ is really just a mock beef BBQ, isn’t it?

I decided to give it a try.

Maybe I was hungry, but when I finished my sandwich with sticky, BBQ fingers and juice splattered all over my plate I told Matt, “This might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”
He laughed, reaching for another one. It was a little sweeter—and messier than the chicken BBQ, but out of our three star system, we gave this one a four!

Southern cookin' at its best.

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“My mom makes it like this.”
“Well, my mom makes it like this.”
“Yeah, but your mom hates to cook and my mom doesn’t.”
Hmm….who won that argument?

We always make things the way my mom made them because I’m the one in the kitchen making it! I posted how my mom makes a roast on the Roast, carrots and potatoes post a few posts back. But Matt said to me the other day, “But don’t you like how my mom makes roast? It’s just as easy as you mom’s version.”

And it is. It also isn’t quite as rich, and I think my mom would love it. So, I’m not telling either mom I’m putting this up, and let’s see which mom catches it first! 🙂

End result

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Matthew and I have been on the Mediterranean diet kick since we got married. Let’s get it straight, we’re not on a diet, period. But we’ve tried to incorporate as much food as we can that is served in the Mediterranean. They tend to live longer, thinner, happier lives than many other cultures. Obsessed with Roman culture, if Matthew were given the chance to go back in time but had to give up everything in his present life, including me, I think he’d do it!

Though we’re in the middle of summer, we’re still crock-potting and eating fabulous foods–soups, stews and chilis. We haven’t melted yet.

Served with feta cheese, plain yogurt, red wine and pita! Just lovely if I do say so myself.

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Michelle and I posted this on our Cook Me A Story page a while back. It was the first thing I ever showed her how to cook in the slow cooker and the one that hooked her.

Great for back yard barbeques/potlucks! Kids LOVE it, and it’s fun for them to make because teaspoons fit perfectly in little hands. My niece made it last time she was visiting. Matt looked at me and said, “Mmmm, this is good Jennifer!” My niece piped in, “I made it!” 🙂

In celebration of summer and weekend get-togethers, I thought I’d post it on this site too. It’s my Matthew’s fav-o-rite crock pot meal as well as my little niece.

End result of yumminess.

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This is one of my cheese-lover’s favorite dishes. We make it often. It’s vegetarian and full of protein.

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In Brazil, no one cooks out of cans. It’s foreign to them. I remember the first time I witnessed homemade marinara sauce cooked on the stove. Created by a Salvadorian Brazilian girl named Heloisa in a flat we shared in Florence, Italy, she stirred it with a wooden spoon, letting it bubble and ooze. She told me I needed to stop my American nonsense of buying bottles of ketchup and squirting it over my spaghetti, like it was a real meal. Sure, it tasted like crap but I wasn’t making much money. What was the big deal?

Unfortunately at that time in my life, cooking was not a priority. Heloisa showed me how to make Brazilian mariana, but today all I remember was that I was hungry, it smelled good and I was eyeing her Coco-Puffs on top of the refrigerator. I kept thinking if I ate them for dinner, I would be expected to buy her a new box the next time I went to the grocery. Ahh, wasted youth.

I'll try the Italian spice.....next time.

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I’m a “meat and potatoes” girl myself. I’ve heard that line from my mother my entire life. In high school, I experimented with soufflés and quiches. No one in the house ate my food, mostly because it wasn’t meat and potatoes. Frustrated and heart-broken, I remember tossing entire freezer-burnt concoctions in the trash.

18 years later, my family is much more open-minded. They always eat my new concoctions and love them. Or at least, they tell me they do! They’d better if they’re in my house, right? (joking!)

But I try to make things they will like, and things they are comfortable with. After all, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

So, here’s mama’s receipe for roast, carrots and potatoes. It’s what this girl grew up eating, and one of my husband’s favorite meals.

Roast bigger than 2 to 3 pounds won't cook through in 6 hours....

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I met a colorful character in the blogging world named Alison at Alison Amazed. Born British, but brought up in Canada, her blog is littered with both English and Canadian terms. I adore folks who have one foot in one culture, the other foot in another culture and a finger and toe in a third and fourth. She makes beautiful, vegetarian dishes, but alas, I am not a real cook and need a recipe. Alison gave me directions. Not quite the same. But determined to eat more lentils for the folic acid and the fact that my cousin who lived in Chile for years claims they are so delicious she could eat them daily, I thought I’d give it a try. I can do this….right?

Who am I kidding? This chick needs a recipe. I will never be Rachael Ray. (And that’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it.)

Cooking lentils...

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