Cooking with Misstakenid: Quick Red Beans and Rice

I have been making my quick red beans and rice as a staple over the past couple of weeks so I decided to share with you. First let me say that this can be made with white or brown rice.  Also if you don’t like any of the ingredients you can make it without them, just use your seasoning to make it taste the way you want it to.

What you need(quick recipe):

1 can red beans

Rice or Brown Rice (your choice)

Onions (I use a sweet onion)

Turkey sausage/turkey bacon (can be made without meat or with pork products)

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Cajun Seasoning (I used Mad Chef’s Cajun Nola) ( You can find it here: https://chefgonemad.com/)

Garlic seasoning (Mad Chef’s Smoked Garlic and Herb Seasoning)

Make the rice first. Use one cup of rice to two cups of water bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. (If you want you can use boil in bag rice)

  1. Start with melting butter in a skillet (or you can use olive oil)

  2. Chop the sausage or bacon

  3. Chop the onions

  4. Sautee’ onions in the skillet until tender

  5. Add the sausage or bacon to skillet

  6. Add rice to skillet

  7. Stir to combine ingredients

  8. Next open the can of Red Beans, drain.

  9. Then add the red beans to the skillet.

  10. Season to taste.

Serve and enjoy.

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In case you missed it in the post you can find  the seasoning I used at this site:

https://chefgonemad.com/

 

Unscripted Durham’s Impossible Burger Review

I love a good burger. Well, let me say that I love a good burger that I can eat. I am unable to eat beef or pork so my burger choices are sometimes limited. However, I heard about the Impossible Burger in all of its plant based glory and I knew that I wanted to try it.

I couldn’t think of a better place than one of my favorite rooftop hangout spots in Durham, NC, the Unscripted Patio.

The menu highlights the burger at $10 it comes with vegan mayonaise, avocado, tomatoes, vegan cheese, on a bun.

I heard about this burger, so I wanted to try it for myself. I must say to be a plant based burger this was one of the meatiest plant based burgers I have ever tasted. It was very close to tasting like actual meat. Thick and filling.

It may be a little to “meaty” for some vegetarians, however for someone that just wants to go meatless for a thick and filling burger I give it 2 thumbs up. IMG_20180910_134645_959

 

 

The Old Man Turns 71!!!

Birthdays are special.

When the Old Man reaches another birthday it’s always the “whatever you want”

approach.

This time was no different. This year we went to lunch. I chose lunch because I knew that he would want to go right to sleep after walking and eating.  

A couple of days before his birthday I asked what meal he would like.  He replied “ox tails”.  I thought of the options to sit down and eat ox tails in my town and I could only think of a few.  

I called The Palace International Restaurant on Broad Street in Durham, NC and they were able to comply with my request to serve oxtails for lunch. Now that the easy part was out of the way, I said “you will have your ox tails” . He was overjoyed.  

Found some mini loaf cakes at The Kupcake Fairy on Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville so he could have a little birthday cake too. 

One thing that I have realized about watching my Dad age is that simple things are the key to happiness. All he wanted for his birthday was to eat oxtails have a double rum and coke, get out of the house and laugh a little. That is exactly what we did. 

Let setup part of the day for you. I called him in the morning so that he would know what time I was coming to pick him up, this was how the convo went: 

Old Man:Today I am wearing a tshirt and shorts.

Me: Ok, if that is what we are doing I will wear something similar. 

Old Man: Yep, it is all about comfort, today is my day. 

Me: U are right. See you in a little while. 

I  pick him up and he is ready.  We have a birthday song walk jam session on the way to the car. We sing along to Old school jams on the ride. Drive through 2 mini downpours and make it to the restaurant right on time. 

Some friends and family arrive and we laugh and talk. Order some great meals and talk some more. 

Surprisingly he ate his entire plate of food and even started eating the cake .That was a great sight to see! 

We ride back to his house drive back through some rainstorms and get him home during some light drizzle. 

The best part of the day was taking him home and him saying, 

“I had a great day, it was off the hook!”  

Now we are on the road to 72. Look out now.

(If this is your first time reading then I should let you know, “Old Man” is an affectionate term for my Dad. Just in case you were wondering)

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mini cake action
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Oxtails with rice and collard greens.
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Me and The Old Man!

 

What’s in your snack pack?

One thing I have realized over the years is that when planning road trips I get the most enjoyment out of preparing a snack pack.

What is a snack pack? (You might ask) 

I define a snack pack as whatever snacks and drinks that you enjoy or will enjoy while riding in the car on a road trip, sitting on the beach, or in your hotel room when you arrive at your hotel.

Who inspired your snack pack? 

Many people ask where I got the idea for my snack packs and it came from My Aunt Sister. I heard a story about her going on one of her famous “casino bus trips” and one person that went on the trip spoke of this “cooler” that she carried with her.  He said she had the entire cooler full of sandwich meats, bread, sodas, snacks and whatever other food she wanted while she was traveling. He then mentioned that thanks to her cooler they managed to save money on food and with their excess money they were able to play some more games at the casino. After I heard this story, I asked my Aunt Sister about this special cooler that she had and she mentioned on every trip she went on, she took the cooler.

After hearing the story, I kept it in the back of my mind and once I started going on trips as an adult I started working on items that should go in my snack packs. Each one was different and catered to what I wanted for that particular trip.

The snack pack images featured below are from a recent beach trip.  (Items include: paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, a shaker, tequila, whiskey, margarita mix, hard cider, water, pineapple juice, ginger ale, cheese, mandarin oranges, triscuits, hummus, tortilla chips, turkey pepperoni, salsa, gummy bears, snickers bites, turkey sandwiches, and a few other things not pictured.)

What’s in your snack pack?

Let me know what you include in your travel snack packs.

 

 

***This post is dedicated to the memory of My Late Aunt Sister. After writing this post via pen, she passed away. I will always be grateful of the times we shared and the inspiration to my snack packs. RIP Aunt Sister  ***

My Easy Lobster

 

Often times people ask me how I make my steamed/boiled lobster. I always tell them that it is an easy process and everyone always looks at me a little blown away. I say it only takes 20 minutes or less depending on the size of the lobster and they always say,  “Tell me how?”.  So here goes.

Things needed: 

1 live lobster

1/4 teaspoon Old bay seasoning

1 tablespoon Butter

1/4-1/2 Lemon

1/8 teaspoon Chef Gone Mad Smoked Garlic & Herb Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning ( 2 shakes)

Water (2-3 inches deep in the pot)

Steamer or Large Pot

The most fun part of making lobster for me is going to the market and picking a live one out of the tank.  I always go for the fiesty one or the one that is fighting everyone.

I feel like the more fiesty the lobster, the better they will taste. (Just my theory) 

Once I pick the lobster they box it up and I take it in the car for a ride home.   Most times you will hear the lobster making some type of noise in the box (either moving around or “blowing bubbles”), there is nothing alarming about this.

Once I get it home I get out my big pot.

I put about 3 inches of water in it and put it on the stove to boil. I sprinkle about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. 1/8 teaspoon of Chef Gone Mad Garlic & Herb Seasoning and about 2 shakes of the Adobo seasoning into the water. I cut the lemon in quarters and add to the water.

Once the water is boiling I add the live lobster head first and then cover.

I let the lobster boil on high heat for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the lobster. Once it turns bright red I know that it is done.

I before I take the lobster out of the pot I sprinkle just a bit more Old Bay Seasoning over the top of the lobster.

Take it out of the pot, plate and serve. 

There you have it my simple lobster!

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Seasonings: Butter (Not Shown), Old Bay Seasoning, Lemon, Chef Gone Mad Garlic & Herb Seasoning, Goya Adobo.
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Once you add the seasonings to the water in the pot and get it ready to boil. 
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Live Lobster
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Live Lobster
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All Done!
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My Easy Lobster. All Done!

I should record myself doing this one day, it would be fun.  The most dramatic part for me is taking the live lobster from the box to the pot.

 

My Trip to Cancun, Mexico: My Top 5 Recommendations for fun.

Hello friends,

This year I had the pleasure of going to Cancun, Mexico in early February and it was  experience. I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait to go back. So here are a couple of things that I recommend you do if you get a chance to visit.

  1. All-Inclusive Resort

    I had a chance to stay at the Oasis Palm which is a family resort, but the all-inclusive was definitely worth it. The layout of the resort is great and had some great views from the room.  I think that all inclusive is one of the best ideas ever. Drinks and food all day with no strings attached, I definitely recommend. It can become a little overwhelming, but if you pace yourself you will enjoy every bit of it.  All inclusive is an adventure. Here are some highlights from that.  I am not big on buffets, but for breakfast they had an omelet, fresh fruit bar, and quesadilla station, so that was all I needed. There were many more options available in buffet style, but I just wasn’t interested, but a lot of people seemed to be enjoying it. For lunch I found a restaurant that I loved on the property Los Agaves. They served fajitas. I ate them everyday for lunch until my heart was content or they ran out of chicken lol. For dinner there were other buffet options, but the best for the all inclusive was Los Agaves.  For dinner you had to have a reservation and the menu was very different from lunch. A meal with an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and after dinner drinks was definitely a highlight.

     

  2. Casitas at the Ritz Carlton 

    Ok, first let me say this. If you like the beach and good food, you should definitely go here.  They set up a casita, it’s like a cabana on the beach, with decor and lighting. The restaurant is in the back of the Ritz Carlton and there is a walkway with little lights that has been placed on the beach. A waiter walks you to your private casita and you hear and see the ocean waves and from the terrace of the restaurant behind you there is a jazz musician playing. This is a very relaxing and lovely space. They have a couple different menus, including one specifically for vegetarians. The meal started with a drink, so of course I ordered a margarita. It was heavenly. Next, I decided on my entrée which was a grilled piece of Tican Xic, a local fish to the area. Let me tell you, the fish was grilled to perfection and was very “meaty” but good. I also ordered sautéed vegetables and sweet potato fries as sides, but they were huge enough for an entree. The food was amazing. After eating the server made up a beach bed and said since I paid for the whole night, I could relax and listen to the waves. It was so peaceful out there I ended up falling asleep right on the beach. I did wake up in time to leave and go back to the hotel. For about $115 they do the setup and then you order your food on top of that. You have to pay in mexican pesos or by credit card, so I opted for pesos just because. This was a great experience and one that I won’t forget.

  3. Steve’s Boobs Cruise

    Ok, so this is an adults only catamaran adventure. However, it was so much fun that I can barely articulate into words, just how much fun it is.  It’s a great experience, all you can drink while sailing in a large catamaran across some of the “bluest” water you have ever seen. There is a dj on the boat and plenty of adult fun, complete with snorkeling and swimming in the ocean.  It’s not just for anybody, but if you want to have some fun outside of the norm, this is definitely the boat for you. We passed by a lot of other catamarans as we sailed to Isle Mujeres for lunch and they all wanted to get on the boat we were on.  The lunch was pretty good, it was a buffet style as well and then there was time to hang out on the beach, oh yeah on the island the open bar continues. I just wanted water though lol. I want to note that this cruise is NOT FOR EVERYBODY! It is for those that want to have fun, like to drink and are just enjoying life. One of the great things about the cruise is that there is a fundraiser for cancer awareness and highlighted any breast cancer survivors. That was beautiful. I will be honest, I used to think I could dance and drink, but this boat put me to the test, drinks constantly flowing, shots being poured, it’s like 80+ degrees outside and the boat is rocking across the water.  When the boat docked, I felt like I had been to a homecoming weekend and played all of the drinking games lol. So, I crashed when I got back to the hotel, almost missed dinner lol.  (Oh, yeah most important if you don’t like Boobs ,this is not the boat for you.)  If you determine that this is not for you there are plenty of “booze cruises” that you can go on that are cheaper, so you may like that. Boobs cruise runs about $108 (US dollars) more if you use a credit card. Other cruises are about $50 or $60 per person.

  4. La Vaquita

    “The little cow”, this club rocks. It’s the only club in Cancun that plays hip hop and r&b. I know you are probably wondering why I would go to another country for this. Well, I wanted to go out to a place that I knew I would enjoy. So, at this club, Open bar is a big thing. The first drink was a “Big Gulp” size, giant slurpee size cup.  However, since it is open bar, you can get as many drinks and shots as you want, but the bar will always win. (Remember that) The music was cool, it felt like I was at a hip hop club in the states and they played videos, had a dance contest, confetti flowing from the ceiling, at one point they were giving out balloons to everyone. It was just an all around carefree time. I definitely recommend this club as well. I think open bar was about $35 (US dollars) and that included admission to the club, so you just walked right in and didn’t have to wait in a line.

  5. Performances on the Beach

    If you can catch a performance on the beach, I suggest you pull up a beach chair and enjoy it. While out walking to the beach bar I noticed a light on the beach, then I heard music. I heard the sound of a djembe. ( I have spent a lot of time listening to drums in my life and that sound is distinct) So immediately I was drawn to the beach like a moth to flame. I had to see what was going on and to my surprise there was a performace of dancers with fire performing to a rhythm I knew all too well. This made me feel great. Hearing african drums being played and the dancers dancing to a Guinean rhythm Sinte made me realize how much of an impact african influence has made all over. It was a beautiful feeling. The best part of watching a great performance on the beach is that it was FREE, can’t beat that price.

     

     

     

     

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    Fire dancers
  6. These are my top five things to consider trying out when you visit Cancun. I know that some may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed every bit of my trip and am already trying to figure out when I can return.

Cooking with Misstakenid: My thoughts

While drinking a glass of wine sitting here watching the movie “Julie vs Julia”, it makes me think of the great joy I get from cooking and eating my own food. This movie highlights a young woman that decided to cook her way through a famous cookbook. Even though I have no desire to do such. I realize just how much I love food.

As I was cooking my dinner last night of Lamb shoulder chops, roasted potatoes, green beans, and spinach, I realized how much joy I get when listening to music and cooking. I also experience a greater feeling of joy when I see someone take the first bite of their meal and say how good it was. There is a feeling of bliss when I taste my own food and it tastes great to me.  I know that this may sound conceited but I really enjoy the taste of my cooking as anyone should.

(This post is just an outpour of my thoughts today, just so you know.)

There is also something nice about my new white plates. When I plate anything on them, whether it is an amazing meal or ramen noodles it just looks beautiful to me.  I don’t know why it just does.

These are just  a few of my thoughts today,

Is there anything that makes you happy about cooking or eating? Please comment.

 

Cooking with Misstakenid: My first Turkey Pepperoni Pizza

Hello friends,

I decided that I wanted to make a pizza.  I am not able to eat pork or beef so I always feel some type way when I see a pepperoni pizza. I finally had enough and decided I was going to make my own, so that I could have one too.  I went to the grocery store, grabbed a few ingredients and made my pizza.  It was the first time so it wasn’t very pretty, but here is my recipe.

1/2 sweet onion

1 pack Hormel Turkey Pepperoni

1 pack sliced fresh mushrooms

1 container of Classico Pizza Sauce

2 packs of Mozzarella shredded cheese

1 Pillsbury pizza crust

1 tablespoon of Crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar

I did a rough cut on the veggies. Meaning I didn’t chop them into small pieces, I just ran the knife through them.

I placed the sauce in a pan and seasoned it a little with some crushed red pepper and a teaspoon or less of sugar. To make a sweet and spicy sauce.

I rolled and kneaded the pizza dough (like I was a pizza chef)

I heated a pizza stone in the oven on 425 degrees and sprinkled it with flour to prevent sticking.

I placed the pizza dough in the oven to heat up for 8 minutes.  Then I took it out and topped my pizza, probably too much.

I sauced the dough placed my toppings on and topped with cheese.  Then I topped the cheese with more turkey pepperoni and onions. At this point I realized that I have topped the pizza too much but it was no time to quit.  I placed my topped pizza on the pizza stone for another 8 minutes.

The cheese melted and I had a nice Turkey pepperoni pizza. Pictures are below, however the taste was way better than the pictures. It was delicious and cheesy, which I liked.  My next one will be better than the first.

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My first pizza.
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sliced up with a beverage

Beat the heat with Mixx Ice Cream in Brier Creek

The temperature outside today was probably close to 90 degrees.  It was super hot. So I decided to take my little cousin over to Mixx ice cream in Brier Creek, so we could try it out.  To my surprise it was very delicious.

We walked in and observed all of the flavors and were greeted by a very kind employee. He asked if we wanted to sample any of the many flavors that they had. Of course as I was looking over at the flavors I was thinking that this place looks vaguely familiar and the flavor choices looked familiar to me too.  It reminded me of another ice cream place, which was great.  Once I saw the layout and the fact that you can “mixx in ” other ingredients to your ice cream made my day.

I sampled some chocolate, coffee, and cheesecake ice cream.  They were all very delicious. The one thing that I especially liked was that on the label for each flavor it noted if it had milk, eggs, or soy. Which I really like just in case people have food allergies. So that special attention definitely made me happy.

I settled on some chocolate and coffee ice cream with some caramel and pecans “mixxed in”.  IT was a very delicious scoop of ice cream.  My little cousin got strawberry ice cream and some sorbet mixxed with gummy bears.  She thoroughly enjoyed hers as well.

If you ever in the Brier Creek area of Raleigh, check them out. I definitely recommend their ice cream.

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Strawberry and Raspberry sorbet with gummy bears mixed in
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Mixx Ice cream
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Lots of flavors

They are right next to the movie theater and accross from greek fiesta and the popular gigi’s cupcakes.

Cooking with Misstakenid: Lobster topped Turkey Burger

I actually saw a picture of a burger and that is what inspired me to make this meal.

Ingredients

Ground Turkey /Turkey patties pre-made

2 Lobster Tails

Lettuce

1 Tomato

1/2 Onion (I used sweet onion)

Pickles (I used hot & sweet pickles)

Cheese (I used Havarti slices)

Hamburger Buns (I used Hawaiian Bread)

Egg/Flour

Salt

Pepper

Goya Adobo seasoning (found in international isle of stores)

Garlic/Garlic Powder

Butter

Steps to putting the meal together:

First, make your turkey burgers.  I use salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Goya Adobo seasoning, garlic, and onion to season my turkey meat.  I season everything to taste.   Make your turkey patties  and add a little flour or egg to make sure that the turkey doesn’t separate.

If you choose to go the quick route get some pre-made patties from the grocery store and season them.

I broil my turkey burgers for about 8-11 minutes on each side to make sure that they are well done.  Once they are done you can take them out of the oven to rest.

While the oven is still warm, place your burgers back in covered with cheese of your choice. (I like Havarti, so that is what I used) Let the cheese melt over your burger and take them back out of the oven.

Get your lobster tails cut them in half, remove the meat from the shell.  Cut the lobster into chunks that you desire.  On the stove melt some butter (about 2 tablespoons) on medium heat with some garlic and drop the lobster chunks in to saute’.  Use some of the Cajun/seafood seasoning to season the lobster lightly. The lobster will be done in about 5 minutes or less.

Once the key ingredients are done, prepare your toppings for the burger. Slice up your onions, tomatoes, and break up your lettuce.  Grab your pickles and get ready to top your burger.

I like for my burgers to have everything on them, so I warmed my bun used some mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and hot & sweet pickles.  Placed the burger on the bun and topped it with the lobster chunks.  I also spooned a little drizzle of the garlic butter over the lobster chunks on top of my burger.

I must say that this was delicious. I actually had some potato chips with it and a hard cider.

I hope that you enjoy it. IMG_20170529_145159_278