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The Answer to the Sunday Question

The secret to a Sunday afternoon? Poutine. Don’t worry if you’re no where close to Canada or Minnesota or Wisconsin. There are ways in Spokane to bring the northern favsies to your kitchen and finally — to your belly. Here at the Hensley-Tigas household, we honor our northern neighbors and their American step-children every week.

When the snow covers the sidewalks and you’re home bound with nowhere to go, it seems like your only option is poutine. Listen to your gut instinct. It’s right.

Stock up! Some of these ingredients to a delightful Sunday afternoon are in high demand.

Here’s the Hensley-Tigas method for a Sunday afternoon. Cats not included:

Fries

We go with the Yukon Gold variety of frozen french fries. They’re available at any major grocery store with an organic/all-natural frozen section. We use a bag and a quarter just to satisfy our afternoon cravings for two. We won’t eat again until Walking Dead.

Gravy

Thank god for Trader Joe’s. Without it, we would be missing two core ingredients. We go with the pre-made turkey gravy. It’s easy to prepare. We heat half the box on the stove to pour over the plate of fries.

Cheese Curds

Poutine is not poutine unless you have cheese curds. With our luck, we’ve only found curds at the Rocket Market. The kicker? The Market only orders curds in packets of three. We’ve bought them all. Call them and ask them to order more cheese curds. Maybe they’ll order more if the demand is there. Not going to lie, they’re expensive.

Beer

You need a good beer with Poutine. For four dollars, you can pick up a decent six-pack of ‘Simpler Times Lager” from Trader Joe’s. In a can. Of course it’s in a can. They’re $0.66 each. That’s cheaper than PBR. I think. And it’s decent! 6.2 percent alcohol by volume and we’re having a great Sunday afternoon. Produced in Monroe, Wisconsin. Simpler Times Brewing Co. is actually Minhas Craft Brewery. We see through your lies, Trader Joe’s!

 

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Tossed Egg Salad and Scrambled Emotions

Perhaps there’s a limit to how much you can complain to something that is already working. Or not.

I recalled the time that I would often visit a downtown Spokane grocery for their egg salad sandwiches. Little known fact, that is my favorite kind of sandwich.

The filling was quite delightful, topped off with a single slice of lettuce. There was the right amount of mustard, mayo and egg that made a buttery mess in my mouth. There was one little thing I couldn’t help but be upset over.

The bread would crumble in my hands. It wasn’t a bad bread. It was a hearty local bread made from the finest of organic grains, but it couldn’t save the fact that it would crumble in my hands making an egg salad mess everywhere.

Doing my customer duty, I complained. I explained to the deli attendant that the bread, though tasty, couldn’t sustain the delightful filling of the egg salad. I recommended another bread. Softer with a strong bond. They took note and I went on my merry way.

Upon returning, expecting the most amazing egg salad of my entire life, I found nothing. They simply pulled the sandwich and I never saw it again.

Deep down I knew it was all my fault.

Nicole’s “I lovingly hate you” chicken and sauce

Let’s just say there was a domestic dispute in the kitchen, but it was nothing a little kissy kissy couldn’t solve. Moving along: After a delightful morning at Green Bluff, we had the ingredients for the ultimate sauce. I saw my tomatoes. I saw my green peppers and zucchini. I saw them together in a sauce pan. This low carb dish is a winner. It makes enough sauce that you could pair it with either meatballs or pasta in the future. Freeze what you don’t plan on using within a week. Hint: The cheapest way to accomplish the 16 tomato feature is to buy them in bulk. We bought ours at Green Bluff.

Ingredients:

1 Zucchini (sliced into quarters)

2 Green Peppers (sliced into small chunks)

2 Stalks of Celery (diced)

1 Shallot (diced)

2 cloves of Garlic (diced)

16 tomatoes (boiled, peels and smashed)

3 Basil Leaves (torn to pieces)

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Ruby Port

1/4 of a Fresh Mozzarella Ball

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

2 Chicken Breasts

Tools:

1. 1-2 Grilling Tongs

2. Potato Masher

3. Large Bowl.

4. Mixer/Cuisinart

Instructions:

1. To prepare your tomatoes, boil a quasi-large pot of water. In the meantime, fill a large bowl with water and ice. Lots of ice. When water is boiling, use a pair of tongs to submerge tomatoes for about 30 seconds. I had two tongs, so I did two tomatoes at a time, one in each hand. They should crack  near the stem point. Place that tomato in the ice water bowl. After you boil each tomatoes, peel the skin off. Place those peeled tomatoes in a dish and use a mash potato smasher to mash them to bits and pieces.

2. Slice and dice your green peppers, zucchini, shallot, celery, garlic. Saute those beasties in the olive oil until soft.

3. Place them in a mixer/Cuisinart along with the tomatoes. I did two bunches because my Cuisinart was not big enough for all of it. Puree it like you mean it.

4. Throw all that goo into a large pot for simmering. When it gets to a good simmer boil, add in the port, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Pan sear the two chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper.

6. Serve with sauce over chicken with grated mozzarella.

Nutritional Facts: There’s so much potassium you could cry. 

Nicole’s “I threw my kitchen sink into a stir-fry” Stir-Fry

I hope you don’t have a problem with sodium, because on this low/no-carb diet with Mike, I’m craving anything that has the slightest ounce of “naughtiness” to it. I was day-dreaming of lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs, but you know… I can make these things myself. This meal could cost you up to $20, but it all depends on the pricing of your produce. It can feed up to five to six people so, if this were an appetizer, it would cost you $3.30 to $4 per person. We however, were hungry hippos after swimming at Comstock Park, so we ate massive amounts.

Ingredients (Stuff):

1 Diced Carrot
2 Diced Celery Stalks
1 Cup Diced Cabbage
1/4 Diced White Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp Ginger
Handful Green Beans (Diced)
Handful Bean Sprouts (Diced)
1 Diced Yellow Pepper
1 Diced Red Sweet Pepper

20 Oz Ground 93% Lean Turkey
1 Package Hydro… Butter Lettuce

Ingredients (Sauce):

1/4 Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
2 Tbsp Asian Stir Fry Oil
Dash of Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp Brown Rice Vinegar

Instructions:

1. You’ll spend 30-40 minutes doing veggie prep. Diced each veggie as directed and toss it into one bowl.
2. Heat the Asian Stir Fry Oil in a wok or large pan.
3. Brown ground turkey.
4. Drain the remaining water after its cooked.
5. Add in a bit more oil and heat.
6. Add vegetables.
7. Add the sauce in increments so it evaporates and doesn’t leave a watery mess at the bottom. Keep the pan hot!
8. Once the liquids dry up, take off of heat.
9. Serve the lettuce in its container after washing. Rip off a leaf as you serve it.
10. Place healthy spoonful of stir-fry in lettuce and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts: Mike has put together this handy-dandy nutritional facts sheet. We apologize for the 952.5 mg of sodium per serving of five, but it’s num nums!

“Nicole’s ‘Mike wants to have a low-carb diet’ Mish-Mash”

Pardon the lack of visual appeal.

In a moment of serious discussion between us, Mike and I realized agreed that a change of diet was needed. As his lips moved, I thought about the cookies and cream ice cream that I bought on sale from the Rocket Market. If this diet was to happen, I’d need to get rid of it as soon as possible… by eating it. The diet began today with cheese, ham, left over chicken wings and hand-picked caged strawberries for lunch. Dinner ended up being dry-rubbed chicken with this strange dish I like to call “Nicole’s ‘Mike wants to have a low-carb diet’ Mish-Mash”. It was a notable dish that I wanted to document for future meals. In fact, I would eat it everyday if I could. Please note that culinary categorized blog entries will not happen very often, except when a ridiculous dish of epic proportions is invented.

 

Ingredients:

  • Steamed Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
  • 1 Cup Pico de Gallo*

Instructions:

  1. Steam the cauliflower until its cooked to your liking.
  2. Drain the liquid from the black beans. Throw in a pan and heat.
  3. Mix steamed cauliflower, black beans, shredded cheddar.
  4. Let the cheese melt.
  5. Finally add pico de gallo, mix and serve.

*We used Salsa Mendez that you can purchase at the Rocket Market and I believe Rosaurers on 29th.

A Tale of Two Goat Cheeses

I first had goat cheese on pizza. When I first look back to that moment, it was like that episode of Full House when one of the Olsen Twins tried it and made that “BLECH” face. I didn’t make that face. I made a yummy face because it was with other delightful veggies and sausage. Brian, one of KXLY’s news producers has goats. The world is starting to learn of his goats through their misadventures and ability to make friends with other animals. Because of this, my world was re-introduced to goat cheese. I tried to two types of goat cheese just to see what I liked better.

Brian’s Goat Cheese

It was served in a plastic Tupperware container. It was chilled and had the consistency of cream cheese. I scooped up a chunk with a cracker. It was like whipped cream cheese. A little sweet, but it went well with the round fluffy buttery cracker. I’ll never forget that moment. Being a non-religious individual, this was a religious moment, but I kept it to myself in the newsroom. They all think I’m weird anyways because I Ustream my cats.


Rocket Market Goat Cheese

You can get it in the deli case in the back along with the margarita sandwiches. I had to compare and attempt to re-create that moment I had in the newsroom on Monday. It was encased like brie. I wanted that whipped consistency so I through it in a mixing bowl with a little milk to whip it up. I scooped it back into its container. It looked like what I remembered. Suddenly I smelled that awful blue cheese smell. That’s weird. I tasted it. It tasted like goat cheese, but it wasn’t sweet. It was like blue cheese. It’s okay, but it wasn’t the same.


Winner? Brian’s Goat Cheese. I’m so impressed with it that I’m buying a gallon of it from him. $6/gallon.  The plan? Pizza with veggies and sausage. I think anyone who is a fan of Veraci Pizza will be a little jealous.

Blogging Sammich

I was about to sit down to write an analysis of Save the Moon’s listener base via its Facebook Page, but I took one bite of my sandwich and I thought otherwise. That was a good sandwich. So good in fact, I feel compelled to share it with you.

nom nom nom

A rainy afternoon constitutes a trip to the grocery store. I’m dripping wet and still in denial that summer is over so it takes a little effort to not slip, fall and die on the floors at Huckleberry’s. I take a carefully planned stroll down the produce, dairy and meat aisle. Each department provided the foundation for this amazing sandwich.

  1. Your choice of wheat bread
  2. 1/2 Avocado (smash it to spread)
  3. 4 slices of cucumber
  4. 2 slices tomato (as thin as you can cut it)
  5. Alfalfa sprouts
  6. Roast Beef
  7. Victor’s Jalapeno Hummus

Spread the smashed avocado and hummus on their own slice of bread. Lightly layer the sprouts on one side and then stack up your veggies. I like to use just two slices of roast beef and I’ll just fold them neatly on whichever side I choose. Put those bad boys together and slice it up.

I paired it with concord grapes, but please be careful of the seeds. If you’re not expecting to bite down on them, you might be a little spooked by the sound of what seems to be your teeth breaking into a million pieces. Calm down, it’s just the seeds breaking apart. They’re edible.

If you really want to top it off, may I suggest an Alaskan Amber?

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