Tag Archives: easy dinner

Comfort Food (PA Dutch / Amish Sandwich Spread) and Someone(s) to Love

I haven’t written in a few days.  I’ve been busy, because I’ve become a mommy, you see.

I introduce to you:

Bruce

Bruce is a boob man.

Mr. Bruce Shitty Kitty Springsteen and Dr. Beth Love.  And yes, I really did find her sleeping in my crock pot.

cat in crock pot

I can haz a crock pot?!

My mom was a firm believer that we get what we want when we need it.  Erm, or something like that.  In other words, I was quasi searching for a pet, and they popped into my life.  I’m not really a cat person, but they were abandoned at the farmhouse of my brother’s coworker, and when he sent me pics of them I fell in love with the cuties.

My semi-odd choices of names?  Well, I like music, and Bruce Springsteen is one of my faves (OMG I touched him during “Hungry Heart” last year at a concert.  Holy shit.) The second day I had the kittens I was listening to his version of “Jersey Girl” (from his live album… and just as an fyi, I can’t stand Jersey, as in the state.).  And anyway, Bruce’s ears perked up, and he had this really content look on his face as he snuggled into my arm. Then another song popped on, and he started going nuts and kept sniffing at my ipod.

Dr. Love’s name came similarly.  She was playing with a toy in the living room, and that commercial with Kiss for Dr. Pepper came on.  She stopped playing and stared at the tv.  I mean STARED. I don’t know if Gene Simmons frightened her or what.  My brother also noticed how she was amazed by it.

The next day, I listened to some Kiss, and just like her brother sniffed and got excited during the whole “Born to Run” album, Dr. Love got excited when I listened to “God Gave Rock and Roll To You.”  She kneaded her paws and sniffed the ipod.  That night, the Dr. Pepper commercial came on TV, and I picked her up and stood in front of the TV… and my little wiggle worm again stared at the commercial (which features the song ‘Calling Dr. Love.’  Hence Dr. Beth Love.

Anyway, I think they are what I needed.  It’s been six years since I had a pet, and even though I’m not overly a pet person, it’s nice to have a companion (or in my case, two!).

They are absolutely adorable.  They use the box and eat appropriate food and don’t scratch.  Dr. Love is shy but sleeps in my bed with me and comes to greet me when I walk in the house.  Bruce is a bit more adventurous and sucks on my ear lobe.

I am not sure if it feels better to love them, or better that they love me.

Anyway, on to food.  I’m going to keep this brief because I’m tired.  I had some good eats this week, but I’m going to talk about my fave meal from this week: the Amish ham and cheese salad sammich / PA Dutch sammich spread.

The Rye-Pumpernickel swirl bread is a nice touch, yes?

I honestly have no clue what this stuff is called.  We always referred to it as “the ham and cheese stuff.”  My mom picked it up from a cooking show that was on PBS; it had some woman who did PA Dutch and Amish cooking and stuff.  No, she wasn’t Amish… I almost want to say she was from Ohio (though we know where the real Amish country is!).

I know it sounds grosstastic, but it’s flippin amazing.  Growing up, this shit was my comfort food.  It was an awesome treat for lunch.  At my last job, I made it for myself on my first day of work.

It is:

Ham (I almost feel like the real recipe was a pound of ham and a pound of cheese, but I don’t make that much at a time)
Swiss cheese
Sauerkraut
Mayonnaise
Caraway seeds (optional)
Rye bread

1.  Alright, by ham and cheese, I mean of the lunchmeat variety.  You cut this stuff into strips.  Julienne?  I don’t know the correct term.

2.  Add drained sauerkraut.  Sorry I have no clue how much.  You drain it, though, because if not it gets sloppy.  I’m so German I totally take a few swigs of the juice before draining the rest down the sink. Gross, right?

3.  Add mayo.  Again, sorry I don’t know how much.  I use light mayo.  I prefer it to the normal stuff.  Just till it looks good, I guess.

If this is wrong, I never want to be right. The small slices of the bread didn't have the pumpernickel swirl, by the way. 😦

4.  Add caraway seeds.  I guess these are an acquired taste, because I wasn’t a big fan of them growing up but now I’m alright with them.  They pack a wallop of taste, plus add some interesting texture to the mix.  You could just get rye bread with seeds, too.  I’m aware that you can buy Bavarian sauerkraut in the food shop that has seeds in it, but I dunno.  It tastes too sweet to me.

5.  Put this sandwich stuff on some rye or pumpernickel.

6.  Eat.  Say Nom Nom Nom while eating.  It makes it even better!!!

I made this a few days ago, and sooooo good.  It was a super hot day, because we have been going through the  Heatpocalypse (The Snowpocalypse’s evil brother), and I didn’t feel like using a stove or oven or even a grill.

I paired them with some Pepper Relish potato chips.  They were quite tasty!  They had a sweet but sour taste–like pepper relish, actually.  My brother who doesn’t like bell peppers thought they were outta sight as well.  A pickle would have been good, but somehow I don’t have any in my fridge.  Probably because I ate them all. Haha.  Humour.

Alright, I’m outta here.  Super mega tired, and haven’t been sleepin well lately.  I’ve been very unsettled lately, which isn’t a good feeling.

Oh well, until next time… meow.  🙂

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Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad. Nom nom nom.

1.  I have been feeling under the weather lately; I’ll write about that tomorrow (when I’m hopefully feeling better).

2.  There is a commercial on tv for iced tea and iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  I know I already said about how much I enjoy coffee, but dang some iced tea sounds pretty fantastic right now.

3.  I was so freaking hungry today when I woke up.

There are a few things to know about me:

a.) I am not a morning person.
b.) I am not a breakfast person.
c.) It takes me a while in the morning to work up an appetite.

When I woke up, my first thought was how hungry I was.  I was hungry for one of those huge breakfasts you get at a diner after a night of drinking, or the breakfasts you get at a chain restaurant when you are on a family road trip.  The bacon, the eggs (over easy), the toast (wheat and butter), hash browns, and about two bites of pancakes (because I think I’m the only person in the world who finds pancakes to be incredibly filling).

But let’s face it–I’m single, jobless, and a little blah feeling.  Am I going to make a huge ass breakfast?  No way.

I found some hot dogs in the fridge.  Boo ya.  I was frying them up, and my phone rang.  It was my brother.

Me:  Hello?
Him:  Hey, do we have any chicken in the freezer?  I am so freaking hungry I can’t help but think about dinner.
Me:  You’re such a fattie.  Yes, I found some.
Him:  What are you up to?
Me:  Making hot dogs, because I’m starving.

That is why we are pretty decent roommates 🙂

We ended up grilling the chicken breasts (and thus subjecting ourselves to our bizarre neighbours), as well as some zucchini and corn on the cob.  Mmmm.

We added the chicken to a pasta salad we made–pasta, Italian dressing, the packet of dry Italian dressing seasonings (um, what’s it called?  Good

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad and Grilled Zucchini. I really should use my camera instead of taking pics with my phone. Oh wells.

Seasonings? I don’t even know), a cut up tomato, and an olive medley–kalamata, feta-stuffed, bleu cheese stuffed, and garlic stuffed).

Results?  Quite awesome!  We made tons of it, so I’m looking forward to lunch leftovers tomorrow.  When we make our normal pasta salad (like the type you have at a picnic), we add a lot more veggies.  But we decided to go a bit easier today for our entree.

I’ll make this a bit easier–

Ingredient list:

1.  Pasta.  We used what we had laying around the house, which happened to be the trio italiano mix of shells, penne, and rotini.  Salt your water, and don’t over cook your pasta–the pasta will absorb some of the dressing.  Drain and rinse with cool water.

2.  Italian dressing.  I used whatever I had in the fridge–It may have been the store brand, I have no clue.  I personally prefer the low or no fat dressings, because they are less oily.  You could also make your own.  Sometimes we add some creamy Italian dressing for texture.

3.  Packet of dry Italian dressing seasonings.  If sodium is a big deal, I’m sure you can use Mrs. Dash or some other low/no salt flavouring substitute.

4.  Chunked tomato. You could also use cherry or grape tomatoes or whatever you have handy.  You could even use canned tomatoes if you want.  You just might want to drain them before tossing them in.

5.  Olives.  I used olives because they are a comfort food and look pretty, but you could also toss in some bell pepper (bro doesn’t like peppers).

6.  Chicken.  Eh, it’s not necessary, but we wanted some more substance.

Mix.  Done.

My personal fave version of this salad is pasta, Italian dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tuna and served with a crusty Italian bread.  Mmmmm.  I was raised Catholic.  Even though I don’t practice anymore, I still find it difficult to eat meat on Fridays (not just during Lent, either! My mama was raised during the times of Latin mass).  This is one of those perfect easy Friday meals.

We also grilled some zucchini and corn on the cob.  We must have had a crappy spring for growing stuff, because zucchini is still a little pricey here.  We drizzled it with olive oil and some of the dry Italian dressing seasoning packet.  It got a little dark (I guess that’s what happen when you grill in the dark, haha) but it was still tasty–it looks worse in the picture.  We pulled the silk off the corn (but still kept on the green leafy stuff), soaked it a bit, and tossed that on the grill as well.  Your leafy stalky green stuff will get black, charred, and burnt, but that’s OK–my fave part is when some of the kernels get a bit brown as well.  Mmmm it was delish–didn’t need butter or salt or any of that stuff.  For dessert, we had some sort of melon (Casaba, maybe?) that was alright–tasted a little overripe and probably the reason why it was on sale.

A pretty tasty and simple dinner, if you ask me.  I love these kinds of meals in the summer.

Alright, I’m out.  One of my sad, happy highlights is that I got sick of waiting for my basil plant to grow (I got a late start growing my herbs), so I purchased a very beautiful looking basil plant.  I’m also looking for a dill plant, but I couldn’t find one at the dirt mall or a local supermarket that has a pretty decent selection of potted herbs.  I’ve never had any problems finding dill in the past (and in my experience, it’s one of those easy to grow herbs), so I’m not sure what’s going on.

Most interesting thing I learned today:

Bac-Os (like the bacon bits) are apparently vegan.  I’m not vegan, but holy crap. The things you learn!