Zombielicious

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This past April I joined my co-author, and sister, Kerrie Adams in Iowa to visit family roots. We all know Iowa is famous for its corn and corn-fed beef but they also serve up some mean Zombilicious food.

We had occasion to visit such a place in Des Moines,Iowa-on the east side, namely  the “Zombie Burger + Drink Lab“.

The zombie themed restaurant and menu was great fun. It was a college crowd with an appetite for goreMet bashed burgers and shakes.. The place was nicely decorated zombie themed murals and mannequins.  It was divided into two halves one having tables and a full bar with some unique beers and drinks.

The menu was not just burgers but that was the main fair all having themed names and not your ordinary ingredients.

I had a #10 a “Walking Ched”. Breaded and deep-fried mac-n-cheese “buns.  These were deep-fried mac-n-cheese “patties ” serving as the bun for a great burger with caramelized red onions cheddar cheeses and mac-n-cheese on top. TO DIE FOR!!! Kerrie had “The Broomstick” It was a burger stuffed with deep-fried chili topped with american cheese, red onions and pickle.  It didn’t take very long to consume being so delicious.

Again burgers were not the only fair.. there were soylent greens (salads),brain freezes(shakes),New Jersey Rippers (deep-fried hot dogs),appetizers and soups/sides.

We both had different unique shakes.  Kerrie went for a vanilla ice cream, cherry kool aid powder blended with a twinkie.. YUMMY!  I had vanilla ice cream blended with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was superb!! Great Brain Freezes!

There was a wide array of local breweries and mixed drinks, properly titled, to try.

Next time your in Des Moines Iowa’s east side drop in to enjoy the atmosphere and food.

 

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large menu

 

Get a load of some of those names.

 

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one of our hosts.

 

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The Walking Ched

 

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The Walking Ched as served.

 

 

 

The Broomstick with some garlic and bleu cheese fries and the menu cover.

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Again go to Des Moines Iowa’s east side and enjoy a night out at ……………  Zombie Burger+Drink Lab

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Family recipe — U.P. Pasty

Growing up in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan one knows the taste and beauty of  a good pasty. This recipe is one passed to us from my mother Elaine’s sister Ruth. I as a kid enjoyed many a pasty. It a good day when we make them…(not nearly enough):-(

CRUST

  1.  3 cups flour
  2.  1 1/2 tsp. salt
  3.  2/3 cup shortening
  4.  2/3 cup ICE water

Mix flour, salt, and water together and then cut in shortening.

FILLING:

  1.  1 1/4    ground beef
  2.  1/2 lb. ground pork
  3.  4           red potatoes
  4.   1          onion
  5.   1/2     rutabaga  minced finely)
  6.   3         carrots
  7.               salt for each pasty
  8.               pepper
  9.    1 pat  butter per pasty

PREPERATION:

Separate dough into 5 portions.  Roll out each portion into a flat circle. Fill half the circles with raw ingredients and add a tbs. of butter. Close by folding into a half circle. Pinch edges closed with a fork using water to stick the edge together.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down to 375 and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy with your favorite condiment…PSST ketchup!!!

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stuffed red peppers

Made these last night. I did add two sweet sausage to the recipe I would add more next time. Easy to do and froze the extras for later.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups brown rice
  • 2-2/3 cups water
  • 11 ounces ground beef
  • 5/8 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped mushrooms, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5/8 (26 ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 5/8 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 5/8 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 red bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Directions

  1. Bring brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, place a cover on the saucepan, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break ground beef into small pieces and place in the skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir until the beef is completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix beef mixture into brown rice.
  4. Stir tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning into the rice mixture and season filling with salt and black pepper.
  5. Arrange bell peppers in a baking dish. Spoon filling into bell peppers.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the peppers are tender, about 1 hour. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the stuffed peppers to serve.

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slow cooker cube steak

We got some cube steaks on a whim. Instead of the usual chicken fried steak I tried the following.

Firstly, I seasoned the steak with my favorite Trader Joe’s Garlic salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.

I then browned the steaks and put them in a crock pot. I added one green pepper,1/2 red bell pepper,half of a large white onion (chopped), 1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro and two coarsely chopped tomatoes. The liquid was a bottle of Stubbs beef marinade.

Few hours in the crockpot and cube steak is fall apart good. Served over rice.

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NY Strip Roast …mmm…mmm…mmm

A few weeks bk Safeway had NY roasts on sale for $5.99 a pound. yeah,I know! I scooped up four of them and stuck them in the freezer.

Tonight I prepared a second one. Very simple.. Kosher salt, black pepper,garlic and some mesquite seasoning. I let it sit with those seasonings in the fridge for a couple of hours.

After letting it sit to get to room temperature… We roasted it in the oven.

425 degrees for 15-20 then turned down the heat to 325, and slow cooked it to 130 degrees… Let it sit for 15 minutes and served with baked potato and broccoli.  scrumptious!!  Try this method next time you have a roast..

 

Beef Fajita Marinade

Tonight’s dinner selection is beef fajitas.. I put together a marinade from a couple recipes from allrecipes.com

the ingredients for marinade:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup distilled red vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon dried, crushed Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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Not too many ingredients.

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Flank steak marinading

Yummy Crock Pot Goulash

A couple nights ago I was craving Hungarian goulash with those nice wide egg noodles.  This is the recipe I started with.   I used beef stew meat (chuck) instead of sirloin and trimmed the fat.   I also used tomato sauce and water instead of the beef broth.   Some goulash recipes I have seen call for a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, so I added that.   Additionally, I liked the way the lemon juice brightened up the sauce, so I added a little extra of that.  Finally, I had three lovely big organic carrots, so I cut them into thick chunks and added those as well.  And instead of using the stovetop, I put it all in the crock pot and cooked it on low for seven hours.  It turned out  very well!

Leftover Sirloin bbq sandwiches with Carmelized Onions

I found myself with alot of leftover sirloin steak… what to do? So I sliced it really thinly, and cooked it with some Carolina bbq sauce. In a separate pan I sauteed some sliced vidalia onions. After they began to soften I added some chipotle pepper, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon or two of molasses. Put it all together on a warmed bun and… voila! Easy and yummy dinner.

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Chili with hominy and potatoes

I like to make chili once in a while, but this batch turned out particularly good and has a couple of non standard ingredients. I had a large an of hominy (look at the wiki article , its interesting) , so I threw that in there. Near the end I tasted it and realized it was too spicy for my grandkids who were coming over, so I threw in a couple of potatoes to absorb the heat. The potatoes were unexpectedly good in the chili…. I will definitely add them again next time I make this. My mom loved it , she said “This is award winning chili and you could win a contest!” Mom is so cute.

Ingredients

1.5 lb ground sirloin

One chopped large onion

One chopped green pepper

One 28 oz can hominy, drained

One 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

One 15 oz can pink beans, drained and rinsed

One 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

One 15 oz can diced tomatoes

Two medium potatoes, chopped ( I used yukon gold)

One teaspoon chipotle pepper

One tablespoon chili powder

One tablespoon caldo de tomate (tomato boullion granules)

One teaspoon sugar

One teaspoon oregano

Four cups of water (adjust to how soupy you want it)

Saute the ground beef, onion and green pepper together, drain. Add all the other ingredients and let simmer together over low to medium heat until the potatoes are done. Adjust seasoning to taste. I had available on the side chopped cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese.

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Taco Casserole

The holidays are quickly approaching and I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for meals that simplify my day. I would much rather be decking the halls than peeling potatoes, if you catch my drift. This recipe screams simplicity and Mexican (two of my favorite things) all rolled up into one! You can’t ask for anything better. Even though it is a casserole, I found it to be good wrapped in a tortilla, as well. Also, feel free to add what you like: sour cream, guacamole, corn, etc. The sky’s the limit!

Taco Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
  • 21/2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 4 medium green onions (sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (chopped
  • i cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cups sliced olives
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

Cooking Directions

  1. 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In 12 inch skillet brown ground beef. Drain. Stir in refried beans,salsa,and taco seasoning and water. Heat to boil stirring occasionally. In ungreased 2 quart casserole place
  2. 2 cups of broken tortilla chips. Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with bell peppers, onions, 1 cup of the tomato, cheese, and olives.
  3.  Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Top baked casserole with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup tomato and remaining tortilla chips