Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice is one of my requirements for a burrito or burrito bowl.  If you like your meat spicy like me, then this is required to cut some of the heat.

There are probably thousands, if not more, recipes for cilantro lime rice floating around on the internet.  But all of them seem to have the same ingredients, rice, citrus juice and cilantro.  If you have read this blog from the beginning you probably already know that I cilantro is NOT one of my favorite foods or flavors!

I can eat cilantro in small, VERY SMALL doses.  Since I make this recipe for myself generally, I do not use much cilantro.  If you are a cilantro lover, then feel free to add more cilantro.  I would just suggest that you taste your rice before adding more citrus juice or cilantro.

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Aglio Olio with Mushrooms

A long time ago I had a friend that loved to cook Italian foods.  Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a.k.a garlic pasta,  and a red meatless “gravy” were the only two thing I ever cooked with that friend.

If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I can never leave well enough alone in a recipe and have taken liberties over the years to adjust this recipe to my own preferences.  I think this is the way most folks cook Aglio Olio, as no two recipes ever seem the same.

The way I learned to cook Aglio Olio was to start with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.  I know that the anchovies are supposed to melt into the sauce and provide a rich flavor.  I find it leaves too fishy of a taste for me and have chosen to not use them.  If you like that flavor, all you have to do is add 4 to 6 anchovy filets to the cold skillet with the garlic and oil when you first start the dish.

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Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

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Simple Pico de Gallo

You may notice when you look at my recipes that I use minimal or no cilantro in dishes where it is customary.  This simple Pico de Gallo is no different.  If you like cilantro, feel free to add it anywhere and everywhere, just please do not put it into foods you want me to eat.  I can do small amounts of it when I go to Chipotle’s or certain Mexican restaurants, but if there is too much of it in anything I just have to leave it on my plate.

I am one of the few people in this word apparently that thinks cilantro smells like dirty gym socks.

Since I do like Mexican food though, I just make my recipes without an overload of cilantro.  I also use minimal amounts of jalapeno peppers, but just like cilantro, feel free to add more if you prefer more heat.    I serve this Pico de Gallo alongside my Midwest quesadillas because I love all things tomatoes and I think they go well together.  I also think it goes great with chips, it’s more than an acceptable substitute for store bought salsa only I get to decide how much cilantro goes in mine – none.

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Bratwurst and German Potato Salad

homemade-bratwurstBratwurst and German potato salad is one of my favorite meals to enjoy on the back porch during the spring and fall months. I’ll admit it now, the bratwurst in the photo above is homemade and it was made by me, but the recipe isn’t mine. It came straight out of the one cookbook every sausage connoisseur should own: Charcuterie – The Craft of Salting, Curing, and Smoking. I’m not going to post the recipe for the Bratwurst because I think folks should really buy this book. Form a historical standpoint, this book made me truly understand and the appreciate the art of curing meats and knowing exactly where my meat comes from. Buy… the… book… I’m being serious. Even if you don’t plan on making sausage, it’s a good read.

However, I can recommend a method for cooking your bratwurst. Most people just toss it on a grill or pan and go to town on searing it. I find that cooking this way often burns or over cooks the skins before the interior is done. One of the best methods to cook brats or any sausage is to simmer them in a pan, with the lid on, in a shallow liquid, until they are cooked through. Then finish them on the grill or in a pan. My favorite liquid to simmer my bratwurst in is beer. Oktoberfest to be specific. I’ll also chop up some onions and add them to my liquid. When the bratwurst are finish cooking, I’ll put them aside and I’ll finish cooking down the beer and onions until thick. The cooked onions are great with the bratwurst. I may add a little brown sugar to balance out the onions (beer can sometimes become bitter when cooked). Then I will finish the bratwurst on the grill or in a cast iron skillet.

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Diabetus Baked Beans

I can’t sit down to anything BBQ related without a side of baked beans to go with it. For me, baked beans, potato salad and some smoked meat (pork shoulder, brisket, ribs, etc.) is my idea of the perfect summer meal.

This recipe is a friend and family favorite. My sister annoyingly asks me to make this at least once a month. I often get asked to make this recipe for other functions because people enjoy it so much. However, I do have to warn you, this recipe is not healthy and has the potential of giving you diabetus, said in your best Wilford Brimley voice, and heart disease.

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