straight out of the uh and into the frying pan – YAOR for teh internets

Wow – what a coincidence.  I had planned on writing a post about my chickens and an omelet I made with their eggs this morning and the word of the day is egg.  I also figured I’d take a moment to mention some of my kitchen hacks and recipe variations for omelets which I’m sure is not all that original.  I mean there are only so many ways to crack an egg huh.  So here goes for this episode of Yet Another Omelet Recipe for teh internets.

First for some pictures:

 

I used the 3 eggs on the cutting board to make the omelet – those are small to medium eggs (unlike that one giant egg in the corner of the egg carton photo).  This size omelet is really two servings so I cut it in half and only had half of for breakfast.  It actually keeps ok in the fridge so I had the other half for dinner with some grits.  As you may infer from multicolored eggs, my chickens are also multicolored.  I have some Rhode Island Reds, California Whites, and some Australorps which are black.  I’ll post some pictures of them another day – maybe when the word of the day is chicken.  🙂

Eggs used to be considered unhealthy but due to the healthy fats organic eggs have, I think expert opinion is shifting as long one doesn’t overdo it.  An omelet with salsa is fairly low carb for diabetics such as myself but they do have fat and calories.  I’ve been able to lose weight and keep my blood sugar down if I usually just eat one egg for breakfast.

So how do you cook an omelet?  Here are the steps I use and some tricks I’ve learned:

  1. Before I turn the stove on, I prepare part of the veggies.  They are the ones in the small cup on the back of the cutting board in the photos.  One thing that I’ve found is I don’t use green or red peppers fast enough to leave them in the fridge but if you go ahead wash, de-seed and slice them right after you buy them, you can put them in a zip-lock bag or if you want a smaller carbon footprint and less waste then use a re-usable freezer container.  They wont be as crunchy and fresh out of the freezer but they are tasty in stir-fry and aren’t too soggy – just don’t cook them too long.
  2. So I take only as much out of the freezer as I need of the sliced red or green pepper and chop it frozen – it’s easier to do than you’d think.  I normally keep vidalia or sweet onion chopped up in the fridge – I use it more often than red or green pepper and it keeps pretty well in the fridge.  So I add the chopped onion to the pepper at about a 3 to 1 ratio since i like onion and it’s more mild than pepper.
  3. This is optional but to that small plastic cup of onion and pepper I take about 3 jalapeno slices out of a small jar i keep in the fridge.  I chop the 3 small rings of jalapeno up into small bits and add it the cup of onions and peppers.  It doesn’t seem to add too much heat for me.
  4. Another thing i keep in the fridge is green onions.  If I’m making one omelet, I’ll take one green onion stalk out and wash it and chop it up.  If it has that hairy root stem on the very end just cut that small piece off and throw it away but I’m sure you already knew to do that.  I add the chopped up green onion to the cup with the sweet onions, peppers and jalapenos.
  5. Now the veggies are sitting pretty in the plastic cup and raring to go, but I sit them aside for now.
  6. I use a separate small pan for cooking the filling and i add a teaspoon or two of olive oil and heat the pan on medium.  Once the oil heats up I add a teaspoon or two of minced garlic – I get the kind that is in the small jar you put in the fridge and is already minced. This flavors the oil with garlic but it’s not real strong.  If you don’t like garlic you can leave it out.
  7. If i have uncooked sausage I usually chop it up and add it to the frying pan at this point.  I don’t normally use the same cutting board for meat that I use for veggies.  I use the wooden cutting board in the picture mostly for veggies.  You can use precooked breakfast meat, or you can chop up sandwich meat such as ham or turkey.  If you have left over grilled pork chop you can also chop it up and add it.  Occasionally, I buy a slice of ready to serve ham steak and keep in the freezer and it can also be used in this step.  Oh and the precooked real bacon bits in the bag in the photo are also a convenient choice.
  8. While that is cooking I wash the fresh mushrooms and slice them and set them aside.  If the meat is mostly done (no longer pink), I go ahead and add the mushrooms and stir occasionally.  If you’re not using raw meat and you’ve chopped up already cooked meat or sandwich meat you can add the mushrooms immediately.
  9.   Once the mushrooms have cooked a little bit but aren’t cooked all the way, I add the cup of fresh veggies.  These will only need to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium until the sweet onions look a little shiny.  Once that is ready go ahead and remove it from the hot eye but you can leave it in the pan until you’re ready for it.
  10. if you notice the picture with the bacon bits bag, there is a large pancake spatula in it.  One challenge some people have with omelets is flipping the half cooked egg so that large spatula makes it easier to do without the egg falling apart.  I add about two teaspoons of olive oil to a medium sized fryer (it’s bigger than the one i cook the filling in) or you can use butter or spray oil.  Just crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork or wire whisk and add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.  You’ll want to cook the egg pretty slow on medium heat so it doesn’t brown too much.  If the egg cooks too fast just pick up the frying pan and shake it a little to move the egg around and turn the heat down some.  This part will take some practice but just cook it until there is just a thin layer of liquid on top.  Then use the large spatula to flip it over.  Now this only needs to cook for about one to two minutes usually.  I go ahead and add the filling from the other frying pan to the top of the cooking egg mixture in a line in the middle of the egg.  Then I add a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 3 pinches of shredded cheddar cheese – you could use american cheese also.  By now the other half of the egg will probably be done enough you can fold the omelet – i use a smaller spatula for this.  You probably won’t have to flip the folded omelet at this point as it’ll likely be cooked soon.  You can hold the skillet up and slide the omelet into the serving plate and eat by itself or with some salsa.
  11.  One thing to note is the bag of precooked bacon bits which i get from Sam’s club comes in handy for a lot of dishes.  I use it in egg scramble dishes, grits, and i use it when cooking a variety of veggies such as green beans, lima beans, turnips, collards, and black eyed peas, etc.  It works in canned, frozen, or dried beans etc.

Well good luck.  Cooking for yourself isn’t as bad as you may think if you’re not already doing it.  And you can better control what goes into your food – how much fat, salt, etc.  If you trying to eat healthier and don’t want to add meat just remove it from the recipe.  I use the veggie part of this recipe for several dishes including some Chinese dishes and some homemade soups.    The great thing about doing your own cooking is you are in control.

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the pearl opaque, the clam half-baked

the pearl opaque, the clam half-baked

It seemed like a good day for a non-sequitur. Some time ago we amassed a noble dog army to help fight the evil snake empire.  Today the snake empire injured two of our little brave warriors, Nala and Wilburt.  We think Nala took the brunt of the venom so she’s sleeping in the little dog hospital tonight with an IV drip, antibiotics, and benedryl.  Wilburt is still here on blueberry hill toughing it out.  The dog doctor aka vet called us an hour or so ago and gave us a bit of good news that Nala’s swelling doesn’t appear to be getting worse and her heart rate is still good.  The same cotton mouth moccasin bit both of them.   Wilburt is pictured below – it’s difficult to see it from this picture but his left side of his face and neck is swollen.  He’s getting doses of benedryl.

wilburt

We’re hoping that both our little brave warriors live through this ordeal.  Nala is the main one we are worried about because her head and neck was extremely swollen.  The snake is dead but the evil snake empire is getting an early start since the warm season is just beginning.  Sargent our biggest and toughest warrior has already killed one of the snake fighters a while back all by himself – he really hates snakes.  He’s a blue heeler and he’s already survived a direct hit from one of the vipers last year.  The only thing that scares him is lightening and bad weather.  LOL.

About 10 years ago I killed over a dozen ground rattlers in one season.  I opened our sliding glass door that same year and happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye and it was one of them trying to slither into the house.    He didn’t make it.  Hopefully between the dog army, the new chicken army, and Midnight the Ninja Cat we can beat back the evil snake empire from blueberry hill.

you got to be jolting me

jeremy-bishop-72584

you got to be jolting me

So today on the way home from work I stopped and picked up some Chinese food, including chicken and brocolli which was in brown sauce that had gotten on the plastic bag the plate was in.  And predictably the unavoidable happened, the brown sauce got all over my right hand.  I scrubbed my hand incessantly with a napkin because I knew I had to make one more stop on the way home.  I had to get my new baby chicks a chicken feeder and waterer so I could keep their cage cleaner than it is with the temporary bowls and such.  So i went into the farm supply store and grabbed what i needed and then some additional items so I could get out quickly.  The girl at the register was very nice and chatty.  I told her i had just bought 8 baby chicks from them a few days ago so I needed to buy them a feeder and waterer;  she held up the ceramic eggs i had also bought and gave me a strange look.  She said wow they grow up fast don’t they – meaning the ceramic eggs are used to encourage fully grown hens to lay eggs in a nest.  I smiled and said well I have older chickens too that are already laying eggs.  And I explained my purpose in buying each additional item as she scanned it.  I paid for all the items and she reached forward to hand me my receipt and she snatched her hand back initially with a quite “shocked” look on her face and carefully handed me the receipt as to keep her distance from me.  Her chatty demeanor had changed also and she wasn’t interested in conversation all of a sudden.  I kind of looked at her with a puzzled glance and shrugged my shoulders and walked out.  As I was walking out the door I saw streaks of peculiar brown sauce now partially dried on my right thumb.  Apparently in my rush to wipe all the Chinese sauce off my hand and finish my errands I had missed some.  I felt like i should go back in and explain the situation at once but I was too embarrassed so i continued onward to the car and drove off quickly.

he wasn’t pleased; this wasn’t the droid he was looking for.

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he wasn’t pleased; this wasn’t the droid he was looking for.

As a matter of fact this was no droid at all – this was a malfunctioning iPod touch.  Malfunctioning as in the very important home button had stopped working.  I’ve had the device for nearly four years and used it practically every day and the home button stopped working over a year ago.  It’s not a perfect workaround but check out this link from apple if you have the issue with yours and don’t want to fork out so much money to have it repaired.  Sorry about the corny set up for today’s PSA but hey, Star Wars is fun.  One final comment on the droid thing; you’ve probably saw the various inspirational posters out there – this link is a nice twist on that.

Finally, on a different note, one of my favorite things to do is visit flea markets and yard sales.  The Storm Trooper is on a creature called a dewback. I snagged them both for $5 which I thought was a good deal.  I bought the hot wheels in the background from a nice Hispanic family at Sadie’s Flea Market in Dothan, AL along with a bag full of toys including an awesome giant pirate ship.

I liked the following picture better than the one at the top but it didn’t make sense with my caption to have an R2 unit working with a storm trooper.  LOL.

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do not go blindly into that good night

If you’re reading this you probably paused for a moment while the error-correction part of your mind paused and said wait a minute that’s not how that beautiful beautiful poem by Dylan Thomas went – we all know it is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.  And then there was rage, rage in your mind against any novice writer such as myself who would take such a remarkable piece of work in what seems like vain or some type of gimmick approaching blasphemy.  But now that I gave you the hyperlink above so you can click it and see the original masterpiece in all it’s glory which has nothing but my utmost respect and admiration, my goal here is simply to use it for inspiration and follow the rules of The Daily Post since today’s word is blindly  If it eases your rage feel free to consider me a fanboy of beautiful literature.

My substitution for the word “gentle” with “blindly” is a play on words to emphasize something I feel very strongly about.  It’s the importance of education and life-long learning and always trying to improve yourself with the power of knowledge.  You’ll see Dylan’s most popular words used over and over in Hollywood movies and one my personal favorites is with Michael Caine in the movie Interstellar  The music after the narration in the video is by Hans Zimmer.  It is rare that an Ad catches my attention but his ad for his Master Class is incredibly inspiring and full of wisdom.

Good poems and prose can be more powerful than the strongest weapons and some like Dylan’s seem to resonate with a universal audience.  If my post tonight does nothing but to remind you to stop and smell the roses or enjoy a good work of art then to me it’s a success.  It doesn’t matter whether that work of art is a good poem, book, music or movies – all that matters is it is something you enjoy and hopefully inspires you in some way.  So I’ll leave you with one more narration of Dylan’s work (warning it has a four letter word at the end of it (Rodney Dangerfield’s Video) so skip it or stop before you get to the end of it if profanity is offensive to you).  And remember to rage against the dying of the light which in my mind means stay thirsty for knowledge and by not going blindly into that good night.

Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School

Sorry, I told you I was a fanboy – I couldn’t leave off Anthony Hopkins.