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Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

  1. Happy Mother’s Day!

    May 13, 2012 by The Yum Yum


    Sometimes, I wonder if our tastes change as we get older, or if it what really happens is that space aliens sneak into factories and change the formula around in some of our beloved foods.




    M&M’s had a certain taste when I was a kid, and then, at some point, after having eaten Peanut M&M’s for a while, regular M&M’s no longer tasted the same.




    I bought Gigi huge packs of M&M’s for Mother’s Day. Not the best present, yet a suitable one since she loves them so much, right? In addition to the Peanut M&M’s, I bought the Peanut Butter M&M’s.




    After Mass, I had an epiphany that the M&M’s probably taste like Reese’s Pieces.




    So I cut open the bag, and…




    …no! Surprisingly, Peanut Butter M&M’s don’t taste like Reese’s Pieces. In fact, Reese’s Pieces taste much better, in my own opinion.



    At the time of the writing of this blog, I don’t have Gigi’s input on whether or not she likes Peanut Butter M&M’s, but we’ll find out really soon.



    In other news, my birthday passed! I am now “Several Years Old,” and Gigi made egg rolls for me (at my request.) I really wish you could taste her egg rolls; they’re better than egg rolls made at a Chinese restaurant. I spent basically the whole day eating, switching between egg rolls and green beans with potatoes. I think I also ate Peanut M&M’s that day, too.



    Unfortunately, I was also sick on my birthday, and that resulted in my not necessarily having the presence of mind to take pictures of my mountain of egg rolls.



    But they were so good.



    Today, Gigi made her famous Shrimp Pot. This is a process that includes boiling potatoes, onions, corn on the cob, and shrimp together in a huge pot with lots of spices. In the old days, we also added a kind of spicy sausage called “Red Hots,” but now we forgo the actual meat.



    Now, have a Happy Mother’s Day, and go get your nosh on!








  2. Spring Vegetables in the South

    May 9, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    There’s something about having tons of fresh vegetables at your disposal and eating them cooked in a variety of ways.


    The good people of Slocomb bring my family a lot of fresh produce that we then cook. Over the past three days, we’ve had potatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, and green beans. I’ve definitely become far more a fan of squash after discovering it tastes much better when fried with spices in a non-stick skillet.


    Someone told me last night via Facebook that blueberries are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins. I do like fruits but seem to end up eating vegetables more often as I prefer the more savory taste to the sweet and sour ones, but blueberries are quite nice, even if they’re technically not blue.


    Go get your nosh on!



  3. Potatoes, YUM!

    April 30, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Last night, I made mashed potatoes.

    Instant mashed potatoes.

    *covers head*

    Okay, now that no one has attacked me, let me explain how I made them:

    I made the Onion Mushroom Soup first, then I stirred in the instant mashed potatoes, and BOOM, I had delicious, gravy-like potatoes in no time at all.

    The taste is exactly what mashed potatoes and gravy taste like after they’ve been oh-so mixed together.

    Take the awesome and nosh on it.

    Go forth, children, and get your nosh on with my gravy-potato-esque ideas!


  4. I made the veggies again!!!

    March 24, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Made cabbage and potatoes again. This time, I added butter beans to the mix.




    (Yeah, you totally didn’t expect me to say “grapefruit” just then, did you?)

    That was a good life choice, to say the least. The potato mash definitely makes things filling and delicious. I’m consuming a huge number of vegetables all together as a filling meal! Throwing dairy into the mix would make it too rich, though there is a bit o’ butter included.


    So, folks, I encourage you to make thick, veggie foods to get your nosh on, because it’s healthy and everyone loves it. You can also eat the vegetables with bread as a side, so you’re getting nutrients, flavor, and everything all at once.


    I’m so excited because there’s a huge pot of veggies waiting for me that will seem endless for a few days!


    How’s everyone enjoying the true spring weather? I’m really glad everything’s blooming now and that the weather’s warmed up a good deal, though I’ve had a few sinus battles here and there.


    All right, go get your nosh on, kids!




  5. Jim’s Vegetable Medley Mash, GO!

    March 23, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Dinner with Le Friends again.


    Jim made the corrected version of the deeelicious cabbage and such that I made yesterday, only he added some things, which created a concoction of









    The meal was wonderful. However, it’s one of those meals that likes to stop by and then get out, if you catch my drift.

    Christopher also got some cheesy bread sticks. Yay for cheese and bread!

    I hope everyone else will start having such delicious and healthy meals. It’s actually quite filling, believe it or not. Jim makes this all in a pressure cooker and then slops it out on the plates.

    It turned out soooo beautifully to be a vegetable slop!

    So, folks, GO GET YOUR NOSH ON!



  6. The Great Borscht Adventure

    August 11, 2011 by The Yum Yum

    Borscht is a kind of Russian dish, and in honor my recently acquiring a set of Russian Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards, I decided to revisit my own interest in Russian culture and cuisine; mostly, my interest has been passing, but there are neat aspects to Russia including their language and the worship of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    We had a Russian exchange student named Darya my freshman year of high school. She was extremely intelligent and informed our History teacher of many interesting tidbits to Russian culture, as she had lived through the fall of the Soviet Union and in the post-Soviet Russian climate. Naturally, she comes to mind whenever I begin talking about Russia.

    In addition, Irina Tweedie, the author of Daughter of Fire and Sufi teacher of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, was also Russian; her last name comes from the fact she had married an Englishman, and after his death, she traveled to India, studied Sufism under Bhai Sahib, and then brought the Sufi teachings back with her to England, where Llewellyn met her, and eventually, Llewellyn brought the teachings to the Golden Sufi Center in California.

    Also, I studied Russian language for a while after taking an interesting Russian pop music, but then, I’ve been a fan of music from other countries for a while. I can understand some Russian and can read the Russian alphabet.

    Anyway, to the point: I’ve never really had Russian food before, nor was I completely familiar with what exactly Russians eat. I knew of Borscht, which is kind of a beet stew of sorts, and so I decided to find a recipe and make some.

    The adventure with Borscht has been an interesting one. I made an enormous pot, and, well…the Borscht turned out extremely sour tasting. Not a ruined sour, mind you, but I mean I used pickled beets, so naturally there’s a lot of vinegar in it. Plus I added some extra vinegar after it tasted way too much like turnips.

    Then I added pierogies. Yes, I went there. Instead of cutting up a potato, I added a box of pierogies, which was actually a better idea and gave the soup a new kind of depth. Then I tried some more yesterday after the soup’s flavors had married, and…

    …super sour.

    Solution? Yes, please.

    I added a packet of shrimp-flavoring from ramen. And do you know what? That solved half the problem for me.

    By solved half the problem for me, I mean that traditionally, Borscht includes beef. Lots of beef. Like you have to boil a roast or something before you even start cooking with the vegetables. My guess is this evens out the sour-taste of the vinegar. In a way, this meant that my flavoring wasn’t up to par because of the lack of meat, so the shrimp packet gave it the savoriness and thicker flavor for which I was looking. Go me!

    The pierogies really did make the soup SO much better. The potatoes and dumplings just add something to it, and when they mingle with the rest of the flavors, man…it’s an explosion of taste in your mouth!

    Beaux’s Adventure Borscht:

    • 2 cans of pickled beets
    • 2 cans of carrots
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 cups of cabbage, chopped thinly
    • 3 Tablespoons of dill weed
    • 1 box of pierogies
    • 4 cubes of beef stock OR vegetable stock
    • 2 or 3 packs of Shrimp Ramen flavoring (optional)
    • Sour cream (optional, as I didn’t have this)
    • SPT (Salt and Pepper to Taste)


    Get your cook on:

    Boil the stock and flavoring.

    Add onions, carrots, and beets.

    Simmer for about half an hour.

    Add the cabbage, dill weed, and pierogies.

    Cook for about 15 minutes.

    Serve with sour cream on top and SPT


    Now, hopefully, no angry Russians will come along declaring how horrible of a person I am for ruining their masterful, traditional recipes, but please, give me a break: I was working with what I had, which is obviously not much.

    With the recipe, the flavors really changed when I added the cabbage. The entire recipe is rather healthy, if you think about it, as its mostly a kind of vegetable stew.

    You can also go the extra mile and add beef, but you’re going to be looking at the whole process taking about an hour longer.

    For what wait you? Is good day for to make Borscht!





  7. More on Pierogies

    June 21, 2011 by The Yum Yum

    Earlier this year, I went through what can only be described as a rabid infatuation with cooking and eating pierogies in whatever form you please. Pierogies instantly became a favorite food as they are remarkably easy to prepare, have a wide variety of uses, and ultimately lend themselves to many variations and flavors.

    Baking pierogies is not recommended on my end as the shells harden in a most uncomfortable way. Boiling them has become my preferred method- easy preparation and virtually no clean up. Sauteing the pierogies produces the most beautiful variety, with the golden-brown and sometimes darker brown spots adding to the white-ish color of the shell.

    We must remember that cooking isn’t only about taste, even though taste is the top of the list, of course, almost immediately on par with smell. The textures, shapes, and colors also play into the overall experience. While a beautiful meal that doesn’t taste very good is unappealing indeed, a plain white block that is the most flavorful thing you’ve ever put in your mouth can also be unappealing. The art of cooking is all about these considerations; the devil is in the details, even if the science is not exact.

    Now, on to my story.

    I often leave out the ramen flavor packets when preparing ramen noodles because I like to use the noodles for other purposes. At the same time, I also like to use the flavor packets for other purposes as well, so I save them and place them with the spices instead of just throwing them away as a typical wasteful American might do. Bapaw’s obsession with not wasting anything has slight possession of me, and despite his general grumpiness, there are times when he makes points that actually make good sense. But even his good sense can become obsessive, so I temper what I learn from him with common sense to find a happy (and practical) medium.

    So as I was boiling pierogies today, I decided to add one of the shrimp flavor packets I had saved to the water. There was a lot of water in the pot, so I worried about the potential weakness of the taste.

    But would you believe that that the one little shrimp flavor packet put the exact perfect flavor in the water? That’s one of those miracles of the Lord that come along and pop up out of nowhere, not unlike Christ feeding people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Not that I can figure out how this happened in my case, and I think a greater feat would be God having multiplied my pierogies in the pot. Now if I can figure out how Jesus turned water into wine and replicate the process in order to make vodka, I’ll be set. (Hint, hint, Lord.)

    Also, the weather here isn’t getting any cooler; I left for work to see a thermometer at 104.4º. Beating a dead horse is fun for everyone, and I’ll keep reminding everyone that it’s never been this hot of a summer for me EVER.

    Speaking of which, today is the first official day of summer, which means that the weather is only going to get hotter. God help us when July and August get here; we need to pray for rain and pray for it to rain long enough to cool things off a bit.

    Again, I’ll apologize to anyone who has left a comment and not received a response anytime soon. My inbox is still oddly filtering out the comments from WordPress. has updated itself as well, so instead of being simple and user-friendly, they’re taking the route that did years ago and become ultra-complicated in an attempt to be sleek. I’ll keep checkin the Spam folders to make sure I get all the comments.

    Thank you, my dear readers, and continue sharing me on Facebook, Twitter, and to any of your friends and family that like to eat.

    What are you waiting for? Carpe diem!


  8. The Divine Mystery of the Culinary Arts, or That Somethin’ Special ’bout Cookin’

    March 21, 2011 by The Yum Yum

    The Onyx Plate can likely agree with me on the small hints of intuition one gets while cooking. Sometimes, one is nudged to add a little of this, a little of that, or to simply leave out some aspect of the recipe. This sounds as though it could lead to critical mistakes, but that only happens when one leaves, say, lobster out of a recipe that is lobster-based, and even then some well-meaning vegans are capable of creating a substitute that works equally as well. That, however, is an example of the wisdom of planning and not spur-of-the-moment strokes of culinary genius.

    Also, these miniature risks are well within reason, so it’s not a matter of just going crazy with the recipe. Still, the slight risk one takes while venturing into the unknown can be a great rush. Small steps into the unknown with minimal risk of failure are more appealing to me than huge leaps and bounds into something I can’t begin to comprehend. If you’re curious about what I mean, search for my blog on falafel to see that disaster.

    Tonight, I made my second recipe out of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Also, because it’s a mouthful to say each time as I type my blogs, I’m going to begin abbreviating the title to VCE, so heads up.

    The recipe in question was a butter sauce with sage, which went perfectly with the frozen Mrs. T’s pierogies that I boiled. I doubled the recipe and added tiny salad shrimp to it, and after the pierogies were boiled and drained, the shrimp-sage and butter sauce was poured over them.

    I overestimated the number of pierogies I had left- only half a box, so the doubling of the sauce proved to be a skosh too much. However, for a full box of Mrs. T’s pierogies (12 count), the doubled recipe would be ideal.

    The doubling of the recipe and adding of the salad shrimp dawned on me at the last moment, after the original sauce had been made.

    What astounded me in the end was the actual perfection of the recipe. Nothing I’ve ever made hit my mouth and made me think it was absolutely perfect, but the truth is, this recipe was perfect, or at least close to perfect.

    So what of the Divine Mystery? Before I even went to the kitchen, I said a short prayer, offering my cooking to God. While cooking, I repeated the dhikr as long as I could remember to do it. Thus, I reason that maybe God did intervene and guide me the whole time.

    The Mystery is that I would’ve never thought to have put sage and parsley in butter, and this attests to the limitation of our ability to cook stems form our own human lack of creativity. Someone, somewhere, realized that sage would go well with butter.

    This takes us to the next level of the Divine Mystery of cooking: food doesn’t always tell its secret immediately. Often we must coax it out, test it, discover it, mix it with something else in order for it to reveal its truth. In many ways, life is like that- life has special ingredients, timers, and methods to achieve particular results.

    Sage is a perfect example. First, the word itself is beautiful, melodic even, and not only refers to the herb but also to wisdom. Second, by itself, the scent is almost overpowering and not charming. But when added to butter (or to other food in many cases), something changes, something is released in it, and the once overpowering scent infuses itself into a greater substance, playing its part, singing its note, and then and only then is its true essence revealed to us.

    Again, we see this in life. People who seem to have no purpose and no place in life need only to be put where they’re really meant to be put, and then they will shine- something will change, and their true essence will play the part its meant to be play. Odd how I’m aware of this but am also aware that my full essence isn’t blooming and infusing earth as it should.

    Also, lately I’ve fallen in love with garnishing food with bread crumbs. I fought myself tonight over whether or not to add bread crumbs to my already perfect recipe, and eventually I exercised my willpower to resist. I did sop up the leftover butter sauce in my bowl with french bread, though, which I understood as a compromise.

    Carpe Diem!




  9. Beaux and the First Day of Spring, Revisited

    March 1, 2011 by The Yum Yum

    Last year, on this same day, I began posting the most curious phenomenon about me. The actual changing of the seasons happens on a particular day known as the Equinox (for Autumn and Spring) and the Solstice (for Summer and Winter.) But to me, the first day of a season is actually marked by the first day of a particular month.

    Maybe the reason I think this way, as I’ve noted before, is that the teachers in elementary school would begin the changing of the monthly decorations of the classrooms on these respective days. Maybe it’s because the concept of the first day of the new month is also the first day of the new season makes more sense than to say that the first day of the new month is different than the first day of the new season.

    Either way, this past winter has been more unpleasant than most winters I’ve endured. I’ve never been as cold as I have this past winter, and whether that’s because it’s actually been colder or because I’m getting older and thinner and weaker is indeterminable at this point.

    Thankfully, for the past two or three weeks, we’ve had temperate weather- in the 70s during the day and somewhere in the 50s at the lowest in the evenings. I can handle this kind of weather. I enjoy this kind of weather. This is the whole reason we should enjoy spring, because the weather’s wonderful, the skies are blue, we can go outside without freezing or crackling into flames, and it’s all-around just a great time.

    Now is the time to celebrate with fresh herbs. Now is the time to gather together outside with friends and to sing songs at sunset. We can relish our days without having to deal with the bites of mosquitoes or the sweltering heat. Good weather creates a pleasant mood in many of us.

    But what about food? That’s a good question- really, what is the best food to eat around this time? So many foods are fresh now- peas and potatoes immediately come to mind, especially the so-called “early peas” and “new potatoes,” which are smaller and more tender than their mature counterparts.

    Rosemary potatoes sound like a really good idea right about now.

    Vegetables really seem to the name of the game with Spring cooking. So many new and fresh vegetables (and some fruits) from which to choose, and it all makes for a wonderful, wonderful day.

    Don’t worry, everyone- I’m still debating about getting that vegetarian cookbook and cooking through it. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but hey, as one of my teachers one said in high school, “Shoot for the stars. Even if you only make it the moon, that’s still a lot of better than if you had never tried to move off the ground.”


  10. Maw-Maw’s Enormous Potatoes

    February 27, 2011 by The Yum Yum

    These freaks of nature have made it all the way to Alabama, and Maw-Maw is the one in happy possession of them.

    Honestly, I couldn’t begin to believe the size of these potatoes, but as I do love potatoes, I still quite adored them.

    But you can’t truly appreciate just how large they are from this picture.

    That’s my hand.

    Now, of course, many of you will be quick to point out that I have small, girlish hands, and this is true.

    They’re also angelically soft, or so I’ve been told.

    Mama Harris blessed me with great skin.

    On the right we have a normal potato. On the left, the monster of a potato that looks like it could eat an entire army of smaller potatoes.

    Maw-Maw had a genius idea- she quickly obtained a ruler and measuring tape for us to use so you could see exactly how large the potatoes were by comparison.

    The sockdolager of the matter is as above: the potato was ultimately nine inches long. I didn’t even bother to see how many inches around it was.

    Did I mention that Maw-Maw made mashed potatoes that night?