Posts Tagged ‘Scott’

Ashley and I wanted lunch. We found hot dogs in the fridge, but instead of a boring lunch, we decided to shake things up; A culinary battle to see who can create the best hot dog with ingredients we had in our own kitchen.

We immediately began and Ashley took out various food stuffs. I was a little worried when I saw things like watermelon, peanut butter, grape jelly, honey mustard, tomato, barbeque sauce, butter, and cinnamon come out of the fridge. Oh wait, I remember sour cream too. “At first, I just searched the fridge, hoping for ideas”, said Ashley. “There actually wasn’t that much of a thought process behind it..I was just throwing things together. I did actually think: how many ingredients can I throw together without making something disgusting?” She saw the mango and thought mango salsa, yet didn’t know what one was. She chopped up peaches, watermelon, and mango and made  a sauce with honey mustard,  mayo, grape jelly, lime juice, and some things she doesn’t remember. She almost put peanut butter in it. I’m thankful she did not.

Ashley’s Hot Dog with Sweet Mango Fruit Salad

I went to look for non-condiment toppings. I found onions and decided to make a balsamic compote. I added brown sugar too. I also love to have dipping sauces. I knew Ashley liked ketchup with her dogs, but didn’t want to take the easy way out. I made my own ketchup with tomato sauce, tomato paste, various seasonings, vinegar, and sugar. After cooking the hot dog, I decided to take it a step further by wrapping it in turkey and cooking it again.

Scott’s Turkey-Wrapped Dog with Onion-Balsamic Compote and Home-Made Ketchup

We dressed our plates and tasted both. Ashley liked my reduction sauce. She thought the ketchup was good, but overpowered the sweet sauce and was unnecessary. I thought Ashley’s dog was surprisingly good. The sauce was oddly tangy, but very mellow and sweet. The fruit was tender; however, the sauce was a little watery, causing the bread to become mushy. In addition, it was a little difficult to eat. This is a fun game that never stops spicing up every-day lunches.

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I don’t have a picture for this recipe, but it is simple and easy to imagine. We needed a side for “Taco Thursday”, so I made this healthy salad.


  • 1 avocado  ♣
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 tomatoes
  • shelled edamame (half bag) maybe 1 cup

Dressing: (optional additions include toasted cumin seeds and dried oregano)

  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • lemon zest
  • some chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • handful of parsley
  • I added a dash of a Southwestern seasoning (it had chipotle pepper, cumin, oregano, chili pepper, marjoram, garlic, onion)

1. Cut all around the avocado (from stem to base). Twist to display the pit. Lodge the knife in it and twist to dislodge. Peel the thick skin and chop the avocado into small pieces. Chop the tomatoes as well.

2. Parboil (partly cook by boiling) two ears of corn for about 3 minutes. I threw the edamame into the same pot for five minutes. Remove the kernels by standing the ear on the center of a bundt pan, allowing the kernels to fall into pan instead of all over the counter. Dry the kernels with a paper towel and add to a really hot pan (no oil)  to roast until brown and fragrant.

3. To make the dressing, mince the garlic and chop the scallions (I have a garden, so I used the tops of my onion plants). Whisk in all the dressing ingredients and fold into the salad. Salt and pepper the dressing as well. marinate for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Tip: You know your avocados are ripe when pressing yields a depression in the skin. You may also remove the stem; if you see green underneath, it is a tasty and ripe avocado.

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I found two zucchinis in the fridge. They were certainly not fresh; dehydrated and spongy. Yet I knew better than to dispose of them. They just suffered from loss of moisture; something that is easily remedied by soaking them in water for about 20 minutes. I decided to make fried zucchini cakes.

Ingredients: (Optional additions include squash and carrots)


  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (absorb moisture)
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (absorb moisture)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 2 large eggs (binder)
  • vegetable oil

Yogurt sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Greeks yogurt (simply strained yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • t tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: There are two options. I used a mandolin to get the pieces nice and thin and then cut them into teeny-weeny pieces. After I did it all, I realized that I could have just used a grater, but it was much more fun using the mandolin! I just sliced them,  holding the zucchini vertical and then used a julienne cutting technique with my knife. Mandolins, besides the instrument, are flat planes used to make thin slices. Some food processors have settings for this cut.

Step 2: Cut the red onions as well. These should be grated, in the same manner, or used on the mandolin with a thinner setting. Add the eggs, the bread crumbs, the parmesan cheese, salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix well. Add more crumbs if there is unabsorbed liquid. Form small handfuls into balls and flatten into patties. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and let the cakes sizzle for about five minutes on medium-high heat. Do not move them until they move freely and flip when one side is browned.

I got Jerry’s approval too.

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