Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mix it up for Dinner.

I like the KISS policy. I’m not talking about the suck face kind either. I’m referring to the Keep It Simple Stupid one. The first item on this mythical list is when you can buy it prepared, go for it. In this case I am referring to the makings of a Hot Pork Sandwich. I prepared some pork chops in the crock pot a few days ago and when it came time to rally around some fixin’s it occurred me that I could simply shred the pork chops and put them on a nice slice of whole wheat bread with a dollop of gravy. A healthy scoop of mashed potatoes would complete this delightful entree. Lucky thing for me I had the packages of Idahoan Potatoes and Pork Gravy mixes at the ready. That saved me all that pesky potato peeling and gravy making. I added a salad – again with one of those handy mixes from the grocery produce department – and called it dinner.

A while back I discovered packaged gravy mixes. Not only are they easy, but they are good. I have made really good gravy and have made some, well, not so good. One time I created what was supposed to be turkey gravy. It turned out to be some sort of cement like stuff. You could have patched potholes in the driveway with it. Another time the
concoction I turned out was so peppery that even Mr. Lucky couldn’t choke it down.

And while we’re on the subject did you all know that you can buy pie crust already made. Right out of the box from the refrigerated section in the grocery store?  I used to have the mistaken idea that you had to (a) make your own pie crust. (b) create your own filling. I was so naive.  Naive might be a code word for dumb.  You can even bypass the boxed pie crust and move right to the already made pies. Either fresh or frozen. Who knew? For years I didn’t.

While I’m going on about mixes and the like. I have had a serious, long term relationship with cake mixes. I was quite pleased when I discovered a small, but wonderful, recipe book for using cake mixes for cookies and lots of other wonderful things. They are not just for cakes anymore.

Now I find you can buy cookie mixes. They are handily located right near the cake mixes. And the brownie mixes. Now that I have your attention about mixes let me tell you about a little something I call Crownies. What you wind up with is a brownie with a cookie baked on top of it. Mix up a brownie mix. Mix up your cookie dough. Place a scoop of brownie batter in a muffin pan. Top it with a scoop of cookie dough. I usually entirely fill the muffin pan. Bake at 350 but you might want to check halfway through the baking time to avoid overcooking/burning.

What with Thanksgiving right around the corner you’ll soon find that you can buy an entire Thanksgiving dinner already cooked and ready to serve 6 or 8 guests. How about that? You might even want to go one step further. Dine out. It will save all that messy cleanup and entertaining your crazy Aunt Phoebe or dealing with your obnoxious brother-in-law.   Either way - enjoy!