Monday, December 31, 2012

The Ramen Noodle Challenge

My friend, Joy sent me a link to her brand new blog, 52 Ways to Use Your Noodle. She's going to cook up a new recipe using ramen noodles each week and post it to the blog. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I've been thinking about ramen noodles for two days, now. I've never cooked with them and have only tasted them a couple of times. Wasn't particularly impressed, but -today I wanted to try something new, so I took Joy's Ramen Noodle Challenge.

Before I got started on my recipe, I had to pick up a few things, so hubby and I headed to the dollar store by way of the thrift store. (We're on a money saving kick.) My first bargain of the day was this throwback to my Mama's kitchen...

a Veg-O-Matic!

Brand new for just $5.99
I just had to try it out with my experimental ramen recipe, though you don't really need a Veg-O-Matic to make this dish. I chopped baby carrots.
They came out clunky, but that's because baby carrots are not a very good thing to chop in a Veg-O-Matic.
So, on to the recipe, which I will call...
Teriyaki Tofu Ramen
First a look a the finished dish
Ramen Noodles (Shrimp flavored)
Extra Firm Tofu
1/2 cup steamed carrot bits
1/2 cup steamed edamame
Panda Express Mandarin Sauce
dash of ground ginger
dash of black pepper
How To
Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towel
(notice the smokin' deal I got on the tofu)
Slice tofu and sprinkle with ginger and black pepper
Fry tofu in hot oil until golden brown.
Probably about 2 or 3 minutes on each side.
I overcooked mine :(
While tofu fries...
  • Cook ramen noodles as directed on package. Drain and stir in only 1/2 of shrimp seasoning.
  • Steam edamame and carrots. (I did mine in the microwave)
  • Drain tofu on paper towels
When everything is ready...assemble. Noodles on bottom, then everything else on top. Arranging each carrot bit and edamame bean and piece of tofu perfectly in place. (Just kidding, throw it all on top of the noodles.)
Pour the Panda Express Mandarin Sauce over. I only used about 3 tablespoons full.
Stir it up and dig in!
This was a big hit at my house. Made enough for two women or one hungry-hungry-hippo (husband).
I tried to figure the cost...
Tofu - .68
Ramen - .20
Carrots - .10
Edamame - .10
Mandarin Sauce .20
Total - a whopping $1.28
Don't forget to pop over to Joy's blog and follow along as she adds recipes. She also wants to hear from others who have their own orginal recipes using ramen noodles, so if you have one you'd like to share, let her know.
Oh, here's a couple more pictures of my kitchen as I cooked...
Just call me the Messy Gourmet!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini

Came home from church to find that my brother had made lunch - Chicken Tetrazzini.

I'd never had it before, but you can bet your sweet bippy I'll have it again!  He didn't have an exact recipe, but this is what's in it...

Pre-cooked chicken chunks
Thick-cut mushrooms that have been sauted in butter
Cream of Mushroom soup
Cream of Chicken Soup
Chicken boullion
Angel hair pasta
Motzarella cheese

He said he would do some things a little different next time, like mix it all together, then pour it in the baking dish and top with buttered bread crumbs for a little crunchy topping.

I think I would only do one thing different next time - I'd eat two helpings instead of one!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Blue Boy and the Rooster
Once upon a time there was a lonely sock monkey named Blue Boy. Convinced that his baldness made him unsuccessful with the chicks, he asked the rooster about his comb.

"Why do you need a comb?" the rooster asked. "You don't have any hair."

"Exactly," said Blue Boy. "But if I had a comb, I might be able to attract a chick."

The rooster's feathers were more than a little ruffled, "You have your eye on one of my chicks? Which one?"

"Oh, they're all quite lovely," said Blue Boy, "but I'm not interested in your chicks. I have my eye on a sassy little chick that's more my style."

She's a vision in denim, my dungaree doll, but I'm afraid to tell her that she's my heart's desire...because of...well, because of my hair."

"You don't have any hair," said the rooster.

"Yes, I know," said the monkey.

"So, why do you need a comb?"

The exasperated monkey walked away scratching his bald head.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trailer Park Chickens

Found these two beauties at a yard a trailer trailer park. Of course, according to the managers of the park, we are not supposed to call it a trailer park. We're supposed to refer to it as a "mobile home community". Yeah, whatever. I'm a red-neck chick from Ohio and I know a trailer park when I see one.
Anyway, I spotted Flick and Flack (that's what I named them) sitting on a table between a non-stick frying pan that was missing most of it's Teflon and a stack of VCR movies. I had to rescue them. They fit very nicely into my crazy chicken collection.
So, if you have any oddball chickens you're looking to get rid of...send 'em my way.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That Green Eyed Monster

Sadie Sue expected a little more than a peck on the cheek for slaving hours over a hot stove preparing Jimmy Joe's favorite dinner. She gripped the wooden spoon tighter and fought off the urge to whack him over the head with it when she smelled the hint of perfume on his jacket.

A few minutes later she was glad that she had practiced self-restraint when Jimmy Joe produced a gift-wrapped bottle of her favorite fragrance, Chantilly Lace.

"Happy Anniversary, Sweet Potato," he said.

She took the gift and thanked the good Lord for her husband, then threw her arms around Jimmy Joe and gave him a real kiss.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Overheard Conversation

"And then Harriet told Sandra that Percy was been seen strutting in front of Ivy June's roost. Sandra was madder than a...well, you know.

She commenced to cluckin' and scratchin' and peckin' until she worked herself up into a frightful frenzy, then plop - she laid a green egg right there in the middle of the yard. Green, I tell you!

About that time Percy came waltzin' by with Matilda tucked under his wing. I thought Sandra was gonna moult right there and then. Instead, she just gave that ol' green egg a good swift kick and it hit Percy right between the eyes. Knocked him clean off his feet, it did.

And this ain't gossip - cause it's the honest truth!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Oh Yum - Coconut Crusted Chicken Fingers

Coconut Crusted Chicken Fingers
Okay, everyone knows that chickens don't really have fingers, but that's beside the point!

Tried these the other night and they were sooooo good - and not too hard to make.

I'm not going to give exact amounts because it depends on how big a batch you're going to make, but this is pretty much fail-proof.

Frozen Chicken Tenders (thawed)
Panko Crumbs
Sweetened shredded Coconut
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.

1 - Pour some flour into one container
2 - Scramble some eggs in another container
3 - Mix Panko crumbs and Coconut (equal parts), salt & pepper in a third container.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Dredge chicken tenders first in flour, then dip them in the eggs and finally coat them good with the Panko/Coconut breading. Fry them for 3 minutes on each side to get a good crusty golden color on the coating, then transfer them to the cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes to finish them up.

Absolutely wonderful!

If you make them, let me know how you liked them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clucking, Clucking...Constant Clucking

Why is it that some people feel the need to say whatever pops into their head? They're not really engaging you in conversation, they're just talking and talking and talking. It's like sitting in a coop full of clucking chickens.

Have you ever notice that we are bombarded with noise everywhere these days? Stores blast music and constant messages over the loud speakers, machines whir and whistle and clank all around us. Traffic sounds, honking horns, thumping stereos. It's enough to make a girl want to go hide out in the chicken coop just for a little peace and quiet.

At least the hens don't expect you to stop what you're doing and look them in the eye while they cluckity-cluck-cluck-cluck.

On the bright side, I found this cute little chick at the thrift store today. Just 69 cents and she doesn't say a word!

PS - if you think this is about's not.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fresh Eggs Daily

Just discovered and fell in love with a new blog - Fresh Eggs Daily. It's jam-packed with ideas fresh off the farm. Lots of chicken & egg pictures, recipes with step-by-step pictures and instructions, like this yummy Raspberry Jam Recipe.

I even found a great tutorial for how to make your own Feed Sack Tote Bag, and guess what...they have an Etsy Shop were you can buy those tote bags in case you don't want to make your own!

There's so much more to explore - I'm heading back there right now!

Pop over and check it out for yourself. Fresh Eggs Daily

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

Found this recipe at while blogging at home with my friend Joy. It looked so scrumptious and it was close to lunch time, so off we went to the grocery store and in no time at all (it only bakes for 15 minutes) we were pulling apart this cheesy, bacony delight! (We dipped it in ranch dressing.)

I would have shown the whole bread, but we were so anxious to taste it
 that I forgot to snap a picture before it was half gone!

Pop on over and get the recipe here.

Over Easy Chairs

If I ever make it to Nantes, France (fingers crossed) I'm going to visit Le Nid and sit in these awesome chairs!

Aren't they sp-egg-tacular?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paying it Backward

I've been hearing about this Pay it Forward thing for a long time. It takes many shapes and forms, but basically, it's doing a good turn for someone else for no reason at all.

The most common form of this is to pay for the person's meal who is behind you in the drive-thru line at McDonalds. (At least that's the one I've heard the most about.) So, I'm in the drive-thru line today. Ordered off the Dollar Menu...or is it called the Value Menu? I'm not sure, but ordered a cheap meal.

When I got to the pay window the kid inside starts reading off someone else's order. I correct him, which totally flusters him because that person's order came up first on the computer. (Two lane drive through - I was just faster on the gas pedal.) The poor boy couldn't figure out how to pull my order up. That was when the idea to be a good-deed-doer and pay for the guy-behind-me's lunch hit me.

I should have gotten a clue when the kid says, "Are you sure?"

"Yeah," I says, feeling generous. "Just tell him that God loves him."

I have to give the kid credit...he didn't roll his eyes at me, but the confused look and gaping mouth said it all.

He rings me up.

My meal...$4.23
The guy behind me in the big black truck...$19.92!

Are you kidding me?

1 LRG COKE 1.00

SUBTOTAL 17.91 + TAX 2.01 = 19.92 (the kid gave me the receipt)
What a hog-face!

Ok, so maybe he was taking part of it to someone else and maybe this rant nullifies any kindness that I did, but I'll tell you what...from now on if I want to pay for someone's meal, I'm really gonna Pay it Forward - I'll pay for the person ahead of me, so I'll know how much it's gonna cost me.

No more Paying it Backward!

Have any of you ever had a weird Pay-it-Forward experience?

Oh...and is it cynical of me to wonder if the kid told the guy it was paid for or if he just charged him again and pocketed the $20 bucks. Sigh...I wish I trusted people more.


Sunday, September 16, 2012


photo credit: Bernard McManus
via photo pin cc
My first encounter with chickens was trying to gather eggs at my Grandma Mabel's house. If I remember correctly (it was a loooooong time ago), My Aunt Faye and I were sent to gather eggs. As soon as we stepped inside the gate, Mr. Rooster made it perfectly clear that he had no intention of letting us steal his future children.

He dived bombed us several times, flapping his wings in our faces. Nearly made me pee my pants! I ran screaming from the chicken coop and never went back.

My second encounter with chickens was when my Dad brought home a huge crate full of the feathered fowl fresh from the Hartivlle Auction.  He called in all the relatives for a chicken killin'. I guess the adults thought us kids couldn't handle the brutality of the slaughter, because they sent us all to bed at about 5:30.

My bedroom faced the back yard, so this 10 year old watched the whole thing through a slit in the curtains. First they got a long 2 X 4 and nailed sets of spikes down it. Then several of the men entered the crate (it was about 6 foot long and 4 foot square). They each emerged with a chicken in their arms, went to the killin' board and layed each chicken on the board with their necks between the nails, then Pop took an axe and chopped their heads off quick as a lick. 1-2-3-4-5-6 headless chickens commensed to runnin' around the yard splurtin' blood until they realized they were dead and flopped over.

You would think a garrish site like that would have terrified a little girl, but not me. I thought it was hillarious. Ever since then, chickens have cracked me up. I see one and I have to laugh. Maybe it's some kind of sick satisfaction because of the way Mr. Rooster scared me when I was little, but whatever...I love chickens.

When I lived in Ohio, I had a huge enclosed front porch with windows all the way around. I filled it with chickens. Not real ones, stuffed ones, glass ones, wooden ones, pottery ones. Chicken lamps, signs, salt & pepper shakers - you name it, I had it. I called the porch my chicken coop and enjoyed a smug satisfaction that I could enter the coop any time I wanted and none of the chickens could attack me. (but I kept an axe just inside the case.)

When we decided to move to Arizona, I had to get rid of my chickens and really didn't give them much thought until recently when Mr. Lee bought me a birthday card that plays the chicken dance song...

I laughed and danced and laughed some more every time I opened that card. Then it dawned on me how much fun I wasn't having these days and Chicken Doodle Soup was born.
This will be my fun spot on the web. Expect it to be filled with whatever hits me at the time. I like to call it free range chicken scratch. You never know what I'll be throwing in the soup pot, because I don't know, so stop back often to see what's goin' on in this chick's life.