Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cooking Experiments

First, a little health update.  This morning (Thursday) when I got up, as standard, I drew a drop of blood to see what my overnight fasting number would be.  Surprise!  It was 108.  That, folks, is in the normal range.  I'm ecstatic.  Of course, that means I have to watch my sugar a little closer today making sure I don't plunge too low.

The doctor put me on Victoza and I'm still working my way up to the full dosage. He told me to finish off my Januvia and he upgraded my metformin pills by 50% so I"m now at 850mg.  My Januvia will last through the end of the weekend... so, by the time you're reading this, I'll be off of it.

Now, about my cooking experiments.  I found a recipe somewhere and they made "hotdog" hamburgers.  I attempted them and now call them "Doggers" and they are amazing and yummy.

Prepping the "Doggers"
I took a pound of hamburger (should have used about 1.25 or 1.5 pounds, but...) and made 4 equal balls. Then I flattened the balls into rectangles. From a chunk of cheese (I used sharp cheddar) I sliced 4 equal size pieces.  I placed the cheese in the middle and very carefully rolled / wrapped the meat around the cheese. Note I have excess on the ends - that is to seal it good since the meat tends to contract when grilled.  Also, make sure to really seal the seams all around so the melting cheese doesn't ooze out.

Above is the finished product ready for all the yummy condiments to be added.

Okay, I'll be honest.  I've made this a 2nd time, didn't take pictures, but should have.  While still open, I added chopped onion, garlic and a little jalapeno with the cheese before wrapping it all up.  OMG!!

The mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and relish were literally, just topping to an already fantastic burger... uh, er... dogger.

My next experiment was for a breakfast.  I love... no, LOVE... hashbrowns.  And I mean, I've made them with taco meat, baked beans, broccoli. cauliflower... I really have experimented.

BUT, potatoes are a high starch, carbohydrate food and my diabetic meals don't allow things like that. Okay, not in the quantities I enjoy eating.  I mean, who can be happy with about 2 or 3 tablespoons of hashbrowns?  For somebody like me, that's nothing but pure, unadulterated torture.  I  mean it.

Therefore, I decided to attempt sweet potato hashbrowns.  I've only done it once, so far, but I know I will be doing this again and again in the future.

I used one medium-small sweet potato.  Peeled it.  Then shredded it on a box grater using the largest opening.  I had maybe a cup+ of grated sweet potatoes.  I finely chopped a little onion into this.  Then I heated a skillet with olive oil and butter mixture - about 2 tablespoons and when the butter started to bubble, I placed a couple of heaps of the sweet potato/onion mixture on the skillet, tapped it down to make like a pancake and let it sizzle for about 3-5 mins on each side.  Unbelievable.  So scrumptious.

That is NOT burned but butter sizzled
I was able to get about 5 small patties from that one sweet potato.  Now, as you can see, they aren't large.  That is a pie plate and a normal-sized fork.

Next time, I plan to add cinnamon and maybe (not sure yet) some nutmeg to the mix.  It was suggested to add marshmallows and/or some brown sugar.  Hm?  I don't think that would work with my diabetes.  Now, I could consider a small amount of finely chopped pineapple or even some grated apple. This is a whole new playground for me to experiment in.  I mean, who would have thought left over taco meat, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and refried beans would work on regular hashbrowns?  Uh, that would be me!  Or bacon, broccoli, and cauliflower?  Yup, me, again. LOL.

On the garden front... harvest is starting for the peas.  Just look at those pods!!

Here's what my garden looks like right now, almost the end of June.  In the background, you can see the pole beans are starting their journeys up the fish line trellis. In front, 7 tomato plants are filling out their space. Hidden between are beets, a couple of pepper plants and in the extreme right (out of the picture) are my red, yellow and white onions and garlic.  The garlic, so far this year, has been coming along just grand.

Of course, veggies aren't my only thing I grow.  I have several flowers, both annual and perennial coming up.  Here's my yellow trumpet lily.  One of several, but, alas, a severe storm came through and beat the crap out of most of them and they are down on the ground.  Of course, winter wasn't nice, either.  I lost, I would estimate, over half of all my trumpet lilies.  I don't think I have any red ones left - at least, I haven't seen any bloom on the ground or in the air. 

My day lilies are coming into bloom.  Maybe I'll show them next week.

Until next I ramble on...

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