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November 2016

Chili Ginger Spiced Pork & Noodles

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Chili Ginger Spiced Pork NoodlesThis is a great tasting, low budget, easy to make oriental inspired dish with a little kick using whatever you might have on hand. Leftover grilled pork chops makes for some GREAT stir fry!

And so you don't have any oriental style noodles you say?  No problem, use fettuccine or spaghetti and YES, Ramen noodles will work great!  Don't have any beef stock?  No problem, use chicken stock instead.  Don't have any leftover pork?  No problem, use some sliced up chicken or beef.   Sure, you can chop up some turkey lunch meat if that's what you have on hand!

Ingredients:

  • One package Oriental Style Noodles (yes, Ramen noodles will be just fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon and a pinch of crushed red pepper/chili flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 - 6 ounces of sliced, leftover pork
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sweet & sour sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon and a splash of canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce

Directions:

Cook the noodles per package instructions, set aside.  Heat up a wok or similar vessel on medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, put in the pepper flake, letting it roast for about 30 seconds before adding the oil.  Add onions, celery and carrots, stir.  Season with the salt and pepper, stir and let it sizzle for about 2 minutes.  While that's cooking, mix together the corn starch, beef stock, a splash of canola oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic powder and a little more red pepper flake in a small bowl, set aside.  Add the leftover pork, hot sauce, cilantro and sweet & sour sauce to the veggie mixture, stir, let those flavors marry for about a minute.  Add the noodles and corn starch mixture to the veggies, stir to incorporate.  Serve this deliciousness immediately!

It doesn't get much cheaper than creating something delicious with leftovers.  That's why it's important to have a variety of noodles, rice, veggies and the makings for sauces on hand so you can create something from a previously delicious meal you prepared.


Don't pay $4 or $5 for birthday cards!

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

If you're the typical guy, you probably wait until the last minute to pick up a card for whatever, birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc., and you're in the grocery store card isle looking for a card that will do.

But why pay $4 or $5 for a cheesy birthday, anniversary, or holiday card, etc., when you can pay just 50 cents?

Hello Dollar Tree!  They've got you covered.  They've got cards for all events, simple cards, thoughtful cards and yes, even cheesy cards.  No, there's nothing musical or pop-up about their selection, but it's a good selection nonetheless.  And after all, it's about getting a card for the occasion, yes, it's the thought that counts, not how elaborate a card might be.

Save a few bucks, shop for cards for any occasion at Dollar Tree.  At 50 cents each, you can buy a number of cards for upcoming birthdays and holidays for that $4 or $5 and save yourself a number of last minute trips to the grocery store card isle!


Cold weather comfort food: Hamburger Soup

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

It's cheap, it's easy to prepare, it satisfies that cold weather craving for soup and the best thing, it's DELICIOUS!

Hamburger soup is kitchen friendly, you can pretty much make it with a pound of hamburger, some beef stock and whatever veggies you have on hand.  It's not the kind of recipe where you have go to the store and buy a bunch of ingredients.  And here's a Bachelor on the Cheap plus, it freezes well, although, this soup is so comfort food good you may not have any leftovers to freeze.

Ingredients:

  • One pound of ground beef  
  • One medium onion, finely diced
  • One cup carrots, diced
  • One cup celery, diced
  • One jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • One cup fresh green beans cut into bite size pieces
  • One cup frozen corn
  • Two medium potatoes, peeled and rough chopped into bite size pieces
  • One packet artificial sugar
  • One Tablespoon seasoning salt
  • One Tablespoon garlic powder
  • One teaspoon oregano
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • One 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 32 ounces of beef stock

Directions:

Hamburger soupGet out a soup pot, start browning the ground beef, add the seasoning salt, onions, celery and carrots.  I like to use a 88/12 or 90/10 here.  Lean grinds are great for soups, there's just enough fat in the meat to brown it and soften the veggies.  There won't be any excess fat, you won't have to drain it off.  And you don't have to worry about the hamburger getting too dry either, you are after all, making soup!  Once the meat is browned, add in the remaining ingredients, stirring to mix until the tomato paste is fully incorporated.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Enjoy with some warm dinner rolls!   The combination of the beef stock and the tomato paste gives this soup a rich, deep, comfort food goodness.  And you can really play with this soup with whatever you have on hand.  If you like crushed tomatoes, put some in your soup.  If you have zucchini on hand, chop some up and put it in the soup.   Like a little more heat?  Add more jalapeno or some chili pepper flake, perhaps both! 

It's another does of YUM!



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