Cooking: Fun with Olives

A bowl of kalamata olives.

Image via Wikipedia

I have never been a fan of olives.  They either ranged from too salty to not having any taste at all due to being canned.  However, my lovely wife would eat them every day.  She especially likes Kalamata olives which she picks up every time she goes to Whole Foods.  I figured it was time to do something with these olives.

Two thoughts came to mind: hummus and sauteing chicken with them.  The hummus was easy.  I used my basic hummus recipe with a few differences.  I substituted a half a cup of  olives for the olive oil.  I also put in only a fourth of a cup of tahini.  I also put in less garlic so it wouldn’t overpower the hummus.  I then placed this on the plate as it would serve as the bed for the chicken I was going to put  on the top.

The chicken was easy.  Just slice the chicken, season with basil, oregano, pepper and a about a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Saute them for a little until you don’t see any pink any more.  Then I added some slice olives and mushrooms.  Saute them for a little longer and then place them on top of the hummus.

Now, I like olives.

Cooking: Apple Cinnamon Pepper Jelly

Saturday morning, I headed to the German Coast Farmer’s Market at the Ormond Plantation to get my vegetables for the week.  I came home with some fresh green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli,  carrots and some spicy hog’s head cheese.  All for better prices than I would have paid at Winn Dixie.  I also came home with a new obsession: Mama Mary’s Apple Cinnamon Pepper Jelly.

The jelly is the perfect amount of sweet and heat.  I made sure we have had something to spread it on at every meal since.  Biscuits for supper and dinner,  just on plain bread for a snack, or with some fresh ground peanut butter from Whole Foods for lunch.  My only problem with is that I bought a small jar, and I will be out-of-town this Saturday.

Cooking: It’s What’s for Breakfast

A couple of years ago I bought a Men’s Health magazine mainly to make myself feel as if I’m doing something about my health without actually doing anything about my health.  This was before I had high blood pressure and cholesterol.   Ryan Reynolds was the cover model that month.  He attributed part of his good health to oatmeal.

For my birthday, our good friend, Donette, bought me a rice cooker.  I wanted one only because I remember my mom cooking an excellent smothered potatoes in the rice cooker.  Then I came across Roger Ebert’s blog post about “the pot.”  He uses it as a fast slow cooker as weird as that sounds.  One of his favorite dishes is to promote is oatmeal.

So on our last trip to Whole Foods, I bought the 365 Steel Cut Oats.  Steel Cut Oats are supposed to take about 30-45 minutes to cook.  I wouldn’t know.  I put them in the rice cooker with the proper amount of water and some cinnamon and salt for seasoning overnight.  When my alarm goes off at 5:30, I plug-in the rice cooker and set it to cook.  Then I go catch an extra half hour of sleep.  When I wake up at six, the oatmeal and cinnamon smell fills up the house.  I add a teaspoon and half of honey and some blueberries and strawberries, and now I have a nutritional breakfast.  Especially since my breakfast used to consist of Hubig pies and Coke.  Now, Hubig pies are just special…very special…treats.  Tomorrow, I think I will dice up some apples and add that to the mix.  Ebert also uses coconut water, bananas, and other fruits to the mix.  In other words, I could eat oatmeal every morning but still have a different breakfast each time.

Ryan Reynolds

Mr. Green Lantern

Doubt I’ll ever look like the green lantern, though.