Thursday, September 07, 2006

A recipe and a blogiversary



Beef and Potato Tex-Mex Hash
The Busy Mom’s Make It Quick Cookbook Copyright 2004

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef I used natural 90% lean ground beef
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. nonfat beef broth I used a couple of teaspoons of canola oil
3 cups frozen Potatoes O’Brien I threw in the entire bag
1 cup chunky-style salsa
2 tsp. Mexican seasoning I used my homemade taco seasoning
1 ½ cups nonfat shredded cheddar cheese I used Cabot's 50% Light Cheddar

Spray medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onion powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is browned and crumbled. Remove beef and set aside. Respray skillet with cooking spray; add broth and heat over medium-high heat. Add potatoes; cook, stirring frequently 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. (I added some salt and pepper to the potatoes at this point.) Add salsa, Mexican seasoning, and ground beef to skillet; cook over medium-heat 10-12 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese over top; cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat until cheese is melted.
_____________________________________

I bought this cookbook without realizing it was written by 'America's Healthiest Mom' Jyl Steinback, the same author of another cookbook I own, Superfoods. She's written many cookbooks and she's hardcore into fat-free cooking. I admit that I'm not attracted to recipes that use a lot of fat-free products and methods but hey, it's easier to 'fatten up' a fat-free recipe than it is to lighten a fat-laden recipe. All I changed here is that I used a bit of canola oil to cook the potatoes, added some salt and pepper and used a 50% Light cheddar instead of fat-free (although fat-free cheddar is a much better product now than it was a few years ago - it even melts!) I used the entire bag of potatoes, thinking leftovers would be great for breakfast the next day. However, my husband scarfed it all down and there were no leftovers. My son enjoyed it too.

I used some of the organic (well, 'natural') beef that I picked up on clearance a few weeks ago and stuck in the freezer. I really thought it tasted a lot better. At least two of my local grocery stores are carrying 'natural' meats now. So far I've only purchased it when I found it marked down but I'm going to start using it more and paying the premium. I worry that since meat is already expensive, that they won't sell enough of the natural meat to make it worth their while to keep stocking it. I have to start doing my part to see that doesn't happen.

Onto the important stuff.....

A year ago today, I started this blog with an introduction post. I did it on impulse. Two days later, I started cooking. Over a 100 cookbooks and over 270 recipes later (there are too many of each to be exact), I'm still here. That's HUGE! You have no idea. I never stick with anything.

I can't even remember what we ate before I started blogging. Even though I didn't use my cookbooks very often, I still thought of myself as somewhat of a good cook but what I was cooking, I have no idea. I have a vague recollection of George Foreman-grilled meats, jambalaya from a Zatarain's mix and other simple meals. Even if I stopped blogging today, our menus would continue to benefit from all the great recipes I discovered this past year.

I don't know how much longer I'll continue this blog. As long as I enjoy it and I still enjoy it quite a bit. I still have quite a few cookbooks to get to. Blogging is quite addicting but it's also quite exhausting. And expensive. One reason I started this blog was to assuage the guilt I felt over spending so much money on cookbooks that I rarely used yet the blog turned out to be a great excuse to buy more cookbooks. Even cookbooks that I actually use come with a bit of guilt.

But let's face it - most hobbies cost money. At least I'm able to multi-task - I have to feed my family anyway, regardless whether I blog about it or not.

So, onward to the second year of The Cookbook Junkie.

No Question of the Day today. I'd just ask that if you read this, you leave a comment today, even if you usually don't. Don't be shy. Hey, I just devoted a year of my life to this blog.

29 comments:

Annie said...

Paula, You have a great blog. I love reading your recipes and especially your comments about the recipes, your ideas and thoughts. You have undoubtably helped a lot of novice cooks out there, like me.
Congrats and I look forward to many more great posts!

MommyProf said...

I think I have read the whole year, and I really enjoy your blog. Many happy future posts to come!

Rebecca said...

A whole year! WOW! Still checking in here everyday for new ideas and tips so keep up the good work, I look forward to lots more from you!
Happy BLOGIVERSARY!

Megan said...

I can't even remember how I found you - but I read you every day. I enjoy your blog so much and have gotten a few great recipes from you (especially the Cheeseburger Macaroni, it's become a favorite in my house!) Thanks so much for entertaining me - happy anniversary!

Claire said...

Paula, Congratulations on a year! I always look forward to reading your blog each day...in fact, I often forget that you take the weekends off! Keep on cooking. I hope that I can hang in as long, too!

DancesInGarden said...

Congratulations on your anniversary!

Anonymous said...

I never comment, but I love to read your blog and check it almost daily. I feel a certain kinship - I have more cookbooks than any one person would ever need, yet I can't stop buying them. And of course, I just make the same things over and over. You are inspiring me to start using my cookbooks and make new things. Don't stop blogging any time soon!!!

Anonymous said...

Paula, I LOVE your blog and checked it daily till just recently when my computer pooped out. But I'm back and going through the archives. I love your comments and how you'll add "I forgot this" or some such comment. I LOVE that cause that's what happens to me. I'll miss a step or not have an ingredient. It's nice to know a recipe can still work. Here's to another year!

JenTX said...

Oops, forgot to put in my name. The above anon who loves your comments on the recipes is me~~JenTX.

Tammy said...

Doesn't seem like a year already!

I love your blog Paula and have tried several recipes. I really enjoy reading your opinions of the recipes you try.

Thanks for blogging!!

Tammy/Mickey15

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog late. My sister clued me in on it and I love it. It's the first thing I check each day. It's so enjoyable to have your experiences, good or bad, to relate to. I'm a recipe junkie and you have inspired me. Carry on!

Jan

June said...

I began reading your blog only a month or so ago (I think it was on Slashfood?) and have *really* enjoyed it. Happy blogiversary, and I hope you stick around for the long haul!

Pat said...

I don't know where I found the link to your blog, but I read it every day. I think more about cooking than I actually cook and enjoy reading your recipes and comments. As long as you keep blogging, I'll keep reading!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE your blog. You make food that my family will eat.

Randi said...

I got the cheeseburger mac from you too( although I use ground turkey). I always check your blog first too before I read any others. I still have to make that crumb cake in your icon, it looks so good. Does your husband give you a hard time about your cookbooks?

Randi said...

Oh and is the author of that book from AZ? I think I saw her and her family on some dateline or something like that.

onehotchic said...

I love your blog and read it faithfully.

Red dirt mummy said...

Congratulations on your 1 year blogiversary. I love your blog, in fact it was you who inspired me to start mine so THANKYOU for the inspiration and for the terrific recipes and commentry!

ThursdayNext said...

Happy Anniversary! :) Thank you so much FOR this blog, Paula!
Best Always,
A Regular Commenter ;)

Heather said...

Paula, oh how I love your blog! congrats on making it a year. I agree with the expense of having a blog especially a cooking blog, and you are right you have to cook anyway.
Hopefully after reading all of these wonderful comments you will see how worth it is to continue for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I rarely post on the internet
but wanted to tell you I love
your blog! Please keep it up.
I check it very often.
I read the posts on PA.com
and saw your reply to a
question regarding salad
dressing and checked this out...
Now my Mom reads your blog too! :)

Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and check back every day! I always look forward to seeing what new recipe you have tried and have even tried a few myself. I am also a cookbook junkie, but seem to spend more time reading them than actually cooking! Still, I keep buying more. . . .

Wanda said...

I love your blog! I have to admit that I am not much of a cook, but your blog has inspired me to see some fun in cooking again. As others have said, I also relate to the things you write about and love the comments you add to the recipes.

Anonymous said...

Paula, I just wanted to say that I am glad there are other people out there who LOVE cookbooks as much as I do!! I can't stop buying them, but I don't really cook too much out of them! Go figure! COngrats on the anniversary and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and find the recipes very helpful now that we found out my DH will be having coronary bypass surgery in the near future and I just found out I am pre-diabetic.
Keep up the good work!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Thanks to all of you. I hope you'll all keep reading as long as I keep blogging.

Randi - the author is from Arizona. And my husband doesn't say anything about my cookbooks. His mom has cookbooks and magazines all over the place so I guess he's used to it. Also, his hobbies are hunting and taxidermy so he doesn't have any room to complain.

kim said...

I happened upon your blog by accident one day and couldn't be happier about it. I'm grateful to see pics of recipes and accompanying critiques. Thanks!

Darlene said...

These look like wonderful recipes and I can't wait to try them. I use to be a cookbook junkie and thought I would back off some too but then I became addicted to looking up recipes on the internet and saving and printing and wowww have I went through some paper, I could probably put together and would be 30-50 cookbooks at least LOL. I love this way better though since people rate them and it gives an idea of how good they really are. I wish you had a print button on here though so we could easily print instead of copy and paste so see if you can look into that and keep up the great work!

Darlene said...

These look like wonderful recipes and I can't wait to try them. I use to be a cookbook junkie and thought I would back off some too but then I became addicted to looking up recipes on the internet and saving and printing and wowww have I went through some paper, I could probably put together and would be 30-50 cookbooks at least LOL. I love this way better though since people rate them and it gives an idea of how good they really are. I wish you had a print button on here though so we could easily print instead of copy and paste so see if you can look into that and keep up the great work!