Archive for June 2011

Ron Swanson Ice Cream

A wise man once said, “If you will it, it is no dream.”  I wonder if that will make Ben & Jerry’s Ron Swanson Ice Cream be created…I guess time will tell.

Ben & Jerry's All of the Bacon & Eggs You Havehttp://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/06/ron_swanson_ice_cream.html

PJ’s Timmy Bread

Back in the day I used to frequent a hole-in-the-wall pizza place called PJ’s in Warren, IN.  There were several different businesses with the same name, but this was the only pizza joint.  A couple buddies of mine accidentally found it one day while driving around and possibly lost.  I was pretty amazed the first time I went.  Here are its salient features:

  • Friendly staff
  • Plenty of dining room seating
  • Juke box with 7 songs for $1
  • Plethora of drink options with free refills
  • If we called ahead, they’d fire up the extra pizza oven to more quickly get us our pizza
  • At least one of the female employees always seemed to be pregnant (one night there were three)
  • Guaranteed good times filled with many laughs and stories to tell later

One of the amazing appetizers was their cheesy garlic bread.  After frequenting this place for a year or two we noticed a new item called “Timmy Bread” and asked what it was.  Timmy was the name of an employee who liked to put some pizza sauce under the cheese on the garlic bread to effectively create a french bread pizza of sorts.  It was an immediate hit and we never looked back.

One day in August of 2005, we all arrived to find PJ’s empty.  The place had closed down with absolutely no notice.  We were extremely bummed and angry to find a new, pizza franchise in town.  We suspected PJ’s was put out of business by the cheap nastiness now sold down the street.  Since then, I’ve had to make myself some Timmy Bread every so often when I find myself longing for PJ’s goodness and seven Southern Rock songs for a buck.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Italian or French bread
  • Some pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Dried, minced garlic (optional)
  • Italian seasoning or basil and oregano (optional)

Equipment:

  • Serrated (preferred) knife to slice the bread
  • One beefy arm to open jar of sauce
  • Spoon or butter knife to spread sauce
  • Shredder for cheese (if you shred your own)
  • One cookie sheet or pan
  • Oven mits or thick towel
  • Oven

Preparation:
Step 1 – Slice your loaf in half.  If the length of the loaf is too long for your cookie sheet or pan, feel free to make the pieces smaller.  Sometimes the top half of your loaf is curved and this piece may roll a bit.  Some might suggested shaving some of that curve off, but I just smash the bread down a bit.

Step 1 - slice bread

Step 1 – slice the bread

Step 2a – Spoon some sauce onto the bread.  Pizza sauce is preferable because of its thickness.  Spaghetti sauce also works fine, but it’s thinner and can be a bit runny.

Step 2a - apply sauce

Step 2a – apply the sauce

Step 2b (Optional) – Sprinkle on some garlic and Italian seasoning to your tastes.  Some sauces are pretty bland, it just depends what you like.

Step 2b - optional garlic and herbs

Step 2b – apply shredded cheese

Step 3 – Apply the shredded cheese.  You can buy a bag of shredded cheese or shred your own.  I always prefer to shred my own cheese.  It costs less money in the long run, and tastes much better.  I shredded some pepper jack cheese for today’s Timmy Bread.

Step 3 - apply cheese

Step 3 – apply the cheese

Step 4 – Cook your Timmy Bread in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.  This should take roughly 10 minutes.  You can leave it in longer if you like your bread more cooked and crispy.  Be careful not to burn it though.

Step 4 - cook bread

Step 4 – cook at 350F

Step 5 – Take a picture and share with your friends.  (Note – Sharing the Timmy Bread is not required)

The many faces of Ron Swanson

Ron Swanson has just as many expressions as the next guy.  Can you identify them all?

http://www.nbc.com/parks-and-recreation/photos/the-many-faces-of-ron/7924#item=179635

Spicy mac n cheese beef taco

One of the good places to get a burger around here is Rocky’s Famous Burgers in NewMarket.  One of their interesting creations is the Big Mac n Cheese Burger.  That’s right, they put macaroni and cheese on a burger.  I used up my ground beef last night preparing it for nachos and I don’t have any hamburger buns so I went with the next best thing: a tortilla.

I took my tortilla and spread a modest layer of my nacho cheese on it followed by some of that ground beef, spicy mac n cheese, and a little shredded cheddar.  I put that in the toaster oven for 4 minutes then topped it off with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and some sour cream.  I then folder over my 8″ taco and carefully ate the whole thing being careful not to let any of the contents spill out.

Was it better than a Rocky’s burger?  I’m not really sure.  It’s hard to compare burgers and tacos.  I do know it was freaking delicious.

Spicy Mac n Cheese

Last night I was craving some nachos so I cut up some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and olives, browned hamburger, and made some nacho cheese.  Now the term “nacho cheese” can mean many things.  Some people just love that nasty, thick yellow stuff that comes in a can.  It has its place, but it’s not that good in the grand scheme of things.  Some people like it spicy, others mild.  The one thing to remember is no matter what your opinion is of processed cheese, it certainly melts well and is consistent.

I don’t have exact recipes for many things I regularly prepare.  I say this because I don’t really have measurements for some things.  I just add a little until it looks or tastes right.  Here’s what I did for my nacho cheese last night.

  • 1 box Velveeta
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • dried, minced garlic
  • ground coriander
  • chili powder
  • dried ground habanero
  • dried ground hatch
  • dried ground cayenne
  • oregano
  • crushed red peppers
  • Phoenix Death Sauce

This makes a pretty decent pot of cheese.  If you leave the water in with the rotel, it thins the cheese out a bit and it doesn’t congeal into a block of “velveeta” again after it has cooled.  The “death sauce” added a little liquid as well.  Whenever  I have left over cheese I often combine it with something else.  This afternoon I added it to some mac n cheese.  Here’s what I threw together today.

  • 1 double-box of Kraft Mac n cheese
  • 3 tsp butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • @ 1 cup nacho cheese (I’m guesstimating here)
  • 1 can tuna packed in water
  • small handful of chopped onions.

It turned out pretty well.  Just enough spice for me.  What do you do with your left overs?  One of the first ways I started experimenting with food was to modify mac n cheese and hamburger helper meals.