Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Loco Moco

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re easing into the long dark of winter here in Scotland. The gloom doesn’t quite hit until after the holidays because we’re all battling against it with Christmas lights right now, but it won’t be long before it’s dark both when you arrive at and when you leave work. This is the time of year when I wonder why I ever left Hawaii.

In Honolulu, we would have started making more trips to Diamond Head Lookout to spot whales. We might start to close the windows in the house at night and get out a thin blanket for the bed, but we’d still be putting on sunblock every day and walking on the beach on a regular basis. Even when it rains in Honolulu, you know the sunshine will return before too long. It couldn’t be more different from Scotland.

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Loco Moco is the simplest way to feel like I’m back in Hawaii. It’s such a humble dish, and while making it at home doesn’t quite compare to the true beautiful greasiness of a Hawaiian drive-in, if I close my eyes for a minute, I can almost see the palm trees swaying in the trade winds. And almost nothing is made worse by putting a fried egg on top of it..

All you need to do is make up some white rice (I made mine in the microwave because we don’t eat rice enough to have a rice cooker and I’m too lazy to wash another pot), cook up some simple and delicious hamburger steaks, use the drippings to make gravy, then fry a couple of eggs, making sure to leave yourself a beautifully runny yolk. Put that all on a plate or in a bowl, and go to town. One benefit of making it at home is that there’s no styrofoam container to throw of at the end.

Loco Moco | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am grateful to live in Scotland for so many reasons, not least of which is how easy it is to travel to other beautiful places, which we could never do in Honolulu. I miss our Hawaiian home, but at least I can make Loco Moco from time to time to take me back.

Loco Moco
Serves 4
Loco Moco is the easiest way to bring Hawaii into your home, no matter where it is.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 servings white rice
  2. 1 pound ground beef
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  7. 2 tablespoons green onions, the white parts only, finely sliced (or scissored)
  8. 1 tablespoon oil
  9. 1 to 2 tablespoons flour
  10. 1 to 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
  12. 1 tablespoon butter
  13. 4 eggs
  14. Green onions, the green parts, thinly sliced (or scissored)
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine beef, seasonings, soy sauce, and onions. Work quickly with your hands and try not to handle it excessively.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Add oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high. Cook patties about 4 minutes a side or to desired doneness. Just make sure you get some good browning on the outside.
  4. As your meat is cooking up, make sure your rice is ready to go. Divide your rice between four plates or bowls.
  5. Place a hamburger steak atop each mound of rice so that the juices will soak into the rice. Don't waste the flavor.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low on the remaining fat and delicious bits in your skillet. Sprinkle flour over the fat, just enough to absorb the fat and create a paste. Cook for a few minutes until the flour mixture turns brown.
  7. Add stock about a quarter cup at a time, stirring well to remove lumps. Also make sure you scrape up any bits off the bottom of the pan. They are full of flavor. Keep adding liquid until you get your favorite consistency and season to taste.
  8. Spoon your gravy generously over your hamburger steaks and rice.
  9. Add butter to a nonstick skillet and melt over medium low heat.
  10. Crack you eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook slowly until whites are just set for over sunny side up eggs, or give them a quick flip, just 15 seconds on the other side, for over easy eggs.
  11. Place on egg with its gorgeously runny yolk, on top of each gravy covered hamburger steak, and dig in.
Adapted from How to be Awesome o $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
A Dozen Awesome Cozy Bowls of Goodness

A Dozen Awesome Cozy Bowls of Goodness

A Dozen Awesome Cozy Bowls of Goodness

When the rain starts to pour and the temperatures drop, all I want to do is keep my soup pot bubbling with something completely cozy and delicious. Soups, chowders, and chilis were made for repelling the autumn chill. Here are eight of my tried and true favorite recipes, plus four more that I can’t wait to try this season from some of my favorite food bloggers.

Chili with Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

Chili with Gnocchi is a magical mixture of spicy, meaty chili and soft, pillowy potato dumplings. I can’t stop eating.

Chicken Corn Chowder | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chicken Corn Chowder is so full of flavors and textures, every bite is interesting.

Bacon Black Bean Chili from Awesome on 20

Bacon Black Bean Chili is smoky and spicy and loaded with black beans which I’m pretty sure are magical.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spicy Chicken Chili has long been my husband’s very favorite family recipe.

Ham and Potato Soup from Awesome on 20

Ham and Potato Soup is great for using up leftover ham, but there’s no need to wait around for all that to make it.

Green Minestrone | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Green Minestrone is the perfect soup for vegetable lovers.

Black Bean & Chorizo Soup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Black Bean and Chorizo Soup can be made in under 30 minutes.

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheesy Potato Soup might be one of the most indulgent things ever to grace your soup bowl.

I don’t have an Instant Pot, but I’m definitely going to find a way to make this Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chowder. I mean… come on!

Everything about this Butternut Squash and Brie Soup with Crispy Pancetta sounds completely awesome.

This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili looks pretty ridiculous. I’m into it.

Grilled Corn Chicken and Bacon Chowder is like the soup equivalent of woolen socks. It’s the epitome of coziness.

Get yourself in the kitchen and keep it cozy, friends.

Cowboy Spaghetti | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy Spaghetti | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I look forward to occasionally staying at a hotel or a person’s house with cable so that I can relive my Food Network binging days when things get boring. I was a bit let down the last time I tried this. Food Network in the UK is sort of awful. They basically only have a handful of shows that the play in four to six hour blocks. One of them is Jamie Oliver, and that’s beautiful, but they also play The Pioneer Woman for hours on end, and I just can’t abide. It’s a good thing no one reads my blog because I’m sure I’d get kicked out of the blogosphere for it, but I find her show so annoying and contrived.

I miss the good old days when Saturday and Sunday mornings featured a different show every half hour, each one with actual recipes and cooking, not silly food competitions or restaurant tours. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen shared a clip of Sandra Lee making a cocktail the other day, and it was a hilarious hit of nostalgia. I vote they make a Food Network Classic channel where they just replay all the great shows from the 2000’s. Sounds pretty awesome to me.

Cowboy Spaghetti | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s official. Bacon makes everything better. Case in point, this Cowboy Spaghetti. What makes this different from regular spaghetti bolognese? There’s your standard onion, garlic, and tomato, but along with bacon, there’s also beer instead of red wine, a bit of hot sauce, and cheddar cheese instead of parmesan. It’s an absolutely delicious twist on a family classic. I was proclaiming myself a genius as I ate. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice Geoff stealing the remaining bacon that was meant to accompany the rest of the pot of pasta.

This is adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe from her 30 minute meal days, so you know it’s easy to accomplish. It will also easily feed your whole family, as we’re cooking up a whole package of spaghetti here. With just the two of us in the house, we’ll be eating this for probably three days, but I’m not mad at it.

Cowboy Spaghetti | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cowboy Spaghetti has all the good things. Who’s coming over for dinner?

Cowboy Spaghetti
Serves 6
Cowboy Spaghetti is an awesome twist on a family classic, loaded up with bacon and cheddar cheese.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound spaghetti
  2. salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 slices of bacon
  5. 1 pound ground beef
  6. 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon hot sauce (or more if you're into that sort of thing)
  10. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1/2 cup beer
  12. 1 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  13. 500 grams tomato sauce or pasata
  14. 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Don't forget to put a lid on it, or it will take forever. When the water boils, add salt and spaghetti, stirring occasionally.Cook according to package instructions, but check it a minute early to make sure your pasta isn't overcooked.
  2. In the mean time, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut your bacon with scissors right into the pan. Cook to desired level of crispness (the correct answer is very crisp). Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and pour off some of the fat, leaving enough to coat the pan.
  3. Add your ground beef to the pan to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how lean your beef is, you may want to drain the fat off before proceeding.
  4. Add the white part of your green onions (save the green tops for later) and garlic to your ground beef and then season with hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add the beer and scrape up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Bring everything back up to a simmer and check for seasonings. This is usually where I add more hot sauce. Simmer for about five minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a bit and for all the flavors to marry.
  6. After you drain your pasta, put it back in the pot, then pour the sauce over the spaghetti and stir to combine.
  7. Top your bowl or plate of spaghetti with plenty of cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of crunchy bacon, and the green tops of your green onions.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Awesome in September
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