Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy Spaghetti for Dad

Cowboy Spaghetti

Dudes, my dad is awesome! He showed me the stars, took me on hikes, made me pancakes, and gave me rides on his motorcycle. He watched me dance, read my bad poetry and let me cry on his shoulder. He gave me piggy back rides to bed for way longer than his back was probably happy about. He taught me that it’s totally okay to eat cake for breakfast. Best of all, he taught me to read which has been a precious gift. My dad has always been there for me and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I am so very lucky.

photo by Gareth Grindle
photo by Gareth Grindle

We live half an ocean apart, which is not the farthest away I’ve been. I wish I could make him a feast for Father’s Day. He deserves it. Alas, dinner will have to be virtual. He’ll forgive me.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy spaghetti is the dish my dad requested. I’ve made it for him before, and he loves it. At least I can share the recipe with the world so he can make it himself, or even better, get someone else to make it for him. It’s the least a daughter can do.

This stuff is perfect man food. Why? Two words: bacon and beer.

There’s also ground beef, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce for added awesome, but for me it’s the bacon that makes it magical. And since my dad loves beer, and he puts it in just about everything, I knew the first time I looked at this recipe that he’d love it. I’ve slightly adapted this old Rachael Ray recipe to make it more conducive to my vegetable loathing palate, but if you’re into chunky tomatoes just swap out the crushed tomatoes for something with more texture.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Make sure you have plenty of extra cold beer for your dad on Father’s Day. He’s worked hard your whole life to give you stuff you probably didn’t even appreciate. The least you can do is make him dinner and bring him a cold one. Let him put his feet up. Feed him with love and cowboy spaghetti. He deserves it.

Cowboy Spaghetti
Serves 4
Meaty, manly spaghetti with bacon and beer
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound spaghetti
  2. salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 slices of bacon
  5. 1 pound ground beef
  6. 1/2 onion, diced
  7. 3 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 (it's required that you read that line out loud)
  11. 1/2 cup beer
  12. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  13. 1 cup tomato sauce
  14. 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
  15. 4 scallions, scissored
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. My pasta cooked for 10 minutes. Check your package. Bite into a piece to see if it's done, or throw it against the refrigerator to see if it sticks. That's what my mom used to do.
  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. I'm poor so I have to get ground chuck, which needs to be drained.
  4. Add onions 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.
  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 green onions. Serve it to your dad in an old recliner, and don't forget to bring the man a beer.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Chef in Training's link party
Check us out at Chef in Training’s link party
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Urban Hiking

Geoff and Gandhi
Gandhi says, “Take a walk.”

Recently I had a reader request a post on how to stay fit on $20 a day. I am the last person you’d want to ask about being healthy and working out. Exercise sounds like profanity to my ears. I only run if I’m being chased by a bear. And there is absolutely no way you’d find me anywhere near a gym. What a rip off.

You can't get this view from a gym.
You can’t get this view from a gym.

I used to be a dancer, so staying thin (and I mean really thin) was easy. I was much younger then and danced six hours a day. I could eat Cheetos every day for lunch, and it didn’t matter. But thirteen years and 25 pounds later, I find myself having to force my body into movement more often than I’d like, but dance classes can be expensive. I have a few tricks for working out on the cheap, and what we like to call urban hiking is our most used trick for burning a few calories.

Our favorite rest spot, and a great place for whale watching in the winter.
Our favorite rest spot, and a great place for whale watching in the winter.

Urban hiking is code for walking around town, but it makes it sound more like an adventure to my daughter. That’s how we trick her into walking to the movie theatre. Sometimes it’s hot and sweaty and exhausting, and I think I hate it. I get blisters or a sunburn, and I’m always exhausted when I get home. But there are a few things I love about walking instead of driving.

  1. You are forced to talk to the person you’re walking with. There’s no radio to distract you, no traffic to concentrate on. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been on a walk.
  2. You burn way more calories than you would sitting on the couch. It’s perhaps not the most efficient workout, but if you go the long way around a crater to get to California Pizza Kitchen, you’ll burn enough calories to be able to have a glass of wine and dessert. 
  3. You get to see your city in detail. There are so many beautiful or intriguing moments that just blur past you from a car. Take a walk and stop to notice your own world. It’s breathtaking.
You'd never see this from your car.
You’d never see this from your car.

Saturday night we walked 3 miles to get to a restaurant and then walked back home again. It was like the calories were already negated. On the weekends, it’s pretty much our only mode of transportation. We even wear flip flops. No need to buy expensive shoes. 

Surprises around every corner
Surprises around every corner

Walking is free, and it’s good for your body, your mind, and your soul. The next time you need to go somewhere that’s only a couple of miles away, put away your car keys, put on your hat, and head out the door. You can even imagine you’re a hobbit if it makes you feel better. 

Don't forget to stay hydrated.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated.
Passion Fruit Victoria Sponge from Awesome on 20

Passion Fruit Victoria Sponge Cake

Passion Fruit Victoria Sponge from Awesome on 20

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. I made him a cake because that’s what I do. If only he could eat it. Alas, my in-laws live in Northern England, in the most beautiful little town where everything is so green it almost hurts your eyes. I absolutely fell in love with the place when we went to visit a couple years ago. 

Ken with chickens

Luckily, my in-laws, Ken and Barbara (take a second to giggle) have had the opportunity to come visit us in Hawaii twice now. I think they might like it here as much as I like it there. We tend to have an overabundance of sunshine, something I understand is quite rare in England. When I asked Ken what kind of dessert he wanted for this birthday, he requested something with the lilikoi, also known as passion fruit in English, that are growing in our backyard.

Passion Fruit Victoria Sponge

I combined a Hawaiian favorite with an English classic to make this cake. I love it when two worlds collide. The lilikoi curd is sweet and tart, and the cake is rich and buttery. The fresh sweetened whipped cream is silky and light. There’s no frosting on this cake, so I think that makes it perfect for summer. You can shovel it in without feeling too heavy.

Ken and Barbara

I get a kick out of picturing Ken in his rocker days on his motorcycle, and I laugh to myself every time I hear my husband unknowingly delivering one of his dad’s jokes. I hope he would like this cake. I know we did.

Happy birthday, Ken!

Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Victoria Sponge Cake
Serves 8
A combination of tropical and classical to make an excellent Hawaiian English birthday cake
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 175 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
  2. 175 grams (1-1/2 cups) sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 175 grams (1-1/2 cups) self-rising flour
  5. 3 tablespoons milk
  6. 3/4 cup passion fruit curd
  7. 1-1/2 cups whipped cream
  8. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees and butter two nine-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Sift the flour over the butter mixture and add the milk. Fold to combine.
  5. Divide the batter between your two pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Leave the cakes in the pans for ten minutes then cool completely before adding the fun stuff.
  7. Put your first cake layer on your cake stand and spread the curd (or whatever fruity and delicious filling suits your fancy) evenly over the cake. Mine dripped a lot. It's fun that way.
  8. Add the whipped cream and spread that onto your cake as well.
  9. Top with the second cake layer.
  10. Put your powdered sugar into a mesh sieve and tap it over the cake to create a dusting of powdered sugar all over the top.
  11. Slice, serve, and enjoy. Imagine yourself in Hawaii or England. Whichever you prefer.
Notes
  1. The butter is the star of this cake, so this is a good time to splurge on the good stuff, or use the rule of second cheapest. Low quality butter can lead to a mealy cake.
  2. Measurements for fillings are approximate and interchangeable. I've also made this cake with raspberry jam, which is more traditional. Use whatever you love.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
http://awesomeon20.com/

 

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