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
Write a review
Print
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
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Chef in Training's link party
Check us out at Chef in Training’s link party

Spam Mac and Cheese & Spam Jam Waikiki

Spam Mac and Cheese

On Saturday evening, we went to the Spam Jam in Waikiki. The what? Yes, Spam Jam. It’s a huge annual street festival on Kalakaua in the heart of Waikiki. Tents stretch for blocks with vendors selling their best recipes featuring Spam. I heard there were 25,000 people there. It was packed. Hawaiians love their Spam. I mean, you can get Spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast at McDonald’s.

This event also benefits the Hawaii Foodbank, an organization that is dear to me. I urge you to consider donating or volunteering with your local foodbank. Their work is absolutely vital to the community.

Twisted Spam Mac and Cheese from The Hard Rock Cafe

We decided to try the Hard Rock Cafe tent. I had the Spam mac and cheese, and Geoff had the Spam taco. When mine arrived, I was a bit… disappointed. It was not what I was expecting. This was my first time to try Spam, so when I had a huge scoop of ground Spam that looked and smelled like cat food on top of my mac, I was put off. I scooted most of it off to the side and just mixed a bit of the salty Spam into the mac. It was good enough, but I knew I could do better.

Spam mac and cheese

I switched out that soggy mess for crispy salty bits of Spam joy. It was a million times better. I also mixed the Spam throughout instead of just putting it on top. A hit of cayenne and garlic adds a lot of interest to the flavor. Spam is not a go to ingredient for me, and I’m not sure I’d work with it again, even if it is cheap. Yet I was pleasantly surprised that eating this Spam mac and cheese made me ridiculously happy. In fact, I ate it twice in one day. It was definitely awesome.

Spam mac

Spam Mac and Cheese
Serves 2
Salty crispy ham enhances a delicious and simple mac and cheese
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 oz macaroni
  2. 1/2 cup Spam, diced to small cubes
  3. 1 egg
  4. 6 ounces evaporated milk
  5. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1/4 tsp cayenne
  7. pinch of salt (go easy, Spam is really salty)
  8. 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475
  2. In a medium pan, put your water on to boil. Add salt and macaroni to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.
  3. In the meantime, cook your tiny Spam cubes in a small skillet over medium high heat. Once they are nice and crispy, they will start to jump and attempt to escape the pan. Transfer Spam cubes to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  4. Beat the egg and evaporated milk together, then add the seasonings, followed by the cheese and most of the Spam. Finally fold in the cooked pasta.
  5. Spoon your mixture into two greased ramekins which are resting on a baking sheet to catch any possible drips. Sprinkle the last of your Spam on top.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes to avoid burning your face off.
  7. Dig in and learn to love the Spam.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

 

A Reason to Celebrate and Swiss and Bacon Dip

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been playing my own game the last couple of months. With my husband being out of work, it’s been a little like Greece around here lately, and not because of an over abundance of pita and hummus. We’ve had to put in place some serious austerity measures. It’s been dour. Decidedly unawesome. I’ve been trying to spend as little money as possible, so $20 a day was definitely out of the question.

Sad times
Sad times

But after more than ten weeks of only a trickle of income from web design projects, my husband was finally offered a job today. I know he is thrilled to have somewhere to go and something to do again. And I’m breathing easier myself knowing that we don’t have to live off of my very meager income.

Awesome times!
Awesome times!

I get to spoil myself again. No, this doesn’t involve Coach bags or trips to the spa. This is real life, kids. Tomorrow I’m going to the ATM and taking out my $140 for the week. Then I’m going to the grocery store and buying myself some chicken breasts so I can actually make some of the recipes on my list. This is what the lower tax brackets get excited about. Chicken. It’s true. And a six pack of ciders. That will probably be in my basket, too.

Swiss and Bacon Dip
Swiss and Bacon Dip served at our wedding. Photo by Lindsey Vandolah

When you get news this good, you have to celebrate. I almost never have a party for which I don’t make Swiss and Bacon Dip. It’s got to be one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Warm gooey cheese with bacon on sour dough bread. Just look at that sentence.

Every time I make this, it completely disappears. There isn’t a crumb left behind. It’s mind-blowing. So think of an excuse for a party and make this. Just got a haircut? Party. Stubbed your toe? Party. I don’t care, just celebrate. And raise a glass to my husband ’cause he’s totally awesome.

Swiss and Bacon Dip in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Swiss and Bacon Dip
Serves 6
The most delicious hot dip there is. Gooey Swiss cheese and crisp bacon will blow you away.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 slices bacon, chopped (I use scissors)
  2. 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup mayo
  4. 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  5. 10 grinds of pepper
  6. 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  7. 3 scallions, chopped (use the scissors again)
  8. 1 round loaf of sour dough bread
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cook your bacon to desired crispiness, which for me is nearly burnt. Drain the bacon on a paper towel.
  3. Add cream cheese, mayo, mustard, and pepper to a mixing bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
  4. Add cheese and scallions and mix to combine. Then throw in the bacon and mix that in, too.
  5. Scoop out the mix into a shallow baking dish. Bake it uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until gooey.
  6. In the meantime, cut the top out of your bread loaf and pull out the guts of your bread to make a bread bowl. Tear the bread and arrange it on your platter around the loaf.
  7. When the dip is hot, carefully scrape it in to the bread bowl. Steal a piece of bread to clean off the baking dish for taste testing purposes. Don’t skip this step.
  8. You could serve this with carrots or other veggies if you like. I’m not gonna eat that. Really, the bread is all you need.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
 

Check us out on the Inside BruCrew Life link party.

Cholesterol Sandwich

I’ve been wanting to share this humble sandwich with you ever since I first conceived of this blog. It’s in a close race with my mom’s tacos for the thing most often eaten in this house. It’s something you can throw together with things you probably have laying around your kitchen, and it brings me ridiculous amounts of joy to eat it. We like to call it the cholesterol sandwich.

Cholesterol Sandwich

Okay, it’s really just bacon, egg, and cheese on toast. We give weird names to things sometimes. Get over it.

There are a few things you have to do to make this sandwich extra special. I could say make your bacon anyway you like, but if you’re not cooking your bacon to utter crispiness, as in moments from incineration, then your sandwich probably won’t be as awesome. You’ll bite into it and your bacon won’t snap and you’ll end up pulling off an entire piece of bacon at once. I hate that. Crispy bacon, people. It’s the way of the future.

Crispy Bacon

And you absolutely must fry your eggs the way my husband does. The first time I saw him doing this, I was utterly disgusted. But then I ate the sandwich, and I was utterly delighted. You have to crack the egg right into the pool of bacon fat you’ve just created, and then splash the bacon fat over the egg to cook it. The egg doesn’t get flipped, it just gets bathed in bacon fat until the whites are set and the yolk is at maximum oozing potential.

Cholesterol Sandwich Perfect Egg

And if you can get eggs fresh from your backyard, you win the super awesome medal of awesomeness. There will be a post on the awesomest of pets coming soon.

My Chicken

There’s nothing fancy here. You could jazz it up with smoked gouda. You could make it healthy with turkey bacon. There are a million variations. But if you want to make a heavenly meal on the cheap, buy whatever bacon is on sale at your grocery store. If they have a buy one get one free deal, you are in major luck. Put the other pack in the freezer and you’ll have cholesterol sandwiches for weeks. Then use whatever cheese you happen to have in your refrigerator. If you try to tell me you don’t usually have cheese in your fridge at any given moment, then you’ve probably been possessed by aliens.

Cholesterol Sandwich

Make this sandwich. Mix it up. Put on it whatever you like. But don’t skip the egg bathed in fat. And whatever you do, don’t overcook it. If you don’t have egg yolk running down your arm before the end, you’re not doing it right. You will be transported. I promise

Cholesterol Sandwich
Serves 1
The most ridiculous bacon egg and cheese sandwich ever.
Write a review
Print
Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 slices of bacon
  2. 2 slices of bread
  3. 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  4. 1 slice of cheese (or a fat pinch if shredded)
  5. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Lay your bacon slices in a frying pan on medium high heat and cook to your desired level of crispiness.
  2. In the meantime, toast your bread and spread mayo on both sides. Put your cheese on while the bread is still warm.
  3. When the bacon is ready, lay it on a paper towel covered plate to drain.
  4. Crack your egg into the bacon grease. Try to keep it toward the edge. Tilt your pan toward the egg to make a pool of grease. Use your spatula to gently splash the grease over the egg. Once the whites have set, carefully lift out the egg and place it on top of the cheese.
  5. Break up your bacon and arrange it on your sandwich. Top it with the toast and give it a gentle press.
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Cholesterol Sandwich Aftermath

 

Once you pick up this sandwich, you won’t be able to put it down. Don’t bother with napkins, just keep eating until it’s done, then go wash your hands. The euphoria will last for hours.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...