Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lazy Woman’s Stuffed Cabbage

As the weather has gotten colder, we’ve been craving comfort food, but are trying to keep things pretty healthy. Fortunately, I recently figured out how to recreate the fantastic flavors of my mother-in-law’s amazing stuffed cabbage recipe without all the work. As someone who never really like stuffed cabbage before I had hers and who now makes it often, I can attest that this is some good stuff!

Several of my friends have asked for this recipe, so I’m posting it here for anyone interested.  Thanks, Mom, for sharing your recipe!

Crock Pot Stuffed Cabbage

28 oz. of your favorite tomato sauce
6 tbs brown sugar
7 tbs lemon juice
7 tbs water, plus extra if needed
1 package uncoooked ground turkey breast
1 package french onion soup mix
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice or bulgur wheat
½ large head cabbage (or one small cabbage), cored and chopped into large chunks
2 egg whites

Whisk wet ingredients in medium bowl. Put thin layer in bottom of crock pot, reserving the rest.

Mix turkey, rice/bulgur, egg whites and 1/2 of seasoning packet into mini meatballs and put in crock pot.

Add chopped cabbage and the rest of the onion soup mix. Pour tomato mixture over the whole mess and mix all ingredients, adding additional water if necessary to ensure all ingredients are adequately covered with liquid. Crock it up on low for 6 to 12 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes* for maximum goodness.

Note: If you don't have time to do the crock pot version, you can boil the cabbage for 10 - 15 minutes and layer everything in a casserole dish to bake at 350 for 1 - 2 hours.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 6-12 hrs
Yummy comfort food at the end of a long day: Priceless

*We’ve been making a reduced fat/lower calorie version of mashed potatoes by using roasted cauliflower and 3 small potatoes. Chop 1 head cauliflower and 3 small potatoes (with skin on) and wrap in foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Dump everything into a food processor, add about ½ cup warmed chicken stock and ¼ cup instant potato flakes, salt and pepper to taste. We find this to be quite delicious!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quite the Operation

Hey, folks. Kooks the cat here. I thought you might be interested in the latest activity here at our house. Not that I let all of the excitement get to me, though (yawn). Mostly I just watch my parents’ frenzies with one eye open, because, let’s be honest: I’m just not that interested and can’t be bothered to give up my nap. Unless it involves food or partying with the other neighborhood felines. But that’s another story for another day.

If you’ve read previous posts, you know I was accused of bringing fleas into the house…and reminded almost daily that I was responsible for the corresponding itching and scratching. So this explains why I took such an interest in “Operation Flea Removal.” That mom of mine is nothing if not entertaining when she gets a bug in her bonnet (pardon the pun!), so this latest adventure was quite the production.

She’d been yammering for some time about how she was not living with critters anymore but she and Dad are always hyping what they call “natural” and “organic” alternatives. (If you ask me, this organic crap is hooey, as the “presents” the dogs leave in the basement are about as “organic” as it gets, and yet these don't make them happy. Don’t tell Rudy this, though, because she hasn’t yet figured out why our parents get so mad when she craps in the basement. That rube still thinks she’s giving them a loving gift! Lucy the wiener dog sure has her hoodwinked, and I’m certainly not going to be the one to ruin the charade. It’s just too darn funny.) But I digress…

So, anyway, mom found some stuff that’s supposed to be safe for pets. It’s made from algae or fossils, or some other weird substance, so she naturally figured it would be a great idea. She decided to apply it in the basement one afternoon while daddy went somewhere to watch a football game, as he usually does on Sunday afternoons.

What followed was one of the more entertaining productions this cat has witnessed in a while. Mom read somewhere that the particles in the powder are really fine and dry out human skin and lungs so she shouldn’t come in contact with any of it…so she SUITED UP! This outfit was really something to see: Daddy’s socks pulled up to her knees, a breathing mask and rubber gloves! Talk about looking foolish.

But after about an hour of applying this crazy powder with a flour sifter and then vacuuming it up like a mad woman, all the while muttering about how she could imagine the tiny cries of fleas screaming in surrender, she seemed pleased with the results. And quite pleased with herself, I may say. Apparently those fleas that were biting her are gone, so for now I’m off the hook. Good thing, because if anyone’s going to this “farm” they keep threatening to send us to, it’d better be the dog. I was here first!

I found this photo mom took of me and am posting it because I look so dang cute. Does anyone know what that sign says?