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Lunar Food
Friday, 8 October 2010
Target Food

Pork Loin

Our local Target has expanded. It was an old fashioned Target, than they added a little food, than they added a boatload of food but no deli or bakery so it’s not a Super Target or a Greatland but it’s not a regular Target either. Our quaint little store has an identity crises. They do, however, have a meat department. I bought some really terrible steaks there once. Looked good, tasted bad. I decided to chance it yesterday and bought a pork loin that was packaged with a solution. So I normally don’t like meat that you buy that has the word “solution” on the packaging. Like you buy those big bags of chicken breasts that are soaked in solution. Yuk. It’s icky. But it turned out tender and tasty. Easy too, just put in a shallow pan and bake. Longer than the 35 minutes the package says. More like 50 minutes. Recommended.

Dish washing annoyance rating 1.

Posted by acmckibben at 11:27 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Island Chicken

Island Chicken

This is a take off of Sandra Lee’s Island Chicken from her Cooking Light Cook Book. I used the same flavor profiles but used different methods and a different chicken cut. This was my first shot at this recipe (and I guess it is my own since I changed so much…hmpf…how ’bout that?) and I think it turned out pretty good. Served it with brown rice and vegetables and the leftover pineapples.

The dishwashing annoyance rating could be high for this dish since there is sugar in the sauce and it caramelizes on the pan but I started my pan soaking right away after dinner and I think it’s going to clean up fine. I will tentatively give it a 2 but I haven’t actually done the dishes yet (for those of you new to reading this I have a rating system for how annoying the dish clean up is after dinner. 1 being least 5 being most - there will always be some annoyance as that is just the nature of doing dishes)

Here she be:

1 8 piece cut up chicken (about 3.25 lbs)

1 12 oz jar of Caribbean Jerk Sauce

1 20 oz can of sliced pineapples

½ cup brown sugar

Mix the jerk sauce, and the juice from the pineapples in a bowl, add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is no longer lumpy. Put the chicken in a 13x9 pan and pour marinade over the chicken. I let this all sit in the fridge for about 3.5 hours but the jerk sauce bottle said a half and hour was fine, I think longer would work too if you did it up before you went to work. Preheat oven to 400. I put pineapples on the chicken before baking but that is optional. I poured out the extra marinade and cooked it right in the pan I marinated it in. Bake for 30 minutes turn the chicken and rearrange pineapples if you feel like it. Bake for another 30 minutes.

I should have mentioned in my last post how many people contributed to the blog last year. Without them there surely would have been more disasters. As it turned out there was only one real clunker. (remember the frozen ground turkey incident - I will never forget) That one was all my own doing. Thanks again to you all for your comments, support and advice. Cheers!

There may be a wrench in the plans for this blog. More details tomorrow.

Posted by acmckibben at 7:32 PM EDT
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Lunar Food Returns

It’s been over a year since I’ve made an entry into my cooking blog Lunar Food. I thought it was done. A month long experiment that would help me learn to cook and I would happily fall into a routine of cooking healthy, simple dinners and we would all go on our merry way. I’ve lived long enough to know better than this. Busy schedules and downright sloth have seeped into our dinner hour - I don’t think cereal counts as cooking, even if it is a healthy cereal. Last night I looked into my bowl disgusted. No more.

For those of you who are new to the blog (and I hope there are a few newbies) I made a shocking confession to the world last year that I was a 40 year old woman, with a family, that did not know how to cook. A lifetime spent dodging questions of “What are you making for dinner tonight?” and dreading the recipe exchange. I spent a month finding recipes in cook books and cooking a variety of dinners with varying degrees of success. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun with it. I enjoyed writing more than cooking but it was a good experience. Over the past year, I have replicated some of the recipes for my family, while others fell by the wayside. I made some new things and even improvised. A sure sign that something was learned. But the thrill is most assuredly gone and too much junk food is finding it’s way back into our home.

Last year the blog was all about just learning to boil water and what to do with a hunk of meat. This time I’d like to focus on health. Healthy dinners. The digital mother returns. She is shaking her electronic finger at me to get back to work.

Posted by acmckibben at 5:43 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 October 2010 10:59 AM EDT
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Thursday, 10 September 2009
Bayou Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops
Topic: Recipes

I bought some Bayou Bourban Glaze at a Tastefully Simple Open house and used it on some thick pork chops.  I marinated it for a couple hours than just baked them in the oven.  The glaze is good and just a teeny tiny bit spicy.  Just right for a good Minnesotan.  We had mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples for sides.

First time I've really just cooked without a recipe or previous knowledge. I didn't refer to anything. Just did it up. I'm patting myself on the back right now. Tongue out


Posted by acmckibben at 9:55 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Endive Salad and Walnuts

I am cooking tonight, it's just something I've already made and posted.  Honey Chops and Rice.  The following recipe looked good and I hope useful to you. it is from the South Beach website. I tried that diet for a bout 3 hours once about 2 years ago and I've gotten their e-mails ever since. Some of the recipes' looked tasty. This was one of them.

My brain is filled with ideas for something else. I'm on a kick. I will let you know when it is fully formed. 


Endive Salad With Walnuts (Phase 1)

This crisp salad is refreshing before and after a main course and also works well as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish. Look for tight heads of Belgian endive free from brown spots.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

1/2 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 heads Belgian endive (1 round)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350° F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, and vinegar. Trim endives, halve each head lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into long, thin strips. Add endive, walnuts, salt, and pepper to the bowl with dressing; toss to combine. Divide salad among 4 salad plates and serve.

Nutritional information
Per 1-cup serving:
130 calories
12 g fat (1.5 g sat)
6 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
4 g fiber
160 mg sodium

Posted by acmckibben at 7:01 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 8 September 2009
A bout

Hey faithful readers.  Sorry no blog for a few days. Had a nasty bout of my mystery illness. Still hanging around but much better than before.  No whining though just wanted to explain.

Whilst lying about feeling sorry for myself, I've been thinking about this blog. Maybe want to try expanding it to be useful somehow.  It is swimming around in my mind on how to do that. I've been studying other blogs, trying to read up a bit. I will let you know what I come up with. I see that other blogs have very short entries (I can go off on a bit of a tangent) and utilize lots of pictures.

I cooked polish sausages and we ate them on rolls. Good.

Posted by acmckibben at 7:33 PM EDT
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Saturday, 5 September 2009
My uncle from Texas came into town so in typical Minnesota fashion we held a good old fashioned potluck. Except that it wasn't so old fashioned. The get together was coordinated through e-mails, texts and Facebook. Making sure each dish brought was unique and there were no food duplication mishaps.  It really does though take the "luck" out of the potluck. There were no surprises when the pots were opened.  I'm not complaining here - I was the author of those coordinating e-mails, etc.  It's nice to be sure you have a well rounded meal, that you don't have 4 desserts and no meat.  It's nice to have a beverage with your meal but I have to say I do like a bit of luck with my jello. Great party none-the-less. 

Posted by acmckibben at 4:43 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 5 September 2009 4:48 PM EDT
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Thursday, 3 September 2009
Fruity Baked Chicken

Well, I have to put my stake back in the ground. I apparently need a digital mother to keep me on track so I am back to my 4 nights a week pledge. It's the only way.  I still want outside input so e-mail, facebook or if you are brave you can try to post a comment on this blog (the image codes are really tricky but please do try if you feel the urge. I love it) my e-mail address is

Ok, this one is my favorite so far. I know that baking things in butter  may not be the healthiest way to cook but man it sure tastes good. This recipe was no different.  It was fun putting the fruit on too.  Very Food Networkish.  They tell you to put the chicken and ingredients in a plastic or paper bag to shake it but I ended up scooping the flour mixture onto the chicken, so I think a bowl would be fine.  My plastic bags all seem to have an invisible hole in them. The dishwashing rating I'm going to give it a 3 even though the dishes weren't that bad, but you get the sugar carmelization on your pan. If you have a way to prevent that than it would go down to a 2.

Fruity Baked Chicken

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1/3 cup flour.

1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2.5-3 lb frying chicken cut up or quartered (I used chicken thighs only and it worked out great

16 oz can fruit cocktail drained (reserve 1/2 cup syrup)

 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar or honey (I used the brown sugar. yum)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup reserved syrup

Heat oven to 375, In 13x9 inch pan, melt butter. In paper or plastic bag, combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper. Shake chicken a few pieces at a time in flour mixture.  Arrange chicken in pan skin side up. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl except fruit cocktail; pour over chicken pieces. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes, basting occassionally with sauce. Spoon fruit cocktail over chicken; sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. Return to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is tender.  

4-6 servings

260 calories

5 grams of fat

Posted by acmckibben at 7:34 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Egg, Bacon and Tomato Sandwiches.

I've fallen off the wagon.  Since my cooking month has been over, I've only cooked one meal.  We've had Pizza three times and the other night I ate trail mix for dinner. The kid has gone back to his fruit, cheese and nut diet and the hubby comes home looking around longingly but doesn't want to complain.

So I need a new quest or to renew a cooking lease on September.  Not sure really.  Apparently I need an internet mother looking over my shoulder to cook. When I figure it out I'll let you know.

Here is another donated recipe. I am told this is a South Beach Diet recipe and good on phase 1. 

Egg, Bacon, and Tomato “Sandwiches”

Oven-baked tomatoes, smoky Canadian bacon, and a touch of mustard make an outstanding breadless, low-fat twist on eggs Benedict. A little vinegar is the simple secret to a perfect poached egg.

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

2 medium tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
4 (1-ounce) slices Canadian bacon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. Season tomato slices with salt and pepper; place 4 of them in a single layer in a nonreactive baking dish, spread with mustard, and sprinkle with tarragon, if using.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Lay 1 bacon slice over each mustard-spread tomato slice. Transfer to the oven and bake until tomatoes begin to bubble, about 10 minutes.

Fill a straight-sided skillet or wide saucepan with 2" of water. Add vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into a separate cup or bowl. Carefully slide each egg into the just-simmering water.

Cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes for soft-centered; remove with a slotted spoon, placing 1 egg atop each bacon slice. Top with remaining uncooked tomato slices and serve.

Posted by acmckibben at 1:20 AM EDT
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Friday, 28 August 2009

Now Playing: Q-ectomy

Thank you to Jo for sending in this great story!! I shortened her children's name by just using their first initial. Seemed appropriate for a letter story. By the way my son's quarter snuck out on him without his knowledge. The Quarter chapter concluded. Laughing

 Loved the quarter story but am very sorry for what you've had to go through. I've been fortune in that area. However, while you are waiting for the 'finale', I thought I'd entertain you with a silly kid story of my own...

This was about 14 months ago. N was 3 1/2. We had colorful wooden letter magnets on the fridge. We'd had them since G was little, so I didn't think much of them. N liked to play with them, and one day, he decided to put the lower case Q on his index finger. I was on the phone, and he was whining. I hate that. But then I realized that it wasn't his usual "pay attention to me" whine. Finally, he held up his pointer finger to me and said that he couldn't get the Q off his finger. I couldn't make it budge either. I tried soap and hand lotion, twisting it off, breaking it, nothing worked. And at this point, his finger was starting to get red and swollen. I put it under cold water to keep the swelling down, but it wasn't doing any good. I was afraid to try cutting it off myself. What if I cut him?

Of course, in only 45 minutes my other two kids would be getting off the bus. So before I could take N to urgent care, I had to call around to find someone who could pick them up. With that done, we rushed off to the clinic where one nurse tried yanking it off. That, of course, didn't work. They tried lubricating it. Nope. Then they came in with some sort of scissor/cutter. N took one look at that thing and panicked. He told them he wanted them to use "safety scissors". :-)

Didn't work anyway. The magnetic backing was too thick, and they couldn't catch enough of the material to cut through it. I was getting worried. It seemed so simple, but they appeared stumped. And then, they pulled out the ring cutter. Ingenius little device. Have you seen one of these? A lip goes under the "ring" to protect the finger while a circular cutting blade with teeth is turned, like a screw, ever so slowly. Evenually, the blade teeth cut through the metal. So it worked, and his finger was fine. They described the procedure as a "Q-ectomy". Very cute. I saved the pieces of the "Q" and put them in his baby book.

Looking forward to your next entry. Take care.

Posted by acmckibben at 2:28 PM EDT
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