Chicken and Broad bean soup

Why Broad/Fava beans?

After watching enough Ethiopian cooking Youtube videos and Hannibal Lector touting them in Silence of the Lambs I put them on my food bucket list. My attention span for food is short so it became my duty to devour them asap!

So yeah…I was curious about how they tasted. Sorry it really wasnt anymore complicated than that. My problem was finding them not what to do with them. It felt dang near like searching for the Holy Grail in my small town. I drove around Killeen to various grocery stores and could not find them! I was honestly ready to take a drive to Austin because I didnt want to order them online. I’d be waiting too long for delivery and the fascination might wear off by the time they arrive. Look idc how random it sounds but I am kinda like that. Once I put the mission on the backburner I promise that’s when I stumbled on to them.

While out in Temple, TX, hanging with my friends we stopped by H.E.B. to grab some munchies. LOL!!! We were super ZOOTED running around grabbing candy and chips like it’s Supermarket Sweep. But even as zooted as I was I wanted to mark Temple, H.E.B. off the list for fava beans.

No ma’am…THEY FREAKING HAD THEM!!! 🀾🏽🀾🏽🀾🏽

So I figured soup em up because my boys love soups and stews. It guarantees they won’t think twice about trying this “new” bean. So here it is short and sweet instructions!

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs Smoked Turkey

1 lb Chicken cut up into inch chunks

1 lb of dry Broad Beans/Fava Beans

4 small potatoes diced

3 carrots diced

1/2 large yellow onion sliced in thin strips

4 cloves garlic chopped small

4 cups chicken stock

1 bundle of leeks sliced in 1/2 inch strips

1 cup chopped cilantro

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Hungarian Paprika

Sea salt and pepper to taste

There is nothing difficult about how to make this soup. I refuse to spend 10 years elaborating on how to chop an onion. It’s a one pot type of meal. Once 🀷🏽 everything boils together. In a total of 3 hours the soup is done! It’s healthy and once it’s boiling on the stove you can sit back and chill. Check in occasionally to make sure the water does not boil all the way down.

Your attention is just needed really to prep and chop the vegetables.

Thoroughly wash and rinse the broad beans to remove any possible dirt. Fill a stock pot 3/4 full of water and boil beans and smoked turkey on a little less than High for 1.5 hours. Add water as it cooks down as to not burn anything. Then add in all ingredients. If you don’t have enough space just continue to add the chicken broth as the water cooks down. If you run out simply add water. Stir occasionally as you check up on it. After 1.5 more hours the meat will be done and the vegetables tender. Take out the smoked turkey, chop it up and add back into the soup. Stir. Serve!

Tal Bakes OUT! ✌🏽😭

Pho-Sho

When I first came to Killeen, Texas of all the places in Texas, I was ready to throw myself out of a window or even drink bleach. 😩 This is for many reasons. Back in 2003 or 2004 it developed since the 80s (I give it that) but compared to me leaving the Tidewater area in Virginia it was like a dust bowl. Food-wise it was about as diverse as Burger King and KFC. It had your usual offenders like Red Lobster and Olive Garden but it took years to get to the point where now I don’t have to drive to Austin to get something that’s ethnically diverse and tasty. Back then even the Chinese places was limited and not very good. Yuck!! 🀒

One of my bestfriends who used to stay with me is Cambodian. Mannnnn!!! I was eating all kinds of Asian food and got exposed to so many spices I wasn’t used to working with myself. When I had tried Pho for the first time, I immediately fell in love.

Pho is a very satisfying and simple Vietnamese noodle soup. I go with the beef pho due to my dietary restrictions. All that means is that this is a beef broth base. When making pho, Anise is bundled with other herbs/spices in a spice bag and cooked for hours. Anise is the mystery flavor that immediately sticks out when tasting pho. Various thin, tender cuts of beef are added in along with noodles when served. You’re presented sides and additional herbs to add in based on your liking. Pictured here is thai basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapenos and limes to squeeze in.

Also you’re given sauces like hoisin, soy, and chili paste to add additional flavor or heat. After eating so much fo you do start to get a little bougie in your expectations. But after carely research *cough* eating, I have found the best Pho restaurant in Killeen and that is Pho 9.

Pho 9 is one of the best restaurants in town!!! It’s located in downtown Killeen on Veteran’s Memorial Road/Business 190 close to where it intersects Ft Hood Road. The size of it is more than enough space and seating where you’re don’t feel crowded and you don’t have to wait to be seated. Even though it’s near post, it’s still not crazy busy during lunchtime and food comes out really fast. You can be in and out if you need to. It’s also good to take for low-key dates because your typical bird’s I never see there. #stoolyalert LOL just being honest. And it is pretty quiet. Also someone made an effort in the decor so its ok to look at.

The service aspect is pretty interesting. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that once you order your food you’re getting your food and no one’s going to check on you a million times. So if you need something just go up to the front and ask. Don’t wait for a check. Go to the front, pay and be out. Now the benefit of this is that you shouldn’t have to drop a whole bunch on the tip.

Prices?

Now price point-wise if you don’t watch out you can easily end up spending a lot of money in there. Average prices are going to start at least $8 and up for dang near anything on the menu. So all those yummy looking appetizers can get you messed up quick. Like dang what happened??!! πŸ˜‚

Is it worth it? Yes it is!! If you don’t want Pho there is still a lot to choose from. Even if you bring the most basic tastebuds … (You know the one who really doesn’t dive off the cliff of ethnic eating) they still can find something there. The menu has pages bruh! And pics too!

The only negative thing I would have to say about Pho 9 is that I wouldn’t suggest delivery. I’ve tried their delivery service before a couple of times and it just seems like you get less food with it. I don’t know. πŸ˜–

**Last thing and it doesn’t happen very often but it does happen…

It is a small family-owned business so occasionally the family does go on vacation. The restaurant will be shut down until they come back. No big deal so don’t get out of pocket because you just happened to come at the wrong time. Other than that, I highly suggest checking it out. It is a very good place to eat and I will definitely be going back again and again. πŸ˜‹

***Pho 9*** πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

921 W. Veterans Memorial Blvd #101, Killeen, TX

254-200-9020

Uncultured leads the Cultured? Who thunk it?

So to begin this story, I must let you know a little bit about my love life or lack thereof. I am the most non-dating chick that you have ever encountered. I dont have much leisure time. I hardly ever go on dates and I am fresh out of a Super Nightmare on Elm Street type, DEFCON 5, Hellraiser to the 10th power relationship. I don’t even mean to sound that drama-filled about it but it’s true. It’s until only recently since I’ve been on a quality date and I was married for 4 years. Yeah yikes! So I’m not used to even being around them outside of a friendship/work type capacity.

Then I end up meeting as me and my sister call him…. “Nature Boy”. He’s kind of what you imagine a Texas guy to be. Country music, hard-working, rugged and not familiar with the “Finer Things” in life. This is not because he can’t afford them. It’s honestly because he’s a very simple man. At first jump this was a little off-putting to me. I honestly wanted to tell him to shave our first encounter. Wanted to break the date actually. But something softened inside of me once I looked into his eyes. I saw a goodness behind his eyes. So even though our first date was utterly disastrous, I continued to see him. Lo and behold we have a lot of things in common. His rugged type of interests mirrored my own. So then our next few dates were fishing, walking in parks and nature hikes.

This allowed me to actually get to know him and him know me. Slowly, I developed a romantic attachment to him. Apparently he really likes me too because he’s made it known that he only wants to date me. Even wants to make it more of an official capacity like girlfriend status. BRAKES!!

At this point I’m not ready for all that. I like him enough to continue seeing him and so this is where we find ourselves up to this day. So yeah…. we are slowly taking our time to get to know and spend time with one another.

Yesterday I had a long day at work. Don’t get me wrong it was a good day but it was long none the less. I was freaking starving and all I could think about was what I could eat when I got off. Well he called me and wanted us to see each other afterward. He had planned a late night picnic!! 😁😁 So I went over to his place and he put some steaks on the grill. This was very romantic by the way. 😍😍 The stars were out he had the grill burning. Country music was playing and that’s not really my thing but it was romantic country music. LOL. So with the chill outside I threw on a blanket and watched in utter amazement while he was doing his thing on the grill.

He poured me a glass of wine to relax. Now If you know me you know I am soooo picky about my red wine. Some would say I’m a wine snob on a budget. LOL. Well broke people have the right to still be picky about what they drink!! Idc. 🀷🏽🀷🏽

So what is the perfect red wine to me? Well I don’t like sweet wines. I absolutely loathe Moscato. And that is I swear everyone’s go-to for wine. To me it’s like literally drinking sugar. I absolutely CAN’T stand it!!!! Now one thing I will say about Nature Boy is that he listens to me. I told him that l like reds that are LITTLE sweet with not so much bite. So the selection of the night was called Dark Horse Big Red Blend. He got it from H.E.B., our local grocery store chain. The price point was good too. $15 at most but can be found on sale all the time. I provided a link to the site below for you to read up more on it if interested. I really back this wine 110% and will make sure to keep some on deck moving forward!

http://www.darkhorsewine.com/wines/big-red-blend#

Also I provided some other links to my other runner-ups for ❀ FAVORITE ❀ Red Wine Blends for you to try with similar characteristics and price points.

No more than $15 bucks

Hope you enjoy your wine tasting!!

https://www.columbiacrest.com/our-wines/2014-h3-les-chevaux-red-wine

http://www.chryseia.com/wines/prazo-de-roriz/2015

http://www.3badge.com/leesefitch/blog/wines/2014-leese-fitch-firehouse-red/

My Roasted Potatoes

For herb roasted potatoes you can use many things. This is kind of my go-to one just because of how busy my day is. The main component is Dill. The ingredients are sea salt, black pepper, dill weed, olive oil, and fresh garlic. Use the powder too lol if you want “extra coverage” of don’t have the fresh handy.

I use typically one potato per person and then add one extra. Small 5 gold potatoes were cut in sizes no bigger than an inch. Basically the larger your cuts the longer baking time. So control it. With smaller cuts you can have your potatoes done and tender and 40 minutes at 350 degrees. This gives you time to start them first or start them at the same time as your meat. I try to cook things at the same time and just stagger items in. This means your meal can be done at the same time and you’re not waiting on other things. Anyway two cloves of garlic are chopped roughly.

Then toss the potatoes with the olive oil and garlic. Season the top.. toss then season again and toss. Season with the salt on based on your preferences. Then bake. Most potatoes that I use in cooking are tossed in olive oil and baked. This is just so that I keep a healthy focus when it comes to my carbs. If you want you can add some chopped onions I didn’t tonight.

Salmon… and what that mystery herb Tarragon in the cabinet is for??

Salmon naturally tastes good. It’s a super easy fish to work with in the kitchen. It looks all fancy LOL but don’t let that intimidate you. You can easily plate and make this extra special if you want to.

Or have a nice healthy meal and look expert if somebody happens to drop by. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I know it sounds terrible but really it’s not LOL. I start with 2 lb of salmon. That’s usually enough to feed my family which is 4 people. Typically there’s some left over. I seasoned super simple but it’s going to turn out fabulous. I used garlic, olive oil, garlic, tarragon, rosemary, black pepper and sea salt. Just rub a nice light coat of olive oil on your fish. Then lightly season. Very simple. I typically bake mine for 30 minutes max at a Preheated 350 degrees. I check it after 20 minutes to make sure that is still fluffy and not burned. Today it was 25 mins till done.

About Tarragon…

Now tarragon is a random herb that appears in cabinets. So super random it doesn’t get used. I have passed over it many times, I can’t even lie. Lol. And then finally I had to question okay well what can I do with this herb anyway??? Well it goes good with chicken and fish to start!! It’s similar to the taste of anise. Lightly though… Now what’s pretty cool is it improves in the body when eaten. I provided a link that sums up some things. It’s great for your cardiovascular and digestion. So smile when you eat this… #guiltfree!!

https://thefreerangelife.com/benefits-of-tarragon/

Granola Bars from the crib?

Well its easy to make y’all. Dont get all caught up on dramatics with this one. All you need to have is all the stuff you want to eat in a granola bar plus oats. My foundation was a peanut butter/honey to hold it together. I use like a 1/4 cup of butter or a stick of butter. I just medium 3 cup of peanut butter, butter, a half a cup of honey. In a saucepan. Then I added all the raw mix to the bowl.. so there was cranberries, raisins, chocolate kisses, 3 cups of Oats, walnuts, hemp protein powder, ground flax, and almonds. Mix them together. It sticks and place in a pan and spread out flat Mash together with your hands. Then bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Then I put mine in a freezer before putting it in a frigerator just to harden it faster. Now I’ve cut it into bars and wrapped so that I can distribute.

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