Tonkatsu Pork

Tonkatsu - Messin with Perfection

Tonkatsu – Messin with Perfection

I am a firm believer that, if you are going to add calories to a meat by breading and frying it, it should be crispy.  Not greasy, not soggy, but a good solid crunch.  This stuff fits the bill.

I need to thank my son, Paul, and his girlfriend Mindy for this one.  I stayed with them a few nights a week last summer, when I started a new job away from home.  One of the nights, they made this Tonkatsu for dinner.  They didn’t have the tonkatsu sauce, so Mindy made a creamy lemon sauce for the rice.  Oh, it was delicious.  All of it.  I did a little research after that, curious about the sauce that was “supposed” to go with it.  It sounded intriguing.  I found “quick” recipes for it, most saying that the original sauce was quite complicated.  There were also a number of references to what was the ready made sauce.  Of course, I couldn’t find it anywhere, and eventually ordered a bottle from Amazon.  It’s quite good.  But really, now I had an idea what the sauce was supposed to taste like, so I started messing with a few of the recipes I found.  Eventually, I came up with what I liked the best, which was a conglomeration of several different ones on the internet.

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Avocado Deviled Eggs

 Avocado Deviled Eggs - Messin with Perfection

Avocado Deviled Eggs – Messin with Perfection

Yep, more avocado stuff.  Mmmmm.  After I made a small batch of that Avocado Rice for myself, I had half an avocado left and wanted to try these.   I’ve seen a few variations of them, but never tried any, so I played around and made my own.

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Warm Caprese Sandwich

Warm Caprese Sandwich - Messin' with Perfection

Warm Caprese Sandwich – Messin’ with Perfection

If you’ve never had fresh mozzerella, you are SO missing out.  You need to try it.  It doesn’t have a strong cheese flavor, as it is, well, fresh.  Made with fresh milk, and not aged.  If not eaten in a fairly short number of days, it will sour, like milk.  I have made it from scratch before.  It’s fun to make if you have a little time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and it is delicious.  It melts so stringy and chewy…MMmmmm.  Served cold, it makes caprese salad, you can add it to bruschetta, roll it up with some prosciutto and….ooohhh, with good olives…..sorry.  Anyway, you can get it at most large supermarkets that have a cheese area in the deli.

Every place I’ve worked there has been a pretty good deli within lunch distance.  The last one served a caprese sandwich that was sooo good.  A co-worker friend and I used to go there and get that sandwich and split it, and we would each get a cup or bowl of soup to go with it.  It pairs very well with a good tomato or minnestrone.

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Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Cinnamon Monkey Bread – Messin’ with Perfection

Warm, gooey, cinnamon-y caramel goodness….mmmm.

The first time I really remember having this exact monkey bread was at my Mother-in-Laws.   Only my husband (boyfriend at the time) called it Funky Cake.   I was trying to explain it to my mom, who finally said “Oh, Monkey Bread!”   She had to explain to me why it was called Monkey Bread, picking it apart and eating it with your fingers.  I like the name Monkey Bread much better than Funky Cake.  After all, it is actually bread.  We have burned our mouths more than once trying to dive into it when it’s still too hot.

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Avocado (Guacamole) Rice

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice - Messin with Perfection

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice – Messin with Perfection

If you like avocado, cilantro, rice…you are going to LOVE this!  If it’s here, I’m eating it, in a burrito, quesadilla, taco, with a spoon….

The first time I made this, tweaking it to how I liked it, it was awesome and I fell in love with it.  I am a person who loves bold flavors, they can march up and smack me in the tastebuds and I am one happy camper.

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Smoky Andouille Scalloped Potatoes

Smokey Scalloped Potatoes - Messin with Perfection

Smoky Scalloped Potatoes – Messin with Perfection

Well, Michigan in February has been NO fun.  Record cold temperatures again.  The only good thing about that is it makes comfort foods like soups and casseroles that much more comforting, especially on a lazy Sunday.

I remember as a kid, I hated scalloped potatoes.  Now, I can not understand why.  Now, I LOVE them.  I’ve messed around with different ways of making them and, so far, I like this one the best.  I’ve made them with ham, ham and cheese, sausage, and one that we like has sausage and cabbage.  Lazy way of making sure you get a vegetable at dinner.  🙂

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Vegetable Fried Rice

Veggie Fried Rice - Messin with Perfection

Vegetable Fried Rice – Messin with Perfection

I actually had some interaction with friends this weekend.  Wow, that felt good.  We don’t do that often enough.  Everyone is so busy, it seems there is so little leisure time, and isn’t that when you need it the most?  That time to laugh, relax and unwind with friends and family.  Blow off the stress of the work week and the everyday worries?  That’s what make’s life worth living.  It’s not about what you have, but who you have in your life.

Too often I find myself trying to take on too much.  Take what could be an easy relaxing get together and stress myself out trying to make the perfect meal, then you add that much more work cleaning it up later.  I’m working on that problem….

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Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies - Messin' with Perfection

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies – Messin’ with Perfection

As if I haven’t posted enough junk food lately….but after I made those Chewy Orange Cookies, I couldn’t stop thinking about these things I already had in my cupboard, just waiting to be tossed together in this combination.

Another cake mix cookie combination, and this one is just as good!  It just appeals to a different taste.  Caramel and chocolate is one of those matches made in heaven, I think.  I had a caramel cake mix stashed away, then I remembered these new chips by Nestle – the filled ones – in three different flavors.  Didn’t I pick up one of the caramel filled ones?   Hmmmm, must check.  Bingo!  How good could this be?  And how simple….

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Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup - Messin' with Perfection

Vegetable Beef Soup – Messin’ with Perfection

What better way to warm up your cold winter bones than with a hot bowl of homemade soup?  All those veggies during cold and flu season can’t hurt either.  The beauty of these kinds of soups is that you use whatever veggies float your boat.  Use up some you have in the fridge or freezer.  Some use canned veggies or frozen stew veggies.  I prefer to use mainly fresh, especially the potatoes.  In this batch, I had some nice redskin potatoes, so I scrubbed and diced, threw them in with the skins.  I had half a tomato in the fridge…in it went.  A baggie of corn, frozen from leftovers…everybody in the pool.

You can make this on the stove and have it ready in an an hour to two, depending on how fast you are at chopping vegetables.  You can also throw it in the slow cooker and come home to have it waiting for you.  I have seen some where they just throw meat and all into the slow cooker and let it go.  I can’t.   It is soooo much better if you cook that meat and brown it.  Use leftover roast beef and gravy.  Never fear. There is enough other liquid here you will never notice that there was thickened gravy, other than the added flavor to the broth.   Spinach, kale, peas, squash, whatever you like, or leave out some of the ones I used if you don’t like them.  Use more or less meat, whatever suits your fancy.

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