Thursday, October 30, 2008


Auntie Stella to the rescue, no more smokies and cheese on toothpicks anymore. Sweet and sour meatballs are now on the menu and they can be fast and easy, no, really and if you think the sauce sounds too crazy to try on a whole pan full of meat balls, try a small scale and test it on a piece of chicken or pork chops.

Shopping list: 2-3 pounds of ground been (who can afford the good stuff anymore); a box of crackers or a bag of stuffing mix (I prefer the stuffing mix); a couple of eggs; 2-3 tablespoons of regular salad mustard; one large onion diced; 1 green pepper (optional and expensive these days); anything else you normally put in your meatballs; and one of those disposable aluminum roasting pans (I hate to wash pots and pans so why should I ask you to?).

Now for the sauce; 2 one pound bottles of cheap grape jelly; two 1 pound bottles of ketchup; a couple more tablespoons of mustard; a couple of good shakes of ground ginger and ground clove.

Mix all of your ingredients to make those wonderful meatballs that you make and roll those little suckers into balls and put them into that disposable pan. On top of the stove add all of the sauce and cook on low until the jelly breaks down and you have a smooth mixture. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes then remove and stir and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until brown. Make sure that your balls are covered in sauce so as not to dry our and now you can use those long toothpicks to put in the meat balls. And don't forget to tell your guests that a drag queen gave you the recipe, that should start a laugh riot.

More stuff coming.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The recipes that you are likely to read about in here are things that I have personally made and tasted but some are going to sound weird. Weird can be good. There was this guy named Oscar that I dated once, um but that's another story for another time.

Chili and Eggs, not two foods you would ordinarily think of at the same time but it works well. You can make as much or as little as you want by adjusting the ingredients and this is not something that tastes all that good reheated later so eat up. Typically I make it for two of us and it is a meal in itself so you don't need anything extra except toast or English muffins and your favorite jelly or jam. I could eat this morning, noon or night but you might want to try it for dinner first.

Shopping list: Eggs; large can of Hormel chili with beans; can of chopped chilies (I like the mild ones), a large onion diced; chopped green peppers (optional); a bag of cheddar cheese and a couple of teaspoons of oleo or butter.

In a skillet, add the butter over medium low heat. Next add 1/2 the onions and the green peppers and saute. Beat the hell out of six-eight eggs depending on their size, (of course I like the extra large or jumbos being the size queen that I am). I like to add a little milk to the eggs but that's up to you. Most cooks add water but again, I don't drink that stuff. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir them to make scrambled eggs. When the eggs are just about as hard as you would normally serve them, empty the can of chili over top of the eggs and heat until the beans are hot (only a couple of minutes). Remove and put directly onto the plates and garnish with the rest of the onions and top with the cheddar cheese and you're ready to starting eating. To avoid heartburn later, I drink a large glass of milk with this meal or you can keep a roll of Tums or Rolaids handy for later. Quick, easy and it tastes wonderful. I hope you will try this because I know it will quickly become one of your favorites.

Till next time, I'm Stella (aren't you glad you're not)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Being the southern slut that I am, iced tea is what is served most at my place. Used to drink a lot of water till I saw a picture a deer peeing in a stream so now I have to boil it first. But it surprises me how many people don't know how to make 'sweet tea' and I have found an easy way to make it these days (easy is me). I use a 4 cup glass measuring cup and add 6 tea regular tea bags and just toss it into the microwave. Okay, rednecks, don't really toss it just put it in there. Set the microwave for 10 minutes and then just let it set for awhile and go check your emails or watch part of Oprah. You will need to have a gallon jug and if you are going to use the milk jug you just finished rinse it real good and then use a funnel to put the tea, sugar and water in, but not the same one that you use to put oil in the car. 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar will give you the iced tea that your mama used to make but shake or stir the mixture real good or you might get a sugar rush on the last glass.

My baby sister Debbie puts nothing else in her tea (die hard redneck girl) but I drink so much of the stuff that I like to add other stuff to it once in awhile, do you feel daring enough to stay with me? It might sound a little weird but if you try some of these ideas you might find that you really like the taste, at least for a change of pace. Kool-aid, the stuff you drank as a kid can now be used to add a different flavor to your tea. Make your favorite flavor of Kool-aid up in a jug and try adding an inch or two to your glass before adding the iced tea. My new favorite flavor is the Mango. Also, those extracts that I spoke of in the beginning can be fun too, a couple of drops of the raspberry extract will taste better than the stuff that you pay $1 for in the vending machines. If you have kids, you probably buy the grape juice in the can that calls for 3 cans of water to add to it. Again, 1-2 inches of the stuff. I know this all sounds weird but trust the old girl here.

If you are a coffee drinker, especially at night, a couple of drops of raspberry, almond or vanilla extract can be heavenly. Not for breakfast when you need a cup of kick-ass to get you going but more like relaxing and watching Wheel of Fortune. If you find that you like it, I use a cap full of extract on top of the grounds before brewing. Ever heard of Cafe Vienna, in comes in a box in the grocery store for about $4. Try putting some cinnamon on the grounds, just a couple of shakes of the tin or jar and then add sugar and cream or coffee lightener in your cup. How easy is that and you have something new to serve to your guest (assuming you keep your boots on and have friends).

Next time I'll teach you how to make: Chili and Eggs, not for the faint of heart to look at but it tastes wonderful and an hour later you can go and visit your mother-in-law. LOL

Friday, October 24, 2008


Yes, I know people eat because they are hungry but if you take the time to make the plate more colorful or just add a sprig of parsley; a slice of lemon or lime or orange and the arrangement of the food on the plate. Don't just slop in on the plate like they do in jail and don't ask me how I know about such things. If it looks pretty it will taste better and the compliments will follow. Ask yourself, who would you go home with first, Brad Pitt or Frankenstein? Okay, maybe that is going off topic but I just love to think about Brad Pitt. Here are somethings that you can try at home for your family and friends.

Salad, it's not just lettuce and tomato with a slice of cucumber anymore. You can add some Salad Supreme (made by McCormick and found on the spice isle, one of my favorites); add some leftover chicken, turkey or ham that is just sitting in the fridge; Parmesan or Romano cheese that you only use for spaghetti and fresh vegetables like yellow squash or onion. Serve it up with your favorite salad dressings and WOW.

Home made soups are a snap if you have a crock pot or even if you have to cook it on top of the stove. My extra time is all mine to do what I want to do so short cuts help a lot. For my vegetable beef soup I pick up a pack of stew beef; some beef broth or bouillon cubes; a can of potatoes, carrots, peas (if you must but remember that Confucius says: If you cook carrots and peas in same pot, that is very unsanitary) and a can of corn. Throw it all in the same pot including the liquid that is in the cans. Add celery if you have fresh or some celery seeds, salt and pepper and a little garlic powder. Cook on high for the first fifteen minutes (top of the stove method) then turn it down to low and let it cook for about an hour. If you are really brazen, you can add a can of diced tomatoes just long enough to heat them up. Serve with a salad and bread and butter (you don't actually think I was going to bake biscuits did you?) and you can have a soup and salad night at your house.

Till next time, I'm Stella

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


First let me clarify that, I'm talking about cooking my version of Mexican Chicken and Rice. I did make one trip across the border many years ago, I stayed drunk the whole time and have no memory of anything that happened. And while this is not truly a Mexican dish I say it is and that makes it so. I have entertained many Latino men in my time and they always ate what was put in front of them (make whatever you want out of that statement).

This is a quick and easy recipe and will only take about a half hour to prepare.
Shopping list: 1 16 ounce can of black beans; 2 cups of white or brown rice, uncooked (or a package of yellow rice if you prefer); 1 jar of salsa sauce; 1 medium red onion, diced; 1 large boneless/skinless chicken breast per person; two tablespoons of cooking oil and a 1/4 inch slice of Velveeta cheese per chicken breast.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the rice and bring to a second boil and cook for 5 minutes then turn down to low and let it cook for 20 minutes. Next pour the oil in a skillet and get it hot before adding the chicken breast (cook on medium or medium high). Tan the chicken on both sides and turn the stove to low medium and add the salsa making sure that it gets all over the chicken. Dice the onion and put to the side. When the rice is done, add the Velveeta to the chicken and let it melt (it will drip down into the salsa and that's just what you want it to do). Microwave the black beans, part of this has to be easy) and add the onion to the beans. Sloop it all onto a plate and enjoy. Just as good with iced tea as with a beer or glass of wine. YUM. Let me know how you liked it. Stella

Friday, October 17, 2008


Welcome one and all to Auntie Stella's Kitchen where you WILL learn to cook without most of those measuring devices. Growing up in the south I learned to just add a little of this and a little of that and making something wonderful out of it and you can too. The first rule of thumb is use a little and then maybe add a little more, in other words, taste as you go. I have friends and family who have been after me to write a cook book but I think this might just be a little easier and I would love to have the interaction of any of you who will dare to hang with me.

About me: Some would call me a former drag queen, I prefer to be called an aging actress and gracefully at that, who can throw down a meal that will have you asking, "Why did you let me eat all of that?" Because storage containers cost money, that's why. And yes, I do consider myself to be on the witty side as well so hang on and laugh a little. It is said to be the best medicine.

The most important information you will ever find in any cook book is the SPICES section. If you have one open it up and check them out, find out what spice does what and how long it takes to kick in. For example, Chili Powder will sneak up on you, it needs to cook before you add more or it will turn you into sassy redhead like me. That will save us a lot of time if you do that. And don't be afraid to try something new or use your imagination, that's my best advice to you. I once tasted Orange Chocolate at the Bloomingdale's candy counter with a large piece of it and it was wonderful. Imagination: Make a chocolate cake from a mix or brownies and add a box of orange Jello to the mixture. WOW a great new taste and all you did is add one ingredient. Make your own icing with 10X sugar (confectioners) and butter, oleo or shortening and add some orange extract to it (and some red and yellow food coloring to make it orange) and be the toast of the town. You can substitute cream cheese for the butter but then the left overs (like you can't eat a whole cake by yourself) will need to be refrigerated. The most expensive item I spend money on is extracts but if you check out the prices at different stores you can get some bargains. You will need, Vanilla, Almond, and Raspberry for starters so start pricing it at the grocery stores in your area now.

More later, just wanted to introduce myself and get us started. If you have a request, let me know and I will try my best to help you out, but just remember, I don't measure generally unless I say a 6 oz jar or package or bottle, that kind of thing.