Friday, March 18, 2011

Cooking With No Kitchen-Foodie Friday

     I know blogs are supposed to be beautiful. We are supposed to only show our very best. We all live in perfect houses with beautifully set tables and amazing craft projects in our perfectly decorated "craft room"! NOT! Some of the best bloggers in Blogland would have been prepared for a couple weeks without the use of their kitchen. They would have created fabulous meals and had them ready to not only post online, but ready to pop out of the freezer every night for dinner. Well, that's just not me and I've always kept it honest around here!

     In truth, we have been eating carryout in styrofoam containers and having lots of cheese, crackers and Ramen Cup of Soup this week. Last night we wanted home cooking. My son was coming over and he loves tacos. I decided to give it a try, after all I have the stove and refrigerator working...just nothing else.

     I started with a casserole dish I could throw away. I used one saucepan and a few utensils to create my masterpiece. I meant to use paper plates for serving and out of habit I grabbed dinner plates (more work, bad idea). 

     I started with a layer of taco chips, broken and placed in the bottom of the pan. 

     I browned a pound of ground beef in my saucepan, drained it (that was tricky) and added a little water and a packet of taco seasoning. The meat went on top of the chips. 

     In the same saucepan (no sink, remember?) I warmed a can of fat-free refried beans and spread them over the beef.

     A package of shredded cheese and a few more broken chips finished it off. Into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browning a little around the edges. 

     I topped each serving with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado and sour cream. My husband added a spoonful of salsa to his. 

     It was actually really good and under normal conditions would have been easy. It also required lots of steps to the basement wet bar to wash the vegetables, wash the dishes, bring up the can opener and the worst part for me is that all the "garbage" goes into a trash bag instead of a garbage disposal. Am I spoiled? If living with running water and garbage disposal in my kitchen makes me bet I am. Living without the countertops isn't all that impossible, living without a sink...horrible! We both decided that there will be more Ramen in our diet until the project is done! 

I'm joining Michael @ Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.
It is the place to find the recipes in all of Blogland!


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sue, my kitchen is a wreck too, but I did manage to cook last night. No table to sit at though so we ate from our laps. This recipe looks great.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

My place is a mess right now and I have no good excuse. :-D That looks so good - love food like that. I like ramen noodles, but can't have them often due to the salt.
Have a great weekend.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

I think this is totally ingenius. I rented a house once with no stove. Cooking with an electric skillet and crock pot was a real challenge. I think you did a fantastic job. It looks delicious. Hugs, Marty

Brenda said...

It looks great! Thanks for letting me know about the giveaway!
Have a great weekend!
Love, Brenda

Priscilla said...

I know how hard it is to continue to feed the family while renovations are going forward. I had that experience when we completely gutted the kitchen and started over with all new - everything!
When my daughter lived in Switzerland she had a studio apartment without a proper kitchen. She had a fridge and a microwave only. She did the washing up in the bathroom shower! She says she wouldn't trade the year in that apt. for anything, though.

La said...

It looks fantastic to me. I hope you are back in business soon.

Blondie's Journal said...

Your post brought back so many memories of when we were redoing our kitchen. All I had was a microwave in the living room! I really learned to cook quite a lot of things in the micro and we used the bathroom sink for doing dishes!! It was worse than camping!!

I think your taco casserole came out great. If everyone ate it, you did good!


DUTA said...

If this taco casserole tastes as it looks then you've done a perfect job.
We should all learn to function well under all sorts of circumstances. You've just proved it is possible to cook well "with no kitchen".

Barbara F. said...

You did a great job with this dish. I can sympathize with you-when I did my kitchen renovation I only had the fridge, not even a microwave nor sink! It took about 4 weeks and I ordered in or picked up dinner to go. Of course by the 3rd day I was craving a roast turkey, or a nice pasta with bolognese sauce. It was so worth it tho' when it was completed.

Sophie said...

I hated those months without a kitchen, especially since the second one thing was done someone declared a delay or the need to fix something else. And I haven't had any Ramen since college, can't do it. This actually looks good though, something quick the twins could do themselves :) Though I think my dad would balk and grumble about American tacos, lol.

Maria said...

Hi Sue!
I love your sense of humor! Humor really keeps us going, keep us healthy and happily sane in an insane world :o)
Chris and I are trying to choose new cabinets for our tired kitchen. I wish I could just point to the page I like in the catalogs and say ... just let me "win" this one!
Go away for a weekend {like on TV} and voila... it's all ready ~
love your dinner just the same... We all love anything with tortillas !
*take care, Sue!

koralee said...

Yum....I love food like this. Redoing a kitchen is not easy! Hang in there. xoxoxoxo

Glennis said...

Hi, Sue! Thanks for visiting and commenting. FAD Friday is carrying on a tradition started by another blogger who has quit blogging. It's the one safe time when you can let loose and use fowl (ha ha) language to vent. It's in remembrance of the original blogger's 90 year old aunt, whose signature expression was FAD. Don't be offended - join in! You don't have to say the F word, but you can let loose about what bugs you without anyone dumping on you. Come visit any Friday.

Unknown said...

Great post! When our kitchen was being renovated, I had high hopes for prepared meals etc, we ended up with shop bought microwave meals most nights!
Have a sweet day!

Angie said...

Nice creativity for a home-cooked meal, Sue! Sounds and looks awesome.

bj said...

I fix that very dish quite often...adding a few other things. Glad ya'll enjoyed it.
I am really getting anxious to see your NEW kitchen. It is going to be so nice and I just KNOW I am going to be throwing one of my hissy fits for a new counter top. We need one sooooo bad.
Try not to eat TOO many Ramens...they are so full of salt. Easy Mac and Cheese?

Patrice said...

A kitchen redo can really be a problem - hang in there!

Sue said...

See- you're doing it!! A good meal and good company, too. I grew up without a disposal and had to put all the scraps in the trash can. It was messy. LOL Continued good luck with your reno and food prep!
~ Sue

Natasha in Oz said...

I think you coped beautifully and that meal looks delicious! Thanks for sharing and for keeping it real!

Best wishes,

dee dee said...

wow Sue, for no working sink... I think you hit a home run with your meal! Sometimes we forget how blessed we are till we have to go without for a while! I know I've been complaining up a storm about having to haul laundry to the basement washer (my upstairs washer broke over a month ago) and then haul the wet laundry upstairs to the first floor dryer (becuase that one works faster than the basement dryer). We were going to bring the washer upstairs, but with the house on the market we felt it showed better with two sets vs 1 1/2! All that means is I'm getting pleanty of exercise running up and down the steps! Ah I guess i could be walking ten miles to wash in a dirty creek...
Dee Dee