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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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Toaster oven catfish for the lazy and ill equipped bachelor.

So I found some cheap frozen Swai (mild catfish) fillets at the store a couple of weeks ago and have been experimenting with different ways to cook it in my extremely minimalist kitchen. I have a small and weak microwave, a toaster oven and a single induction hot plate for cooking so getting fancy isn't really on the menu so to speak.

I've found three ways to cook this stuff in my toaster oven so far and all of them came out at least reasonably tasty.

My first recipe was a desperation move with what I had in the pantry, crumbled some saltine crackers in a bowl, added salt, pepper and some grated five Italian cheese mix I had in the fridge, brushed the thawed fillet with butter and spread the cracker crumb mix on the fish and pressed it on with the back side of a tablespoon, flipped it over onto the pre-greased toaster oven grill I had pulled out and then did the other side the same way. Fifteen minutes in the pre-heated toaster oven at 375 degrees or so and I had a pretty decent main course to go with my salad.

The next time I was at the store I bought Italian bread crumbs and basically did the same thing with that, a little salt, Italian cheeses and a generous helping of pepper, same technique for applying and pressing the crumbs, same heat and cooking time, same pre-greased grill. This fish was bit more tasty than the first.

Then the other day I bought a canister of Tony Chachere's extra spicy Cajun seasoning. All I did this time is brush the fillet down with butter, a generous sprinkle of the Cajun seasoning on both sides, onto the pre-greased grill and into the toaster oven for fifteen minutes.. The fish came out quite hot but not mouth searingly so and was the best of the three ways I've tried.

I lived and worked in southern Louisiana for about five years in the 80's and learned to like the Cajun style of cooking, that's where I came across the Chachere's spice mix and I've been using it on and off ever since.


Since July 4th I have dropped 15 lb and my resting heart rate has gone from 72 bpm to 56 bpm

I've been riding my bicycle all along for shopping and errands but on July 4th I decided to start training for fitness. To that end I have been riding an hour a day at an exertion level which for the most part does not force me to open my mouth to breathe. I have seen my average speed increase from about 11 mph to 15 mph and my weight and resting pulse rate have both dropped significantly.

I have two training loops within easy riding range of my home, one is around a large football/baseball/soccer complex parking lot that's deserted 90% of the time, this loop is fairly flat and pedaling is constant and I never have to drop below or go above the middle range of my 24 gears. The second loop I ride has a couple of hills that approach San Francisco levels of climbing and I'm using the entire 24 gears and really only pedaling for effect about 50% of the time since in the direction I ride the loop the climbs are considerably more severe than the drops and I'm in first gear all the way up. One hill on that two mile loop I can still only make it up without getting off and walking on the first lap, after that I have to get off about 3/4 of the way up and walk the rest of it.

The flat loop I'm doing an average of five days a week and the hilly one I'm doing about twice a week. I see white tail deer every time I ride the hilly loop, it's in a "horse subdivision" where a lot of the homes have significant pasture/patches of woods and quite a few have horses and there are deer all over it, that makes for an interesting and picturesque ride to help distract me from the pain of climbing those steep hills.

Exercise just for the sake of exercise has always bored the crap out of me but I find bike riding to be enjoyable and much easier to maintain a regimen with. I have an old Ab Lounger and a weight bench but finding the motivation to use them regularly is still hard, the freedom of jumping on the bike and just pedaling away looking at nature with the breeze in my face is like a siren call compared to huffing and puffing in one spot.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd share my story to help motivate me a bit and possibly help someone else with the motivation to get out and start doing something that's a bit more fun for me at least than lots of other exercise options.

I had to give someone some really bad news today and it was not a pleasant task.

A single mother I know had her 1993 car overheat the other day after the water pump failed. Since I'm a decent shade tree mechanic I volunteered to help her out by putting a new water pump on it. I don't do this lightly because I have developed an allergy to that sort of greasy grime that makes the skin on my hands crack and bleed and this is a twenty year old car with three hundred thousand miles that has a lot of greasy grime build up.

However this was a family friend with a sixteen year old daughter and this poor old car was her only means of transportation so I started this morning as soon as it was daylight and before the humid heat of the day. When I tried to start the car to move it off the gravel and onto the slab where I was going to work on it the engine did not sound good and wouldn't start despite cranking it for a long time. So I got out the compression tester, a simple diagnostic tool for determining engine condition. The engine is toast, it would require a major rebuild to ever run again and the car simply isn't worth the effort, all it had to do was make it until tax time next year, another four months and our friend would have had enough to get another hooptie wagon.

Since my friend had let her cell phone go unpaid due to no money I had to call her at her work and tell her I couldn't fix the car, it nearly broke my heart and I could tell she was holding back tears.

Now there is a woman living in the suburbs with a sixteen year old, not even enough money for groceries and now no way to get to work unless her coworkers pick her up and drop her off each day, which they have been doing for the last few days while she tried to get her car fixed with no money. I had paid the fifty bucks for the water pump with my SS debit card but I just don't have the money to help her get another car, she and I are both at our wits end as to what to do.

There are three hundred plus million stories in America and this is one of them.

Bubble and Squeak

My dad was English and I grew up eating this for breakfast about once or twice a week when he would do the breakfast. I did a forum search and didn't find any references so I thought I'd share.

I was reminded of the dish by the recent cat rescue thread about two kittehs named Bubble and Squeak.

Dad would fry it in leftover bacon grease, these days that might be considered a bit over the top. Dad's explanation of the name was a bit different than the one on Wikipedia, he said that bubble and squeak was what your digestive tract did after you ate it.


Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish made with the shallow-fried leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The main ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, brussels sprouts, and other vegetables can be added. The dish is so named because it makes bubbling and squeaking sounds during the cooking process,[1] and the cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potatoes or crushed roast potatoes until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides. It is often served with cold meat from the Sunday roast, and pickles or brown sauce.

The meat was traditionally added to the bubble and squeak itself, although nowadays it is more commonly made without meat. The earliest known recipe was by Maria Rundell in 1806.[2]

The name bubble and squeak is used throughout the United Kingdom, and it may also be understood in parts of some other Commonwealth countries and the United States.[3][4]

Bubble and squeak was a popular dish during World War II, as it was an easy way of using leftovers during a period when most foods were subject to rationing. In more recent times, pre-prepared frozen and tinned versions have become available.
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