The Heat Is On... Or Maybe Not

Our power is back on! The (empty) refrigerator is running, the radio is playing, the stove is heating, and the oven is on!

But I didn't cook anything today.

Another creation from the unpublished annals of Nik Snacks shall follow:

I've got to make due with what I have on hand more often than not. As much as I love grocery shopping, I love trying to piecemeal things together. My grandmother was the empress of this.

No matter how small a piece of something would be, she'd wrap it in foil, plastic wrap, or wax paper to save it. I'd open the refrigerator and there would be no less than ten UFOs (unidentified foil-wrapped objects) on the inside door tucked between the ketchup and salad dressing. I'd be afraid to peel them open to see what was inside. Sometimes it would be one or two slices of sausage, a half-eaten corn husk, a scant bit of collard greens. Or a pilfered roll from Golden Corral.

The contents of these UFOs always appeared at breakfast or lunch. The sausage would be mashed into bread cubes for dressing, the corn husk would help thicken oyster stew, or the greens would simply be microwaved an eaten with a piece of salt fish.

I would always complain as to why she couldn't label the balls of foil. If looks could kill, I'd be dead because Grandma wasn't going to label a thing. She knew what she put in the refrigerator. That was her kitchen. All I had to do was wash the dishes after every meal.

So today I made a muffaletta from ingredients that I have UFO'd during the past week or so. I made quite a few Creole-inspired recipes back in March including the original recipe for this sandwich.

How To Build A Muffaletta

The Base: Crusty French or Italian loaf

The Moistening Agent: Lemon Aioli with sliced olives with pimentos stirred in

The Filling: Oven-roasted turkey breast, pepperoni slices, provolone cheese, romaine lettuce slice.

Today, I added some microwaved sweet potato chips from Uncle Bill's recipe. He's not my uncle, but if he were, he'd be a contributor to this blog, for sure. They really do crisp up and crunch when you eat them. I used a mandoline on the 1/16 inch setting.

Any thicker and the chips turn out soggy. Only make them in small batches because the steam produced in the microwave can make them soggy. I sprinkled mine with sea salt, garlic powder, and dried rosemary. That bit of pasta next to the chips? Ignore that. My favorite dining partner scooped that onto my plate from a Whole Foods container. For shame...

This is my submission to Frugal Fridays. Jerry's doing a great job over there, as is everyone else on the FF blog roll!

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. That grandmother comment cracked me up. It's nice to know that you have family memebers like that too :)

    We call them 'pack rats' but of course in the most affectionate way.

    Oh, and cool Facebook group:)

  2. hahahhaha UFO's... I love how you use the term! I also love Salted Fish - not the salted cod (Bacalhau) but the asian versions.

    I wished I had known my grandma whom I never seen and this made me wonder if she's a wonderful cook like my mom - her daughter.

  3. Adam: my family members absolutely define the words "pack rat" to a T.

    Thanks for joining my group!

    pixen: I think I've only had salted bacalao and no other kind.

    Grandmas are great for a reason, but moms are OK, too, sometimes.

  4. So, Sis - that sandwich is looking damn good.

    Thanks for inspiring me to start the food blog. It's

    Now I just gotta start connecting w/other foodies!

  5. AAaaHHHHhhhhh! I'm so excited and happy for you, Darius! Right on, my man! Yeah! Let's get this thing poppin'! For real! I'll be like your food blog PR agent, showing you the ropes and places to go to promote you and your blog. It'll be off the chain! The food chain, that is... :D [BAG]

  6. Nikki, please go to my blog site. I have a special message for you!:)


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