Around here, dinner for the next couple weeks is going to be "clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry" meals, so there will be less foodstuffs to move. (We are set to close on a new home on 4/21. It's only about 4 miles from our present home, which is both good and bad.)
Then for the 2-3 weeks following that, it's probably going to be "every person for himself/herself" while we paint and move and get the old house ready to sell or rent.
After THAT I should be able to stock the new pantry and the fridge and freezers, and start cooking again in earnest. Most likely we'll get moved too late to get in a garden this year, so I will be patronizing our local farmers' market for fresh produce a couple times a week.
Very big congrats, Terry! A new home is such an exciting prospect. Biggest congratulations on getting the hub to move. "Home Inertia" overcomes some.
Our most recent guests exited this morning after an eleven day stay. I served nine dinners, eleven breakfasts and made fresh baby food daily. There's got to be something left in that fridge to eat. I'll settle for baby food at this point. I'm espying left over penne, chicken wings, sausage and meatballs in sauce. We have an orchid society meeting later on.
Yes, Terri---Congratulations! I hope you get the pantry space you always dreamed of...
We are not moving, but we should act as though we are, just to clean out as you are doing.
When you can, freeze, dry and buy the sales for only two people, foods just seem to clog up
before you know it. Yikes! Still, I am always out of something. How can that be?????
Tonight will be soup because we ate a big lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Oh, my. Didn't tap the food source at all.
Terry, why did you decide to move, and does your new house have a pantry? I don't envy you all the work but it will feel great once you're established there!
We smoked the shad for our friends, and they too said it was the best shad they'd ever had. They are real aficionados so it was quite a compliment. This time there were no leftovers, either! We're going out to dinner tonight because we have to take our GD for an evening appointment out of town.
[quote="greenhouse_gal"]Terry, why did you decide to move, and does your new house have a pantry? I don't envy you all the work but it will feel great once you're established there!...[/quote]
The decision to move. Well, we've been in this house for almost 11 years. When we moved here, we were about two miles outside Murfreesboro proper, and it felt like we were "out in the country" because it was mostly open farmland around our little subdivision. In the years since, three schools have opened within a mile of us (our three kids were each part of the first class to open them, one after another.) And with the schools came subdivisions and apartment/townhome complexes, followed by gas stations, grocery stores and a strip shopping center, bank and pharmacy, all within easy walking distance. It's convenient to everything, but it's no longer the quiet place it once was. I walked outside the other night, and it's a lot harder to see the stars now than it used to be. The frogs are drowned out by the steady hum of traffic on the highway, which is much busier than it used to be when it was a two-lane highway, and not a 4-lane thoroughfare. Property tax-wise, the city is eyeballing our subdivision and a few other older ones for annexation. They offer almost nothing in return for what they will demand in taxes (don't get me started.)
Anyway, home prices and interest rates made it attractive for us to look at moving now, so after a lot of looking, and waiting a couple months for this property, we're now poised to move a little further, to a place with a little more land and privacy - it's pretty much surrounded by farmland, including emus right across the fence, horses across the road in front of the house, and free range chickens and sheep on the other side.
The area we're moving to may suffer the same fate and become more populated eventually - they're building a loop around Murfreesboro, and the new house is located near the loop, although there's not a direct connection to it. But Rutherford county is one of the very fastest growing counties in the U.S., although the housing crisis has slowed the rate of new home building, at least for now. We just keep getting more and more people moving in - not complaining, because in many ways, it's a great problem to have.
The new house has a smaller pantry than mine now (mine is oversized) but the pantry is more than adequate, and the tradeoff is the kitchen has FAR more storage and countertop for workspace, plus two sink/prep areas, and is more open, which will allow us to cook and entertain the way we'd like to be able to.
It also has a lot of other perks going for it. Once we've inked the deal, I may post some pics - I don't feel comfortable posting pictures of what is - for now - someone else's house :-)
Terri - that sounds very exciting! When we bought this property we were delighted that the land preservation laws in place pretty much assures us of not getting over run with new development. My county is one of the best, if not the best, in PA for land conservation. There's a huge stir over an assisted living center being built about five mi from us. I figure that's a pretty nice addition - jobs w/o higher taxes from growth in schools etc. We have to drive 6-8mi for pretty much everything except in-season produce (during the summer & fall, there's a stand selling produce every other farm).
Made taco salad last night and it wasn't the best. So today I cooked some cabbage I had in the freezer in 2 beef boullion cubes and added it to the leftover sauce meat and black beans making it a soup! Taste test showed it is way better this way than as the salad!
I liked what I made last night. DH was iffy. Will put the leftovers in the freezer for another day.
Today I am taking flour tortillas and making apple pies. Homemade apple sauce spiced like apple pie add a bit of flour and spread on tortilla and bake. Will be taking some of those to work with me. Hope I can cut them okay! Pizza cutter maybe?
I forgot the gravy mentioned above was caramelized onion, not mushroom. It was made with roux kept on hand. I canned assorted garden veggies last summer including okra, green beans and squashes labeled "Gumbo Starter". That gravy, the meat steamed off the turkey parts, celery, carrots, green pepper and the gravy made a great gumbo. We had it over rice.
We are spending as much time as possible finishing up work on the Spring garden while getting the Summer garden ready for planting. I'm just coming in. Dinners are pretty simple when we are in planting mode. We're having grilled spicy Italian sausages on buns topped with grilled onions and home canned pickle relish. Also home canned red beans. We've pretty much given up eating sweet Boston-style beans in favor of healthier spicy beans with herbs. I make all our beans from dry.
We could use Kathy Ann here during planting season! I love making schnitzel with turkey breasts. There is a big feature on sandwiches around the world in Saveur this past month. In Israel they make a pita wrapped turkey schnitzel piled with goodies. I am going to do that one. It doesn't mention this in the article but I've read Israel is the largest producer and consumer of turkey in the world. Who would have guessed?
I made a spread using ricotta and feta, herbs, lemon juice and zest last week. There is still lots left. I grabbed some already cooked and lightly sauced pasta left from a catering that I froze to bring up to Maypop. I've got a variety of fresh veggies and some mozzarella. It's looking like I can throw it all together and have baked penne and veggies with ricotta/feta filling and mozz.
I have 4 fresh free-range (and butchered) chickens to fetch this Saturday, opening day of our Farmer's Market. I plan to use all the thighs to make the highly-touted chicken-feta-spinach sausage from Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I may even make my own feta to go in it if I feel better. I'm almost halfway through the round of meds for my bronchial pneumonia, and I'm thinking I may live after all. Sadly for any gardener in spring, the meds require staying out of the sunlight.
The following Saturday, an old friend from Bowie, MD (near DC) is coming for a short lunch visit en route from a Gatlinburg vacation back home. I plan a cheese plate, and hopefully my beef bresaola will be dry enough to slice. I found a great recipe for an American Neufchatel to make the cheese for a cheesecake to finish the repast. I've never made a cheesecake so it will be interesting.
Here's my latest cheese, a Lancashire, which is basically a mild, moist cheddar-type to be eaten young. I'm getting a bit better at making cheese; the one before this was a Welsh Caerphilly with thyme. To my pleasure, both are quite edible.
Memories from years of bringing does to bucks for freshening - you could find the bucks in the dark, and sometimes we had to do that, since that was when our kids (the human kind) were young and we were still gainfully employed during the daylight hours!
DH picked up some fresh broccoli raab from a farmer yesterday and I made Italian sausage with broccoli raab and garlic over penne pasta for dinner. It was really good. We've had scrambled eggs with dandelion recently too. Nice to have the spring greens in.
Grilled asparagus, leeks sliced in half lengthwise, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, and red peppers in lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic and parsley served over greens with goat cheese. Steamed new potatoes with garlic chives and butter, grilled NY strip for the meat-eaters. I wanted to make naan but ran out of steam.
Last night was the first night of Passover. We were just returning from Maypop. I was acquiring SO's bad cold of this past week. We stayed home. I made the base for my matzo ball soup a few days before and made matzo balls when we came home. We used kale and herbs from our garden. It didn't cure me but it helped. I've got the "misables" for sure.
SO made a hot smoked hickory salmon. I coached him through the preparation of charoset http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charoset which is necessary for the seder plate. I made sauteed fennel and cauliflower with garlic and Parmesan and dressed it in chopped fennel fronds. Along with the foods eaten as part of the seder meal we were stuffed. I limped off to bed at 10:30. After four days of heavy duty gardening at Maypop we are exhausted, sunburned and sore. Sick was not in the plan. I usually make a major lamb dish...usually a tagine. I'll probably do that later in the week when I'm feeling better.
Your table looks beautiful, Laurel. We don't do anything nearly so formal; we usually have a sort-of Seder Easter Sunday evening - first we do Easter baskets in the morning and then we do Passover at night...Everyone loves the charoses, and we also do gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup for first. I will probably cook lamb for the main portion of the meal.
Thanks, GH. We try to make holidays a remembrance of our parents and grandparents. My mother embroidered the tablecloth, the candlesticks were my grandmothers. BIL wrote one of the three haggadot we used and our daughter the other. The third was the classic underground feminist hagaddah, "The Women's Haggadah". The matzo cover was a gift from family, the seder plate a gift to me from SO and the silver for last night my MIL's. The wine was gifted by my cousin's DIL who stays several times a year. It was a sentimental evening made more poignant because I lost my dad on the Hebrew date two years ago this Passover, Nissan 15-22.
Seeing as how the two calendars are different, GH, how do you combine Easter with Passover when Easter doesn't fall within the days of Passover?
Laurel, it's very hard to get my family all together, so we do a "seder" on Easter Sunday no matter what. I decided to do it as a way to balance the two. We also say a barucha before meals, a custom we started for the same reason. I think it's important for the grandkids to have that exposure even though my older granddaughter is being raised Catholic (her mother's decision though my son now has custody) and the little one is being raised Methodist, again her mom's decision.
I have some candlesticks that were my grandmother's, but when we do shabbat I use a pair that my mother gave me. She also gave me a seder plate. We have some illustrated children's books about Passover that we bring out, and we just discuss the reasons for Passover without going through the Haggadah. I've never seen "The Women's Haggadah".
Those kids are very fortunate to have such a rich religious background!
I'm just doing leftovers until I head out for a business trip this weekend. I have one more meal's worth of speghetti squash and my own roasted tomato sauce w/mushrooms. There are two of pork & cabbage. I leave Sat. So its perfect. Slowly cleaning out the freezer.
My father's family is Jewish, but unfortunately most of his family didn't make it through northern Italy in the 1940's. I made some matzot and had dinner with my aunt, they're not terribly observant but they do have Passover seder.
Yes I agree, it's nice to share traditions, and when they revolve around food, this is as good a place as any.
As for meals, I'm still (mostly) not cooking although I am beginning to think I will live through this pneumonia... eventually. Yesterday I made ground beef and beans "chili soup" with veggies; it was nourishing, if a bit off the wall.
I had planned a lovely lunch plate (with some of my own cheese and bresaola, plus various ferments, olives and breads) for my friends from Maryland who will be stopping by on Saturday, but it ain't gonna happen. I will send some home with them, though... and fresh asparagus from the garden. My sis and her grown kid won't eat fresh asparagus. For one thing, it's green.
I just saw a yummy recipe for roasted asparagus w/ rosemary spaghetti... couldn'tlink you to the recipe but its basically asparagus brushed with olive oil, salted androasted/ The sauce is diced onion sauted with garlic, doused with vegetable stock and fresh rosemary, the asparagus is cut into short pieces and a bit of butter added, and this is tossed with freshly cooked pasta. Parmesan cheese over top and YUM>
I'm going to invent the wheel since so many others have reinvented it. lol I've got garden greens, matzo ball soup, one sweet potato, a fresh mozzarella cheese, lots of fresh mushrooms, and a chicken breast. This is sounding like that Food Network show, "Chopped".
That does look fantastic, I will have to try that if I have the spegetti, I could use another noodle I guess. I have some fresh asparagus from the garden I need to use . thanks for that recipe. haven't cooked much this week at all because of the long hrs at work. Kids came home thursday night after I had cooked, and had huge smiles on their faces cause I cooked that night. lol
Mary, that's the identical recipe that I couldn't get a link to. It's from Melissa's EverydayCooking with Organic Produce, credited by the newspaper I saw it in. We had it for dinner last night. Along with Chicken Francaise from another cooking site.
soooooo? how was it? As good as it sounds? Thanks for posting it, I'm just a durn good Googler.
Last night for us was a very yummy Turkey Tortilla Soup, made in my new Nesco roaster. It was excellent, even if I did forget to crush some tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowls before ladling. Duh! This morning I used some to make huveos rancheros. Equally as good.
Okay, you guys are killing me between the crusty bread and the pasta. Passover ends at sundown tomorrow night. In order to make up for eight grainless days we will eat late and it will be pasta. Maybe even bread too. Maybe even pasta sandwiches! Anyone got a recipe for that? lol
We are having a salad with cumin/garlic/oregano, etc chicken breasts, olives, feta. I make a very chunky salsa and use that, with sherry vinegar instead of dressing. Pan fried, white and sweet potato slices on the side.
I had a take-out burger around 4:00. That was the lump sum of my food for the day, unless you count the coffee and diet coke. It's hard to eat with a paint brush in your hand, and that's gonna be my life story for the rest of the week. Then we'll be spending all our free time packing - still no time to cook and eat. But shortly after that, cooking will commence.
I have several other friends packing their houses up and moving, too. It sounds both emotionally-draining and like a horrible amount of work. Lots of luck to you with this huge job! Three meals a day are always nice, though, even if they're take-out. You gotta take care of yourself especially well at times like these.
SO is making Asian slaw under direction while I "chat" here. We brought pulled pork back to Atlanta. There's a vinegar BBQ sauce on hand to heat it with. I've got neat French roll hamburger buns defrosting. Maybe I'll heat some home canned beans. We plan to visit our international market tomorrow to restock the larder.
We're going to fight over the leftovers which weren't enough for a full meal so I grabbed a cornish pasty made sometime in January from the freezer and popped that in the oven. I'm sure he'll want the whole pasty, but he'll have to fight me for it. And I have some extra leverage because I've got a cake in the oven.
meals on the road - "heart healthy" grilled chicken breast w/steamed veggies for dinner. (plus a couple of chocolate chip cookies at the front desk on my way in...shhhh don't tell anyone!)
I had the most delicious lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant. It was a persian beef stew w/yellow lentils and dried lime over rice. I don't remember the name of the dish. And it sure beat the breakfast bar I had for lunch yesterday. ;-)
This is the Buford Hghy. Farmer's Market, not the DeKalb market which I've had issues with including rotten oysters, cheese that smelled like ammonia (several in one purchase) and confirmed advance orders on multiple bulk beans that were not available and out of stock when I arrived for pick up.
We spotted the several varieties of snapper including red and pink, big and small. We settled on two small reds to grill. The smalls are huge so we'll have fish all week. Aren't they lovely?
I'm just adding as much of one of the areas of rice available. My camera could not even include all of this section. The market is Asian owned so they sell rice all over the store; every shape, size and kind imaginable! We buy rice in twenty pound bags and love their choices.
They have aisles that are by international cuisine and have smaller than bulk items. Here's the Latino/Hispanic rice aisle. I checked out grano media (medium grain) to restock my supply for Mexican and Spanish dishes.
So, after all those options and tasting samples of chicharons and fresh tortillas AND leaving with hot empanadas in hand to eat in the car before driving home, we will have grilled snapper and a salad with salsa dressing. Maybe some garlicky bread on general post-Passover principal.
I'm afraid I'd go reeling out of there laden with huge supplies of rice, and fish and new pots (that I don't need, but what does that have to do with it?) and then have to find ways to store it and keep it in good condition. The snapper is gorgeous, look how fresh they are, shiny eyes are a good indication!
Meezers, we do go reeling out with huge supplies of everything. Gross food hoarders admittedly. We barely made our way through one fish. SO placed lemon slices in slits on the fish before grilling. They were grilled and delicious. Can you tell we took a few tastes before serving?
LOL, Darius. I meant the BHFrms Mkt is the best I've found here in the States. I was thinking about La Boq. because DD called today and was asking about going there to shop with us when she was younger.
Thanks for enjoying, Celene. One of my favorite people at the market is a man whose parents are Chinese but he was born and raised in Peru. His title must be "Chief Chicharon Maker". I never knew there were so many types. Some have meat attached and some are blown up and airy. Some are huge disks. It depends on where the pork skin and fat is taken from. Anyway, this man looks like my Chinese godfather but speaks only Spanish and English. I watch him talking to his Hispanic/Latino customers and think about what a big world it truly is. I know more about Chinese food than he does.
Speaking of Chinese...we are having shrimp and fresh tofu with stir fried veggies from our market shopping; cabbage, carrots, mung bean, mushrooms (button, oyster and shitake), broccoli, green onion and snow peas with gingered black bean sauce. Black beans used in Chinese food are fermented soy beans not black turtle beans.
I just came in a bit ago. We are enjoying much needed rain and cool breezes. I have recycled sauteed shrimp and two Italian hot sausages, lots of fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green onions, mushrooms and spinach). There is one jar of heirloom tomatoes from last year's garden. I found a tad of Alfredo sauce in the freezer to make a tomato/cream sauce combo. This is looking like a kitchen sink/one dish dinner. Sooo lazy.
Here's the shrimp, tofu and veggie stir fry from a few nights ago.
I'm on the road again this week. This time to take my dad to a cornea specialist for surgery to repair his eye. I had a bagel w/cream cheese and an orange for lunch and a green salad & carrot sticks for dinner. Trying to eat healthy. I'm so looking forward to cooking when I get home! But I'll be on the road again next week too. ugh.
wow that's ridiculous! I got wild alaskan salmon for $14/lb last summer. I got enough to last a year (in freezer). A sort of local (50mi away) couple has been fishing in Alaska for about 10yrs and got their own boat a couple years ago. They have it packaged there and shipped to PA, where they sell it at Farmers Markets.
Darius, the high cost of coloring has had an effect on me too. Especially the "natural" reds. How do you think those otherwise mousy, dish-water salmon get gorgeous?
Tammy, we are enjoying a too brief, few days in the mountains with our garden and then on our way to a greenhouse open house in S. Carolina on Saturday. Member/greenhouse growers are hosting the Atlanta Orchid Society for a day of pot luck and bargain orchid shopping at their closed-to-the-public place. In addition to amazing orchids, they have a secluded and beautiful mountain retreat with beautiful gardens. We will return to Maypop (our cottage) overnight, then back to Atlanta and then off to FL. I have business there. We are hoping to combine business with pleasure and take a day or two to attend the Redland Orchid Festival http://www.redlandorchidfestival.org/ I'll be meeting friends from the Atlanta Orchid Society there too. That and visit lots of family and friends from our hometown. Then we are off to N. FL where we have a tradition these past few DG years of meeting DG friend, HAwkarica, in a rural town known for orchid wholesale GHs. We meet at a charming all you can eat catfish and hush puppy restaurant http://www.mycatfishplace.com/My_Catfish_Place/Welcome.html. After gorging on mud puppies we put on our buying shoes and head out orchid shopping. Hawkarica and I have a blast while SO is kind enough to indulge. We overnight in N. FL and return to Atlanta the following day, orchid haul in hand. Youngest son makes all this possible 'cause we have two big beasties, the house and orchids in the gh to tend.
Laurel, what a fantastic itinerary you've got ahead of you! I'm sure you're really looking forward to it. I had no idea you were into orchids!
Celene, they do label salmon. The last time I went to buy lox I looked at the ingredients and the dye was listed. I didn't buy it. I guess I either never noticed before or they've just started listing it. We used to get salmon fresh off the boat when we lived in Washington State, and it was plenty pink enough for my taste...
My husband doesn't much care for salmon except smoked salmon. I buy mine at the kosher deli because they make their own on the premises. I like to support the local business, and everything they sell is so delicious, I can't go wrong. I'll see if they use dye, my guess is that they don't. One of the ladies who bakes there is the auntie of the little boy for whom I donated bone marrow, she always tries to give me a free potato knish, lol.
It's very cold here to grow orchids without a greenhouse. A vanilla orchid and some terrestrial orchids are the best I can do. I will be doing the Ohio version of that trip soon, driving to Athens, Ohio to Companion Plants and then to Stewart, to Glasshouse Works. One of my favorite day trips all year :)
For real, Larkie? We were hovering at freezing last night! Lucky you! I just planted squash and beans today and the tomatoes have been going in the last few weeks. I'm up to thirty one. Four spaces left.
Thanks, GH and Mary. I am looking forward to the get away. I came to DG in '07 because I have been growing orchids for over thirty years and was looking for kindred orchid souls. You can see many of my plants on the orchid forum. I sometimes start the monthly threads where we share what is blooming. I grow in a makeshift GH that we affectionately call the "greenhut". I'm especially interested in species from the Americas and miniatures at that. I don't grow the corsage-type or the kinds you see at the big box stores. I've over two hundred in my collection. Some look like bugs and some like birds, some are brown or slime green. I enjoy the idea of being able to grow and observe plants from habitats that are being propagated rationally. Maybe some day the only surviving species will be in private collections.
Celene, mac and smokin' cheese sounds great! What terrestrials do you grow? It sounds like you have a great trip coming up too.
I have a store bought foccacia and lots of good things to put on top...fresh mozz, mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, asparagus (from the garden) and Vidalia onions are just a few possibilities. There is a made salad. I'm needing some medication for an aching body. What happened to those days of marathon gardening?
Mary, there are regulations pertaining to No.1 pizza student dissing sensei! And, FYI, fresh mozz NEVER goes on the bottom. There will be no sauce either. Grated Pecorino Romano will seal the bread. This salty, tangy sheep's cheese is great to perk up a store bought bread.
We had to run down to Cape May this afternoon so we swung by the cheese shop and got some Comté and a few others, along with some pâté de campagne, and then we went over to Gecko's and I had duck breast with green molé sauce, wild rice, green beans and chunked beets. Really yummy. DH had mussels. Their salads were good, too; roasted corn kernels, lots of nice greens, carrot shreds, cucumbers, onion slices...
For real, Maypop, and oh boy was it ever good..Had to look pretty hard to find a ripening tomato, but our farm started picking squash 2 days ago...I also have Cherry tomatoes here in my garden/yard that are almost ready to be raided..Gotta love the deep south..lol
Whatever the meat is will be grilled, but I will indulge this time in deep fried squash., dipped in buttermilk, and battered.. Just gotta have it, may as well and get it out of my system..
Maybe some grilled asparagus also.
You're killing me with that fresh squash talk Larkie. I saw a squash vine borer moth hovering nearby the newly planted seedlings and ran for the row covers. I really shouldn't complain. We'll be having asparagus, arugula, assorted baby lettuces, endive, cilantro and chard in our salad tonight; all from the garden. I'll try to scare up some radishes too.
Beef & veggie (includes summer squash, grape tomatoes, peppers and sweet onions, but none from our garden!) kabobs. Just baking a loaf of sour dough. Learning curve here, sour dough with addition of whole wheat and flax meal.
Planning yard/garage sale in the AM tomorrow, so next night might be order pizza!
Thanks GH for the recommend. Squash vine borers have a limited season here. The eggs over-winter so I'm hoping I've done enough advance work to limit the problem. I love row covers on the early garden. No plastic on the ground; no bugs on the plants. I've had eggplants and peppers under cover for three weeks. The covers are reusable. I inject Bt in the main stems of summer squashes once they are big enough. It would cost approximately $60 to silver mulch the summer squash. Not cost effective for my size squash patch.
SO has agreed to make the salad. I'm just in from the garden. I griddled chicken and made hard boiled eggs at
5:30 a.m. There is leftover fresh mozz. I'm so too tired to eat. Tomorrow's orchid shopping will be a nice break.
What kind of row covers do you use that they're reusable? I bought some from Gardeners Supply last year that came already attached to hoops, and they fell apart in the garden. I had them in an area that I wasn't taking very good care of, and everything just got away from me...
Well I'm the one that needs ya'll to come cook for me. Celene, that sounds so good.
GH, I am using Agribon, a spun polyester. Johnny's carries it and ships free. It's half the price of silver mulch per running foot and ten feet wide instead of four for silver mulch. Four feet would not work in our space. My rows need the ten foot width. They are six to eight feet and then need the "float" that the cover provides while the plants are growing. There are several weights. More northern gardeners may want it for heat retention as well as insect control. I want the lightest weight (cheapest) to stave of insects until the plants are more mature.
To cook good food you must enjoy eating all kinds of food. I really don't have a set of criteria. I have concepts, standards and philosophies of food preparation in my kitchen based on my preferences but that is not to say I would never eat "other ideas". I would never have learned to cook Southern (lard, bacon fat, cooked-to-death veggies) if I had stuck with my Asian/French prep background. I don't make tuna casseroles with canned soup and instant ingredients. That's not to say I don't enjoy eating it. I have and I do. Food is a way of sharing. That's the most important thing to remember. It's a chance to share.
So now you'd cook or me and not be shy, I hope? It's a real problem. Friends rarely invite us for dinner though they always accept invites. They'd rather eat out and offer to pick up the check. I'd rather eat tuna noodle casserole in their home.
I'd give it a go :) My cousin is a chef, she used to be a head chef at Morton's, so if I survive the stress of cooking for her, I'd likely be fine. Same for my mother in law, she's an MIT professor's wife, and I'm, well...me. They both eat here happily, so it must be at least okay. Penna Margherita?
Our friends often stop by for food, we have a running tradition of Sunday brunch, coffee, newspaper reading, and chatting. Originally, I used to cook because we were too poor to eat out, and we'd salve our hangovers with coffee and food before going to work at a local record store. So, every Sunday I cook, and at least four or five people show up, now with partners or kids in tow. This is how we end up with three year olds who like curried eggs, smoked salmon frittata, or pepper and egg sandwiches.
Confession: I hate breakfast food and only ever have coffee and maybe toast.
[quote]Friends rarely invite us for dinner [/quote]
Laurel, you have an open invitation here in Phoenix! Try not to arrive in August though. :-)) Our best and favorite meal is bbq chicken, with DH's Secret Sauce, fresh corn on the cob with basil garlic butter, a baked potato, hot and spicy garlic bread. Can't mess it up! Come on by.
How funny, DH wanted pepper and egg sandwiches. I put a split grilled turkey Italian sausage on a crusty baguette, then the eggs and peppers over. He hates edamame, I don't care for eggs, so we're having two separate dinners, lol.
Last night was meatball soup (ground turkey), lots of cabbage, garden carrots and some warm potato rosemary bread from the grocer. Tonight I'll thaw out a pizza dough ball and try a ricotta asparagus pizza recipe I found recently.
We are moved and most importantly, my kitchen is in working order. The picture is a little dark (night shot) but I love, love, love my new kitchen.
We celebrated that major accomplishment on Saturday night with ancho marinated steaks and twice-baked "potatoes (I hollowed out the baked potatoes and filled them with a mashed cauliflower, low-fat sour cream and cheddar cheese mixture, then baked them. That way we could enjoy the crispy skins and something that tasted mostly like potatoes :-)
Sunday night was leftover pulled pork, sans buns.
Last night was enchiladas (husband was visiting his mama, so I treated the kids to a "cheater" night on the low-carb thing.)
Not sure about tonight yet...it will probably be a chicken night if I remember to dethaw some chicken breasts.
I am so ready to go on the road and visit everyone who has offered to feed me. Right now we are back in Atlanta preparing to leave the homestead in the care of son, the kitchen bomber and pan destroyer.
Wow, Terry! Beautiful. Mazel tov!
I will attempt to connect through my phone at some point. Don't know how that will work out. If you don't here from me for a bit it's not because I've abandoned all the good cooks and food here.
Thanks y'all - I should attempt another shot - my Fiesta bowls were hiding behind all that crown molding. I've got them elevated a bit (old VHS tapes come in handy for something!) I can't take credit for the color, as we didn't paint the kitchen. I liked it well enough to leave well enough alone.
Laurel, lol@kitchen bomber - good one. Have a good and fun trip!
Marie, we use a lot of ground turkey - it's pretty interchangeable with ground beef in most recipes, although it usually requires a little more seasoning because we find it to be bland otherwise.
What Terry said, you've got to spice it up. It's great for Sloppy Joe's too.
The recipe was some spices (garlic powder, cayenne, cumin...whatever you like) in a bowl, whisk in an egg, add the ground turkey, mix it all up, form into 1.5" balls, drop into boiling broth, cook about 10 min. Voila! that's it really. I tossed the recipe because it was so easy and needed a lot of additional items. It only called for diced carrots and celery in the broth but we like our soup a bit more robust. THe first night it was just too watery so I added the cabbage, shrooms...etc.
I only made 6 meatballs each night, saving the rest for the next day and still have plenty left. Might just make burgers out of the rest.
Chicken piccata over vegetable fettuccine noodles. Swimmer girl saw the recipe on the TLC channel and we had it once before, noted some modifications and the second round was better.
(It could be because we added more butter...IMHO if you add enough butter and/or cheese to anything it'll taste good. Or sugar or chocolate or cream, or some combination of these "main" ingredients, you'll get a winner every time :-)
Tonight pork loin, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, not spring-like, but using up what is there. Tomorrow night, baked or grilled (beer can) chicken, fresh green beans with new red skin potatoes and spinach salad. Needing to plan a rhubarb crisp, w/shortbread crust and anise seeds.
Tonight was a bit of a slapdash meal: southwestern pork tenderloin, some roasted vegetables in balsamic vinegar sauce and mac 'n cheese. It was passable, and I've just about used up everything out of the freezers that I didn't use prior to the move. Another few days and I will defrost the deep freeze, then start over with a hefty shopping trip or two.
I had some round steak so I ground it in the food processor and made my own chopped meat. This is new for me as I usually pound the daylights out of it for swiss steak. I used it to make stuffed peppers.
We went out to a nice restaurant and had softshell crabs in beer batter with asparagus and rice. It was excellent, and the service was good, too. Very attentive with the clearing and the providing you with fresh silverware. Pleasant evening.
Fresh squash... again.. I will eat it til I get my fill of it.. Went to the field, picked it and grabbed a few green tomatoes and came home and sauteed both along with a Vidalia onion .. Delicious...Next green tomatoes will be fried ones, was just too tired tonight and the stir fried ones are so tasty, also had a handful of Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes (ripe).. Straight from the vine.
For dinner, we're having t-bone with a spice rub we call "Raj Masala", it's not Indian in any way, it's kind of a joke on our last name, it's more like Montreal seasoning, grilled corn on the cob, and a big spinach salad. Some kind of frozen yogurt for dessert, I have the stuff for vanilla, and it could go that mint chocolate chip way, or any of a couple of fruits, or vanilla with some kind of sauce.
We went over to some friends' house for dinner and she served steamed blue claw crabs. They were wonderful - the first of the season and very sweet and tasty. I just wish I had known that that was what was on the menu; we wouldn't have had the leftover softshells for lunch because we don't like to overdo it with crab! Along with the crabs she had fresh asparagus and a fresh greens salad from her garden.
Larkie, You're making me hungry talking about your squash...I love squash too, especially cooked with some onion and some fried cornbread on the side. That is a meal by itself. Have you ever tried squash dressing? I cooked it once long ago and was impressed by how good it was. Hope some people will post their recipe for this goodie as I have lost my recipe. Oh, and with my squash and cornbread I have to have a nice wedge of onion. Now that's even better!
Tonight (since it has warmed back up outdoors) spareribs on the grill, slaw and fresh sour dough bread. Strawberries for the finishing touch. Larkie, your fresh squash sounds soooo good. We will be another month or six weeks before we have any at the farmer's market.
Pardon my northernly ignorance, but is fried cornbread those cornmeal pancakey kinda things? Thicker and smaller than a pancake, cooked on a griddle?
We're having cedar planked salmon with honey-ginger-soy glaze, saffron rice with some sliced scallions and toasted pistachios stirred in after it's steamed, green beans with orange and sesame seeds, and some as-yet-undetermined dessert.
My SIL uses this recipe from Allrecipes.com..It's pretty good.. For the milk she uses evaporated milk...Think she tweaked it a bit to her taste.. It's not bad..
2 cups diced yellow squash
2 cups crumbled cornbread
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 egg, beaten
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk
If any extra liquid is needed use a bit of chicken broth.
Cooked diced squash in sautee pan til tender. In a slight amount of oil..
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
In a bowl, mix the squash, cornbread, margarine, sage, cream of mushroom soup, egg, onion, , salt and pepper, and milk. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
Celene, I don't consider it ignorant that you haven't tasted fried cornbread. My mama use to cook it on top of the stove sometimes, and I still like it. No, mine are as large as a pancake, with cornbread batter, minus any sugar. You cook it until it is crispy on both sides. I like to add corn to mine sometimes. My first husband was a northerner, and he became a believer...Now, I didn't know what rhubarb was, how good it was, but they taught me to like that too.
I'm trying foods I always thought I didn't like. Will have to add rhubarb to that list - I really disliked it as a child and never gave it a second chance since.
I pulled out a squash/swiss chard/feta cheese/carmelized onion tart with teff crust from the freezer yesterday. It was delicous even after a few months in the freezer! Still trying to eat through the freezer stock. (But I do need to check for strawberries in the area - my own look a few weeks away but I bet the earliest are coming in now w/the help of a little protection with those plastic tunnels).
I'm still in Miami, and have an internet connection for the first time in a week, which is not good news. It's 'cause we just checked in to a hotel while the house is being tented for TERMITES! Must not be living right. (
I love strawberry rhubarb pie! but I think one has to add LOTS of suger to overcome the sour-ness of the rhubarb.
Ugh Laurel on the termite tenting. That's no fun!
Tonight I think we are simply going to eat peach cobbler! That's it. I visited a friend yesterday who lives next door to a vacant house in foreclosure and we raided the peach tree in the backyard. Oh My! The sweetest, juiciest peaches ever. I can never bear peaches from the grocery store. Don't even bother anymore.
So, buttermilk biscuits, fresh peaches and vanilla ice cream. That's dinner, right??
Celene, I mean that they really taught me about rhubarb. My ex-mother in law was cooking it on stove. I asked to taste it. It was delish, tasted like applesauce (kinda like). I asked for another small bowl, ate that and then had to run for the bathroom. They all had a good laugh and I learned that it was a good laxative. A lesson learned!
I wish hubby liked rhubarb. He worked at a boys halfway house in his younger days and someone donate 200 strawberry rhubarb pies. He said they served it for dessert so many nights in a row he will never eat rhubarb again.
We're home and I was lobbying for Chinese. He wants fried fast chicken. It will be food cooked in Miami and packed for the return. It's gonna be cacciatore and pasta du jour.
I was trying to think of a food I've had too much of in my life and can't come up with one. That is not a good sign. lol I could eat potatoes mashed or boiled forever. Rice however, in all it's glorious forms, is my starch of choice.
I've little experience with rhubarb, having grown up in the South. It prefers cool weather. I do know it will set you straight and New England SO's nana said it was " a physique".
I love stewed rhubarb - may with a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla.
We used to make rhubarb shortcake as well as strawberry shortcake (wild strawberrys - please).
I like them both but prefer not to have to combination. Had the first Rhubarb/strawberry pie as a teenager in Tulsa.
It was too sweet and the commercial strawberrys didn't help. Most of them are pretty tasteless to me - more pith than flavor.
Sort of like home grown tomatoes vs hot-house store-bought.
Do you grow it, Bubba? I've eaten it a few times but don't really care for sweet things. It's not that rhubarb is naturally sweet but if it were made into a tart chutney or relish I think I'd like it better.
Laurel, I will have to get you a jar of ginger rhubarb jam. It's jam, it's sweet, but not sickly sweet, and with the nice bite of ginger. I've been playing with a couple of chutney recipes as well, one that originally used apple and dates, subbing rhubarb for apple, and another that I'm subbing rhubarb for mango. The mango one is medium heat, the apple one is fairly mild, but I have no ability to gauge normal amounts of spicy heat for other people. Apparently, I'm immune, lol.
I have a pint of strawberry rhubarb jam that I bought at an Amish restaurant. It was called Yoder's. It says that they have a website: www.yodersfinefoods.com. It was made by Yoder's Fine Foods, division of Yoders Cider Barn, in Martinsburg, Ohio. They had all kinds of jams and jellies. The restaurant that I visited was near Monticello, Ga. Laurel, are you familiar with this restaurant?
As for foods that we use to hate...I remember in elementary school they use to serve spinach with slices of boiled eggs on top of it. I dispised it for years, then I discovered how good fresh spinach is cooked in a little butter. Now I eat almost everything. My husband use to tell me that I would eat anything that didn't eat me. We are blessed to have such an abundance of different foods to enjoy.
Laney, I am not familiar with Yoders but I love Amish home cooking. Maybe I need to visit Monticello? Our philosophy is if it moves slowly enough enough to catch...eat it! Guess that makes us members of the slow moving/cooking movement.
I lurk here all the time and love to get hints and experience new foods through your words. I don't think I've posted here, though.
Here's a hint from a midwest gal (moi). To use considerably less sugar for sweetening rhubarb dishes, just add a couple pinches of salt to what ever dish you're preparing. It tends to neutralize the sourness/tartness of the rhubarb. I usually can cut the recommended amount of sugar in a recipe by half.
Give it a try. All you have to lose, is calories and some of the pucker-power of the rhubarb. :-)
Gee, Mary, she did confess and this sounds like good advice from "moi" in the tall corn state. I haven't a clue how to deal with rhubarb. Thanks, Sasha, and please post what's for dinner.
I've spent most of the day in the garden but made a dough for fresh corn tortillas. I seasoned and browned some meat and onions this morning. SO made a salsa fresca using beautiful cilantro from our garden. We picked baby lettuces and arugula. Arugula is great as a green on tortillas. I'll have to use a mix of cheddar and mozz, (that's what I've got) and beans I canned last Fall. There's both sour cream and yogurt. We are not fussy at all when the garden is underway.
Sounds like good chutney. I use frozen mangos for chutney because it is always sweet and ripe.
I've been lurking and enjoying the meals here plus fun things like a new kitchen!
Company for dinner on Saturday night. We had cheese and bacon stuffed chicken with a pecan crust, rice pilaf and roasted baby carrots with a salad. Then we had Trader Joe's molten lava cakes with ice cream for dessert. Totally decadent and not something we do often but it was a lot of fun.
My SIL takes the green ones that fall and lays them out on a metal grid supported by concrete blocks. She then peels, slices and freezes them for later use. She grew up in GA with peaches and I grew up in Miami with mangoes. I'd never heard of doing this with mangoes before.
I enjoy the mangos from the super market. Just sit them out in my fruit bowl for a week or two 'til they are ripe. I've never had one fresh & ripe from the tree so I may just be missing out though. I added peaches I'd frozen whole to the mangos & sweet potatoes a few days ago and have been eating them (roasted w/red peppers & onions too + some butter & a touch of maple syrup, coriander & cinnimon). Oh so good!
Beef & broccoli for dinner last night w/a planned reprise for dinner tonight. :-)
I wish I could grow it. But, we are WAAAY too far south. One of our neighbors in N.MN had what looked like a hedge row of it. He did not know how to prepare it, we harvested a bunch. Mom, cooked a pie and we took some stewed canned in quart jars and also some jam to him.
He had some fresh baked bread, so we all enjoyed a sample. Told us to come back and take all we wanted - lol.