Tonight was a take-out pizza we took with us to my MIL's so we could watch UT beat Georgia - woot!
Tomorrow's the SuperBowl err, the "Big Game" since the NFL says it has dibs on the official name. Anybody have big plans to watch the game, or watch the commercials? We're headed over to some friends' house for a watch party. I'm taking sausage mini-muffins (like sausage balls only easier) and something else, TBD before 4:00 tomorrow.
Mary - Thanks for posting the recipe. It sounds like it would taste good. I'll have to think about a substitue for the yeast bread. Some of the moutain bread I make might work.
You might consider substituting another thinly sliced meat for the pancetta. On The Chew this week, they made a stratta with corned beef. Seems like if they are using corned beef then another meat would also work.
I had meant to post it here so will copy it in...re: the meat substitue, last week I substituted a thinly sliced roasted garlic turkey sandwich meat for ham...that might work. I think I'll try this that way.
Susan, here's the fennel recipe I saw recently. It's in a magazine under "Fast and Fresh"...
Roasted Fennel, Egg and Pancetta Panzanella
8 oz Pancetta, cut into cubes
1 large fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cups cubed or torn ciabatta bread
1/2 tsp pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 425°. Mix pancetta, fennel, garlic, sugar an 2 tbsp oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast together, stirring often, until mixture is starting to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Add ciabatta and sprinkly mixture with pepper. Roast until bread is toasted and fennel is softened, about 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into pan, cover and fry until whites are set, about 3 minutes.
Mix warm bread mixture with arugula and divide among 4 plates. Set an egg on top of each.
- - -
I was thinking of trying this but expect the pancetta will make it too salty for us. Let me know how you like it if you make and what the salt factor is - scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high.
On Big Game Day we like to go someplace that is usually too crowded for us, even the mall or maybe a movie. Like Laurel's SO, mine's not into spectator sports. (I may have over-corrected from my ex :-/ )
We have been invited to our friends house for the "Big game". they have a party every year...he is from NY and really gets into it. I go just to sit and chit chat with the gals, really don't get into the game that much, but the commercials can be fun. DH likes to watch it.
Since all the gals are on diets my appetizer is going to be a seven layer Mexi dip, but with all low fat stuff. They will have tons of wings, meatballs, you know all the stuff that puts the diet out the window. I am making the guacamole on the side for those that don't like the green stuff. got some great looking Haas avocados for $3.68 at Sam's, five to a bag.
Darius I read your post of the healthier recipes and I agree this forum is certainly more interesting since many are gardeners also. I like to see what others are growing and harvesting for dinner.
Gonna be doing some camp cooking next week, taking a little trip in our RV...sons will stay home since they have classes and work and take care of the kitties. No Internet while camping.
Some of my new herbs...the Thai basil (with purple flowers on in photo) has a licorice taste like fennel does. I have never grown fennel, don't use enough of it to grow it.
SO just brought in a grilled tri-tip that I jerked this morning. That's a two minute procedure since I grow the peppers for and can my own jerk. He added hickory for a little smoke flavor. I made a salad this a.m. after marinating the meat. There were odds and ends of cool bread in the fridge that became croutons (even a lone corn tortilla). I found blue cheese in the freezer that had been cut into slim wedges and wrapped. We are having a steak salad.
I use lots of fennel both for catering and in personal recipes. I prefer to not cook it with other foods, but rather cook it separately and use it to dress out dishes. I think it's flavor should stand as a separate ingredient and not become homogenous in the dish. It is very difficult to grow though we have some bulbs in the garden right now. We had roasted fennel this past week. The outer leaves were saved. I peeled them this morning with a veggie peeler and then shaved (chiffonade) them against the grain for our salad tonight. I also used some of the fronds to top the salad. The more tender, inner portion of the bulbs got roasted. They are prime.
Darius, your comments about these threads are spot on and so nice of you to mention. This is a nice place to be. As for choys, I like them blanched best. The choys are especially watery greens. I have trouble with them in stir fries. They wilt. I drop them in broths for a minute or two and then use them anywhere from soft to crunchy in various dishes. A good twist is to top crostini with blanched and garlicked choys, then add a cheese topping. Then run them in a hot oven for a few minutes. No need to broil. Just melt the cheese. A Roman take on an Asian veggie.
Thank you for all the help on the fennel. I will be hanging onto the recipes and advise for the next fennel we get. They helped me get this one cooked. We both liked the taste of the fennel so another add on to the list of veggies we will eat.
I used the current fennel in last night's dinner which turned out especially very well for a throw together. Based on the reaction last night we will be repeating this in the near future. Leftovers were gone at lunch today.
Dinner last night was whole wheat tortillas filled with leftover herbed pork loin, cooked kabocha squash, caramelized onions and fennel bulb slices, chopped fresh apple bathed in Rouge Verjus, and fresh fennel fronds.
Slow here, but crazy-busy everywhere else I've been the last few days. I made black beans and chorizo last night, and no dinner tonight (I'm tellin' ya - crazy busy.)
The temps are cooling down over the next few days so I've got more soups and stews and stick-to-your-ribs foods planned for the rest of the week. And several different quick bread recipes I'll be trying throughout the month. Hope everyone stays warm and well (or gets well soon!)
oooo, the pasta with shrimp strikes my fancy. We did a basic fall-back of bbq chicken breast, corn on the cob, some of that quinoa/farro salad left over from the other day and artesian bread. Glass of red wine - - - carrot cake with Bailey's on the bottom.
I'm so out of steam from a busy work weekend and week. Aside from an annual physical (I always think of the Tin Man getting polished on that slab) I've been working with a new recipe program, completing the art work for the wedding party invites and making piecework table toppers (shh that's a secret) for the hoe down theme. The plan is to make a wedding quilt from the toppers for their first anniversary. The bride and groom are to be surprised with the party decor. As for the invites, I created a miniature, four page, storybook since we have different venues going on over several nights.
I'm roasting a whole hen tonight and serving her with a medley of sauteed veggies, including asparagus, tossed with linguine and pesto.
Poor baby. Sounds like you could use a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup. :)
The hen is smelling good upstairs. She had an herb and garlic oil massage before going into the sauna. There's rosemary in the rub. A few years ago I discovered it pulverizes nicely, after drying, with a mortar and pestle. No more tiresome chopping.
Does anyone use recipe software? If so, which one? I decided a few years back that though I cook mostly without recipes, even when catering, written guidance would be a good idea for things I cook infrequently. I also wanted a way to record the more technical aspects of what has been successful for catering and themes and variations of original dishes. My clients seem to prefer menu options that are original recipes. I spent more than a year transcribing notes into one piece of software only to realize its limitations. Now I'm trialing another recipe software that is evaluated as being "pro" grade.
I use both Big Oven and Mastercook..the probably 4th and 5th recipe programs over the years. Mastercook, hasn't had an upgrade since XP or before, so I tried moving on to Big Oven, but it is not my favorite by far. I'm not sure there is a good recipe program out there. Are there any other opinions?
I could use a few recommendations too. I've followed the various threads over the years, but without a good conclusion.
I made my own 200+ page cookbook a few years ago, using MS Word. I could index by ingredient and name, paginate, (which changed every time I added a new recipe), and a lot of other neat tricks. Of course, it didn't give me a breakdown of nutritional values...
Well hopefully it was special cheese, Darius. I could easily make a dinner out of cheese. Our pasta and veggies with pesto seemed a bit bland so I crumbled Bucheron into it and added red pepper flakes. Wow, good...ripe eau de chevre with a bit of zip.
Edens, I downloaded a thirty day trial for Living Cookbook this past week. It's looking good. I'm pathetic in the computer dept.. The more intuitive the software the better. I was previously using Recipe Center but had trouble converting from the free, unlimited time version to the paid version. My stuff is stuck in the free version and I'm now having to photograph the recipes on the screen with a camera to transfer them anywhere. They never upgraded to Windows 7 so I started copying recipes to a Windows recipe program but that seemed too much like a spread sheet for cooking.
I almost got Mastercook before deciding on Living Cookbook. Have not heard of Big Oven. The one thing I will do this time is make sure I have the software on disc and not just a download. Living Cookbook sends a disc once you subscribe to a download. You must buy the software from them and not another online site that carries their software otherwise you will not get the disc. The price is the same regardless; about thirty five dollars.
Haven't used any recipe software. Best I can recommend is to do a search on review of recipe software and also see what Amazon reviews are like.
Being around the smell of chicken (and a lot of other foods) was a problem. I tried to throw DH a meal into the crockpot one day and then couldn't handle the cooking smell. Ginger soda (with real ginger), rice, and saltine crackers worked.
Back to somewhat normal (if still some what bland) food. DH is picking up dinner tonight so we'll see what I think I can handle when he calls.
BTW - Before I got sick this week I had a really good wrap at a local organic restaurant, The Mixx. I'm not sure that it was arugula in it as the wrap had a thick green in it like a kale or spinach. But the wrap was very good.
Curry Sweet Potato Wrap - Roasted sweet potato, curry-tomato chutney, coconut-ginger sauce, and arugula wrapped in a sweet cardamom tortilla.
I'm stuck for dinner ideas...I need to make a big batch of something that will last the week. I'll come back here later when I have more time to read through and get some inspiration. We're now off for our morning soak in the hot tub, watch the day come on...
I have a goose in the crockpot; gotta use 'em up! I cut it up and browned the pieces with some onion, and then added flour, chicken broth, white wine, a touch of tomato paste and some herbes de Provence and poured the sauce over the goose. The recipe calls for adding chestnuts at the end but I'm not sure what that would really add so I probably won't bother. It's also supposed to be cooked on the stove top but I figured that the crockpot would do a better job of tenderizing our free-range goose...
I cooked a center-cut ham steak last night, with pineapple chunks partially caramelized in brown butter. Served with Jasmine rice and platanos maduros. Enough left over for tonight, just need a green veggie...
oooo, apricot chicken in the crock sounds yummy. Darius, I have some lovely broccoli popping up in the winter garden, pop on by and grab a bunch!! I found a recipe for chicken chili stew that may make the cut.
Found a half a round steak in the freezer, so I braised it with shallots and a good glug of merlot, and garlic, fresh black pepper and it 's been in the oven since noon. Smells out of this world. Got spuds on for mashing, and pulled some corn I froze last September, which will round out the meal. I'd love a salad but I haven't seen an acceptable tomato in weeks.
I made a big pot of bean soup. I saw one of those packages of 15 beans in the grocery store and couldn't resist. Sausage, onion, carrot, celery & cabbage w/some canned diced tomatoes. Its really good & hits the spot on this blustery cold day. Will have plenty to eat during the week as well as for the freezer.
Susan, I'm so glad to see you are better. Not being able to eat is the worst kind of illness I can imagine. :)
GG, it's been years since I've cooked goose. I'm always envious of your goose larder as well as your goose lard.
Tammy, I've always been wary of those bean mixe. Wonder who messed up at the factory and then they charge a little extra for them to boot.
I had a disaster in the greenhouse several days ago. There were incredible wind storms all night. Somehow the door to the greenhouse was pulled open. It was eighteen degrees outside and thirty four degrees in the greenhouse when I discovered the open door in the morning. I grow orchids, almost exclusively; not the kind you see in stores. My collection consists mostly of species referred to as "botanical curiosities". Many are rare and grown by tissue culture in labs because native plants are endangered. The greenhouse is normally kept at sixty degrees during the night and 60-80% humidity. It will take me weeks to assess the damage as plants drop leaves and keel over. So depressing. I've lost plants that are most likely irreplaceable. DG friends on the orchid forum as well as other orchid buddies have been wonderfully supportive. I'm trying to stay calm amidst calamity and extra busy co-chairing the Atlanta Orchid Society annual show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. That three day event is three weeks away and a year in the planning.
While remaining philosophical about life and the universe (in a Douglas Adams sorta way) I'm making meat loaf, special herbed tatties and neeps (mashed potatoes and turnips), and roasted Brussels sprouts while SO will grill asparagus. Tomorrow will be a tale of two quiches; one goat cheese and spinach with pesto, the other Italian cherry peppers from the summer garden, leftover grilled asparagus and blobs of fresh mozz. We'll have a grilled Romaine salad with a pickled veggie relish to go with the quiches.
While out and about today, I picked up a couple of bags of Meyer Lemons, plan to turn them into Moroccan Preserved Lemons tomorrow. Did you know Meyer Lemons aren't the real ones? They were destroyed by a virus in the 1940's to prevent other citrus being attacked. What we buy now is "Improved Meyer Lemon" discovered in the 1950's... that's your food trivia for the day!
Haven't decided what I'll do with the kumquats, probably just snack on them!
Thanks so much. I'm trying to stay positive. Some of my awarded specimens will survive but are so severely damaged they cannot be shown for years. Favorite growers have already written or called saying they will help restore my collection. I get weepy thinking about such generous people.
Darius, pickled quats are fantastic, especially when they are made sweet and sour (since they are already sweet and sour all in one fruit). My dad's company used to make a kumquat conserve which included oranges, orange rind and raisins. That would be good with ginger, cinnamon and cloves added. You never hear about conserves anymore. Weren't these the original chutneys?
I too am sorry for your heartache Laurel...and hope you are surprised at what survives. One can only hope.
Tonight's dinner will be left over chicken chili stew and a side of garden broccoli. Since it's Valentine's Day I believe we have some good chocolate for desert. Funny thing...I've lived with DH for nearly 34 years and just yesterday found out his favorite candy bar is Pay Day...guess what he got a bag of?? And I don't think I have ever eaten a single one. Do they go with scotch???
Laurel, I'm so sorry - those losses are hard when it's a simple annual crop like tomatoes. When it's rare orchids...egads. You have my deep sympathies. Hopefully the damage won't be too bad.
Dinner tonight is sticky chicken and pan-sauteed gnocchi with grape tomatoes, pesto and goat cheese and green beans. I have no clue if we're having anything for dessert - Mr. Official gave me an early V-day gift of a sore throat and cold, so I wasn't feeling up to fixing the chocolatey gooey something-or-other I had vaguely envisioned a few days ago. But that's okay, considering it's really just a Tuesday and my post-holiday weight loss efforts are proceeding slowly.
How do you make your gnocchi, Laurel? I love having some leftover, and I almost always do unless I'm feeding the tribe. I use boiled riced potatos, I don't much care for the ones made with cornmeal. And those packaged ones won't ever pass my lips. Tried them once. They are so easy. I make enough to freeze some, and they do freeze well, after being cooked.
Last gnocchi I made were sweet potato, from an Alton Brown recipe.
Laurel, I make some conserves now and then, even a tomato conserve. I need to check the larder and if I'm low, or out of citrus conserves, I may use the 'quats in one. To me, the notable difference in conserves and chutneys is mostly the mango. I make a pretty good Blackberry Savory that's tasty with fowl and pork.
Roasted Poblano Pesto
Fire roasted Poblanos, with mellow roasted garlic, toasted pumpkin seeds (Pepitas), and cilantro combine to make this vibrant green pesto a versatile, warm, earthy sauce. It’s bright flavors are a welcome addition to a mid winter meal. http://www.gastronomicgardener.com/roasted-poblano-pesto/
Thanks everyone for all the love. I've been so busy and that's a good thing. Just playing the waiting game here to see what makes it and what doesn't.
Meezers, do you mean a recipe for gnocchi? I make several kinds. We like butternut squash/pumpkin with brown butter and sage best. For basic gnocchi I use about 1 1/2 lbs potatoes to 2 1/2 cups flour, a fat pinch of salt and an extra large egg. No need to measure precisely. I don't have a ricer and use a fork to break up and mash lightly. As an alternative I've put the hot potatoes through the grater on the food processor, switched to the chopping blade, added the flour and salt to mix and then added the egg with good results. I form my grooves with a fork. Some folks use a grater. There's always more than we can eat so I freeze the extra on cookie sheets for a few hours and pop them into storage bags. There is a famous old Italian market, Lorenzo's, in the Miami neighborhood I grew up in. They sell gnocchi made fresh daily; lots of different kinds. We always get a selection of flavors and then make several simple sauces to go with them.
Our menu has changed to pizza at SO's request. It's been a long, long time. I'll use the same ingredients slated for the quiches.
Gnocchi is very easy. We call it nokedli, and also we serve it with toasted breadcrumbs and sugar on top. You can toast your crumbs with melted butter , when is nice light brown, pour some water in it, maybe a cup. The breadcrumbs will absorbe the water and you mix it with cooked gnocchi and sprinkle sugar on it. Sometime we also make stuffed gnocchi with italian prune plumm. use same bread crumbs.I have not made it for a long time, maybe I will try it out on the church people.
My DS sent me a gnocchi paddle a couple years ago, I usually use a fork which is quick and washable. The gnocchi paddle is made of some kind of soft wood!! Generally I'm even too lazy to do the fork and just give each little pillow a knuckle rap to make a dent and that does it just fine.
A D G'er on here a few years ago posted a recipe that was very good .Easy Easy Easy . Chicken parts in a crock pot and add a cup of your favorite B B Q sauce. That's it ! Hunks of pork or beef can be used instead .
I learned most of what cooking I know from Craig Claiborne's cookbooks. (He was the Food Editor for the New York Times.) I came across this blog post of an extravagant dinner in Paris that he won in a PBS fundraising auction (for $300).
The 31 course, 4½ hour meal in 3 services, an outrageous dinner Craig Claiborne had eaten in Paris … a $4000 dinner (1975’s $4000 would be more than $18,000 today)
Fascinating, although the white letters on black made it hard to read. I did wonder what happened to the cheese course, though! That's usually obligatory, and I was curious which they'd choose to serve.
We went to DS's last night for sausage with spinach and garlic over pasta. Tonight we are probably having leftover hachis Parmentier.
I'm glad you are back to yourself and up to contra dance Susan!
Darius - I was just happy to see no gold was consumed in that expensive "dream meal". I am bothered by that place the sells the ?$10,000 sunday with gold flecks. Ostentatious consumption at its worst.
I made a shrimp pasta dish - trying to use up some items getting well past their best used by dates. Was good - not great. Red pepper, onion, garlic, mushroom, sundried tomatoes... chicken broth, fresh pasta, shrimp.
Yes. It's nice to be better and out and about. I've never understood the need to eat real gold. I'm not sure how healthy that would be. How's the prep for the garden show going? BTW - Did I mention that the one in Witchta Kansas folded this year after 44 years of running. Said the economy was creating to many hardships and they'd rather fold than disappoint people. Boeing is shutting everything down in Witchta and moving all of it to TX. It's going to be a real hardship on the area to have that many jobs disappear.
Dinner was roasted chicken, squash, and a spinach salad with assorted toppings.
Another contra workshop and contra evening dance yesterday. All over for the weekend and time to get back on the homework.
The Phila Flower Show is just consuming my thoughts day & night now. I have to clear out a space in the barn today so store the tufa rock we're using in our exhibit. Sorry to hear about the woes from your area.
How did you prepare the squash? We still have plenty left to eat. :-)
I figured you were busy with getting ready for the show. Let me know if/when you post pictures someplace.
It was the Kobocha squash. So baked nothing on it.
What kind of squash do you have left?
I spent too much time on homework today and needed time away from the house. So dinner was out at California Pizza Kitchen. DH had a Thai Pizza on whole grain crust and one of the slow roasted pork tacos. I had the remaining pork taco with an order of White Corn Guacamole.
Darius, though I can't match Craig Claiborne's dinner we had pretty decent meals at Les Creyers during our four day stay. The wines and champagnes were amazing and every course was served with a sorbet palate cleanser. The finale, after the sweet cart was the cheese cart. It would have blown your mind. Very authentic, flies and all. lol The dining room had enormous leaded glass doors looking out onto a nearby meadow of lambs. This place is close enough to Paris to make it a popular rendezvous spot. We suspected we might be the only married couple in the dining room.
I am weeks away from the Atlanta Orchid Society's show, which I am co-chairing, in conjunction with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens "Orchid Daze" event and suddenly I've got work. Grief!
Youngest child is coming by for soup and a new trial sandwich.
I am still in "clean out the oldest of the freezer stuff" mode. I thawed some lobster tail, and DH had split, broiled lobster tail with garlic, walking onion, and Meyer lemon, mashed cheddar redskin potatoes, and broiled asparagus. Next, I have to find something interesting to do with boneless pork chops...
I went to the Fiery Food Festival at the North Market, so I put some Scorpion Hot Sauce on the mashed potatoes and topped with some cheddar and crumbled veggie bacon :) And of course asparagus. I can eat embarrassing amounts of asparagus.
Must have been asparagus night. Picked up lovely little 8" ones that were so nice and tender, had made lasagna early this morning because we had a house inspection to do for my DD, and I knew most of the afternoon would be shot. Big tossed salad, garlic bread and we were fed and happy. I did the lasagna with both red sauce and bechamel, and it was yummy. I have three more dishes in the freezer for future meals. I made a vat of sauce and still had to rummage in the freezer for an extra cup to finish the last one.
Either. If it has sugar in it then put it on last as a grilling sauce. You can also mix it with something else (ketchup, mustard, etc.) to mild it down.
We also use a spice mix. Prezey's Vindaloo which is a mix of coriander, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, brown mustard, red pepper, jalapeno, cardamom, turmeric, telicherry (?), black pepper and cloves. Sometimes I also throw chipotle pepper seasoning on it also. DH makes pork on cooked apples slices with cinnamon and cloves.
Sheila - Smart on cooking ahead. I need to figure out how to be better at that.
re: the lasana, that is a smart thing to do. I really (REALLY) need to dethaw my freezer while the temps are still cool - it's easier to keep the frozen stuff cold if the garage is chilly. Then I'd have room to double up on more dishes. I did a lot of that when all three kids were home for dinner more nights than not.
Now we're just trying to navigate slowly into the realm of not-quite-empty nesters - we're definitely no longer a family with a passel of hungry young'uns who routinely show up for mealtime.
I'm a big fan of 'make a bunch and freeze some for later', and it's only the two of us. We go camping a lot in the summer months and I can grab a few Tupperware's of soups and stews from the freezer and we're good to go. Replaces some of the ice to keep the cooler cold, than take out to thaw in the afternoon.
Tonight will be mushroom and spinach enchiladas with a somewhat home-made sauce.
I had a bad day yesterday. Was cooking down the last of the pumpkins and I mindlessly poured some cool water in mt hot ceramic roasting pan. What a loud noise the cracking was! Le creusset. I think I will go with enamel covered cast iron on the replacement.
I could return the cracked one for replacement but that feels dishonest since it was my stupid mistake.
I have leftovers for dinner tonight. Will probably make a pumpkin pie since I did get the pumpkin ready.
I took a hot casserole dish out of the oven and slid it onto the enamel stove top. There was a small pool of water which I didn't see. Casserole flew into many pieces, nobody got cut, dinner was ruined and I never did that again.
Tam, I'd contact Le Crueset about the mishap. They are good about replacing pieces regardless of the age or reason. Just mention it was water. You didn't actually know the temperature did you? If they offeer to replace it you can always get a flat rate box.
I cracked my mom's big cast iron skillet when we came to Maypop one winter night and I stuck it on the stove to preheat. With Mom gone, that really hurt. The heat had not been on in the house and the skillet was cold. I also blew up a pyrex casserole dish when I removed it from the oven and placed it on a burner top. I had removed a pot from the burner minutes before. It wasn't on but was hot enough to do the deed. The pieces literally went ballistic and burned spots in the carpets in the dining area as well as damaging the enamel on the open oven door. I feel so fortunate nothing hit me.
We are having stir fried veggies and tofu for dinner with mushu pancakes.
My reasoning is if you drop the cake part you can eat three times more cheese.That's right, isn't it? I need an ironclad excuse for the several pounds of St. Andre and brie in the fridge.
Terry, the learning curve of almost-to-mostly empty nest and subsequent scaling down is a slippery slope. The realization that you have lived to shop, albeit at the grocery store and not the mall, is a real revelation.
thanks for all the stories. I will contact Le Creusset. It can't hurt. I actually had a glass roasting dish explode in the oven. I was making roasted tomato sauce. I noticed the smell of roasting maters way too early so checked the oven. There were tomatoes just sitting on the wire rack. As silly as this sounds, I was thinking "did I forget to put them in a pan?" lol That one was not my fault!
Pumpkin pie & a few small pumpkin filling in ramikins are in the oven. Almost done.
It was a very weird thought but then... my mind could not get wrap itself around the visual. Veggies and no pan.
Kinda like the day we had that earthquake here on the east coast. My office was shaking and all I could think was that my DH was up in the attic jostling things around. Ya right! He's 135lbs (though even a large man couldn't make the house shake like that)
LOL. I had an experince like that with weed barrier that I put down. The mulch was still there but weed barrier was gone. I was questioning my sanity until I walked around the side of the house and found 10 feet (of a 20 foot section) of weed barrier plus mulch all rolled up like a hay bale. Evedentually weed barrier is highly regarded as nest material for woodchucks.
Dinner was chicken stir-fry with carrots, red onions, bak choi, kale, spinach, ginger, soy sauce, and black bean sause. Turned out very well.
In our neck of the woods, canine undercoat is a highly desirable nesting material, blue jays and evil squirrels fight over it. Since I have a GSDxGreat Dane mix and a SheltiexChow mix, my dogs shed like it's their job and I brush them in the yard, and let the wildlife enjoy the hair. It's always gone by the next day. No woodchucks here, thankfully; just the odd opossum.
I am just now getting around to making the pork chops I thawed, I'm marinating them in soy, ginger, garlic, honey, sliced jalapenos, sliced onion. I'll grill the onion, peppers and pork chops later. Serving with brown rice, edamame, and sauteed bok choy with sweet chili sauce and a garnish of holy basil. Salad with a ginger miso dressing.
Things been crazy around here and half the time on one home to cook for. But did put a pork roast in the crock pot one day and had some nice southern pulled pork sandwiches. Then made a BBQ pork pizza with the leftovers.
Tonight gonna make a Mardi Gras Pasta, but keeping it a bit healthy with turkey kielbasa instead of sausage...you know after all that pork we ate. Sorry no pancakes here, I don't like them. I'm working on fitting back into my skinny jeans. ☺
My BBQ pork pizza, half had pickles which is what the recipe called for, but I put pickled jalapeños on the other half and we liked that much better.
Please do join us, Dianne. I didn't know Fat Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday were one and the same (just looked it up) and I certainly didn't know about the pancakes. That's a great tradition. Paczki sound good too. :)
A tasting luncheon for a dental practice on Thursday has kept me busy trying out new sandwich creations. So far there's a BBQ chicken salad and cheese BLT that has been trialed and well received. The chicken salad is made with a homemade BBQ sauce that is blended like Russian dressing. There is thick cut applewood bacon and grated Cabot cheddar stuffed in there. I've also created the Redneck Reuben on rye and Country Cuban torta for the tasting. A Mediterranean veggie sandwich with homemade hummus (from dry beans) that's layered with grilled eggplant, onions and sweet red peppers has been on my menu forever.
We are having a bit of that BBQ chicken salad on a green salad and flat bread pizza with herbs and brie for dinner.
Susan, it would be wonderful if you could come. Do you do dishes?
I'm seriously conflicted about these sandwiches. People love them, and they are delicious, but this can't be every day food. The Redneck Reuben substitutes traditional Swiss with homemade pimento cheese slathered on both sides of artisan rye (previously toasted and coated with dark grain mustard), a homemade five ounce sausage patty, instead of pastrami, a pile of wrung out kosher kraut, and the Georgia version of Russian dressing that includes pickled peppers.
I grew up on Cuban sandwiches in Miami. Then I moved north of south. My Country Cuban version of a sandwich Cubano is a large, garlic toasted torta (like ciabatta), home made sausage instead of pork roast, our wood fired oven smoked Smithfield ham, dark mustard, pimento cheese with hot and sweet peppers and fermented kosher dill pickles sliced the long way. I have started experimenting with making my own mustards. They are a much better product.
Yep, I'm definitely up for a tasting of the chicken salad - that sounds really good!
We don't observe Lent, but I did make a "King Cake" quick bread (and a Tiramisu bread) just for the fun of it. Let's see if I can get them frosted before my hungry family delves into them.
Tonight is chicken and cheese enchiladas with a green chile/sour cream sauce. Side of refried beans, thanks to my MIL who felt well enough to make a batch of her near-famous pinto beans and sent some home with her son last night when he went by to check on her.
I totally forgot it was Fat Tues. The tradition around here is fast nachts - donuts made with lard. To use up all your sugar & lard before lent. Some of the locals used to bring in a bunch to the office but since I work from home now, I don't have that luxury.
I did a little freezer diving for dinner - roasted a speghetti squash and cooked up some meatballs & roasted tomato sauce. Oh it was good!
Laurel, I can appreciate your "Country Cuban" sandwich, but I cannot imagine one without real lechon asado. I'm sure you have driven around as much as I did, smelling that wonderful marinade/aroma over the Christmas holidays! I haven't had a Cuban sandwich made with real fire-roasted pork in many years, just fast imitations when I've visited back there.
[quote="SusanKC"]I think Terry and I can plow through whatever dishes we use. I willing to help on the rest.[/quote]
I'm the "chief cook and bottle washer" around here so it would be nice break to sample someone else's cooking in return for KP duty (I'm glancing at my huge stack of drying dishes as we speak...two loaves of bread and dinner can create a LOT of dirty pans and bowls :-)
Terry, does the King Cake have a ring? Do people go to church on this day or is it more like a food and family holiday? Passover is right at the same time as Easter this year. I'm not ready at all. The kitchen goes upside down then because many foods are prohibited from even being in the house.
I had a friend growing when I was a kid whose family was very observant. I loved eating at her house during Lent and Fridays.
Susan, my main catering business had been dinner parties for twenty five to fifty and consisted of hand crafted food that was done partly at home and partly on site. I've done bigger but the biggest event I've ever done was for under two hundred people. A typical client looks for a menu that is between twenty five and forty five dollars per person as a base price and wants to entertain in their home. Crunch the numbers and you can see you can eat out well at these prices but the venues are usually spectacular and that's why my clients want to stay home with their guests. It's a putting on the dog thing with a personal chef. Desserts, bar, service or cleanup was additional. Times have changed. I'm going after professional clients who want to host holiday or employee birthday/shower/anniversary celebrations or something for visiting professionals and consultants. These clients are lawyers, doctors, dentists or business professionals who typically would prefer to stay in the office instead of the older model of a day "doing lunch" at a local watering hole. I'm hoping maybe there will be something more in line with what I do if these same people want to entertain at home. I'm developing a web site for weekly menus (not up yet) and considering doing a food mob event. It's killing me to have to rethink the way I present my food but that's a good thing. I mean how many ways can you say "control freak" if your menu creations start with how you grow your tomatoes.
Darius, the pork is easily made in our wood fired oven but you are so right. The "usual" version is just a pork loin thrown in an oven.
Laurel, you are going after a different type of event because times are changing and your main catering business isn't as much in demand?
We went over to some friends' house tonight for steamed clams. They got them fresh from a place near the shore, and they were delicious dipped in garlic sautéed in olive oil. Along with that we had spaghettini with pesto sauce and steamed broccoli with butter. I brought along a (purchased) strawberry-rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream. It was all very good, as was the company. We got to see slides from their recent trip visiting friends in Wales, which was a special treat.
Dinner tonight will be pork chops a' la Celene '...marinated in soy, ginger, garlic, honey, sliced jalapenos, sliced onion. I'll grill the onion, peppers ...', with my first attempt at roasted poblano mashed potatoes with garlic. Carrot cake for desert.
Mary, love the "a la Celene". Was wondering for a second why I'd never heard of that before. lol
GG and Susan, I'm going after commercial clients because high end, hand crafted food is not in demand these days. Neither is organic, natural, or artisinal outside of the restaurant scene. Surprised about this last one? I've got numbers to prove it. I pick up food from two national specialty food markets every month, one regional grocery store chain and a warehouse club for food redistribution. The least waste and therefore smallest donations come from the grocery store and the next is the warehouse store. However, both organic specialty markets (I'm not mentioning names here but you all know them) donated close to fifty thousand pounds of food last year. That's individual stores from two different companies. We usually drop the deliveries off at shelters and pantries and volunteers process the donations but for two months in a row our delivery day fell on a holiday and we have codes to get in to the facilities to sort and stow the food. Our pickups exceeded four hundred pounds at each store. These stores are picked up twice a week. I was stocking the freezers and fridges with dozens of pounds of imported cheeses, fresh squeezed juices, pre-cut tropical fruits, angus steaks, filet mignons, whole tenderloins, briskets, tri-tips and chickens in every form. There were prepared and semi-prepared foods made on site or manufactured. All organic. Ditto the produce. Never mind what's thrown out (like all the sustainable seafood). IMO these companies are making money because a few people are paying a lot of money for their food to go from farm to table while the rest goes in the garbage. How green is that? Most of us could not afford to buy this food on a regular basis. It's made me question my own feelings about whole, slow and organic. I take a lot of pride in what I present but my prices need to come down which means I need to rethink menus and ingredients. I can't continue to make mayonnaise and make money. We grow as much produce and herbs as we can for my enterprise.
We are having tastings from tomorrow's tasting menu for dinner tonight along with a cheese board. I made a black bean and corn salad to go with the Country Cuban, pickled veggies to go with the BBQ chicken salad BLT and homemade bagel chips for the hummus. I decided not to sandwich the hummus since it's often ordered plated.
Laurel, since I was already taking all kinds of liberties with the king cake (quick bread, not yeast), I didn't put a ring or baby in it, lest my serrated knife would unluckily saw it in half.
Tonight's dinner is a takeoff on the retro classic "tater tot" casserole, with an Italian twist. We'll see how it goes. It may be a one-and-done recipe. My family can say a lot of things about my dinner selections, but they can't ever say it's the same, boring thing every night :-)
Tomorrow night is a family favorite pork loin, but I'm also going to try the macaroni-cooked-in milk thing for mac and cheese, and I've got a new radish and sugar snap salad with a tart vinaigrette I'm eager to spring on them.
I'll think about what you are saying. You would better know what the current nitch is for your business. I'm in class with a number of food people. The discussion this last week was about trends. One of them mentioned yet another product from China that was contaminated. This one is used in commercial baking and had human hair in it which by the way is gross.
BTW - We have a couple of restaurants that make their own ketchup, mustard, etc and personally I think it's a waste of time.
Sounds like those stores are over ordering. Amount of food waste may indicate some of what we've seen/complained about at local Whole Foods for the last 5 years: expired dairy products, berries with mold, old looking fruits and veggies, etc. A chef freind has also commented that they think they are leaving stuff on the shelf too long. I did see a report headline today that indicated that buying at stores like Whole Foods is up and buying at Walmart is down.
This winter we got tired of poor produce from WW and started buying fruits & veggies from a organic produce company that delivers to the DH's office. We can customize the list some. The produce is fresh like we picked it out of the garden. They also offer meats, dairy, cheese, and other products. We have not used that part of the service yet. However based on some price checks we're done lately we've started buying some of the package items we normally get from WW on-line from Amazon instead.
One of the books we're using in class is on trends and called Clicking, 17 Trends that Drive Your Business by Faith Popcorn. The company web site is http://www.faithpopcorn.com/ I'm not sure how up to date the data is but they supposedly look at what trends are happening in the country. There is a video description on each of the photos in the bottom left row of the web page. I'm going through the book now. Everything I've read makes sense to me so far. I have to write two papers by tomorrow so I'll see how I think it applies to the real world after I get done with that.
Dinner tonight is something with pork. I'm headed to peruse the crockpot cookbooks for something that I don't have to watch while it cooks.
I'm not surprised at the amount of waste, fresh foods require cooking and there aren't many cooks who work from scratch, and there's something wrong with their buyers if they are overstocking that much consistently. I sometimes have trouble using up fresh produce quickly enough simply because it isn't always as fresh as it is claimed to be. Lettuce is quick to turn brown, and seldom goes beyond 3-4 days. Sometimes I tear up the entire head, and put it in a salad spinner and take what i need from there. There is way too much waste. I am sorely tempted by European butter and some of those wonderful cheeses, but often pass them by because I know I won't use it up.
Have you noticed how much longer produce lasts when it comes from your garden? Makes you wonder how fresh the produce is in the stores. I know we've had a similar discussion here about eggs. Well there's only so much lifetime we have to make it a perfect world I guess. :) As for the food we pick up, much of it is months, sometimes years, from being out of date. Some reasons we end up with food; the package is punctured, the manufacturer has changed the package or the ingredients so older packages create brand confusion on the shelves, a label is marred or dirty looking, a part of the package appears loose (like the edges of those waxed boxes of soup stocks), or the store has discontinued the brand. The amount of damage caused by box blades is incredible. We get lots of boxed products where the inner package is intact but the store personnel zipped through all the boxes in a case. We brought in a case of organic carrots and every bag had been cut into. There were decapitated carrot parts rolling everywhere. I can't figure out what could have caused that. I also don't know what the deal is with meats and dairy because some of it is vacuum packed and days or more from being out of date. Maybe they got returns on those products for off flavors.
I set aside black beans and their liquid from the black bean salad making to make black bean soup for dinner. There are smoked chicken thighs in the freezer to jazz it up. I'll make a few veggie stuffed tortillas to accompany the soup. Wow, what beautiful weather today and I'm too tired to enjoy it.
Last night we went out to a waterfront café and had Dungeness crabs. Their servings consist of two large bodies with legs, and we each always eat just one there and have the second one for lunch cold the next day with garlic mayonnaise. I am looking forward to lunch! For dinner we're having some country-style pork ribs that I cooked slowly in the oven yesterday, expecting my son and granddaughter over for dinner. But he had to work late, so we went out instead and I'll serve the ribs with some of our own sweet potatoes for them tonight.
greenhouse gal, your Dungeness crabs sounded wonderful, bring up good food memories.
Dinner here tonight is typical mid-west, roast beef (ala' crockpot) w/ carrots and onions, new potatoes and gravy, and a salad. One of the things we miss from our times living in the larger city(s) is the seafood, veal, and other specialties not seen in wide array in small town mid west.
The ribs sounded so good, I took a package out of the freezer, and they are already nice and tender, and the BBQ sauce is smelling wonderful.
Completely out of potatos though, so either I fry up some sliced and boiled ones from the frig, or I'll make rice. Green bean casserole, w/o the mushroom soup, I made a bechamel and tossed in a handful of cheddar, and put panko on top, and there's a pineapple upsidedown cake in the oven.
I did Ann Burrell's original broccoli rabe pesto recipe and added a couple of saute'd onions and a yellow bell pepper. Oh it was delicious! Pistashios, mascapone cheese, parm w/the broccoli rabe and then saute'd onion, pepper & chicken sausage... oh my!
Ribs were very good, as were the sweet potatoes, and I cooked some homegrown limas in a bit of the juice from the meat and they were great, too. What was funniest was our twenty-two-month-old granddaughter, who went to town on all of it. We had to keep giving her more, especially the sweet potatoes. They are a variety called Maple Leaf which I had never heard of, but we got the slips at the local farm stand after the ones we ordered rotted before we could plant them. They are about the sweetest I've ever had; we'll have to get the same variety next year.
I experimented with 10" tacos and made baked, rather than fried, taco salad shells. They came out great! I had leftover chicken and tritip, bean and corn salad, all kinds of fresh greens, an avocado, tomatillo salsa and a little bit of cheddar and mozz. The bowls got topped with non-fat yogurt. It was a healthy kitchen sink dinner.
I can't imagine sitting down to crabs and bringing anything home.
Dinner tonight was what we were supposed to have a few days ago, and I just now got around to making it. Pork loin with a sweet-hot glaze? Very good (I had made it before, so I knew what to expect.) A marinated salad of blanched sugar snaps, radishes and feta in an olive oil/lemon juice vinaigrette? Has potential, but I'll tweak the vinaigrette next time - too much olive oil (I suspected it going in, but I prefer to follow a recipe the first time through, and that way I know what to blame if it fails.)
The pasta was a novelty that everyone on Pinterest is chatting about: mac-n-cheese cooked in the milk. It was a gummy epic fail. I tossed the remains and made a second batch with my standard recipe so the kids would have a side dish when they got home and ate.
Laurel, those are big crabs. When we go there with friends, they do finish everything while at the restaurant, but when we're out we usually only eat half of whatever we're having and take the rest home for lunch. Portions are usually pretty large. And I was talking to a friend who stopped over for eggs today, and she and her husband take half of their crab meal home too, when they go to that restaurant.
It makes it easier not to eat it all if you know that you get to have it again the next day!
Terry, I started making mac-n-cheese because my DS and DGD love it. I'd like to try it with lobster or crab, too, sometime. A nearby restaurant serves that and it's scrumptious...
I saw that cooked in milk recipe, and in my mind's eye, all I could see was... paste. Nothing worse than gummy pasta. I am a little shy of trying some recipes that come from people that haven't been cooking for a while, and swear their kids love it.
Ribs were great, the man who never ever comments on the food said so.
I made rectangular burgers to fit the tortas which are like large, soft ciabattas. Clients who don't care for dense, chewy bread love these. They stay super fresh when pre-making sandwiches. BTW, I decided since we are being bad to the bone what with brie burgers it couldn't hurt to add applewood smoked bacon left over from this week's catering and half sour pickles.
Our Costco used to carry Grana Padano and Parmesan but not anymore. The Grana Padano is 30% cheaper than Parm. I've notice when I travel (I sightsee Costcos) that Costcos in less affluent areas carry Grana Padano. I'd rather not have to pay all that extra money for a premium Parm to go into lasagna or meatballs but Grana Padano in a regular store is the same price as Costco's Parm. We have a much larger cheese selection than most of the Costcos I've been in. DD always stocks up on cheese when she visits. On the other hand, Miami has a much greater selection of fish.
We have a BJ's but I've never gotten into the habit of shopping there, although I have a membership through my son's workplace. It's not an especially pleasant place to browse, and I don't buy in large quantities.
Dinner tonight...Tricolor Couscous with onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers. Grilled Italian sausage with mango salsa, and oven roasted brussel sprouts. For dessert leftover Strawberry/Rhubarb pie.
Dinner sounded lovely at a number of places last night.
Tam would you post the link for the rabe pesto?
Dinner last night was shrimp cooked in a crab boil, broccoli/carrot/pumkin seed/cranberry slaw salad, and sauted kale/red onions/tomatoes side dish. Very good.
Tonight is pulled pork. DH was up this morning early getting it ready. First time om making it for both of us. I gather the recipe is originally a Martha Stewart one. My accupunturist was making it when I went for my appointment. It smelled so good that I asked to stay for dinner and for the recipe. She had a good laugh as it was just going into the oven for 8 hours.
I was out and about, and stopped in the nicest grocery store around, looking for the Lindt chocolate bars with Chili. Nada. I saw a recipe for Chili-Chocolate Brownies with a Chili Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce topping; the topping used the Lindt Chocolate Chili bars. Sounded great.
Here's the brownie recipe... I'll post the topping recipe if anyone wants it.
You can't go wrong with something that involves dark chocolate, coffee, chili AND cinnamon.
Take your favorite fudge brownie recipe but add a splash of brewed espresso and a pinch of both cinnamon and cayenne pepper to the batter.
If you use a box mix, replace ALL of the water called for with brewed coffee or espresso and add the spices.
For dinner tonight, I used up ingredients in my refrigerator - peppers, mushroom, cauliflower & turkey. Added some onions & fresh herbs with lemon squeezed onto it. I'm gonna be mighty busy for the next week. I'm heading up my rock garden society' exhibit at the Phila Flower Show. I leave home at 5:30am to get to the convention center to unload supplies and help unload the truck coming with 4000lbs of tufa. And then I get busy. :-)
Oh, I know that show schedule well, Tam. I'm a week behind you with the Atlanta show. Thankfully I'm not responsible for anything having to do with displays. Keep us posted on the display. Maybe some photos? Throw in what you're not cooking for dinner so Terry won't think your OT. lol (don't read this Terry).
I'm with Darius, anything with sweet (especially chocolate) and heat (chili) and a little cinnamon is bound to be good. Gotta try the idea for the brownies, hope our pot luck people are daring, don't do a whole pan of brownies for just the 2 of us. We are avid followers of pepperfool.com and similar sites.
We had sausage with peppers and onions in brown gravy over polenta. It was really tasty. My son had brought over a long Italian loaf the night before to eat with some calamari salad he was contributing to the meal, but it was rock hard. Instead of giving it to the chickens yesterday morning I looked up recipes for bread pudding, and we had that for dessert. Even picky DGD had seconds! I added raspberries to it and served it with whipped cream. Yum.
I still have a bunch of butternut squash in the larder that need to be used up before it gets warm and they spoil. I saw a recipe this morning for Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Gorgonzola; sounded tasty. I don't have any gorgonzola left, but I do have some milder blue. Guess I need to find where I saw the recipe! (I was looking for recipes using the Moroccan Preserved Lemons I made a couple of weeks ago. BTW Laurel, I added some of the kumquats to the lemons.)
This was the first time I'd made it, and I felt quite virtuous using something that would otherwise have been destined for the chickens, and getting a delicious dessert out of it! DGD wasn't sure she'd like it because it didn't sound very appealing, but she discovered that she did.
Tonight's dinner is teriyaki chicken on the grill. The storm clouds have gathered to the west, but I"m hoping they'll hold off long enough for me to fire up the grill for her first meal of the 2012 grilling season. Otherwise, I'll be making a lovely mess in the kitchen :-) Accompanied by strawberry and spinach salad, assuming the berries look decent - I bought them a few days ago and I need to unearth them in the crisper. Otherwise, it'll be a romaine salad. And something else - just not sure what yet. Mr. Official and I are both toying with plunging into a period of low carb or detox/cleanse diet, as we're both feeling a bit sluggish and our eating habits have become lackadaisical since the holidays. (And of course, February is the month of Girl Scout cookies. Need I say more?)
I didn't steam my bread pudding, although I saw recipes that called for that. Mine had me pour the liquid over the layers of berries and bread cubes and let it soak in for about an hour, pressing down to ensure that the liquid would be absorbed to the greatest extent possible. I was surprised that 8 cups of bread cubes and some raspberries fit into a 9" square glass baking pan, but because of the absorption and the pressing down it worked perfectly.