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We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1285696/ and most of us are still trying to digest the Thanksgiving bird and trimmings. But even in the face of parties and lavish meals, we still have many evenings of regular dinners to plan, cook, eat and clean up. May all our hearts grow three sizes larger in the coming weeks (and may our waistlines NOT grow proportionally!)
We are traveling back from Kansas today, but tomorrow night I'll hit the ground running in the kitchen. For starters, I've got a new gussied-up stroganoff recipe with beef tips on a bed of buttered lemony papardelle noodles to try out, and I predict some crockpot meals on the horizon once my kitchen is transformed into an impromptu confectioner's shop.
I'm here with one finger and a smart phone. Great day with Tammy & SO Gary though I am still in defrost mode. Our SOs both enjoy woodworking and have mutual garden/farm enslavement in common. Tam and I could have probably spent days getting to know each other. She's a very smart lady.
On the road home today. Will be visiting the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, then on to a few quilt shops for fabric and a stay somewhere in North Carolina. We'll find something interesting...maybe Carolina Q for dinner.
I forgot to get the cranberry juice for the cranberry-lime loaf. It was good but a little tart for most. I think it would be better with more cranberry and less lime. (Probably better as the recipe was written. I also was short walnuts). It was fun to make and I found I enjoyed the fresh cranberries more than I imagined. I am going to try a cranberry tart recipe in a recent issue of Fine Cooking. Perhaps for the Christmas / New Years holidays.
A new thread! I love new threads: it shows people are participating. The canberry-lime loaf is long gone. I made a Queen Elizabeth cake yesterday and that went quickly. It's a date, walnut cake with a caramelized coconut topping. Recipe widely available on the internet. My grandmother made those, too. Sweet memories.
Does anyone here like broccoli rabe? I heard (I forget her name) on NPR talking about roasting squash and making a veggie stew of sorts with various root vegetables along with something to add a little bitter. So I made a beautiful veggie stew with broccoli rabe (carrots, onion, cauliflower, shallots, roasted butternut squash & broccoli rabe). It was good but would have been better w/something else green rather than the rabe. I think the broccoli rabe is just over the moon bitter. Is there a trick to taking away some of that or spicing it so its more palatable? (I like a little bitter but this was ridiculous! I sauted it - no poaching first)
There are 2 things on this Earth I won't eat on this Earth: broccoli rave and anything containing tarragon. I tried and tried, can't bring myself to swallow the first and can't get a whiff of the other without that uncontrollable feeling of upchucking my cookies.
For dinner tonight:`
deep-fried yucca wedges with peanut sauce,
baked anglaise de tilapia (tilapia fillets rolled in corn starch, beaten egg and homemade italian breadcrumbs baked in the convection oven)
banana cream pie.
My dad is going to LOVE tonight's menu.
Take care, all.
A new thread is always exciting. So much good food posts to wander through. And a well said introduction, Terry, but I fear the part about expanded waistlines is a tad late for me.
We returned from sojourning this afternoon. Looking forward to staying planted for a few months. Back and forth journeys to Maypop is enough to manage. I never did get those oysters but will claim them this week at our local oyster bar. They are my due. TG was a mixed affair. Our original dinner for eleven ended up being dinner for six. It was my first experience with a blended family (new SIL's) and accompanying holiday issues. Sheesh! First the brother dropped out because of something with his girlfriend. Then the step father dropped out because he opted to work for extra pay. That left new SIL's mom and dad and I was worried about what use the turkey skewers would be put to. So then the mom canceled. Then dad figured out that TG at 6 p.m. did not mean lunch, which is the way he does TG. At this point I dug my heels in and refused to put a twenty pound turkey in the oven at dark-thirty to accommodate the dad for lunch. That left us, the kids and my cousins. We had a ball with that twenty pound turkey and it went on the table (after hors d oeuvres) at seven thirty, as planned! But then my cousins went home and I went downstairs to check on some lingering laundry. The plumbing main drain had started backing up in the basement. The dishes were not finished and we realized that we could not use the toilets if we had to flush. Of all the times to have defunct plumbing...Oy! Well this is only a part of the story that Tammy did not hear on Saturday and since this is long I'll do it in installments.
We will be dining on soups and salads while we try to shed some stuffing before the start of Hanukkah. It starts early this year; December 8th. It's a fresh chicken and veggie soup tonight. Youngest son left part of the roasted chicken I made for his TG.
Amazing thing - this veggie stew is really good today! The broccoli rabe does not taste as bitter and the flavors are going together really well. (or maybe I'm just really hungry after a green salad only for lunch?)
Laurel - I thought you were awfully quiet about your TG. Figured maybe you were just feeling it was a private matter. Sorry it wasn't just that!
About broccoli rabe...it mellows. But here's the deal; it's bitter. I love escarole, mustards, endive and all kinds of bitter greens. They do require special handling. Each one is different. Collards and turnips are easy. Broc. rabe is more challenging. It is usually blanched for a few minutes or up to an hour. Restaurants love its new chicness because they can precook and reheat. The longer you blanch the less bitter but also less flavorful. Don't think I'd like rabe with the root veggies in a stew. What is usually done is the rabe is reheated with garlic, olive oil and chilies. It may be topped with cheese like Pecorino or Parm. There might be cream involved. Sausage, bacon, ham or other smoked meat can be added to counter point. There is smoked tofu available for me or perhaps you can make your own.
I've not been cooking for over 3 weeks (except the oyster stew and the duck for TG) because I've had a kidney infection. The infection was bad enough, but I've had allergic reactions to 3 different antibiotics, so I've been slow to heal.
I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen again!
Laurel, my gut instinct says you're right about the garlic, smoked ham or bacon & cheese being good counterpoints to the raab. We were served it as a blanched vegetable side dish several years ago at a mostly upscale restaurant in Florida, and our server raved about how wonderful it was...like asparagus. We all knew better, but bit on her optimism. I've more or less avoided it since, but I can see where with the right other flavors it could work, at least with certain menus.
We use broccoli raab all the time, although I have trouble growing it in my garden; I just never get the lush florets that come with the boughten kind. It's a big crop around here because there are lots of Italians and people of Italian ancestry (including my DH!) so that definitely affects our menus. We NEVER blanch it first; we love it sautéed with garlic in scrambled eggs, or added to Italian sausages, again with garlic and olive oil, and possibly a soupçon of crushed red pepper, and served over pasta, or simply as a side dish, again cooked with the obligatory garlic. Even my dog adores it, and will wait patiently by the counter when I'm chopping off the tough ends; we take turns munching on them and the rest go to the chickens. I've never cooked it with squash, but since we had a butternut squash and arugula salad for Thanksgiving, which worked well, I imagine raab would too.
Darius, how awful about the kidney infection! I hope you're well on the mend now. I'm allergic to a couple of antibiotics, too, and it's a pain in the neck to avoid them. Glad that at least you had a decent Thanksgiving!
Laurel, what a pain about the in-laws. I hope it didn't embarrass your new SIL too much; good for you for sticking to your guns. I imagine it will all work out eventually but you wisely set the precedent for future engagements by carrying on and letting the guests quietly self-destruct.
We had turkey for Thanksgiving, and my supermarket didn't get any kosher ones in so I ended up brining the regular one I bought. It was so hectic that I'm not sure whether it made much difference, but the food was good and the kids were only somewhat contentious. Now onward and upward to Hanukkah and Christmas!
Darius, get well. Sorry you are once again under the weather. Was wondering what you were up to while checking out a quilt shop in Harrisburg. Are you far from there?
Never had broccoli rabe that is not bitter. Much of what is grown and sold, or served in restaurants as rabe, is sprouting broccoli or broccolini which is a different animal. That is not bitter.
TG Chapter #2. New SIL was painfully embarrassed and for that reason alone we could not even harumph. Besides, we were concentrating on our fates without flushable toilets after the TG feast. No sneaking off for middle of the night fridge raids. The Roto Rooter man was coming anytime between eight and twelve the next morning. We were praying it was closer to eight. Meanwhile, SIL was so embarrassed that he failed to mention his others expressed regrets along with a hint that they might drop in around lunch time to check out the leftovers. He was sure they would not show up. You got it. The RR man left at ten thirty and they started arriving from the four corners of Virginia and Maryland by eleven. All of them. They spent the afternoon feasting and left at four. I would have put my feet up at this point were it not for the piles of dishes and food everywhere. Of course the kids were on it but we had to hurry. You see, it was Friday night and we had invited friends for a Shabbat dinner of turkey and vegetable matzo ball soup, challah, and salmon salad. I needed to get the cooking done by sundown. The friends were arriving at six with their newborn. It was their first outing and we didn't have the heart to cancel. Okay, enough for now.
On the menu tonight is navy beans, corn and chicken dredged from last night's stew/soup as a topping on a taco-style salad. I'll chili up the topping.
Laurel, did you mean Harrisonburg, VA? It's about 200 miles north of here along I-81. I'm down in the SW corner before I-81 runs into TN... and as the crow flies, about 60 miles from West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and NC depending on your direction of travel.
I had a nice piece of grilled steelhead, and sautéed spinach. Pretty good for someone who has had no appetite lately.
Laurel, it was reminiscent of the infamous Bisquick "mmmmmpossible pies" of the 50s and 60s, although no biscuit mix was harmed in the making :-)
Here's a link: http://www.5dollardinners.com/tuna-melt-pie/ - I added the can of diced green chilies and a goodly squirt of Sriracha, but it still needed more flavor/pizzazz. If/when I remake it, I'll probably add a bit of celery, more onions, and/or top it with some diced scallions at the end.
We always eat early, because everyone has to drive back somewhere that night. However, if living in the same town, even if you are not used to eating at 7:30 at night, I know for me at least, I would have just gone with it. If you want to eat earlier in the day, then grab a snack, but if someone has gone to the trouble to cook it, and you know your a reflection on a new family member, heck, even if you didnt eat till 8:30 I would have been there.
I must admit, by 7:30 this TG I was propped up in bed reading all my magazines I had saved as my treat for making it thru TG and making it home safe...some football, etc.
Its the RR thing that would have rattled me with ppl coming. Your a real trooper, as is your DD and SIL.
Terry, do you ever use chipotles in adobo? A little of that along with the other chilies, some oregano or thyme and fresh garlic would bring it up several notches.
Leslie, we have met both the mother and father, separately of course, over the past few years. We were introduced to his stepfather and brother at the wedding. It was an enlightening four days. Best left to say there were no surprises. Friends asked if SIL was adopted.
SO asked me for an oyster date tonight but I just finished assembling two turkey/beef meatloaves. I'll wait 'til later to decide.
We crossed on the posts. I actually invited guests for hors d oeuvres at 6:30 and was willing to go as early as six with dinner on the table at seven. This is after consultation with the kids. The invitation time was several weeks old. I spent more than twelve hours cooking TG day after days of other prep work in Atlanta and an eleven hour drive to D.C.. No one called to offer up any help or bring anything. Not even a bottle of wine. It's tacky of me to complain, so I'm not really a perfect hostess, but there. The upshot is DD is newly pregnant and working full time plus. She's exhausted. SIL is working on a big research project presentation while completing another Master's degree. Both his school and work are full time.
We have decided to stay in tonight. Still trying to resettle after a busy travel month. We had an early pick up for our food redistribution program this morning. There was so much food it took over an hour to load the car. I have lots to do in the orchid house including taking new pics to share on the orchid forum. Hopefully SO will ask me out on another date next week. I'll make mushroom and onion gravy to go with the meatloaf on a medley of sauteed veggies. I'm laying low on the starches for a week. With Hanukkah around the corner, and something fried each night, a few days of restraint are in order.
Cute phone call from DD a short while ago. She was leaving work and bemoaning the fact that her fridge is now devoid of TG leftovers. She says she's considering coming home. lol
Sally, what have you been up to? Awfully quiet your way. Getting lots of fishing in?
Laurel, I agree that you were not sufficiently appreciated, but that's their fault... not yours.
Supper was easy comfort foods... half a baked sweet potato. sliced beef with duck gravy, and the remains of the spinach. I guess my body was missing some nutrients because I've been craving spinach for days now. I think having it in some form 3X now should do the trick!
I managed to lose about 10 pounds during this kidney infection saga, but it's not nearly enough so I'm cutting back on carbs where I can.
G G , I've eaten at Laurel's several roundups and I can tell you , anything that looks common on her food bar is a great surprise with the first taste .Most of her creations , I can't even pronounce, but anyone of them I could make a meal from . You bet it was their loss , I just hate the work wasted on rude people .
Yea on the 10 pounds , Darius
Laurel , Finishing up the porch , screening in , bead board around the bottom , chasing dogs, in and out ,in and out . Yard work ,digging Johnson grass up by the roots (I have a technique to that ) The whole back yard was covered , chest high . Fighting my redneck nasty neighbors garbage . Maybe some progress there . Cooking plantains for finger treats and shelling 100 pounds of pecans ,date nut candy rolls , pecan pralines , spiced pecans, both sweet and spicy. Did I miss anything ? Oh yeah , loaf cakes and pies , cobblers. Whewww !
And how about you , rested up yet ?
Sally, what's the secret to shelling pecans to get whole halves rather than pieces? I have one of those lever style crackers with the adjustable length, but I still get about half that come out in quarters (or less). These pecans I have are obviously not the papershells.
Thank you, Sally. You sound busy as get out there. Is there a quick way to shell pecans or are you getting a lot of TV time in there? I see Darius is also asking the question.
Okay since the hint in my 12:21 p.m. post yesterday escaped comment...ANNOUNCEMENT! We're expecting! There, that feels better.
I'm having leftover navy bean vegetable soup for dinner and SO is having a salad with grilled salmon. We had an early Trader Joe's food pick up yesterday and substituted for someone who picks up Fresh Market today. Over five hundred pounds delivered in two days. Usually we are so early that we unload and store the food before the center is open but today, because of the late pick up, we saw the many people in line to get food. Sad to see a young mother holding her little girl's hand there instead of the Disney On Ice show.
Laurel, I saw it too but somehow didn't get around to commenting. You said that DD was newly pregnant, and I wondered how she managed to help at all for the meal, and whether she was experiencing any nausea.
I just went to Trader Joe's today, after attending a nearby meeting which I had to chair. Afterwards I was seduced by a cookery place in the same mall - I love kitchen stores!! Spent a mint at TJ's but I go so rarely I have to stock up. DH loves their coffee beans and I like their fennel toothpaste, plus lots of other neat things. Their cheeses are also so much cheaper than ShopRite's for things like Manchego and Comté.
When I got home I got out the grinder and mixed the leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberries together and made patties. I ended up with 18 1/4-lb patties, some of which I froze, and the rest will be dinner tonight since the kids are coming over. I think my sweet potatoes have cured enough to be baked to go along with the turkey croquettes, and then I'll serve broccoli maybe. We had broccoli raab with olive oil and garlic in our scrambled eggs this morning.
I got 19 lbs pecans out of the first 40# sack . Am working on the second sack, 80# . I crack outside on the porch with a Rocket cracker , toss in a Rubbermaid tote . I have a small tub between my feet to drop the smaller nuts into, to crack later , so I don't have to keep changing the cracker adjustment . Take out 10 lbs at a time to shell . The shells make a great amendment to my flower garden soil ?, as it is built up beach sand and hard to get to soak water into .Johnny helps shell when he isn't busy working on the porch and all those "honey do" jobs .
I caught the expecting bit and forgot to congratulate ,duh . Will be a smart and beautiful child .
If we have a roundup next spring , I'll bring some spiced nuts .
Thank you, thank you. This will be her first but our second. I am a covert nana of a seven year old grandson. Our oldest son is thirty eight. By newly pregnant I meant DD is completing her first trimester. She is only occasionally queasy. They got married in July and she is due the end of June. Apparently dear SIL isn't always studying. :>)
Leslie, what a novel way, to me at least, to take care of TG leftovers. We hope someday DD and SIL will move closer. They very much want to. Unfortunately their careers determine their location right now.
Laurel, you may get your wish. I have the feeling that many of the careers in and around DC will begin taking hits soon. A good friend in Leesburg, just west of DC, is married to a CIA career man, and he's worried about upcoming cuts.
That baby is gonna be the cutest, smartest and most talented baby! And how wonderful to have such a multi-talented grandmama! :-)
I heard the news when we met up last week but I didn't want to spill the beans. Congratulations again Laurel!
I made a pot of greens (kale & cabbage), onion, red pepper & roasted tomato sauce with some kidney beans. Oh it is delicous! Really got the spicing right on this one.
I am really enjoying this "eat all the veggies you want" diet. I've dropped over 6lbs (yes - even with the TG feasts) in just under 3wks. Except for the meals out for TG & post TG, I've had no processed foods such as breads, pasta, cakes, ice cream.
PS: The "diet" I'm on requires about 1-2oz of nuts & seeds each day. pecans sound wonderful!
The turkey, stuffing and cranberry patties tasted very good but didn't hold together very well. I wonder whether a couple of eggs would have bound them better. Or maybe just dusting them with bread crumbs before cooking them in the frying pan would have helped. Little DGD didn't seem to eat much of the turkey patties but she kept asking for more sweet potatoes. Our Maple Leaf sweets are finally cured enough to roast and eat, and boy are they good! All they need is a little pat of butter and they're ambrosial!
I do hope you get to see that grandbaby a lot. There's nothing like grandbabies!
Oh, Laurel - somehow in the conversation whirl I forgot to add my congratulations and best wishes for a great pregnancy and easy labor - sorry! Please tell her we said hello and we're thinking of her and the dad-to-be during this time. Exciting times in a young couple's life!
Tammy, you gave me an "aw shucks" moment and want to add how much we are enjoying those eggs. Thank you so much and thank the girls for giving.
Thanks, Terry. I will pass along the message for sure. This leaves me in a quandary about best dates for a RU since she is due at the very time we host our annual RU gathering. I was thinking she could come and have a cabbage patch kid in my garden. The other cabbage patch place is only a few miles away.
I found an uncooked free-range turkey leg and thigh in the freezer, and made a turkey stroganoff for supper. It was merely okay, but filling with the egg noodles. I should have made noodles; they are so much tastier than packaged noodles, and only take minutes to make.
I have visions of a turkey leg attached to a thigh running around the yard. lol Years of anatomy and physiology if you will. What makes your turkey parts free range, Darius? By commercial regulations they only need an opening in the poultry house big enough to fit through to be certified "free range". Since they flock, like chickens, turkeys would never leave a contained environment to range unless the rest of the flock was outdoors. I never purposely buy free range anything unless I know for a fact that the producer has an open yard. It's a very bogus label for us city slickers.
I was watching a big turkey at our bird feeder this morning thinking it'd be handy if I were a hunter. :-)
I love watching them.
My grandmother always made us egg noodles for our chicken noodle soup. I've made them a number of times. Easy but lots of upper arm strength to roll them out. But better than dried bagged noodles for sure!
I've learned over the years to make egg noodles by preparing the dough in a Cuisinart and then rolling them out in sheets using a pasta machine (I have the one that fits my Kitchen Aid mixer). It takes most of the work out of trying to get the dough out as thin and even as I like. For chicken and noodles I do hand cut them because somehow the uneven appearance seems to be traditional.As I get older I still love to fix traditional home made foods, but enjoy finding ways to let machines the work.
No Tam , I join you with not having one . So expensive for a good one and altho I always wanted one , never got it . Don't cook as much now so I'll spend the money on something else now that I can afford it .
I too like hand cut noodles. They seem to taste better. :)
I've had an Imperia De Luxe pasta machine for years. It's counter mounted and hand cranked. They retail for about forty dollars but I found mine in Tuesday Morning for twenty five. It works perfectly. A few years ago SO gave me a Kitchenaid stand mixer for the holidays. I decided to invest in the meat grinder and food mill and stay with the Imperia. I use those Kitchenaid attachments more than I use the actual mixer since baking is not my passion. If I did not already have the Imperia I'd get the pasta maker for Kitchenaid. I have had great success online with Overstock or the Kitchenaid site for refurbished and returned attachments. Terrific savings if you are willing to wait for what you want. They are fully warranted and look brand new when they arrive. My only complaint is that I don't leave appliances on the counters and the Kitchenaid needs a crane to lift from the cabinet. Hoisting that, the extensive cast iron collection and the Le Crueset might be my undoing.
I have some holiday catering coming up. Am especially excited about a post-holiday cocktail party for forty with a twenty dollar a plate budget. This is the food budget only. Alcohol and service ware are separate. I charge a percent of cost shopping fee for that.
Wow, that's a great budget for food only for a cocktail party for 40!
I have a KitchenAid stand mixer that was a gift (new in the box) from a former DG member about 7-8 years ago, and I have my mother's old and worn KitchenAid out in the barn. All her attachments like the meat grinder and sausage casing stuffer fit my newer one; there's an assortment of pieces that look like salad or cheese shredders but I've never used them.
Since I only cook for one, most things are easily done by hand. My knife skills aren't as good as I'd like, except for boning and removing silverskin. Fortunately no one sees me chopping veggies. I use my mini-chopper a lot when I need things finely chopped. I finally bought a food processor about 4 years ago, still haven't used it but a few times. It does make a quick job of grinding Parmesan when I need a cup or more for a recipe.
Darius, with all that kitchen ware it sounds like you need new BFFs. DD was given an old KA stand mixer. We thought the newer attachments might be usable but were not sure. Thanks. I have done many knife skill lessons. It seems people not only have trouble handling knives, but they don't know how to properly handle the food they are cutting. Onions are a prime example. Chickens too. Bad knives (many cheap knives are actually good) and improper food positioning is, IMO, one of the big reasons people end up hating cooking. It takes too long and is tremendous work to prep ingredients.
The party client has many social engagements this season and lives in a luxury condo in the city. He will be partying throughout the holiday and does not want to be obliged to provide endless reciprocal dinners out. Since many of the guests live in his building, and he is on the board, I am hoping this leads to more work. At twenty dollars a plate he is getting a price break from me. My luncheons start at $18.50 a plate and this is an evening of heavy appetizers. For my kind of catering a tuna salad starts with fresh grilled tuna from Inland Seafood. He is not expecting service, so everything will be dropped off and set up, thus the break. I usually plate on ceramic, staying for service and clean up, but will use nice disposables for his evening. I like bamboo plates or nice paper, and shy away from plastic. Well, I'm going on because my wheels are turning. :)
We will have more veggies sauteed in scant olive oil, herbs and garlic and a modicum of basmati rice. If we eat meat I am not serving starch and vice versa. Gotta do what you gotta do. There are three new pairs of Ann Taylor slacks hanging in my closet as an incentive.
Gee Laurel, maybe if I ever get the gas money to visit Maypop, you will teach me some knife skills?
I went to the local UU church this morning, with the hope of meeting a few of more my kind of people (as opposed to the 5th, 6th and 7th generations of intermarried locals). I was not disappointed, although it will take time to make friends. All of the folks I talked with are transplants, even 2 from Johns Hopkins where I once worked in clinical open heart surgery and research on an artificial heart. None I met live in my county, but not so far away either... educated, cosmopolitan folks, enough so that I almost felt like a bumpkin in my jeans and hiking boots, although nothing in their demeanor suggested that.
I heart my KA. Several years ago, I asked Santa (via Mr. Official) for a refurbed professional 600 series, rather than a new Artisan one. Never a moment's regret. But I'm the opposite of Laurel - I wear mine out with baking and have no attachments. I have a hand-crank pasta machine which I adore when it comes to making ravioli (which I need to do soon.)
I've never felt the urge to spring for the meat grinder or any of the other attachments for mine, but I love that it hunkers down and hums with delight when I fill the huge bowl with a huge batch of cookies, cake batter or bread dough.
And knives...I'm self-taught which means I'm probably cringe-worthy by most chef's standards, but I think I do a decent job after watching countless training videos...and I have all my fingertips to prove it. And I rarely resent the prep time - only when I'm in a time crunch :-)
Tomorrow night is soup: potato and a roasted cauliflower soup. I may keep the cauliflower separate from the potato soup, or toss the whole mess together. We'll see. Swimmer Girl is down with the flu - started last night and she spent the day sipping ginger ale. Now it's just the aches and low-grade fever. Hopefully she'll be up to eating something more than saltines by tomorrow.
I've had my KA for twenty years or more, and it's chugging along nicely. I did get the meat grinder attachment because I got sick of seeing grey beef hidden inside a supposedly fresh package of ground round. I buy whatever is on sale (and the chuck you grind yourself isn't 30% fat like the store's) but have not been tempted by the pasta attachment. NMy DD bought me the glass bowl last year and it's a winner. I returned the favor for her birthday.
I have an Atlas pasta machine that I bought for my mother and retireved after she passed away, , so it's well over fifty years old and works like it always has. It only has two choices for cutting pasta, a thin one for spaghetti, and a1/4" for noodles.. The rollers are adjustable from 1-6 for sheets. I have my DD's hand tools, for noodles, and a crimper for ravioli. He always made our own. I found it amusing that, as he got older, (and didn't have a lackey in the kitchen) his ravioli got larger and larger until he was using a saucer as a template to cut the rounds of dough. Two ravioli was a good lunch and four was a meal.
He always cooked --I remember him coming home from the shipyards late at night, before Pearl Harbor, and making aglio olio for a late night meal. He had friends of every ethnicity and we were treated to a huge variety of wonderful foods. I credit that with my inability to work my way back down to a size 10.
So are the hand cranked pasta rollers a lot easier than using a rolling pin? I don't have room for another appliance in the kitchen. However - the time and effort to roll out the noodles is the what makes me hesitate in making my own egg noodles for chicken noodle soup and so forth. Don't need the KA but if a hand crank pasta roller would make quicker work of it, I would make space for that.
Size 10? What's that ? My D H doesn't cook , just watches all the cooking shows .
Don't eat much pasta , so don't need a machine .Don't bake much anymore , so hand mixer works ,except for pound cakes ,and I can replace cheap if I burn one up . My son brought about 50#of venison Friday night and my Tasin grinder did a perfect job of grinding hamburger and sausage meat . My 10 tray dehydrator will put up all the fruit and jerky that four families will use . The hot air oven does a moist job of cooking meat and had it for 18 years or so ( I hate cleaning it , it's a real pain ). I guess those are the appliances I use most and the son wants a grinder now . Thanks for my D G friends ,I found the Tasin , It is worth three times the price and is stronger than a lot of the Cabelas offerings .
I did luck out with all my first MIL's recipes when she gave up cooking , so am blessed
Speckled trout for dinner with a shrimp omelet for a side tonight.
I enjoyed that Dad story, Meezers. What a great memory. Besides, it's always handy to have parents to blame for the current shape we are in. As for the grinder, I like to season my own sausage as well as control the fat. Costco ground is something like 85%-87% lean but I still prefer to grind my own when practical. We like ground lamb for Middle Eastern dishes and grilled burgers but it is not available in stores so I grind part of a leg and use the rest for a roast or stew. Usually ground turkey has stuff added even though it says "all natural". It might be natural but I don't want it. When chicken is on super sale I can grind it and make sausage or meatballs with that. Who needs the pricey stuff?
I grow thirty, forty or more tomatoes every year and do a lot of canning. We have a long season and usually end up with ten or twelve cases of quarts. Some get canned for soups with seeds and skins but the mill attachment makes easy work of straining for tomatoes destined for finer sauces.
SO is grilling baby back ribs, red onions and red asparagus. I have a made salad so am off the hook. We talked about possibly getting those oysters tonight but I'm fearful of a football crowd. Our local place has them Mondays and Thursdays for 25 cents each.
Yes, Tam, the are much easier and make a thinner noodle. Still, sometimes you will want those fat and fluffy ones. With the roller you pass the noodle dough and keep reducing the thickness by setting a dial at each pass.
At 25 cents each , big old fat ones would be on my eat out menu for sure . The local Chinese buffet has them but I think they shell them way ahead of dinner and I shy away from them if they are cloudy .
Yes, and after he went to bed, I snuck out of my little cot (which was in the kitchen...) and snacked on the little shavings of garlic and leftover spaghetti.
Yes, Tammy, much easier to roll with the hand cranker. The largest setting is fairly thick, so you would still have pretty fluffy noodles. It does take time though and a couple weeks ago I made pasta and argued with it through the whole process. I used a different recipe and I won't do that again. I'll go back to my original.
I wonder about the age of the flour stuck in the cracks and crevices of that machine...LOL
You'll be a lot happier with the end result, plus you will know everything that goes in and nothing will go through your grinder that has hit the floor, or been handled with dirty hands. You will have a purer product, and as long as you've got the grinder out, you can prep several different ground meat products you need for much less money than what you'd spend at the store. Even taking into consideration the packaging.
I've posted about the great tortas Costco has. Like tender ciabatta. They are a La Brea Bakery product. I don't know if Costco gets them made or gets the dough and bakes them in store. In any case, when I make sausage from a trimmed out pork shoulder I layer a plastic storage container with rectangular sausage patties to fit those tortas and store the patties in the freezer. We have them occasionally with soup or a salad for a fast dinner. I never feel guilty because they are so lean I have to use a little olive oil to cook them. I can determine the fat content by trimming out the fat from shoulder. I cube and weigh the meat adding back as much fat as I want when I grind it. Another plus for us is we like our meat only once ground. Many stores grind twice or grind it fine making for a more pasty texture. Personal preference. It can be a bit of a project but, like Meezers said, you can do a variety of meats and set yourself up for six months to a year.
Another vote for Tasin grinders. We've had ours for several years; I bought mine from the sillypugs site, where they were recommended for people feeding raw diets to their dogs. I dragged mine up from the basement on Friday to make turkey croquettes, although I couldn't find the chopper plate so had to use one of the two with smaller openings.
Last night we had leftover Tex-Mex.
Darius, how neat that you found some kindred spirits! I hope that works out well!
Busy today with a bon voyage dinner for a friend on his way to Guatemala. He has volunteered his medical skills in Guatemala for a month with an organization similar to Doctors Without Borders. What a wonderful thing. Anywho, he asked for something simple and healthy. I am making an Appalachian wedding soup. It's like Italian wedding soup 'cept I only have collards and no kale. lol There will be a huge salad with three types of lettuce and mache topped with grilled veggies, marinated artichokes, pickled garden goodies, hard boiled eggs and feta. Homemade sourdough croutons for soup and/or salad. I pulled a mini-loaf of banana bread from the freezer and will make sauteed apples and pears with spices and honey to top the sliced bread.
Off to bake the meatballs for the soup. The rest is a simple matter of assembly.
Terry , Onestopjerkyshop has them on sale for 150.00 Google it . I also cook all the meat off the bones of venison in my 18 qt. cooker , then grind most of it . Packaged , I have plenty of cooked meat to add to chili , spaghetti sauce, lunch meat mix, etc .I had bought a grinder and found it wasn't strong enough to grind the fibers , they just got wrapped around I gave it to my ddil for all the veggies she grows after I bought the Tasin . It cuts through anything .I paid full price for mine and will get one for my boy at the sale price .
You won't be sorry .
A BBQ chicken and cheddar pot pie and veggies is ready to go in the oven. The BBQ part comes from chicken legs made earlier this week. Just a tad of meat pictured will go into the pie. I picked up several fresh veggies at the market today. Don't know which one/s will make it into the pan.
Okay, true confessions, SO has gifted me with several pre-holiday kitchen gifts. I think he has a holiday agenda with the eight days of Hanukkah dinners coming up. Among my gifts is are not one, but two, induction burners. One for each house or to use catering. I've been playing for several days and must say it's lots of fun. A cast iron skillet that heats in ten seconds, on low voltage, is super. I've wanted induction burners since they first came out.
Made fresh shrimp and cheese omelet last night . Will have frozen dinners from leftovers tonight . Tired from screening and enclosing the porch . Have four Plexiglas "windows " for the dogs to see out . Spoiled .
Sally, dogs just wanna have fun. That's what Pepper and Goober said.
Darius, when it's time to replace the old Jenn Air electrics, and the Viking gas, I'm thinking two induction burners and two gas (preferably Wolf as I've not been happy with Viking) and a couple of single induction units. Meanwhile, some Costcos have single burner units for only $49 dollars. It's a good chance for me to decide if an inexpensive single induction burner is worth investing in an expensive range with induction capability. Since I can use the units in place of hot plates, or for on site preparation when catering, it made sense business-wise.
A wolf...be still my heart. I bought a Jennaire when we built in '99. It had been bought out by Maytag shortly after that, but the quality is just not there. I had an old one, that I was reluctant to move to the new house, but I wish I had. The gas cooktop blistered badly which some customer service idiot said was due to cleaning the oven. They install a self cleaning oven that works at extremely high temperatures and you aren't supposed to use it??? Then, the finish around the burners and on the enamel drip pans did the same thing. Even thought it was out of warranty I badgered them until they came and replaced the top, but it's all blistered again. Made in China no doubt. I replaced the drip pans once. The ones in my old range were as shiny as new after many years of use. Now I think they've been bought out again by Whirlpool or maybe GE. Too late for me to upgrade to a Wolf...
Don't know why I haven't wandered over here before, but for some reason decided to read tonight. I don't belong here as I am a good old southern cook, and if I can't pronounce it, I don't dare try to make it. But enjoy reading what everybody has been making and the discussion about pasta makers, grinders, and high end stoves.
Well, I'd have to say the new stroganoff dish was a bona fide hit. Swimmer Girl says she prefers it to the old standard I've made since her brothers were tots. But let's face it, papardelle noodles (even if store-bought) trump plain-jane egg noodles any day.
Tomorrow night is a new fried rice dish with edamames and brown rice. And maybe a pad thai noodle bowl, depending on how much time I have :-)
Welcome, Bonnie. There are a host of great southern cooks with recipes to share here. We all are home cooks too.
Terry, you did come back from your travels ready to sling the pots and pans, didn't you?
Sally, fresh shrimp makes my mouth water.
All upcoming catering proposals were completed this morning and sent to clients. Also worked on what crazy food will be made for this year's Hanukkah menus. Some things from last year, by request, and some things new. Russian Hanukkah was such a hit (maybe the Stoly shooters and caviar?) so that is a def repeat. I'm adding Indian Hanukkah this year and one S. American country, probably Argentina. Japanese Hanukkah is a strong contender. SO wants deep South Hanukkah so he can eat blackeyed peas, mac n' cheese, slaw and buttermilk fried chicken.
It's been a busy day in the kitchen but first I wanted to share a few photos of the induction burner at work. These are photos of the veggie saute with basmati rice from a few days ago day. You can see how nicely the mushrooms and onions are coloring up in the first photo and not even on the high setting. Next came carrots, then julienned snow peas, green onions and corn. Lastly the rice. A little toss and voila! No stove clean up.
These enormous beets came from the farmer's market. The clever is there to show scale. They were quartered and all but one quarter went in to a pot with homemade chicken stock to simmer until tender. This is the beginning of beef borscht with beets, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Still need to cook the beef and cabbage and make that stock.
I made a gallon of potato salad for a Monday event. While the food processor was out I grated the remaining beet quarter, cabbage and a carrot, then added several chopped green onions. A little minced hot peppers from the garden went in as well as some of that hot pepper vinegar, salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Then a sprinkle of toasted sesame oil. We like this kind of slaw on top of Romaine with grape tomatoes. The slaw dresses the salad. I've also put a slaw dollop on the side of the dish and dressed the salad with a creamy dill dressing.
Several of the artisan cheesemakers I know rave about their induction burners. They are about the only thing that will let you reliably control and increase the heat by just 1º to 2º every 10 minutes, critical in much cheesemaking. I don't know if you need that kind of control for the cooking you do, though, unless you are a closet chocolatier, LOL.
Quickly overheated curds do not make great cheese, and when I can afford a good induction burner, I'll probably get back into to making cheese, simply because I enjoy it. Of course, finding a great source of farm-fresh milk would be nice, too!
SO has Paula Deen on in the background. She is so funny. She's making chicken "die-van" and it's the best thing she's ever put to her "lee-ups". I've lived in Georgia for over forty years and only heard her accent in bad movies. Is this coached? Gotta love her though her food is a heart attack waiting to happen.
Speaking of TV, if you're stuck for a holiday gift consider a WaxVac. One commercial will lighten your day. Google it. Someone even has a blog going on the product. We got the catalog from the local kitchen and bath store but I can only recall a few of the must haves like a crepe maker for $1,895, a mini doughnut factory (their description), or an illuminated punch bowl. The later must be so party guests can find their way over in case of a power outage.
I had a lovely package in the mail today... a few food things I ordered through a friend (artisan quince paste and a small jar of fig preserves, and some marinated white anchovies), but she also included a belated birthday gift or two... a small Wüsthof Santoku Hollow Edge Knife, perfect size for my hand, and a pair of Royal Worcester egg coddlers. Boy am I thrilled!
What a nice gift package, Darius. Aren't you fortunate to have such a friend?
Finally made it to oyster night. The price is up to $5.00 a dozen. Well worth it. I ate two dozen and drank a Rogue Hazelnut Porter. I will try to post a photo tomorrow. We had to sit at the bar to get the deal but the TV was on mute and the crowd tame. There were two dorky guys putting the Romeo on the cute bartender. We were sitting next to her register and getting a kick out of her under the breath commentary. Really a fun evening in the neighborhood and it's still early.
No time to post oyster night but hope you enjoy yours as much as we enjoyed ours, Darius. I have always been the lone oyster scarfer in the house but SO decided to give it a try rather than sneer and make faces at my plate. He ordered one dozen, then another and was ready to order a third when I suggested he might feel full if he let them sit a few minutes. lol He also split a basket of fried chicken livers with me. He used to leave the kitchen when I cooked them. Goes to show that addage about old dogs is not absolute.
Tonight is the first candle lighting of Hanukkah. It was sunset here at 5:28. As usual, we are having a late dinner, and decided on Japanese Hanukkah. There are about 127,000 Jews in Japan. Maybe some are having fried foods tonight too. To commemorate the holiday our fried foods will be tempura mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini. One pound of diver scallops will have a short swim in grated ginger, soy and saki and then seared. They will be served room temp over gomae spinach. Gomae is anything with sesame seeds. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare spinach. Sapporo beer will be in the tempura batter and on the table.
Gosh that sounds good, Laurel. I haven't made tempura in years, don't even remember much about making it except whipping egg whites for a light batter.
Maybe I need to give fried chicken livers another try... I have several small packs of organic, free-range chicken livers in the bottom of the freezer.
I defrosted a summer-made zucchini quiche overnight, and reheated it for supper. Since I used store-bought pastry shells, the shell was awful but the rest was tasty. I have about 5 more in the freezer, with various combinations of ingredients.
We were going out to the local symphony tonight so I just made hamburgers. The supermarket has been selling one-pound packages of organic ground beef at a reduced price, probably because they're not selling the way they'd hoped they would, so I bought some to keep in the freezer. I just grilled them in an iron frying pan, but they were good.
I've not had luck with frozen quiche. Mine always taste like rubber.
Here's last night's dinner starting with the scallops in marinade, toasting the sesame seeds, searing the scallops, the assembled gomae spinach and lastly the composed dish with tempura veggies. I left out the Asian beet, carrot and cabbage slaw previously posted.
Tonight we are having Italian Hanukkah with zucchini and Parmesan fritters, crimini mushroom risotto, and an antipasti salad with fresh mozz, assorted olives, artichokes and speck.
Laurel, I baked mine before freezing, thawed in the refrigerator, and warmed slowly in the oven. I halfway expected rubbery cheese, but that didn't happen.
The scallops look wonderful, and the spinach interesting. I guess you are loving your new burner. :)
I just spent some time on Fantes.com, which I do about once a year as it's my fav kitchen gadget place, and where I purchase my annual supply of filters for my Chemex. I happened across their page(s) on pasta makers and thought I'd post them here since we just had a discussion on them...
Oh, I love Fantes. I just don't like their shipping charges. My friend used to sell rabbits to a butcher at the Italian Market in Philadelphia, and a trip with her to deliver them always included a visit to Fantes. I have a wonderful soapstone pot from there, and it's also where I get my l'Econome knives when I'm not planning a trip to France for them. I also have some small ceramic containers probably intended for crème brûlée that I use for ice cream, that I bought there once.
Both Whole Foods and Costco have wild caught Atlantic scallops here. Our Costco also carries fresh littleneck clams and oysters. The main difference with the scallops is about four dollars a pound. Publix carries large scallops but I've not bought them there.
Leslie, I don't find Fantes' shipping charges outrageous, but most of what I purchase is lightweight. I think this order was $8.95 s/h, and it included a couple of small Christmas gift items in addition to a years' supply of Chemex coffee filters. Not bad for something I only buy once a year...
No, that's not bad at all. I ordered some l'Econome paring knives for gifts which were $9.99 each, and shipping was $9.95 so that seemed a bit high. And we only live an hour away! I ordered some more from a French shop called La Cantière to be shipped to my friend in France, and the knives were about 6€ each with shipping the same, but they also sent a free kitchen scale as a gift.
Welcome home, Tam. Are you now home through New Year's? Everyone must be off holiday shopping.
Here are a few photos of Italian Hanukkah. First is the zucchini fritter platter and aioli. We shared a Peroni and it went perfectly with the dinner. I'm trying to pair more beers with my dinners in lieu of wine. Next is the antipasti salad and last is the mushroom and pea risotto. The risotto leftovers should still be good after Hanukkah. SO was informed to keep his hands off if he wants arancini. It would have been a good Italian Hanukkah dish but it's time to move on since we visited Italy. Tonight is Russian Hanukkah.
thanks Laurel. I'm back in Pa through New Years but will be doing my annual drive around the state visiting family. I interviewed an excellent candidate to help cover my duties in Ca so I have high hopes to spend less time on the road and more time in the kitchen!
Your photo's made me hungry all over again. :-) I have never had arancini. It sounds delicious -what do you fill yours with?
Tam, it's left over risotto with a blob of mozz in the center, then dipped in egg and rolled in crumbs and fried. They need to be eaten straight away so the mozz centers are hot and melty. I do these with friends on the other side of the counter. Realy rich gravy (tomato sauce) with fresh herbs makes for a wonderful dipper.
Here is tonight's Russian Hanukkah. I fandangled SO in to dish-doing so I could post photos. First photo is of blini in progress. Next is our caviar which is actually salmon and not sturgeon roe. Ouch! That salmon roe now costs $17 for what you see. Guess next year we will be looking for alternative blini fillings. The next three are of our table. I've not had the energy to set up the dining room this year but did use old family linen, china, crystal and silver.
He's super, and I cut him a lot of slack, but he's hard on the breakables. The kids will be lucky if they get service for two of anything.
Are ya'll crazy with holiday shopping at this point? I'm only going out stealth shopping for survival items in between all you holiday shopping mavens.
We are having deep South Hanukkah tonight. Will report back with photos and the menu. DD had her version of deep South Hanukkah last night with sweet potato latkes and her home canned watermelon chutney. The pics she sent look delicious. That girl can cook!
Since there are currently no kids in my family (niece & nephew are in their 20s though still in college) we have decided to donate to our favorite charities in lieu of gifts. I'll give my niece some wild-caught alaskan salmon since she LOVEs it and something small for my nephew. And then I'm done. :-)
I roasted some butternut squash and added it to my leftover stir-fry. Was good. I finally have enough eggs from the chickens to do some omelets tomorrow. They have really slowed down these last few weeks!
Oh - almost forgot. Today while sorting a pile of papers in my office, I found a cookbook the state of Pa published (focusing on local agricultural products) and I see a recipe for arancino make with a mushroom risotto. Funny how you mentioned it here and then I saw it somewhere the very next day. It does appeal to me. I will have to try it for one of my tappas dinners!
Here is deep South Hanukkah. Buttermilk fried chicken, mac n' cheese, collard greens from the garden and blackeyed peas. The hot sauce was came from our fermented tabasco peppers. We had Laughing Skull beer, a local ale from Red Brick Brewery. I backed down the calories a bit by boning and skinning chicken thighs.
Laurel - fermenting hot peppers sounds like an intriguing idea! And that dinner looks good.
I had that omelet for dinner and it was FABULOUS. I sure do love my girls' eggs. Its nice to
have enough to cook with again. I've been finding a opossum in the barn every so often - I
bet he's enjoying the eggs too. :-(
Possums will kill chickens .
Had home made grilled Rubens last night . Think I'll be lazy and make slawdogs for dinner tonight . We've been working hard to finish the screened porch and will pour the footing , cut the steps today. My knees are so bad , I'll measure them to 5" high .
Do NOT encourage me! You don't know how many chicken tractor plans I've looked at, wondering how I could fit a small system into my yard. And, my wonderful neighbors wouldn't even turn me in to the local authorities! Of course, there'd be no rooster...
Leslie, all shellfish are traif but I don't not keep kosher unless a catering job requires it and it's been years since I've had to kosher my kitchen. It takes days to do and if it requires certification I would have to call in a mashgiach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashgiach When I posted the first round the world Hanukkah dinners I said they are meant to be in the spirit of the holiday by having one fried item at each dinner and including countries where Jews have settled. We got sick of eight nights of latkes and, with the kids out of the house, things were not festive. It was a way to put some fun into the holiday again with a non-gifting focus. If we are counting traif, the beef borscht with sour cream and buttermilk fried chicken would be traif because of the meat and dairy and also that neither meats were certified kosher. So would the blackeyed peas (with ham hocks) and the antipasti salad with speck (smoked prosciutto).
Belgian Hanukkah included the moules et frites with a classic Belgian frite dipping sauce called sauce Andalouse. It's not Andalusian at all. Maybe because it has peppers in it? I don't know but this is used like ketchup in Belgium. I toasted half a baguette for mussel liquor dunking. The marinated asparagus salad is topped with two lovely soft boiled eggs; gifts from Tams girls. :)
Very nice. Those mussels appear to be a little bigger than ours.
I bought over five pounds of mussels. Aside from the leftovers that night there were still about two pounds of live mussels on ice in the fridge. Spanish Hanukkah was the plan for Friday night with croquetas de pesco, or Spanish fish croquettes and then realized the remaining mussels must be dealt with and fresh fish. Sooo, I decided to make fideos con mariscos or fried noodles and mixed seafood. The noodles are like Italian nidi (nests) and often fried before cooking for this dish. The sauce is made with wine, home canned tomatoes and a sofrito of onions, peppers and garlic. I toasted up the other half a baguette and SO opened a bottle of cava. There were lots of leftovers (not the cava) which made a wonderful cold seafood pasta salad.
Saturday night was the last night of Hanukkah. I usually reserve this night for the latke fest and foods more in keeping with ones we grew up eating on holidays. We made it up to Maypop for the weekend with stuffed cabbage in tow. That only required reheating. I made apple sauce and latkes with fresh sour cream. We shared a Schwarzbier (German for black beer) and paid homage to our Ashkenazi traditions.
I brought up a second induction burner and made the latkes and apple sauce on that. Feeling very green using only 110 volts. So far it's a workhorse. It did the job for almost everything cooked this holiday. Been doing research on best for least induction stainless to augment the Le Crueset and cast iron in both kitchens. The notion of buying more cookware is not compelling but my regular stainless will not work.
In our travels the past weeks, we arrived into Charleston this evening and discovered our lodging was just two doors from Magnolia's Restaurant. We of course checked it out, were lucky enough to be seated without reservations and enjoyed shrimp/grits for me and d.h. had the bouillabaisse. Funny side bar, waiter was originally from Kansas (about 40 miles from our home town) and the young couple behind us were from Wichita. The more we travel, the more we realize it's a small world after all.
Edens, It would be hard to chose between shrimp and grits and bouillabaisse. Great meals create great memories. Did he share?
I too was thinking about the small world we occupy while looking at my photos of Belgian moules et frites dinner and then GH's. How similar our tables looked, even down to the service. One was an evening in Atlanta and another in the south of France. Well she arguably had a best view, gorgeous seaside fishing village to gaze upon. I did have orchids, several acres of hardwoods and no baggage.
Eufaula made me & johnny shrimp and grits year before last and I tell you it was delish . Had never had it . I have to get her recipe .
We were on the run all day so grilled pork niblets , baked sweet potato. It's all we can do to get around two dishes , so don't know how to set a table for six or seven dishes . Whew that would be work , I admire you
I finally did it ! had my last cigarette 8 days ago . Now to lose the twenty lbs I gained .
I don't even miss them .Johnny is trying now .
O T but I wanted my friends to be sure and see this and celebrate with me . It's been a hard three years and the fourth try worked . Hugs to all
That is wonderful news, Sally. Here's hoping four is the magic number for you. If not go for five. Wishing Johnny the best with his quitting too. One day and one thing at a time. Don't worry about the weight. We are celebrating with you tonight by having a salad with some left over fried chicken on top. Back to being good.
Laurel, yes we normally share good food. Sally, hang in there, we quit and quit smoking a number of times before it took, but it's well worth the effort. As to losing the weight...well, again keep trying.
Ah, I thought your place was close to Magnolia's, but I didn't realize it was THAT close. Loved their shrimp and grits when we were there a few months ago.
Laurel, your food spreads are gorgeous - what a beautiful (and delicious) way to celebrate your faith and heritage.
I'm about to get my Christmas bake on here today. I put off the cookie and candy making for the last week in order to avoid freezing them any longer than necessary. The confections all freeze well, but I think everything tastes better the fresher it is. Mr. Official is going to the Titans game tonight with oldest son, so I can keep dinner light for Swimmer Girl and middle son (who is now our newest college grad as of last Saturday.) In fact, I may charge them with fetching something so I can keep plowing ahead on the confectionaries.
Sally, we've got one three years older than that 'un :-) And then swimmer girl, who is 10 years younger than her oldest brother and 7 years younger than Saturday's grad.
The one in the pic is (some days) a boy only his mama could love - I remind him of that occasionally because he can be a bit of a stinker. Or contrarian, to be more polite. He and I went nose to nose over graduation - he didn't want to walk. I told him he could walk alone or I'd walk with him and do cartwheels across the stage, but either way I paid his tuition and books not covered by scholarships and I wanted to plunk my behind in a hard stadium seat for three hours to witness the culmination of 5+ years of higher education. I think his daddy finally convinced him that if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And as you can see from the shy smile on his face, I think he was secretly pleased he went through with the ceremonies.
Okay, so far today, dark double chocolate shortbread is chilling along with sweet-and-salty peanut butter cookies and almond crescents. Apricot bars are baked and cooling, and will get a glaze before cutting. In a while, peppermint sugar cookies will get a test drive along with a chocolate stout (yes, beer in cookies) with a salted caramel frosting. Then it's on to the cand-making tonight: apple cider caramels, English toffee, traditional cooked fudge, and pecan pralines.
Terry - I saute a bunch of onion & cabbage, sometimes red pepper, add a pint of my roasted tomato sauce and a pound of browned ground beef. And spice to taste. I will on occasion add some grated parm but its not really necessary. Not much of a recipe but its really good and has a lot of good healthy stuff in it too.
That sounds good. I like cabbage rolls, but I'm about the only one in my family that does. They will eat cabbage in runzas and a few other dishes...and this would be much easier than stuffing cabbage rolls :-) And I bet the roasted tomato sauce really ramps up the flavor factor.
Terry, sending big congratulations your way for the diploma milestone. It's such an accomplishment. Your family spacing must have been planned by an accountant (:)) with tuition in mind while we must have been standing behind the financial planning door with two children nine and a half months apart. There were no greater tears of joy than ours when our last two finished school. I for one hope to see photos of your kitchen wizardry during the Christmas bake on.
We got back to Atlanta a short while ago. Forgot how many Hanukkah leftovers are still in the fridge including a mini-meatloaf (or maxi-Swedish meatball) from the remains of stuffed cabbage filling. However, there are fresh veggies and the remains of a fresh mozz that need attention so we will have a broccoli, mushroom, onion, tomato and mozz foccacia and a salad. Wonder how mussels would taste on that?
Meatloaf is a very under rated dish. It takes skill or a good handed down recipe to make a good one.
When I make a special meatloaf , I line a loaf pan with pie crust , add cheese to the filling and make an indentation long ways down the center , fill with pecans or olives and pico . Fold over the pie crust and bake .Any number of fillings are good , we just like these best .
I met a new volunteer for our food pick up project at WF shortly after seven this a.m.. After we got into the store and I started to show her the procedure for pick up a customer went ballistic with a nice bakery employee because she wanted a birthday cake and didn't like what they had. The more the employee tried to show her cakes the more irate the customer got. She was having a tantrum, telling the employee to get away and demanding to speak to someone else. She tried to drag me into the fracas and was yelling, "Tell this woman she has a real problem. Make her go away!" I told her she appeared to be the one with the problem and I wanted no part of her problem. Sheesh! Well I hope we didn't lose the new volunteer. :-( I told SO that woman must be eating entirely too much whole food.
Veggie soup has been started and I'm going to make arancini from the remaining risotto.
I bet the cocktail sauce would be a really good ingredient! I'll be looking up those Bobby Flay recipes too.
We're going out for dinner. Its DH's birthday and we will meet up at Shady Maple in Lancaster County with a few friends to help him celebrate. Its free on your birthday so we use this as an excuse to get together at least the 6 times a year.
The cocktail sauce is a great idea...I hadn't thought about the zip of horseradish in meatloaf, but that sounds really good. I'll get some pictures of my cookiec/candy spread today. Last night we slipped out for a bite to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Kept it very low-key...what else can you do when your anniversary falls on a Tuesday?
And it always falls a week before Christmas (go figure ;-) which makes it...well, interesting...to try to squeeze in a getaway. We have managed to do so in the past, and will again; just not this year.).
Yesterday I put the finishing touches on what I'm calling my "very IKEA dining room" for the holidays. It's definitely not the to-the-hilt decorating I did last year but the snowflake pattern that IKEA had out last fall went perfectly with the winter-white dishes I already had. Every time I walk in this room, I remember why I loved this house on-sight (even though this room was bright red with sage green drapes at the time), and wonder why I don't move dinner and weekend meals to this room more often. Maybe that will be my 2013 resolution.
That is a lovely room & decorated very tastefully Terry!
I met with a new kitchen designer & estimator today. I am so hoping we can figure out a good layout for this old house. Its just such complicated space. I wasn't so happy with the previous designer's ideas and she had so many distractions she didn't work on it much. I found a new contractor that has great reviews. I liked their designer - she had some good ideas. We'll see what she comes up with in a few weeks. I guess I'll have to load up the freezer and set up a temporary kitchen when we actually do the renovations.
Terry, your dining room with a view is very elegant. I am enamored with the harp backed chairs. I see no IKEA style here though I like IKEA a lot. Will Edens be joining you? Love the tureen and the stuffed egg platter. Do you switch decor on the plate rack after the holidays? We are resolving to make more thematic dinners in the coming year and maybe use our dining room. It's a large space with a big table from the days when we frequently had two additional tables in the room.
SO was supposed to have a meeting tonight that was canceled at the last minute. There's a lot of food in there. He's on his own.
Tonight was last night in Charleston, enjoyed more local seafood and oysters, ready to head for Murfreesboro for Christmas. The weather here was great today, high was 73. Looking at the Kansas forecast for blizzard conditions tonight. While we need moisture at home I can't say I'm sorry for not being there.
Terry, the dining room looks great.
Thanks, all. I just finished up the apple cider caramels and chocolate stout cookies with salted caramel frosting. I'm about to turn into a pumpkin, I do believe.
Laurel, the table was my grandmother's which I refinished years ago. The harp chairs were a thrift-store find about 15 years ago. Not Duncan-Phyfe but they were in my budget and were family-friendly. They're now on their second upholstery job, this time a citrus-y treillage pattern that flies in the face of all that blue and brown, but in a weird way I really like it. A staged rebellion, so to speak :-)
The credenza held our television in our last home, and when we moved, it fit right in as a low buffet. Mr. Official and I made the plate rack after we moved in here last year. I collected platters from hither and yon...the egg platter was a wedding gift; the asparagus and artichoke platters were scrounged off eBay, along with the tureen and orangetree pattern bowl. The other platters were picked up here and there. I don't swap them out seasonally, although the snowflake plates lose their novelty by February. My latest finds can't be seen: a set of fish-shaped bowls (hopefully they'll be put to good use serving some oyster stew sometime next week) and some old railroad butter pats I picked up in Kansas over Thanksgiving.
The IKEA items are the soft goods - runner, candles, napkins and centerpiece miniature trees. Alrighty, I'm outta here. I have guests arriving shortly, assuming they get a move on tomorrow morning.
Goes to show you why IKEA is so popular. It goes with everything.
Didn't share my amazing day yesterday but want to. I had to be on the other side of the city and decided to visit Patel Brothers for the first time. http://www.yelp.com/biz/patel-brothers-decatur They have stores in different parts of the U.S. http://www.patelbros.com/locations.html and although they promote themselves as an international market they are really Indo-Pakistani with some Middle Eastern stuff thrown in. The selection of rice was mind boggling with brown choices in every grain length and Basmati as well as Jasmine. There were enormous clay pots filled with snacks, sold by the pound, and made from a variety of bean and grain flours or from whole roasted chickpeas http://www.patelbros.com/gallery.html
It was so much fun. I wish I knew more about the cooking. I bought rice flour, two kinds of chai, brown rice, sandlewood incense, blackeyed peas and some snacks for the ride home. Now I know where to go for dals. They had one whole row. And grains...every imaginable size milling. The same with nuts. Everything from whole nuts to nut flours. Preserved lemons. Fresh paneer, naan and chipati. Beautiful and unusual produce. Exotic and everyday dried spices. Most everything is available in bulk. The have a food bar but we did not get anything because it was late afternoon. Needed to make tracks back home before Atlanta's famous traffic let loose.
Sharing photos of the assembled but not baked veggie focaccia and salad from a few nights ago. We are hopefully having a taco salad with a chili topping. It's hopeful because it's windy. I am hearing transformers blowing. The power keeps briefly going out.
Brenda, I would hate to think of this forum as a competition. There is so much food here I would love to eat. I just had a conversation with a friend today about the challenges of making a good grilled cheese sandwich. Please post. As for grands, the plan is larger than what we can know. What makes one relationship fulfilling is not the same for the next.
Tam, homemade noodles! Why didn't you post pics? Bet Gary was extra happy.
One of SO's favorite meals is ribs. A rack is rubbed and ready to go. I recently perfected an oven version. Made a broccoli salad with leftover sauce Andalouse from the Belgian Hanukkah frite dipper. The salad has dried cranberries, red onion, bacon and toasted peanuts. Will make oven fries with pesto and pecorino left from Italian Hanukkah. A recycled dinner. We are working on clearing out leftovers so I can start all over with New Year's cooking.
The weather was unbelievable last night. Winds so strong things were crashing on the roof all night long. Our house is buried in the woods so I'm sure there are limbs and debris that will need cleaning off. I'm a walking zombie today.
Laurel - we had a wicked storm here last night too. Weird to wake to sun beaming in!
I made a chocolate indulgence cake. Its relatively healthy and tastes fabulous. (I have probably raved about it here before. lol) And after giving the girls sunflower seeds for a few weeks, I finally got an egg. And boy is it a beaut! I put it in a carton of store bought Large eggs for scale.
We had quite a storm here last night too. We even lost power for about seven hours. The scary thing was the flooding, though; even though it was only a 4' tide and not even a full moon, because of the wind the water came up almost past Sandy levels, and that, we thought, was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
I just made penne pasta with leftover pork ribs sautéed in olive oil with peppers, onions, garlic, broccoli and oyster mushrooms. Simple but good.
We had vicious winds all day yesterday and through the night. Today was still breezy, but not as bad. We had white chicken enchiladas tonight, with a side salad of avocado, onion, tomato, catalina dressing and crushed corn chips, plus beans. Last night was pulled pork with barbequed baked beans and a relish spread.
The "roast beast" (standing rib roast) is in the fridge for Tuesday's dinner. Between now and Monday night when we'll do a massive spread at my MIL's, I'm trying to balance a variety of flavors in hearty, filing meals that are lighten enough to not make us all gain a pound or two a day :-)
I'm planning a ham for Christmas, something I seldom cook because of their large size and this being a one-person household. I had a heck of a time finding a bone-in ham of any size, much less a smaller one.
I think my sis mentioned last week that she is off Christmas day, so I may even have "company" for the meal, although I've eaten alone for so long that I almost prefer the quiet and peacefulness. I DO miss the large extended family dinners of my youth, though, along with the holiday dinners I hosted in years' past for friends who had no place else to go.
Hams with fat are also impossible to find down here. I used to look so forward to putting a ham on the grill for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
With no fat, not only do they dry out, you having nothing to score to put cloves in and to let the glaze get into. Its not like you can score the meat itself. Well you can, but talk about dry. I understand not wanting to eat fat, but the ultra trimming has gone to an extreme. I guess the bone was next.
\I hope you get to share some ham with your sister, and OOOO the yummy soups that will follow.
Tam, while you are feeling sorry for the hen consider the poor capon. At least the hen has a story to tell.
It sounds like there was a lot of bad weather out there. We had a cleanup here.
If you can't find what you are looking for in your grocery stores and markets do you talk to dept. managers or store managers? I do. I can't get heritage pork or beef without going to specialty sources but I can order untrimmed pork and beef in whole cuts. Pork is for sure leaner these days but the trimming has made it more so. The trick to cooking pork is to cook it low, even on the grill. The proteins will not do well with high heat and the meat becomes tough as well as dry. Chicken reacts the same way.
Whole briskets for smoking or untrimmed whole hams are available at our regular Publix or Kroger stores. They can usually order fresh and/or organic turkey brands not available in the case. Just ask. I used to have a fish monger at Kroger who would get all my fish from Inland Seafood though the store product came from Ohio. The Costco butchers keep me fixed up with meats.
Since we had such major meat last night, I made a cheesy vegetable pot pie. The pie has mushrooms, onions, peas, carrots broccoli and corn. There's a tad of pesto left to throw in. Then Tilamook grated sharp cheddar. SO is making a salad.
I haven't had much luck getting my meat department manager to order special things for me. They stopped carrying organic hamburgers a while ago, and after asking about it repeatedly I was told that the manager has no control over what he gets in, at least according to him. Right now they've suddenly got organic ground beef, so I'm trying to stock up while I can.
Tonight we went over to some friends' house for dinner. They served wild boar and cranberry sausage with roasted brussels sprouts and a mushroom risotto. Really a treat! She had been to the Italian Market in Philadelphia, at the butcher's where she used to sell her rabbits when she was raising them, and bought the sausage from him because she knew we'd like it. It had a much richer, more complex flavor than pork sausage and we all enjoyed it. Dessert was leftover Italian treats from an event they'd hosted the night before. Yum!
Most of you are probably up to your ears in food and family by now but hope you see my wishes for everyone who celebrates to have a joyous holiday. I'm sure of one thing, there will be no shortage of good food among this group! Who could ask for any better gift?
We are enjoying perfectly miserable weather. Ugh! We will have a steamy bowl of tofu and chicken pho for dinner.
And I add my own wishes for everyone to enjoy the holidays, wherever you are. We are on our way to my MIL's for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, then tomorrow we'll enjoy a lazy breakfast and put a standing rib roast in for a late afternoon dinner. By this time next week, I'll be ready to hit the gym in earnest again.
We are having standing rib roast also, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, salad and baked potato and pumpkin pie.
Daughter is still recovering from having tonsils out so she is having allergen free dressing (pan I froze from Thanksgiving), baked potato and allergen free corn souffle. Found out in the fall that she is allergic to soy.
Sally, after a brief weather break things are supposed to get really ugly by this afternoon. Hopefully the worst of it will move north before it moves too far east. At least we have a generator.
Nutz, it's always a challenge to cook traditional holiday dinners for guests needing special diets. Don't forget to put water in the pan to soak and deglaze and save those roasted bones for stock. You can remove the fat after it's chilled.
We will be having a traditional dinner...pizza. It is red and green you know.
Santa must have heard I like to cook: two new pieces of Fiestaware (a pie pan and a loaf pan), and a personalized etched glass baking dish from Swimmer Girl, plus a new knife and mandolin, and an iGrill cordless timer. Plus a few other non-cooking treats :-)
Today's lineup started out with sliced tenderloin medallions in biscuits and homemade cinnamon rolls.
Early afternoon and the standing rib roast is almost through roasting; and it'll stand while I finish Parker House rolls, potatoes au gratin, a skillet of fried apples and sweet potatoes, two green bean dishes (no one could choose between a green bean casserole and fresh green beans wrapped with bacon, so I'm making both), and some mac and cheese. No dessert...we have too many cookies and candies left over, so if anyone has a sweet tooth, they can satisfy it with something off a sampler tray like the one below. (we made these up and delivered them to the neighbors Sunday afternoon.)
We did neighbor gifts too, I had successfully done English Muffins, so shared those along with cookies, banana bread, biscotti and candy...One neighbor looked at me sheepishly and said they should be giving us gifts... we take in their mail during their frequent trips away from home and they had been bringing me knickknacky stuff until I pulled the plug on it. I do not need anything else to dust. Oh well...
Went out for Chinese . Had shrimp six different ways and sushi with peanut sauce . I'm happy .
Terry , you know how to pull my strings . Sweets , I could live on them .
I made old fashioned date/pecan candy rolls . All gone . My favorite sweet next to pecan divinity .
Terry, what colors did you get? DD's MIL found eight dinner plates and seven sandwich plates at a second hand shop to ad to DD's collection. I recommended that she start collecting because the colors are so versatile.
The two sweet photos are gorgeous. Don't know how you folks make it through the eating part of the holiday though.
Brenda, I hope your standing rib roast came out well...ours was delish.
Digger, come join me anytime. I'll bake and make, and you can eat :-)
Laurel, the pie plate is in plum (I think that's the newer purple anyway...I have a couple other pieces in the same color); the loaf pan is yellow, but not marigold (another one that I have a few other pieces the same color, too.) I have used Fiesta for over 20 years and I've never gotten tired of it, precisely because there are always new colors and pieces coming out. I don't collect them all (my family would say otherwise), but I can add enough new pieces to keep things interesting. Middle Son will get my "old" round plates when he gets his own place...soon, I think.
The secret to sweets? I share the love. With neighbors, family, Mr. Official's co-workers...whoever I can pawn it off on. Did I mention I also got some new cross-trainer shoes, yoga pants and a warm hoodie for those early morning jaunts to the gym? If I use them as intended, the holiday effects will soon vanish.
meezers, can you share the recipe for English muffins? I'd love to try making them. I give the neighbor gifts with no strings or expectations. I figure it simply builds good will and I'd rather NOT have anyone feel compelled to reciprocate, unless they make something totally awesome. Then the can give back liberally, lol.
Just googled it and this recipe worked well. I used my electric griddle, but I need to adjust the temp a bit as there were some spots hotter than others, maybe moving them around would help. I might try my heavy stove top griddle as gas is more adjustable and the weight of the griddle would even out the surface temperature. I got a little over a dozen, and they are all gone. My DH, who rarely comments on food, pronounced them Very Good. High praise from the man who will eat anything.
Sure would. Might have to do some jam soon, I'm on my last jar of strawberry, and the raspberry pomegranate is all gone...I don't know why I put it off until the cupboard is bare. I do the old fashioned process, and I seal the top with paraffin...My neighbor called me the first year I gave them jam for Christmas and asked if there was something wrong with it because there was white stuff on top. LOL Sheeesh, he's not that much younger than me!!! Then, I thought,maybe no one in his family ever made jam or jelly at home!!
I had to stop sealing with paraffin because I always made so much that it would get old before it was used .
Just found an old recipe for hogshead mincemeat , using grape juice . Sounds like my departed , MIL's recipe that I lost 40 years ago . It was the best, and boxed mincemeat is like comparing homegrown , vine ripe ,tomatoes , to cardboard
I plan to do some baking today, using up the many egg whites left over from my failed pumpkin custard yesterday. (Overpowering nutmeg in the recipe.) Meringue cookies in several flavors, and maybe Pecan Divinity will be one of them.
The paraffin doesn't get old , the jelly gets old and turns dark on top or ants will find the way past it , or it will shrink just enough for air to get in and ruin the goodies .I've had all these things happen . I fill the jars while it's boiling hot and seals and store them upside down . Better yet , I only make speciality jams and jellies, and buy the rest . The jalapeno jelly I make in cases of pints , then only keep two or three jars for us , the rest going to the family for sides and glazes for pork and chicken.They like to share some with thier in-laws .The marmalade is too much work so only make enough for family .
Bout to quit , it's getting ridiculous .
I copied the recipe for English muffins .
I do the wax in two steps. One layer, let it cool completely and then another layer,and I tilt the jars so it goes up the sides a little and guarantees a complete seal. Also your jars cannot have any dribbles on the edges at all, that's asking for leakage. I'm sure you are careful but I've had jars last as long as two years without a problem. Peach jam doesn't hold well, it almost always turns dark within a few months. So we eat it all up in the effort not to be wasteful...that's my story and I'm sticking to it...
These muffins didn't have the nicest holes...the ones you buy have big holes, these were ok, but the biggest holes were about 1/4"...
O I thought I was supposed to send her my address for the orange marmalade. I made marmalade a couple years ago from meyer lemons a friend sent me. That's all gone too. Sigh.
Last night we went over to some friends' for dinner. They are naturalists and had made the acquaintance of some very nice Californian birders of Japanese heritage, who bring them some abalone each time they come east. Our friends served the abalone as an appetizer last night, and it was delicious! We also had some cod, cut in thick pieces and broiled with butter, salt, pepper and a soupçon of garlic. I've never had such good cod; it tasted almost like lobster. I think the thickness of the pieces contributed to the flavor. I'll have to try that myself sometime. What was even more amazing was that they bought it very fresh from the Cape May Lobster House and then froze it, but it was still that good. Sides were a large squash, mashed with some butter, and a broccoli and mushroom casserole. Dessert was vanilla ice cream with our friend's home made hot chocolate sauce. Yum!
We had a very early morning food pick up in the freezing cold and it was a huge amount (618 lbs.). That was a work out. I was bundled in silk long johns, a silk and wool sweater, lined pants, wool knee socks, hat, gloves and scarf. It was still cold!
Today is double good deed day. I called my next door neighbor to wish her a Merry Christmas on the day and offered to mom sit as a Christmas present so she and her SO could go out for dinner and a movie. Her mom has Alzheimer's.
Our out of town kids and other house guests will arrive tomorrow. We will have a full house through Monday and then a half(way) house for the rest of the week and following weekend. We are spending the day with food preparation. SO is grilling veggies to use for various dishes and salads. He is also grilling a fillet mignon. I'm making lamb meatballs and Italian gravy from a leg of lamb that was broken down into a roast, stew meat and ground meat several months ago. The gravy includes garlic, herbs, tomatoes and peppers from this past year's garden. The meatballs were spiced before freezing. I'll make a big beef stew tomorrow and serve with toasted baguettes for a one dish dinner. Folks can eat whenever they arrive. There's a turkey defrosting outside in a cooler that will get brined overnight Friday and smoked on Saturday. I'll use leftovers as part of the New Year's spread. I baked chocolate chip, pecan cookies last week and found sweet potato filling in the freezer for a sweet potato pie. Two pound cakes are defrosting to become a blueberry, mango and peach trifle.
Laurel it does sound like you got a brisk workout. Brrr, and good for you...and I bet your houseguests will be very well fed over the next week or so.
We sent ours packing this morning - they are heading home to Kansas; hopefully not driving into too much snow and nastiness.
Unfortunately our last day/night together was not so great: I came down with an intestinal bug, as did my mom (Edens_Gardener here at DG). I managed to slice up prime rib for French dip sandwiches and oversaw the beginnings of a spinach/strawberry salad before i threw in the towel and let the menfolk handle the rest. I was in bed before 7. Mr. Official was up on-and-off all night with it, but managed to drag himself out the door for an MRI on his knee around 6 this a.m. The parents hit the road around 7...apparently her case was a little milder, or she's tougher than me :-). I got up long enough to see them off, then went back to bed. I'm pretty sure I'm now on the downhill side of it, but the hubs is still in the aches-and-pains part of so I'm feeding him ginger ale and eying the pantry for soup and crackers.
Paraffin does tend to shrink a little when it cools. The second coat takes care of the edge shrinkage if there is any. I always err on the side of caution when doing any kind of preserves, as we don't use them up quickly enough. I don't know what the advantage of storing them upsidedown is, I would think the weight of the contents might put pressure on the wax and loosen it.