thanks for the new thread Terry! Had a great blackened chicken pasta for lunch (out). I think it had a whole fist of garlic in my serving. (Which was enough for 3 dinners!) Dinner is cabbage & beef. Kitchen will be another month I think. Cabinets will be ready in 2wks. Tile guy comes Mon.
Nope , no kitchen inspiration . Johnny hasn't eaten a decent portion of anything for several months , so decided to fix some of his favorites . Even if they didn't match , he ate a decent amount of some favorites . He wont even finish a slaw dog and he loves them . UGH ! I don't eat weenies .He did eat what amounts to two chicken breasts and a small salad . He would eat corn on cob for breakfast .Biscuit and cream gravy is a desert for him .At least he could mix and match however he chose .
Last night it was shrimp scampi and linguine ,Garlic toast ,fruit salad with cottage cheese and sliced tomato .He ate a half a cup and sliced tomato .
We went over to DS's and he made ravioli with creamy seafood sauce and lobster chunks, with salad and strawberry shortcake. The ravioli and sauce come from a small Italian products place nearby, but everything was very tasty.
Just sliced up a bunch of strawberries, and baked some Bisquick shortbread. (Yeah, I know it's not real shortbread, but it's what we ate while I was growing up and I became accustomed to it.) My sis is SUPPOSED to bring home some Reddi-Whip... I'd rather make my own whipped cream, but the Reddi-Whip lasts longer and our local strawberry season will happen soon...
Low fifties today so a good excuse to make a big crockpot of chili for dinner tonight. DS showed up for breakfast unexpectedly at 5 of 7 this morning just as I was getting out of the shower, so we've had to hit the ground running. Time for some R & R on the computer!
Thanks for asking P N but he's lost his appitite this last year . Very rare that he will eat a full meal . He doesn't even finish a rib-eye . Making an appt for him tomorrow and I'm going with him to be sure he tells the Dr. about his sins .
Bubba , you got that right . If I picked up the mail , the burgers wouldn't make it to the house . We had a nice , slow thip home and stopped at Don's in Louisiana for cracklins and boudin . That is a regular for us . We sure did enjoy meeting up with you and DW , and Gym Girl for lunch and great visit . I'll let you order my burgers for me , just right ! Thanks for taking the time out from a Sunday to visit .Gym Girl might make it out here in June if her cousin, Wanda, can get her to take off a day or so .We may have mentioned it , don't remember .
It's been chilly the last two nights , so may liberate a pint of chili from the freezer for tonight .
My sis was very late getting home from work (with the Reddi-Whip) last night. I awakened about midnight to make a pit stop, and then made a strawberry shortcake for myself. Decent, but the strawberries could have had more flavor.
I haven't even been over to the apple tree area where I planted strawberries last year, to see if any are thriving. But... it will be strawberry season around here pretty soon, either way.
We are on our way back to Atlanta shortly. I've been off feed myself as a side effect from skin treatments. Now realizing the low energy and flu-ish feeling is probably related too. The last dose was on Friday so hopefully I'll feel better as the medication clears my system.
Boudin is a sausage made in Louisiana from pork and rice . Other meats can be used or mixed , such as alligator, shrimp ,beef, chicken , anything you can think of in the way of meat . Pork is the most common , crawdads are good too .
I think Johnny is going to just have to make up his mind to change some of his lifestyle to get back to better health .
I hate exercise as well, but I feel better when I exercise, and I need to do 30 min of weight bearing exercise-lift weights, etc. 2-3 times a week for bone density, so I don't end up four feet tall when I'm 75.
We are having grilled calamari with lemon and garlic, saffron brown rice, and grilled asparagus. I will have spinach/zucchini patties instead of calamari.
I have a luncheon to do on Wednesday and we have a huge wedding weekend kicking off on Friday. The groom is the son of my oldest and dearest friend. He is also a former cooking student. Our D.C. kids are flying in Friday morning and staying through Monday. This will be the first time we've seen them since they announced they were expecting and it will be the last time until baby comes. We're very much looking forward to spending time with the family all together. DD says she is dreaming of eating my food. That puts on the pressure.
There are a couple of homemade sausage patties defrosting. Each is the size of a large burger. We'll have grilled sausage tortas and a big salad.
Darius, do you find that pork fat is a good substitute for Crisco? My favorite cookies that my mother used to make call for Crisco and I'd love to find a more natural substitute. A friend who can't get Crisco in France suggested coconut oil.
Nice gift, Darius. No this will be our second grandchild but unfortunately we never see the oldest, a grandson. The groom is very much like another one of our kids. I know over the years I've posted about him coming home to visit from coege and then career and calling me to see if I had time to get together and cook with him. Good thing he was attentive. The bride can't cook at all!
Leslie, I have a few friends who substitute coconut oil for Crisco, but it makes a thinner batter so you need to compensate. Crisco has been nasty stuff for years (hydrogenated) and the changes Smuckers made when the bought them out a few years back sound good but in fact are even worse for our health.
Pork fat that is rendered from the fat around the kidneys, called leaf lard, makes the flakiest pie crusts!
I find nothing wrong with using natural fats from grass-fed animals, and in fact I believe they are good for us. Recent research shows our brains require about 70% of their nutrition from good animal fats. I won't even eat the meat, much less fats (including butter) from grain fed meats because all the toxins accumulate in the fat.
Friday morning when we took the dog for a walk to get the papers DH mentioned that he'd love some dandelion greens sautéed in garlic with scrambled eggs for breakfast. So we collected some leaves from plants along our driveway and path and I cooked them up. Even though a lot of them already had flowers they were really good. A taste of spring, for sure!
We were going to a performance of "Swan Lake" this evening, staged by a Russian ballet company, so the friend who was attending it with us came over for dinner first and we had leftover chili and cornbread, to keep it simple. I added some garlic, sugar, and quatre épices to the chili and it was even better than the first time.
I try to pull the flower buds off of mine before they bloom and become seeds. I already have several hundred in my yard, and while they are great for pulling up mineral nutrients from the deep, I surely have enough already.
I had to memorize most of the periodic table for a crystal chem class.
Dinner was another night of grazing. Finished up some pasta w/summer vegetables, roasted a sweet potato and had an orange for dessert.
On the plus side, I got a bottle of very expensive wine as a thank you gift for a project that took several years to complete (at work). I looked it up - sells for $160/bottle! So I am going to toast my new kitchen with it. Today, the work continues to level the floor in this 1806 house!
Good score on the wine! A friend and I split 3 cases of a Georges de Latour cabernet sauvignon that we bought for around $8 /bottle in 1973 or so. (Beaulieu hasn't had a really good wine year since then, even though Georges de Latour came back from France.) The last bottle my friend had, she gave to a neighbor as a house-warming gift. When we talked on the phone a few weeks later and I told her that what few bottles remained in stores were selling for almost $200, she about croaked.
I opened my last bottle of that vintage when my best friend turned 50 and I hosted a Croning party in Asheville for her. Folks came from DC and eastern NC for the occasion. The wine was so good and so rich that 15 of us could not drink a whole bottle.
I hope yours turns out to equal that last bottle I had!
I just put a hen in the oven on low-slow-bake. I put half an orange (I'm out of lemons), a small chunk of fresh ginger, and some fresh thyme in the cavity, plus a little thyme under the breast skin with some Amish butter. Should be interesting!
I just KNOW people are still eating, though! We just had pasta with sausages and red gravy last night; littlest DGD was three yesterday so her dad got her a bike and we had a little party with cake. There's going to be a big party next weekend, but we had to do something to celebrate the day itself.
Sunday we went to Opera Philadelphia to see The Magic Flute and then out to dinner at Caribou Café, an unpretentious little French bistro nearby. I was disappointed that they didn't have the duck dishes listed on their online menu but there were plenty of other nice offerings. I had pâté, cornichons and celerirave for first and then merguez sausage and frîtes for my main meal. DH had escargots and then moules and frîtes. For dessert I ordered crêpes bretonnes with salty caramel sauce. Fun meal.
I had the worst Asian buffet on Sunday. Vegetarian choices: lo mein that was literally soy sauce and overcooked noodles, and french fries. They had pizza, too--it was pepperoni, so no pizza for me. Pizza and fries at an Asian buffet. What?? We drove through Chipotle on the way home for me. On the positive side, they had great iced tea.
We are having leftovers tonight...Venison burgers with sauteed spring onions and portobellos, cacio e pepe (spaghetti with butter, pepper and parmesan/romano cheese), and broccoli. Spinach salad.
We actually did have a fresh cooked meal last night. Wild salmon baked in the toaster oven and fresh broccoli steam/boiled on the little gas burner. Today - interesting setup. The contractor decided he needed (and could w/o charge to me) refinish all the wood flooring rather than just the boards reworked for the kitchen area. So... the first floor is entirely wood flooring (except for the area in the middle where the kitchen will be. They put down some plywood and put our living room set there. Everything else is out - the freezer is in the foyer and the fridge is on the deck. And I'm playing bubble girl - all wrapped up safely with plastic and stranded on the second floor w/DH & three cats.
We had an exit strategy - a heavy wood plank from the steps over to the tiled foyer. Well- its too heavy to maneuver from one side. Thank goodness I put a few things to eat in a cooler and brought them upstairs. I think it will be peanut butter on a bagel for dinner. lol
I have been dragging through the days and especially the meals this past month. At first I thought it was from the travel schedule but as I got sicker and sicker I realized what was going on. I was using a topical chemotherapeutic and wasn't expecting the same side effects of regular chemo. Surprise. Now slowly feeling better and back in the kitchen. We had mussels and shrimp linguine in cream sauce last night with a mixed spring greens salad. A leftover piece of salmon got chunked up on top of the salad along with hard cooked egg.
We are having homemade grilled veggie and goat cheese pizza tonight with a salad.
I bought some baby zucchini about the size of my index finger, and sautéed them in coconut oil with some shredded coconut. Yummy! I also cooked some spinach (a good magnesium source), and a tasteless cod filet.
I need to learn how to improve the flavor of the cod filets since I have a bag full of them in the freezer. Different dried herbs? Sauce? I usually just dress fish with lemon and fresh herbs, but my garden herbs aren't up enough yet.
DH's mother used to put cod fillets in a lasagne-type oven dish and surround them with chunked potatoes. She'd add chopped or sliced onions, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and oregano, and bake it covered in an oven for about forty minutes. I think she might have uncovered it towards the end. Simple and flavorful.
Darius, you don't have to use potatoes. Just put those seasonings on the cod. If you don't do pasta or rice or any other carbs the cod will be fine without them. You could even add a little diced tomato to the pan, although I prefer it without.
I hate fish, but my husband likes cod baked--slice a couple of tomatoes thickly, and sprinkle on some chopped garlic, S&P, parsley and dill--dried will be okay for this. Lay your cod fillets over the tomato, brush lightly with the vegetable oil of your choice, some seasoned crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until the fish is cooked through and the crumbs are toasted. The other fish he likes is cooked in a grill pan or a nonstick skillet with just a touch of flavorful vegetable oil, fry or grill on both sides until the fish is cooked through, remove fish to a warm plate. Add a diced tomato or two, diced black olives, thinly sliced leek, garlic, and parsley, and saute for just a minute to pick up the flavor of the pan, and deglaze with some white wine, and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the veg over the fillets. You can add cracked red pepper, capers, lemon, diced zucchini, or mushrooms to the pan with the tomatoes if you like. It's really more of a technique than a recipe.
Terry, I am jealous that you are getting it done. We have a brief weekend to garden and I think the weather is not looking like it's going to cooperate.
Darius, cod is a pretty bland fish. Maybe that's the issue? Try some of the Med. recipes where salt cod (baccalau or baccala) would normally be used like alla (or al) Visuviano. Mint is so underused. I love it, use it often with meats and fish and highly recommend it. Cod can be classically prepared crusted with ground nuts and herbs and then sauteed in butter or butter/extra virgin. Newer versions include seeds like black and or white sesame. Try nuts and seeds and then, if you have sesame seeds in the crust, add a drizzle of sesame oil to the finished fish. I guarantee you will not see cod in the same light.
Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.
But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.
Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.
WHAT!!!! You expected something educational from me!
Good to see some activity here! I'm counting on you guys to get through my remodel! Cooking vicariously through you. I did enjoy fresh from the garden asparagus last night. With scrambled eggs. We've even resorted to PBJ a couple of days. The hardwood floors were refinished after the new configuration was installed so tile next week. And hope cabinets the week after. Definitely not finishing on 5/18 but they are moving quickly.
I'll do my best, Tam. We are headed back to Miami next week so less cooking will be on the agenda.
Baby backs are on the menu rubbed with my blend of chipotle powder, garlic and herbs and whole baked sweet potatoes sliced and tossed with pesto, then topped with extra pecorino (honest it's delish). Lastly, a saute of broccoli, cauliflower onions and peppers. Of course more garlic and olive oil is involved as well as anchovies. I pasta'd out for two weeks straight and confess to gaining two pounds. Gosh I love those carbs!
Sharing a photo of the linguine and tomato cream with mussels and shrimp. The mussels were leftover from a Spanish dish that uses both wine and fresh tomatoes. I was half expecting rubber bands and mostly interested in what the wine broth, onions, tomatoes and herbs would add to the linguine dish. They were very tender. So good and so bad.
Great play on words , Darius .
Laurel , that looks good .
I feel for you Tam. But just think how much fun Christmas is when it finally comes .Speaking as a child . We want lots of pictures , of course .
The linguine and seafood looks scrumptious, Laurel. We had both DGDs and DS tonight so I had to make something that a picky teenager would eat, and I decided on hachis parmentier. Everyone likes that, even me. And it was chilly enough by dinner time that comfort food was very welcome. We had a tossed salad with avocado along with it.
Friday night we went to a crêperie down the shore; they have instituted a prix fixe dinner on weekends, and for the first attempts they offered four courses for $20. Tarts, Salade Lyonnaise, either Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin, and a choice of crêpes for dessert; we had Nutella. I hope he keeps this up!
Celene, if that's the dog in your avatar I can see trouble written all over its face! Cute though. I assume you defrosted the soup? Maybe it should have been left on the counter. Canine brain freeze might resolve the problem.
The ribs were great texture-wise. I usually use chipotle in adobo but used chipotle powder this time. The result was a much milder flavor than we would have liked. Hot pepper products are tricky without recipe guidance. No turning back if you use too much.
Tonight, grilled lamb chops, couscous, sauteed spinach, and a green salad with strawberries and balsamic.
Actually, the dog in the picture is gone now, it was this shady character, Liberty Belle. Everyone calls her Bellybutton, because she flops over for belly rubs all the time. She stole this noodle, and didn't think it was good, so she brought it back to me. Turns out, she prefers the finished lasagna.
Hickory smoked chicken and frenched lamb lollipops on top of curried basmati and veggies. SO smoked the chicken and lamb along with the baby backs yesterday leaving me free to make a nice rice and veggie dish with a meat reheat. We are about to eat.
I've been into pot pies lately because they freeze well. We are having a chicken and grilled veggie one topped with grated Grana Padono tonight along with a salad of mixed baby greens, arugula and radishes from the garden. There is store stuff to add to the salad as well. The radishes are beautiful this year and the bugs have not figured out the cabbage is tidily hidden away in between their fuzzy leaves.
After getting to Maypop late this afternoon, and taking the dog for a check up, we came in from the garden a short time ago. The pot pie is in the oven and I'm off to make the salad.
We had beef stew from the freezer tonight. Will have to try freezing pot pies - I bet my dad would love them. Poor guy has not gotten any frozen meals from me this year. My brother and family made him a good stash as a Christmas present so I know he's been eating well. I've got some soup and a few other items I made before the kitchen was torn apart which I'll bring to him in a few days. Hopefully that will tide him over 'til I'm back on line again.
Busy day in the garden getting summer veggies planted. We come in after seven every night we are here. Remaining tomatoes and first peppers are planted. Okra, zucchini and yellow squash are seeded. So are six varieties of beans (more to come). We have a moving target forecast that has changed from high forties to low forties expected next week so, though I brought up Italian and Japanese eggplants, they are on hold. Flower beds are getting short shrift while we concentrate on food plants. Priorities are in line.
I managed to throw together a one dish mac and cheese, with lots of broccoli, using Jarlesberg Swiss and garlic brown butter last night. A frozen 1/2 turkey, 1/2 beef meatloaf got warmed in the oven. That was it. To pooped to be creative this time of year.
Tonight DH is grilling salmon fillets and we will have leftover mac 'n cheese casserole. That's the best we can muster at this time. Cocktails are for medicinal purposes only.
I tripped in the yard yesterday and took a nasty fall . Too sore to cook so it was frozen pizza from Sams, and leftover pasta salad .
My chin looks like I was in a fight . If anyone asks, I'll tell them the other guy is in the hospital . LOL
LOL Digger. I had a battle with the wheel barrow last weekend and my hind quarters got the worst of it. (Fell over backwards when I hit a bump in the ground and tried to get over it with a running start).
Off to visit my folks for the weekend. I hope all you mothers enjoy your day Sun.
My gardening plans have been rained out every weekend for the past three (or is it four???) weekends. If I get my 'maters planted before June, I'll be thrilled. More seriously, I'm hoping this morning's rain showers will clear off and we can get them in the ground this afternoon. What a wet spring we've had...but my LA irises are blooming and happy as mudpuppies since they are in water up to their necks (normally they're at the pond's soggy edge, not actually underwater.)
It's pouring outside! I woke up last night to hear rain crashing down on the skylight and thought, "Oh, no! My tomatoes!" I lay there for a bit resisting the pull to go tuck my flats safely in the greenhouse, and then looked at my watch and saw that it was only 1:30 and there was a long night of hard rain ahead. So I tiptoed downstairs and pulled on a raincoat and my clogs and went out to rescue them. This morning when I checked them the solid containers that hold eight four-paks were actually dry at the bottom, so I must have spilled out the reservoirs when I picked them up from the patio and brought them in to shelter. The rain gauge early this morning said we'd gotten a half-inch already, which isn't too shabby.
We're going to try to get the tomato tripods up this weekend and then I can plant the seedlings out and I won't have to worry about rain anymore.
Thursday night we went out for dinner for an early Mother's Day celebration with our daughter, since she's out of town this weekend. We tried a new place and liked it a lot. I had duck breast with risotto and porcini mushrooms, with a spinach and white bean soup for first and three little crème brûlées - vanilla, pumpkin and espresso - for dessert. I think we will be back! Last night we took our three-year-old granddaughter to the local diner and just had hamburgers. Tonight it will be leftover hachis parmentier, plus some fresh asparagus.
Vietnamese noodle bowl with shrimp! It had fresh thai basil and mint, sugar snaps, and green onions from the garden, and a noodle made from tofu, which had a great texture. Recipe from Cooking Light magazine from last month (or the month before). Yum!
Supper is fresh from the oven Italian rustic sourdough, sweet potato fries and baked hot wings, not especially healthy, but tasty. The day went by especially quick and not much time to think through supper. I feel for those of you "suffering" through May showers, you could send them back our way..seems we get the cool, grey days, but not a sustaining amount of moisture.
I had my first ever sweet potato fries yesterday... take out from a joint deals in bison (cuts from the butcher counter, or cooked in the kitchen area). Fries were awesome!
Went to the south-central Virginia Round-Up today and there were 2 really great fresh fruit plates (LOTS of strawberries, plus apples, pineapple, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and melon). So nice to see fewer baked sweets and more fresh veggie and fruit trays. Susan brought a huge crockpot of pulled pork and a bottle of her wonderful homemade sauce of honey, red wine vinegar, worcestershire, s&p, and one other ingredient I've completely forgotten but I'll get the recipe so I can make some. Best "mostly natural" (obviously NOT the worcestershire) sweet/sour sauce I've had in ages.
I made/took a Moroccan sweet potato salad, and a red-skinned potato salad with Ina Garten's dill dressing. Yummy.
I'm back in Atlanta and preparing for a second trip in a month to Miami on Tuesday. We are meeting two DG friends from the orchid forum at the Redland Orchid Festival in Homestead (way south of Miami). It's like a Stones concert for orchid lovers and growers. We have met with one of the parties two or more times a year but have never met the second person. She will be my house guest. The other will be staying at a nearby hotel. I will be cooking all meals for guests during the weekend except for dinner out Saturday night at our favorite Cuban restaurant. I've got a contract on the Miami house so this might be my last time there for an indefinite time.
We have a live in house sitter when we travel. I usually stock the fridge and freezer with goodies to accommodate. One more thing on the to-do list. Off to shop tomorrow.
Sally, ouch! Hope it was a very minor fall and you are okay.
Laurel, at one time my grandfather's brother owned about half the land in the Redlands area. He became quite wealthy in the first Fla. land boom, and then the stock market crash in 1929 wiped him out. I love the Redlands Fruit and Spice Park, and I can remember when it was no more than a couple of acres.
I never read anything about what damage Hurricane Andrew did to the park, only what it did to Fairchild Gardens. Pitiful.
Are you okay with selling the Miami Beach (or is it just Miami) house? I would have kept my grandfather's house, poor and pitiful as it was, just for my emotional ties. Unfortunately I had little say in the matter, and anyway it's now under some runways for Miami International Airport.
Darius, the Redlands show is the biggest orchid gathering in the U.S.. Vendors come from all over the world. It's especially important for those of us who grow species orchids known as botanical curiosities as opposed to what people generally think of as orchids...showy and colorful, large flowered plants.
Andrew wiped out Redland Fruit and Spice Park. It wiped out everything from Hollywood down. Maybe to include Ft. Lauderdale is conservative. It peeled much of the roof off my house, sunk the dock and dock walk, buried the lakefront sand beach and tore down the beach retaining walls. We dropped everything outdoors, such as patio furniture and pool equipment, that was movable into the pool. The grill which was moved inside. The pool screening was hanging in tatters. The pool was half filled from debris. The carpets were rolled up away from the glass walls. Water blew in under the glass and flooded across the Cuban tile floors.
The American Orchid Society recently sold its central FL site and relocated to Fairchild Gardens. Hopefully the move will bolster the AOS financials and re-establish Fairchild's lost orchid collection. We will be taking our visitors to Fairchild. It is beautiful but not the same.
The house is in North Miami Beach. Being my childhood home, it's tough to sell. I am not into a fourth house and the overhaul this one needs. You can do a virtual tour here. http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2100-NE-196th-Ter-North-Miami-Beach-FL-33179/43983950_zpid/ I've got a week old contract on it but those blow with the wind. There have already been two failed contracts though the house appraises out the buyers can't qualify. This time I told the (new) realtor no one is to come through the door unless they are pre-qualified.
Maybe I can say I've landed at your pad.:>) My dad used to own farmland that became Dadeland. I believe strawberries for processing were grown there.
Laurel, what's the waterway your house abuts? Our house was 2 blocks from what was called Maule Lake, but not what shows now on Google Maps as Maule Lake in NMB. We were adjacent to Miami International Airport.
I can remember hunting from a flatboat at night along the shore edges for Japanese spiny lobsters, using a strong light and a gig. The canal that connected the lake all the way out to the Bay was brackish, and we'd get nudged by manatees while swimming there. My feet always got shredded by the barnacles where we had to climb out of the water, so I finally took to wearing sneakers to swim.
I also remember the old stories of early settlers who grew veggies in the Muck that would explode from growing so large and fast.
Gardening today, and the foods we put on our dinner tables, are now very different in many ways.
Darius, I grew up on Skylake, a contained spring fed lake with no outlet. I seem to recall it's about five acres. Maule Industries was excavating sand and limestone for concrete production when they hit springs. It's the only lake they excavated with sculpted fingers before pulling out. They are responsible for a number of lakes around Miami since they were excavating sand and limestone for concrete production. Skylake has about fifty lakefront homes. Lakefront owners pay a separate fee for DNR management. It's considered one of the best ecologically managed lakes in Florida.
SO is on his way to pick up war su duck for my Mother's Day dinner. I heard from the kids today. Sure wish they were around.
Mother's Day is still hard for me. Fortunately, my dogs and cats each gave me a Sempervivum, and my niece gave me a hardy hibiscus. lol I am making a beef roast, baked potatoes with cucumber dill yogurt, green beans and grilled romaine with balsamic dressing and goat cheese. And banana bread, since the oven is on and I have oldish bananas. My husband likes my healthy-ish, high fiber banana bread, it's not so bad if you're craving a sweet with coffee.
I can't imagine living through all of the hurricanes every year!
What cut do you use for your roasts, Celene? About the hurricanes...I hold my breath and pray starting now and through September. Insurance companies stopped insuring Florida homes for hurricane damage after Andrew. Every time a tropical storm is brewing I have sleepless nights. Life will be much less stressful without that house.
The dinner plan was grilled veggies and burgers and brioche rolls with Asian-style slaw. The slaw was made yesterday to bring down. It's got Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots and garden radishes. While getting the fridge cleaned out I discovered four ripe avocados. There are three very ripe tomatoes on the counter. Whole grain tortillas are now defrosting and SO is going to make a tomato/avocado salsa. He'll grill the burgers to bust up on warmed tortillas with salsa, Greek yogurt and grated cheese. I'll grate the cheese and throw yogurt in a bowl. Geez, take in last night and grating cheese tonight. That's rare.
Being that this is Terry's thread, and I've been off topic, I don't think one more diversion in the form of commentary will hurt. It's about the power of DG to connect people over distances. When I signed up here it was because of my interest in orchids and the orchid forum. Several online friends were made as a result. When we decided to attend this year's Redland's Orchid Festival I DM'd two old Orchid Forum friends inviting them to join us at Redlands. I met one member four years ago who lives on the West Coat of Central Florida. He drives to the Orlando area several times a year, with other DG members in tow or those who come from other parts of Florida and want to join us, for lunch followed by a whirlwind tour of our favorite orchid nurseries and growers. He is coming down to Miami and staying in a hotel for several days so I can introduce him to the Redlands show and the growers I know. Another friend from DG will join us and she will be our houseguest. We are all friends online but we have never met her so we are quite excited. She lives in Western Mass. and everything about her Miami experience will be new. I have two days of picnics planned, a night of grilling and swimming in the pool and dinner at our favorite Cuban restaurant. SO is in charge of the grill. I am doing as much in advance as possible. The guy friend is in charge of wine and chocolate. He says his truck should suffice (?). We will be on the road early tomorrow. I'll let you all know what transpires for sure.
Kitchen renos can't be too far off-topic in a cooking thread :-). Ditto for connections...breaking bread starts and solidifies many a friendship, right?
We have been meeting ourselves coming and going as the countdown to graduation continues, so cooking has taken a backseat to everything else.
However, yesterday the boys rustled up Mother's Day lunch while Swimmer Girl, Mr. Official and I were at church. We had grilled burgers, beans, chips, and strawberry shortcake, then the guys put down Mills Mix rose food (foul-smelling stuff but roses love it) around all my rose bushes while Swimmer Girl and I planted and transplanted a few hostas, Solomon's Seal and petticoat narcissus. Then we headed to my MIL's for the rest of the afternoon. We got her roses fertilized and set her up with her own FB account.
Tonight was a mother/daughter potluck shindig at church, so Swimmer Girl made a bean dip. Fun fingerfoods and girl laughter...always a good thing.
Oh my - who wouldn't approve of that menu & venue!
I have a slow cooker going with squash lentil stew. It smells good - spiced up with
coriander, cardamom and cumin (red pepper, black pepper & salt too of course).
And the kitchen is emerging. The lower cabinets (which are 95% of all the cabinets
in the kitchen) are all set roughly in place except for one. I'm very happy & very
distracted by the work going on downstairs! (I work from a home office directly
above the kitchen. Hard to stay focused on work).
I have a big hearty handful of asparagus from the garden and I think I'll roast them for supper. I might throw in the few remaining baby zukes, too. I have some grape tomatoes ready to split in half and put in EVOO and balsamic vinegar, along with some thyme. I'll have to go freezer-diving for a meat, and hunt a little bit of starch that's not too deadly to my waistline.
I made a ginger-grapefruit syrup to use as flavoring in iced water or tea. I have chive blossom vinegar steeping in champagne vinegar, and 2 extracts steeping in vodka: vanilla bean, and orange (zest). I bought 1/2 pound of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans (over 60 beans) on Amazon for $25 including shipping.
Both the potato salads I took to the Virginia RU last weekend were well-received. The red-skinned one had a dressing from Ina Garten (mainly mayo, buttermilk, sour cream and fresh dill). The Moroccan sweet potato salad was a decidedly different take on potato salad, and I only tasted a tad as I don't like cilantro. Nothing left over of either one.
It's the last night of an amazing whirlwind week in Miami. Had a blast sharing my home and city with friends. Fabulous orchid show with over seventy vendors. As usual, I was frugal. They went crazy because it was so new to them. It was a great experience for me to introduce them to the people I've known in the orchid world for all of these years and to see them having such a wonderful time.
After much wining and dining with friends we are ordering a Neapolitan pizza from the local pie hole. I've made a super salad with fridge leftovers to go with it. We will leave a little later than usual tomorrow and stay in Gainesville, FL tomorrow night; then on home. We are both exhausted.
The not so great news is the newest contract on the house fell through because the prospective buyers wanted to add wings to the house and the lot line setbacks do not allow. They were within ten days of contract final so they could cancel. I have been weeping and rending while entertaining. The lot is large by Miami standards but apparently not large enough.
We are ensconced in our room in Gainesville, Fl.. Will be home tomorrow afternoon. We picked up wings for dinner. Have leftover potato salad, black bean and grilled corn salad and Asian slaw to go with the wings.
Hopefully Terry is off getting that garden in. We are newly arrived (by hours) in Atlanta. I'm making a taco salad with turkey chili canned a few months ago. We've got chips, cheese, avocado and sour cream for toppings. No fresh tomatoes but jalapeno pickled red ones will do.
Darius, I succumb to pizza often. We have a pizza oven next to the outdoor kitchen. It doesn't make for easy pizza since it is wood fired and takes hours to bring to temp. I make pizza with tiles lining the oven too. Any which way. FYI...there is no such thing as spinach (or any other greenish veggie) pizza or calzone in Miami. The NY style pies all have multi-meat and cheese options. We opted for a Neapolitan and topped it with our own grilled veggies. They nail the crust.
I had some scrambled eggs & some summer vegetable braise from the freezer for dinner. I can hardly wait to spend time in the kitchen again. Sigh. The cabinets are just about all done - tomorrow they finish the trim and such. Counters maybe next week and plumbing in early June. Maybe.
I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer that I wanted to use, so I made shrimp in vodka sauce with asparagus bits over linguine for dinner. I cheated with the vodka sauce and used some Pomi that I'd had in the pantry for a while, but it was still very good. Nice fairly light meal for a warm evening.
I should have been on a DG "We out what's for dinner" tasting tour these last few months. You guys rock on menus. :-)
Leftover squash stew w/field fresh strawberries w/whipped cream on a little pound cake last night. Need to freezer dive for tonight. OH - I had my roosters butchered yesterday. Five bantums added up to 6.6lbs total. :-) I take them to a Menonite family who have an organic farm. They also butchered duck yesterday & have 4 unspoken for. I've never had duck and think I'll call them back today and ask them to hold 2 for me. They gave me one duck egg 'cause I asked what they tasted like.
It IS blackberry winter. I get suckered every year (when it begins to warm up) into forgetting it will happen. It's still in the 40's right now, and I'll need to put on long pants and a flannel shirt to move my seedlings into a warmer spot later today, because surely we will have frost tonight (and maybe tomorrow night).
I've picked about 2 pounds of asparagus this week and think I will roast half in olive oil with just a light touch of garlic later today, and steam the rest tomorrow. For the steamed asparagus, I make a sauce of yogurt, sour cream and a little Dijon mustard to taste.
I need to go to the Farmer's Market tomorrow to get my "chicken of the month" and I noticed in their email one of my favorite vendors will have black locust blossoms available, used here in the mountains to make fritters.
Alas, he had no black locust flowers this morning; seems they are turning brown earlier than usual. I did see some still-white flowers on some locust trees on my way home, but all of them were too high for me to get any. Wellll... there WAS one small tree in someone's yard but I don't fancy buckshot, LOL.
Here are 2 recipes. I had thought to try them both since it was to be a new food/cooking adventure for me.
This is a taste from my youth that we still enjoy a few times each summer. Two large locust trees next to our garden supply more fragrant flowers than we can use during the few weeks a year that these blossoms are available. The tiny white flowers have the sweet flavor of honey and a powerful spicy and musky aroma.
4 cups locust flowers, stems removed
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
¼ cup sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
2½ cups oil, for cooking the fritters
Confectioners’ sugar, to dust the finished fritters
Mix the flowers, Grand Marnier, and sugar together in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to cook the fritters, place the flour, about two thirds of the beer, and the vanilla in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk until the batter is smooth, then add the remainder of the beer, and mix well.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form peaks but are not too firm. Using the whisk, combine them with the beer batter. Fold in the locust flower mixture.
At serving time, preferably, put enough of the oil in a large saucepan so that it is about 1 inch deep in the pan. Heat to 375 degrees. Using a large spoon or a small measuring cup, pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot oil.
Repeat, cooking 4 or 5 fritters at a time in the oil. Cook the fritters for about 4 minutes on one side, then turn with tongs, and cook for 4 minutes on the other side. They should be crisp and nicely browned on both sides.
Lift the fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon, and place them on a wirerack. Repeat, making additional fritters with the remaining batter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
NOTE: If cooking the fritters ahead, re-crisp in a 425-degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until crisp and hot, then dust with the confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
1 loose (not packed) gallon baggie of Black Locust Flower blooms with stem
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
4 level teaspoons baking powder
2 cups milk
juice of 1/2 lime
oil for frying
Place blooms in colander and gently rinse to remove any stray insects and dust. Shake and allow to drain for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add oil to pan and heat to medium high.
In a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and mix. Add milk, eggs and lime juice. Mix until well moistened. If the batter is thick, add a bit more milk.
Take the blossoms by the picked end stem and dredge through the batter mixture on both sides. Drop or place into the heated oil. Fry until both sides are a light brown. Lower temperature if they are browning too fast. Remove and put on plate with paper towel to drain.
Leslie, one of my fennel bulbs has come back from last summer... perhaps self-seeded? It is looking great and almost 18" tall already, but just one is not enough. I need to start more, asap, and hope they can catch up. We are at the end of Blackberry Winter, so temps should start rising soon, and then stay warm.
My vegetable garden will be lean this year (due to crummy current health), but my herb garden is expanding. So whatever I cook might have some great tastes even if it's stuff I didn't grow but acquired from the farmer's market.
Darius, I've had bulbs grow back, too, but not so that they were edible this early. I also frequently get little volunteers which I then transplant into their rightful rows. Just noticed one by the tomato patch. What a pain that you're still not feeling right. I hope they figure it out and get you straightened up!
I find one nice-sized bulb is enough for a meal. I threw in some fennel that I cut up and froze raw last summer; not as good but better than nothing.
Rebecca, I just rec'd a book I ordered from Amazon on rhubarb. The recipes are mostly savory rather than the typical rhubarb/strawberry sweet combo, and quite intriguing. I still have a couple of half-pint jars of the rhubarb BBQ sauce I made last year.
Laurel, I have said here before that dried parsley is like dried nothing, and mine growing in the garden seldom lasts long once it gets cold. But today I read on a blog about freezing it. (I'm talking about flat-leaf Italian parsley, I don't bother with the tasteless but decorative curly-lea parsley.) The idea is to cut off the leaves, rolling up a bunch of it in a really tight log, and freezing. Then just cut off what you need for a dish. I may try it when the newly-planted parsley becomes profuse yet before our winters kill it.
I froze a lot of herbs and citrus zest 2 years ago, but they are buried in my chest freezer. Thankfully, it is not a self-defrost model, so nothing gets freezer burn.
Hi, this looks like where the good cooks hang out-- I hope I don't get booted (chuckle)
I like that parsley idea. How about chives that way also? I haven't used sorrel that much, but since I have it I try. I stuffed it in a bag and froze it, then would smash it some to get bits to throw in whatever soup.
Indian Chicken Curry II, (allrecipes.com, Amanda Fetters)
• 3 TB olive oil
• I small onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 TB curry powder (I used sweet curry from Penzey’s Spice Co.)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ tsp grated fresh gingerroot (I used ¼ tsp powdered)
• ½ tsp white sugar
• 2 chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
• 1 TB tomato paste
• 1 C plain yogurt
• ¾ C coconut milk
• ½ lemon juiced (2 TB juice)
• ½ tsp cayenne
Heat skillet, add olive oil and onion, sauté onion until lightly browned. Add garlic, curry, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt to taste. Stir for two minutes. Add chicken, tomato paste, yogurt and coconut milk. Bring to boil if raw chicken, or simmer, if cooked chicken, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf, stir in lemon juice and cayenne.
I served it with rice, and added another half cup or so of coconut milk to thin the sauce when using precooked leftover chicken.. I served plain cooked spinach alongside. Yummy!
I used three large skinless boneless breasts, double the seasonings and sauce, and so used the whole can of coconut milk at once. As is, this is borderline too hot for me but I am wimpy on heat.
Darius, I am aware of freezing parsley and cilantro and agree about the dried stuff. At under a dollar for a large bunch it's hardly worth the freezer space here. For now I've got some that overwintered and is starting to bolt as well as spring planted seedlings.
We are in the final throws of summer garden planting. Seed grown Italian and Japanese eggplants went in this morning. Still have two additional lima bean varieties and two more string beans to go. We are harvesting mustard, beet greens, arugula, cilantro and parsley. Peas are flowering but none yet. Back to Atlanta tomorrow for house guests later this week.
We have a whole breast from a roasted rosemary chicken leftover in the fridge and a small penne and veggie casserole. There's a salad already made. I'll make gorgonzola dressing to top it.
Sally you are in good company here, Welcome! (hey, I'm wimpy on heat meself.) I'm unsure of freezing chives, mainly because some I planted next to the house seem to do fair over the winter. I DO dry/dehydrate some, though, along with other garden herbs like tarragon, sage...
Laurel, I have to consider freezing, as few fresh herbs are available during winters here. In fact, they are seldom available anytime at all in the grocery stores... and if they are available, they are already slimy. Same with mushrooms. I have to drive a hundred miles for decent fresh mushrooms. The poverty here is not just in my pocketbook.
I'm just now seeing some seeds like tomatoes starting to emerge in the GH flats. You are a couple of zones warmer, so much farther along with a garden. I DO have several bean varieties ready to go in the ground, and summer squash, but not much else yet. Hopefully, Blackberry Winter is finished, and the soil will warm up in the next few days.
We have frozen parsley for years. DH strips it off the stems and stuffs it into a pint freezer bag, expelling as much air as possible. It lasts well and is handy to use, plus it's organic. We also freeze basil the same way, and cilantro. For some reason we dry oregano - not sure why...
I love rhubarb, I still have to try that barbecue sauce...
I freeze parsley by washing and cutting the leaves, and stuffing it in a ziplock. When it freezes, bash it with a book and it'll flatten. I wouldn't use it for a salad after that, but it's fine in salad dressing or anything cooked. Same for dill, cilantro, and fennel fronds. I didn't believe cilantro would be good, but it was fine. Not fresh, but not bad. I freeze herb butter, but I know you know how to do that.
We had son and three-year-old DGD over for dinner; I made oven-baked chicken with barbecue sauce and baked beans and a salad. I thought 16-year-old DGD was coming, too, or I would have made something more interesting - she is very picky about what she eats! I spent some time in the garden, weeding, mulching and watering. Everything is in but my pole limas and we'll put up the fencing for that today. Little DGD had fun looking for strawberries yesterday afternoon; there aren't many yet but the Cabots are loaded - the Mara des bois not so much but they're scrumptious anyway. A FB friend stopped over in the afternoon to pick up some of my extra tomato plants; they're almost all gone now!
I'm SO envious of those of you who are in warmer zones and have most of your gardens planted already. My tomato seed flats finally have a few tiny hair-like seedlings emerging... not even large enough to be called a seedling yet!
On the other hand, I have seedlings of summer squash and various beans ready to go in the ground this week now that we are past the last frost date.
Leslie, do you have a few extra seeds of the fortex bean? I'd like to try some.
To start, Mango Margaritas, then a really good German potato salad and a nice, thick filet on the grill, and home made key lime pie for dessert! Happy Memorial Day, and thanks to all who served, past and present!
happytail, I appreciate your sentiments about those who serve/have served. Most folks have forgotten that Memorial Day is to honor those who DIED in Service to our country, whereas Veterans Day honors all service men and women, those still alive and those who have passed on.
I managed a "goulash" for dinner - browned the ground beef in the toastep the oven, heated up the roasted tomato sauce in the microwave and cooked the pasta on the butane burner. Was good. Counters go in on Fri and so hopefully next week I get some function in the real kitchen.
Tonight is chile rellenos, green chile rice, and warm rhubarb crisp (give it away and it comes back as dessert!). Tornado watch until 10 pm. DH just spent time helping neighbor's twins diagnose mower problems and is now off to help another neighbor install a tool box in his new pick up. It is truly early summer in the mid-west.
Tammy, you have had to live through so much upheaval with this renovation, but once it's done you'll be so happy, and all the inconvenience will fade away. It's amazing that you could make a goulash with those devices, though!
I love chile rellenos and haven't had any in years...
Celene, I can fully appreciate being up at all hours and putting it to use cooking for the next day.
We're having sloppy joes- meat was made two days ago but nobody was home to eat it. and I might start a pot of sausage peppers onions and tomato sauce tonight, since I have the time to cook..
Oh its killing me! My ovens are in (I got the double ovens in a single spot - two small ovens). Freezer & Fridge too. Fri are counters and next week cooktop & sink. Backsplash. Maybe be up and cooking by the weekend next week? Ooooohhhh... can't wait.
Warmed up goulash from last night for dinner w/an orange for dessert.
I did it. Yesterday. Homemade tomato sauce. EIGHT HOURS on my feet!
I used 40 Roma and 10 HUGE beefsteak tomatoes I bought from one of our local Farmers Markets. I then added every heirloom tomato I had ripening at home (about another 10-12 large tomatoes).
Two large Vidalia onions, 5 huge ripe (red) bell peppers, about 8-10 cloves of garlic, FRESH handfuls of basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Only thing I sprinkled was a bit of sage, cause I forgot to buy fresh. Salt, pepper, a bit of sugar to cut the “tang,” crushed red pepper flakes, a seeded ripe (red) jalapeno pepper…
I learned a lot…
I needed to DOUBLE the amount of seasoning I used!!! But, no matter, because when I thaw out the quart freezer bags to use, I will chop up additional fresh seasonings to add to the pureed sauce.
Remove the tomato seeds!!! Otherwise, you’ll get a “crunch” when you chew, but, more importantly, those crunchy seeds are a bit bitter – NOT good. But, my sauce simmered on the stove for 8 hours and cooked down enough that when I hit the sauce with my immersion blender, most of the seeds were broken up, so they’re now negligible.
Just run ALL the veggies AND the cored tomatoes through the food processor. Will save approximately two hours worth of time chopping veggies. They’re gonna cook down anyways in the sauce…
AND, toss everything into my slow cooker, so I'm not tied to the stove...
It was worth it!
I had some over angel hair pasta with sausage for dinner. YUMMY!
P.S. I ended up with 3.5 quarts of very thick sauce…
i did it stovetop for years and then started roasting in the oven and would never go back.
rough chop all the veggies, put in oven at 425deg for 30 min and then stir, check & stir every ~10min till cooked down. Rarely takes more than 1,5hrs and is sweeter than stovetop. Basil & fresh herbs go in after cooking. DELICIOUS anyway you cook. I agree about the seeds being a bit bitter.
we are so close... the ovens & gas cooktop are functioal. DW is working. Sink has drain but faucet had a leak in a feed pipe so had to go back. Have not heard when the new one comes in. Backsplashes, outlets, light witches, paint touch up & final floor varnish to go. I really need that faucet to do anything of substance - washing produce, utensils, hands etc is a huge
pain if using a bathroom sink pretty far away.
I like cauliflower, and have recently copied a few recipes from the Paleo folks who use it in some very different ways, like "cauliflower rice"... Sure wish I could grow it successfully, although I really haven't put any hard effort in doing so. (Same for broccoli.)
I roasted a fresh organic chicken last night, just had a side of steamed spinach with it, and fresh strawberries with a drizzle of Devon double cream on top.
Harvested some pole beans, peas, and some radish seed pods - cleaned and steamed as a side dish - GREAT!!
Cannot believe how sweet and wonderful the radish pods are. Will plant some more - with this heat they will all to go to seed.
For my birthday, I got my new tile back splashes grouted. :-)
I've made one simple meal in the new kitchen. No water yet so I don't want anything too messy to clean up. Roasted some speghetti squash and topped it with warmed up roasted tomato sauce from last summer & a little browned ground beef.
Sounds like you're coming into the home stretch, Tammy. Then this will all be an unpleasant memory, soon overtaken by the joy of working in your new kitchen. You have to put up pictures!
We just had barbecued chicken and corn bread with baked beans last night, since it was older DGD who was joining us. Tonight we will probably have the leftovers cold with potato salad, since it's going to be a warm evening. I haven't been particularly inspired recently!
Here's the newly grouted backsplash w/a view of the wall ovens & gas cooktop.
The wall ovens are the double but small pair that fit into a normal single oven
space. One is convection. I can fit two pans side by side and cook at much in
the smallest one as I could in my old 27" wide oven. :-)
That double oven is really cool! The top one has 5" of space above the rack (with
clearance above to the heat element) and the bottom about 9.5".
I measured and a big turkey seemed to be no more than 9" tall so I think I'm set! If you
get one of those ovens with the cooktop and ovens below, the bottom oven is full size!
My old wall oven was 27" wide and not tall enough to use two racks for anything other
than cookie sheets or pie plates. I could not fit a dutch oven on one w/o the other rack
having to be right against the heating element. (And it always burned in that configuration).
You are going to be one happy camper!! My DD got a new range with the small oven on top and the larger one below but because it's freestanding it requires bending way down to get things in and out of the lower one. Up above is so much better but she didn't have any space to work that arrangement. Come to think of it, neither would I. Everything is falling into place nicely for you, you have a super crew working on it.
I like the cooktop . Mine's the glass electric and love the easy cleanup of the separate cooking area . I have to bend down to my oven in Texas and someday will change that to the separate elements . (waiting on the lottery .) LOL
I have a double electric oven right next to my gas stovetop and really love it. The upper part is convection and the lower unit is standard.
Nothing like a new kitchen to get you all excited about cooking delicious meals! We redid ours about ten years ago but it's still new to me and I really enjoy it. I especially like the backsplash tiles we used. We live on a tidal river with egrets and herons, and frogs in our ponds, so it was fun to find those accent tiles that picked up that theme.
Oooh... I love that teapot GG! The tiles are lovely too. :-) I've got tiny little tiles with a floral motif in mine - you might have noticed the 5-6 little dark spots amongst the light tile?
Digger - I was back & forth between a glass (flat) base under the burner grates vs a recessed porcelain. Went with the latter 'cause I do have pots boil over occasionally and was thinking that would be a mess with a flat glass top. But it would have looked nicer & probably been easier to clean. Tradeoffs.
The electricians are here this morning to put in the light switches and electrical outlets. (And install the thermostat so we will have AC again.)
That blew through here last night, and did some flooding damage in some areas north of us. Eveything looks bright and shiny clean this morning...
When we built this house we did all our own tile in the bathrooms, foyer, etc., and I wanted some over the range as well. . Now I wish I had done tile all the way around over the counters, but I haven't been inspired to tackle that job again. I also insisted that the outlets be placed up high rather than at counter height which they thought was contrary, but I've never regretted it. There a few things I would do differently and the first is make the kitchen way bigger, we're always bumping into each other. Too soon old, too late smart.
I guess we'll figure out what we should have done differently later. We can tell that the space in the main
part of the kitchen is good. We did reduce the footprint of a closet to allow the kitchen to be a full 5' wide
(counter to counter) vs 4' and I can tell already that was worth the extra expensive. I was back and forth
about the outlets. The original concept was to use "plug molding" I think its called - those strips of outlets
every 6" that go under the cabinets. I decided to use regular ones in the back splash in the kitchen. It
seemed like it would be a lot easier to see and work with them this way. (The ones in a little bar area are
the under cabinet / plug molding type, except for one outlet.)
It looks like night time here. And its just grumbling and growling though little rain & lightning just yet. We've
had 4" of rain in the last 4 days. I think we'll float away soon.
I loved having my new kitchen, totally worth it. At the time, I hated my life, though. When it was done, and the frig was finally out of the living room, my husband suggested that he enjoyed the convenience of cold beverages in the living room, and could we use a mini frig for a coffee table. Srsly.
LOL We had (and still have) our old fridge on the deck. I was thinking I needed to stock it with beer for the summer.
But we have the new one in the kitchen and my mom is getting my old one so we'll have to suffer the 12' hike into
the kitchen for a beer. :-)
Meezers, that looks very nice! We've got our outlets up high, too; never really thought about it. That just seemed safer on a kitchen counter - less likely to be spattered by grease or liquids.
LOL about the refrigerators!
Funny about the Japanese teakettle; it's not on the stovetop anymore and I never use it! I boil water in the regular green teakettle and pour it directly into my cup. I picked up the Japanese teakettle at a bargain price at Marshall's; they were really expensive in catalogues.
Does that Le Creuset tea kettle dribble when you pour? A friend bought one and its awful on function (though very pretty).
And I hate to admit this ... but DH doesn't drink beer. It just seems like if you have a fridge on the deck, it should be stocked with beer. (I go through about 1 case of beer a year so its not like I'd sit out there and guzzle it.)
I have a lovely Japanese cast iron pot that was made to heat sake, so it's small and shallow. It might hold enough water for one cup of tea... Maybe I'll dust it off and post a photo later.
I'd love to have a large cast iron kettle on my wood stove in winter. I keep an old Caphalon pot on the stove now, and you can see the ugly mineral build-up from the city water. (I'm not about to buy good water just to turn into steam for added humidity.)
Tam, an extra fridge for me would be turned into a cheese aging cave since I don't drink beer, nor even sodas. I used to drink about half an icy-cold bottle of Heineken's at least once during a summer, but when the beer starts to get warm, I'm finished with it. (I do have a can of Guinness stout I bought for a homemade mustard recipe.)
I'll let her know. We figured it was just a design flaw.
Oh we have outlets and lights w/switches in the kitchen now! Just a faucet (and air switch for the garbage disposal) and we'll be fully functional. Can you believe first the faucet was bad (and a VERY expensive model too) and then the air switch (was even more ridiculously expensive) was flawed. I would have thought the quality control would be meticulous for these high end items! Makes me a little nervous - two different brands.
I bought a set of Le Creuset in the early sixties when I was working at Gimbels. With my employee discount off the $39.99 price tag it was a steal. Although, in reality, it was a week's wages ... However, a few years ago I burned off some of the enamel on the inside, because I left it unattended... At any rate, I wondered if I could have it re enameled so I wrote to them. They said, of course, send it back. We will fix it for #XXX and you pay for return shipping. After I added up the cost of two way shipping to France and their fee, I could buy a new one. I passed!! Gave the pot last year to my grandson, because it is still functional, and told him just don't cook acidic foods in it. So it's still in use. And I seldom cook in quantifies requiring that size pot these days..
Incidentally, I still have all the other pieces that came with it, 10" fry pan, 11" saute' pan, 2 qt, sauce pan, 6" frying pan, and a small sauce pan that holds about 2 cups, later I bought a small dutch oven in blue. Orange was the only color available back then. Can't say they don't hold up well!!! Although I don't think the new ones are as good.
Meezer, I've heard that, but mine has held up well. I bought my dutch oven, an oval casserole and a grill pan from a Craigslist ad. Some girl got them for a wedding present and didn't want them, I paid next to nothing for them. I told her to google them, they were worth much more. She said she didn't care, her MIL gave them to her and she didn't like the MIL and didn't like the implication that she should learn to cook. I shut my mouth and paid her. *shrugs* I think I got my other piece from Marshall's.
Tap, good going with a nearly fully functioning kitchen! I don't know what an air switch is, but I love the rectangular switches you chose. I put in those when I re-did my kitchen in Atlanta, using the ones with a tiny glow-light in the switch so I could find them in the dark.
It is SO hard to find well-made items of any kind anymore, except maybe some hand-crafted items. One has to wonder why a big box store has 39¢ receptacles sitting right next to $3.99 receptacles that look exactly alike. What makes the difference?
I have several very old bathroom faucets (in my plumbing boxes of stuff, not installed) that are many times better than what's sold today... unfortunately they aren't the newer quarter-turn ceramic washer ones which I really like.
I've been lusting after a Le Crueset enameled cast-iron paté / terrine for 2-3 years, pref. an older one. I'd even trade my old Le Creuset oval gratin pan. I seldom use it now that I cook for just myself, and never have dinner parties here.
I was shocked when I bought my first home and some paperwork (appraisal maybe) said it had a 30yr life expectancy! That's as long as the mortgage and the house was already 7 yrs old.
What I find interesting is all the years of changes to the house. We found the front porch addition when we took apart a wall. They used a set of bolts and steel plates to tie together the logs in corner and used cinder block to make a new wall. Even the window sill was cement.
We also have been living with a huge elevation change between the log cabin portion & the stone addition (added in 1828). There's about a 4" height difference in the floors. You'd not have to deal with this in a new house renovation. I'm just relieved this reno is almost done. I think late Apr/early May was my low point. Two weeks of cement coats & floor finishing... no real obvious change.
The stone addition was in 1828. They added a 2 story space that added a room on each floor about 12' x 18'. The cement block addition was probably in the 1950s (but we really don't know) and it was apparently to put on a porch. In the 1980's someone enclosed part of that porch. We put on an addition in 1999.
And yes - the 4" is huge! We took out a door in the bathroom (there were two ways to enter before) and made the whole floor level. Previously it needed a 4" step to go from one part of the house to the other. Upstairs we have a "ramp" into a bedroom. Old houses can be very quirky.
The cabinet guy freaked when he found a 3" change in across the span the cabinets were to run. He had the carpenter take up the subfloor and level it to about a 2" difference. And the tile guys put 4 layers of cement down to take out the dips / valleys and smooth out the expanse of the tile.
We bought a century old house years ago and it was fun trying to figure out the original configuration as they made several changes when they got indoor plumbing and electric power. The rear entry door was moved, and a shed type addition put on to provide shelter and steps up to the kitchen. There were odd cubbies, the refrigerator sat in a cavity that was four inches off the floor...there was a chimney behind the range that had a cap over where the stove pipe went in, and it looked like they took all the cabinets out of the kitchen and put them in another room that they had divided to create a pantry and a bathroom The cabinets matched the ones in the dining room. I could see where the original entry was in the corner of the kitchen because they had filled in the new floor area with plywood, instead of hardwood flooring. There was another chimney cap on the dining room wall, back to back with the one in the kitchen. Probably for a stove to heat the house.
It had pocket doors between the dining and living room and another set between a room opposite the kitchen, with a steep central staircase going up to the second floor. The treads on those steps weren't as long as my foot. Interesting house, I had occasional adventures convincing bats that they would be happier outside. The couple that bought the house were looking for an old home, and liked what they saw. When the realtor took them down to the basement which was probably not original to the house either, the husband looked down at the floor which had grooves cut into it, leading to a drain...which led to ?????. He asked if the basement leaked. A field stone basement? in an old old old house, I laughed, and said "Like a sieve!!" while the real estate agent went pale. He told me later if I had said no, they would have walked away. What would have been the point?? They already knew about old houses, the furnace was up off the floor on bricks..the grooves ran to a drain...LOL They do have their charm though...
Neat story, Meezers. When we moved to our place the only dwelling here was a small cottage. We lived in it while we had our house built. Years later it needed a new roof (the original one was supported by cedar poles) so my husband suggested we remodel it into a studio for me. When we took the plasterboard off the interior walls we saw that the uprights were just trunks of cedar trees. A lot of the siding, which had probably once been exterior but was now interior, consisted of 14" wide boards which were probably milled down the lane from our property. DH used them for rustic trim around the stairway that we installed, and for the door of the closet under the steps. And the bathroom and a utility area, with plumbing for a washing machine, were down a step on another level - obviously an add-on. There was an outhouse next to the garage and I'm sure it was the original sanitary facility.
Although we don't know how old the cottage actually was, there were signs of even earlier occupation. We've found potsherds and points which an archaeologist friend has told us date back to eight or ten thousand years BCE. And I have the handle of a soapstone bowl that predates pottery.
Back to dinners, I made meat tortellini that I'd bought by accident (the family prefers cheese) topped with sautéed chard, onion and zucchini. The only thing from the garden was the chard, but I love it and this year we have lots.
I'll have lots too if Bambi doesnt stroll through for a midnight buffet. I planted one entire 4' X 8' raised bed with spinach and chard. Last year deer ate them down to nubs. This year I've got row cover over PVC pipe bent to make a tall tunnel. We'll see...
Last night we went out for Father's Day and I had shrimp stuffed with crab meat and a very yummy crab bisque for first. I could have eaten just that bisque for dinner. Even the salad was excellent - lots of bits of tomatoes and lettuce and interesting things like sugar snap peas mixed in. The dressing was a tomato-basil concoction.
Fathers' Day- Crab cakes, coleslaw, cantaloupe, potato salad
Day after- - Hot dogs, baked beans, veggies and dip.
DH made crispy oatmeal-coconut cookies from scratch from Cooks Illustrated Magazine! This from a guy whose repertoire has about four dinner items in it .
Running out of soup weather
what to do with all the chicken broth in the freezer.
A friend of mine who keeps kosher made veggie matzoh ball soup once. I was surprised at how close the flavor was to the chicken broth variety.
I had some cooked, boned chicken from making matzoh ball soup in the freezer. I just used some of it for lunch the other day for a lettuce wrap. It called for diced chicken, diced apples, sliced grapes, some chunky peanut butter and some mayonnaise, mixed together and wrapped in large lettuce leaves. The recipe included honey which I don't think it needed; I wouldn't add it next time. It was a very nice summertime meal.
I need to get some ambition and do some canning today. I have several quarts of frozen chicken stock I've made over the last 2-3 months, and I need the freezer space. Today would be a good day to do it as it's too wet/rainy to do much else.
The lettuce wraps were good and also amazingly filling. We have a friend's daughter staying with us in my studio and she's vegan, so she substituted vegan mayo and chicken. It's funny - she's not at all concerned about organic and we are. So she used her apples and her grapes for her own mixture.
Darius - what are you thinking of canning using chicken stock?
tap tap tap... waiting for the plumber to show up with the faucet. I splurged for a really nice /high end faucet & air switch for garbage disposal. Faucet had a pinhole leak in a connection-pipe and the switch wasn't square. So now I've got everything I need to cook except for the water! (I couldn't care less when the garbage disposal is made functional. We compost anyway - it was just for those times when guests scrape their plates into the sink. So yucky to clean out!)
I just bit the bullet and ordered some champagne vinegar from California, made by the Orleans method. I sure hope I like it, as it was pricey. http://www.katzandco.com
I used the last dribs of the cheap(er) champagne vinegar I still had on hand (Regina brand) to start some Provençal vinegar, plus I poured a tot of vodka over some lemon zest to make a lemon extract. Amazing what I can get into when it's raining cats and dogs outside (and allows me to procrastinate canning the chic. stock)!
Tam, we cross-posted. I'll can most of the the chicken stock plain, just to have stock on hand, but I have some leftover chicken meat that will fill maybe 2 pint jars and topped with stock. I use a lot of chicken stock in a variety of dishes, too many to list... and to my taste, commercial chicken stock is not any better than bullion.
My mother always kept a few jars of home-canned chicken in the pantry. Never know when the power might be out, and with a wood stove (or BBQ grille in summer) it's easy to fix a meal. She also canned a few jars of chicken and dumplings but I never tasted them.
You know, the saying, "you don't miss your water 'til the well runs dry," captures the sentiment here.
I am soooooooooooooooooooo happy you have running water, again!
I was in Africa once for a month. When we returned to JFK Airport, the doors of the plane opened and the eleven children in our group shot out of that plane like bats outta -- well, you know where from...running in all directions.
We were totally baffled, and went looking for them. We walked down several corridors of the terminal to find each of those kids hugging a water fountain and gulping down COLD water like it was the last thing on earth they would do!
Breaded and oven-baked organic porkchops with applesauce and a couple of packages of my frozen cucumber slices. That makes a good crunchy salad and I need to use up what I froze last year since hopefully more cukes will be coming soon.
One of my very elderly clients had dental work and is having trouble eating, and told me she thought she could eat vegetable soup. So, we're having vegetable soup, cheddar chive biscuits and a cream cheese pound cake. I will drop some of it off for her, and I packed some of it in seal-a-meal bags so she can freeze and heat it up, and keep enough for dinner here. I overcooked hers a little so it'd be softer.
Celene, how very thoughtful! I can't tell you how wonderful it was for my mother when her neighbors would drop off little goodies or a lunch or dinner for her. At 83, living alone, she didn't cook (and wouldn't eat my cooking) and her neighbors would bring her donuts, or a piece of cake, of soup or chicken salad. She didn't eat much, and I was extremely grateful for their thoughtfulness.
She loved her soup and was really surprised by the Seal a Meal bags ;) I used to fix many meals and snacks for my mother like that, I had to re-educate her palate at 57 years, she was a total junk food junkie. A can of deviled ham, Ritz crackers and Nutter Butter cookies seemed like a good dinner to her. Ugh.
Dinner tonight: It's going to be hot, so I grilled a chicken breast to slice over salad greens, with sliced almonds, gorgonzola, cherry tomatoes, red onions and a light sweet and sour dressing. I'll just skip the chicken for myself. I made some herbed breadsticks to go with it. Dessert can be whatever fruit anyone wants to eat.
Its been worrying me that I couldn't cook for Dad while my kitchen was off-line. His idea of eating healthy was canned condensed soup. He knows how to make zucchini pie (I taught him a few years ago) and he's lived off that in years' past. My brothers' family made him up a bunch of meals for a Christmas gift and I gave him several gallons of frozen soup last month that I had made right before they dismantled my cooktop. I'll have to get cooking again when I'm back from vacation.
Dinner out tonight with my mom. I'm driving her the old fridge - still in perfect shape and better and newer than hers. Its a three hour drive in our old pick-up truck. Wish me luck! :-)
I've made a spicy eggplant dish almost every day last week, and am wondering at what point I can freeze it. Maybe you could help me?
The process is to brown the eggplant, reserve it, then saute thinly sliced onions and minced garlic. Then, an Asian sauce is mix up and poured into the pan, along with the reserved eggplant and the veggies. The whole pan is simmered until the eggplants are cooked down and the sauce is absorbed. I add fresh shrimp toward the end of the simmering.
I'm loving this dish, and have eggplants on the vine now that need to come off before they go bad on me. I'd love to make this dish and freeze it.
How should I do it? Cook it completely and freeze it in freezer bags (adding the shrimp when I heat it up)? Cook it partially (like saute the eggplants, onions and garlic) then freeze and complete the dish when it's thawed?
I'm asking the cooking experts here what's the best way to do this!
We love eggplant, but I've never found a decent way to freeze it except an eggplant patty sort of like a crab cake, (precook and mash eggplant, add seasoning, crumbs and cheese, pan grill or fry when you thaw them out. My thoughts are you might try some frozen before it cooks completly, but I'm really clueless...let us know what you find out. Our eggplant probably won't be ready until August.
I freeze eggplants two ways. For the first, I cut them crossways in large circles, put them on a baking pan, and brush them lightly with olive oil. Then I bake them until they're a bit soft, stick the whole pan in the freezer, and once they're frozen hard I pick them off and put them in a freezer bag, sometimes with wax paper between layers to make it easier to get out only as much as I want. They work well for things like eggplant parmesan or moussaka.
Secondly, I've also cubed them and cooked them with tomato sauce and basil and stuck them in pint freezer bags. I like those mixed with bread crumbs, a little brown sugar, and grated cheese as a side dish. That sounds a lot like what you're doing, but I'd probably not add the shrimp until I was ready to make it for a meal just so the texture would be better.
Thanks, g_g, I think that's the way I'll go. Cube and brown the eggplant, and freeze it. Then finish the dish once it's thawed. The good part is that it doesn't matter if the eggplant gets soft when it's thawed, because I'll be cooking off the moisture anyways.
Please send me your eggplant side dish recipe in its totality. Sounds delish!
Also, when you remove your pre-baked eggplant rings, do you then just layer them with your tomato sauce and cheese to make the parmesan? I love it, but I've never made it before. Would love a recipe that's quick and easy!
Linda, the side dish is just something I made up so there's no real recipe. I chunk eggplant and simmer it in tomato sauce with basil and a bit of brown sugar and then add bread crumbs - often Italian-style - and grated cheese. You could put it in a little casserole dish and brown it for 15 or 20 minutes before you serve it.
With the eggplant circles, I put a layer of them, slightly overlapping, in a baking dish with a bit of olive oil on the bottom, and then sprinkle with bread crumbs, top each slice with a piece of provolone or parmesan cheese, and barely cover with tomato sauce. You want the bread crumbs and cheese to brown a little in the oven. Then bake until bubbly. That's not the way my husband's family made eggplant parmesan; they breaded each slice of eggplant and then fried it in oil before adding the cheese and sauce, but this is easier and healthier.
Best way to hard boil eggs; Salt the water, as you said, don't use FRESH eggs, use the older ones, cover the eggs with cold water, let the water come to a boil. turn it off, cover the pan, let it sit for 12 minutes. (slightly longer for jumbo) rinse in very cold water... Peel...easy peasy.
Took me 60 years to learn the boil and sit, far less time to salt the water and not use spanking fresh eggs! Also salted water prevents the white from leaking out if the egg gets a little crack in it.
I've frozen egg plant parm completely done with no detriment to the dish.
Salt AND a slug of vinegar. That does the trick even with very fresh eggs. Here's my friend's description:
bring the water to a boil. add some salt and a healthy slug of vinegar. put the eggs in and boil for 14 minutes. cool immediately in cold water. they shell so easily they all but fling the shells off, it's amazing!
She and I both have chickens so our eggs are super fresh, and this works beautifully.
thanks, I've heard that about fresh eggs before...now I am well armed.
Hard to peel eggs are so annoying. Never again!
I do the bring to boil, turn off, sit fifteen min, drop in cold water method.
Boiling too long gives you that green ring around the yolk. This method leaves my yolks nice and yellow.
Working tomorrow evening- pizza or other 'fast food'
I mash the air sack end of them , pick a little hole in shell as soon as they come out of hot water and run a stream of cold water in the hole while crushing the shell in my hand . The cold water runs in and separates the egg from shell . They slip right out . Sometimes for fun with the kids , I will break a little hole in the other end also , and blow them out .
I actually cooked two nights in a row, so I thought I'd rejoin my thread :-)
Tonight we had chicka-chicka-boom-boom enchiladas, which are basically a riff on green-chile and chicken enchiladas. Seasoned black beans and green chile rice on the side. Last night was classic: Monday night meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.
Tomorrow night is pork chops with a cucumber-radish-feta salad and probably saffron rice (that one's iffy.)
Hi, Terry. Yup, I am. Last night I did some organic pork ribs in a crockpot and we had them with baked beans and sautéed spinach. I put the crockpot out on the porch so it wouldn't do battle with the AC!
My cooking has been sporadic, esp. yesterday when I went down to the Piedmont to the Apple store to get my laptop repaired. I have no AC in my old beater truck and the heat just takes the starch out of me when I go off the mountain in the summer. A small 6-pak cooler filled with frozen bottles of water doesn't last long in the heat, and all I wanted was something cold to eat. I've gone through 3 big heads of romaine in just a few days and I'll be SO glad when fresh local tomatoes are ready.
Thankfully, when Susan (FruitOfTheVine) and I go to SC for peaches in a couple of weeks, most of the trip will be in her SUV with AC.
I took some of my 'homemade' (really just semi-homemade because I didn't make the champagne vinegar base) chive blossom vinegar and some Provençal vinegar to a DG friend who lives near the Apple store in Greensboro (NC). The Provençal vinegar smells terrific already even though it's only been steeping a week. It should be fantastic when it's ready in August.
I picked up a piece of Humbolt Fog and a piece of St. André cheese, along with a loaf of rustic sourdough at Whole Foods while I was down there yesterday. Short of baking my own, Whole Foods' sourdough bread is pretty good.