Sunday, March 30, 2008
I took about 70 shots of her when she was here. It was hard not to get her moving. She makes this little sniffing noise constantly, sounds like me when it's allergy season. My brother says she snores when she sleeps. I sleep with a snorer too bro. It may be cute now, but trust me, it will become so not cute in a matter of time. My snorer doesn't have those cute bug eyes and pushed in face though.
I smell like puppy kisses now.
This recipe is from Elise's (simplyrecipes.com) father. While I was busy baking this sat on the stove most of the day and simmered. I had let it sit overnight in the sauce to really soak up all the flavors. The smell of chile and paprika filled the house every time I opened the lid of the pot to turn the pork. I bought a 10 pound two pack of pork shoulder at Sam's Club, so my pork was a wee bit bigger than the recipe called for. I added a bit more of everything and cooked it longer. It was so tender that when John pulled it out of the pan, the shoulder bone slid right out. Pulled Pork sandwiches tonight and pork tacos tomorrow night!
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons of Chipotle chile powder
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
3 lbs of pork butt shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
1 Purée all of the sauce ingredients (everything except the bay leaf, the pork and the buns) in a blender until smooth. If you have extra time, marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for several hours before cooking.
2 Put sauce, bay leaf, and pork into a large pot and add 1 quart of water. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, covered, turning frequently, for 2 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.
3 Remove from heat and cool pork in the sauce. When cool, remove the pork from the sauce and shred into small pieces. Set aside.
4 Reduce the sauce by two thirds. Add the pork back to the sauce. Salt to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve hot over open-face hamburger buns.
From Julie Hasson’s 125 Best Cupcakes Cookbook
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon warm water
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl mix together flour, ground coffee, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, and salt.
In another bowl mix together sugar, oil and egg until smooth. Whisk in instant coffee mixture and vanilla. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and sour cream, making three additions of the flour mixture and two of the sour cream, beating until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into prepared pan, with paper liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely on rack.
What better to top this babies off with then some coffee buttercream frosting!
Coffee Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon hot coffee
1 teaspoon Kahlua
Beat on low with an electric mixer the butter, sugar and salt until well combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth.
In small bowl mix together coffee granules, hot coffee and Kahlua. Stir until coffee granules are dissolved.
Add coffee mixture to butter mixture beating until smooth and creamy. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times while mixing. Spread icing over cooled cupcakes with a knife or place in pasty bag and pipe decoratively. This recipe said it would make 12 cupcakes; I got 13 out of the batter. I topped mine with a chocolate covered hazelnut so it would look prutty!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Lisa’ Stuffed Shells
1 pound ground pork
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ pounds of whole milk ricotta (I use about ¾ of a 2 lb container)
2 large eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella
8 ounces whole mozzarella
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 box jumbo shells
Your favorite sauce (I usually make my own but you can use jarred and it still tastes delicious)
In a large pan cook the onions in a little olive oil until they are tender. Add the minced garlic. Let cook for 1 minute, add ground pork and beef, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until browned. Drain any grease out of the pan. Set aside.
Boil your jumbo shells for about 8 minutes. You want them really al dente. While the shells are cooking, start on the ricotta mixture.
In a large bowl combine ¾ of a 2 pound container of whole milk ricotta. Add 2 eggs and mix well. Add 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, ½ cup of grated parmesan, ½ cup parsley. I also added a good bit of Mrs. Dash at this point. Mix until combined. Add in the meat mixture and mix it up again.
Drain the shells and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Pour some sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan, just enough to cover the bottom so the shells won’t stick. I make a bit of an assembly line to put it all together. I put the shells to my left, the pan in the middle and meat/cheese filling on the right. Fill each shell with about 2 teaspoons of the mixture. They should be full enough that the ends of the shell don’t meet. Like this:
Line them up in the pan:
Pretty huh? I buy the 16oz square cube of mozzarella. I cut about half of it up into thin slices and layer it all over the top, and then I sprinkle on about another cup of shredded mozzarella. Can’t have enough cheese you know. Top it all off with enough sauce to cover up all the shells and bake covered with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until the shells are nice and bubbly. I usually take the foil off during the last 15 minutes cause I like the ends to get all brown and crunchy. Let stand for 10 minutes before you dig in.
I usually serve this with a nice big salad and some crusty bread. They are great heated up the next day too!
Evan went a little crazy in the candy section. Jesse was sleeping over a friends, so we picked some stuff out for him too.
I still can't get over the ear picks.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
½ stick butter
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
4 pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese (softened)
2 tsp vanilla, divided
1 16 oz sour cream
2 cups strawberries sliced
Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9x13 pan with foil with the ends extending over the sides of the pan. Mix the crumbs, butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar and press firmly into the bottom of prepared pan.
Beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of the remaining sugar and 1 tsp of the vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium until well blended. Add 1 cup of sour cream, mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until just blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 40 mins or until the center is almost set. Center might still be a little giggly, that’s ok. Mix the remaining sour cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until almost blended, carefully spread over the cheesecake. Bake an additional 10 mins. Cool, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift cheesecake from pan by using the foil handles. Top with strawberries, blueberries or whatever fruit you like. Store leftovers in the fridge.
She loves Moose.
She had a good day. She had all her jewelry on as always. She likes to wear every necklace that she has at once, kinda like an old Mrs.T. She was happy when the sweets came out. She loves her sweets. I think that must be where I get my sweet tooth from. Before we brought out the desserts she had already eaten some Wandies, 2 pocket fulls of Cadbury mini eggs, 3 chocolate covered strawberries, 2 deviled eggs (which she later proclaimed that she never ate "I don't care for deviled eggs". Nana you ate two!!!), and some pizelles. We brought out the chocolate sheet cake and she ate FIVE pieces of it. I kid you not, five pieces! Then she moved on to the cheese cake, she only ate one piece of that, and she finished everything off with some more chocolate eggs, and another strawberry.
After all her sweets she announced that she needed to get back to "work". That's what she calls the assisted living facility she lives in...work. It was a nice day and her sweet tooth was very happy.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Some say that the tradition of St. Joseph’s Day began in Sicily, during the Middle Ages. There was a severe drought. The people prayed for St. Joseph, their patron saint, to intervene. They promised him that, if he answered their prayers and brought rain, they would prepare a big feast in his honor. Their prayers were answered and the rains came. True to their word, the people of Sicily prepared a banquet and placed huge banquet tables for the poor of the town to enjoy. The day is a day of generosity and kindness. It was not only a way for the people of Sicily to thank St. Joseph for answering their prayers, but also a way to share their good fortune with the poor of the town.
To me it’s a day to remind myself how lucky I am to have my Dad in my life. We had our struggles during the teenage years when he wouldn’t let me do anything!! Being the only girl and the oldest was a real test for him (and me) let me tell you. Thanks goodness Mom was there to cover for me all the time. There is a reason why they call her Saint Mim. He watched over me and took such good care of me when I was living on my own for the first time ever, that I really don’t know what I would have done without him. Even though he drives me crazy sometimes, and I am certain that he is the person that I inherited all my worrying and anxiety from, he’s a pretty awesome guy who would do anything in the world for me and my family. He loves his grandsons so fiercely it amazes me. I see a side of him as Grandpa that I never saw growing up. I suppose that’s how a lot of parents are.
So every year I bring my Dad his Zeppoles, and every year he always acts surprised, as if he had no clue that I would be coming by with them. I love my Dad.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Recipe from Ina Garten
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup & 2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 ½ pounds ground turkey
¾ - 1 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 325. In medium sauté pan over medium low heat cook onions, olive oil, salt, pepper & thyme until translucent but not brown, approx 15 mins. Add Worcestershire, chicken stock and tomato paste, mix well. Allow to cool to room temp.
Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg and onion mixture in large bowl. This will be a fairly wet mixture. I think that’s why the meatloaf comes out so moist, so don’t add so much breadcrumbs that you dry it out. Mix well and shape into rectangular loaf.
At this point in the recipe I turn to a Cook’s Illustrated technique using aluminum foil and a cooking rack.
Allowing meat loaf to stew in its own juices makes for a greasy mess. Here's our solution: Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Center the foil on a metal cooling rack and place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in the foil with a skewer (about half an inch apart). Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread ketchup evenly on top. Bake hour or until internal temp reaches 160 and meatloaf is cooked through. My meatloaf took an hour and 20 minutes to reach 160. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking). Serve hot, room temp, or cold in a sandwich.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thanks again to Elise at Simply Recipes. She continuously comes up with never ending fantastic recipes.
4 turkey cutlets, turkey breasts cut open and pounded to an even ¼ inch thickness (about 1 pound)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of dry basil or a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil
8 thin slices ham
4 slices Provolone cheese
8 thin slices bacon
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Place each cutlet on a piece of aluminum foil (about 5x6 inches). Sprinkle each cutlet with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil.
2 Layer a slice of cheese and a couple slices of ham on to each cutlet. Starting with the narrowest end, roll up the cutlet tightly. Gently wrap 2 slices of bacon around each cutlet. Fold up the aluminum foil around the turkey roll and wrap it tightly.
3 Place in a baking dish and put in the 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and gently open up the aluminum foil wrappings to expose the bacon. Increase the oven temp to 400°F. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the bacon is lightly browned.
Serve immediately. Serves 4.
These were terrific! Really juicy and had wonderful flavor. I’m think I might even try this same recipe with chicken, cordon bleu wrapped in bacon…Mmmmm. The only changes I would make next time would be to eliminate the salt completely. I find that the ham has enough salt in it already. I also turned the broiler on during the last 5 minutes to crisp the bacon up.
John had one of these just awhile ago and proclaimed them "my new favorite".
Black Bottom Coconut Bars
FOR CHOCOLATE BASE
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
FOR COCONUT TOPPING
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 package sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces), 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling
For chocolate base: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan* with aluminum foil, leaving a slight overhang; butter bottom and sides of foil (not overhang).
Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave. Add sugar and salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in egg, then cocoa and flour until smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake just until sides begin to pull away from edges of pan, 10 to 15 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool slightly while preparing coconut topping. Keep oven on for topping.
For coconut topping: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and coconut (except 1/2 cup reserved for sprinkling).
Drop mounds of mixture over chocolate base; spread and pat in gently and evenly with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup coconut.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift cake from pan, peel off foil, and cut into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container 3 to 4 days.
* I didn’t have a 9 inch square pan, only an 8 so that’s what I used. I also didn’t want to use butter to grease the foil, so I sprayed it with Bakers Joy. They didn't stick one bit.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Why don't I have a Bake & Destroy shirt?? Gotta rectify that. Anyhow, check Natalies site out, she's over there --------> Bake & Destroy, scroll down a little to the blogs sections. There she is.
That's a dessert size plate by the way. Don't want you all thinking I'm gorging myself out on a big ass plate full of the stuff. I like it but come on.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Today at lunch I visited a new grocery store that just opened up a few weeks ago (Aldi, I'm not crazy about it). It's the kind of store where you need to put a quarter in the carriage to use it. Yes we call them carriages in RI. John calls them buggys and sometimes carts. We like carriages. So I am coming out of the store and I hear an elderly couple near me saying that they don't have a quarter. I put the few things I bought in the back of my car and walked over to the woman.
Me: "Ma'am you can have my carriage"
Woman: "Oh wait my husband is in the car looking for a quarter"
Me: "That's ok, you can just have it"
Woman: "But wait, he's still looking for a quarter"
Me: "No really it's ok"
Woman: "Thank you sweetheart"
So I am walking back to my car and I hear her call to her husband that she's got a carriage, she didn't say buggy or cart, she said carriage cause she's a Rhode Islander like the rest of us dammit.
He says to her "Where'd you get that?" and her reply was:
"That nice little girl there gave it to me".
Little girl? LITTLE GIRL??? Now I know I'm short, and that she was fairly elderly, but I don't look like no little girl. Geesh. I didn't know if I should be offended or take it as a compliment?
John takes great pleasure in listening to all my antics. His favorite was one of my trips to CVS (local drug store).
So I buy something at CVS and I go to walk out the door. Now you know how they have those big column things that will beep when you walk out with something that has the beepy strip on it? I hope you are all keeping up with my technical lingo.
Well I went to walk out and the door wouldn't open. So I backed up and I tried again. Nothing. Third time. Nadda. Now one of the cashiers sees me and comes over to help me. He's a young kid, maybe 17. He walks through the columns and the doors opens. He walks back and tell me to try again. Again, nothing, those doors won't open. So now the manager comes over and he walks through and they open again. Now I just want to get out of the store but they both seems dead set on finding out why they won't open for me. So the manger walks through them with me and....they open. He asks me if I will try one more time, and of course being the tolerate person I am (shut up hunny), I walk though yet again and...you guessed it, they aint' budgin'.
The manager says something to the kid, they look to see what I bought, and then he looks at me and says:
"Umm Ma'am we think your too short to activate the doors".
What??? Now hold on, I have been to CVS many, many times in my life and never have I been too short to activate the door. I am 5 feet tall. 60 inches to be exact. I know I'm no giant, but there are millions of people shorter than me. Trillions maybe (shut up again hunny). That is just plain nuts. How do children activate the door then I asked him? Oh Mr. 5 foot 10 manager can't answer that then can he? Can he?? Well he tried to answer it, but his answer wasn't any good! He tells me that maybe the doors open when I don't have the magnetic whatamacallit on any items, but once I have one of those thingamabobs on something I purchased I'm not activating the doo hickey. I beg to differ sir. I think it was all total BS. I finally had them "walk" me out of the store so I could get the hell outta there.
I get home and I tell John about what had just happened and does he say "Oh hunny I'm so sorry that must have been so embarrassing for you?" Does he run to get me a cup of tea to comfort me? Does he offer to rub my feet to make me feel better? Does he? Hell no, he laughs hysterically. Knee slappin' belly laughs. Then he immediately gets on the phone and calls my in-laws and my friends to tell them the story with great delight. Then I have listen to their belly laughs that are loud enough for me hear without him even taking the phone from his ear.
Nice. Very nice.
I will have you all know that I have been to CVS many times since that incident and I have never had a problem getting out.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
2.5 pounds of Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping Bar. Double Chocolate. Be still my heart. Now here's the part I really love. It was $3.28. Can you believe that? $3.28 for 2 and a half pounds of Ghirardelli chocolate. My initial reaction was to grab 5 or 6 of them, but I made it out with only 3. Inside the box are these huge bars of chocolate. Almost a foot long (Jesse measured).
Every Easter I make chocolate covered strawberries, so this is going to come in really handy. I also have been eyeing some biscotti recipes and this would be perfect to use for half dipped biscotti. The possibilities are endless.
I wish we could be there with you or….
I wish you weren’t 1,500 miles away from us so we could take care of you.
You will always have a family with us.
You said a lot of things about doors shutting…..remember ours is always open for you.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I love Monday night’s cause two of my favorite shows are on. Little People, Big World and Jon & Kate Plus 8. John says I like to watch Little People Big World cause it makes me feel tall. Very funny. I just want to live on that farm and clean that poor woman’s house up for her. She’s got this beautiful home and it always looks like it’s just been burglarized. Plus I could probably reach stuff a lot better in that house.
Jon & Kate are John and I, with 8 kids. For those of you who have never seen the show, let me explain. Jon & Kate had twins girls, decided they wanted another baby, took fertility drug and wound up with six more babies. So at the moment they have two 7 year olds and six 3 year olds. It’s chaos constantly, a little like our house. I think I love to watch the show cause I see what she goes through in a day with 8 kids and I’m grateful that I only have 3 males, a dog and a cat to contend with, oh and the neighborhood kids.
We watch that show and 10 times during the hour we look at each other and say “that is so you”. It happens all the time. Jon from the show is so much like my John, in his demeanor, his attitude, he even breathes loud like my John (just overlook the Korean thing). I admit I am a lot like Kate. She is a neat freak, she is obsessed with her children, and she is constantly in a state of panic and hecticness. (Is that a word? If it isn’t, it should be). I don’t think I am as bitchy as Kate, but John might disagree. I look at her and think, if I had 8 kids under the age of seven I would be bitchy sometimes too....cause, well, she has to be. After all, it’s the Mom’s that usually hold it all together isn’t it? In one episode she yells for one of the kids to put Aquaphor on their lips. My kids looked at me and said, “Oh my God Mom, she is you – Aquaphor!” So I like Aquaphor, geesh. I think Kate should be commended for choosing such a pristine product.
I just went through illness with two kids, I can’t imagine having one kid get sick and then watching the seven others come down with the same thing. This particular episode last night they all had the flu and she was washing pukey blankets 10 times a day. No thank you very much.
Last night as we lay in bed watching the show, we had a little Jon & Kate moment of our own.
John: “I think I’m becoming nerdier”.
John: “Yeah I can feel it”.
Me: * laughs *
John “ I used to be cool you know”
Me “ Really? Sorry I missed that” *laughing again*
John: “Ummm, I wouldn’t laugh, you anal dork”.
Me: “Anal dork? Anal dork!
30 seconds later.....
Me: "Well I guess I am a bit anal about things and I am a bit of a dork”.
Definition: DORK: The term occasionally implies stupidity, though perhaps less often than it once did, and it can paradoxically imply an unadmirable (bookish, academic) intelligence, much like the terms "nerd" and "geek."A match made in heaven.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I decided to experiment. Since both the kids appetites have been poor during this illness I wanted to create something creamy and cheesy, cause they both really like creamy and cheesy foods. Well if you think about it, who doesn’t like creamy and cheesy foods? I suppose those supermodels that eat a blueberry and are stuffed, they wouldn’t like creamy and cheesy.
Anyway…..I didn’t want it to be an overly heavy dish. Simple and quick. So off to the freezer, what do I have in there that can be defrosted fast??? Shrimp! I always have shrimp. One of the perks of living in the ocean state, lots of seafood available. I plopped the shrimp into some water to defrost and got started, and this is what I ended up with.
Pasta & Shrimp a la Lisa
1 pound ziti (or any other pasta that will hold on to some sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup tomato sauce
½ pound cooked shrimp
freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
The first thing I did was to drain the shrimp and give it a toss in the old salad spinner to get most of the water out. I then cut them in half to make them bite size pieces. Set aside. Remember these were pre-cooked shrimps. I’m only going to heat them through in this dish.
While the pasta cooks, sauté the onion in the olive oil and butter. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the minced garlic. Pour in the wine, then the heavy cream and lastly the tomato sauce and let it come to a simmer. Just as the pasta is ready to come out of the water throw the shrimp in the sauce and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. At this point I throw in a handful of parmesan cheese, a la Jamie Oliver. Do you watch his new show and see how much cheese he puts on stuff? Amazing! He grates it on top using a monster grater and the cheese just falls everywhere. He is so messy! Ok back to the pasta…toss and serve.
This was good! Really good. Evan, who hasn’t eaten very well at all in the last 5 days asked for seconds! The sauce was very similar to a vodka sauce but lighter. Next time I would add some chopped parsley and some fresh basil, but I didn’t want to push it with Evan. All he needed was an excuse not to eat, and sometimes when he sees herbs in a dish he call it “grass” and will refuse to eat it. So this time I wasn’t taking a chance. Next time I will.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
"Some people get chocolate cravings. I get broccoli cravings. Sometimes I think it's my body's way of telling me I've been laying on the bacon a bit too thick (or maybe the chocolate!) But honestly I could eat broccoli every day of the year and not get tired of it".Strange huh? I go looking for a recipe cause I'm having a broccoli craving and I find a recipe that starts out with someone having a broccoli craving. So I whipped up this recipe and I have to say it was very satisfying. If you love broccoli like I do, make this.
Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger & Sesame
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil, peanut, canola, or some other high smoke-point cooking oil
1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed, patted dry, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Toast the sesame seeds by first heating a small, stick-free sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and jiggle the pan so they spread out in a single layer. Let them cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Do not walk away from them while cooking, as once they start to brown they can easily burn. Once lightly toasted remove from heat and put into a small bowl, set aside.
2 Mix the stock, soy sauce, and dark sesame oil together in a small bowl, set aside.
3 Heat 1 Tbsp of peanut (or canola or grapeseed) oil in a large, covered sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the broccoli florets, stir to coat the florets with the oil, Sauté for about a minute. Clear a space in the middle of the broccoli and add the ginger and garlic. Add a little more oil to the ginger and garlic (about a teaspoon) and sauté for half a minute, stirring just the garlic and ginger, until fragrant. Then stir the garlic and ginger in with the broccoli.
4 Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is still firm, but can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Return pan to heat, increase heat to high and boil down the liquid until just a couple tablespoons remain. Turn off heat, return broccoli to the pan, add the toasted sesame seeds, toss with the liquid. Put into a serving bowl.
A few months ago I heard a song on the radio called “I Want to Check You for Ticks”. This was a hit song on a popular radio station??? I don’t get it. So it’s a “thing” in our house (come on all houses have their “things”). John takes great pleasure in finding the most twangy, dog gone awful (see it’s rubbing off on me) goat roping music that he can find and plays it very loudly to annoy the shit outta me. I retaliate with Abba, hee hee! Don’t even tell me your toes don’t start tapping when you hear Waterloo, if you say no you’re a liar!
Yesterday he found a list of titles of real country songs. I kid you not, these are real song titles. So sit back ya’ll, pull up yer overalls, put on yer favorite twangy banjo pickin’ CD and enjoy!
· Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth Cause I'm Kissing You Good-bye.
· I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling.
· I Sold A Car To A Guy Who Stole My Girl, But It Don't Run So We're Even.
· Mama Get A Hammer (There's A Fly On Daddy's Head).
· I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better.
· I Wouldn't Take Her to A Dog Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win.
· I'm So Miserable without you; It's Like Having You Here.
· If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out of Jail by Now.
· My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love You.
· You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly.
· Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure.
· At the Gas Station of Love, I Got the Self Service Pump
· Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreen’s and I Cried All the Way to Sears
· Get Off the Stove, Grandma, You're Too Old To Ride The Range
· Get Your Biscuits in the Oven, and Your Buns In The Bed
· I Gave Her My Heart and a Diamond and She Clubbed Me With A Spade
· It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass Out All Day Long
· I Got the Hungries for Your Love and I'm Waitin in Your Welfare Line
· I Went Back to My Fourth Wife for the Third Time and Gave Her a Second Chance to make a First Class Fool Out of Me
· I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home
· There Ain't Enough Room in my Fruit of The Looms to Hold All My Lovin' For You
· Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife's Heart
My personal favorite:
· If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
The double Vanilla names comes from the vanilla he uses in the cupcake and also the frosting (which I did not use). I wanted a chocolate topped cupcake this time. The boys happily gulped down a cupcake as soon as I had them frosted.
Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 to 5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the butter and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute.
Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more milk if the frosting is too stiff. Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
It always cracks me up when they give instruction on how to freeze cupcakes. I have never frozen a cupcake in my life. My co-workers would kill me. They look forward to all my leftovers. Freeze a cupcake…that’s just crazy talk.
Notes on the stew: I realized half way through making this that I didn’t have any potatoes. Wait that’s not exactly true, I did have potatoes, but when I went to get them in the bin they all looked like green mutant octopi. Not good eats. I knew I had mushrooms. I always have mushroom, so I threw those in instead and added a little more carrots then I usually do. Sometimes I serve this over noodles, home made preferably. This time I served it over rice.
Hearty Beef Stew
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated
3 pounds chuck-eye roast or stew beef cut into 1 ½ inch cubes.
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
1-teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions chopped coarse (about 2 cups)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup red wine (preferably full bodied)
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon, dried thyme
6 small potatoes, cut into small pieces
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place beef cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in large nonreactive soup kettle; add beef to kettle in two separate batches. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding remaining tablespoon of oil if needed. Remove meat and set aside. Add onions to now empty kettle; sauté until almost softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic; continue to sauté about 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour; cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to kettle. Add stock, bay leaves, and thyme; bring to simmer. Add meat; return to simmer. Cover and place in oven; simmer about 30 minutes.
2. Remove kettle from oven, add potatoes and carrots, cover, and return to oven. Simmer until meat is just tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove stew from oven. Add peas and allow to stand 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings, and serve.
(Can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days.)
So every thing's not so primitive. I still like cute, and this is damn cute. There have been arguments as to whether it's a duck or a chick. I like to think of him (yes I choose the gender too) as a chick, so he is a chick filled with worms.....get it??? Chick - worms......oh never mind.