Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday night brights

You know all the offers left hanging on your door knob when you come home? If you are like me, you won't use most (or any) of them. But where to keep them just in case you want/need that service or product? How about on the inside door knob of a closet. They will be close at hand, yet hidden away and tidy.

One of the best things on Monday after Sunday Cafe, is all the leftovers! It sure makes Monday dinner easy. That led me to cooking every Sunday, on a much smaller scale of course!

 
Look what arrived today, a very large (hollow) chocolate Easter egg. This thing is about 8 inches long. 


Even came in it's own packing box. This smells so delicious and chocolatey, Granddaughter will love this.

We have had a lot of rain today, the berries and rhubarb and flowers have had a good drink. But I could use some sun, how about you?

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time.
M

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Sunday Cafe, another nice day.

A sweet thank you gift from "Hazel", but I must say it was unnecessary. I have had this little dream to have Sunday dinner for the longest time, and it has come true. I thank my family each time for coming, and making my little dream a reality.

As is my usual, as cooking time ends and dining time begins, I get forgetful about taking photos.

Here are the meatball ready to be baked. The meatballs are very very good. The entire recipe is done in stages, this makes it easy to get it done, yet not need all day to do it.

 
3 day Marinara with meatballs and chicken. This was delicious, the sauce has such great flavor and is now "our" sauce. I have been looking for a sauce recipe, just like this one.

The recipe does make a lot, but this would freeze very well. Great meals ready for those really busy days.



This cheesecake was an experiment to substitute yogurt cheese for half of the cream cheese. It turned out very well and I will share the recipe. I am not the biggest cheesecake fan, I can take it or leave it. This turned out very nicely.

There was also strawberries and raspberry sauce to dress up your desserts.
















 
Funnel cakes were a request, The Lovely Jess made these for the birthday girl.


Here is our menu,
Spaghetti with meatball and chicken
Roast Pork, with applesauce
Dutch potato and vegetable mash with gravy
Buttered green beans
Salad with Blue Italian dressing
Bread and butter

Chocolate cake
Cheesecake
Funnel cakes

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I do appreciate it.

M

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday Cafe Menu and the hutch is full!


I got the hutch filled, and that took one full day! Of course I did not push myself, it was suppose to be a day off, my belated paid Birthday Holiday from work. The hutch was the last item to make the kitchen "complete". I also got a new metal fruit/veggie tower/bowl/holder for the fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately no matter where I put the produce, I seem to over look using them a little too often, but I am working on it. Don't look too close, because I think that orange is crossing the line to petrified!

 

On to happier topics, here is the menu for tomorrows Sunday Cafe.

Meatballs and 3 day marinara from noble pig. 
This was a request, and this recipe seems to be the one to try. I will have to stream line it a bit by cheating on the 3 days. I will start it tonight, chill, puree, simmer and let rest. Then an hour before dinner I will simmer for an hour. The only change I am making is to add some browned chicken thighs along with the meatballs. That way there is meat for the non-beef eaters in the group, or you could have some of each. I have made a decent red pasta sauce through the years, but I just threw it all in a pot and called it good. I look forward to having an established recipe.


Pork roast and gravy.
Honey is always hungry for pork roast and especially the gravy, so this one is for him. I will serve this with the delicious potato and vegetable mash that we love so much, from Kayotic Kitchen. 

Some homemade applesauce to go with the Pork roast. 

Tossed greens with Blue Italian dressing.
This is an old trick from a family restaurant (now closed, unfortunately) mix equal parts of your favorite Italian dressing with equal parts of your favorite blue cheese dressing. Yum is the only way to describe it!

Buttered carrots. This is not the usual vegetable that I serve. Carrots will make for a a nice change.

Bread and butter.
My sister "Hazel" is visiting for dinner along with her husband. She is bringing the bread, we have some great bakeries in the area, so this will be delicious. I have found I don't have time to bake bread for Sunday Cafe, so delicious fresh bread will be nice to have with dinner.  Hazel is not her real name, and why she is called "Hazel", is a great story for another time.

Old fashioned Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
This was a request, from one of the birthday guests. He is celebrating his birthday and we are glad to share in this day with him.

Cheesecake with homemade raspberry port sauce. The last container of the sauce made from our home grown berries. I plan on making more of that again this year. Deliciousness waiting in the freezer to put on anything and make it special.

The lovely Jess is making funnel cakes. These were a request of the other birthday guest, the family teacher.

I don't think anyone will go home hungry, do you?

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I do appreciate it!

M

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring cleaning?

Just a little spring cleaning here at Mom's! Probably the new vinyl inspired me to make a change here as well.  Let me know what you think. I did not want to give up the lighthouse from the old template, but this picture window was too good to pass up.

I have a glorious day off today, and besides getting the china hutch filled, it is time to scout out what will be for dinner on Sunday.

Have a great day! See you later with a (loose) menu plan.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.

M

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Have Kitchen, will cook on Sunday!

The shots of the kitchen all put back together do not really get the point across how much work went into this project.
Keep in mind that everything you see put away, clean and organized had to be moved out and became grit and dust covered in the process.
Which of course meant that to come back into the kitchen after the vinyl was installed, it had to be carried back and cleaned and organized.
It is a good thing I love my kitchen, a job like this could make eating out mighty tempting!

A good shot of the flooring, gone is the 1989 press and stick no-wax tile laid directly over the 1974 aztec gold multi ethnic (mayan/italian/mexican) tile pattern.

Another floor shot, I fell in love with this pattern the minute I spotted it at the dealer. Also we went with 12 foot goods, so no seams. In a kitchen that is a good thing, there are busy people working here, and things get spilled.

And now a couple of shots to show off how the room filled back up with all the belongings I love to have around to keep me "company" and give me that at home feeling. I do like an eclectic semi-cluttered style, I know it is not for everyone, but I love having the things that bring me joy around. 

Dining room, the china hutch still needs to be filled, but that will get done this weekend. Everything was packed in newspapers and will need to be washed before putting it away. I did get the really important items put away, the plant and the wine!

Take two of the dining room. Having the accent wall extend into the dining room melded the two rooms together and it was easier to off-set the hutch and gain a bit of space in the corner to store one of the extra chairs.

The open pantry hutch in the kitchen. We are super Craigslist shoppers, everything in our home came from CL or consignment shops. It is fun to put different pieces together. I did buy the stove new, but even that was super clearance, due to a ding in the front of the drawer and Honey took most of that little ding out.

Honey has ordered new carpet for the living room and then this summer we will swap out the wood burning insert for a pellet insert. New countertops are all that are left in the kitchen, Honey says he will get to those this summer as well. Then I just want a little rain awning out the back door, there are wonderful fresh air days and I want to enjoy more of them. 

Here and here are a couple of posts about taking it all apart. 

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I do appreciate it!

M

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Morning Kitchen, a new floor

New paint, so nice to have the "blue ghost" from paint of the past, disappear! Honey go the wall hangings back up last night. 



One sheet down, only 7 more to go.

I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to have new flooring, and for all the hard work that Honey has put in to get the surface ready for the install. I have missed having a kitchen and cannot wait to get it back together again. 

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I truly appreciate your visit.

M

Friday, March 19, 2010

03.23.2010

Vinyl lay down day!

You know how it is said and you are told, " expect twice the work and half again as much money"? Well of course it is true, even if you do it yourself or part of it yourself. I will be glad to have this project completed. I think kitchens are a sink hole of time and money, needed for sure, but a sink hole none the less!

I had thought (in error as I use my hindsight) we could have some use of the kitchen while this project was ongoing. WRONG, wrong and wrong again. For some reason, there is always grit or dust or fumes, or a unique combination of all three going on at the same time!

Can't wait for Tuesday, then the fun begins. Putting it all back together and cooking once again!

Thanks for taking a moment to stop and listen to me complain, I really do appreciate it.

M

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"showin of the green"

Happy St Paddy's day!


We are showing our green here and making progress in the kitchen vinyl project. Honey got the accent wall painted this evening after work. Tomorrow is the rest of the walls, then new underlayment on Sunday and finally vinyl on Tuesday!

Progress is good..........................


and It will be fun to start cooking again. 

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. 

M


Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday night brights

We are getting ready for new kitchen vinyl!!!!! Can you tell I am a bit excited? There was so much prep work completed on Sunday, like.........

The dish hutch had to be unloaded and everything packed in newpaper and boxes. Then the hutch in two pieced carried to the garage. It was put back together in the garage to save some floor space. 

The food hutch had to be unloaded, the two pieces carried to the garage and reloaded. We still have to eat while this is being completed. It is odd however to take things to the garage to put them away!

Then the real work began. Honey adjusted his skill saw to a shallow cut, and cut the flooring and underlayment into 2 ft squares and we (remember when I say "we" it really means Honey!) pulled them from the floor and carried them outside ( I actually did a lot of that), then it was time for nail patrol and pulling out all the nails that remained in the subfloor. Everything and I do mean everything was covered with sawdust and dirty dust. Then we (oh now it is my turn, here when I say "we" I really mean Me!)  had to clean every flat surface.


Most of the sub floor was just fine.

This spot needed a couple of boards replaced and a little help in the under beam area. 

Honey wants to get a couple more boxes of screws tomorrow and continue to tighten the floor up a bit more, he hates a floor that squeaks. And I know why, he likes a silent floor for those trips to the fridge late in the evening!!!

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by and see what we are up to, leave us a note. We surely do appreciate it. 

M

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Overnight Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes

When I put these ingredients to set last night for their overnight mingle, I did not realize this morning was day light savings time, and we would effectively "lose" one hour of a perfectly good day off from work! It is only a coincidence and while these delicious pancakes will not get you your time back, but they will make breakfast easy, even on the days we are not fiddling around with all the clocks in the house!

These are not dainty pancakes, they are hearty, full of oats and tangy with buttermilk.  I am a buttermilk fan; I ate two for my breakfast plain, and a third one with a drizzle of real maple syrup. This recipe uses information learned from the e-course I am taking, based on the Nourishing Traditions information book/cookbook. Although as I have stated time and time again, "everything old becomes new again" and that is very true regarding the information from the book and the course.These ways are not new, simply new again with another generation.

I am having a good time with the e-course, and the fun part comes with taking the new information and making food your family not only needs (healthy) but wants (tasty) to eat. I have a bit of additional information at the bottom of this post of what I will do next time to make this for the family or just myself.


Overnight Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes
adapted from just making noise

The night before:
2 c old fashion rolled oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 c buttermilk

Stir together in a large bowl, making sure all ingredients are mixed and each piece is wet with buttermilk. Cover with a towel and let mingle overnight.

The next morning:
3 eggs, beaten well in a separate bowl 
1/4 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 T oil or melted coconut oil or butter
2 T honey
1 t vanilla
1 c raisins - chopped very fine - optional


Prepare raisins as needed, set aside. Warm the honey gently add the coconut oil if using and stir to melt and combine. Beat honey mixture into the eggs along with the vanilla.


Combine all ingredients with the buttermilk mixture.




Bake in 1/4 c measures on a prepared griddle or frying pan, using additional butter or coconut oil to keep from sticking. Serve with maple syrup.






Makes approximately 18 cakes. Serve with butter, real maple syrup or homemade jam.

How I might change this recipe to better suit the taste desires of my family.  

I would buzz the oats in the food processor to make a softer grain, about the same size/texture of cornmeal. 
I would use 1 c buttermilk and 2 c regular milk. 
I would increase the honey to 1/4 cup.

Recipe rating:  Hmmmm. (thought this would be better)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time!

M


Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Simple Stir-fry formula

I have never been a Wok wiz, I have purchased a variety of them through the years and used them all. And still I am not the wiz that I would like to be. But then I realized I don't live at PF Chang, and I don't need flashy and wizardly wok skills, I just need to get dinner on the table.

So I do my own version called, Sizzle and serve. There is a bit of time with the cover on (gasp) and you can get a couple of other things completed, like set the table. I visit The Perfect Pantry on a regular basis and found this basic sauce that Lydia refers to as a "trinity". From there I simply added a couple of ideas and here is a process that is open to what ever you have in the fridge and have decided will be dinner.


Just Sizzle and Serve!

1 pound meat cut into bite size pieces ( I used pork)

1 small onion cut into large squares or spring onions cut into 1 inch pieces

Other veggies, this could be broccoli, a zucchini some sliced cabbage, carrots - it is what you have and needs using up ( I used a sweet red pepper and about 2 c bean sprouts)

for the "trinity"
3 T soy sauce
2 T oyster sauce
1 T sesame oil

flavoring agents as needed/wanted
minced garlic
grated fresh ginger

1-2 T sugar ( I used 1 T for the pork, would probably use 2 with chicken)
1/4 c sake or sherry

1/2 c water
2 t cornstarch

Saut'e meat in a large flat bottom pan in a single layer on high until golden on one side. Toss in the pan with 2 wooden spoons, return to a single layer, individually turning those pieces that did not turn.


When meat has been browned evenly, pour on the trinity and add any flavor agents desired.


Cover and cook for about a minute, next add the sugar, wine and veggies, stir and cover for another minute.

Combine water and cornstarch, stir into pan. Cook and stir until thicken and clear. Remove from heat, cover and set the table. Call the family and serve over rice or noodles your choice.

This is easy, quick and adaptive to what you have on hand. If you serve a particular combination your family loves, it becomes your own recipe!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

I know we will have this again, it fits right in with my idea of easy, adaptable and good.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate it so!

This post is being shard with:


Tuesday Night Supper Club@fudge ripple

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday night brights

The raspberries are leafing out! Spring is on it's way.

The rhubarb was not to be out done, I was glad I check on the rhubarb, we had the mulch a little too deep.

The week was used for celebrations, all for my birthday. Dinners out Thursday, and again on Friday, then Saturday was a surprise birthday party. Such happy times, thanks so much to my family for their love and support.

Word must have gotten out that I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it seems most everyone brought a bottle. All stored safely on the hutch where I can pick and choose.

The weather here is very cold tonight, it was a toss up, let the rhubarb die in the compost or let it freeze in the out of doors. There was large hail in Portland as I left work tonight. Fortunately Honey had a nice fire in the stove warming the house.

Tomorrow is appointment day. We have an appointment for new kitchen vinyl!!!! I am so excited, it has taken 3 years to get to this point. So many changes along the way that made it possible for this day to happen. The only item not on the list of "needs" was the new stove. But it did not make sense to replace the flooring leaving a drop in stove that would need to be replaced in a couple of years. Making it necessary to patch the floor. The flooring chosen is 12 foot goods, there will be no seams in the kitchen.

As always thanks so much for taking a moment to stop and say hello. Leave a note, I love getting mail.

M

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baked Kale Chips


I have purchased kale many times with the thought of making this recipe. I have then gone on to use the kale in other ways and never get around to making these. Truth be told, it is not a recipe so much as a process. I scaled back on the amount made for two reasons, I am fairly certain Honey will not eat these after the first bite and the one bunch insures that these are eaten up without waste. I should get in the habit of purchasing a bunch of kale at the market each week, I have started to cook with it frequently.

I decided to make them with only salt as the flavoring this first time out. I did notice that Alana over at A Veggie Venture suggested a little vinegar or mustard as well. Maybe that will be a future batch. I think I will like these, I have been looking for a crunchy salty snack, that was not deep fried or loaded with unhealthy fats.  I am also playing around with the convection feature on the new range, and have not had much experience with this as yet!

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 T + olive oil
salt

Wash kale under running water, or my favorite in a sink of warm water. Using your hands "open" the ruffles and make sure the area in there is not harboring dirt. Lift out and drain well.


Remove middle stem from kale leaves. I found it easiest to use my hands for this, a small paring knife got lost in the ruffles.

 


Break kale into 3X3 inch pieces. Spin dry in a salad spinner or roll into a kitchen towel squeezing gently and let rest 5 minutes for the excess water to be absorbed.

Place kale in a large bowl, add oil. Using your hands lift, turn and massage kale leaves to coat with the oil.



Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle generously with the salt. Keep in mind, that a lot of the salt will stay on the bottom of the baking pan. Next time for one bunch of kale, I will use a 9X13 inch pan, the goal is the dry the kale rather than brown it.


Bake 350 for 5 minutes, stir the outside pieces to the middle of the pan and the middle pieces to the outside of the pan. Bake 5 - 8 minutes more.



The volumn of kale is greatly reduced after baking. If you are serving these as a prelude to dinner, you would want to make up a pound of kale, which is about 3 bunches.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks so much for taking a moment out of your day to stop for a visit.

M