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Tuna BLT on Sourdough Bread

"I'll have a tuna BLT," said Good Friend D.

"What?" responded the waitress.

"Tuna BLT," said he again while some of us checked the menu again. It turned out D merged the tuna melt and the BLT together in his head, at which the waitress relaxed, then said they don't substitute. Oh well. D ended asking for the BLT.

The Husband and I were so enamored with the idea of a tuna BLT, I concocted sandwiches for us a week later.

Ingredients
• 2 slices of barely toasted sourdough bread
• Mustard
• 3 strips of bacon (which I cooked in the toaster oven)
• 2 tomato slices
• 2 or 3 lettuce leaves (we had red lettuce in the fridge)
• Tuna filling: one can of tuna mixed with minced celery, onion, garlic, orange bell pepper, pickle, pumpkin seeds, mayonnaise, and creamed horseradish.

Assembly
I layered the sandwich as such: A slice of bread, tuna filling, lettuce, tuna filling, tomato, bacon, and the other slice of bread spread with mustard.

The Husband and I tot…

Kimchi, Yummmm.

I love how the kimchi in those jars look. I made the kimchi. That's right. Me! Call me vain, I don't care. I can't stop looking at the kimchi. It looks like real kimchi, by golly. It even smells like kimchi.

Today is the second day the kimchi has been sitting at room temperature. The lids are loosely screwed so the kimchi has breathing room. Otherwise, the kimichi will do precisely what the Husband likes to say, after I tell him the lids are barely screwed, "They'll blow their tops off!" I think he'd be pleased to see that happen.  

This is the second time I've made kimchi. The first batch was okay. It didn't start tasting like kimchi until it had been in the refrigerator for a long while. That's not good kimchi. I can eat half a jar of the fermented spiciness by myself. Feed me kimchi and rice, I'm happy. Real good kimchi, I'm delirious. Oooh.

I read several kimchi recipes to come up with my own synthesization. Here was my process.

P…

From the Archives: Magical Meringue

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm still playing catch up so I'm back to reaching into my archives for a while more. Have fun out there.

Today's post was first published on April 15 2015. =============
Clang, clang, clang with my right hand.

Clang, clang, clang with my left hand.

Repeat and repeat. Then repeat again. And, again.

It always amazes me how I can get soft peaks of meringue just by beating egg whites. I'm sure there's a simple, straightforward explanation for the transformation, and maybe one day I will really want to know. Until then, I'm perfectly happy, making clang, clang noises with the egg beater against the stainless steel pan as the clear egg whites change to foam, to thicker, clingy foam, and finally to meringue. It's magic. Olé!

Tuna Fish Surprise

The last time I made Tuna Fish Surprise was in home economics class in seventh grade, which was...hmmmm....over 50 years ago. That was the first time I ever made the dish—a can of tuna fish, a can of cream of mushroom soup, crumbled potato chips, and, I don't know what else. I have a vague feeling we baked the tuna fish on sliced bread. It was after all public school, the 1960s, and the objective to teach us, girls, how to prepare delicious fare cheaply and quickly within 30 minutes or less.

The home ec teacher let us give our dish away to other teachers, which meant being able to roam the hallways during class hours. So, yeah, you bet I went that way. I chose Mr. Anthony, the gruff old science teacher. Why should all the favorite teachers get all the good stuff?

Yesterday was the second time I made a version of the dish. After consulting the cookbooks and the Internet, I figured anything could be put together for this dish. Thus, it's name. Uh-huh. Got it.

To two cans of sust…

Roast Beef Sandwich for Breakfast

I've heard the Husband say at least twice how much he enjoyed his roast beef sandwich for breakfast this morning.

I generally figure every morning that I'll be having a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. Easy-peasy, you know. Some mornings I surprise the Husband and me by making a hot breakfast. I hadn't planned on it today but I started flipping through a cookbook  because I decided to weed out the cookbook collection. After all how many cookbooks do I need when I'm not one to follow a recipe the way it's written?

I didn't know I had a Costco cookbook (I wonder if I got it for free). It has lots of cool photos illustrating short and delicious-sounding recipes from big-time chefs such as Mary Esposito and Jamie Oliver. I found a recipe towards the end of the cookbook that inspired today's breakfast. Coincidentally, the Husband walked into the kitchen as the oven light bulb lit over my head.

The poor Husband. I often, if not nearly almost, don't consi…

A Kitchen Game: Leftovers

How many dishes can you make out of leftovers? Not separate dishes. More like turning leftovers into something left over for more leftovers.

It was either Monday or Tuesday last week that I made pork ribs by first simmering them with fresh garlic and Cajun spices, then broiling them in a toaster oven. For the BBQ sauce, I mixed leftover homemade pizza sauce, made a few days earlier, with horseradish. Sounds horrible, but it tasted mighty good, so the Husband said.

Even though it was a small slab of ribs, we had leftovers. Not enough for two people though. A couple days later, I added the meat to a concoction of garbanzo beans, peas, linguisa, and leftover sauteed onions and mushrooms. I also threw in a couple of frozen tomatoes. That delectable dish was served with Jasmine rice.

There were leftovers.

On Saturday, we happened to be standing in front of a Mexican restaurant. Its doors were wide open so we could enjoy yummy smells. Although mouthwatering, we weren't hungry enough to …

A Mug of Chocolate Cake

Delicious baked sweets are my downfall. Nothing like the right combination of butter, sugar, and flour. Throw in chocolate, oooh-la-la! Call the concoction a doughnut, faaaaan-tas-tic!

It's a good thing a doughnut costs 75 cents or more in this town and nobody makes a good one enough for me to want to buy one anymore. If I want the taste of a delicious doughnut, I'll drive about 10 miles to the next town and pay the extravagant cost of 50 cents for a raised sugar doughnut hole or 75 cents for a cinnamon doughnut hole, a chocolate dipped doughnut hole, an apple fritter doughnut hole, or a cream-filled doughnut hole.

I digress. Back to my topic. You've no doubt come across recipes for microwaving a cake recipe in a cup. Maybe you've even tried one. If you haven't, a microwaved "cup cake" does the trick when you want a sweet taste of something "baked" and don't want the hassle of making it or going to the store. I like that my recipe is quick, …

Playing in the Kitchen

I made some yumminess for breakfast this morning—cinnamon blueberry biscuits and apple-persimmon compote. Both were made with what was on hand and because I didn't measure precise amounts, we shall not ever taste this exact delightfulness again.

The biscuits were made by crumbling three tablespoons butter in three big spoonfuls of unbleached white flour, a good enough shake from the baking powder tin, and a nice dose of cinnamon. To that, I added honey yogurt (almost two weeks beyond the purchase date) and probably half-a-cup of dried blueberries. I squirted icy water from the dispenser on the fridge door to get the dough to combine, which yielded seven big drop biscuits. They baked for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

The compote may not really be a compote because I didn't make it with some kind of syrup. If I wanted to make a pie, which I might, the concoction would be a delicious filling. Five small somewhat shriveled apples and six small slightly mushy persimmons got chopp…

Suman

Suman is my all-time favorite Filipino dessert that the Mama made during the Christmas season when I was a kid. It is a decadent sweet rice concoction made from sticky rice (aka glutinous rice and sweet rice), brown sugar, and coconut milk.

The delightfulness about suman is the memory of it being made, usually on a cold, rainy day. I'm anywhere from age four to seven. The Daddy cracks open two or three coconuts, pouring the juice into a waiting glass. I have yet to taste coconut water as good as what I drank way back when.

The Daddy scrapes the coconut meat from the shell carefully and precisely on a a flat, round serrated scraper that he attached to a thick chunk of wood that he straddled. "I want to do it," I say every so often, as I watch the coconut transform into tiny slips of whiteness as it falls from the scraper into a large white metal basin with red trim. Eventually the parents let me sit on the homemade coconut scraper and try for a short bit. It is not easy,…

Chicken Bittermelon Soup!

Hurrah! I finally had chicken bittermelon soup yesterday. Slurp, slurp. Mmmmmm.

The day before we stopped at a Filipino market in Watsonville and almost immediately saying hello to me was a display of bittermelon (parria to me) and bittermelon leaves. I've been craving bittermelon for the last several months. Unless I grow it, we have to travel far and almost wide to purchase the vegetable.

The Daddy and the Mama grew bittermelon in their vegetable garden every summer. When I was a kid the Mama made chicken bittermelon soup at least once a week. Slurp, slurp. It wasn't until the Mama was 90 or so that I finally paid attention to how she made it.

Wash and drain the chicken in the cooking pot, then steam the chicken (no additional water yet) with ginger and garlic (how much is your choice). At that magical moment (just before the chicken skin burns in the pot) pour water to cover the chicken and then-some. Put the lid on the pot and step away from the stove. Let the concoction …

Drying Persimmons

Once upon a time the Husband and the Mama each bought me a simple dehydrator for Christmas. The Mama let me choose my present from her, while the Husband said, "Surprise!" I'm spoiled rotten, I tell you.

Yes, I returned one dehydrator.

As for the kept dehydrator, I experimented with it once. The dehydrator was nothing more than five plastic trays sitting on top of a plastic base that has a heating element in it. Both the Mama and I agreed that it took a lot of hours to dry a handful of fruit. Not to say I had to interrupt whatever I was doing to rotate the trays every two hours. After that one time I cleaned the trays and put everything back into its box.

On Sunday, I decided that I wanted to dry some persimmons so I brought out the dehydrator. Instructions stated that it would take at least 24 hours to dry the fruit, which I figure would be about five or six persimmons. I didn't like the idea of the flimsy-looking machine being on while we slept. Besides I would ne…

Spaghetti Pizza

Ever had spaghetti pizza?

The other day I used leftover spaghetti, made with a friend's awesome marinara sauce, as the "sauce" for a pizza. The spaghetti had zucchini, red pepper, yellow onion,  two huge handfuls of spring salad mix, and brie. On top of the spaghetti went layers of red onion, pepperoni, green olives, pimento, and farmer cheese.

The marinara sauce was homemade by friend Gloria who grinds her own mixture of dried herbs and spices. The sauce had a light and mellow taste. Subtle and sophisticated. Wowza wow wow!

Gloria gave us two tubs of her sauce, one for the freezer.  There are so many possibilities for the second tub. I could use it as a base for a cioppino or make a pasta dish with Italian sausage, for example. Both the Husband and I agree that we could even slurp up the sauce straight as soup. Yummmmm.

Thank you, Gloria!



Sizzle, Sizzle. Sizzle.

Yesterday I fried chicken for the Husband's and my main meal, which some may consider a very late lunch or a rather early dinner. I've been wanting to taste fried chicken for the last several days.

Fried chicken is one of my comfort foods. Nibble, nibble.

The best fried chicken I've ever eaten was cooked by the Daddy, perfectly crisp on the outside and moist inside. It has been over 35 years since I ate the Daddy's fried chicken.

Recently I decided it's not worth buying already-made fried chicken from any of the options in our town. It's too disappointing. Too greasy. Too dry. Too salty. And so forth and so on.

So, this Missus Lady (as Molly the Cat calls me) cut chicken thighs into bite-size chunks; shook them in a bag of flour, paprika, turmeric, mustard power, garlic powder, black powder, and salt; and fried them in olive oil. Sizzle, sizzle. 

The result was quite tasty. Nibble, nibble.

The best part about eating fried chicken yesterday was remembering how…

Limoncello by Me!

Yup! I made limoncello.  Not just say I'm going to make it like I have the past 13 years.

It tastes pretty good, too. The Husband said, "Whoa!" on the first day of tasting. Potent. Today, the fourth day, he said, "It has mellowed." Yup. Still potent, but now the lemony taste is coming through.

I chose Giada de Laurentiis' limoncello recipe because it didn't require months of waiting for the solution to do it's thing in a closet before we can drink it. Yup. Instant gratification.

Of course I modified the recipe as I went along. I pared lemon peels from 15 lemons and added lemon juice to the sugar syrup. I waited six days to decant the liqueur because I didn't have any bottles and jars. The recipe says that it's good in the refrigerator for a month, but I think it can last longer. After all I used the Costco brand of vodka, which is 60 proof. Yeah, dragon fire. But, remember, it's a mellow fire. Giggle.

I'm linking up with All Season…

Taking a Break for Writing

Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-)

I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention.

Sigh.

I forgot. What was the intent of this post?

Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome?

To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the apricot…

Setting Around-the-House Goals

Some mornings I wake up with a mission in my mind. Today, for example, the goal for the Husband and me is to bring down another bookcase to the living room from upstairs.

Very easy, you say.

Certainly.

As long as I keep us on task, which means not getting distracted by something else. I have a not-so-committed goal to make something out of cabbage and ground turkey. Maybe make a non-stuffed cabbage casserole. Stuffing cabbage sounds too time-consuming. I know: What else do I have to do? Well, bring down the bookcase and all the books in that bookcase. I'd also like to go outside and prune the apricot tree while it's still cold. And, maybe one or two of the scraggly rose bushes.

It's nearly 11:35 a.m. See what I mean about getting distracted. No? Well, I just wrote this post.


Cheers to a New Calendar Year!

"What got into you?" asked the Husband, looking across the table as I cracked walnuts.

"The bananas got browner just like you said would happen," I answered. We bought the bunch of organic bananas yesterday afternoon. I only wanted three bananas, but when I saw that the bananas were a bunch for a dollar, I couldn't bring myself to buy three bananas when I could purchase eight for the same price. Would you?

I don't remember if I fully answered the Husband's question. I recall that he went back to checking out Facebook so I must've said that I want the walnuts for making banana bread. Now I think I'll bake scones. Easier. Then I'll freeze the rest of the bananas. I found out I don't even need to peel, slice, or stick them in freezer bags. And when I want to use one or two for baking or smoothies, I simply microwave the bananas for a minute or two. Voila!

It's been a good new year so far. I've been very productive, too. Along with…

Yummy Pumpkin Bibingka

"I'm going to make bibingka," I said on Christmas morning.

"Do you know how to make bibingka?" asked the Husband. 

The Husband forgot that I've baked this Filipino dessert a few times before. Of course it was easy for him to forget since the Mama liked to make this cake treat nearly every Christmas and for any day she deemed special.  I don't know if I'll carry on the Mama's annual holiday tradition. It simply felt good to have some kind of warm sweetness enveloping the house on Christmas morning.

The tradition I will carry on is the Mama's like to experiment with recipes. I read a recipe for pumpkin mochi which I thought would translate quite well into pumpkin bibingka. Both recipes use sweet rice flour rather than wheat flour. Instead of condensed milk, I used a combination of coconut milk and lactose-free whole milk. I'd give you the recipe but I modified it as I was going and you know how that goes.

The result turned out pretty yum…

Time Flies. . .

When you have much to do. Yup. Time flies. Fly, fly, time.

Within the next six hours, I plan to do this:

Finish the Husband's tunic. All I need to do is attach the sleeves and sides, then hem it up.

Make an appetizer.  The Husband and I are going to a party tonight. Fun. Maybe I'll make cheesy olive balls. They're easy to make, but that means going to the store for olives and cheddar cheese.

Put together a photo collage.  It's for a luncheon fundraiser tomorrow. I could probably do that after the party, if I print the photos beforehand. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Get this post done.  I threw this in so I can feel like I'll have accomplished something once its published.  Always look for the positive, I say.

Thank goodness, I finished reading my novel last night, otherwise I'd forget about doing these things I plan to do. Enchanted  August by Brenda Bowen.  Just like the title, the story was enchanting.

I could go for either a cup of coffee or a lovely cocktail.…

Summer Domestic Diva Challenge -- One Down!

Ha! I completed  #4 on my list of seven things to do before the summer ends. 

A jar of lemon peels covered with vodka is now sitting in the cupboard with the glasses. In four to six weeks, it will become lemon extract. I hope, I hope. 

The first thing I plan to make with the stuff is lemon cookies. They were the first—and when I think of it, the only—cookies that the Mama baked when I was a small kid. They were perfectly round, golden, and yummily lemon flavored. I have yet to taste a lemon cookie that rivals my memory of the Mama's cookies. 

If you're curious, this was my recipe, which I adapted from Mommypotamus's.
Zested 9 medium lemons. Don't get any of the white peel. Place lemon strips in a jar and cover with about 1.5 cup of vodka. Shake well, then put in a cupboard. The rest of the instructions are from Mommypotamus:
Shake the mixture every day for a week.  Shake every so often for 4 to 6 weeks, which I shall translate as once every 3 or 4 days. Strain the lemon pee…