In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
1. The Husband and I successfully fulfilled our monthly date for vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the house. Three months in a row. Definitely a whoop-de-doo! for us. The carpet feels so good beneath our bare feet. 2. Here's another thing I'm proud about doing today. I successfully pulled a curly dock weed, more than 60 inches tall, from the middle of a young butterfly bush. Poor guy. The two plants' roots were stuck together, but not entwined, so I was able to pry them apart. Hopefully the young butterfly bush was not too traumatized. 3. I need to go out and check the seeds I planted last week. They may need a drink of water. 4. But, first I need to go cook our main meal for us. I do miss not cooking. 5. Here I am again. The seeds got their sips of water. I saw two sunflower sprouts. Yippieeee. 6. After marinating locally produced grass-fed beef stew in a concoction of spices, vinegar, oil, and whatever else for a few hours, I sliced the meat thinly a
Can I get a "cute"? How could I resist showing off that photo of Molly the pinky-nosed (wild) Cat's recent cuteness. So, what kind of little of this, little of that have you been doing while staying at home? This afternoon I made a delectable dish of creamy brown rice and mushed red lentils that I savored slowly, the way I do with desserts. Sure I'll combine brown rice, lentils, fresh garlic, kim chee, and eggs again, but the exquisite taste (there I go floating) won't ever get repeated, even if I knew the amounts I used. Oh well, c'est la vie. :-) Clackity clack clack clackity clack clack. . . . I've been sewing covers for the outside pillows. See the top two pillows. The covers were made from Mama's nightgowns that she liked but hardly wore. Must wear out the old stuff first you know. The fabric of the flowered pillow on the bottom is from the Husband's mom's stash. I wonder what she was going to do with the upholstery quality mater
I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time. Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake. He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away? Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly excit
"Will you be able to get by the vacuum cleaner?" the Husband asked, who hauled the vacuum cleaner upstairs and set it beside the bathroom door, as I pretty please asked (so I hope). "I'm sure you will." "I have a plan," I said, tippy-tapping on the keyboard, not realizing yet that he had headed down the stairs. "Bathroom, office, and bedroom. I'll vacuum in that order." At least, vacuum the bathroom today. Over the next few days, I'll also dust and vacuum downstairs. No party, thanks for asking. (For those who are new to my quirks, I generally do heavy cleaning for an upcoming party.) Sometime soon, we'll be going on a short road trip to Northern California to visit the Husband's family as well as take in a bit of the coast and redwoods. Since Molly the Cat will be roaming indoors for a few days, I thought I'd clean the house. Maybe even give her a dry shampoo. By the way, the photo above of Missy and the Husband
Tried and True? Or, an experiment? That's what I asked the Husband, who took himself out of the science fiction story he was reading for the nearly-one-too-many time, within probably 15 minutes. I am a fortunate woman because the Husband didn't ignore me, nor grunted, then ignored me or snarlingly said, "What." The Husband, instead, looked up from his book and asked, "I don't know what you're talking about. What are you referring to?" ("Now" is what I added in my head.) "What do you think?" I asked. "Should I make the olive cheese balls the usual way or try something different?" He pondered and considered (I love that) before having a level-headed discussion with a whirly-minded woman as myself. We agreed the only constant (kinda) was the cheesy-buttery dough because the types of olives and cheese rarely were the same combination as the first time I made the recipe. I could refer to the recipe, but I do
All of a sudden I was hearing cowbells. No moooo. None at all. It had to be one of the chimes on the other side of the backyard. I looked over to see what may be swaying in the wind. Ha! The Husband stood outside the patio door, clanging on the triangle. "Come and get it," he called. "Coffee and pancakes." Whooo-hooo! We've had some tasty breakfasts the last several mornings because, one, we finally went to the grocery store and, two, we were without peanut butter, our breakfast staple. The other day I made strawberry brie biscuits, which looked more like scones. Biscuits or scones, they were delicious. You can't go wrong with brie or strawberries. We happened to have frozen organic strawberries from last summer. Very flavorful, they were. My concoction began with a mixture of 2 cups of flour and about 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a couple of dashes of baking soda. (I added the latter because I ran out of the former.) To that, I cut in
"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. T
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 pro
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!
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 sus
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 c
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 t
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
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
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
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 co
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 w
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!
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 r