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Showing posts with the label recipe

Resourcefulness

Earlier this week the Husband and I attended the funeral service for dear friend J's sister, Rosie, who was much loved by her family and friends. Two of her nieces told loving, funny, and cheerful Rosie stories to us all there. They called Rosie the fun-loving auntie who, from their stories, you can tell the nieces thought of as their second mother. It was heart-warming to hear as I'm childless as well, and, once was the fun-loving auntie.  That's life sometimes, bittersweet.

The family considered Rosie to be the lumpia king. She made the best and it sounded like she always kept lumpia (similar to an eggroll, for those who've never tasted lumpia) in the freezer ready to fry at any time of day or night. Hearing all that talk about lumpia got me wanting some so when the Husband and I got home, I took out lumpia wrappers and leftover lumpia filling from the freezer.

I managed to roll sixteen lumpias from the mix. Hurrah!

But what do I do with the rest of the wrappers? I…

Life is Good

1. "Caramel corn would taste good right now?" I said to the Husband. "Yeah," said he. "I wonder where we could get some." "Bertuccio's has some," I replied. "Or we can learn to make caramel corn."

2. The Husband and I have been moving and switching furniture in the house.

3. The old bureau now sits in the front yard waiting to be stained and turned into a big happy planter.

4. Our clothes now rest in the Husband's more narrow dresser that his parents gave him over 50 years ago.

5. The late 1800s parlor organ sits in the foyer waiting to be dusted, photographed, and sold to someone who would enjoy owning it next.

6. The TV, modems, and such now rest on a 1950s dresser rather than the organ. The dresser's name is Roy Rogers because of its cowboy look. At least in my mind.

7. The creamy leather recliner now sits in the living room. The Husband took his first nap on it last night.


8. I love coming home to see Spring in our …

Keepers

Don't these daisies look like space aliens of some kind? That's what came to my mind when I saw them at the farmer's market last year. So, of course I had to buy a pot. For two bucks, I couldn't go wrong.

ARUGULA PESTO
Arugula is my new favorite vegetable right now. I like its kick. So far, though, I make a pesto out of the bitter greens. As with any dish, there are different kinds of arugula pesto recipe out there. Here's the one I made up yesterday: I grinded and blended a batch of arugula, a handful of parsley, 8 big garlic cloves, olive oil, a bit of water, Parmesan cheese, and salt and white pepper to taste.

I loved how green the concoction looked. A perfect Spring dish. Maybe next time I'll think about taking a photo. Also next time I'll add a lot more shredded Parmesan. (I only had 1/4 cup in the fridge.)

A Glorious First Day of Spring, One and All!


I'm linking up to two fun memes today: ABC Wednesday and Say Cheese! Come check out the other par…

Breaking the Fast with Goodness

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 1 tablespoon o…

X Marks the Spot

Two Fridays ago, the Husband created an Xmas tree out of Xmas lights. All I had to do was find the lights and point out the spot for him to make it. Sparkle, sparkle.

The other day I was helping undecorate a small Christmas tree at the local museum where I volunteer. I started to unwind a garland made of small colored glass balls when Head Volunteer said, "Susie, take the tinsel off first." She proceeded to quickly pluck and pull the silvery strands. I imitated her.

The tinsel off, I went for the garland. Said Head Volunteer, "Susie, it'll be easier if you take ornaments off then the garland." Okey-dokey.

As I finally unwound the garland, Head Volunteer reminded me that it was old, then kindly remarked that she had already broken three vintage decorations. Sometimes I can be like that bull in a china shop.

Several hours later while reading Christmas posts by blogger friends, I realized that I'm out of practice when it comes to decorating/undecorating Xmas t…

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…

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…

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, …

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…

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…

From the Archives -- Taboongow

Here's another post that I wrote for my first blog, Cu'Pie Bird Says Chirp. Chirp. FYI: I slightly edited the post for today. Tomorrow, I shall be back to regular posting. Maybe.

Gourds for the Eating (originallypublished November 20, 2008)
Several years ago, in the upcountry of Maui, I heard birds coo, “Ta-boong-ow. Ta-boong-ow.” I wondered if they were hungry for the gourd, and whether they wanted the long, bat-shaped ones or the ones that look like hourglass women.

Taboongow is the Ilokano word for upo, which is the Tagalog name for the gourd. (Please note that I’m phonetically spelling ta-boong-ow according to what my American ears hear.) Many people think of this vine-growing vegetable as an ornamental plant to dry and use for display or to make into crafts or musical instruments. Taboongow is also yummy to eat when they are still fresh. If you eat the gourd young, you can eat the center white part as well. Otherwise, you cut it away so you cook only the light-green part.

Ther…

W is for What's Wrong with Your Cake?

Once-upon-a-time, a long time ago, when I was still a young thing. . . .

After the Birthday Gal happily blew our her candles on the carrot cake that I baked, the other student assistant and I cut the cake and served the slices to the Birthday Gal and everyone else in the Department of Secondary Education office. The cake looked yummy. Everyone took a bite. Several people looked puzzled as they chewed.

The gruff teddy bear of a department chair said, "Sue, did you forget to turn on the oven?"

"Huh?"

The Teddy Bear Chair examined his cake. "It's flat."

"That's the way it's supposed to be." I said.

"I love it," said the Birthday Gal. "It's just like the cake from home. All full of nuts and carrots. Thank you, Sue."

The Birthday Gal was from Central America. She gave me a hug and took another slice.

The Teddy Bear Chair continued eating his cake. "Have you made this cake before?" he asked.

"First t…

Eggplant, Tomato, and Sausage Pasta

The other night, I made the kind of red pasta sauce for which I have been hankering for the longest time. Hurrah! The photo shows the leftovers I ate for breakfast.

Getting that "perfect" taste was by accident so I have no idea if I will be able to do it again. Booo!

I'm one of those people who likes to read cookbooks but modifies recipes while cooking and doesn't pay attention to how things are being changed. I also rarely measure amounts, and, when I do, I'm eyeballing amounts. That's probably why my chemistry experiments in school usually failed. Ha! on the person who copied my answers.

Ingredients I Prepped
Slice 1/4" circles out of two long Japanese eggplants Destem a handful of cremini mushrooms and slice them into halvesMince two fist fulls of chives (which is from the Mama's garden)Smash and mince 6 to 9 garlic cloves (assorted sizes of small to medium)Dice a small yellow onion. Slice 1/4" circles out of two basil-mozzarella sausages  (…

A Bargain Jar of Pickles

$3.99 for a gallon jar of kosher whole dill pickles. About 70 of them. Three to four-inches long and rather thick, too. As far as I'm concerned, the $3.99 gallon jar of pickles is the best deal at Costco.Yes, indeed.

A medium-size jar of kosher pickles at the supermarkets costs more than that. And, when I think how much a single Kosher pickle of this kind costs at a deli—oh, my!

The Husband and I bought our second gigantic jar of pickles last week. We went through the first jar in a little over two months. Uh-huh, we like our pickles. We don't eat a pickle every day nor do we each eat a pickle. Even though pickles contribute to our probiotic consumption, we gotta be moderate about it. We also do not want to get tired of these yummy pickles that take up a lot of space on the top shelf of the refrigerator.

The Mama doesn't care for pickles. Too sour. But, she does eye the jar, no doubt thinking about what could be stored in it. I asked her if she would like the first jar. …

P is for Pinakbet

Pinakbet.  What a chicken says when it wants to gamble? Nope.

Pinakbet. An Ilocano dish with eggplant, bittermelon, tomatoes, and long beans? Yep, that's it. If I happen to have kabocha squash and/or okra, I'll throw some into the mix, too. Depending on my mood, I'll make it with or without pork. On rare occasions, I'll go classic and add a bit of bagoong (fermented, finely ground fish or shrimp). I say rare because that stuff is very salty. Click here for a photo of what pinakbet looks like.

How do you pronounce pinakbet? I say pin-auk-bit.  But, you must realize that I don't have an Ilocano accent. Never had.

Pinakbet is one of my favorite dishes. When I was growing up, the mama cooked it often during the summer. Except for the onions and garlic, all the vegetables for the dish were freshly picked out of the daddy's garden. I have yet to eat a version that has topped or even come close to the mama's.  And, now, the mama's pinakbet is a lovely memory. T…

Savory and Sweet Scones

On Saturday, I decided to experiment with baking savory and sweet scones in the same pan. Hmm, I could've baked a full pan of both and stuck half of the scones in the freezer. That just dawned on me. But then, I'd have to remember to rotate the pans in the oven so that they each became evenly undercooked, burnt, or just right. Besides, if I had tried going for full recipes that day, I would've found out I didn't have enough rice flour.

As you can tell, I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants baker. (Do I need all those hyphens?)

Heads up, all you gentle readers who are precise measurers (measurists?) out there. Be prepared to shudder.

Savory Scones Ingredients
Handful of fresh chives, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5-inch chunk of cheddar cheese, grated

Sweet Scones Ingredients
Brown sugar (almost 1/2 a cup)
Chocolate chips (just more than a 1/3 cup)

I made the scones gluten-free because I didn't have whole-wheat flour on hand. Better on the tummy anyway. I shook the flo…

Being Heavy Handed

Burp.

Excuse me.

It's past midnight. Dinner was over at six this evening. I am still full.

Tonight's dinner was extra rich. I didn't realize it was. Until now.

We invited friends over for dinner, and  I wanted to serve something that would be easy to put together and eat because we were going to a meeting afterwards. So, I made fried sirloin beef wontons and shrimp and grits. The grits were cooked with gouda and cheddar cheeses. The shrimps, with a bit of onion and chives, were sauteed in olive oil, and at the last second (freshly cooked) bacon bits were stirred into the mixture. 

Fried meat bits. Shrimp. Bacon. Cheeses. Tooo, tooo heavy. I was just not thinking, was I?

The shrimp and grits dish was delicious. I followed (kinda) the Smokey Shrimp and Grits recipe at the Whistlestop Cafe Cooking blog. The cook adds creamed spinach to the dish. I didn't. Just as well.

Did I mention that we had semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies for dessert?

And, that I drank a bottle of Fire…

Yummy and Nutritious Sidewalk Weed

"We're having sidewalk weed again."

"Oh joy," said the husband.

Not really. He didn't say that. He just ate it. Until a few years ago, he didn't know that the weed he saw growing wildly along the sidewalk and on vacant lots was edible. Ha! Then he met me.

Specifically, I'm talking about purslane, also known as pigsweed. Portulaca oleracea is its scientific name. The Mexicans call it verdolaga. The Mama calls it kakalangay (an approximate Ilocano spelling to what I hear). Not ngalog, she says. That's something else.

Have I lost you? I'm talking about the fleshy, pinkish looking weed that spreads out on the ground. It look anemic and very unappetizing. Water it, and voila, you have what you see in that photo above. It is good to eat.

Very good to eat, in fact. Tasty, too. The weed, okay the herb, is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and a whole bunch of the B-vitamin complex. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acid goodness. Bette…

Recipes to Try

Today, I read a recipe for sunflower cupcakes by Megan Berry at her blog, Fowl Single File, that had me drooling. Her cupcakes are not made of sunflowers, but I'm sure you could probably add sunflower seeds or sprouts to the batter. They are chocolate cupcakes with yellow cream cheese icing edged around an Oreo cookie middle. Yummm. They look like sunflowers. See for yourself!  Be sure to come back and finishing reading here. Click.

Did you notice that she used a pastry bag to get the sunflower look? I've never used one, even though I have one, because I feel kind of scared about using it.  But, those cupcakes look so tasty, I'm now willing to conquer the fear. 

No scaredy cat me!

That, in turn, got me thinking about recipes I've bookmarked from food/craft blogs that I like to read, but haven't tried making for one reason or another, including being lazy.

Not anymore.

Before the beginning of winter, I will have made the sunflower cupcakes and these recipes. I don't …