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!
The other week, I said to the mama and the husband that I would make an apricot pie for dinner. Then added, "Maybe." Just in case I couldn't. "Where are you going to get the apricots?" the husband asked. "I took a bag out of the freezer yesterday." I was sure they were apricots and not persimmon. We still have a few bags left of last year's harvest in the freezer. Of course, none of the bags have labels. Like almost everything, baking can become an adventure for me. Ingredients Flour. I had less than a cup of unbleached white flour. At least I thought it was wheat flour. For good measure, I threw in a handful of garbanzo flour and another handful or so of brown rice flour to make 2 cups. Two-crusted pie was what I wanted to bake. Shortening. I used coconut oil. I cut it into the flour until everything was nice and crumbly. Then I added 1/4 cup of ice cold water. Dry. I added another quarter cup. Dry. Another quarter. Still dry. By then I suspected
Not to worry. This is not another post about food as metaphor like yesterday's post about potato salad. I really have a recipe about chocolate croissants. A cheating recipe, that is. Yesterday I had a yen for chocolate. The whole time the husband and I were waiting in line at the grocery store, I was eyeing the candy bar racks. No, I won't moan about the rising cost of candy bars that are smaller than they once were. Oh, I just did. Anyway, the only thing that kept me from grabbing a chocolate candy bar was knowing it really wouldn't taste as good as I imagined. I wanted a true chocolate-taste experience like the one I get when I eat chocolate croissants from an honest-to-goodness patisserie. Unfortunately, we have no patisseries in town. The market where we shopped did sell freshly baked croissants. Not flaky, buttery rich ones, but okay enough. Fortunately, when the husband wasn't looking, I had slipped a package of them into the cart. La, la, la, la. Look over there
The plan was to make potato salad the other night. I had a bunch of mini Yukon Gold potatoes from the organic farm stand. And, the summer-like weather that night just called for having potato salad for dinner. So, I washed and scrubbed the potatoes and put them on the stove to cook. I set the heat to medium so I could forget about them for half an hour. By the time I took them off the stove, I didn't feel link mincing and dicing the other ingredients. I didn't think about doing all that while the potatoes were boiling. Playing Jungle Jewels on Facebook was just so urgent, you know. Sooooo, I made mashed potatoes. Didn't even take off the peelings. Here you go. My top-off-the-head recipe for Suddenly Mashed Potatoes . Dump potatoes into bowl. Add the last of the martini olives and their juice. (In my recipe, it was about 4 olives and a 1/4 cup of liquid.) Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Add about 3 tablespoons of butter or whatever you use in its place. Mash. Ma
Pancit, which I pronounce as pawn-sit , is a Filipino noodle dish. Until I was an adult, I thought pancit was made only with translucent mung bean noodles. Then I learned that many Filipinos make pancit with rice noodles or wheat noodles. It was a rude awakening for me. Still, to this day, I make pancit with clear mung bean noodles, the way the mama showed me. Always will. Preparing pancit isn't difficult, just labor intensive, especially if you want to add a variety of vegetables to it. While growing up, the mama cooked pancit for parties or other special occasions. After I got married, the mama would make a huge pot full of pancit so that I could take leftovers home to stick in my freezer. Now that the husband and I are living with the mama, I like to make pancit for her now and then. Like all my recipes, many of the ingredients vary each time I prepare pancit. The ingredient that stays the same is mung bean noodles. You can find it at any Asian market or at the Asian section i
My recipes are written on scraps of paper and backs of envelopes that are messily piled together on my designated cookbook shelf in the kitchen. I also have jotted recipes and stored them on my computer, which I will only find again by accidentally stumbling upon them. Computers are definitely not the place for me to keep them. In short, I need to go back to using recipe card boxes. Recipe card boxes are neat. I love finding them at garage sales and thrift shops. I just don't use them for their original intentions. The one on my desk holds business cards and all my library cards from different cities, for instance. Anyway, I think the day for transferring my recipes onto cute recipe cards is coming sooner than later. Earlier this month, one of my favorite cooking and crafts blogs—Skip to My Lou— began offering printable recipe cards for free. Yep, f-r-e-e! Who doesn't like free stuff, especially when the things are cute and useful. Thank you Cindy, the creative cool owner o
That’s right. Bacon fat. Does it make it right by using nitrates-free bacon fat? How about the fact that the recipe uses non-gluten flour? I created this biscuit recipe a couple months ago. The biscuits were dense and deelish. The hubby thought they were sweet. Mama ate her biscuit as her dessert. Before I get to my recipe, you ought to know that I’m not a purist. Nor am I precise about things, unless I need and/or want to. In other words, I measure by intuition. Sometimes my dishes are just yummy divine. Sometimes not. Fortunately, that's not too often. Huh? INGREDIENTS About 1/2 to 3/4 cup mashed roasted sweet potato 4 to 5 roasted garlic cloves 1 egg 2 cups gluten-free flour A slight palm full of baking powder 2 heaping teaspoons (regular spoons) bacon fat Yogurt (plain) HOW TO MAKE 'EM Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Mash the sweet potato and garlic together. Beat in egg to mix. Combine dry ingredients. Then, cut in bacon fat until the mixture is size of rice grains.
Peanut butter (PB) is a staple in our household. The husband and I eat it for breakfast almost every other day. That's why we can go through a jar of PB in a week and a half. The mama, on the other had, can make a jar last six months. I kid you not. And, the mama, definitely likes peanut butter, but she's very stingy (though her word would be "economical") about how much she puts on her roll or slice of bread. A month ago, she ran out of peanut butter. (Yes, we have our own separate jars.) I pulled out the jar of PB I had bought last year in anticipation of her getting to the end of her current jar. The "sell by" date on the new jar was January 2010. Sigh. I couldn't have the Mama eat a stale jar of PB for six months, and I surely didn't want to be eating it either. So, like any home cook on a budget, I found ways to use up the PB quickly and generously. I integrated it into a pasta dish and meat marinade, for instance. I also dug out the cookb
Kalua Pork is a Hawaiian Luau dish that you can make easily and cheaply. It is one of my comfort foods. How comforting? I froze 4 to 5 meals worth of it last week. Traditionally, Kalua Pork is a whole pig that's wrapped in taro leaves and then cooked slowly in an underground pit. That's what kalua means. Not to worry, you can make your own version of this delish pork that falls off the fork and melts in your mouth without bothering to dig a hole in your backyard. You also don't need to buy a whole pig. A pork butt (with or without the bone) is just fine. And, if you don't have taro leaves, that's okay too. In my recipe I substitute chard. Making Kalua Pork does requires slooow cooking. Some people use a crockpot. I use the oven. Just like almost any other dish, there is no standard way to make Kalua Pork. My recipe is heavy on the herbs to compensate for not using salt due to the husband's diet. Here 'tis. Ingredients 5 pound boneless pork butt 1 bulb of g
The other week, I wrote about m y day of frenzied cooking with a promise (mostly to myself) that I would post some, if not all, of the dishes I made. As usual, I had good intentions. Here's the but : I can't find my notes. Oh well. I do have a positive but though: Here's a photo of the shrimp toast I made that day for lunch. I recall the husband and the mama were smackingly happy about the repast. Many of you dear readers have probably ate shrimp toast as part of a dim sum treat. They really are simple and easy to make at home. You can combine as many, or as few, ingredients that you want with the shrimp. You can add fresh and/or dried spices and herbs. You can mince the shrimp, or dice it not so finely, as my photo shows. My recipe was very simple. Here's what I did: The Mixture. I combined diced shrimp with garlic powder, black pepper, minced chives (fresh), and a couple of teaspoons of rice flour. To make everything stick, I mixed in a teaspoon or so of mayonn
I'm the cook in my household. The husband is the dishwasher. Ever since we've been together, which is going on 15 years, I've been the cook. I was also the dishwasher, until the husband left his nine-to-five job. The husband becoming the dishwasher rates right up there with him not going down the path towards a heart attack, which he was bound if he hadn't left. I'm glad the husband doesn't mind washing dishes. He likes to say that he is a professional dishwasher. For one summer in his youth (a thousand years ago), he likes to remind me, he worked as a dishwasher at the Oregon Caves lodge. The husband says he can cook, but I'm still waiting for that yummy omelet he says he can make. This morning, I did get him to help me prepare tonight's dinner. My hands were all chickeny from cutting up a big ole chicken. Not wanting to wash my hands, I asked the husband to pull out a Pyrex container so I could soak some chicken parts in yogurt to make oven-friend
We bought a bottle of martini olives so we could celebrate the coming of 2010 in the comfort and safety of our home. I make a decent gin martini, according to the husband. However, he's still waiting for that Happy New Year martini. This is the second bottle of olives that we bought in the past six months with good intentions of drinking ourselves silly. Who wouldn't with such cute martini glasses from which to sip. (Ha! No dangling prepositions by which to chide me, Husband.) So, what are we doing with the martini olives? Mostly, I use it as an ingredient in what's-in-the-fridge concoctions. Because they're salty, I usually use one or two. Today the olives became part of a steak marinade. Here's what I did: First, I prepared and put these ingredients in my marinating bowl: 1 tablespoon red onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 martini olive, minced 3 branches of Italian parsley, roughly chopped Next, I added these ingredients (Note: These are all "about&qu
12:59 p.m. Drats ! Lunch time! I meant to start making lunch half-an-hour ago. 1 p.m. Race down the stairs, into the garage, and pull out a bag of frozen organic tomatoes from the freezer. Rinse the tomatoes, then thaw them in the microwave, on high, for 8 minutes. Next, wash and thinly slice 3 stalks of celery. Dice 1 white onion. Sauté ingredients until soft in a combination of olive oil and not-butter. 1:07 p.m. Run upstairs to fetch camera. Take picture of tomatoes in microwave. 1:09 p.m. Dump tomatoes into pot. Stir. Take a photo. Cover pot. 1:11 p.m. Finish cleaning and chopping half a bulb of garlic (10 large cloves in this case). Add to pot. With back of spoon, smash down tomatoes. Add in several mean shakes of black pepper straight from tin and 2 healthy pinches (probably 1 heaping tsp. each) of dried basil. When it comes to spices and herbs, I'm not subtle. Because the hubby must restrict his salt intake, I rarely add salt to the stuff I make. 1:14 p.m.: Carefully pluck