Sunday, May 31, 2009

Southern Reading Challenge

Southern Reading Challenge


You didn't think I was going to let the summer go by without trying another reading challenge, did you? How about a challenge that just runs over the summer, yep, from May 15 (hey, that's my birthday) till August 15 (boo, I'll be back in school) are the dates for the Southern Reading Challenge. Follow that link and read all about it, join me and the 70+ others who are participating. All you have to do is read 3 Southern style books.

Being the overachiever that I am, I plan on reading 6.

1. The Gin Girl by River Jordan.
2. The Sugar Queen (Random House Reader's Circle) by Sarah Addison Allen.
3. Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits by Celia Rivenbark.
4. Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson.
5. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.
6. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekend Cat Blogging #208

Dumb Smudge


Yes, we grow grass for our kitty cats inside. It's a way for them to get their greens in the winter. As you can see Smudge finds it irrestible.

Dumb Smudge


What you can't see, is that I just let him in. From the great outdoors. Where it is a balmy 82 degrees and the grass is high with all this rain. But still, the first thing Smudge does is go straight for this.

I used to think he was smart.

This will be my entry for this week's Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Sir Tristan Tabbycat Longtail!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mystery Salad

Mystery Salad


Well, as my summer vacation has officially begun, I have also officially begun the great organization of my life. I am going to get everything organized, from my pantry, to the garage, to my fabric, to my freezer. Everything. You do believe I can do it, don't you? If you are secretly harboring any doubt in my ability, it will be all your fault when I don't. I hope you will be able to live with yourself with that kind of guilt.

I began with my backlog of cooking pictures. This salad. A prime example. All I know about this is that I made it August 11, 2007. It looks good. Some sort of beet, avocado, goat cheese, salad with a sauteed chicken breast on top.

I know this is a completely lazy post. But I just got a Blackberry yesterday and I have already messed it up and my browser is stuck on some downloading screen and I can't make it stop and I can't figure out my email and..and...and

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TFF - Marinated Chickpeas

Tyler's Chickpeas


Being caught up in the whole giddiness of summer vacation, I completely forgot about my Tyler Florence Fridays entry! So, I hurried up, flipped through some books and found the easiest, quickest thing I could make.

What I found was Marinated Chickpeas in Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time. These were quick and easy and can be made from everything found in your pantry. While, I thought they were good, they seemed a little strong. A little heavy on the paprika and the cumin seeds. So, I did me some googling and some searching and I found another version of this recipe. The other version comes from Eat This Book: Cooking with Global Fresh Flavorsand it's proportions seem more ideal to me.

Marinated Chickpeas
from Tyler's Ultimate
Serves 6 to 8

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

Saute the garlic, chile, cumin, and paprika in olive oil until fragrant, a minute or two. Let cool and pour over the chickpeas; season with salt and lemon juice. Puree about 1/2 of the chickpeas in a food processor until creamy, then combine with the whole chickpeas.

***You know what, I just realized as I typed that, I didn't puree 1/3 of the chickpeas. That would probably mellow the flavor and disperse the spices more evenly. Motive of the story...reread your recipe as you're doing it. Sorry Tyler. I promise to obey your every command from now on. Promise. If not, you can just come right over and give me a good talking to.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt


Oh, happy day!!! Last day of school!!! What better way to celebrate than with something frozen!!

I paused...right here...to go see if I had ever posted this strawberry frozen yogurt before, because I make it every time I have strawberries. And how is this for weird, last summer on the very last day of school, I posted Strawberry-Buttermilk Gelato! What's up with me and frozen strawberry desserts on the last day of school?? Tune it next year, same bat-time, same bat-channel, and see what cool strawberry concoction I have up my sleeve.

This recipe comes from the ice cream man, David Lebovitz, Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments. If you don't have this book by now, I can't help you. I couldn't imagine facing a hot, sticky summer without it. (Or a cold winter, or a breezy spring, or a crisp fall).

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
from
Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments
Makes 1 quart

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kirsch
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Slice the strawberries and toss in a large bowl with the sugar and the kirsch. Let it set at room temperature, covered for about an hour.

Pour the strawberries and their juices in a blender and puree with the yogurt and lemon juice. You can strain this if you want to through a fine strainer (but I don't).

Refrigerate for about an hour to chill and then process in your ice cream maker per it's instructions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catmint Nepeta - Walker's Low

Catmint and Roses
If you are not growing Catmint Nepeta - "Walker's Low" in your garden, you really need to stop and ask yourself, why not??

Catmint and Roses

It was named Perennial of the year in 2007, and with good reason.

Sidewalk Bed
I am seriously telling you, you must go out and get this plant. Do not be like my daughters and wait 5 years after me telling you something, and then you come to me and say "oh, you know Mom, you were right, I should have listened to you." Don't be like that, especially the part about calling me Mom, because that would just be weird.

***Edited to add*** This is not catnip! It is a completely different plant. It doesn't attract cats at all. It's a wonderful perennial flowering plant.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Grilled Mustard-Dill Burgers

Grilled Mustard-Dill Burgers


Happy Memorial Day to everyone in the US! If you're like most Americans you are probably grilling something today. So, in honor of that, I bring you Grilled Mustard-Dill Burgers. I still have a zillion pounds of ground beef from the side of beef we purchased last November, so I'll probably be grilling burgers every single weekend this summer. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. Between burgers on Saturday and roasting a chicken on Sundays, my weekends are planned from now until..oh say..October or November! Again, I reiterate, my life = boring.

This was a really easy and quick way to jazz up burgers. They were very moist and flavorful. The dill flavor was not too prominent, which I liked. You couldn't really tell what was flavoring it, only that it was different than a plain burger.

Grilled Mustard-Dill Burgers
from
The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh
Serves 2

3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
10 ounces lean ground beef

2 hamburger buns, split
2 tomato slices
2 Bibb lettuce leaves

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons sauce to small bowl and reserve. Add meat to remaining sauce in medium bowl and mix gently. Divide meat mixture into 2 equal portions. Flatten each to 1/2-inch-thick patty; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill cut side of buns until toasted, about 1 minute. Grill patties to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Spread bottom half of buns with reserved sauce. Top each with burger, tomato slice, lettuce and bun top.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not a Social Butterfly

Promises, Promises


This may come as a shock to some of you (or not), but I am very boring. Always have been, always will be. I hate to burst your bubble, but I am not a social butterfly (you did think I was a social butterfly, didn't you?!)

For as long as I can remember, back to my wee years, while everyone else looked forward to beaches and suntans, and sports and camping, in the summer, I looked forward to the library.

Oh, that first glorious trip to the library! Where I would pick my 5 or 6 books for the week. The whole summer spread before me, endless days of reading under blue skies. This is one of the reasons I love being a teacher, it's almost like being a kid again. The stack of books, the promises of stories to be read, characters to love or hate, worlds to escape to.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend Cat Blogging #207

That's funny, Smudge doesn't remember ordering the soup and salad. He is sure that he ordered the tuna surprise.

Who does he need to talk to around here to get this order straightened out?

Smudge will be my entry for this week's Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Samantha and Tigger at Life From A Cat's Perspective. And yes, I know, Smudge was the featured kitty last weekend also, but he has been hogging the camera limelight lately.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Swordfish with Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Relish

Swordfish


I carry around a pocket guide from the Monterey Bay Auarium, but even with that sometimes it's hard to know what's ok and what's not. For example swordfish. You are to avoid imported swordfish caught with a longline, but it's okay if it's caught in Hawaii with a harpoon or handline! See? So, I try to avoid all those questionable fish and just stick to the ones that I know are okay, but my husband bought the swordfish, and well, it was already bought, and you can't waste food, and besides, oh my gosh, I had forgotten how good swordfish is.

This is so fresh and light, and easy. This is actually what I made for my birthday dinner. I know, I know, cooking for my own birthday dinner! But we had gone out the weekend before for my daughter's graduation, so I felt like being a little frugal, plus really, this was as good as, if not better than anything I would have gotten at a restaurant around here.

Swordfish with Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Relish
adapted from
The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh
Serves 2

2 6-to-7 ounce swordfish steaks
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tomatoes, seeded, diced
2/3 cup diced pickling cucumber or English hothouse cucumber
5 radishes, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Brush the swordfish steaks on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and let it stand while preparing the relish.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and cilantro, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and grill over a medium-high to high heat for about 4 minutes per side (or until is fish is cooked to your liking).

Serve fish with relish.



This recipe using my very favorite herb, cilantro, will be my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Cinzia at Cindystar.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Easy Grilling

Easy Grilling


You know, sometimes you feel like making a fuss and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you feel like assembling an array of ingredients and creating a feast. And sometimes you feel like sitting on the porch with a bottle of a lovely summer white wine and letting the grill do all the work.

Easy grilling = grilled brats smothered in mustard and sauerkraut and grilled rosemary potato packets. Oh, and more wine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strawberry-Orange Muffins

Strawberry-Orange Muffins


Last year, my CSA supplied us with huge amounts of strawberries. So, many that I still have bags of them frozen. This year, unfortunately, all the rain has not been kind to the strawberries. We have been eating our share, with no more preparation than a quick rinse off. I portion them out, so that we have two days worth, because really, without some restraint, these would be gone way too fast.

To spread the love, so to speak, I used half in the Strawberry-Orange Muffins from Eating Well. They were very good. The strawberries cooked away, leaving little, moist, purple-ish sections. One of the reviewers stated that they didn't have that much strawberry flavor. Well, it was only a cup and a half of strawberries spread over 12 muffins. I thought it was a lovely way to extend them, instead of gobbling them up. Rather than posting the recipe, I'm going to just let you click on the link above, I hope you don't mind, I'm feeling rather lazy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Garden Tuesday - Geraniums

Geraniums


Nothing says summer more to me than potted geraniums on porch steps.

Geraniums

Monday, May 18, 2009

Big, Cool Noodle Bowl with Roast Chicken, Cucumbers and Fresh Mint

Noodle Bowl


If you had to pick a favorite cuisine, what would you choose? Is it an easy decision for you? It's not for me, not at all. I love the hot curry pastes, cilantro and lime flavors of Thai; the earthy olives and tangy feta of Greek; the rich, buttery avocados and hot chiles of Mexican. But it is the cuisine of Vietnam that I turn to when I want fresh, peppery, tart flavors. And the book that I usually turn to is, Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes.

More Noodle Bowl


Since I had some leftover roast chicken, I was looking for something to use it up, and Big, Cool Noodle Bowl with Roast Chicken, Cucumbers, and Fresh Mint, sounded perfect. And, perfect it was. I can't begin to say how good this was. It was fresh, light, sweet, sour, hot and cool. What I really liked was that once you created the parts, you could assemble it however you felt. You could have more carrots, less cilantro, light on the cucumbers, heavy on the dipping sauce. The recipe states that the bean sprouts are optional (and they really are, because I forgot them until the very end, and it made no difference), and I would also have to say that the chicken is optional. It really didn't even need it!

Big, Cool Noodle bowl with Roast chicken, Cucumbers, and Fresh Mint
Serves 4

1/2 pound thin dried rice noodles or angel hair pasta
2 cups shredded lettuce or spring mix
3 cups shredded roast chicken, or 1/2 pound grilled shrimp, or 1/2 recipe of
Lemongrass Beef
2 cups peeled and sliced cucumber
1 cup small sprigs of fresh mint and fresh cilantro combined
2 cups mung bean sprout (optional)
1 cup shredded pickled carrots (or regular carrots), optional
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
double recipe of Everyday Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)

Cook noodles as describe on package. Drain and rinse with cool water and drain again.

Set out 4 big noodle bowls. Divide the ingredients amongst the four bowls, starting with the lettuce, then 1 1/2 cups of noodles per bowl. Put the roast chicken on one side, then the cucumbers, herbs, and any of the optional ingredients that you are using. Sprinkle with the green onions and the peanuts, pour over 1/4 cup of the dipping sauce (or however much you like) over each portion. Serve.


Look I have a Mortar and Pestle


Everyday Dipping Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup

1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce, or finely chopped fresh hot red chillies, or 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine the garlic, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce in the bowl of a mortar and mash to form a paste. Scrape the paste into a small bowl and combine with the liquid ingredients. Stir to combine. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.


Everyday Dipping Sauce


This will be my entry for this week's Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by KItchenetta at Got No Milk.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Red House


I love old houses. When my husband and I bought our first house in St. Louis, it was a big, old, brick rowhouse, built in 1896. I loved the history of the house, the stories that it held in it's walls. When I walked down the staircase, I would imagine women, holding their long skirts up with one hand, as they made their way down the staircase. So, when I saw, Red House: Being a Mostly Accurate Account of New England's Oldest Continuously Lived-in House, I grabbed it, eager to read.

The Red House is the oldest continuously lived in house in New England. It was built by Walter Hatch in 1646. When he died, he left a will saying that the house could never be sold. It was to be passed down from generation to generation. It was, for over 300 years, until 1965 when Sarah Messer's parents bought the house. The author alternates between telling early history of the house and her own family's history. She does this only marginally successfully. The historical stories of the house are interesting, her family's stories are not. Some of the family stories are relevant and relate to the house, but then others seemed to be tossed in for no apparent reason.

At one point, the author describes one of her boyfriends: "He smelled like geraniums, screen doors, metal screws. Once, while walking, he grabbed a handful of apple petals and stuffed them into a tree. "There, this is you," he said."

Snippets and memories like this are tossed in amongst the house's story. It is jarring, and I found myself reading over them quickly, except some of them are just so odd, like the one above, that I tried to figure out the reasoning for including them. And really, unless you're a celebrity, I really don't care what your wore to your prom.

I'm giving this 3 stars based on the parts having to do with the house, the rest would get zero to one stars.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekend Cat Blogging #206

Smudge
"After scolding one's cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference."- Charlotte Gray

Smudge is my entry for this week's Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Amar and Luna at Catsynth.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

The Best Gift Ever


Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday Dear Meeeeeee!
Happy Birthday to Me!

The Best Gift Ever's Accessory


Yep, my birthday, May 15th. A pretty good day for a birthday, unless you're a mother. Then you realize that your birthday is always right before, right after, or sometimes even the same day as Mother's Day. I don't know who I need to talk to, but I would like to get Mother's Day moved to October.

But this year, I took the bull by the horns (I am a Taurus after all), and told everyone not to get me anything. No, I'm not one of those "Oh, honey, don't bother getting me anything" kind of people, I'm more of a "Don't worry about it, I've already ordered my gift, thanks".

And guess what!!! I got just what I wanted, KitchenAid KPRA Pasta Roller Attachment for Stand Mixersand of course, I needed the, Norpro Pasta Drying Rack. I know that just yesterday, I declared this summer, the summer of canning and stuff, I guess I'll have to add pasta making to that!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

TFF - Quick Pickled Radishes

Quick Pickled Radishes


Guess what people??? There are 10 more days of school!!! Ten more days until I begin working on the great to-do list that threatens to fill up every single day of freedom. On top of the great to-do list (which may or may not still include..clean out the garage so we can actually park a car in it), I have officially declared this summer, the summer of pickling and canning and preserving and jamming and all kinds of other activities involving putting food in jars. I really want to get back into canning and have a stocked pantry with pretty jars all lined up.

So, I've been pouring over preserving books, and googling various terms. During one of my searches, I found Quick Pickled Radishes from Tyler Florence. Guess who had just received a bunch of radishes in her CSA?

These were yummy. We ate them like pickles with a sandwich, and then later sliced on a salad. I didn't have champagne vinegar, so I just used white wine vinegar. I also didn't have 4 bunches of radishes, only one, so I had to 1/4th the recipe (and practice my sorely lacking math skills in the process). I didn't drain them, but just stored them in the fridge to use whenever.

Quick Pickled Radishes
Tyler Florence

4 bunches radishes, washed and split down the middle, with a little stem (about 1/2 inch) still attached

Pickling mix:
1 quart champagne vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup pickling spices
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 stems fresh wild fennel (optional or use 2 tablespoons dried fennel seeds)

Take a large deep dish and lay the radishes out in it (I just used a canning jar). In a large pot, bring the pickling ingredients to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the radishes. Cover tightly and set aside. Once cooled to room temperature, strain and serve.

This will be my entry for this week's Tyler Florence Fridays! What did you make??

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine

Chipotle Chicken Salad


Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick. I have not been so enamoured with a Rick since I was briefly married, in kindergarten, to Ricky Nelson. Unfortunately for that Ricky, I dumped him for Elvis Presley. Alas, I was quite fickle in kindergarten. But not so with Rick Bayless. Rick and I are going to have a long, fruitful, tasty relationship.

So, you know I've been roasting a chicken every week. Yep, still doing that, it's going strong on it's 4th week! Which means that I have leftover chicken to do something with every week. I turn to my new favorite Ricky, and find, Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine. This was wonderful, and easy, and tasty, and wonderful, and easy, and tasty. I tend to repeat myself when happy. The flavors in this were so fresh and it was so light and summery.

Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine
from
Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time")
Serves 4

1 large red-skin potato or Yukon Gold, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Salt
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and chopped
1/4 small white onion, finely chopped
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) coarsely shredded cooked chicken
2 cups sliced romaine leaves - slice them about 1/4 inch across
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
12 warm corn tortillas

Place the sliced potatoes into a large microwavable bowl, pour in 1/4 cup of water and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover and microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and let cool, reserving cooking liquid.

Add the vinegar, oregano, chipotle chiles and onion to the bowl with the potato water to make the dressing. Mix and then taste, add salt if necessary.

Use a fork to break up the potatoes (or just dice like I did) into 1/2 inch pieces, then place them in a large bowl. Add the chicken, drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine. You can refrigerate it for a half and hour to allow the flavors to blend.

Just before serving, add the lettuce and avocado, and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to combine. Serve with warm tacos.


Chipotle Chiles


And for those lucky people still reading, here is my frugal tip of the day. Whenever I buy those canned chipotle peppers, I always separate them onto individual wax paper sheets, and wrap them up. I place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. That way when a recipe calls for one or two chilies, I just pull out the required number of packets.

Your welcome.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden Tuesday - Petunias

Petunias
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

Petunias


Petunias

Monday, May 11, 2009

Five Versatile Kitchen Tools

I have been out of town all weekend, (middle daughter graduated from college!!), so when Cookware.com offered to do an article for my blog, I gladly accepted their fine offer. You will obviously recognize that I didn't write this, since it is all spelled correctly and is grammatically correct. Expect my usual drivel tomorrow.


Five Versatile Kitchen Tools


When it comes to kitchen tools and appliances, the one thing that we find customers looking for the most is versatility. And there are a number of good reasons as to why this is the case. Multi-function kitchen tools can save you money (as you would have to buy separate tools/appliances for different tasks) and it frees up space on countertops, pantries, and cabinetry thus giving you more room to store cookware sets, flatware, and other appliances. So we’re going to take a look at five kitchen tools that have versatility to satisfy the demands of even the most die-hard foodie chef.


Viking 5-Quart Stand Mixer


When it comes to stand mixers, the Viking is the granddaddy of them all. It’s extremely durable and has an 800-watt motor (which is one of the most powerful among stand mixers) but what really sets this one apart are the sheer number of accessories that comes included with it. Included with the mixer itself is a “V” beater, whip, and a dough hook, and it is compatible with a number of other features, including attachments for pasta making, food grinding, blending, juicing, and slicing/shredding.


Although Viking is the one of the more expensive stand mixers on the market, its versatility and quality make this a worthy investment in the long run for any serious chef. Also available with 7-Quart capacity.


Paderno World Cuisine Stainless Steel Mandoline Vegetable, Fruit, and Cheese Slicer


As its name suggests, this Mandoline comes with enough attachments and thickness settings to effectively slice fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, and has a large capacity so that slicing will take less time. Mandolines are most commonly associated with Julienne slicing, but the World Cuisine model can also do crinkle and waffle cuts as well, and is an ideal tool for any dish that would require ingredients to be thinly and evenly sliced.


Vita-Mix Professional Series Blender w/ 64 oz. Container


Vita-Mix’s versatility comes from its sheer power. A powerful 2 horsepower motor gives it the power to tackle any blending challenge there is, whether you are trying to puree, chop, emulsify, or liquefy, and it is able to do so much faster than any other blender on the market, making food prep a cinch. What this means is that in addition to the usual blending tricks, the Professional Series can also perform such varied tasks as kneading dough, grinding coffee beans, or even heating soup!


Nesco/American Harvest 5 Tray Food Dehydrator


This particular dehydrator is perfect for a beginner who is looking into drying fruit or making jerky. Thanks to its amble 5-Tray capacity, it can hold plenty of food, which can save a lot of time as dehydrating is a long process. The overall process is much easier as well, as the trays doesn’t need to be rotated and are dishwasher safe. This kind of versatility and easy-care is something that most other dehydrators do not have, so this good bet for people might want to make their own trail mix or jerky but don’t want to spend too much time doing so.


Catskill Craftsmen Reversible Carving Board


This carving board is one of the few out there that is large enough to fit any carving or chopping needs and includes a juice groove. While it can be used to carve a turkey or roast, it can also be easily used to chop vegetable and slice bread as well. As an added bonus, it is also reversible, in case you are wary of using the same side for vegetables and meats.


Any of these items are a welcome addition to any kitchen because they are able to do more than similar items without costing a whole lot more. However, there certainly are many appliances, tools, and utensils out there that will help make food preparation easier and more fun, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled and keep in mind that it’s always worth it to pay a little bit more for a lot more versatility.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend Cat Blogging #205

Scrappycat
Scrappycat says that even elderly cats need to care about their grooming.

Scrappycat


Scrappycat
She said that she hopes you look this good at 88 (her age in human years).

Scrappycat will be my entry for this week's Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Breadchick and Lb at The SourDough.