Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog

Regular blog readers know that I love mysteries.  A good tried and true author is Lisa Scottoline.  I know that if I pick up one of her books, I’m going to like it.   Regular readers know that last year, I decided to listen to nonfiction and read fiction.  So, in my quest for a fun nonfiction listen, I found:

Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman

Apparently Lisa Scottoline writes a column for a newspaper and these are the collected columns from that paper.  I had no idea she was so funny. 

From Amazon:

Somewhere in her mid-50s, twice divorced (from men she calls Thing One and Thing Two) and living happily in the burbs with her recent college-graduate daughter and a passel of pets, Scottoline maintains a frothy repartee with the reader as she discusses ways she would redecorate the White House (Cupholders for all!), relies on her built-in Guilt-O-Meter to get dreaded tasks done (a broken garbage disposal rates only a 1, while accumulating late fees at the library rates a 7) and contemplates, while making a will, who will get her cellulite. For some quick gags, Scottoline brings in various family members: mother Mary, a whippersnapper at 4'11 who lives in South Beach with her gay son, Scottoline's brother Frank, and possesses a coveted back-scratcher; and her Harvard-educated daughter, Francesca. Plunging into home improvement frenzy, constructing a chicken coop, figuring out mystifying insurance policies and how not to die at the gym are some of the conundrums this ordinary woman faces with verve and wicked humor, especially how her beloved dogs have contentedly replaced the romance in her life.

I really enjoyed this book a lot.  It was laugh out loud funny at times, and simply charming at other times.   I realize that I am probably her target market, and if this sounds like something you might enjoy, I highly recommend you giving it a try.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #243

Patchouli Shhhhh.  Quiet please,  and would someone please close the curtains?

Patchouli catching a few zzzz’s will be my entry for this week’s Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Jules and Vincent at Judi’s Mind Over Matter.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crispy Tilapia Strips

 Crispy Tilapia

I have a confession.  I adore fried fish.  I think it comes with growing up Catholic.  But it seems that now, or at least around here, it is difficult to find a good old fashioned fish fry.  I suppose I could fry my own, but I’m not a big fryer.  Not for health reasons, silly, I just don’t like how greasy my stove gets. 

So, I was willing to give Cuisine at Home’s Crispy Tilapia Strips a try.  I didn’t really have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The fish was soft and moist, the crust crispy (not as crispy as fried, but still pretty darn good).  My broiler was on the fritz, and by on the fritz, I mean that it takes forever to heat up and kick on, so that by the time it did, I was tired of waiting.  I’m sure if you try this, you’ll get a much more even and prettier crust.

Crispy Tilapia Strips

Serves 4

  • 1 lb tilapia, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450.  Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Mix the mayo with juice from 2 lemon wedges (about 2 tablespoons). 

Place the mayo mixture, the flour, and the panko on 3 separate plates.  Dredge the fish in flour, then in the mayo mixture, then in the panko.  Place the fish on a baking sheet drizzled with a little oil.

Bake until the fish feels firm about 8 minutes.  Then broil until browned about 1 minute.  Serve with tartar sauce and remaining lemon wedges.


P.S. No snow day for us today! No, Mr. Snow just had to wait and come in mainly tonight. Snow on a Friday night/Saturday - completely wasted. A mere 24 hours earlier and I would be smiling big right now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spanish-Style Shrimp

Spanish-Style Shrimp

The other day, I had some fancy schmancy shrimp recipe planned.  Only I had forgotten to get some key ingredient at the grocery store.  Since it was a weeknight and my brain had been all used up at school that day, I didn’t have anything left to try and become creative with a substitution.   And then I remembered a really simple saute of shrimp from:

The Minimalist Cooks Dinner

There are a couple of riffs on the recipe in the book, including a Scampi style and an Asian style.  But I had just bought a cute tin of smoked paprika on the sole basis that I love all religious art, so the Spanish-style was it.  This was quite tasty, completely easy, perfect for a weeknight!

Smoky Paprika!

Spanish-Style Shrimp

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 big cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 2 pounds unshelled shrimp
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a 10-12 inch skillet, combine the oil and the garlic.  Turn the heat to medium and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle.  Add the cumin and the paprika.  Stir, and turn the heat to medium-high, and the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.

Cooking stirring occasionally until the shrimp are all pink, but no longer because you don’t want to evaporate their juice.  Turn off the heat, add the parsley and serve.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lightweight or a Cheap Date

To say that alcohol relaxes me is an understatement.  Alcohol puts me to sleep.  Literally.  One beer, one glass of wine, and I am ready for a nice long nap. 

When I go to parties I have to alternate a glass of wine with a bottle of water, otherwise, I end up napping in their guestroom.  The Southern Brewer’s festival that is in town here each summer is out of the question.  Beer + Sun + Hot Day = big time sleep for me.

Still, I like wine and beer and gin and tonics and margaritas.  I just make all of mine weak.  So, on Saturday nights, when my husband makes some margaritas, mine are half strength, even sort of a quarter strength.  But guess what happened the other night??  Well, apparently there was football on the tv, while he was making my margarita, and he became distracted.  And apparently I drank real grown-up people margaritas.  When the room started spinning, he admitted to the football watching.  So, I told him I was going upstairs to bed.  I didn’t quite make it.  When he came up from the basement computer room, this is what he found on the couch.


 

Yes, that's Patchouli making a rare weekday appearance on the blog!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Garden Tuesday – Deadheading

Non deadhead flower. Guess who didn’t deadhead their flowers?

Purple coneflowers for everyone. And who will be scolding herself when the million little babies sprout up this spring?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spinach Salad with Scallops and Bacon

Spinach Salad with Scallops and Bacon

If you read this blog or my photo blog, you probably know that I’m kind of old school.  I like old things.  Vintage things.  Perhaps because I am a little vintage myself.  I am especially partial to vintage kitchen items, as you can tell from the photos in my sidebar. 

So, when I was contacted by Frigidaire, I was thrilled.  Frigidaire is a name that I have known and loved forever it seems like.  And it probably has been, since they have been around since 1916.  Even the name sounds all cool and vintagey.  So, anyway, they said that they liked my blog (gosh I love them more all ready) and they wanted to know if I would be interested in creating a recipe to put on their Frigidaire recipe page.   Obviously, they have me confused with people who actually create recipes, but fearless that I am, I said sure. 

So, being me, it had to be easy.  And also being me, without anyone else telling me what to do, it was probably going to include bacon.  Because when left to my own devices, bacon is always in the picture.    After some shuffling of things in my fridge and freezer, I settled on the ingredients for this.  I had a bag of those tiny (read cheap) bay scallops, and a pear in the fruit drawer, and a bag of baby spinach, and of course, bacon.  I have to say people, this was mighty tasty, truly quick and easy, and it has bacon.  What more could you ask for?

Spinach Salad with Scallops and Bacon

Serves 2

  • About 4 cups of baby spinach (enough for 2 salads)
  • 2 – 3 cups of bay scallops (I just used what I had left in a bag in the freezer)
  • 1 pear, cored and diced
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Swirl a bit of olive oil in cast iron skillet and add diced bacon.  Brown the bacon slowly over a medium to medium-low heat.  (I’ve found that a lower heat makes the best crispy bacon bits for a salad).  Since the bacon is going on a salad, you want it nice and crispy, this took about 15 minutes.   While the bacon is cooking, divide the spinach between two plates, dice the pear and place half on each plate on top of the spinach.

When the bacon is crisp, remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.  Add scallops to skillet and saute for about 2 minutes, until cooked through.  Remove with slotted spoon and divide among salad plates and sprinkle the bacon top (giving yourself more - you are the chef after all).   Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the pan if there are not a lot of drippings left (you will be making the dressing with them).  Add the apple cider vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and any addition oil or vinegar to your taste.  Pour over the salads and serve.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Wine Reviews #14

  Sofia, Blanc de Blanes, California 2007, Francis Coppola. $11.40This was our New Year’s Even wine instead of Champagne.  We say:  Sweet, fruity, almost like a sparkling gewurztraminer. Buy again:  Yes, if we are in the mood for a sparkling wine. 

 

 

Double Dog Dare Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc.  California.  $3.99.  We say:  weak, water, tastes cheap (which it was!). Buy again:  No.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #242

As a new celebrity, Smudge has a question.

Which is his best side?

 

            Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                  Or Left?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smudge’s dilemma  will be my entry for this week’s Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Nikita Cat.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf

What is your go-to side dish?  You know, the one that when you can’t think of anything else, it’s what your turn to.  Mine is rice.  I love rice.  A pristine mountain of steamed white rice is a thing of beauty. Perhaps I love rice so much because I love my rice cooker so much.  Or perhaps I love my rice cooker so much because I love rice so much.  It’s the whole chicken and the egg thing. 

When it comes to rice cookers, I admit, Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 10-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, Premium Whiteis the Cadillac.   Of course, now they even make them with induction cooking.  What I love about having a rice cooker is that it frees up the stove.  I don’t need a pot or a burner.  And for the most part, I don’t need to think.  I toss everything in there, turn it on and forget it.  It automatically switches to warm.  This one also has a porridge setting, which makes the best overnight oatmeal ever.  And if you have one of these, you simply must also have The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker

Well, now that I’ve gone on and on about rice cookers, let’s get back to my Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf, shall we.  If rice is my go-to side dish, this is my go-to rice.  It goes with everything.  Surprisingly enough, it actually came from

Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time")

Rick (and I feel like I can call him Rick), even gives instructions for doing this recipe in a rice cooker.  That’s the other beauty of the rice cooker, you can use just about any rice recipe in the cooker (though sometimes you have to play with the amounts of the liquid).  Whenever a recipe calls for sautéing the rice or aromatics first, I simply turn on my rice cooker and sauté it in there, then add the rest of the ingredients, close the lid and off it goes.  Since some of you might not have rice cookers (shock!), I’m going to post his original directions.

Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf

  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 small white onion, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • salt
  • 3 T. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Turn on the oven to 350 and position a rack in the middle.  Set a medium (3-quart) ovenproof saucepan over medium heat).  Add the toil, rice and onion.  Stir frequently until the grains of rice turn from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute a few seconds until fragrant, then add the chicken broth, 1 t. salt).  Stir and then let it come to a full boil.

Cover and place in the oven.  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan’s Tuscan Meatloaf with Roasted Red Potatoes

A slow cooker is a Sunday afternoon’s best friend.  Oh, I know.  It’s Sunday, you have all day to cook and play in the kitchen. Why use your slow cooker?  Well what if you do want to play in the kitchen, and by play, I don’t mean cook dinner.  I mean, maybe bake or try making homemade pasta or pickles.  Something fun.  Or maybe you want to play outside.  Or maybe you want to lie on the couch and read.  Or maybe you have 5 episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County to get caught up on.  See?  See the beauty of slow cooker Sunday!

With all this ridiculously cold weather in the south, I wanted comfort.  What is more comforting than meatloaf and potatoes?  I had never made meatloaf in the slow cooker, and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.

But it was wonderful.  My meat was pretty lean, grass fed stuff, so there wasn’t a lot of grease. This recipe was also wonderful.  Unique.  Not your every day meatloaf.  A nice change of pace.  This recipe can be found in:

 

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining

Jan’s Tuscan Meatloaf and Roasted Red Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 2 large slices white bread
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • 3/4 t crumbled dried oregano
  • 3/4 t crumbled dried basil
  • 1/2 t fennel seeds
  • 6-8 medium-sized red potatoes quartered
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Place the beef in a large mixing bowl.  Tear the bread and process in a food processor until reduced to crumbs.  Transfer to the bowl, add the onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon of the paprika, the oregano, basil, and fennel.  Using your hands or a large fork, mix gently, but don’t compact the meat.

Make an aluminum-foil cradle that will help you easily remove the meatloaf.  Tear a sheet of foil that is about 20 inches long.  Place the foil along the edge of the counter and tear in half the long way.   Fold each piece in half lengthwise, then again in half lengthwise. Place the foil strips in the crock in a cross shape, centering them.  The edges of the strips will hang over the edge of the crock.  Place the meat mixture in the crock on top of the strips.  Shape the meant into an oval or round loaf depending on the shape of your cooker.  Bend the strips in toward the meatloaf so they will not prevent the cover from closing properly.

In a small bow, toss the potatoes with the melted butter and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika;  arrange on top of the meatloaf.  Cover and cook on low about 6 hours.

About 30 minutes before the cooking time is over, pour the ketchup over the meatloaf.  You can remove the potatoes at this point (but I didn’t).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Lithuanian Woman of a Certain Age

What’s that saying…”you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy”?  Is that it?  Well, I’d like to add a new one.  You can take the peasant out of Lithuania, but you can’t take the peasant out of their modern American decedents.  Yeah, I know, it doesn’t have the same flow.

My great grandmother arrived by boat to this country from Lithuania, many many years ago.  Way before I was born.  She spoke limited English with a wonderful accent, and mostly what she said to me was, “pretty girl” and “such a pretty girl”.  I liked her a lot.

She had that look.  That wonderful sort of peasant look.  I loved that. 

But fast forward to now.  Now.  I just found a coarse-ish, gray-ish hair on my chin!  Please pay close attention to those ishes in the sentence above.  Only with those ishes could I type it.  Coarse-ish, gray-ish hair is way easier to type than coarse gray hair.  

Yep, I am on my way to becoming my great-grandmother. My peasant roots are coming out.  And apparently those roots are gray.  And they are on my chin.  The next time you see me, I’ll have on my kerchief and be stooped over with a bundle of sticks on my back.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Garden Tuesday – More White-tailed Squirrel

More pictures of the white-tailed squirrel.

Yes, I know they are not very good.

Still waiting for someone to buy me a telephoto lens.

Hint.  Hint.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Slow-Roasted Chipotle Salmon with Pineapple Cilantro Rice

I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to make a Rachel Ray recipe in 30 minutes.  But that’s okay.  My weeknight recipes don’t have to be just 30 minutes.  I don’t mind spending an hour, as long as it’s not a strenuous difficult hour.  Because when there is lots of chopping and cooking and pots and pans and that goes on for too long, I tend to get teary-eyed.  And I sometimes use bad language.  Especially if I’ve had a bad day at school.

So when I saw the recipe for Slow-Roasted Chipotle Salmon with Pineapple Cilantro Rice was an hour, I didn’t immediately close The Cuisine at Home, Cuisine Tonight Cooking mag.  Yeah, it was an hour, but it was any easy hour.

And believe me, it was an hour well spent.  This was amazing.  The salmon had just the right amount of heat, and the pineapple rice was the perfect accompaniment.  And the sauce.  Oh what can I say about the sauce?  A reduced white wine with ginger and lime juice and butter sauce???  Yes.  I can’t urge you enough to make this.  Also, look for that mag, I have made the Tortilla Chip Chicken, the Mediterranean Chops, and Sausage-Stuffed Portobello's from it.  All excellent.  And I still have a zillion more things marked to try.

Slow-Roasted Chipotle Salmon

  • 3 T. adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz each)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 t. cornstarch
  • 1 T. scallions (green part only), thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 225.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray.  (I just brush on olive oil).

Stir the adobo sauce, sugar, and salt together. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and brush the tops with half of the sauce.  Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes depending on how thick the salmon is.

Adjust the heat to broil, brush the remaining glaze on the salmon, and broil 3 inches from the heat for about 3-5 minutes.

Combine the wine, sugar, ginger, and lime juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup (about 7  minutes).  Blend the butter and the cornstarch and whisk into the sauce.  Simmer until thickened, about  1 minute.  Stir in the scallions and serve with the salmon and the rice.

Pineapple Cilantro Rice

Makes 4 cups

  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, undrained (15 oz)
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice (6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Saute onion in butter in saucepan over medium-high heat 3 minutes.  Stir in rice and saute for one more minute. 

Add pineapple, pineapple juice, water, salt and sugar.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes.  Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in cilantro.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cody McFayden – Shadow Man and The Face of Death

 

When did you discover that you love to read?  My earliest memories are of books.  Trips to the library, shelves filled with books, books scattered all over the house.  I will read anything and everything, if it is laying around my house and it has words on it, I will read it.

Something that was usually laying around my house when I was young were my mom’s True Detective magazines.  I loved those magazines.  Scary, yet I couldn’t tear myself away from them.  I remember pouring over the pictures of the body bags, the garish black and white crime scene photos.  To this day, I remember a photo of a simple, comfy armchair with a pair of shoes on the floor in front of it.  The caption read something like “This is where Suzy last sat, while babysitting.” I remember that so clearly, because it popped into my mind every single time I babysat!  Every single time.  I would, of course, be thinking.. “don’t think about it, don’t think about it, don’t think about it” over and over in my head, but you know how well that works.

So, what I’m saying is my love for scary, gory, crime, murder, and mystery goes way back.  My favorites are the psychological thrillers.  You know, the ones where you have some really crazy killer and you try and get inside their heads.  Love those.  Which is why, I am completely thrilled to discover Cody McFayden.

I started out reading Shadow Man.  Loved it.  Hugely.  Then through the power of my Kindle, within minutes, I was able to get his second book, The Face of Death.  Loved it.  Guess what’s on my Kindle right now, yep, his third book, The Darker Side: A Thriller

These books are everything I love in a psychological thriller.  Intelligent and extremely sadistic and frightening serial killers stopped only by slightly more intelligent FBI profilers.  This is my favorite tv show, Criminal Minds in book form. 

And let me say one last thing about the Kindle .  This right here is my new favorite reason to love my Kindle.  The ability to read an author, discover you love them, and with the press of a button, read all of the rest of the books that author has written.  I will be able to finish series so easily now.  I love it.

Both books 4 1/2 stars from me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #241

Smudge

Smudge would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of Cutest Senior Cat on Facebook from the Old Cats Rule fanpage on Facebook.

World's Best Cat Litter Goodies

Smudge appreciates his case of World’s Best Cat Litter (he plans to put it to use right away!).  He especially likes the cute litter mat and he thinks I will look extremely attractive in the t-shirt they also provided.

He also thinks that all human’s accessories should have kitty cats on them.  That’s why he whole-heartedly approves of this cute bag from Atomic-Housewife.

Smudge and all his winnings will be my entry for this week’s Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Breadchick and LB at ***The Sour Dough.


***Edited to point to the right host!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bloody Mary – Food For Thought!

When the lovely Jain from Once In a Blue Moon contacted me about a new challenge idea called Food for Thought, I was intrigued.  We are both avid readers (she, way more avid than me) and we love to cook.  It seemed like a lovely idea. 

One slight problem.  My latest reading kick.  Murder mysteries.  Not just murder mysteries, but bloody, gory, serial killer mysteries.  No, cute cozy mysteries for me.  These books do not lend themselves to prettily prepared dishes.  I turned to Jain for some help and she came up a perfect solution…a Bloody Mary.  Hey, I’m always willing to swill a cocktail, especially if it is for you my loyal readers. 

I haven’t had a Bloody Mary in ages.  What with the tomato juice and the celery stalk, I felt downright healthy drinking it!  There are lots of variations for recipes.  I am ashamed to say that we used a bottled mix.  It was easy just 4 parts mix to one part vodka and toss in a celery stick.

I’d like to try one from scratch though.  What about it, anyone have a favorite recipe?

So, this brings my first Food for Thought to a close.  No food and no recipe.  Jain is so thrilled that she asked me to participate, I bet.  Be sure and follow the links and go check out how you too can participate.  You’re probably reading a nice normal book, with tea parties or dinner parties, and all other kinds of inspiration. 

Oh yeah, the books that inspired this Bloody post were Shadow Man and The Face of Death both by Cody McFadyen.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HBin5 Basic Whole Wheat

Whole Wheat Crackers Whole Wheat Crackers

I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the HBin5 challenge.  It’s where a bunch of foodies bake their way through the new

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

This book follows the same premise as their first book, only this time using healthier whole grain flours.  

Michelle, from Big Black Dog has put together an amazing schedule.  She takes each main recipe and then finds two more recipes that you can make from that main recipe.  So, the idea is, you make one batch of dough and then bake three things from it.  Genius. 

Whole Wheat Bread Basic Whole Wheat

So, why do I only have two pictures, because that is also the beauty of this challenge.  You can do as much or as little as you like.  I was only able to get two things made, and it doesn’t matter, I can still participate.  My favorite challenges are those with loosey goosey rules.

Also, please note, my cracker rolling skills leave much to be desired.  Some of them were nice and thin, and others more like a flat bread, and others puffed out like cute individual little pitas!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cricket – Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea

 

Green Tea

Does your grocery store have that little clearance section? You know where the day-old bread and various other sundries end up.  Isn’t that funny how words pop up into your head?  Take sundries for example.  That fits perfectly in the above sentence, but I have absolutely no idea what it means.  It’s one thing to sound intelligent, it’s a whole different ball game to actually be intelligent.

Anyway, my store (which is a fancy healthfood store), has a section.  I pour over it every week deciding which item I simply must have, because it’s on sale.  Above it this week’s must-have item.  Hey, it was regularly $4.49 for a four pack, marked down to $3.49.  That’s less than a dollar a bottle.  It was pretty good too.  Not too sweet, plus it has 32 mg EGCG.  Whatever that is.

Check out my Sidewalk Shoes 365, I posted the lid to the bottle.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spanish Salad

The other day, I was having something light for dinner, a frittata to be exact.  You know how in the books they always say, “just serve with a salad and you have a light lunch or dinner”?  Well, I love that.  It sounds so European to me, even though I have no idea if the Europeans have light lunches and dinners served with salads or not.  Mainly because I rarely stray from Soddy Daisy TN, where light lunches and dinners are definitely not the rule. 

So anyway, I was having a frittata and Cuisine at Home suggested that I serve it with a Spanish Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette.  Since I practically always do what I’m told (unless it’s my husband telling me to do something, that I usually manage to forget).  Now, I don’t know what makes this particularly Spanish.  It seems like an unusual combination doesn’t it?  Green olives, oranges, tomatoes, almonds?????  But it works.  It makes a mighty tasty salad, one that is a little more substantial than your usual salad. 

Spanish Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

makes 4 servings (8 cups)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 4 oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup halved green olives
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot and Dijon in a small bowl (or do like I do and put in in a jar and shake).

Toss together the salad ingredients and toss with the dressing. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wine Reviews #13

Ropiteau, Vin De Pays D'Oc, Pinot Noir, 2007, France. $8.99. They say: Cherry and strawberry fruit flavors. We say: very fruity, light, tasty, finishes a little minerally. Buy again: yes.

Plungerhead, Old Vine Zinfandel, 2007, Lodi. $15.99. Yes, another wine we bought purely for the label. As Monty Python fans, how could we resist? They say: Fresh crushed berreis perfectly laced between a core of oak and cinnamon spice with notes of white pepper and sweet plum We say: we would say everything they said if we could actually talk that eloquently. But we can't so we say, yes! Yes! Yes! Excellent. Buy again: Yes!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging #240

La, la, la. Smelling the plants, minding my own business.

Hey! I didn't know you were there!

Here I come! Here I come!

What? You didn't think I was running over to visit you, did you?

Patchouli will be my entry for this week's Weekend Cat Blogging, hosted by Sammy & Miles Meezer and Billy Sweetfeets Gingersnap.