Monday, July 27, 2015

It’s good for me to reread some of my previous blogs and make the recipes again!

I find it strange that I haven’t made a shrimp dish in quite some time.  Actually it was the end of May when I made the Gemelli with Sugar Snap Peas and Shrimp from the June issue of Martha Stewart Living.  Lately, we’ve just been eating a lot of macaroni and cheese and carry-out but after reading some of the blogs my viewers are visiting I decided to make some of those recipes again.  One of them was the tomato sauce I make often after blanching and peeling fresh tomatoes, big ones and even the smaller grape size.    

You might remember the crispy potatoes I made last year on July 10th  - crispy potatoes After boiling for 5 minutes, cut the potatoes in chunks and mix with olive oil and fresh rosemary and bake at 450 for 35 minutes.  I made them one day last week.

I also made the above pictured baked chicken again with part of a package of Kraft Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumb mix.  Kraft Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumb mix It’s enough to cover a lot of chicken so I stored the rest of the package in the cooler drawer to use again.

I also made the above Orecchiette with Butternut Squash and Sage after finding a small squash at Publix.  I love Orecchiette and crispy sage leaves a lot and I’m almost sure Butternut squash is my favorite.  That dish is one of my favorites but I have leftover again because my sister doesn't like squash!

A couple of weeks ago I baked some chicken legs and mixed them with the leftover sauerkraut, onions and carrot mixture I had in the freezer from the Braised chicken legs with Sauerkraut that I made last November.  If you wrap it well, it holds up nicely in the freezer for 8 months.  Mine did!

I haven’t made the flourless cake yet and basically because I’m too lazy to separate 6 eggs and then melt chocolate.  Yeah, I know but I get like that after I’ve already done a thousand other things in the last few days such as backing up my files as a precaution for when Microsoft downloads Windows 10 starting Wednesday I believe it is.  I do not want to lose any of my pictures!

My BFF Lynn in her middle twenties.  I am going by the wide belt that I remember wearing when I was in my twenties!

Aside from cooking, I got a wonderful email from Lynn who went to our class reunion this year and I thought I would die laughing when she said there was no one there but a bunch of old people.  I graduated in 1963 so I’ll let you do the math, (wink), but I don’t think of myself as old!  Never have, never will!  Anyway, we had a really small senior class compared to a lot of schools so we pretty much knew most everything about our classmates.  I was sad to learn of the ones who passed and others who have illnesses but I don’t regret not going to the reunion.  I figured I would probably have a great time and then never see any of them again but instead would read of their passing.  I would much rather remember them as I always have, from a distance except for the ones I’ve always been close to.

And what have you all been up to so far this summer?  I think some of you must be away on vacation.  I’ve been missing your comments!    


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

When Life Gives You Tomatoes and Sweet Potatoes, Leftovers and Triscuits…

I seem to have a lot of good intentions that often don’t come to fruition because of time constraints.  The days go by so fast and by the time I get around to trying a new recipe, time is up.  I was going to make a Flourless Chocolate Cake today after watching Sarah Carey bake one the other day in a spring form pan.  I managed to get the ingredients I needed and I even have that kind of pan but I thought I should first do something with a large container of grape tomatoes that needed to be used up.  I haven’t been in a salad mood lately so I didn’t get any lettuce to go with those tomatoes so they’ve just been hanging around.  I usually feel lost without lettuce in the house but I’m sure I’ll survive for a few days more.

Some of you may remember my blog about blanching and peeling tomatoes that I posted last year in June.  Here’s a picture of the blanched and peeled tomatoes under the blade of my apple corer.

And here is the sauce I made with them.

The other day I got to wondering how long it would take me to blanch and peel all those grape tomatoes I had on the counter and so I found out.  I don’t like peel on my tomatoes for sauce!  For sure, it took quite a bit longer than it took to peel the larger size but the sauce was equally delicious!  I made the simple tomato sauce that I usually make with onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil before I add the tomatoes, salt and pepper but this time I used fresh oregano instead of basil and simmered it for about an hour after it came to a boil.  Yum!

 I had two meals with it already and this is what was left today which I covered with plastic wrap and will have for dinner. 

I plan to get more tomatoes at Costco just to make more of this sauce and freeze it in single portions.  I have a seal-a-meal but I like those Zip Loc Zip ‘n Steam bags which are good in the freezer too. 

 The other day I heated up this dish, (Gemelli with Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas, May 26, 2015 blog), that I made 8 weeks ago and froze the leftovers.  They were just as good reheated which only took about 3 minutes to nuke in the Zip ‘n Steam bag.   

I thought I would take time to mention these great tasting Triscuit crackers that I’ve been eating like they’re going out of style.  I had the toasted coconut and sea salt that Martha created with avocado on it and another day I ate them with sliced pineapple and both times had to force myself to stop eating them.  The one on the right is made with less salt but just as good as any with regular salt. 

 Here are some with sour cream and a couple of blueberries.  Each box comes with recipes on the back that you can try such as chocolate and marshmallows heated under your broiler or you can create your own. 

I also decided to try one of those potatoes wrapped in plastic that you cook in your microwave for less than 10 minutes so I got a sweet potato.

 It cooked in 8 minutes and I ate it for lunch with butter of course, fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt.  I like the crunch of that salt while eating soft foods.  Next to my potato is a picture of my dessert, Dry-Roasted Edamame with Spicy Wasabi.  Whew, really spicy so I removed the skins! 

I’ll be back when I get that flourless cake baked and hopefully soon. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

‘Happiness is’…is a short story I wrote after seeing a picture on Martha Stewart’s blog

Martha posted some nice pictures on her blog that she took of her farm and when I saw picture #7, I was inspired to write a short story.  My fern pictures come from a stencil I bought years ago from Martha by Mail catalog.  I simply colored it in on cardstock paper and then photographed it.   Below is what I wrote yesterday.  I hope you like it.   

Happiness Is…
By Trish Castro

The three-day holiday weekend was coming up and by adding the two sick days I had saved up, I was going to have a nice five day vacation.  I needed to get away for awhile; anywhere remote and surrounded by quietness to still my mind was of utmost importance.  Another day like today and if the guys in white coats had come to get me, I wouldn’t have fought them off! 

I’ve always been thankful for my job, but this week was just too much!  What was Mr. Rafferty thinking?  That we were capable of non-stop torture because his tires weren’t selling!  He might have told us sooner of the manufacturer’s strike in Ohio, but no, he gave us an ultimatum instead.  While we waited out the strike and subsequently for new tires to arrive, we were to work on diminishing the non-saleable stockpile in the warehouse or lose our jobs!  Well, if this was going to be my way out of the company, when and if the time came, I, Mary Lou Reese, was not going to fight it! 

Being young and single didn’t make me overly confident but I knew I could find another job if I needed one.  I enjoyed selling tires and I was good at it but working for Mr. Rafferty didn’t provide the most pleasant atmosphere nor the security I and the other sales persons needed.  Most of them were married with families and this job was their lifesaver.  I was happy to not have their responsibilities but being the low man, or more correctly, the low woman on the totem pole almost guaranteed a boot out the door if I underperformed!

I made up my mind that I needed to find that place I saw from the road one day while up in Connecticut pedaling a rental bike.  It was only two hours away by car and looked so quaint and inviting, that little cottage surrounded by beautiful ferns.  I love ferns but living in the city puts a damper on ever growing any of my own.  To watch them sway in the breeze mesmerizes me as they lean to and fro with each gust of wind great or small without a worry in the world.  I always thought that when I die, I wanted to come back as a fern!

It was my lunch hour and so I had to work fast if I wanted to locate that cottage online and know if it was available for rent.  I remembered seeing a rental sign close to the road the day I rode by but I couldn’t remember the name of it.  Click, click, search, search, Smithfield, Litchfield, Hay field?  Okay, now I was getting silly.  Let’s see, ‘Cottages for Rent’ by the week.  That is what I remember reading on the sign.  Aha, Westfield Acres I suddenly recalled, and a phone number too!  I jotted it down and quickly went for a walk outside.  I had 15 minutes of my lunch hour left and that was plenty of time to make my call.    

The woman at the other end had that kind of voice that comes from someone who smiles a lot, pleasant sounding and full of cheer, if you know what I mean.  “Yes, my little cottage is for rent beginning Friday but you will have to get here early if you want it because we’ll be leaving for the lake after lunch.  My husband has to work half a day or we might have been leaving in the morning.”  She explained.  “I actually didn’t think I was going to rent it at all until your call, and so I tell you what.  Be here early Friday morning and you can have it at half price for the five days!

Happiness is!  Well, it’s a lot of things but in my case, it was spending 5 glorious days at that adorable cottage.  I arrived bright and early and was invited to breakfast while the owner, Mrs. Westfield, and I took care of the rental details and then I was off to explore all that I could find.  There were babbling brooks and trees everywhere.  Squirrels scampered about and rabbits jumped over fallen logs.  Birds chirped their melodious songs and only in the distance could an occasional bark from a dog be heard.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more secluded!

I wandered the woods and made one trip to town for groceries but other than that, I could be found on a chair outside that beautiful, and beautifully named ‘Woodland Cottage’ surrounded by gorgeous ferns.  I allowed those ferns to mesmerize me with their branches swaying to and fro with the wind until my turbulent mind felt at ease.  It was a good feeling and one I planned to hang onto.  After that, whenever my job got a little more than just hectic, I would think about those ferns and again feel calm.  Maybe, just maybe, happiness to me is a fern!
The End


Monday, July 13, 2015

Grilled corn from July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living and a few more trial recipes

I didn’t exactly grill my corn on the grill but rather on my NuWave grill pan and got similar results.  Not the charred look but it cooked up nicely and as my picture shows, it left grill marks in the process.  When the corn began sounding like popcorn popping, is when I removed it from the pan.

Here it is on a plate with the bacon I cooked in the microwave and a couple of mayonnaise packets I picked up at a fast food restaurant.  We normally use Miracle Whip but I wanted to do the full treatment so I used the mayo packets.

This is what it looked like slathered in the mayo as the recipe says to do and with the crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese, fresh pepper and fresh oregano.  Fresh oregano is fantastic and even better when you get it from your own plant like I did.  Yum!

Unfortunately, I don’t eat corn right off the cob but cut it off instead.  I’m always afraid my front tooth will lose its cap so no biting down in that area for me!  It was great just the same all mixed up on my plate and I ended up eating both ears.  My sister doesn’t like corn so she had bacon instead.

 Last week after I made the Peach Pie Crumble Bars I had some left over crumble so I used it in two mini pie pans and baked a sort of tomato tart.  I put fresh lemon juice and salt all over some grape tomatoes after I cut them in half and then baked them in the sweet crust with more crumble on top.  

They were really good!

On the 4th, we had steak that I wanted to marinate first but I only had one lemon so I decided to put all of the ingredients in the bullet along with the lemon peel and grind it all up.  The half cup of soy sauce turned the marinade a tan color but everything got mixed including the lemon peel.  It also had garlic powder, basil, parsley and Tabasco.  I liked it.

I also had to do something with some apples I had in the fridge so I sliced them thin with my little mandolin and made apple crisps.  I’m not sure I want to do that again even though they tasted good.  It was just too much work spreading out those thin apple slices on pans covered with parchment paper.  I soaked them first in fresh lemon juice to keep them from getting too brown before I put them in the oven.  Anyway, I had two cookie sheets of apple slices covered with cinnamon and sugar and it took a little over 2 hours to get the crisp result I wanted.  Do I dare say it?  Okay, the phone rang as usually and they actually got a bit crisper than I wanted but they were still good.  See them above with a turkey provolone sandwich on rye, slathered I might add with butter and not mayo or miracle whip.

On Saturday and just to use up the bacon, I made the above BLTs without bread.   I cooked the bacon in the microwave on our special bacon pan which takes 3 minutes, and then put a slice each in a lettuce leaf that had a bit of Miracle Whip, added the sliced tomatoes and some salt and had two breadless BLTs for lunch.

What kind of goodies have you all been rustling up?     

Monday, July 6, 2015

My Peach-Pie Crumble Bars tasted divine even though I can mess up a recipe!

My taste of the Peach-Pie Crumble Bar - Martha Stewart recipe at end of post.

I’m not a baker but once in awhile something catches my eye, like the Peach-Pie Crumble Bars I spotted in the July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living.  When I see goodness like that, I wonder if I can handle the recipe without messing it up too much.  I don’t do well with the sugar, flour and fruit mixtures that go into the oven but I try. Since I have a stand mixer now I decided not too much could go wrong but…!  I didn’t get flour all over the counter though like I usually do with my little hand mixer but I got it all over the sink as I worked at getting 2 cups of it out of the bag without getting it all over the counter.  I don’t keep it loose in a container because I worry about little bugs.  I hate little bugs!  I should have taken a before and after picture of the sink but I didn’t.

First thing I had to do other than preheat the oven to 375⁰ was to beat one stick plus 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter with 1 cup of sugar until it was fluffy.  How hard could that be?  Hard because my butter was not exactly room temperature yet!  Next I needed to add 2 cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt.  I’m always impressed when something basically dry except for the butter actually turns into a crust but it does; a crumble crust anyway.

I was supposed to use 2-1/2 cups of the crumble in the bottom of my buttered and also parchment paper buttered pan but I dumped the whole bowl in.  My pan was the wrong size with ½ inch extra on all sides so I figured I needed all of the dough anyway.  Don’t do as I did and handle it too much though as you use your fingers to spread it around the pan and only use what the recipe asks for to fit an 8x8x2 inch pan.  Otherwise your crust will be hard and you won’t have anything to crumble on the top once you put the fruit in.  Luckily my butter and flour was still out and I hadn’t washed the bowl or the paddle yet so I mixed up half a batch of butter, sugar, flour and salt and made more crumble.

The peaches I bought to fill this ‘pie’ is another story but here it goes anyway.  

I bought them on Friday and put them in the cooler drawer in the plastic bag.  Saturday morning after I finished filling medicine containers, I decided I would make the peach bars so I took out my bag of peaches.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything ripen so fast in my life as these peaches had!  As a result, I had to work feverishly to peel them and cut as much as I could into a ½ inch dice before they ripened anymore before my eyes.  I think I ended up with more than the 3-1/2 cups needed but I used them all anyway because I forgot to measure what I needed.  I had peach juice all over the cutting board and counter, skin and pits in the sink and a big mess to clean up before I could even start the crust, but I didn’t clean it up.  Hence, my big mess in the sink with peach skins, pits, and then flour all over that. 

I planned to use my NuWave oven but guess what?  After I had the pan all ready to go in, I realized it wasn’t the pan that fits my NuWave oven.  I needed to use a round pan.  My sister says, “Can’t you just switch the pans?”  Are you kidding me!  “NO, I answered, “now please go into your room and turn on your air filter because I have to use the stove oven for an hour.  “But I don’t like the smell of peach juice burning in the oven!”  She says.  “I won’t burn it now please go before my peaches turn to mush!  They’re ripening by the second!”

I was watching the time carefully until the phone rang.  Why does the phone always ring when I’m cooking?  Anyway, the crust got a bit overly-baked as you can see in the above overly-lit picture but I decided to worry about that later.  Luckily no juice spilled and burned in the oven but I needed to get the pan out on a rack to start cooling, and 20 minutes later I was to remove it from the pan and cool completely for an hour before cutting. 

Almost cooled enough for cutting.

I didn’t wait the full hour though so of course I didn’t get perfect bars but I planned to store them in containers anyway so that’s what I did before tasting one.

Another view so I can say, "Not bad eh, considering!"  

 Here is the recipe: Peach-Pie Crumble Bar If I can do it, you can do it better!  You will love them!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Martha Stewart Living July/August issue – Corn, Crabbing, No Cooking Recipes, Sundaes, Peach Crumble, a Terrace in the Treetops and More!

Don’t you just love this cover on the July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living?  It is quite an amazing issue!  I know one thing…if I don’t have time to cook anything else in this magazine; I plan to make that corn!  I almost bought some the other day but wasn’t sure what else I might need and figured I would have to make another trip to the store anyway so I held off.  As it turns out, I’ll need mayonnaise, fresh oregano, (I have a plant), parmesan and salt and pepper which I have all of except for the mayonnaise.  We use Miracle Whip.  Anyway, the corn looks good doesn’t it!

That’s not all that looks or sounds good and I speak of what is in the “What’s for Dinner, Food and Gathering” section.  I looked at those recipes the other day and came to a conclusion.  Normally, when I grocery shop I buy familiar items which don’t include tofu or bok choy, kale or even beets on a regular basis.  But, when I see a recipe in a magazine, online or in a book that I want to try, I then go out and buy those items that I don’t normally buy.  I guess what I’m saying is, thanks to the people who devise these recipes so some of us can try the different food items that we never tried before and therefore have an opportunity to decide if we like them.   I’m one of those people who look at tofu and say I don’t like it.  And why?  Because I’ve heard things about the ‘stuff’ and as a result, I don’t want to try it.  How stupid is that?  So in this month’s issue there is a recipe called Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Rice Noodles that looks and sounds inviting.  It calls for fresh ginger, scallions, honey, soy sauce, peanut butter and rice-wine vinegar.  What’s not to like?  I’ve decided this is my chance to experience a trifecta - Tofu, Bok Choy and Rice Noodles, and that’s not all.  No cooking involved!  All I have to do is boil some water!  There is also a Beet Garpacho with Shrimp, and okay I’ll tell you what the other two are.  One is an Italian Pressed Sandwich and the other is a Kale and Lentil Bowl with Avocado Dressing.  I find them all very enticing, and again, no cooking required!   

One page over are 15 kinds of Egg plant.  Did you know there were 15 different kinds of egg plant?  Neither did I!

And now for a biggie – A pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, and both recipes are included!  The sandwich pictured is quite big and it makes you want to take a bite!

Who wants dessert?  How about a Peach Pie Crumble Bar!  Even I might make those because I was actually drooling as I read the recipe and looked at the results, okay, stared at the results on the page.  They are golden squares, crumbled with gooey looking peaches oozing out here and there.  I’m not a sweet eater but I’d eat one of those in a heartbeat!   Before you get to the peach crumble bar, you will see the article called “From Martha” about Super Sundaes.  Think Strawberry Shortcake Sundae, a real lip smacker for sure and that’s all I’m giving away!    

Just one more thing and then you will have to go and get your own copy.  For those of you who have never seen Martha’s home in Maine called Skylands, I’m sure you will love seeing the Terrace in the Treetops with all the plants in full bloom.  It is quite stunning and if you want to see more of the inside of her home check out Architectural Digest online or you can purchase that particular issue.  The inside is also beyond stunning.  

Another great article is Island Idyll.  Think crabbing and eating crabs and other good stuff.  Yum!  

Happy summer reading and eating I’m almost sure you too will be making some of these recipes.  For those of you who don’t cook, remember there are those four recipes I mentioned that don’t require cooking so no excuses.  Have you seen that commercial on TV where this guy finally tastes Almond Milk for the first time and decides he likes it and the animated almond says, “funny how that works!”  So I’m going to try some things I think I don’t like but I just might like once I taste them.  How about you?         

Friday, June 26, 2015

Call me a foodie I guess because I never get tired of talking about FOOD!

I’m still not cooking a lot but we’ve been eating a variety just the same.  Nothing fancy but I have been taking advantage of my NuWave products such as my grill pan and my NuWave Oven.

 Bacon cooks fantastic in this oven.  Just 8 minutes for this turkey bacon and I cooked three batches of 6 each for the freezer.  From the freezer, they heat up in the microwave in a matter of seconds so I like to keep them on hand for BLTs and also for breakfast.

I also used my NuWave grill pan on my PIC, aka Precision Induction Cooktop, to cook some shrimp on skewers which were really good.  I found a recipe online that suggested we chill the shrimp in a bowl with 2 tablespoons each of kosher salt and sugar then rinse and add olive oil, chopped parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest and freshly ground pepper as seen above.  

 Here they are ready for the grill and they turned out very good.  I made a 15 second video of them cooking but would have to download to youtube first before putting it on here.  I do have it on Instagram though -  I’ll be making them again along with other foods I tested such as steak, burgers and even hot dogs!

 Picture of grill pan on my PIC.  My sister who rarely eats meat enjoyed a hamburger cooked on this grill because I was able to time it perfectly with the timer on the precision cooktop underneath.  She used to eat her burgers rare but now likes them just a little pink.  I like mine a little less pink!  Nothing rare or raw for me including steak tartare or even sashimi!  My egg yolks only run a teensy bit also!

 Costco has plenty of food for us to try so when I spotted this Roasted Tomato Couscous the other day, I had to get it.  I ate it with a grilled mozzarella on rye.  I sometimes buy their Tabbouleh but prefer to make my own because then I can cut the recipe down.

 Check out the color of this blueberry shake!  I usually get frozen blueberries at Costco but decided to try the Dole brand which I think tastes much better.  They are also bigger and are a nice color so I guess it will be Dole for me from now on.

Here’s a larger view of the pineapple monkey pod that was next to my blueberry shake.

 I noticed my lemons were starting to get soft the day I used them for my shrimp so I thought I should use them up in some lemonade.  Now that was really refreshing!  The sun made the glassful whiter than the pitcher.

And because I am a lover of hamburgers, I had to try a char grilled burger from the Habit which opened the other day.   I spotted it one Sunday when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s.   The line-up started at the door and it was 20 minutes to a half hour before my burger was ready to go.  I just left it in the car when I stopped into Costco to pick up a few things because it is so hot here, no way would it cool down too much before I could take a bite!  I’ve done that with ribs too because my car is in the garage where it is like an oven in the summer.

What goods things have you eaten or drank lately?    

Monday, June 22, 2015

To me, Botox is not a good thing!

Botox Syringe

Why won’t people just age gracefully without all the Botox and fillers or whatever they use to erase wrinkles.  In my opinion, those products change their looks completely with puffy cheeks and their eyes seem to disappear when they smile, and their eyebrows look different too.  I wish I had eyebrows but shaved mine off years ago and they never grew back.  My bad!  Anyway, I think faces that were once nice to look at become grotesque with Botox.    

I’m pretty lucky in the aging department with no wrinkles, unless laugh lines and a few creases are considered wrinkles, and my hair seems to be getting darker every day instead of gray.  I’m not bragging – that’s just the way it is.  My son tells me he hopes he ages just like me, with no wrinkles!  He looks good now so I’m sure he will age well.  Anyway, the little gray I have is not enough to make me want to start dyeing my hair because once you start with the dye, it never ends.  I have a former niece who has tried Botox and she dyes her hair blond regularly too.  I think she is about 12 years younger than me, but looks older.  She gave up drinking but I think she needs to stop smoking also.  Unfortunately, the fact that I look younger than she does keeps her from visiting anymore or so I heard through the grapevine.  I have also heard, “that damn Trish never gets any older!”

They need to take a look at my legs if they want to see aging.  I need a knee replacement in my right leg but there is no way I would leave my sister home alone to get the job done.  She can’t even lift the milk container to pour on her cereal, nor can she turn the valve to fill her portable oxygen tank.    My niece can’t help because she takes care of her three young grandchildren and the two year old is not fully potty trained yet.  She’s getting there though!  I’m sure we could hire a nurse for a few days but I’m not fond of that idea.

I don’t buy a lot of beauty creams so I really can’t recommend any except this moisturizer I use called ShiSeido Ibuku that I found on Amazon.  I actually use it to wash my face with a washcloth instead of putting it on after I wash my face. 

I also shower with a washcloth and unscented Dove nourishing body wash.  The more I think about it, my only beauty secret is probably to always just use a washcloth to get rid of old skin cells so new ones can grow, and to drink plenty of water to help the process along!

I know eating healthy is also good for us and I do incorporate fruits and vegetables in my diet but I can’t seem to give up hamburgers and spaghetti, although I normally only have marinara sauce.  When I get stressed out, which I do from time to time, and feel the need to eat something, I know I should be reaching for the raw vegetables instead of chocolate or chips.  Yep, there’s the rub – those darn chips and miniature candy bars.  I have to laugh at my son when he comes over and wants to know where my candy stash is.  Of course I ask, “What stash?” as he heads for the fridge and the drawers where I keep the candy WHEN I have it!  Not all the time though!  Bad girl just the same!

I just don’t understand why people have this strong desire to look younger when it is the look of time on a person’s face that shows their real beauty.  That’s my opinion anyway!   

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not Cooking Much Lately – Just Simple Eating!

When I get a hankering for something like salami, I can’t stop eating it so I had been having one of the sandwiches seen above, (olive oil on outside of bread, grilled salami and cheese), for lunch until I ran out of Torta bread.   Good thing – I was in salami overload!  

Lately, I’ve been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a whole lot of watching movies and other such stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I guess you could say I had gotten out of my cooking mode and into movie land.  I even watched 2 seasons of Hannibal just to catch-up.  I didn’t get into it on television as I wanted to because it was on the same time I watched something else which I think was Persons of Interest.  I’m all caught up now though with the awesomely morbid Hannibal.  I think I just like looking at Mads Mikkelsen!  He reminds me of a Danish guy I used to know at the dance studio years ago.  Aw, memories!  But now that I think about it, Hannibal might be the reason I haven’t felt like cooking.  You think?

Our temps have been in the high 80s but with the humidity figured in, it feels more like 99 outside.   Therefore, no gardening for me lately and even pulling a few weeds this morning around 10 sent me back into the A.C.  Before I came in, I took this picture of nine new branches of baby fronds on the ponytail palm.  They grow upward then cascade down as the fronds get bigger and green.  I thought it looked amazing against the sky!

I also transplanted some herb shoots I bought at Costco and they are growing quite well, especially the basil.  I will make some salads and pesto with the basil and parsley but I just want the oregano to grow and flower.  One basil is lemon which I have never tried but it should be good in my recipes.

I put my Madame Queen begonia in a bigger pot also and it’s hanging in there.  I get a little worried whenever I transplant something!

 Here are my other plants in my cooking area which is a table on the other side.  I keep the microwave, toaster oven and NuWave cooktop covered because of the humidity.

And then the other day and before my carrots went south on me, I decided to cook them in a glaze from a recipe on Martha’s site - Honey-Glazed Carrots.   They were superb and we ate them with mac and cheese and chicken cooked with parsley.  I don’t even remember if I used a recipe for the chicken.  I only remember it was a good meal! 

Of course the kids have been over too and the first thing they look for are the crayons and coloring books.

That's to throw me off the track for what they really want - my glasses!  Here's Jaycee...

 …And here’s Kennedy in my distance glasses

And always a funny face for my funny face collage!  Jaycee first...

...and the winner Kennedy.  Hmm, I wonder what happened to my flash!