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Category Archives: cooking

Cooking with Wine Tasting

Friday Food does not have the same appeal as Saturday or Sunday Supper.  Yet, I feel I would like to make a cooking post today.  I had meant to do a Running Commentary, because I had an excellent run this morning (I posted a Facebook status of “THAT is how a run is SUPPOSED to feel!”), but, you know, things happen.

I was supposed to be away this weekend, but those plans were derailed by a stomach bug my husband, Steven, is currently suffering.  He has not wanted to eat much, so I thought a pot of homemade chicken soup would help.  Accordingly, I took some chicken out of the freezer. It was two thigh sections, which is a good dinner for two people when baked and served with a vegetable.  I have also found that it will also make a good pot of soup

I put the chicken on to boil about 3 p.m., when I was doing laundry and waiting till it was time for a wine tasting at Valley Wine and Liquor in Herkimer, NY (where I live).  After it had boiled a while, I used a slotted spoon to scoop some of the brown crud off the top.  I don’t think the brown stuff seriously degrades the taste of the soup, but I skim off what I can.  I was waiting for my friend Kim to pick me up for the wine tasting.  Eventually I got tired of waiting and had a small glass of white wine we had on hand (don’t judge me; I wasn’t driving).  I also thought I should progress further on the soup so peeled and crushed some garlic.  I turned off the burner under the chicken; I figured it was cooked through, and I did not want it on when I left for the wine tasting.

It was after right after this that Kim texted me that she was ready to go to the wine tasting, so I did not bother setting the timer for 15 minutes (to let the garlic breathe, remember? I’ve talked about that before).  I figured we’d be gone at least that long.   And we were.  I came home with two boxes of wine, one red, one white.  Yum!  I may do a blog post about the tasting (I have been seriously remiss in not making more posts about the wine tastings I attend).  I poured myself a glass of red and continued to cook.

I pulled the pieces of chicken out of the broth and put in the garlic.  I sliced a yellow onion, put it in the broth and turned the burner back on.   I took the chicken off the bones and put it in the broth too.  After a while I will add some frozen vegetables.  Probably some spinach (Steven only likes it in soup, dip or sauce), maybe some broccoli or corn; I’ll see what’s in the freezer.  And I will cook some pasta, probably ditalini.  Yum!

For you wine snobs out there, I will no doubt switch to white with my chicken soup.  I do not want to injure anybody’s sensibilities unnecessarily.  Anyways, this is my Lame Post Friday post for the week.  I hope you are all having a good supper and enjoying the beverage of your choice.

 

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The Sandwich was Better than the Blog Post

How about a brief cooking post in lieu of Tired Tuesday or Bad Attituesday.  As usual with these openings, I end with a period not a question mark, because I intend to make the post with or without permission.  Well, I just can’t write another post about not writing a blog post today!  Check with me tomorrow.  In the meantime, I fixed something yummy yesterday for my lunch today.

I love egg and olive.  I was introduced to it by a young girl I used to babysit,many many years ago.  It is egg salad, but with olive.  Genius!  But of course I can’t make it that simply.  I have to add a little pizzazz.  Along with the olives and mayonnaise, I added mustard, Worcestershire sauce, dill and lemon pepper.  There were not as many olives as I would have liked left in the jar, but I cut up what was there.  At least they were big.  The jar said Martini Olives.  I like martinis, too.

Well, that sure didn’t take long to write about.  It didn’t take long to make, either, once the eggs were boiled (and that didn’t take very long either).  I put the bowl in the fridge for the flavors to blend.  Later Steven made me a sandwich on whole wheat flat bread.  He almost always fixes my lunch.  It is very sweet of him.

I looked forward to my egg and olive sandwich all morning.  It did not disappoint.  If this blog post has disappointed, well, at least I didn’t whine about not being able to write.  And there is always tomorrow.  Happy Tuesday everybody.

 

Saturday Supper

How about a cooking post today? Quite frankly, I kept my happy ass home today.  It was cold and, as I said yesterday, nothing I have to do was so damn important after all.  I wrote a little, I watched a monster movie (which I may also write about), I took a nap.  Judge me if you like (some of you will anyways) (you know who you are). As Popeye said, I yam what I yam (although I am not cooking yams).

Steven was due home in, I hoped, less than a half hour, so I went out to the kitchen to see what I could do.  I like to cook with wine so poured myself a glass of Chardonnay.  I had taken boneless, skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer this morning. I had also mentioned the possibility of baked macaroni and cheese to Steven.  I had a tentative plan.

I put on water to boil for mini shells and pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees.  I put some spices on the chicken:  garlic powder, onion powder, and Salt-Free All Purpose from the So Sweet Candy Cafe (just to give them another shout-out).  Judge me if you like for not using fresh garlic and onions, but only if you are quite finished judging me for the nap (I would not want anyone to pull a muscle on my account).  I have some mozzarella I grated yesterday but did not use all of for flat-break pizzas (which would have made a dandy post, I suppose).  I also grated some extra sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack.  Then I came back into the living room to write my blog post.

When the chicken is cooked, I will chop it up to put in the macaroni and cheese.  I have some leftover garlic dip and a can of mushrooms I will add to the mix.  I shall throw in a little milk and/or butter if it seems like a good idea at the time.

I believe it will be a delightful dinner.  I make bold to hit Publish without assuring that it is.  That is the kind of cooking post I make.  Happy Saturday, everybody, and if you live in Central New York or someplace equally cold: try to keep warm!

P.S.  Steven is due home in another five or so minutes. Yay!

 

 

Saturday Clam Sauce

This will be a quick cooking post before I get back to enjoying my Saturday.  I must admit, it has been a largely wasted day, and never mind why, because people who go on about their health woes are tiresome (how’s that for a little passive-aggressive whining?).  I just about managed to get the dishes done by the time Steven got home shortly after six.  I had not planned anything for supper.  Suppressing my desire to send out for a sub or Chinese, I suggested red clam sauce or maybe eggs.  Steven opted for red clam sauce and I went to work.

First, OF COURSE, I crushed up some garlic and set it to breath for fifteen minutes.  It was from the bunch I purchased at the Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival in Little Falls, NY this past September, just to give the post a little local flair.  At first I said, “I’ll only do three cloves.  I won’t go crazy with the garlic.”  Not a minute later I said, “I’ll go crazy with the garlic,” and put in the entire bulb, which was not very big anyways.  Steven did not comment; he trusts me when it comes to cooking in general and garlic in particular.

I put the dishes away while the garlic cooked in olive oil.  That’s the kind of multi-tasking I can handle.  Incidentally, I forgot to mention that I was cooking with wine, a little 19 Crimes red blend, one of my favorites.  I soon added a can of minced clam with the liquid to the garlic.  I let that boil for a little bit before adding a small can of tomato sauce.  I took a can of mushrooms and drained its liquid into the sauce can, to get the last of the sauce without adding too much more liquid to the whole.  I had told Steven I was not going to include tomato paste, that it would be a thin clam sauce.

Basil and oregano were the only spices I used.  I would have put in a few hot peppers, but I left those outside, where I had been sprinkling them over my container garden to deter squirrels.  Note to self:  purchase more hot peppers.  I considered adding tomato paste anyways but decided to wait and see if the sauce cooked down.  Soon it was time to put on water for pasta.  Ziti rigati, which was all we had besides some angel hair pasta.  Further note to self: purchase more pasta.

The sauce turned out pretty good.  I added salt, pepper and grated cheese before devouring.  Steven added salt and pepper.  He also had a large piece of bread and butter, an extra thick crust on a loaf of Spano’s hard crust Italian.  This adds another local bit, because Spano’s is in Utica, NY.  I am Mohawk Valley Girl!

 

Soup’s On!

I make my blog post while waiting for the water to boil.  I am daringly making my cooking post before I actually taste what I am cooking.  I’m just taking it for granted that will be OK.  Have I ever steered me wrong?  Well, not with cooking, at any rate.

Steven called me at work and suggested soup for dinner.   He said there was sausage in the freezer. I asked if we had a can of diced tomatoes.  I undertook to come up with something with what we have on hand.

I started, as I often do, with chopping an onion and putting it on to cook.  Since this will be soup, I put it in a pot instead of the cast iron frying pan.  As another innovation, I used a can of beer instead of olive or canola oil.  I figure if you can cook stuff in wine, why not beer?  For another reason, I got a case of Hamm’s for The Tempest cast party (get it?  Actors are hams!) and it did not all get drunk.  While the onions cooked, I peeled and crushed some garlic, then set the timer for 15 minutes (remember? So it can reach its full cancer-fighting potential).

Then I put a load of laundry in.  I don’t usually believe in multi-tasking, but sometimes you can get away with it (running to check the soup as soon as I typed that).

After a while, I added sausage.  When that was nearly cooked, I put in the can of diced tomatoes and some water.  Once it was boiling, I put in some frozen spinach and spices.  Basil, oregano, parsley and Salt-Free All Purpose Seasoning from the So Sweet Candy Cafe (just to plug them again).  Then I put on water for Ditalini pasta.  The water boiled and I put in the pasta when I ran out to check the soup just now.

I make bold to hit publish before eating the soup, because I took a sip when I stirred it just now, and yum.

Hope to see you all on Lame Post Friday.

 

 

I’m Such a BRAT!

I was going to call this a Tasty Tuesday post, but in fact I have not yet tasted the treat that is currently cooking in the crock pot.  I know, some bloggers would make their blog post later or tomorrow, but we all know that is not how I roll.  I make blog posts on the fly before going to rehearsal, and I go with what I got, even when I ain’t got nuthin’.

Be all that as it may, this afternoon I decided that I would go on a bland diet. Never mind why; nobody wants to hear about other people’s digestive issues.  I only bring it up because it is relevant to the post at hand.  Some may feel the bland diet is especially appropriate to me because of the acronym that helps us remember its elements: BRAT (you know who you are) (and I gotta say, right back atcha, for the most part) (but I digress).  BRAT, for the digestively blessed who have no need to know such a thing (digestively is not a word?  I’ll be damned!), BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast.  Pasta and potatoes can also form part of the diet, but there weren’t enough vowels to add two more P’s, so you just have to pretend they are included under Rice or Toast.

After work, I headed to the store to purchase Bananas, Rice, and Applesauce (I already had bread for the toast at home).  After some internal debate about brown vs. white rice (I like brown but wondered if it was bland enough for a BRAT like me) (I took a chance and got the brown) and a quick look around for a treat for Steven (I love my husband), I checked out and headed home.

And found out I had forgotten the applesauce.  Damn it!  When there are only four items on one’s diet, one does not like to miss one.  However, I have some apples I purchased recently at North Star Orchards in Westmoreland (thus adding a little local flair to my post).  I know one can make applesauce in the crock pot.  I looked for a recipe online.  I’ve had pretty good luck finding things online lately (knock wood).

The first recipe I came across was pretty simple:  apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, water.  They said Golden Delicious Apples and I have Macintosh, but I was undeterred.  Additionally, they said core and peel, and I left the peel on.  There are plenty of nutrients and fiber in the peel, you know.  Continuing to do my own thing, I cut the apples into smaller pieces than the quarters called for by the recipe. For one reason, since I was leaving the peel on, I thought it would be easier to eat.  Then I got tired of chopping apples and stopped at six.  I halved the other ingredients.  See, I can do the math.

The apples are in the crock pot, and the crock pot is on HIGH.  Yes, I remembered to plug it in (don’t laugh; we all forget such things on occasion).  It should be done after rehearsal.  Steven and I will have some for a treat before bed.  Maybe we should stop at the store on the way home from rehearsal and get some vanilla ice cream to  put on it while it’s still warm.  I can start my bland diet tomorrow.

 

Soup and Post on the Light Side

Here is a cooking post.  At least, I’m going to call it a cooking post, but perhaps I am stepping up in class.  No matter. It is Tired Tuesday, I fixed something for dinner that did NOT involve the telephone and a credit card, and I’m going to write about it.

First I poured myself a small glass of Chardonnay, because I wanted to cook with wine.

I had an open box of chicken broth in the refrigerator (I drank one mug of it recently when my stomach was bothering me) (you see, I DON’T write a blog post about every little ache and pain, although it sometimes feels that way).  I also had some leftover brown rice.  I put them both in a pot on the stove and turned on the burner.  I went to the freezer and pulled out broccoli and spinach, which I also added to the pot.

Then I went out the the living room, sat on the couch and looked a Facebook.  I feel that is an important part of the recipe.  After a while I went back out the the kitchen and added garlic powder, parsley, basil and oregano to the pot.  When it started boiling, I lowered the heat and let it simmer for a while.

Steven and I ate the soup with bread and butter.  Steven said it was very good, not too heavy, just what his stomach needed.  I hope this modest little post is just what my blog needed.  As for me, I may have another small glass of Chardonnay.  Happy Tuesday, everyone.