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Tag Archives: cooking

Scattered Saturday Before the Boilermaker

I confess, I didn’t have a whole lot of scatter, because I mostly hydrated and rested before tomorrow’s 15K run (it’s really a road race, but since I will be far back in the pack and more interested in making silly jokes than getting a fast time, I can’t say I’ll be racing).  For those of you just tuning in, it is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race, a pretty damn exciting event in the Mohawk Valley.

My plan was to go for at least one walk, so I was disappointed to hear thunder followed by torrential rain this morning.  Then it stopped.  Cool.  I wrote some post cards and walked to the post office, taking the long way back.  It has continued to thunder, rain, then stop for most of the day.  I may go for an evening walk during one of the stops but no promises.  I got a little more exercise walking from the second floor down to the basement and back doing laundry.  It is so pleasant to have most of my clothes clean so that I have a choice of what to wear (of course the perfect thing to wear in an given situation is usually the one thing that is still dirty, but you’ll have that).

In addition to doing laundry, I read an Agatha Christie book (I adore Agatha Christie), worked on my lines for The Tempest, futzed around on Facebook, and wrote a very little on my novel.

I left the house one other time so far, to get my hair cut at the Hot Spot Salon and Spa in Herkimer.  My stylist, Claire, nicely got me in, even though I did not call till yesterday afternoon.  She is way cool.  She did my hair the same as last time, very short.  She said it seems my hair likes to be short.  I thought that was a good way of putting it.  I like it short, because it is easy that way.  As another hairdresser once observed about me, I am the sort of person who cannot be bothered spending too much time on my hair (for another reason, however much time I take, I never seem to get the good results others do).  I would post a selfie of me and my new hair, but I’ve taken off my earrings, and I don’t like to appear in public without earrings.

Back home, I started dinner early, because we intend to go to bed early.  I had put eggplant in the crock pot this morning (ought I to have mentioned that earlier?  Oh well).  Now I made pesto, grated parmesan cheese, sauteed asparagus, and cooked angel hair pasta (my favorite).  My pesto is perhaps not real pesto (I don’t use a recipe), but I call it pesto, because it is fun to say “pesto pasta” (try it).  I put garlic, fresh basil, grated parmesan (I grated enough to put some in the pesto as well as some over the pasta), and oil in the blender and blend.  It turned out pretty good.

And that brings us to the present moment.  My stomach still continues knotty from Boilermaker nerves.  These will continue, no doubt, until the race actually starts.  More specifically, when I cross the starting line and am on my way.  Then it’s run for the beer!  Go me!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

 

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Monday Meatball Mix-up

This is not really a cooking post.  It’s not even really a cooking mishap post.  Oh, I’ll just write it an decide what kind of post it is when I’m done.  It’s that sort of a Monday.

I intend to give blood later this week.  I have had problems with this in the past, namely feeling woozy and ill after they took what seemed a very reasonable amount of blood out of me.  I thought maybe if I ate things with iron in them all week, I might do better.  What has iron in it, I asked myself.  Liver, but I hate liver.  Spinach.  I love spinach!  However, Steven does not love to just eat spinach.  He likes it in things.  I thought, Italian wedding soup.  Yum!

I knew I had spinach in the freezer and chicken broth in the cupboard (yes, purists make the chicken broth from scratch; I didn’t have all day for this!).  I did not have the little tiny pastas, but I had some little tubey-looking ones I thought would be fine.  All I needed was the little meatballs.  Accordingly, I stopped at the store (YES, the freezer section for the pre-made kind, not the meat department so I could make the balls from scratch; we’ve been through this already).

The first problem was that I did not have chicken broth, only beef broth.  Oh well, beef meatballs, beef broth, this will be OK, just a different flavor.

The second mishap was when I started to put the meatballs in and realized I had gotten the full-sized ones, not the minis.  Oh dear!  This was going to look silly, and be awkward to eat.  However, the broth was in the pot and hot; it was too late to change my mind and make tomato sauce (I believe I have a jar Paul Newman’s.  There could be no possible objection to using Paul Newman’s instead of scratch).

And how did the meatball soup turn out?  I don’t know yet.  I just paused between the last paragraph and this one to put the pasta on.  It’s ditalini, by the way (I checked the box when I went out there). I feel certain it will be fine.  For one reason, I’m quite hungry.  Happy Monday, everyone.

OK, before I added the categories and tags, the pasta was done and we ate.  It was yummy!  I LOVE soup!

 

 

If Only I Could Write a Blooming Blog Post

I ran today, thinking I would sneak in another running commentary.  It was a dull and boring run.  At least, for a while I enjoyed it quite a bit.  But I think it was only interesting to me as I was running it and it would not entertain anybody, least of all myself, to make a blog post about it.  Still, a blog post must be made (because I say it does, that’s why!). I am currently cooking, so I could do a cooking post. If only I were doing something more interesting than heating up leftovers.

If only I could bestir myself sufficiently to take the Tablet out to the yard.  At least one iris bloomed today.  I posted a picture of the buds the other day.  I think some readers would be pleased to be posted on current developments.  Just a moment first, to stir the pot on the stove and lower the heat under it.  And find the Tablet (as you may recall, I have a habit of misplacing it).

Maybe if I would have stood on my head…

I guess it’s not the best picture, because the stem is kind of bent over.  Believe me, I know how it feels!  Perhaps I should put a tomato cage over it or something. Steven arrived home while I was taking the picture, and I was able to assure him that I TOLD the young man who mows the lawn not to mow down the daisies, as Steven had asked him to do.  You see, this nice young man who lives across the street offered to mow our lawn.  In addition to being quite busy and (on my part, at least) a little lazy, we were happy to encourage this example of young entrepreneurship.  The first time he did it, he did not mow the daisies in our front yard, which have become a little extensive this year.  Steven told him to mow them this time.  At the last minute, I reprieved them, though, because they were just too pretty.  Here is a picture.

He loves me, he loves me not…

In front of the daisies is a peony bush that magically appeared after we had sufficiently discouraged the wild day lilies.  I insisted it had been planted by my stalker, a statement that has yet to be disproved.  The peonies have not bloomed yet, but look how many buds:

It started as one lone stalk and blossom, and there’s a lesson for all of us.

The main problem with the daisies is that they hide the lilies of the valley, which are also multiplying exponentially.   However, I’m finding those blooms don’t show very well even without anything in front of the greenery.  I tried to get a picture.

If you look really close, you can just see a few bells.

I’ve picked a few lilies of the valley and brought them inside.  I used a shot glass for a vase, because they are so small (Steven collects shot glasses, although we rarely do a shot of anything).  I love the smell.  I tired to get a picture, but I fear they were backlit and do not show.

It’s frogs on either side of the flowers. Steven collects those, too.

We also have some daisies inside.  Steven put them in water with blue food coloring, at my suggestion.  I think they’re pretty.

Oh, yeah, he loves me.

So for not a running post and not a cooking post, I think this makes a pretty good flower post.  We’ll call it a win for Non-Sequitur Thursday.

 

Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon

I always thought it was “Cruisin’ on a Sunday Afternoon,” but earlier today,  I sang it with “Groovin’,” because that is what we are doing.  As I sat here groping for a blog post, Steven suggested “Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon.”  I looked it up on YouTube and, sure enough, it is “groovin'”.  That is good, because Steven is not in the mood to go cruisin’, even though the freezing rain we were warned about has not materialized.  Just saying.

So here I am on Wrist to Forehead Sunday, about to pause in my blogging (tee hee, “blogging” as a verb always amuses me) to check on the soup I started earlier.  It isn’t really soup yet; I’m still at the cooking onion and garlic in oil stage (regular readers will know that is how most of my recipes start).

The onions and garlic had started to get dark brown (not black yet, but), so I added the chicken broth.  Yes, I am using chicken broth out of a box and it’s store brand at that.  Hey, I never said this was a cooking blog; I didn’t even say this was a cooking post.  The package said do NOT add water to the broth, but I added a little, putting it in the empty box and swirling it around.  Why would I not add water when I expect the stuff to boil or at least cook down a little?  By the way, I am cooking with wine.

In case anybody is interested, I intend to add spinach, cheese tortellini and a carrot to the soup.  The spinach and tortellini are frozen; the carrot is fresh.  I chopped some for my lunches this week and one to put in the soup.  I don’t care for cooked carrots, but Steven likes them, and they add flavor to the soup.  Also they are good for you.  I don’t say I lead a healthy lifestyle, but I try to sneak in a little nutrition now and then.

Speaking of healthy lifestyle, I went running again today.  I think I will be just fine for the Boilermaker 15K.  I discovered today there is a 5K in Herkimer in June I may like to do.  I’ll let you know about that.

 

Stirring the Blog

Why do I persist in thinking I am going to get anything done on a Sunday? I am clearly not, and then I just feel bad about myself. Can’t I just embrace the uselessness and enjoy the day?

I interrupt my Sunday festivities to make my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday post, and I lead off with my Facebook post from earlier.  I did not quite embrace my uselessness, unfortunately, but I am striving to enjoy the day.

Regarding usefulness, I did one load of laundry, the dishes (there were not that many, for which I was grateful), grocery shopped, chopped vegetables and made a salad for the upcoming week’s lunches, and I am in the midst of cooking what promises to be a delicious dinner (if I do say so myself).  I am cooking with wine, by the way, and have not put any in the food.

As a matter of fact, I need to go out to the kitchen, stir and add other ingredients, so I’d better blog quickly. I must confess, I do enjoy these off the cuff posts.  It is fun to sit here, typing away, and know that I will probably amuse somebody somewhere (OK, I suppose sometimes it is only myself; you don’t have to disillusion me) (you know who you are).   It doesn’t always work, you know.  Sometimes I start typing, then I erase it, then I say to hell with it, I’ll blog later (I think “blog” is a funny verb, don’t you?) (oh, YOU probably never have) (once again, you know who you are).

OK, what do we have here so far?  Some silliness, a couple of parenthetical comments, over 200 words.  I’d say that’s about par for the course for me.  I’m going to hit publish and call it a day.  For one reason, Steven just stirred dinner and it is time to add more ingredients. Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Souper Sunday

Imagine my delight just now when I searched and found that I have not used “Souper Sunday” as a headline.  I don’t like to repeat headlines.  I know I predicted a Wrist to Forehead Sunday, but I think Sunday Supper post might be nice.  I guess technically it was lunch, but you know how I love alliteration.

I had planned to make soup earlier in the week.  I had a big piece of beef in the freezer (I don’t remember what the cut was; it was on sale and it looked good).  I thought I would cook it in the crock pot on Saturday, then make soup with the leftovers on Sunday.  I find it is a good idea for me to plan menus for the weekend, to lessen the temptation to send out for pizza or Chinese food.  I confess that it only lessens the temptation.  That little devil on my shoulder will whisper, “That meat will be perfectly good to cook on Monday!”  However, this weekend, the devil was silent and I crock potted the beef.

I put Worcestershire sauce garlic powder, minced onions, Salt-Free Essential Spice Blend (from the So Sweet Candy Cafe in Utica, NY), and a small can of mushrooms in the crock pot with the meat, plus a little water.  It cooked for maybe nine hours.  Yum!  Steven nicely put the leftovers away.

I started the soup around 12:30 today.  As usual, I crushed up some garlic and set the timer for 15 minutes so it could “breathe” (I put breathe in quotations, because garlic does not have lungs).  I chopped up an onion and put it in a pot.  Ooh, here’s where I changed things up:  I did NOT cook it in olive or canola oil as per my usual method.  I used red wine.  Yes, I cooked with wine and I actually put it in the food!  You see, I impulsively purchased a cheap bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon the other day at Ilion Wine and Spirits.

“If it’s not good to drink, I can always cook with it,”  I said, quoting a bit of wisdom given me by another wine aficionado.  Turns out it wasn’t so good to drink.

After things had cooked for some time, I added a can of diced tomatoes.  Then I chopped up a small eggplant I had purchased specifically for the soup.  I love eggplant.  This was when I realized I had picked too small of a pot.  Damn! I put everything in a bigger pot.  After letting the eggplant cook for a while, I put in the leftover drippings and chopped up the leftover beef.  Stirring everything up, I added parsley, more Salt-Free Essential and a little cumin.

It was quite a tasty soup, and there was a goodly amount left over.  Steven put it in the freezer, for future consumption.  Now how could I have a Wrist to Forehead Sunday after such a delicious meal?

 

But I’m NOT Whining!

I am in the middle of cooking dinner, so I could do a cooking post.  Or I could stick with my usual Monday Mental Meanderings.  I have come to realize that mental meanderings are easier than middle-aged musings.  “Musings” seems to imply that there is a point or at least a theme or something.  “Meanderings,” I feel, can just want wander all over the place.

So it is the day after Christmas.  At least I did not have to return to work.  I hate working with a post-Christmas letdown.  Don’t worry; I’m not going to sit here and whine about my post-Christmas letdown for 200 or so words (I don’t imagine I can manage 300 or more words today).  I will attempt to not whine at all, but I have observed that some  people will accuse you of whining no matter what.  I suppose to complain about that injustice will also be construed as whining.  File that under the heading I Just Can’t Win.

Christmas being over does bring a sense of relief.  No more presents to buy, make, wrap.  Of course I did not celebrate the season as properly and thoroughly as I had hoped and planned, but it is too late to worry about that now.  It’s on to working on all the projects I’ve been neglecting for Christmas!  I have writing, cleaning and organizing to tackle.  And if I accomplish any of it, you’ll read about it here!

As for right now, I am over two hundred words.  I am not going to try for three, because I’m afraid I might start whining about something.  Hope you’re having a delightful Monday.