RSS Feed

Tag Archives: food

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!

 

 

Advertisements

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!

 

Return to the Tavern

I confess to knowing an impulse to make this blog All Monster Movies All The Time, but then I wouldn’t really be Mohawk Valley Girl, would I?  With that in mind, I give a shout-out to Gerber’s 1933 Tavern in Utica, NY, a really wonderful place for drinks, food and fun.

I first went to Gerber’s a few months ago, for a Prohibition Party (perhaps you read my blog post about it).   I had been wanting to take Steven there ever since.  When we met our friends Phyllis and Jim to celebrate their anniversary, we discovered they had never been there either.  We went and had a blast.

The tavern used to be a speakeasy during prohibition.  It still looks old-fashioned and cozy, with a tin ceiling and beautiful woodwork.  We found a table and perused the menus.

You can see the beautiful ceiling.

I had my Tablet with me so took a few pictures.

This is the happy couple.

Naturally I had to get one of the anniversary couple.  Phyllis and Jim are two of the all-time coolest people ever.  Jim has been in a number of theatrical endeavors with me and/or Steven.  In fact, we met them through Ilion Little Theatre.  Let’s hear it for community theatre!

Me and Phyllis, toasting friendship.

I had been looking at the red chairs while we ate, then asked Steven to take a picture of me and Phyllis in them.

Steven and Jim with our bartender, Larry.

Of course, I also wanted a picture of the guys.  I included our bartender, Larry, who I declared to be our New Best Friend.  Yes, I had consumed a couple of glasses if Pinot Grigio when I made the declaration.  Don’t judge me.  Incidentally, it was Thirsty Owl Pinot Grigio, a Finger Lakes wine.  I have to love a tavern that serves New York State wines.

Gerber’s 1933 Tavern is located at 16 Liberty St., Utica.  For more information you can visit their website at gerbers1933tavern.com.

 

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!

 

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.

 

Beer over Exercise

Yum!

When I was running on Friday afternoon, I ran by the Endzone Pub & Grub on Main Street in Herkimer.  Two guys were sitting at a table on the sidewalk out front, sipping beer.

“That’s where I want to be!”  I said.   Yesterday, I was.

Steven and I had meant to walk to the post office, which we did, then take a long(ish) way home, so it would be good exercise.  Our steps took us by the Endzone and I suggested, not very seriously, that we go in and have a beer.  Much to my surprise, Steven agreed.  I guess when it comes to a choice between beer and exercise, beer wins.  We went in and sat at the bar.

When I asked what was on draft, the bartender told us they had just tapped the Sam Adams Seasonal Ale.  That sounded good to us.  It was!  Very light and flavorful, an excellent summer drink.  Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day, we enjoyed the brew quite a bit.  Towards the end of the beer, Steven said he was hungry.  Obviously the sensible thing to do would be to go home and cook supper, but I said I thought they served food at the Endzone.

“Yes, they have food here,” said a young lady who had just entered and was about to take her drink to one of the tables outside.

We got hot dogs and macaroni salad, with another draft.  Yum!  After we finished eating, we went and sat outside to finish our beers.  A young man went jogging by, and I shared my story of running by and envying the beer drinkers on Friday.  The lady who had told us they had food applauded my better decision to sit and drink beer.  It was a very enjoyable interlude.

The Endzone Pub & Grub is located at 129 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-219-5796.  They are open Monday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 2 a.m., and Sunday from noon to midnight.  You can Like them on Facebook.  I did.

 

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?