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Dinner Indecision on Lame Post Friday

Full disclosure:  I was supposed to cook.  Well, with one thing and another (one thing being working out after work, another being going to a tasting at Valley Wine and Liquor with my friend Kim), I wasn’t ready to start cooking till about 20 minutes before Steven was due home.  Only I didn’t feel like cooking.  I wondered if Steven would be interested in going out to dinner.  I kind of thought he would not be.  I wasn’t sure I was.  I had put on a cute outfit to go to the tasting (although I daresay I flatter myself), but I was also looking forward to the bra off, sweats on portion of the day.  And the wine drinking portion of the day.

At least I could do something about the latter.  I poured myself a glass of Chardonnay, put Snapped on the television, and awaited events.  In due course, Steven came come.  He didn’t mind that I had not started cooking but did not immediately commit to going out.

“Let’s have a glass of wine and think about it,” he suggested.

“I’ll make a quick blog post,”  I said.

He said, “A blog post about whether we’re going out to dinner or not?”

So that is what my blog post is about.  I think we are going to Salvatore’s in Herkimer.  As soon as I finish my wine and Steven gets changed.  I hope he puts on a cute outfit.

 

 

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I Cooked, I Drank, I Posted

How about a Saturday Supper post?  Full disclosure:  what I made wasn’t such a much, but I just feel like making kind of an easy post today.  Judge me if you must, but here goes.

I had to restrain myself from starting supper till an annoying 5:30 p.m., because my husband Steven worked till 6:30.  Damn retail hours!  Yes, yes, it’s a job, I’m grateful he has a job, blah blah woof woof. Where was I?  Ah yes, sitting on my couch, knitting, and watching Snapped and the clock.  I was feeling more and more tired with less and less time to take a nap.  Finally I heated a cup of coffee and added a splash of Mohawk Valley Fire moonshine from DikinDurt Distillery of Herkimer (adding a little local color to my post).  It was yummy and revived me amazingly.

The sad part was, once I started cooking, I did not feel I should cook with wine.  I did not want to be too tipsy when Steven got home (full disclosure:  my early adventures had included a lovely glass of draft beer. That was a couple of hours before my coffee of questionable moral fiber).  I chopped an onion and crushed a few cloves of garlic. I put the onion and some sausage in a frying pan while I let the garlic “breathe” for 15 minutes (we’ve talked about that before).  The sausage, by the way, was from Dino’s Sausage and Meat Company of Utica, NY (a little more local color).

When the sausage was almost done, I added cream cheese.  It was a partial package.  I added some milk to help it blend in and not be too thick.  It was still pretty thick.  Eventually I decided to add a complete package of cream cheese (I had a couple more in the fridge).  The main reason for this was that as I taste tested the sausage I realized I had not picked up sweet but medium or something.  I thought more cream cheese would soften the hotness.  Oh yeah, and it was Neufchatel, not actually cream cheese.  It has a third less fat. I did not add any spices but trusted the sausage, onion and garlic to be tasty enough.  We had the mixture over ruffle pasta.

With supper, we drank Dry Riesling from Swedish Hill Winery, a New York State Winery (just to get a little more local or at least regional in here).  We are enjoying another glass while I type in my blog post.  Supper was pretty good.  I hope my blog post is all right as well.  Happy Saturday, everyone.

 

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!

 

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.