Side Order of Steak with My Fries

DSC_9296 (1600x1060)The ribeye was just so-so, the twice fried potatoes were the best part of this meal.

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Breakfast Pr0n – Chorizo and Egg Burrito

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We Love Our Gumbo!

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I’m happy enough with how my gumbo turns out that I don’t much use a recipe anymore.  The fellow over at NOLA Cuisine always gets my nod when someone asks for recipes for these sorts of dishes, be sure to take a tour of his place – click on his recipe page for sure.

This one has genuine Louisiana made Andouille sausage and chicken thighs.  (Link goes to a Cajun Grocer’s page.)  I ordered one of their turduckens to have on hand for the upcoming holiday.

Sammich Pr0n – Panini

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Our grill press has been getting a workout.  These went a tad too long and toasted up more than I like but they ate well enough.  In the category: Wonders, Never Ceasing, I noted the time and temperature and dialed the time back from 15 minutes to 10 and lowered the temp dial from medium high to medium-ish:DSC_9281 (1600x1060)

Both of these have roast pork, chopped fresh jalapenos and cheese, the first also has some ham I had leftover from something else and provolone, the second is sans ham and has Swiss.  The mustard is a spicy mix store brand honey mustard.  I’m not too sure what the peppers are, exactly, but it doesn’t make a bad dip. The buns were generic deli submarine/hoagie rolls, just about any of the softer buns and rolls will work fine but you will want to avoid really crusty breads.  The placement of the samies in the grill makes a difference, adjust so you get a full, even contact from the top element.  It’s open all around so a little trial and error will get you there quickly.  A little pre-grill smush by hand will help, too.

Tidbits

DSC00724 (1600x1200)I was startled the other day when my smart phone went nuts with a loud warbling alarm that I was sure I hadn’t set.  I scrambled over to it and found that it was relaying a tornado warning from the National Weather Service.  We dodged the tornado but did get some big wind, we had some trees damaged and lost power when several power poles up the road a ways were knocked down.20141013_162909[1] (1600x1060)The electric company crews were quickly on scene and had the power back in just a few hours.  Good thing the damage was localized and not widespread – they must of had 10 utility vehicles out for these few poles.DSC00783 (1600x1060)Here’s a kitty for you, part of a new litter at St Francis.  Kitteh has four siblings:DSC00774 (1600x1200) Mrs J says kitteh momma is a real gem!DSC_9273 (1600x1060)These are Cubano style sammys, pastrami instead of ham, provolone, roast pork, yellow mustard and pickles.  It was done up in a small grill press.DSC_4909 (1600x1060)Here’s Homer!  He’s sad because the garden is getting a little long in the tooth.DSC_9269 (1600x1060)A basic burger on a poppy seed roll.  I still have a jalapeno growing on the patio but Mrs J has her sights set on it and I won’t be able to hold her off much longer.  You just can’t beat a fresh jalapeno.  The sides are from the store deli counter, a German potato salad and a slaw they had labeled as a summer salad.  I recognized it a a dish we tried to replicate a while back.  It’s good.DSC00737 (1600x1060)Here’s another kitteh.  He’s not one from the litter above.  Mrs J says they have a lot of cats and kittens at the shelter and they are running out of room.  (hint hint)

Pasta Pr0n – Garlic Shrimp

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Hearty Tomato Soup and Awesome Grilled Cheese

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Photo by JeffreyW

I’m going to repeat some favorite soup recipes tonight. I’m working on a few new pumpkin recipes, but they are not ready for prime time this week. So you’ll have to make do with repeats.

When I’m busy, soup is the thing. I make big batches and they are quick and easy to reheat and add a sandwich or a piece of grilled chicken for a fast dinner or lunch. I could eat soup everyday during cold weather. JeffreyW is no slouch in the soup department either, so there are over 200 recipes on the blog of the soup variety.

For tonight, here are some soups worth repeating:

Cream of Chicken Soup, recipe here.

Two Broccoli Cheese Soup variations are here.

Tomato-Spinach is one of my favorite hearty winter soups, recipe here.

And combining two recent recipe exchanges, JeffreyW does Bean Soup in a Frybread Bowl, recipe and yummy photos here.

For the pet lovers, there is a Bixby diary this week. He’s four months old now and takes up most of my spare time. Which explains why I’m more often outside and not in the kitchen cooking. Also, I’m having great success with both dog and cat food dispenser/toys, that make them work for their food, story here, in case you are looking for a good way to entertain your pets.

What’s on your menu for this beautiful fall weekend? Do you have a favorite way to make grilled cheese? Do you grill any other types of sandwiches – either the grown-up panini style or something of the more guilty pleasure type, like grilled peanut butter and jelly?

Tonight’s feature recipe was one of the first menus I ever published…and also the first time I made my own tomato soup.

Hearty Tomato Soup

  • 28 oz canned tomatoes*
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 8 oz carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 green onions, including greens
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

2 quart saucepan

In a blender, mix tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery & onions. Blend until liquid. In saucepan, combine tomato mixture with spices, heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let bubble (don’t let boil or use high heat, it will scorch) for 5 minutes. Add flour to cold milk, blend until smooth, add to soup. Let bubble again, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

* This is the time to use up any left over garden tomatoes, instead of canned. Blend until you have 4 cups of crushed tomatoes.

Totally Awesome Grilled Cheese

For each sandwich:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread (or favorite firm bread)
  • Enough favorite cheese (Velveeta, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, etc.  to cover bread (about 3 slices)
  • Sliced Jalapeños (if you want some heat)
  • 1 large slice of tomato w/dash of salt
  • 1-2 tsp Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • Butter
  • Spray Oil

Spread salad dressing on both slices of bread and add ½ of the cheese to one slice of bread, place tomato & jalapenos on the cheese and top with remaining cheese and the other slice of bread, this keeps bread from getting soggy from the tomato. Lightly butter outside of both sides of the sandwich and grill in skillet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly oiled on medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. While it is grilling, press down hard with a spatula, “squishing” the sandwich. We don’t know why, but this makes them taste better.  :-)

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Fun Pet Food Dispensers

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Kong Wobble Feeder

This arrived in time for Bixby’s lunch. It was a rousing success. It replaces me making them out of 2 liter soda bottles – which worked ok when I could reuse them for 3 or 4 meals. Now he destroys them in one meal.

He won’t be able to destroy this, that’s for sure. And if you spin it, food shoots out of it like a food sprinkler (I won’t do that again).

It easily holds two cups of his kibble and takes him a good half hour to eat. I kind of wished it had an adjustable size food hole, but since it’s so sturdy, I’m happy to give up that feature for durability. It’s weighted at the bottom (and it’s heavy) so that it wobbles to really engage him. He had a blast.

I will still give him the occasional soda bottle because he loves to destroy them. Something about smashing them down is fun for him and since he’s yet been able to tear into them, no small pieces to worry about him eating.

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Petsafe Food Dispenser for Cats

I bought one of these for the cats last spring. It was an instant hit. When I ordered Bixby’s Kong, I got two more of these so they can all play. I use them for a mix of treats/food. That way they can chase them around when they need a nibble between meals. Very sturdy and you can adjust the holes for treat size. Definitely would not stand up to puppy mouth, so I have to keep an eye on where they land. I usually put them up on the cat tree when not in use.

 

The Bixby Diaries: I’m Four Months Old Now

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Hi again. I turned four months old this past weekend and my person says I’m terribly smart for my age. I know the commands: sit, stay, shake, stop, walk, heel, up and off. I’m working on come, but that one is harder because most times I just want to race around and around before I listen to that one. (TaMara’s note: My favorite command for him is, “Is that yours?” and he drops whatever he’s picked up that he shouldn’t be chewing on. Lately, he’ll even bring me whatever it is and is so proud when he gives me it.)

I’ve grown so much, I can’t sleep in my favorite office chair when my person goes to the office.

I love my walks now. My person takes me around the neighborhood and we meet all the neighbors and she takes me around the ponds and we hang out by the waterfall. I love water. My person says I can’t go into the water yet, because it’s still contaminated from last year’s flood. I wouldn’t know about that because, well I wasn’t even an idea yet. But best play toy ever, LFern, says she knows a place where I can go and run in tall grass, my favorite thing to do, and also play in the stream. I can’t wait.

Tall as the deck now

My ears still do what they want. Someone told my person we look alike, I guess because my ears are always floppy and she has curly hair. I don’t see it. I mean, she doesn’t even have a tail. I get two frozen apples a day and a couple of frozen carrots a day and it really helps with my teething. I don’t even chew on my person anymore. Dr. Deb says I can have 6 cups of food a day now. Yay!

I’ve had some great play dates and I really like them. I hear I’m getting a new playmate next week and I can’t wait to meet her. I hope she likes me better than her brother does, because he never wants to play. But Auntie Larilyn thinks the new puppy will want to play with me, so I’m excited.

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Had my last visit to Dr. Deb today. She says I look great. But, the shots she gave me have made me very tired, so this will be a short diary. I weigh 51 lbs now and stand 54 inches on my hind legs, which means I can reach up and kiss my person whenever I want. And I do that a lot. – Bixby

Paw print

I Used To Sleep In This Chair

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Bixby came to a meeting today, it’s been a while. He seemed surprised he no longer fit in his chair.

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Here is his first week with me and his first day at the office. He fits nicely in the chair.

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Look at that Great Dane profile. He’s my handsome, smart, sweet boy. I love him.

(Only had my cell phone with me, but the quality of the photos does not diminish his handsomeness. <3 )

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