Mrs J took this vid of Bea wallowing in the catnip coming up in last year’s bed. Seems to be acceptable.
First hummer of the season! Yay! They’re still not really here, I’ve seen two at the most. We’ve had a few Canada Geese spending time at the pond. Katie has given up trying to chase them off, they just swim out of reach and honk at her.I have my kitchen herb garden going with all the usual suspects: Basil, thyme. chives, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. I have two cherry tomatoes going, and an assortment of hot peppers.We’ve managed to get a dozen tomato vines in the ground with the cages up and everything mulched.
We roasted a boneless leg of lamb for Easter dinner and had a lot leftover. I remembered looking at recipes for lamb and thought they sounded pretty good so I did a search and ran across this recipe. I used it as an ingredient guide for the proper amounts of the spices and kept with the spirit of the recipe although I made some additions and subtractions. I did have some canned chickpeas, but no lentils of any sort so I left them out, as I did with the cilantro.
I used a can of San Marino tomatoes with their juices, roughly chopped, and added some garlic, orange and lemon zest, and a half teaspoon of Madras curry powder that has been lonely in the cupboard. I dithered a bit on the pasta, thinking ditalini, but went with the pearl couscous. I’m not a huge fan of the tri-color pastas but that’s all I had in the larger sized couscous. It was very good. We don’t often get out of the familiar spice “comfort zone” but I think we will try something like this again.
We bought one of the whole boneless hams that were on sale post Easter and that had me wishing my little Rival antique electric meat slicer wasn’t so feeble. I had last used it trying to slice the prosciutto I bought a while back but it fled, whimpering in terror, after the first few slices. Fortunately a pal brought his commercial grade slicer by and we zipped right through the prosciutto.That old Globe machine is too heavy to move around much, we did the slicing on the tailgate of his truck. We went with the Chef’s Choice 667 Model, it is not in the same league as the Global but it will do. (My pal uses it to slice his own homemade bacon.)
So far we’ve used it to slice a ham and a corned beef brisket and it seems competent enough for those things.
Sorry for the lack of blogging this week. For whatever reason, writing has been very difficult and cooking even more so. Maybe the beautiful weather has been drawing my attention away from the computer and kitchen.
I do have chicken and potatoes roasting in the slow-cooker while I go out and enjoy the weather. I’m also refinishing an old porch glider, which I’ll post photos as the project progresses. My neighbors are landscaping their backyard and decided they no longer wanted it. I’m a sucker for rehabbing good furniture that needs a good home. This is in excellent shape, just needs the old paint scraped off, resealed and then I’m going to paint it a country white and add a green cushion.
Here it is, mid-rehab. I’ve scraped most of the peeling paint off and I’ll do some serious sanding this week
Besides all that, I’ve been busy with new clients, which always take a while to get settled into a routine and I’m on chapter 13 of the novel and completely stuck. The remaining chapters are outlined and the epilogue written, but there it sits, middle of 13 and refusing to budge. I blame the weather for that, too. So if my posts are sparse for the next week or so, you’ll understand. I’ll for sure get to the dinner menu and recipe exchange, promise. Until then, I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Sunday….
It got cold enough the other night to freeze the little bird bath thing. Bonus! – Homer in the window keeping an eye on me. It’s a good thing my container garden, so far, isn’t any larger, it just barely fits onto the cart. I wheel it into the garage for the night.I noticed a spike in my view count at Flickr, Buzzfeed linked to one of my photos and I blew right through 3 million total views while we were eating dinner. I had hoped to get a screenshot of the stat page right at 3,000,000 but I missed it:Here are a couple of Chicago style hot dogs. I was surprised how good they are. Everything on there adds something to the experience. I have no idea why the bright green relish became standard on these things. [Note to self: remember the celery salt next time]We’ve looked hard at this photo from the trail camera we keep down by the back pond and I think it is an albino raccoon. I could be mistaken. There is a hint of color on the tail and there is probably a term other than “albino” that better describes what it is but I’m not going to look for it.
Wikipedia tells me that “lo mein” translates from the Cantonese to “stirred noodles”. This dish had chicken breast chunks and shrimp with broccoli, onions, and carrots along with rehydrated mushrooms that I bought dried. I’ve learned to simmer them for at least an hour before they are anywhere near tender enough to eat, and don’t try to save the stems. I simmered these with the dried cayenne peppers, and used the broth from that in making the brown sauce. I ran across a good discussion of brown sauces here. Mine has dark soy, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken paste in that mushroom stock, a little chili paste, tamari, and a lot of garlic. I sweeten ours with Splenda but sugar is more common.
I’m on a chicken recipe spree! At least until I run out of chicken breasts, anyway. This recipe from Emeril Lagasse looked pretty good, with the added bonus of the side dish calling for the truffle oil that rounded out a recent online order I placed a while back and was looking for a place to use.
I didn’t have the proper arborio rice so I used the jasmine variety that I do keep on hand and has worked for me before. Instead of Parmesan I used fresh grated pecorino. The mushrooms were the usual supermarket white buttons, nothing fancy. I think I can take or leave the truffle oil, it not adding any particular enjoyment for me but I’ll wait a while and try it elsewhere before I make up my mind.
The goat cheese filling worked very well, every time I made a cut a little more oozed out and was quickly mopped up. I used a lot more garlic than the recipe wanted.