Tidbits

20140415_093529 (1600x1060)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.20140415_093651 (1600x1060)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:Untitled (1600x1060)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]DSC_8152 (1600x1060)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.PICT5974 (1600x1060)

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Lo Mein Pr0n – with Chicken and Shrimp

DSC_8166 (1600x1060)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.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

DSC_8156 (1600x1060)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.

Chicken Picatta

DSC_8148 (1600x1060)I think lemon goes really well with chicken, and I’m a real sucker for flour dredged chicken parts served with sauces.  This is a recipe that combines all of that.  Plus capers!  We liked the sprouts and prosciutto dish so well that I did that one again, and rounded out the meal with a box mix rice pilaf.

Tidbits

IMG_4766 (1600x1060)Homer strikes a heroic pose atop the liftgate on Mrs J’s Escape.

We’ve begun potting our container herb and veggie garden.  It’s just a tad early for the parking lot spring gardening arrays to reach full stock, there are several items we are lacking but I’m sure they will show up shortly.DSC_4567 (1600x1060)We are going to have to buy a lot more potting soil before we are done with all the planting we contemplate.

I have managed to get the tomato garden tilled after a few days without rain and some wind allowed it to dry up.IMG_4730 (1600x1060)Here’s a puppy with one blue eye, she’ll be a big dog – a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix.  There are seven in the litter, four females and three boys. They are eight weeks old.IMG_4727 (1600x1060)And a couple of boy kittehs The mother is a real talker, per Mrs J, a dilute calico, very pretty.  She is scheduled for neutering this week.

Friday Dinner Music: Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2U

This song was written by Prince which is why I think it’s held up.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Fry Breads

DSC_7165 (1600x1060)

I was working on the Dinner Menu for the week and lamenting the fact that I have a difficult time finding good pita breads in my area. I decided the next time I make the Chicken Pilaf and Cool Dill Dip menu (recipes and photos here) I would try using  Fry Bread as a substitute. Then I thought that would make a good topic for tonight’s recipe exchange. (I cannot lie, what really tips the scales for the recipe exchange is which pretty, yummy photo of JeffreyW’s can I highlight)

First up, JeffreyW makes Fry Bread (pictured at top) for Fry Bread Tacos, click here for recipe and great photos.  He took the same recipe and sweetened it up with honey, cinnamon and sugar, as pictured below:

DSC_7172 (1600x1060) Not satisfied with a flat product, he decided to experiment with making it into a bowl and serving it with an awesome soup in his Bean Soup in a Fry Bread Bowl, recipe and photos here.

What’s in your bowl this weekend? Do you have any special or unique family or cultural recipes to share? Hit the comments with your ideas and recipes. I love to add new flavors to my repertoire.

For tonight’s featured recipe, I turn to friend of blog, Aji for a fry bread recipe she sent me months ago, at my request: Read the rest of this entry

Dinner Menu: Golden Curried Chicken

Golden Chicken Curry4

Been crazy busy, but didn’t forget about the weekly menu. I love the flavors in this chicken recipe and the dill dip is the perfect complement to the spicy main course. If you can find really good pita bread you’re luckier than I am. I have to really search to find the soft, chewy kind I like, that isn’t dry and flavorless. I think next time I make this I might try JeffreyW’s Fry Bread recipe.

On the board tonight:

  1. Golden Chicken Pilaf
  2. Cool Dill Dip
  3. Applesauce w/chopped dried figs Curried chicken spices

Golden Chicken Pilaf

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz diced carrots
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tsp (2 cubes) chicken bouillon
  • ½ to 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds

skillet, saucepan

In saucepan, melt butter and sauté onions for 2 minutes, add carrots, rice, water, bouillon, curry, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, stir well, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until all water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Add raisins and fluff rice with a fork.

In skillet, heat oil, add chicken and brown on all sides.  Add salt & pepper, reduce heat and allow chicken to simmer until rice is done.  Toss chicken to rice and garnish with almonds. 

Cool Dill Dip

  • 8 oz container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, finely diced
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dry dill)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pita bread pieces

bowl

Mix together all ingredients, except pita.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with pita bread, torn into large pieces.

 

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Pasta Pr0n – Spaghetti Carbonara

DSC_8135 (1600x1060)We are really liking this dish.  This is my second attempt, the first time I thought I may have needed more egg so I went with six eggs this time.  I’m afraid I added them too quickly, or into too hot a pan, or was too slow tossing the pasta, or some other thing, because I have a fair amount of scrambled egg where there should be a nice creamy sauce.  Or so they say!  Really nice tasting dish as it was, the thought of it being any better has my toes curling.

Roasted Sprouts with Prosciutto and Balsamic Vinegar

DSC_8137 (1600x1060)I’ve ordered a couple of times now from a St Louis based food retailer, Ditalia, getting in rolls of pancetta, different cheeses, olive oil and a few other items as they suit my whim of the moment.  I just got in a fair sized chunk of prosciutto and wanted to use some right away.  I managed to slice a few little wafers with my old raggedy meat slicer but this prosciutto is more than it can handle.  It needs to sliced so thin you can read through it.  I have a pal that may be able to help me out with the slicing.

Anyway, back to the sprouts – I searched for prosciutto and sprouts and ran across this recipe that called for shallots and pine nuts along with stuff I actually had on hand and decided it was close enough.  I used onions and left out the pine nuts, it worked out well.

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