Monthly Archives: December 2012

Surf and Turf

DSC_4699 [1600x1200]The classic dinner, strip steak, a lobster tail and roasted asparagus with a nice salad.  The ramekin has melted butter spiked with lemon juice for dipping the seafood, and it’s damn good on the asparagus, too.

I steamed the lobster tails, and pan grilled the steaks in my 12 inch cast iron skillet that was smoking hot before dropping the meat in. They went 4:30 per side, the first side at high heat, and then medium for the other.  I set the steaks aside to rest and then dropped the lobster into the already hot steamer and fired the broiler for the veggies.  They took just under ten minutes to finish.  The asparagus was tossed with olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt beforehand.  DSC_4701 [1600x1200]



The Gleaners

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San Marzano Tomatoes

DSC_4693 [1600x1200]My local Kroger store has started stocking San Marzano tomatoes and I bought a few cans the last trip we made.  In a hurry this evening for a dinner, I opened a can, chopped the tomatoes a little, and cooked them and their juice with a few florets of broccoli, some bell peppers, and half an onion.  With a little dried basil and two cloves of garlic the sauce cooked only long enough to cook the broccoli and was served over angel hair pasta.  Wasn’t bad!  I baked a few chicken tenders in the toaster oven with a little mozzarella on them to serve with it.  That big bag of frozen breaded chicken tenders has been a lifesaver more than once.

Sammich Pr0n

DSC_4687 [1600x1200]I bought a jar of hot, Chicago style giardiniera a while back and started to run low so I’ve been adding jalapenos, olives, pepperoncini, and some giardiniera from another jar, along with more olive oil.  The other jar is preserved in a more traditional manner with brine, I rinse the veggies in fresh water and chop them up a little because the pieces are too big for a sandwich topping like this.  I wondered if onions would be good in there but haven’t added any yet.

Spinach Lasagna: UPDATED

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UPDATE: JeffreyW took my original photo and played with it to tone down the gold and bring up the reds and it looks much better.  I ran it through Snapseed again to give it some flair and I think it’s better. You can compare it with the original below:
Lasagna snap2

If you click on any photo and then click on its title, you’ll get full size.

This was our Christmas eve main course. There was also garlic-cheese bread, a beautiful tossed salad and for dessert, a sundae bar with all kinds of toppings.

There were three of us playing with the camera, but no matter what, the pictures wanted to be golden.  Even with a white sheet for balance. So I finally went with it before the lasagna got cold.

It was good. The original recipe is here. I made the sauce on Friday. So on Monday all I had to do was put the lasagna together. I used Tinkyada rice noodles to keep it gluten free. I didn’t boil them first, so I cooked the lasagna at full temp for 45 minutes, then turned the oven down to 200 degrees and let it coast until the guests arrived (about 90 minutes). The noodles were perfect. Pulled it out and let it set while I toasted the garlic bread. Total prep time was about 30 minutes, including salad, bread and putting the lasagna together.

That’s what I call a stress-free dinner party.

Breakfast Pr0n

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Mmm… quesadillas

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More shrimp creole

DSC_4673 [1600x1200]This was so tasty prepared from box mixes that I decided to try a scratch build.  This recipe looked pretty good so I gave it a try, and was ready to make a batch of white rice when I noticed a bag of “Mexican” rice in the cupboard and made the dish with it – curious to see just what it was, bought it on a whim from the local grocery.  It turned out to be good tasting and pretty.  I had the black beans going already and was intending to freeze them in a couple of batches for later but they seemed like a good fit.DSC_4664 [1600x1200]This was my first go at dried black beans and they turned out very good.  I brought them to a boil and then killed the flame, covered the beans, and let them sit for an hour, then drained them and cooked them in enough chicken broth to cover, along with some garlic powder and a sprinkling of mild chili powder, just enough to add the flavor notes.  I have two bowls of the leftover beans in the freezer now, to be transferred to plastic freezer bags when they are solid.  The method works for pinto beans, too, and are a good substitute for canned beans.

Hi-Def Cat TV

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Need more kitties

DSC_3248 [1600x1200]We have 6 inches of snow on the ground this morning and Miss Bitsy was not really eager to check it out, though she finally made her way out the door.  It didn’t take her very long to look at it.  Here she is requesting readmittance.DSC_3242 [1600x1200]Homer has more experience with snow and is fairly content to remain on this side of the window.  Toby hasn’t bothered to come from under the bed.DSC_3239 [1600x1200]There are two parsley plants on the bench that have survived the cold snaps we have had so far this season.  I know we had sub 25 degree temps a few nights so I imagine the coat of snow will not hurt them.  The rosemary at the end was OK before the snow but the chives looked to be ready for their winter nap.