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Tidbits

Moar Gumbo!  This one is shrimp and crab, with the last of the dark meat turkey.  When folks ask for recipes I usually point them to NOLA Cuisine.  That is for chicken and andouille but there are links there for his Cajun/Creole recipe page.  I would encourage y’all to go there.Mrs J brought some small pet beds up from her sewing room for a quick wash and fluffing in the dryer, they will go with her to the shelter when she pulls her next shift.  The top one is called a “cuddle cup” and the other two are “pumpkin” beds.  Patterns are available online.Chicken biscuits!  These are from a recipe in the food section of the NY Times.  The biscuit recipe seems familiar:

BISCUITS:

  • 3 cups/450 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons/37 grams baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons/100 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups/360 milliliters whole milk

Bake in a 425 oven until they brown on the top, it took about 17 minutes in my convection oven.  They do puff up quite a bit, I cut 8 biscuits from the dough, each 3-1/2″.I could have gotten 10 or more by rolling the dough a tad thinner, the ones I made by rerolling the scraps were especially thick and nearly toppled themselves in the oven.There was a bit of dough left over even after rolling out the scraps from cutting out the biscuits.  I like to make cinnamon rolls from that.  Just roll the dough fairly thin, brush with melted butter, and cover with a thick coat of cinnamon sugar.  Roll into a long tube and slice that into little wheels, drizzle with more butter, and bake them along with the biscuits.Kroger offers these telera slider rolls as a “take-and-bake” item – they are sold par-baked and just need a finish.  They are a smaller version of these rolls.  The crispy crust holds them together very well when making sammiches that are very juicy, like sloppy joes or Italian beef.  Of course, they are good for little cheeseburgers, too.Moar kitteh!  Ollie likes ice cream.  We all like ice scream.

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Tidbits

Cookies!  These are those very tasty chocolate chip oatmeal coconut raisin cookies, the recipe does not say raisins but I like them so I added a handful.  And nobody does chocolate chunks anymore, all the cool kids are into the very retro and hip chips.I tried this the other day, wanting to get some more use out of that heavy tortilla press.  It really makes some thin hamburger patties!  I backed off on the ones I actually cooked because nobody has an 8 inch burger bun.  They do fry up fast fast fast.  LOL  I love my griddle.

I splurged on this ultrawide monitor.  It’s a 34 incher and it’s wide enough to fit 2 web pages in without squeezing them too hard.  It came with a couple of software drivers – one that purports to add a settings screen to Windows (adjust brightness and contrast and so on), plus something they call a Dual Monitor Something or Another.  I think the DM driver is meant to fool the computer into believing there are actually 2 monitors hooked up but I didn’t get that far because one or both of those drivers made my computer go insane.  I managed to do a system restore and got back to normalcy.  The Nvidia graphics card handls the monitor just fine.Cats and dogs living together!  The cameras in cell phones are getting really good, but I sent this through a photo editor to brighten it up and correct the colors.

More cookies!  These are from a recipe put out by the Splenda sweetener people.  They are quick and easy and really are delicious with a nice crisp texture.

More kittehs!  Ollie and Toby like to hang about on top the the couch.  Ginger Boy is usually up there, too.

Soup!  This is that Hungarian recipe mushroom soup we’ve been making lately.  It’s full of paprika and sour cream and dill.  It’s easy to make and delicious.  Even better the next day.  I used brown buttons this time, and I ran out of tamari soy sauce so I subbed in a shot of mushroom soy – it’s a very thick and dark soy sauce that works very well in this recipe, I think it’s going to be in mine from now on.

This Blog Needs Some Moar Puppehs!

Tidbits

This poor thing was brought in with two broken legs, the one appears to be less of a problem than the other, going strictly by the casts.  I have no other info but he is in good hands at St Francis.Made some mayo from scratch.  The other day I roasted a bunch of garlic cloves in olive oil and used a 1/4 c of that oil in this.  The recipe for the basic mayo is easy – put an egg with 1/4 c oil in the bowl of a processor, add a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of dry mustard and give it a spin.  Start drizzling in more oil until you’ve used about a cup, total, or until it gets to the consistency you are going for.  I added canola oil for the drizzle.  This turned out very garlicky.I used it on this sammich – very good!  I assembled it after the photo, and went sans lettuce.  That’s more of my maple pepper bacon.  Yum!Now here comes Bitsy, slowly, a step at a time.  Head on a swivel, looking for threats.  She finally made it all of the way in.  Yay!This was Taco Tuesday for us.  I’m torn between piling on the goodies or going sparingly with them for a better picture.  These white corn tortillas are smeared with refried beans, layered with smoked pork, cheddar, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo.This looks like a short loaf of banana bread but it’s actually made with figs.  We had a fairly good batch we weren’t quite sure what to do with.I quartered them and stuck them in the dehydrator overnight – too long, alas.  They were barely pliable and too tough.  We dropped them into a stout blender and whirled them with water to break them up.  The result looked much like bananas that had been pureed so they went into a banana bread recipe.This is one of those soups that come from what I think of as a “bottomless” soup pot – I keep adding to it as we eat out of it.  Those diced potatoes were not in there yesterday and I added more carrots.  The beef will get scarce after a few iterations, but right now there’s still plenty.I’ll wind this up with another shelter kitteh.  This one looks like our own Ginger Boy.

Cats and Dogs Living Together

Tidbits

Here’s half of the kitteh crew, the youngest half.  They’ve arranged themselves on the tree by order of seniority – Bitsy on top, Ginger Boy, and Ollie, the newest addition.I tried a couple of those refrigerated pizza crusts that come rolled up in parchment paper.  I figured they couldn’t be too bad.  I figured wrong.  Those roasted garlic cloves were very good – cooked at 400 for 45 minutes or so.I peeked into the oven after 14 minutes and saw that the crust edge had little or no color so I gave them a few minutes more.  That was a bad call.  The edge was hard and tough, the rest was just tough.  I have a tube of pizza dough that they package like the biscuits that you rap on the counter edge to pop open.  I’ll give that a go but my hopes for it are limited.It’s getting to be soup weather – the temps are below 90 and that is what we call fall weather these days.  I made a potato soup – boil some ham hocks in chicken stock with onions for an hour or two then add chopped potatoes and continue to simmer until they are soft enough to run a stick blender.  Take out the ham and set aside to cool, run the blender, then pick the meat off the hock and return to the soup.  I added a splash of half and half and melted in a handful of shredded cheddar but that’s optional.I still had a package of sour mustard greens that were an ingredient in this dish – pork belly with mustard greens.  I thawed some of the pork belly I had saved from our last trip to our supplier to use in this and I have the rest of it curing for homemade bacon.  Still have a few days left before that will be ready.I thawed a brick of the last batch of red beans and made a new batch of rice to go with it.  I can see why Louis Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours”Tsk tsk, I see Homer has been out frog hunting again.  He’d best hope he doesn’t step in a snapping turtle’s open maw.

Tidbits

Mrs J says these are the last of the tomatoes by which she means these are the last she is going to pick.  They have pulled out of their doldrums and have really come on.  Might have been the heat.I skinned them all, crushed them, added green peppers and onions, and boiled them down just a little…ending up with 15-1/2 quarts total in quart and pint jars.  Took the best part of a day – peeling the skins was the hardest part.  It didn’t take all that long to cook them, nothing like as long as it takes to cook the juice down when making soup.  It did take three pressure cooker loads to finish them, with the ramp up to pressure and the cool-down included it took over an hour per load.I hoisted down the big enameled cast iron pot from its usual spot atop one of the cabinets for cabbage and sausages.  (And carrots, potatoes, and onions.)Made enough for lunch the next day.  The sausages were particularly good – some were ordered up from Louisiana through the Cajun Grocer, and there were a couple left over from the package that I broke open for breakfast the other day.Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These were cooked to 138 degrees for half the day and were as tender as you would expect.Chili dogs!  Yay!  I keep cans of chili in the cupboard for those days when I’m just about covered up with other chores (canning tomatoes).I’ll wind up this one with Gabe keeping watch over the back yard.  There is often something to bark at and he doesn’t want to miss out.  Homer is keeping him company though his vigil.

Tidbits

Gabe waits for his dog mama, she won’t be gone long because she misses her dog boy.We eat some of the tomatoes fresh!  I set a few aside when we are processing for soup or stewed for canning.  I try to get the best ones – no marks or splits or spots.  This sammich started out wanting to be a BELT but I didn’t have the lettuce so it just gets billing as a breakfast sammich.  Brunch, actually, we don’t get up early enough…I used up some odds and ends of pasta for this one.  I still have plenty of parsley, the caterpillars that were eating it have gone away.  Still have a hornworm or two – they seem to be specializing on my hot peppers now that  the patio tomatoes are gone. We love these upside down cakes.  I cut them into single serving squares and freeze them in plastic containers.  They really hit the spot for late night snacks while watching videos.More cookies!  These are my current favorites.  I’ve been leaving out the almonds and adding raisins.  I’ve made these often enough that I can do them without looking at the recipe.Mmm… French toast and garlic pepper sausages.  The sausages are from that processing plant we travel to a few time a year to stock up.  They have the best ham hocks, and they are the closest place I know that has fresh pork bellies.  I buy a couple, cut them in two, and vacuum seal the halves for the big freezer.Mrs J said we have plenty of tomato soup canned.  I think she mentioned 40 quarts.  Well, we better get busy with it!  I used a veggie peeler to shave Parmesan for a garnish.Mmm… smoked pork makes a fine sammich.  The sides are potato salad in the back and bacon, tomato, and basil pasta salad.I’ll wind this one up with a few cute kittehs.

Blog Needz Kittehs! I Fix!

And a puppeh!

Tidbits

Like I said, the killer app for steaks is sous vide.  These spent the afternoon at 136°F.  A quick sear then a rest while a pan sauce was made from the bag liquids, butter, wine, and soy sauce.  That was a big rib steak, even I didn’t eat the whole thing.A veggie beef soup follows leftover steak at our house.  A smoked pork sammich turned the soup into a real meal.Kitteh!  The kittens were recipients of a round of claw clipping, they were a bit disturbed and needed a firm grasp to hold them for the task.I told Mrs J to mention that too firm a grasp causes their little kitteh eyes to bug out.

Teeny weenies!  Hash browns and eggs!    Mmm… breakfast for dinner.Mrs J spends most of her volunteer time in the kitteh house but she does catch the occasional pupper.  This little girl came in when her owner passed.  She’s heartworm positive but is expected to be fine.Fried fish for the win!  I made a tartar sauce with fresh dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced dill pickles, and mayo.I’ll finish with an adult cat.  No info at all on this one but Mrs J days she’s very friendly.  She’s been at the shelter for a week or so.