DSC_9850 (1600x1060)This exemplifies the mood around here this afternoon.  The rest of the critters are about somewhere but they haven’t made it as far as this pair.DSC_9857 (1600x1060)Mrs J had enough left to manage these hand pies.  Apple is fine but we both are thinking that this much effort should yield at least a few blueberry pies.  DSC_9824 (1600x1060)Nothing says I’m too lazy to cook a proper meal like sloppy joes and oven baked frozen fries.  Tastes pretty good, though.DSC_9822 (1600x1060)Those ham and asparagus frittatas went over so well the other day that we did a reprise with broccoli.  These have cheddar and deli sliced ham along with the veggie.  I zap the broccoli for a minute, covered, in the microwave before adding it to the pan.  Let the edges firm up then finish under a broiler.  My toaster oven works great for this.DSC_9835 (1600x1060)Chicken rice soup hit the spot the other day when it was colder.  We made a loaf of country white bread in the machine to go with this, thick slices lightly toasted with a slather of butter.DSC_9838 (1600x1060)Last, but not least, is this cheese crust pizza.  Note the orange-ish puddles around the inside edges – I usually roll mozzarella string cheese into the crust but the last time I shopped I went with “pizza flavored” cheese.  It all melted and ran out the gaps, it just wasn’t as good as the regular stuff.  By a wide margin.  Yuck.


DSC_9801 (1600x1060)Mmm… rib eye steak with rosemary potatoes fried in duck fat, and stir fried asparagus.  This is about the fifth best photo of this platter but all of the better angles revealed a (gasp!) hair.  It’s still there in this one but the light doesn’t catch it in quite the same manner and it’s not something you would find without some advance notice and some scrutiny at a higher magnification.  Of the three entrees the potatoes took the longest to cook.  Some recipes call for them to be par-boiled but I went with a straight up skillet fry.DSC_9809 (1600x1060)The asparagus we had with the steak came in a sizable bunch so I kept some back and used it this morning in a frittata/omelet with a sliced onion and a bit of ham.  Mrs J took a portion of orange chicken and rice to work with her the other day but brought it back because they had a spread laid out for lunch.DSC_9811 (1600x1060)The leftovers were perfect for a nice fried rice dish – this one has bacon, peas, green onions, and an egg added to the plain rice with a splash of oyster sauce and soy.DSC01684 (1600x1200)St Francis is in the middle of moving out of the old house that the shelter was established in and into their new building.  They’ve been saving up for a while and doing sales and auctions and hitting up local animal lovers for cash, the new headquarters is nearly half paid for already but they could always use more help.DSC01676 (1600x1200)Mrs J says they aren’t quite done with the finish work in the kitteh section of the new digs but these may be the last pictures taken of cats in the old house.  They are taking bids for the demolition.  It really was falling down around them.DSC01692 (1600x1060)We’ll have photos of the new place soon-ish.

Breakfast Pr0n – Pizza Frittata

DSC_4871 [1600x1200]I had several toppings leftover from the last pizza session and nearly went with another mini pizza using the nan (naan) loaves that worked so well last time.  I decided, though, that nothing shouts “breakfast!” quite so loudly as beaten eggs.  Here is a frittata made with sausage, ham, sweet pepper rings, black olives, mushrooms, and onions.  There is at least a spoonful of black beans in there, too.  LOL!  Top all of that with fresh shaved Parmesan and you have some real pr0n!DSC_4868 [1600x1200]

Breakfast Pr0n

DSC_4780 [1600x1200]Made use of the leftover Italian sausage from the mini pizzas last night.  I warmed the sausage in a non stick skillet with some sliced green onions and then poured in beaten eggs.  I left that on the stove top until the edges were set then moved the pan into my toaster oven to finish.  When the top was set I added some shredded cheese  and returned the pan to the little oven while it melted.  Ack!  Just remembered I have a red bell pepper that would have added some nice color.  I made do with red pepper flakes.


Mmm… breakfast pr0n

Not too sure what to call this because it seems to be straddling the line I have in my head between frittata and omelet.  I consider it too thin to be a proper frittata although to class it an omelet seems to diminish it in some way that I can’t quite put my finger on.

At any rate, there isn’t anything hidden, what you see is what it is:  Grape tomatoes and broccoli florets sauteed in olive oil for a bit, then three beaten eggs poured in and finished in my little counter top oven.  I changed my mind two or three times over what cheese I wanted.  Nearly went with blue cheese, then considered mozzarella, and decided to grate some aged Parmesan.  It was good.

Max’s Bacon-Sweet Potato Frittata by Joshua De Mers

Why he begs, 3

Max is rewarded. Click photo for full story.

Just before I left for LA, friend of blog sent me a recipe to go along with our favorite Balloon-Juice Doberman, Max.  I ran out of time to get the recipe up, so it was delayed until now.  From Joshua De Mers:

Inspired by one of Balloon Juice’s most beloved mascots, MAX!!!

Sometimes things just work together better than you could even plan! I know pretty much all these flavors get along, so the end result comes out delicious and really not too expensive!

Max’s Bacon-Sweet Potato Frittata

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6-8 crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt & pepper (this is season as you go)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oz white cheddar cheese (whatever sharpness you prefer)
  • 2 oz gruyere cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 10 eggs

Parmesan cheese (use the stuff from the can)

Set oven to broil. Slice bacon into pieces, then cook in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove from pan. You can either clean out the skillet or start over in a large non-stick skillet that can go under the broiler. Turn down heat to medium. Slice sweet potato into fourths, then into thin wedges. Melt butter in large skillet, add sweet potato, season with salt and pepper, and cook 3-5 minutes. Add in onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms, give a good stir, season some more, and cook another 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato, seeds and all, then garlic. Cook until almost all the moisture is gone and you start to see starchy streaks of orange in the skillet. At that point, turn the heat down to low. Crack and scramble the eggs, cut the cheese into small pieces (you can grate it as well but small bits give you little pleasant cheese pockets!) and stir into the eggs. Also stir in the cooked bacon and the parsley. Cook in pan over low heat until you see egg starting to set, then pull back so custard can hit heat and set as well. Also pull back just enough so eggs form a layer on bottom of pan. When eggs have almost but not quite totally set, dust entire top with the Parmesan cheese. Set pan under broiler and let cook 5-7 minutes or until top is golden brown and eggs are puffy and pulled away from sides. Slide frittata onto cutting board and cut into wedges. Served topped with sour cream or mascarpone cheese.

Joshua De Mers

Thanks Joshua, sounds yummy, love the sweet potato twist.  Joshua always includes a quote with his emails.  I particularly liked this one:

May I become at all times, both now and forever,

A protector for those without protection

A guide for those who have lost their way

A ship for those with oceans to cross

A bridge for those with rivers to cross

A sanctuary for those in danger

A lamp for those without light

A place of refuge for those without shelter

And a servant to all in need.

-Tenzin Gyasto,


I thought it time to scratch my frittata itch this morning.  I had some odds and ends of veggies I needed to use and a frittata is the perfect vehicle for that.  I did open a package of fresh goat cheese to crumble over the top.

I took a few pictures in the available light just for fun, the ones of the skillet on the stove were taken with just the under cabinet florescent fixture for direct illumination along with what light there was from a cloudy morning outside the windows.  The camera did all the work and did a pretty good job of figuring it all out for me.  I’m liking the f/1.8 35mm lens quite a bit, too.  The plated meal was shot using the usual twin strobe bounce illumination.  With a white ceiling in the kitchen I can treat the whole table as a “light box”.


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Mmm…asparagus frittata

I’m notorious for buying asparagus and forgetting to use it.  We probably toss as much as we eat.  I was determined to get some use from the bunch brought home yesterday. Frittatas are easy and fun!

This one has mushrooms and red onions as well as the asparagus. Just as an aside, I am really starting to enjoy these cherry tomatoes.

Here is a photo of Homer that I very nearly didn’t get.  Operator flash error, had the settings wrong.  In post processing I was able to tease an image from what looked to be a black, empty frame.  Note the grain-you can boost the brightness a lot, but it comes at a price.