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:


  • 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.

Homemade Buns

DSC_9769 (1600x1060)Mrs J wanted sloppy joes for lunch but a quick look found us lacking buns that would work.  I did a search for quick burger buns and this one jumped up.  The recipe calls for a ton of yeast because it isn’t given much time to work, just a 10 minute rest after they are shaped and placed on a baking tray.  My oven may be running a tad hot ever since I fiddled with the adjustment slider on the underside of the temperature dial.  It had been a bit cooler than the setting indicated and I may have overshot.  At any rate, with the temps set to 425 per the recipe they were looking like this at 9 minutes in so I pulled them.DSC_9771 (1600x1060)They felt a wee bit heavy and they were fairly dense but worked very well for the task.  I think the next batch will get a little more time for a rise and a cooler oven, say at the 375 setting.  The sloppy joe has a slice of muenster cheese, placed while still in the pan and then covered while it melted down into the beef.  The beef recipe was my usual – sweat down onions and bell peppers, add garlic, toss in the beef to brown while dipping out grease and then adding bbq sauce, catsup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and whatever else catches my eye.  I thickened this batch with cornstarch dissolved in stock but that is optional. DSC01484 (1600x1200)Bonus pet blankets and beds!  Mrs J has been busy as a beaver.


IMG_3347 (1600x1200)No human was harmed in the production of this photograph.  You may think that the nice lady was swarmed by cats determined to wrest from her the can opener she has for the canned kitteh chow.  They are aware, however, that thumbs are required and are therefore careful not to use excessive force in their attempts to “persuade” her.DSC_4349 (1600x1060)Mrs J was heading out to the shelter for her volunteer duty and carried up some finished pet beds and mats she sews and donates to local shelters.  They were so colorful I just had to arrange them for a picture.  They love her at the local fabric store!  Much of the material she uses is donated and she recycles the stuffing from other items.20131104_080419_LLS (1600x1060)Ginger, the new boy, is fitting in rather well.  I hope Homer eases off his less than welcoming behavior.  I keep a squirt bottle handy.DSC_7235 (1600x1060)I made a batch of steak for cheesesteak sammiches yesterday.  I think the classic recipe calls for a rib loin to be cooked then sliced thin and topped with cheese and onions or peppers but I always slice the meat thin while it’s still semi frozen and then cook it with onions.  I’ve been using flat iron steaks for this and they work great.  The sammy above was topped with a white cheddar sauce and the hot Chicago giardiniera I love so much.DSC_7242 (1600x1060)An alternate method is to layer sliced cheese atop a loaded bun and then put it under the broiler to melt the cheese.  That’s how I did these – they are topped with provolone and are fresh from the toaster oven.DSC_7247 (1600x1060)Here is one of those all dressed and ready to go.  I’ve been keeping a dish of olives of various kinds marinating in a garlicy Italian dressing.  I love olives.

Sewing circles

Lazy day today.  No real effort to cook anything even half way special.  Mrs J has been sewing kitty beds and taking them to the shelter for the critters there.  Not just kitty beds, but they seem to be the recent focus.  They look pretty good, I think.  Bitsy likes to help out with testing.  She is in the middle of a rigorous examination right now and will let us know what she thinks in a little while.  Like the title suggests, she’s sewing circles.