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Fresh Tomatoes

We’re still turning out nontrivial numbers of tomatoes and the odd pepper or two.  You can deal with them one at a time with a simple sammich.I like these on fresh bread or toast with mayo and plenty of salt and pepper.  The classic summer salad of tomatoes and cucumbers in vinaigrette is good but were are just about wore out eating it.To deal the rest I’ve gone to, mainly, stewing them with onions and peppers.  Mac in stewed tomatoes is a simple pleasure.The classic version of this is made with elbows but I ran out of my favored jumbo, ridged elbows to I subbed these small shells.  I like mine with Parmesan and a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes.The rest of the latest batch went into this chili.  I’ve been using annatto in my chili and I think it adds an interesting flavor.  Masa flour makes a nice thickening agent and adds a nice flavor to the dish, as well.

We’ve more tomatoes on the way…

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Tidbits

French toast and those teeny breakfast sausages are a big hit around here, Mrs J is up for this anytime.  Me, too!This is another Harvey rescue.  Cute as a button and already adopted.  SQUEEE!Kroger has these chicken quarters on sale pretty often.  I think they are asking about $1/lb.  I usually buy several packages and put them away in vacuum bags.Crinkle fries and baked beans with the chicken are just perfect.  Mrs J is the crinkle fries fan, but I’m no slouch at putting them away.More of that crockpot Italian beef, this one on a deli bought roll.This is a really hopeful looking kitteh.  It’s not a Harvey rescue but don’t let that stop you!  http://www.stfrancis-care.org/One moar!I just pulled this lasagna from the oven.  It’s made with those no boil noodles.  We are going to have it for dinner tonight and I’ll have more photos later.

Tidbits

Worm sign!  Mrs J drew my attention to this Swallowtail caterpillar on one of the parsleys, it  appeared suddenly and was gone the next day.   Moar kittehs!  Mrs J brought back several good pics of the current kitteh crop at the shelter from her last volunteer stint.We decided it was time for another smoked pork shoulder.  This one spent the day with peach chips smoldering under it, then it finished in the oven.I made a batch of buns for it, I think I’ll do some tacos later.A couple of times a year I’ll trundle the mower down to the back pond to knock the weeds and grass down.  The pond is murky from recent rains, it will clear up over the summer.  We have it stocked with bass, redear and bluegill.We both favor these BLTs and are satisfied to make them for either lunch or dinner.Moar kittehs!  As TaMara once quipped, “it looks like the kitty printer is running low on toner”!

Tidbits

Mmm… another Reuben.  We’ve pretty much settled on an assembly standard:  The corned beef, sliced just so, homemade sauerkraut, and cheese all warmed in a skillet – adding the cheese only when the beef and ‘kraut are warmed through.  The rye slices are started in the toaster when the cheese goes on.  The thousand island dressing goes in a small bowl to be used as a dip – this helps to keep the sandwich intact because it is not soaking through the toast.  Pickle spear garnish is optional but encouraged!We’ve been seeing a lot of rain, 10 inches in the last week, and rivers and creeks are overflowing.  Whenever we get high water  one of the obligatory stops on the gawking tour is this municipal band shell at the aptly named Riverside Park.  The Big Muddy River (actual name!) is a tributary of the Mighty Mississippi, it enters a few miles below Grand Tower, IL.An access road loops around the park.  It would be visible below the shell but for the high water.  Right now we are kinda “meh” – we’ve seen it higher.  All bets are off should the rain come back.  Crews are sandbagging the big levee along the Mississippi just in case and they are keeping a 24 hour watch.We’re using those naan loaves for pizzas, and here is one replacing a tortilla in a vaguely Tex-Mex hodgepodge with rice, beans, chicken, cheese, eggs, and a salsa verde.Another selfie with Bitsy that I’ve run through the Prisma app.  This is using the Heisenberg filter.  My favorite filter is the one they call Gothic.Time for another pineapple upside down cake!  I used dark brown sugar in this one rather than the light brown I usually go with.  Pour melted butter mixed with brown sugar in the bottom of a pan, this one was made in a 9-1/2″ x 12″ hotel pan with 3/4 cup of butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  I drained the juice from a can of pineapple tidbits and used about half of them in the recipe.  Use the pineapple juice to replace some of the water needed for a yellow cake mix and pour the prepared mix over the pineapple bits.  These baked at 350 for 20 minutes and were not quite done so I added 10 minutes to the timer and reduced the temp to 325 because the top was browning nicely.  If you would rather go from scratch this recipe should work fine for you.These are a favorite and this surely won’t be the last one you’ll see here.  We are just getting warmed up for those summer garden tomatoes.

Soup Pr0n – Chicken Noodle

I bought some colorful plastic plates from the Big Lots store.  I was really looking for a Southwestern/Mexican motif, if you squint hard you can pretend along with me!

Tidbits

Bitsy is a fan of boxes but she deemed this one too small.It’s really too soon for B(E)LTs but I was in a hurry and they make quick lunches.  I made do with a Kroger tomato.  They can leave the vine on, connecting a half dozen tomatoes, and call them vine ripened but that doesn’t lean for a minute that they taste good.We have puppies too!  A trio of picnic side salads.  A bog standard potato salad on the left, a copy-cat slaw on the right, and a mish mash of a bean salad in the middle.  My usual recipe calls for chick peas but I was out of them and subbed in great northern and black beans.  I though it needed more color so I sent Mrs J to the freezer for corn.  She said it  was white corn but it might do, so we tossed those in as well.  It didn’t hurt it.Beans!  I made a double batch because I figure we are heading into peak container garden planting season and they would go well with the other stuff. Kittehs!  A brand new batch.A sloppy dog, now with extra slop.

Sammich Pr0n

I’ve always liked tuna salad on toast.  This one has enough egg that it’s as much egg salad with tuna as it is tuna salad with egg.  There’s chopped celery for crunch and a bit of minced onion and plenty of sweet pickle relish and mayo.A reuben on rye.  I’ve settled on this machine recipe for the rye, it works fine every time.There are a couple of my homemade garlic pepper links under all the grilled veggies and mustard.

Sammich Pr0n

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Cookies and More

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Tidbits

_dsc6849-1600x1200I haven’t been doing much cooking lately aside from leftovers and sammiches.  I have been doing some home IT work, finally replacing the router that has been growing increasingly reliant on constant reboots to function properly.  I was able to fumble through the setup with just one call to tech support.  So far it has been smooth sailing.dsc03797-1600x1200The shelter has a new cat tree!  A local supporter crafted it from what looks like an 8″ diameter section of an actual tree with twine wrapped planks set into notches.dsc03796-1600x1200Here’s a closer look at that kitteh.  20161205_165519-1600x1200Here’s my take on a cheesesteak sammich.  I didn’t bother with a cheese sauce this time, just added a nice slice of provolone towards the end of the sautée.  I found a flat iron steak tucked back in the big freezer, sliced it thin, and cooked it with sweet onions and a bit of green bell pepper.20161207_163927-1600x1200Some chili cheese dogs fresh from the toaster oven.  I gave them a minute or two under the broiler to melt the cheese.  I used shredded Monterey jack and with a generous sprinkle of cheddar.dsc037641600x1200Moar kittehs!  These two are comfy in one of Mrs J’s beds.  The orange and white one has more than the usual number of toes. 20161204_1632031600x1200I have been putting together the usual side dishes but I hardly consider that as “cooking”.dsc03790-1600x1200