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”!
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.
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.
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.
I 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.The 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.Here’s a closer look at that kitteh. Here’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.Some 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.Moar 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. I have been putting together the usual side dishes but I hardly consider that as “cooking”.
We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze. The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time. I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest. The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing. I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.Here’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app. It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.Sammich pr0n! This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to. I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.Here’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background. And that tongue! LOLI had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day. The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce. Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup. Ha Ha I meant to do that!
Here’s a photo from the archives. I like the symmetry.Kroger had a sale on strip steaks. They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value. I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours. They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.Sloppy joes for lunch the other day. This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles. The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning. It adds a bit of a tang to it.BBQ chicken! I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting. I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting. Set it to low and the default is four hours.I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds. It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:
Hot dogs! I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side. These are Pepperidge Farms brand.I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.