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Ins and Outs

Homer gets along with the dogs better than than he does with any of the other kittehs.

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Chicken Rice

This was going to be chicken rice soup but it ended up more stew than soup.  Here are a couple of kittehs in a tub to make me feel better.

Kittehs!

kitty_puddle-1600x1200St Francis

Here’s Ollie!

20161218_174208-1600x1200We’re keeping him.  I hope it’s a him, he’s on his way to the vet right now so we will know soon enough.

[edit to add]:  Confirmed, Ollie is a boy kitteh.

Tidbits

img_09931600x1200Here’s a photo from the archives.  I like the symmetry.20161112_1654231600x1200Kroger 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.20161115_1204201600x1200Sloppy 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.20161111_163233-1600x1200BBQ 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.20161116_0824161600x1200I 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:img_20161116_082932_processed

20161114_1131091600x1200Hot 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.20161115_1712191600x1200I’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.

Easy Apple Turnovers

20161111_1312351600x1200Easy when you use puff pastry sheets.  We had some leftover apple pieces so we added some dried blueberries, cranberries, and a few raisins to them and thawed two sheets of pastry dough.  Each sheet makes 4, just quarter the sheets and fold two opposite corners together over 2 tablespoons of filling and seal the edges with a fork.20161111_1153051600x1200Cut slits to let the steam escape.  You can brush on egg wash, milk, or cream to help the turnovers brown, or just brush on some of the liquids from the apples – the juices were sugar rich and cinnamon flavored.  We sprinkled them with more sugar and baked them in a 350 convection oven for 12 minutes then checked, these needed 8 more minutes.dsc00054-1600x1060Here are a couple more kittehs.  I’ve used this photo before.  I love the wide eyed stare at the camera, not even a hint of fear – just interest.

Tidbits

20160904_122601(1600x1200)We had enough chicken and sauce left over from those sour cream enchiladas for another go.  The side dish is a black bean and corn salad with onions, peppers, and diced celery in a cumin vinaigrette.IMG_20160830_122526604(1600x1200)Here’s that chihuahua mix before she got after the chicken in that bag before her.  Cute as a button!20160901_164720(1600x1200)Roast/BBQ chicken quarter with rosemary garlic potato wedges and an ear of grilled corn.  The local Kroger has been offering seasoned leg quarters off and on for a while now and pricing them decently.  I generally buy some to cook right away and extra to freeze for later.DSC03743 (1600x1200)This is Spots, we’ve put up her picture here before – she’s about 2 years old and is a sweetheart.  Mrs J reminds me that St Francis has lowered their adoption fees during “Happy Cat Month” to $25 and that includes vaccinations, chipping, and spaying/neutering.  They also test for FeLV/FIV.20160905_080654(1600x1200)That new toaster oven has slo-cook settings that work pretty much like on a dedicated crock-pot style cooker.  I have it set on low, it is showing the default time setting of 6 hours.  I had a brisket in the smoker overnight and I’m finishing it here.  It’s wrapped in foil inside the pan.IMG_20160814_132009849(1600x1200)Moar Gabe!  Here he is, studiously ignoring Bea Kitteh.  We’ve since ripped out everything in the garden except for the figs.  Still waiting for them to ripen.IMG_20160827_125640142(1600x1200) Here’s Bea again, luxuriating in catnip that Mrs J was cleaning up in the front from under the little dogwood tree.20160901_121953(1600x1200)I’ll wind this up with this sammich.  It has deli sliced ham, roast chicken, and cheddar under all that salad.  That green salad in the back is one of Kroger’s frequent forays into artisinal salads, this one is predominately kale and was pretty bad.  Baby spinach maybe would work but the kale really needed cooking.

Tidbits

20160626_164853(1600x1200)Mrs J is from a small town a stone throw from the Mighty Mississippi and she grew up eating fish from those waters.  She won’t go long without demanding fried fish for dinner.  These are cod fillets instead of catfish but she was satisfied nonetheless.  The tartar sauce has a ton of dill in it.DSC03588(1600x1200)Someone found this old dog astray down by the county line and brought it in to St Francis.  Poor dog looks to be half starved.  I’m sure the good folks at the shelter will have him bulked up faster than you can say Chris Christie.DSC_5907 (2) (1600x1200)I took this one of Toby and Bea a few years ago and ran across it while browsing through my archives.  The original was in color but I’ve run it through an editing program to convert it to B&W and added some film grain with an appropriate filter.  I like it better this way.20160629_131759(1600x1200)Moar sammich!  I always make what looks like way too much salad garnish for these things but I manage to eat it all – I keep adding back what falls off so every bite has plenty of crunch.DSC03602(1600x1200)Kittehs!  Mrs J says she is just the sweetest little thing.  They’ve named her Socks.  She’s about eight weeks old.  She likes to reach out and pat you with her cute little paw.  Peeking out from atop the other shoulder of the volunteer is a little gray and white boy kitteh, Fraggle.  He’s a tad younger that Socks.20160630_175447(1600x1200)It’s always a good day for posole, the traditional pork and hominy stew.  This is the red version, a green version with pork or chicken is also common.DSC03603(1600x1200)This little calico is named Lizzie.  She’s ten weeks old.  Mrs J doesn’t have any info on the other kitty.  They are snuggled together in one of the kitteh beds she makes.20160630_124756(1600x1200)Mmm… smoked pork sammy with slaw and a generous pour of a local BBQ sauce hat has gained some fame.

Tidbits

DSC03131 (1600x1200)Gail, a six month old kitten, was introduced to her her new staff yesterday. After her approval  she allowed her new chauffeur to convey her to her new domain.DSC_5439 (1600x1060) We have no idea what this is.  It’s about the size of a softball and is made of various fibers.DSC_5441 (1600x1060)I suppose it’s possible that it’s just a windblown ball of fluff that has been caught by the branch but it does appear to have been purposely anchored there by several loops of the same fibers as it is built of.DSC_1749 (1600x1060)Mmm… sloppy joes!  I made a quick bean salad with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing to go with it – based loosely on this recipe.DSC_1752 (1600x1060)I made corned beef the other day and ran the butt ends and scraps through a food processor just for this hash dish.  Frozen shredded potatoes make it a quick and delicious meal.  That’s hot sauce on the egg, I like a dash of Tabasco on mine. DSC_1727 (1600x1060)Gumbo is always a good idea.  This one has shrimp, chicken, and some of my homemade Andouille.  I still have a little bit left, sealed in vacuum bags and frozen.  Vacuum sealing is working out very well, pleased to have rediscovered the method.DSC_1723 (1600x1060)I made a quick batch of Italian sausage from some plain ground pork because I had my heart set on some and found none at all in the freezer.  I was sure I had some!20160130_114847[1] (1600x1060)I’ll make kitteh bookends to the post with this snap of Bea.  The cats have shredded the carpet on this old cat tree so Mrs J set it outside on the back porch, pending remediation.

Tidbits

DSC_1595 (1600x1060)I suppose I should open with the Christmas Dinner – the rib roast worked out nicely for us and I’m tickled because it was my first time doing one.  We followed, loosely, the Serious Eats recipe, including the ox tail in red wine for the jus.  I’m a little bummed, I made a nice dressing to go with this and left it, forgotten, in the basement fridge until too late.DSC_1603 (1600x1060)I went ahead today and cooked it, I’ll portion it out and freeze it, then vacuum seal it for later.  It, too, is a recipe from the Serious Eats folks.  I had even used my own patio grown sage for the seasoning:20151224_085628[1] (1600x1060)I picked a paper sack full of leaves from the container plant and let them dry atop the freezer, a nice out of the way spot that stays warm due to the heat exchange system built into the walls of the box.  The food processor made short work of them, reducing the sackful to the not-quite-powder that they label as “rubbed sage” in the retailer’s spice rack.ginger sewing help (1600x1060)Mrs J took a snap of Ginger this afternoon, and it got me to searching for the pictures we took of him and his siblings right after they had been dumped at the neighbor’s house:DSC_4288 (1600x1060)This was taken in October of 2013, they are Ginger’s litter mates but Ginger isn’t among them, we didn’t capture him until 3 or 4 days later – he had evaded the initial round-up.  Mrs J took him to our vet for an evaluation and the vet tech said he hadn’t had anything but grass and leaves to eat for a while.  DSC_1591 (1600x1060)Here’s a ham and Swiss on rye, lightly grilled.  I have a nice beef top round brining in the basement and I wanted to try a couple of rye bread recipes in the machine.  This was a light rye with caraway seeds.  Should be perfect for the corned beef-to-be.20151217_155035 (1600x1060)I mentioned in a post this spring that a neighbor bought a couple of swans they were going to raise along with the goats they’ve been keeping.  I was driving past their place when I looked out the window at the goats browsing on their pond dam and had to do a double take – those swans are nearly as big as the goats!DSC_1598 (1600x1060)Here’s a different angle on that rib platter.  Mrs J is wishing we had bought another one to put back, this one was so good.