DSC_9577 [1600x1060]Mmm… posole with a few garnishes with quesadillas.  The dish is similar in spirit to the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.  I made a huge batch of posole a few months ago and pressure canned several quarts of it to put back for quick dinners.  I think there are six quarts left.  The quesadillas are beef, cheese, and bean.DSC01284 [1600x1060]Mrs J spotted Miss Bea  down in the yard trying to decide if the deer was a threat.  She decided the answer was no and proceeded to ignore it.  She treats me the exact same way.DSC_9564 [1600x1060]We had chili one day this week,  I used some ground beef and threw in some chorizo meatloaf that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and had frozen.  Worked better as chili than as a meatloaf.DSC_9567 (1600x1060)There was enough chili left over to make a few chili dogs.  These are garnished with chopped pickled jalapeno, fresh onions, and shredded cheese.  The dogs are actually smoked sausages that claim to incorporate Vidalia onions in the recipe.  I didn’t notice any particular onion-y taste but the natural casings did have a nice snap to them.DSC01348 [1600x1060]This little pup took a few seconds off from the towel fight to pose for a picture.  All the new arrivals get a flea bath whether they like it or not.DSC_9556 (1600x1060)Hard to beat a nice steak.  I boiled the potatoes first and then squashed them a bit before frying them in duck fat and olive oil.  Tasty little things with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper!  The veggies were stir fried in a little stock with a dab of soy, and a spoon of chili garlic paste.DSC01310 [1600x1060]One more puppeh!  I think he likes her!DSC_9560 (1600x1060)I’ll wind this up with an enchilada platter.  These are beef, bean, and cheese rolled in corn tortillas and are baked with a roasted red pepper sauce.  The corn salad with black beans was pretty good, it has chopped celery, onions, red and green peppers, garlic, and is dressed with a seasoned rice vinegar/garlic oil vinaigrette.


DSC01045 (1600x1200)This pretty girl has been at the shelter for a while now.  She was a surrender – the owner became unable to care for her due to infirmity.  Mrs J hoped to promote her adoption prospects by placing her prominently in the shelter’s Facebook page but no luck so far despite going home with a prospect for a visit, and some inquiries.  DSC_9454 (1600x1060)The last batch of cayennes I picked went into my fermenting jar, the same rig that works so well for counter top sauerkraut.  It’s pretty easy to make your own hot sauces and you can tailor the recipe to your own tastes by using different peppers or liquids.  Not that I have any great expertise since this is my first batch.  I forget exactly which recipe I used but this one seems very close to it. The ratio of salt to peppers is the same, I used a white wine to cover them in the jar.  Cayennes aren’t the hottest peppers out there but they do have some heat.  I don’t remember now how long these spent in the jar but going on two months seems close.  I didn’t use any whey or starter to hurry the fermenting.DSC00977 - Copy (1600x1200)This is Jack, a bashful sort.  He has since been adopted.DSC_9433 (1600x1060)It’s been a long time since we’ve had pork chops for dinner.  These simmered in mushroom cream for a good hour.  The potatoes were mashed with garlic and sour cream, the broccoli were steamed and treated to a lemon butter sauce made with white wine and thickened a little with cornstarch to help it cling to the veggies.DSC00982 (1600x1200)This is Toby, a terrier mix.  Mrs J thinks he’s gone on to a new home.DSC_9442 (1600x1060)I’ll close this out with a stir fry, this one is chicken and various veggies in a brown sauce with a batch of fried rice.  “Brown sauce” is a generic term and there are tons of recipes out there.  I generally use a little of this and a little of that in mine – IIRC this one has soy sauce, black vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth, sesame oil, Hoisin sauce, garlic chili paste, cornstarch, and a dash of Maggi branded seasoning sauce.  The chicken marinated for an hour in similarly seasoned marinade – heavier on the cornstarch.


IMG_4900 (1600x1060)Puppies!  Nine in this litter.  Mrs J says the momma is really spooked and is going to be hard to deal with.  Staff can handle the pups with no problem but the mom will not allow anyone to touch her.  Not sure but we think there is mostly beagle in the mix.DSC_4589 (1600x1060)Bea cautiously inspects a new garden dog.DSC_8272 (1600x1060)Stir fries are an easy way to a nice dinner.  This one has chicken with broccoli and carrots with onions in a brown sauce.  For these sauces I just start splashing in dashes of any of the condiment liquids that look right.  This one has three kinds of soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic paste, ginger paste, sesame oil, chicken stock and cornstarch.  IMG_4862 (1600x1060)Another of the cute puppies at the shelter.  I have no idea what this one is.  Some terrier in there?DSC_8281 (1600x1060)Mmm… rib eye and steamed lobster tail with those roasted sprouts tossed in balsamic glaze with crispy prosciutto.  The ramekin holds melted butter with lemon and garlic and a dash of paprika.IMG_4893 (1600x1060)I’ll close with another puppy.  Mrs J says this one is an Aussie mix.


IMG_3359 (1600x1060)It’s puppy day today, mostly.  Mrs J brought home a new crop of puppy pics and they are some real cuties.  This one is a chihuahua mix, about ten weeks old.IMG_3380 (1600x1060)This is one of a pair of Catahoula Cur mixes.  It’s hard to be sure of breed mixes when they come into the shelter but this is the best guess and I think it’s at least close.IMG_3364 (1600x1060)Here’s another one.  They both had just been bathed.  The washer/dryer machines at the shelter run practically nonstop with towels and assorted bedding.DSC_7268 (1600x1060)We aren’t yet tired of stir fry but we are approaching saturation.  No idea what we will do for dinner tomorrow but Mrs J is bringing up a frozen pork shoulder so that sets a direction for me.DSC_4350 (1600x1060)Homer is still unpredictable around Ginger.  He smacked the new guy around some more today.  All the kitties have inspected the new cardboard carton play house.  It’s a tight fit for Toby and Bea.  Bitsy isn’t a li’l bitty kitty anymore and Homer has to crawl in, too.

Shrimp Stir Fry

DSC_4983 [1600x1200]Hard to beat a stir fry for a quick and tasty dinner.  They’ve been selling these baby carrots for a good while now and they are great in this dish.  A few minutes in the pan and the raw is gone but they still have some snap to them.  I wonder if they are hydroponic?  Also in the dish are sliced purple onions, broccoli, re-hydrated mushrooms and a few red peppers that went into a sauce pan with the mushrooms to soften them up.

Stir fried shrimp with snow peas and mushrooms

We haven’t had shrimp for a while.  This dish used much the same sauce as did the chicken with peppers yesterday, though I did chance the Wrath of Mrs J by adding some heat via dried red peppers and a little sesame chili oil.  The shrimp marinated for a bit in rice wine and black vinegar with corn starch and flour.  I deep fried the battered shrimp for a minute to set the crust and then drained them on a paper towel.  I stir fried the veggies for a little while then added the semi-cooked shrimp and a sauce of rice wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock, sesame chili oil, and corn starch.  I’m really liking this sauce.  The key flavors are found with the rice wine and the black vinegar:  Also in the flavor mix are the usual suspects – garlic, and ginger.  I’m using those giant garlic cloves in these dishes but they don’t add giant garlic flavor, it’s pretty subtle so you can use a lot of it.  There is more of the garlic in the fried rice:I took this opportunity to massage the heat in my dish with some extra chili garlic paste.  There was a scant teaspoon of it in the main shrimp dish as well, any more would have been suicide by angry stare.  I’ve seen Mrs J look birds from the sky so I go light with communal seasonings.

Chicken and peppers over noodles

We record a selection of cooking shows on the kitchen TV to watch while we eat our meals and we selected this show pretty much at random the other day.  She worked to assemble the recipe ingredients and I nodded along, thinking “yeah, yeah, I have that, and that…”.  It sounded so good to me but I knew Mrs J would never go along with it as it was presented, much too spicy.  It looked as if I could substitute sweet peppers for the hot ones and leave out the hot oils and the Szechuan peppercorns.  The sauce could pretty much stay the same, and the prep and cooking of the chicken would work fine.I fried the chunks of chicken thighs as in the recipe and then stir fried some peppers from the garden and served the result over ramen noodles.  The sauce was made with Chinese rice wine, black vinegar, chicken broth, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce with some corn starch slurry to thicken it.The ramen noodles were tossed with sesame oil to keep them from sticking together while they waited for the chicken and sauce.  This was very good, even without the heat I prefer.  You can serve this to your Momma without fear.  I used bone in chicken thighs so we had to nibble around the bones, boneless thighs would work great if you’d rather not have to deal.