Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
The kids are running all over the place (staying away from the electric fences -- don't worry Mom!), and enjoying an enormous amount of freedom. Not missing their movies or tv. I am enjoying saying yes to most of the things they want to do!
It has been 3 years since we lived here. Returning, having mostly adjusted to living in a busy metropolitan area, I realize now why that first year away was so hard for me. I love it here. I love watching the kids out in uncrowded nature. It may not be in the cards for us to set down roots in this beautiful, rural state, but -By Golly- I'm gonna do my best to find a good excuse to visit each year.
There is something about this simple existence that inspires simple, healthy, no-frills food, too. Tonight, Josh cooked up beet greens and sweet potatoes with caramelized onion and pan-fried salmon. Minimal prep and presentation: salt, butter; maybe a little orange in the sweet potatoes? It was delicious. Josh used to cook all the time. Besides being free to do absolutely nothing, having him available to cook for us may be my favorite part of vacation!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
|Drinking from a Mason jar not required.|
Anyway, the first step is to order your Thai tea. If you ever venture into experimenting with Thai food, Import Foods.com is a good place to look for some of those hard-to-find ingredients.
|Stir it up.|
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
|I-cord with 3 stitches.|
|A yarn-end woven in for each toe!|
|Embroidered face and legs attached.|
|You couldn't neglect a knitted house plant...|
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Easy treat. Makes two 6 oz. servings, or one respectable Cup of Joe. This is just the thing when you're craving a special coffee, but it's not within your budget or your schedule to go out. I made this on Monday; it was raining, the baby was sleeping, Ingrid was in school and Malcolm was entertaining himself. Perfect time to sip and knit.
This would adapt well to make camp coffee, too! Ooh... wish I was waking up outside, in the chilly, damp and foggy mountains. This would get you up and ready to hike for sure!
Thanks to a suggestion from my brother and a little reading on the subject, we cut common allergens and irritants from Mal's diet, and were rewarded with near-immediate skin success! He'd had rough, red, angry, angry knees, and patches on his feet and arms that would sometimes crack and bleed. They made him cry. We treated with EVERY CREAM you can imagine, two, three times a day. Steroidal creams like cortisones would help, but longtime use of those things can actually thin one's skin, not to mention offer a few other undesirable effects. Sometimes it would subside, treating with just the heavy-duty Origins cream (expensive!) and neosporin, but as soon as I forgot a treatment, it would come roaring back. SO... now we simply limit a few of those common allergens, especially dairy and wheat, and we all reap the benefits. A little note: Dr. Sears lists fish as a a possible culprit, but we do NOT limit that. We eat fatty fish at least once a week, as the Omega-3 fatty acids are, I believe, actually good for dry skin.
Anyway, who doesn't love a corn dog? I'm definitely going to give these guys a try. Malcolm (along with most 3 year old boys, I'm sure) loves anything served up on a sword...
Monday, June 20, 2011
|Just try to resist.|
I saw this recipe over on the The Homesick Texan's blog, and I had to try it. Unlike several other French toast casserole recipes I'd seen, it works without heavy cream or even half & half; it doesn't have to be made the night before, and it cooks up in cast iron. I adapted it a little by using dense, homemade sourdough in place of French bread, reducing the milk by 1/4 c. and adding an egg. Also, veggie sausage in place of the real thing, with a pinch of anise for added flavor, and brown sugar instead of white. It was awesome. And I ate Way Too Much of it.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter on low heat and help it to coat bottom and sides of pan.
Beat together the milk and eggs. Add sugar, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk. Layer the bottom of the skillet with half of the bread. Top with the blueberries and veggie sausage. Add the rest of the bread on top, then pour your milk & egg mixture over it all. Let sit out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes -- time for the bread to absorb some of the mix. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes longer, but watch the top for excessive browning. Let it rest 15 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar and serving with maple syrup.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
"Inky ruby. Spicy black cherry, tobacco, minerals, licorice and menthol on the nose, all lifted by a floral topnote. Taut, focused and quite primary; today this is all zesty dark fruits and seems quite unformed. Impressively nervy and dry, with chewy extract and emerging notes of graphite, herbs and Indian spices. This very fresh, slowly evolving wine finishes with sneaky tannins and firm mineral-driven persistence." -90 points- Josh Raynolds- International Wine Cellar
WTF? "Inky?" "Emerging notes of graphite?" Does he chew on writing utensils? I cannot associate a taste with those descriptors.
We cracked this guy open while the kids brushed their teeth, and let it sit until they were in bed, then poured it up for a little Saturday night toast. 2008 Luna Beberide Finca la Cuesta... LUSH. That's the word that first rushed to mind, taking a big nosey whiff inside the glass. Lingering on the smell, I'd call out dark cherry and herbs... oregano, even. If I'm feeling brave. Oak. On the taste, it's dry, with more than a little blueberry and spice. "Indian spices," I'm not sure... maybe. A little peppery, for sure. But smooth and enjoyable, too, without too much bite on the back of the tongue.
There you go. My first wine review. Oh, the grape was a new one for me, too. I've been focused on Spanish wines lately (garnacha, tempranillo, and monastrell), but have yet to see this one: Mencia. This wine is a single vineyard mencia, sourced from 60 year old vines. It has officially earned the Dish Seal of Approval. $20 range, and worth it on a Saturday night spent at home. I would pair it with spicy mole chicken. On the hors d'oeuvre side... almonds, a rich goat cheese with cracked pepper, dried cherries and seedy crackers. Go for it!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
|Topped with bacon.|
When grits are cooked to a creamy, but not liquid-y state, remove from heat and add sharp cheddar. Taste (don't burn your tongue!), and add at least 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Pepper liberally!
Serve the onions and kale over grits, topped with bacon. Save leftover grits for breakfast. If you don't eat them for dessert. YUM.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I will have to try this on Sunday with veggie sausage and sourdough bread. (Can you tell I'm trying to clean out the fridge before vacation?)
|Raw, peeled shrimp.|
|Sauteed shrimp, carrots, onion and fennel.|
This is another that's not a hard and fast recipe. When I print this blog out in a few years, to make our family cookbook, it will probably be called, This is not a Cookbook. Use what you've got in your fridge and what's in season (tomatoes!) to tweak it to your liking. Fennel makes another appearance here. I know fennel is not ginger, but I wanted fresh ginger and we didn't have any. We had fennel. It provides a nice, unexpected bit of fresh tasting "bite," like ginger would. This was great as lunch the next day.
|Add capellini pasta and tomatoes.|
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
|Chocolate cake in the pots; yellow cake flowers.|
|Toothpicks secure the minis; chocolate chips prop up the butterfly wings.|
|Finished product, garnished with Cadbury Eggs and a furry friend.|
|Extras made tasty snacks for home.|
Sunday, June 12, 2011
|Easy-peasy, as my daughter would say.|
|Photo from Susan B. Anderson's blog.|
Saturday, June 11, 2011
|White pizza with asparagus and red peppers.|
|Starter straight from the fridge.|
|Stirred, measured, happy.|
|A few hours later; dough is risen and gluten is relaxed.|
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I used two large portobellos, and we cut each in half to serve the two big kids, Josh and me. Served it with guac and chips because guacamole is never unwelcome. I cooked one of the Boca patties and topped with Havarti for the little one -- always a bonus when she can nosh on an easy variation of what the rest of us are having.
|Rogue's Dead Guy Ale was the perfect companion.|