Friday, January 20, 2017

Playoff Tailgate Buffet

There are big football playoff games this weekend so I thought it would be fun to make the after school kids a tailgating buffet.  I made them this football cheese ball.
And I made them these old fashioned peanut butter cracker/cookies.                                                                                

 They are so simple and really very good.  Just spread creamy peanut but on a Ritz cracker and top it with some butter cream. Add another cracker and refrigerate them. They are sweet/salty/peanutty!

 This is another old recipe.  Chipped ham BBQ. 

It was served on potato slider rolls.
 I made a Mexican queso dip and it was served with tortilla chips.


 And their favorite was this buffalo chicken dip.


 Though I served it with celery and carrots, a lot of the kids put it on slider buns and ate it as sandwiches.    They were thrilled with everything and had a great time.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cajun Beef Noodle Casserole

I made this for the kids yesterday.  It's a Paul Prudhomme recipe from back in the day.                                             

   
I made 5X the recipe.

 Here are the step by step pics.

 This is a much more flavorful version of the normal beef and noodle dishes out there.

 I've found that the meals I make for the kids where I use lots of spices are always the ones they like the best.

 And they don't even complain about all the vegetables I add to these dishes.

 This ended up being one of their favorites.  One kid is from Cajun country and speaks Creole and he loved this.


It's hard to show the finished dish because it gets sent off in the slow cooker to finish cooking right before they arrive from school.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Circus Is Leaving Town

 Barnum and Bailey is closing. Yep, closing the doors, taking down the tents and leaving town for good.  Thank you Jesus.  I hate the circus, I always have.  Creepy clowns, caged animals, abnormal everything.  I live in a big city, I don't need to pay to see weird shit.

 I'm on the mend but not ready to cook so I'm taking my daughter's advice and resting.  Not something that comes easily to me.  When I have spare time, I tend to get into trouble.

 What I am now wondering about is....where will people run off to?  I guess you now have no choice but to run off and join Isis.

Or you can run off to DC.  Because the biggest circus ever is about to move into that town.  To quote my favorite Polish saying:  Not my circus; Not my monkeys. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Down and Out

Good thing it's MLK day because this is all I am capable of doing today.  No cooking by me today. I caught the horrible bug that's going around.  I am not a 'lay on the sofa' kind of person but I know when I'm beat.  I'm sucking down liquids and Alka Seltzer and doing lots of nose blowing.  Even my teeth hurt.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Making Whole Grain Mustard

I love mustard, particularly whole grain mustard.  I like the way the seeds pop like caviar pearls.  It can be pretty pricey to buy so I like to make my own. You literally can whip it up in minutes and then you just need to let it sit out for 24 hours.
 For about 3 cups of mustard, I used 2 cups of mustard seeds.  I mixed black mustard seeds with yellow.  The black have a stronger flavor so if you like a milder mustard, just use yellow seeds.

 Add an equal amount of vinegar. I used cider vinegar but you can use any kind you want depending on the type of mustard you want to end up with. You can even use balsamic.

 Add 1/4 cup of another liquid.  I used apple cider but you could use wine, beer or even brandy.

 Add 2-3 tablespoons of sweetener depending on how sweet you want it to be. I used 2 tablespoons of honey but you can use brown or white sugar instead.  Add 2 tsp. of salt and stir this thoroughly.

 Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 24 hours.

 Before putting it in jars, you can add other flavorings such as herbs, onions or even horseradish. You also can put it in a blender to make a smooth mustard or just blend some to have a smooth mustard with whole seeds in it. 

I like it just the way it is.  It's so much better than store bought too!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Indian Vegetable Curry

 As I was rummaging through my refrigerator this morning, I realized that I had a vegetable emergency on my hands.  There were way too many vegetables and no plans to use them. Vegetable curry was the answer.

 I sauteed black mustard seeds in some oil along with a tablespoon of turmeric.

 When the seeds began to pop, I added 2 cups of quartered cherry tomatoes and cooked them for about 3 minutes.

 Next, I added 1/3 cup of green curry paste and 1-1/2 tsp of salt..

 Stirred it to combine and let it simmer a bit.

 The I added 1 Pound of green beens, about 8 medium potatoes cubed and 5 sliced carrots.

 Add enough water to barely cover it.  Add several chicken bouillon cubes.   Bring it to a boil then turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

 Add 4-5 cups of chopped kale.

 Stir it in and cover and cook over a simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir in 1 can of coconut milk and cook it at a simmer a bit and taste it and adjust the seasoning.
Serve it with a big scoop of basmati rice.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Mexican Pottery

 I was dusting some of my pottery collection yesterday and I thought you might like to see it.

 We used to spend a lot of time in Santa Fe and we always visited the pueblos while we were there. The pottery is fabulous.

 My two favorite pueblos are Santa Clara and San Ildefonso. The later one being the home of the most famous potter, Marie Martinez.

 You can read more about her here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Martinez

 Many people invite you right into their homes so you can see their work.

It's all quite wonderful and if you happen to be in the area, you really should visit them.  The pottery is sold in many shops in the area but actually seeing where it's made and having the pueblo experience...priceless.