Thursday, December 28, 2006


We watched the movie. Akeelah and the Bee last night. A real “feel good” movie and it worked. Did it show us a glimpse of real life? No, but that wasn’t the point. Sure, it was simple and didn’t require a lot of thought to enjoy it. Nothing wrong with that!

And speaking of Christmas presents… here’s one that we’re both enjoying. The hang-up cookbook holder really works well.

Right now the holder contains a recipe for Boston Cream pie, made from scratch… more on that later.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Scalloped potatoes

A holiday staple of course, but these were called a favorite at last nights meal.

Of course I didn't cook them exactly as detailed in the recipe; for one thing, I made a slight error and mistook 1 cup of chicken broth for 1 can of chicken broth. But not to worry! I just added more sour cream and cream cheese. Not exactly double...I just added what was left in each container.

Well, it worked out fine and it's a great colorful dish for holiday cooking. (We substituted Green bell peppers for Orange...making for Green and Red, of course)

I know that I was supposed to post more pictures, but I was so busy sampling cookies and candy that I just didn't get around to it. Maybe later.

Monday, December 25, 2006

More on Christmas 2006

Our neighbor's contribution to our table...a sweet potato pie. Thanks!
The cookies assembled...

The microplane grater, what a great tool. And the beginnings of a lemon merengue pie.

Christmas 2006

Since it's been such an interesting Christmas so far... (See here) I think I will spend some time posting observations and photos during the day, showing you our progress. It's bound to get better!

First, a picture of the Moroccan Lemons.

And a picture of the cookies before assembling onto the platter...

Friday, December 22, 2006


I posted once before about using TJ's Chicken potstickers (Gyoza) and TJ's Hot and Sour Soup together...well, I did that again and this time I added a side dish of TJ's Edamame; soy beans. Simple enough, just boil for 5 minutes, drain and serve with butter. Great flavor!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


This Christmas will bring us a chance for a new tradition; Tri-tip instead of turkey. I stopped at Chico Locker and Sausage Company the other day and bought 2 roasts. They are pre-marinated and I chose two different marinades, just to make sure that all can enjoy. There is a Santa Maria style dry rub and Yukon Gold…which I was told would be a favorite.

I will have to go back to this store after the holidays and check out the sausage. I saw a lamb sausage that had me interested. One of the best pizza’s I ever had was topped with a lamb sausage (Pizzacato…Lake Oswego, Oregon). With Trader Joe’s pizza dough and some local lamb sausage, I may be able to duplicate it.

And speaking of the Trader; no cookies! There’s not a single box of Christmas Jo-Jo’s to be had. "Maybe next year", was the answer from the clerk.

But I did discover that TJ sells condensed milk as well as evaporated milk and at prices way below the supermarket level. Good job!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Plenty of what to do with them? Aren't those pretty?
The best idea so far is the Moroccan Lemon "cure".

Here's some links to better explain the whole idea.

And this one to an Epicurious recipe...

I like this one best because of the spices and the extended shelf life.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Turkey anyone? Anyone?

We just finished another meal of soup (Cabbage/Tomato) made with turkey broth. I have one container of the broth left in the freezer and then it's over. And since any soup that calls for a foundation of chicken broth tastes so much better with turkey...I decided to see if I could find it for sale. Nada, none, zip. That left me with the Google option and there it was, hidden among the pet foods? Yes, it's for humans and not your dog or cat. And I found something called Turkey Base, a pricey item. But if it works?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Liquorice Facts

It's back!

I checked at Trader Joe's yesterday and found my favorite licorice is back on the shelf after being gone for over a month. No, it's not the funny tasting red stuff that is mistakenly labeled as licorice. This is the real deal!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Soups On!

Laurae was on a soft diet yesterday after some oral surgery and so soup was on the menu. I started with one recipe and ended up with a somewhat different kind…though quite good! That’s what I like about soups; anything goes.

Here’s a list of ingredients; in no particular order

1 small white onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2+ cups of turkey stock
1 can white beans
1 can stewed tomatoes (Mexican style)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 stalks of celery, sliced and chopped
½ cup of mushrooms
1 cup of chopped, left over turkey (Dark meat)
2 apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes. Now add the turkey stock, beans, tomatoes, chopped turkey and celery. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 45 minutes.

(I had made a very rich turkey stock from our Thanksgiving bird, so this where the recipe deviated…the original recipe called for beef stock and no meat at all.)

While the soup is simmering, core and peel 2 apples before slicing them thin. Take a small saucepan and heat (medium) the ½ cup of wine. (Sorry, Denise…you left your Yellow Tail Shiraz here on Thanksgiving and it became part of our soup.) Cook the apple slices in the wine until they are soft.

When the 45 minutes of simmering are up, add the apples and the remaining wine to the soup. Add the mushrooms. Now simmer for about 15 more minutes. Adjust the seasonings and you’re ready!

I could see doing this one with beef stock, but I would probably want to add a soup bone to the stock first and make it really rich before adding it to the soup. Unless you can buy a real rich beef stock?

This makes about 6-8 servings and should be even better on the second day.