Thursday, January 31, 2008


in the Road

More recipes! (Like I need them...)

The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

How did I get here? What am I doing? Seriously; I'm thinking of making this cake. I must be out of my mind!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Face in the Crowd

1942 Shorpy

A tricky question...what's the average weight of the individuals in this crowd? Is this an early meeting of Weight Watchers?

A Movie

I thought I would get a head start on the movies and order a current one, one that hasn't been out that long, so I ordered 3:10 to Yuma. What a silly movie. Mr. Crowe is not a cowboy. He's an Australian. So he had to talk real slow to hide the accent. He doesn't even wear a real cowboy hat! I couldn't muster up any was simply a waste of our time and I'm sure I will get over it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Pioneer Woman


What a great blog...I look every day at my RSS feeds, hoping that I will see a new one from her. And today I was rewarded. I don't know how you could read this all of the way to the end without wanting to race out and buy a dozen chicken legs...or, how about that Morton's Hot Salt? Something new?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Soup, beautiful soup!

Well, it wasn’t mine. The Soup Simmer-Off at the Federated church attracted about 13; or was it 14 contestants? And my Sweet Potato Surprise didn’t win. It was good; but presentation is everything and mine was very bland looking.

I started with a recipe that attracted me because of the colors it promised. Orange and red and purple… from the sweet potatoes. But I only found white sweet potatoes and they turned a sort of pale green upon being cooked.

Here’s the original recipe;

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

Eating a rainbow of colors isn't so easy in the winter, but here is a

soup that is as sweet and pungent, as it is colorful. More accurately,

the soup will be as colorful as the sweet potatoes that you choose,

which come in an array whose colors include red, orange, purple,

yellow and white. With the added benefit of only 3 grams of fat per

serving, this soup is a winner for your health.

1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil

1 pinch red chili flakes

1 cup chopped leeks or onions

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

2 tablespoons tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos (I used soy sauce)

5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon garam masala

6 cups vegetable stock (I had to use chicken stock)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the red chili

flakes, leeks, ginger, and aminos. Sauté for two or three minutes. Add the

sweet potatoes and sauté until they are well coated and begin to brown

slightly. Add the coriander and garam masala. Sauté another two minutes,

stirring frequently. Add the vegetable stock to cover the sweet potatoes

and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the sweet potatoes

are tender. Blend with a hand blender or food processor into a smooth

consistency, adding more stock as necessary. Reheat before serving and

garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serves 4.

I had to double the recipe, as we were supposed to make enough for 8-10 people. And then, the liquid seemed to overwhelm the potatoes, so I had to add…surprise! Yukon Gold Instant potatoes. Which were great for adding consistency and giving the color a slight boost into the less than nauseating range. And I had to strain the soup to remove the Coriander as some people (nameless) seemed to think soup should not contain ‘things’. But I had to do something with the flavor. Crystal! OK, all was well; a smooth soup with a great flavor but a mild green and boring look. Even our crock pot was boring! Now why didn’t I think to use yams and not sweet potatoes? That’s next time!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Good Reading!

No, I haven't stopped reading. I just haven't found much worthy of posting any comments about. Mysteries and thrillers, thrillers and mysteries. Bah!

But...then I did find one the other day that was a worthy read. The Driftless Area by Tom Drury. Short but very powerful. I went to bed with it firmly stuck in my head.

Here it is

Here's the meatloaf; a few days later. It slices perfectly!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Old Recipes

Laurae had to make dessert yesterday for the Merry Martha’s gathering at the church and she chose a recipe from deep within her archives. This was a recipe from our neighbor of 35+ years ago, when we lived in Newbury Park.

Here’s Karleen Griffin’s recipe for Fruit Cocktail Dessert.

Mix together…1 egg, slightly beaten and 1 #10 can of Fruit Cocktail (use only 1/4 of the juice)

Now mix together the following and then add to the eggs and fruit.

1 cup flour

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Almost last… place the mixture in a 9x13 pan, buttered.

Last, mix together ¾ cup of brown sugar and ½ cup of walnuts. Place this on top of the mixture and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30-40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream topping.

As I was posting this recipe to the church blog, I decided to create a link to Newbury Park. And once again I was surprised to see what had become of the small community we once called home. Our first ‘home’. Apparently, once a place becomes popular or seems headed that way…we’re outta there!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just an idea

When I decide to make a meatloaf I never remember to get the camera. I should have as it was quite photogenic. meatloaf recipes are very much open to your own interpretation. Add or subtract anything you like, you can rarely go wrong.

I started with 2.5# of ground turkey and added the following.

1/2 jar of Homade Chili Sauce
1 dozen baby carrots, sliced thin
1 cup of frozen peas
1 egg
1 Tbs Greek Seasoning
1 Tbs Black pepper, freshly ground
I cup of bread crumbs...any kind. (I used Panko, because that was what I had)
I small jar of Trader Joe Bruschetta
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 red onion, chopped

Put it all in a standard loaf pan and cook for an hour at 375.

It was beautiful! And tasty! In retrospect, I should have used a full jar of Homade Chili Sauce, but that was all I had. And maybe another splash of Worcestershire. Next time...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pot Roast Update

Well, I did it and it was good...way good. But, if I were to take pictures, mine wouldn't look as good as the originals. And the spices should have been placed in a cheesecloth bag to avoid the rosemary leaves floating about in the gravy. Now I am waiting for her next pot roast recipe.

I should also include the fact that we used 'instant' mashed potatoes. If you can tell the difference between those and the real deal; more power to you! I used Paradise Valley Yukon Gold potatoes, from Winnemucca? Now I have been to Winnemucca before and I did not see anything resembling paradise, but hey! I could be wrong.

If you follow the link above and scroll down, you will see that Costco no longer stocks this product and that's a shame. I suppose I could drive to Paradise Valley?

Monday, January 07, 2008


The Year of the Pot Roast

Oh, man! I have to go to the!