Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016

Life is too short to be bored by dinner…

Things change.  When I made up the menu for last weekend I falsely assumed that the turkey in the freezer was a 12-14 pounder.  It was, in fact, 22 pounds. It was too big for recipe I planned to use, so I just roasted it.
Now this may seem absurd for a family of two (the happy cats got the turkey liver), but it reality is not.  I’ve seen a fair amount written recently about “cooking for two” – as in take two hamburger patties or chicken breasts or whatever.  Bull.  Larger makes more sense.
From this one turkey Warner and I will have two lovely turkey dinners. Then I’ll do a big pot of turkey vegetable soup with noodles.  And I’ll cook up a mess of turkey chili for the freezer. Or I could do a load of pulled turkey, but I’ve got some pulled pork in there now. And I’ll want some chunks in the freezer in case is get a yearning for, say a turkey tetrazzini or turkey enchiladas. Or pot pies.  Or sandwiches.
It’s like with roast beef.  Go to the local deli around here and you’ll pay about  $10. per pound for roast beef.  Get a large roast on sale for three something, roast it up and slice it on the meat slicer.  Boom.  Great Roast Beef sandwiches for a couple of months.
And so we have sandwich packs in the freezer generally of turkey, beef, ham and corned beef.  Purchased from quality butchers. Cooked to our standards. And greatly enjoyed. 
And that is just one of the reasons that the two of us old geezers need two freezers….

We are feeding a group of feral cats, this one wants to know why breakfast is late. He may be trying to move in

Mon. AM    Buttermilk Waffles with Fresh Berries

Mon. M       Chicken Mole, Steamed Rice
                   Tossed Salad

Tues. AM    Beef Barley Soup with Orange SOUP

Tues. PM    Roast Turkey, Pan Gravy
                   Steamed Rice
                   Buttered Baby Carrots

Weds AM    Turkey Chili with Black Beans GM 11/08 10
                   Steamed Rice

Weds. PM   Sausage Bean and Pasta Stew with Parmesan
                   Tossed Salad, Baguette

Thurs.         Surprise Me From The Freezer Day

Fri. AM       Turkey Soup with Lasagna Noodles MS/VB

Fri. PM       Steak and Soba Stir Fry with Baby Bok Choy BA 4/13
                   Steamed Rice

Sat. AM      Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Cole Slaw

Sat. PM       Poulet Provencal GM 3/08
     (Brined Chicken with Tomatoes and Black Olives)
Tossed Salad, French Bread

Sun. AM     Classic Gumbo f/i

Sun. PM      Marcellla’s Spareribs Roasted with Sage & White White
    Tuscan Style ECIC
Penne Rigate with Arugula and Almond Pesto MS/VB

Tossed Salad

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 24, 2016


Life is too short to be bored by dinner….
We are really into fall now.  Less than a month before Thanksgiving.  Time to start work on the menu.  Time to start cooking for the freezer.  I don’t have the energy I used to so I need to cook smarter and plan ahead.  Dishes that can be frozen are the best, followed by food that can be prepared a day or two in advance.
Let me see, for the freezer the Boeuf Burgundy for Weds. evening. The Escarole Soup for Thurs. Lunch.  The Buffalo Chicken Balls, the Pork Rillettes, the various Ice Creams, and the Mustard Batons.  These with Madeline Kamann’s Gravlox will give me a good head start.
Amazing the amount of food this family can put away….

Mon. AM    Corned Beef Hash CC I 117
                   Poached Eggs

Mon. PM    Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme Revisited
                   Dinner Rolls, Salad

Tues. AM   Classic Gumbo f/i

Tues. PM    Ropa Viega
                   Rice, Salad

Weds. AM  Penn. Dutch Scrapple w/ Soft Scrambled Eggs

Weds. PM   Roast Pork revisited
                   Buttermilk Smashed Red Potatoes with Grainy Mustard
                   Buttered Green Beans with Sea Salt

Thurs. PM  Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, Mint and Pecorino FW 9/16

Fri. AM      Slow Cooker White Bean Soup w/ Butternut Squash & Spinach MS

Fri. PM       Slow Cooker Chicken Mole MS/VB
                   Steamed Rice
                   Buttered Carrots

Sat. AM      Beef Barely Soup SOUP

Sat PM       Sausage Bean and Pasta Stew FNTV

Sun AM      Buttermilk Waffles with Fresh Berries

Sun PM      Roasted Turkey with Parsley Caper Sauce VB
                   Orzo Pilaf with Orange Zest and Black Olives IMMK

                   Braised Celery

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 17, 2016

Life is too short to be bored by dinner….


This is a week of recovery.  Last weekend we drove to Ohio to attend the 50th anniversary of my graduation from Marietta College.  This weekend also was the inauguration of Dr. William Rudd as the new president.
A dear friend of mine talked me into working on “The Committee”.  I was skeptical at first, but as my husband said, “you can’t say no to Chris”.  And I am ever so glad that I did.
The work on the committee was a fair bit of work, but it was a wonderful experience as I came across and connected with so many names from so long ago. Once there, it was as though we had never left – except of course for the gray hair, the extra pounds and the comfortable shoes.
We were, and still are, a great group of people. I am privileged to be a part of it.

Mon. AM Hot and Sour Soup (leftover from Chinese take-out Sun. eve)

Mon. PM Roasted Chicken with Pan Gravy
Steamed Rice, Sautéed Spinach

Tues. AM Buttermilk Pancakes with Fresh Berries or Chicken Gravy

Tues. Eve. White Beans with Sausage f/i
Tossed Salad

Weds. AM Turkey Chili f/i, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheddar

Weds. PM Roast Chicken revisited
Butter Sautéed Carrots

Thurs. AM Pulled Pork on Kaiser Rolls f/i
Cole Slaw

Thurs. PM Slow Cooker Ropa Viega FNTV
Steamed Rice
Tossed Salad

Fri. AM Craig Claiborne’s Corned Beef Hash CC I
Hashed Brown Potatoes CCI
Poached Eggs

Fri. PM Julia’s Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme JCI
(Casserole Roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions and Potatoes)
Tossed Salad, Peasant Bread

Sun. AM Lidia’s Pasta Bolognese f/i

Sun. PM Roasted Loin of Pork with Sherry and Sauteed Red Onions FW 11/97
Martha’s Mushroom and Celery Root Bread Pudding MS/VB
Tossed Salad

October 10, 2016

The last half the menu is blank as we were at a reunion in Ohio.


Mon. AM   Tortellini Soup

Mon. PM   Martha’s Mediterranean Chicken Stew
Cous Cous

Tues. AM Russian Borscht, Fresh Dill, Sour Cream
Pumpernickel Bread

Tues. PM Mustard Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Glazed Carrots

Weds. AM Classic Gumbo f/i

Weds. PM Lamb Curry
Steamed Rice
Baby Peas

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

Life is too short to be bored by dinner…

In addition to the roughly 1000 cookbooks we own, my food magazine collection (Gourmet, Food and Wine, and Bon Appetit) goes back about 35 years. True, a lot recipes of the past 15 years are on line – but I still go back to some of the old ones. I think it is the Gourmet of 10/84 that has my standard gumbo recipe and also my no fail Beef Tenderloin with Cornichon sauce is from a Gourmet in the early 80’s.
I enjoy returning to these publications, not only for the recipes but for the glorious, luscious food photography they published. Someone (I don’t remember who) called it Gastro Porn.  And so be it.
Not so much now.  Frequently Bon Appetit looks as though the art director was hired away from Marvel Comics and when the magazine publishes an ad for a full page cover – I think I’m looking at a Penzi’s or William Sonoma catalog. You know – a product catalogue where they throw in a few recipes that flatter the product. 
That’s the difference. Of course magazine needs advertising to support the product. But without the product front and center, there is no magazine. Only advertising – and that’s not what I’m paying for or interested in.
So, call me old and cranky – but give me my Gastro Porn any day….

Mon. AM Spanish Frittata MS/VB

Mon. PM Jacques Pepin’s Beef Gratin Parmentier ECWJP
Baby Peas

Tues. AM Hot Roast Beef Sandwich

Tues. PM Garlic Shrimps with White Beans and Grilled Bread BA 10/10
Tossed Salad

Weds. AM Ham and Munster Panini

Weds. PM Key West Pork Chops CCI
(Pork Chops Baked on a Bed of Spanish Rice with Sliced
 Onion, Sliced Lime and Chili Sauce)

Thurs. PM Martha’s Mediterranean Chicken Stew MS/VB
Peasant Bread, Salad

Fri. AM Tortellini Soup FNT/VB

Fri. PM Lidia’s Steak Maremma LI
(Tuscan Steak)
Compte Polenta FW 10/03
Sautéed Green Beans

Sat. AM Craig Claiborne’s Russian Borscht
Fresh Dill, Sour Cream, Pumpernickel Bread

Sat. PM Mustard Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes GDMT
Sautéed Carrots with Rosemary

Sun. AM Pasta with White Clam Sauce CCI

Sun PM Tian of Leg of Lamb Roasted on a Bed of Potatoes with Tomatoes
  Fresh Herbs
Steamed Asparagus with Sea Salt.