Showing posts with label cooking.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking.. Show all posts

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Been A Good Day In The Kitchen


Since my kitchen is nice and clean and I have great fresh groceries in the house what's a gal to do?  Well, cook, of course.  So that is what I did.

There is no question about it,  I really dislike the frozen prepared foods from the grocery store but I have to succumb to them more often than I would like to admit.  My forays into the kitchen lately have not always resulted in finished products to my full liking.  Hopefully, I can get my mojo back.  And, this may just be the beginning of that journey.

I decided to keep it simple and not try any new recipes, just solid good home cooked food.  I have been wanting to make some oven roasted potatoes and I have some fresh Yukon potatoes.  So-so easy.  This is what I did.  First, coat the potatoes with olive oil. And then season them with garlic ( prepared chopped garlic from a jar works fine), kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil and some grated Parmesan cheese (from recently purchased 3 oz. Kraft grated parmesan).  Even though I usually avoid this product I bought it because of the small container which to me meant that it probably would not get old and then wasted.  It was perfect for this quick little adventure of mine into the kitchen.  No fuss, no mess!
They turned out so very good and flavorful.

Lovely white fresh mushrooms were for sale at a price that was so low that I can't remember ever seeing it that low.  And, since I like sauted mushrooms it was going to happen. 
I have always made my mushrooms sauted in real butter and at the end add a few splashes of Maggi Seasoning. It has to be years ago that I first started doing that.
I have been so disappointed with the chicken that I have recently bought at the big chain grocery store that I can not bring myself to do it.  The other day when I shopped close to home I bought some boneless skinless chicken thighs that are called Air-chilled Smart Chicken.  Oh my, what a difference!!  An air-dried chilling technology is used instead of the standard water immersion/absorption method which results in a watery product.  Just look at this beautiful chicken !!  Can chicken thighs be beautiful ???
I did not even have to trim anything from the thighs.  Just rinsed and then into the baking pan with a little sprinkle of Grill Mates Montreal Chicken  seasoning.  And, of course just a teeny bit of butter on each one.

Now some steamed very fresh Broccoli Florets.
The chicken baked very fast and reached 165 degrees in "no time" but it was not browning.  I popped it under the broiler for a minute or so but then realized that since it is skinless there would not be a lot of browning.  But, let me tell you.  The flavor and quality of the chicken is fabulous.
Will you join me for dinner ??   I would like that.    Oh, and we must have a little vino.

Happy Weekend.

Mary

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Over The Bridge And Through The Woods

That's what the Girl  (that's me)  did yesterday !
It has been over a year since I made that little road trip to some stores that are larger and have greater selections than what is available nearby my home.  I'm talking about stores like Lowe's,  Big Lots, Walmart and JoAnn's.  I have found that it is not to difficult to live without those stores since Internet shopping is readily available with increasing sites available with no shipping charges.   Plus,  at my stage of life, how many things do I really need versus want??

The last few years have been quite difficult for me following many losses and unexpected events in my life.  This has meant that I have stayed a lot closer to home while I am slowly finding  my way back to a life with more Joy and Purpose and improved psychological Health!!!  Perhaps, the biggest changing factor for me has been the loss of so many (and I really mean many) close friends and four-legged "love bugs" that have departed for The Hereafter.   Even though I have lived alone for the majority of my life (for various reasons) I have found that at this stage of my life it is a lot more difficult to live day to day feeling enthusiastic, adventurous, creative and independent.

Well, anyway,      I really enjoyed my day even though I did not have a companion to travel along with me to laugh, purr or bark and share the adventure.  I visited Lowe's to buy the spray paint  that I am going to use to refurbish my very old iron patio furniture.  One Homecrest small adjustable-height table with two swivel-rocker chairs is from the 1970's and the larger table set with four chairs is from the 1980's.  I tend to always take the best care I can of my things/possessions and the patio furniture is in great condition.  A good spray coat of premium paint and it all should look sparkly brand new.   I managed to find a few other things that have been on my shopping list for quite awhile.

Then, I stopped in at Applebee's Restaurant for a small lunch of Fish and Chips with cole slaw.  It was nicely prepared and very good.

Then, off to Walmart for some paper products, cleaning supplies and a few miscellaneous items that have been on another list for quite some time.  And much to my SURPRISE, the 27,000 square foot expansion and newly remodeled Supercenter had celebrated it's grand opening in June.
This is the local store at the beginning of the store expansion one year ago.

The large grocery department looked very nice from a distance as I knew I was too tired to peruse the whole store I will have to check out the produce next time.


Later in the day I prepared some simple food for my neighbor and a couple of his workers in appreciation for all the many times he takes my yard/garden rubbish to the local dump.
I fixed some Mixed Beans with Ground Beef  (now , that's simple !)  with some garlic sourdough toast.  And, then to add the necessary "sweet stuff" I baked some Fudge Molten Lava Brownies.

The fellows were very happy with my little surprise for them.
That's a Splatter Guard that I am trying in an effort to not have so much grease to clean up on the stovetop.  I think I will like it.  Time will tell.  Very inexpensive.

Wishing all of you a Good Weekend and let's send positive thoughts/energy and prayers for all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the Texas region.

Mary

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Little Grey Poupon Mustard Please



There was no way I was going to let St Patrick's Day slip away without making Corned Beef and Cabbage.  The thought of Reuben Sandwiches and Corned Beef Patties added to my enthusiasm to get into the kitchen and make it happen. The corned beef turned out nicely with great flavor and tenderness.

Yesterday was also our Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival. These are just a few photos from the newspaper. The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. In the thousands, honestly, be sure and look at the last photo. I did not go this year even though I only have to walk about two blocks and I would be there. My mobility and endurance isn't what I would like it to be or what it has been in the past.

















Besides all the activities with the Parade, Craft and Food Booths and Music Venues the town was also hosting the Annual Mother Lode Spring Daffodil Show at Ironstone Vineyards which is one mile from my house. It is a fabulous show. And the country road leading to the show is flooded with growing daffodils on both sides of the road.



I hope your weekend is enjoyable. I am very grateful for the sunshine.

Mary

Thursday, March 2, 2017

And It Is So Good

And, it will be perfect for the weekend when we expect the next storm.

                                         Today, I made Lentil Stew.


This is a recipe that I have had for a long time but I have not made it for quite a while.     It is so easy.

1 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Italian Sausages or chicken Italian-style sausages (about 12 ounces)
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup hot water (I use Better Than Bouillon Beef Base)
1/4 Tsp chili pepper ( I use Chipotle Chile Pepper)

Wash and sort lentils. In a large kettle, bring 2 quarts of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until onions are slightly soft. (I used a cup of chopped celery, also)

Crumble 1 sausage into skillet mixture and cook about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and remaining sausages (cut in half) and simmer over medium-low heat about 30 minutes. Mix in lentils and add bouillon and chili pepper and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve.

It was 2003, I was thinking about going to Umbria, Italy for a week long Italian Cooking Class. The trip was sponsored by a Health Spa on the East Coast. Unfortunately, I was not able to find anyone to go with me. So, anyway, this recipe was inspired on that cooking tour. They called it Lentichie e sasicce in umidol.

The picture of the Camellia above is to remind me that spring is getting closer.


And, this is what one of my Camellia bushes looked like last week.

We are having a very nice sunny week and it feels so good.

Hope your week is going well.

Mary 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Chicken, Potatoes and Spinach With Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

And, it is Very Good.



This recipe is from the website Damn Delicious. Check it out. This is a better photo. It is not a very good photo taking day here where I live.

I am very happy to tell you that I have NOT had anymore trouble with the computer scam. Everything has been "very quiet" and that is the way I like it. I have not been doing very well, however, with my motivation to work with learning Windows 10 and my new compute. I'll get there eventually. Buy the way, I really like the new wireless printer. 

We have had a couple days with sunshine. However, another rain storm is "on it's way".  Hopefully, our snow pack higher up will start to increase so our drought problems won't be so serious.

Very little Christmas decorating going on here in my home this year. Here is a little reminder of days in the past.







I look forward to next year when hopefully I will be able to decorate like I have in the past. Because I really like decorating. I just have not been able to do it this year.

I'll be back when I have something to blog.

Happy Day to You.

Mary

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Dream Came True

This past Tuesday my Granddaughter phoned to say that their Thanksgiving plans to go out of town were canceled due to illness of the host. Then she asked if she could come and pick me up on Wednesday and spend Thanksgiving with them and then she would drive me back home on Friday. I do not know if I can put it in words how thrilled and grateful I felt. I was so excited!


In the process of getting a few things together to take I decided to prepare some Chicken Honey Lime Enchiladas that we could have for dinner Wednesday evening. I had grocery shopped the day before.

I did not get a photo of the finished dish but it looked very nice with the browned melted cheese on top. I also baked some 7 Layer Bars that seem to be popular on the blogs lately. Yummy!

I did not take many photos but after our great Thanksgiving dinner I had to take a photo of this sweetie helping mommy to load the dishwasher. This was the first time I was able to meet this little gal. She and her brother are so much fun and sweetness. They were always busy, busy and busy. There wasn't a quiet moment unless they were sleeping!

Mommy and Daddy are constantly teaching such things as please and thank you which I think is so important but it sure takes a lot of effort. And the little ones have a zillion questions. They truly have great parents. Thankfully. 

The Great Grands are the same age difference as my boy and girl were. But they sure seem to be more advanced because of all the technology. It is certainly a different time ! ! !


And Friday she brought me home, two hours-plus drive each way. So much driving but she was so happy to do it. Little Carter kept us company riding in the back seat on all four trips. He was such a good boy. And, I had such a wonderful time. And, I felt very loved!

Upon getting home I was greeted by my Holiday Cactus putting on a beautiful show of lots of different color.


I hope all of you had a Great Thanksgiving. We have had a rainy weekend which is lovely.

Mary

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's Raining Cats And - - - But No Dogs

What a darling little girl! And, she is with a precious cat that looks very similar to my last cat, Puff.

Please meet Puff, a sweet and gentle gal that I was blessed to have from the time she was 8 weeks old.  She brought so much joy, love, fun and comfort to me for 18 years. In May 2008 she left to join precious Pixie (Yorkshire Terrier) at the Rainbow Bridge.


WOW, we are getting lots of wonderful rain. It started yesterday. And, after a few days of sunshine more rain is predicted. I love it other than the fact that my roof is covered with lots and lots of leaves. Thankfully, the down spouts are flowing well.

Yesterday I put the crockpot on and tossed in the ingredients for an old standby Polish Sausage Stew with sauerkraut. I have posted this a few times in the past. It's just so easy and sauerkraut is good for me.


I prepared single servings for the freezer. All it will need when I take them out to cook is some shredded Monterey Jack Cheese. Oh, also I will probably get some apple sauce for a side.



This is really good as a "rainy weather dinner" along with some warm Artisan Bakery Bread.

Unfortunately, I am still having great difficulty with Photo Editing and getting my photos onto my Blog. I think I need a one-on-one tutoring. My frustration level is not helping me to focus and wrap this transition up.

Hope your weekend is going nicely.

Mary

Monday, November 7, 2016

In The Kitchen Again - Cooking

* I am being very challenged with finding a Photo Editor Program since Picasa is no longer available that I can use without complete frustration !!! Can anyone suggest one?

Now, let's look at some Artichoke Chicken. It is so simple and good. You can find the recipe at the website The Girl That Ate Everything.

ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (14 oz.) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced

Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Salt and pepper chicken breast halves and place in the dish. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Stir together until combined.
(I also added a handful of chopped pecans. Sliced water chestnuts would be good, also).

Spread the artichoke mixture over chicken breasts. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and top starts to brown slightly.











Oh, I also sprinkled a little paprika on top just before putting it in the oven.















Doesn't this look good? Since I am cooking for myself I am not staging a pretty plate to photograph for you. I plan to eat the Artichoke Chicken with green peas and sweet potatoes. That will give a colorful vision.

Remember to VOTE tomorrow.

Blessings.

Mary

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