Sunday, July 29, 2007

Damn you, blossom end rot!

We had a lot of rain last week. Couldn't quite control the watering the container tomato plants were getting.

Today, went out to the plants and found that there was a lot of blossom end rot happening. SEVEN tomatoes. I am not a happy woman right now.

Let's see... what else is going on?? Thursday night I did my mexican chicken... via the Roast Chicken Chimichangas, only modification being the beans on the outside. Much better that way. I've made these a dozen times and they are always tasty.

Friday was a fun day... got to work in the morning and the one co-worker who owns a Thai restaraunt declaired it "Thia Friday" and asked for all our orders. Oh hell yeah. Panang Chicken for me, which was fantastic. We also had pot stickers and an "off the menu" beef broth soup that was wonderful (normally not a fan of beef broth, but this stuff was great). Got pizza for dinner. Always good. And a particularly good "garbage pizza"... the standard pizza with everything.

No cooking Saturday... my brother announced late that he was stopping by to pick up the painting dropclothes they left here ages ago, and we also did The Great Luggage Hunt for awhile. For grown adults, we had some pretty sad luggage. One of those $20 rolling carry ons, and a big huge ass green rolling duffel bag. And the last couple times we went to Vegas, the green bag was AT, not just under, but AT 50 pounds when we checked the luggage. Time to upgrade.

Since I am a girl and I do tend to overpack (because you know... even in Vegas where there are stores on every corner, I *need* to pack 7 pairs of underwear for a 3-4 day trip....) the hubby was eyeing the new luggage that has a digital scale built in. We hit Kohl's first.... all they had was the stuff in brown. We are so vain that we'd pass up luggage just because it's brown. It's a color we really, really don't like.

So we went to TJ Maxx next, and found the 25 inch one we were looking for. In an attempt to find another 25 inch or the 28 inch, we went to Marshalls next with no luck.

I headed out today to a further off TJ Maxx and found the 28 inch suitcase. Oh hell yeah. I'm packing shoes a plenty!!!

Dinner tonight was Shrimp Scampi. Always tasty. Why do people buy peeled shrimp?? Seriously? They cost more, and you loose so much!! When I do scampi, I always do a shrimp broth with the shells, then reduce that, and then a shrimp butter with the cooked shells. And it is just SO much better than dumping already peeled shrimp in to a pan with garlic and tossing it with pasta. And I have more shrimp butter to use up. Oh HELLS yeah.

Not sure what is for dinner tomorrow. Crab was on sale today at the grocery store, so I bought some to make crab cakes this week. Also got a pork roast to do a crockpot pulled pork, and pulled out the corned beef that's been in the freezer for awhile to also do that in the crockpot this week. Also plan to try a new Cooking Light turkey burger recipe sometime this week, but I fear the turkey I pulled outta the freezer might be a bit freezer-burned. It's supposed to be a hot week, and I know work-wise it's gonna be a crazy week. Partly because I totally have Vegas on the brain right now.

Oh, and damn you, BBC. I've been watching the reruns of season 1 of the new Dr. Who on our local PBS station, and after each episode they do what I guess is one of the DVD extras, a little "behind the scenes" kinda think. Tonight's episode was one of the ones with John Barrowman, AKA my New Gay Boyfriend. And in this episode, he does appear half nekkid, but the original plan was to show his bum. But the BBC nixed it. Damn you, BBC!!! And even though I have already seen the first season of Torchwood, I cannot wait for it on BBC American later this year. Sigh. Yummy Gay Boyfriend.

Damnit. Dryer calls. Why don't I start laundry earlier in the day???

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

MMmmmm... Po Boys.

So, at about 11:20 this morning, got a call at work from the hubby. I knew what his question was before I even picked up the phone.

"It's okay to have Taco Bell, I'll make something else for dinner tonight."

He then starts to explain how he'll go to Wendy's for a chicken sandwich if it's mexican, or eat Taco Bell if it's chicken.

Le Fuck. I paused. He replied... "It's mexican chicken, isn't it???"

I said I'd make something else for dinner. I didn't have much of a plan, and even for mexican chicken I'd have to stop at the store. Not much bother to get fixin's for something else.

Finally decided on shrimp po boys. I love me a po boy sandwich. And I really, really miss working two blocks from the original Heaven on Seven downtown. The best Oyster Po Boy.

So, the Heaven on Seven recipe just has you marinate the cleaned shrimp in hot sauce, and then coat it in their Seasoned Corn Flour mix. 1 1/4 cups corn flour (or Masa Harina, which I usually have on hand) plus 3 tablespoons corn starch, seasoned with various cajun-type seasonings. No eggs, no other coating, just throw the shrimp in the flour, coat, and fry (I did about 3/4 of an inch of oil in the trusty ole cast iron). Serve on a roll with lettuce, tomato, and Honey-Jalepeno Dressing (full recipe is for the Oyseter Po Boy, but it has the dressing also). I have much love for the Honey-Jalepeno dressing. And you can even make it with low-fat mayo and 2% milk for the cream with fan-flippin-tastic results.

Oh yeah. Good dinner.

Not too much else going on. Did have the first grape tomatoes from the garden yesterday... I think I was a little to egar, they could have had at least another day, maybe two, on the vine. Still tasty though. And I've got two more that should be good to go for a salad on Saturday. I just need the BIG tomatoes to start turning. I have bacon in the fridge just waiting to become a "first tomato of the summer BLT"......

Work is really manic... I'm either trying to do ten things RIGHT NOW! or just left without anything to do. Sadly, can I ask for just manic? At least I'm not bored.

Ok. Must sign off. On Real Stories of the Highway Patrol they're about to show a "Vegas reinactment." Tell me I'm not the only person, besides the hubby, on the planet that remembers this show?? We used to watch it every night... to the point we'd leave the bar and head to a controlable TV so we could flip on this horrible Cops rip-off, and laugh our asses off. Boy was I actually happy there is now a Fox Reality channel that needs program so badly, it's re-running the episodes. Guilty pleasures people, guilty pleasures. Gotta embrace them, love them, and hold them dear.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why does the first day back at work after a 3-day weekend...

... always suck so bad? It was one of those days where nothing went as planned. And then the server went down for two hours. Which left me with nothing to do since I couldn't access the files I needed to. Ugh.


Yesterday at the grocery store, they had lobster tails on sale. By no means cheap, but at least affordable. So I figured I'd do the High and Dry Clambake recipe I've done before, with great success. And it's a good way to stretch expensive lobster! But I forgot to buy clams. Ooops. So I just did a whole split lobster tail per packet. Still worked very well, and nicely cooked lobster.

Tonight was much more low-key... biscuits and gravy. And I had every intention of trying some cream biscuits, but by the time I finally got out of work I was not going ot head to the grocery store to get cream. And I had whack-a-biscuits in the fridge already. And between working out, Hell's Kitchen and some other stuff I wanted to watch and get off the Tivo... laziness won. I suck that way sometimes.

Biscuits and gravy isn't a recipe... it's a method learned from dad. Buy Bob Evans sausage. Cut per package recipe. Flatten slices a little bit for faster cooking, and a more biscuit-sized piece of sausage. Cook according to package directions. Drain sausage on paper towels, but leave the grease in the pan. Add chopped onion. Take a few pieces of sausage and break them up, add the to the onion. When the onion is golden, sprinkle with a couple spoonfuls of flour, cook for a minute or two. Add a shitload of milk and simmer until thick. Serve over biscuits. Listen to happy eating noises of people at the dinner table (which, in our case, is the coffee table in front of the Tivo. I suck that way, too).

Was thinking about - you guessed it - whipping up the Bouchon Tuna Tartine for lunch tomorrow... but again, lazy is the word of the day. I've got leftovers from tonight, that'll work for lunch.

Hell's Kitchen tonight... with Julia gone, count me in the masses that don't want to see any of these people win. Bonnie, who suggests serving rabbit when she doesn't know how to cook it, Jen, who trash-dives for food, and Rock, who talks about himself in the third person. Ugh. And really.... I wonder about these people ooooh-ing and ahhhhh-ing about getting a place at GVR in Vegas.... yes, Vegas is a bit of a food mecca these days, do any of them KNOW the place is waaaay off strip, a locals joint, and not the same as the major Strip resorts that seem to be courting the big food names?? I just don't think they do.

Anyway.... not that much else going on. Today's technical difficulties aside, hopefully the week shouldn't be too bad. I think tomorrow the three grape tomatoes on my one plant should be good & ripe, so I'm planning steaks, a nice salad with the tomatoes, and maybe creamed spinach as a side. No so sure what will be happening for Wednesday. I do have some chicken breasts I might cook up and do something "shredded" with.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yeah, the wedding was fun.

The wedding was a lot of fun.

Even if there was drama with the bridesmaids (who apparently did not lift a finger to help out with *anything* having to do with the wedding) and drama with the bride's mama (who held up the ceremony by 45 minutes by being late for unknown reasons), it was a cool wedding. The bride looked lovely, the couple was indeed very happy.

Some of the guests were very happy by the end of the night, like my bro, who was a groomsman, who was poundin' the whiskey and was rip-roarin' drunk by the time my sis in law dragged him up to bed.

I enjoyed a few (cough cough) gin & tonics during the course of the night. And the entire shin-dig was thrown at a Wyndham hotel, and I gotta say... the "By Request" free membership deal that they offer is pretty well worth the five minutes it takes to register. When we got to our room, we were please to see that they had a bottle of water an an Amstel light chillin' in the ice bucket and had a plate of crackers and nice cheese waiting for us. Very nice. And one of the most comfy hotel beds EVER. A ton of fluffly pillows on the bed (I'm one of those people who NEEDS about four pillows to sleep) and a nice fluffy comforter.

Today was low key... after we got home I relaxed a bit, then headed out to pick up some stuff for dinner tonight. The cooking shows I watched today seemed to be all about the pasta, so I figured I'd make carbonara for dinner (always good for a day after too much to drink). Really, all I needed to get was bread, but I figured while I was out I'd also stock up on veggies for the week. Also wanted some tomatoes to whip up a little bruchetta.

The carbonara I use is basically this recipe, but I usually use asparagus or broccoli (cooked in the bacon fat) rather than the peas, hubby is not a fan of peas. And I used some garlic confit for the bruschetta... very nice. It's just slightly more mellow than raw garlic, but still not quite roasted garlic. And I really like having something tomato with carbonara... the acid in the tomato really goes nicely with the heavy sauce.

Not much else going on. Looks like it will be a low-key night catching up on all the TV we missed last night. Exciting!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ahhhh weddings.

I lack a lot of usual "chick" qualities. The "oooh" and "ahhhh" over weddings is a big one.

Not even in my youth did I dream of the big, white, church wedding. No appeal at all.

The hubby and I were married in Vegas (not planned... but not unexpected). Six months after we came back, we had a receptions with lots of booze and lots of food at a pretty nice hall (simply because I didn't have the time to do all the planning to make it a backyard party or something). If the families hadn't really all hinted they wanted the party, we would have not had it.

So little in to my own wedding... I'm not one of those chicks who gets all goofy-loofy when it's time to attend a wedding. It means it's going to cost me money. It means it's going to dig in to my weekend time. It means I have to sit around in a room of people oooohing and aaaaahhhing for a few hours. It means some embarassing pictures of me will be taken. It means I have to endure relatives I'd rather not see. It means crappy hall food. It means having to run outside in the freezing cold or horrid humidity ever time I want a smoke.

For this wedding, it means taking a day off work, which I have actually been looking forward to for about two months, but a crimp is in the plans now since one my co-worker spent some time in the hospital this week, so no one will be there to hold down the fort tomorrow. Which *always* means something is going to blow up. It means I have to try to get at least two more applications of fake tan on to even out the damned sunburn I got on the 4th of July. This wedding also means dropping the money on a hotel room, since it's in the metro area, but not really close to here. For this wedding, it means dealing with the many petty fueds that are going on in the family

Yes, it's nice to see the happy couple. And in this case, my cousin and his fiancee are a great couple and I'm very happy for them.

But it's just such a pain in the ass.....

On the housewifey front... been a bad wife the past couple days. I had an appointment last night after work so I picked up Italian grinders on the way home. Tonight was doctored up frozen pizza... and old standby.... take fair quality frozen pizza, add some sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers, some fresh basil, a little parm and romano.... always good. And kept the kitchen a minimal disaster area. Also managed to clean out some junk from the fridge that was about to god bad. Bonus!!

Obviously... no cooking tomorrow. I want to on Saturday... we'll see how the day goes and what I can come up with if I don't get to the grocery store. I still have that pound of domestic crawfish tails in the freezer... but I'd like to do something better with those.

Loving the World Series of Pop Culture this week... that series of "songs of 2006" questions was just hilarious. I had no clue either. Tonights Simpsons questions?? LAME. They could have at least asked who voices Fat Tony, gone to Lenny & Karl, Duff beer, Krusty's supurflous nipple, Ned.... the possibilities they missed!!!!

Sigh. Is it time for the trip to Vegas yet??? I really cannot wait to be on vacation.

Ahhhh weddings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am addicted to the Nicoise Tuna Tartine

Had it again for lunch today. Forgot my herbs at home, and it was even still good.

The home cooking was unexciting... pork tacos. But with some fresh guac and a nice lime cream, still tasty. A pot roast, a crock pot and some salsa can be a very good thing sometimes. After the non-stop day at work (reload operating system.... try installation of new product... doesn't work... try another way... still doesn't work... try a third way... still doesn't work.... rinse and repeat for the 6 other operating systems to test....)

And the Hausfrau duties are not yet done for the night. I did get to relax for a few minutes before dinner, but after dinner was a workout watching the World Series of Pop Culture (easy questions tonight. And how could you miss Ed Wood?!?!?) Some watering of the tomato plants (one needed it, badly). Cleaning off the door mat out front that some mysterious creature keeps taking a shit on during the night. Application of a general anti-critter spray to the area so hopefull tomorrow morning I'm not stepping over shit as soon as I walk out of the house (I like to wait until I'm at work to deal with the shit.... RIMSHOT! Thanks folks, I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip the wait staff). Got a load of laundry done, and some general cleaning. Watched some stuff on the Tivo. Still have to clean the kitchen and clean out the fridge as the pre-garbage day ritual.

Not sure what will be for lunch tomorrow. I was going ot use up the last of the tomato confit with some pasta and leftover chicken from Sunday... but now I've got a couple tablespoons of guac still in the fridge, calling my name (this time... covered with the leftover lime creama to keep it from going brown - usually I'll just top it with salsa to keep it from heading south). Might be some tostadas for lunch tomorrow. And I believe dinner will be a glorious dinner from the world-famous Steak and Shake... got a doctor's appointment after 6pm, and it's on my way home.

Sometime this week, I have to go on a rant about how much I hate weddings. Not even just other people's weddings.... if we hadn't gotten big feedback from the families after we returned from Vegas married to put together some type of big bash I'd have never done it, I do not have the weddig gene. Not at all. I wish I'd gotten married in my favorite leopard print PVC dress rather than the Cheongsam I did get married in. I hated being the center of attention for it all. Just eat some food, have some drinks and dance, people! My cousin is getting married on Friday, and I'm not even involved in standing up (thank you GOD) but it's still putting a crimp in my usual routine. Is it over yet???

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mundane Monday... sometimes it just turns out that way...

Nothing much going on today.

Dinner last night was good, chicken turned out wonderful (as always) potato salad was as decent as I can ever make, and the glazed carrots were very yummy. Recipe could have been a bit clearer... I believe it says to bring them to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the veggies are cooked and you have the veg perfectly glazed. So I brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer. And waited. And waited. And pulled out the veg and waited. And waited. And finally brought it up to a boil and in about a minute, it was done.

Today's culinary adventures brought me to the deli meat counter at the produce mart... the hubby called me at work at 4:30 to announce he was getting a haircut at 7pm. So much for the steaks (which weren't defrosted anyway). I had roast beef, he had a turkey sandwich. I figure I'll used up the remainder this week for lunches.

Work was busy... I was a bit of a space cadet last week so I had some catching up to do. But no emergencies, which is always a good (and rare) thing at work.

Right now, I have some pork and salsa simmering away in the crock pot for pork tacos tomorrow. Which reminds me, have to remind the hubby to NOT have Taco Bell for lunch tomorrow. He's got an uncanny knack for having Taco Bell on nights I'm planning to serve Mexican food.

And yet again, I've neglected my poor little Palm for so long it's forgotten the settings. I swear, I only whip that thing out and am interested when I'm plugging in Vegas Vacation details lately.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Where do the weekends go??

Remember back to high school or college, when you waited for the weekend and just had a blast all weekend?

Why does that have to stop with adulthood?? I'm starting to understand why the cousin who is a year older started law school last year.... screw this whole adulthood thing! I wanna be a student again!

Not happy with the new Food Network schedule, with all the shows I like to watch on very early on Sundays. But, maybe it will force me to get off my ass and do something productive.

Last week was mostly uneventful. Did make an awesome recipe on Wednesday.... (you have to register to view the recipe on the site, but it's easy and well worth the effort, lots o' good stuff) Family-Sized Cheese Omelet (I also added some ham) that I saw on America's Test Kitchen last weekend. Usually I do "individual omeletes" when I make them for dinner, but I was tired and just decided screw it... one big one sounded good to me.

YUM. Came together in a snap and very very tasty. It comes out the way my hubby loves omeletes... nice and browned on the outside but still nice and tender inside.

Looks like dinner tonight will be roast chicken ala the Bouchon cookbook, which I've made many times and is ALWAYS tasty. Might try the glazed veggie recipe also. Or I might end up making an old favorite, Marinated Carrot Salad that I've had a taste for. Or I might do both and just pull the carrot salad out later this week.

For the week, I'm planning on doing pulled pork tacos one night, and crapola, just realized I was also thinking pulled pork sandwiches one night. Hmm. Not that I have a problem with that much pork in my diet, but I only have one pork roast. And now I'm so distracted I can't remember what else I was planning. D'oh! I really do need to pull out a couple frozen pizzas, my basil plant is going haywire and I've hardly used any of it so far this year.

In any case... will be an easy week. We've got my cousin's wedding on Friday, and even though it's in the 'burbs, it's not close so we're staying overnight. And I think my family has a big breakfast/brunch thing planned since this is the big send-off before my aunt sells everything she owns and heads off to find her fortunes in Vegas with her husband.

And speaking of Vegas.... wow, the trip is getting close. A month away! Can't wait.

Garden report... lost a couple tomatoes to blossom end rot. It happens every year and I hate it. But it happens to every gardener, right? Right???

Ok. Off to spend some quality time with the Tivo and catch up on the past two episodes of Hex.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When Thomas Keller sez to cook something for 3-5 minutes, by God, cook it for only 3-5 minutes!

So, tonight was an attempt at the Frogs' Legs Provencal from the Bouchon cookbook.

Actually a pretty easy recipe, flavors were awesome.

But yeah, I over cooked them. I was trying to get the rest of the meal done and didn't pay attention to the time when I threw them in the oven, and my guess at "3 to 5 minutes" was WAY off.

Busy day at work today, not surprised. Just way too many freakin' things going on at one time.

We've had storms the past couple afternoons.... today the storms hit my old neighborhood, I was watching some on the 9pm news shows and went "Holy Crap! That's right outside White Castle!"

Nothing too bad here, just some needed rain to get me off plant watering duties for a couple days.

Not sure what I'm doing for dinner tomorrow, but I'm certainly stopping at the store. We've got nothing in the house. Even out of the basic elements of food (you ate all the tarragon and drank all the soy sauce!!). I've been out of eggs since last Wednesday. Only meat I have available right now is some polish sausage.

I did get some stuff yesterday to deal with the bug invasion in the garden. Looks like they did get another tomato, but hopefully the rest will be safe. I did use some spray stuff yesterday after I thought the rain was thru, and went out there again tonight after the rain. Hopefully it should be dry tomorrow, have some powder stuff to use also (the stuff I know my dad used to use EVERY year).

Got three loads of laundry done tonight, and I managed to work out. Woo hoo.

Cannot WAIT to watch the Eureka that is waiting on the DVR. That's one program we really like to buzz thru the commercials for.

Ok. Time to go chop herbs... doing tuna salad ala the Bouchon tuna tartine recipe. Without the eggs, obviously, and on regular store-bought loaf bread. At least its better than a Lean Cuisine.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I had a really clever title five minutes ago, but I forgot it.....

Did make it through the 4th of July. Still have the remains of the sunburn to proove it!

Was up early on the 4th to throw the eggs in the oven, and make the bacon cheddar cheese puffs. Was damned upset to learn I had three extra large eggs, not the four large eggs called for in the puffs recipe. Damnit. I did it anyway, and they turned out pretty good.

The parade was fun. The booze was funner. I slammed two bloody mary's and a mimosa during the course of the parade. Then it was time to gather with the sister in law and the cousin's wife in the kitchen to have another drink (or two) and eat half the bacon cheddar cheese puffs while we waited for the last of the food to cook.

By the time we left there, it was later than we thought. Barely got the sandwiches before Jimmy Johns closed, had about five minutes at home before we were off again. The hummus got left behind. Just didn't have time to try and get it tasting right.

By the time we made it to my mom's house I was a lovely shade of red. The party was OK at my mom's house... some family drama in the works, not enough food, and my other sister in law's niece acting downright creepy (looking and pointing at my husband, just laughing, it was like Children of the Corn creepy).

Primarily uneventful week at work after that, on Thursday I was WAY to tired to cook. What did we eat anyway? Oh yeah, Taco Hell.

Friday night was cleaning in anticipation of actual real live visitors this weekend.

And the visitors came on Saturday, ate much food (went out for burgers with the hubby and then the guys wanted pizza at about 8pm last night), drank a lot and watched too much MST3K. Always good times.

Today was, well, me being a big huge sloth. Also always good times!! Dinner was brats and grilled potatoes.

Hopefully this week should be a little more back to normal. Workouts, real meals and all the fun that goes with it.

Not so happy on the gardening front.... it appears I have tomato hornworms or something eating at my 'maters. Gotta stop on the way home tomorrow and try to get something to take care of that. And when I went to water the plants in the back on Saturday I was damned upset to find out that the new landscaping company for our complex - who has been onthe job for six weeks now - weed-whacked the three BLOOMING daylily plants I had in the back. Thanks!! I finally loose the black thumb of death I've had with flowers, and they go and do that. Gotta call tomorrow to bitch them out about that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Is it the 5th yet???

So. Tired.

They let us out of work early today... and for once I actually got to take advantage of it. After some quick stops at he liquor store and two grocery stores for odds and ends, I was home. Early. On a weekday.

They let out work at the hubby's place early too, but he had to stay to finish up some crap.

Oh yeah. House to myself.

Cranked up the air and the oven, and made the pita-chips for the still-needs-improvement-hummus. God I love the convection oven. Two sheets pans in there, cooking evenly.

Hubby came home, crankily went upstairs, and I actually got to take a small nap before dinner prep.

Un-exciting dinner... bacon from the oven, and fried eggs. My egg karma was off, and rather than nice sunny side up eggs with runny yolks, they were a little hard. Still good anyway.

Then was the prep of two baked omelettes based off this recipe... One is spinach and swiss, the other is ham and cheddar. Then crumble some bacon and shred some cheddar for some bacon cheddar puffs (pate chiox - need to attempt it at some point!) tomorrow, and the garlic aioli from the Bouchon cookbook. Ohmygawd.... I might never enjoy regular mayo again.

Very glad to be pretty much done, only have the hummus improvement to do tomorrow. But still... is it the 5th yet????

Monday, July 2, 2007

Stoopid hummus!!!

So, yesterday I was using Mark Bittman's hummus recipe from his Best Recipes book (don't have the book, but found it online and it seemed to have good reviews).

I thought it had too much tahini in it for my taste, but I'm trying to learn to trust other foodies and believe that they might know better than me.

Not in this case.

After soaking my beans overnight and then cooking them, I started the hummus. I even added less tahini than was in the recipe. When I tasted it, all I could taste was tahini. I'm not a huge tahini fan to begin with, and I was not happy with the results.

Chucked a couple more cloves of garlic confit in there and some more oil, and it didn't seem to make a lick of difference. DAMNIT.

I did buy some canned chickpeas today, might still attempt to thin it out some more, or maybe it's gotten better in the fridge. I guess I'll see either tomorrow or Wednesday.

So, I've got more garlic confit going, since I wanted to make aioli for the 4th party, I might throw more in the hummus, and I really want to make the Frogs Legs from the Bouchon cookbook on Thursday. Which also means I have to get to the market and hope they still have frogs legs, since I think I'll need another 4 pairs.

Busy day at work, my mother frustraited me to all get-out (when I ask how many people will be at the party after you've asked me to bring the "main" dish... please give me the correct number!!! Grrr!!). Worked out a little, made an un-impressive szechuan shrimp stir fry for dinner, then prepped the "fillings" for the egg dishes I'm bringing to the brunch (cut the herbs, chop the cheese). Oh, and watered the plants. And sadly, on inspection, had to toss two still green tomatoes that were spotted. Last year was a bad bad bad tomato year for me, and I'm hoping this is not the first sign that I'm going to have a repeat bad year.

Hell's Kitchen tonight???? Get. Melissa. Off. My. TV. NOW.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Chili recipe!

In honor of my hate of the Semi-Ho (yeah... yesterdays new episode had yogurt plus tofu plus VOKDA... this lady is nuts) I've been meaning to post my totally un-gourmet, "king of canned foods" chili recipe. Yeah. It looks kinda sketchy on the surface but it's the way my grandfather made chili, my dad made chili and I learned to make chili.

My husband, the notorious picky eater, just about dances when he knows I'm making chili for dinner. It not only means a couple of tasty bowls of chili for dinner, it means a chili stash in the freezer for chili dogs, chili fries, chili omelettes (yeah, sounds gross but it's damned good) and various other chili applications.

Adding adobo chiles and some hot sauce even made this a winner of a chili contest (yeah, us midwesterners kinda suck when it comes to what we think is good chili, I'll admit it).

Easy-Ass Chili

1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
2 -3 large onions, chopped
1 tablespoon McCormick Chili powder (the brand is important!!)
2 cans light red kidney beans, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, undrained
2 cans Campbell's condensed tomato soup
1 tablespoon butter

Brown ground beef and onions in a large pot, until meat is no longer pink and onions are translucent. If your meat was really greasy, drain it. No one needs THAT much beef fat.

Add chili powder and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring, until it starts to smell like chili.

Dump in he beans and tomato soup. I cannot stress "undrained" enough. Trust me, the end result will not be too salty. And just think about how all the preservatives in there will keep your corpse looking good for years after you die.

Bring to a boil and taste for seasoning. Add more chili powder if you want.

Cook over low heat, covered, for two hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. Don't let it burn on the bottom of the pot. If it does, all is not lost, DO NOT scrape the burned chili off the bottom, just dump the still-good chili in to another pot and continue cooking. Then quickly clean up the evidence so no one will ever know.

All that sound like too much trouble?? Then dump it in a crock pot. 4-6 hours on high, covered, will cook it nicely.

No matter which method you use, cook an additional hour, uncovered. If it's on the stove, you still need to keep stirring.

Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Don't know the chemical explination, but it makes it good.

Serve and eat.

Serving suggestions: shredded cheese, chopped onions, tortilla chips, crackers, sour cream, or my favorite, buttered saltine crackers (like a little canape!!)

Mmmm... relaxing Sunday.

It's nice when the big weekend summer fast at a nearby town is happening. It means my town in darned near deserted. And I like that.

Did the grocery shopping and running around today. Was actually nice and uncrowded.

Hit the regular store, hit the produce market. Then hit the GFS store to get some half sheet pans and lids for the egg dishes I'm making for the brunch on the 4th.

Then... home for an afternoon of Hausfrau duties. And today that is trying to accomplish four things:

  1. Make Tomato Confit.
  2. Make Garlic Confit.
  3. Make Hummas.
  4. Clean beadspread.
The tomato confit is in the oven. My chickpeas are ready for hummus but I'm waiting on the garlic confit, which is happily sitting on the stovetop. I love my simmer burner.

Just the the beadspread in the washing machine. Time to relax and figure out what the heck is for dinner.

They had some fabulous avocados, ripe and cheap, at the produce market. So we could do mexican for dinner.

Also at the produce market, the had bacon, cheese and potatoe pierogies made by a Mexican company (odd... but cheap and hopefully a nice surprise) and I have polish sausage in the fridge. Don't have cabbage though, so I might do that later in the week.

They had filet mignon on sale at the plain old grocery, always an easy meal.

Got fixings to make a nice stir fry, but that might be tomorrow since I'd like to bake up some frozen eggrolls to go with it, and the oven is still going to be occupied for another 4-5 hours.

Hmm. So I guess that means mexican or steaks. We'll see what the hubby feels like when he gets home from washing his car over at his parents house (the washing of the car is the Sunday religious service for his family - seriously. On the days when us wives also bring over our cars for a wash, it can look like a used car lot over there.)