Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Circus Is Leaving Town

 Barnum and Bailey is closing. Yep, closing the doors, taking down the tents and leaving town for good.  Thank you Jesus.  I hate the circus, I always have.  Creepy clowns, caged animals, abnormal everything.  I live in a big city, I don't need to pay to see weird shit.

 I'm on the mend but not ready to cook so I'm taking my daughter's advice and resting.  Not something that comes easily to me.  When I have spare time, I tend to get into trouble.

 What I am now wondering about is....where will people run off to?  I guess you now have no choice but to run off and join Isis.

Or you can run off to DC.  Because the biggest circus ever is about to move into that town.  To quote my favorite Polish saying:  Not my circus; Not my monkeys. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Down and Out

Good thing it's MLK day because this is all I am capable of doing today.  No cooking by me today. I caught the horrible bug that's going around.  I am not a 'lay on the sofa' kind of person but I know when I'm beat.  I'm sucking down liquids and Alka Seltzer and doing lots of nose blowing.  Even my teeth hurt.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Making Whole Grain Mustard

I love mustard, particularly whole grain mustard.  I like the way the seeds pop like caviar pearls.  It can be pretty pricey to buy so I like to make my own. You literally can whip it up in minutes and then you just need to let it sit out for 24 hours.
 For about 3 cups of mustard, I used 2 cups of mustard seeds.  I mixed black mustard seeds with yellow.  The black have a stronger flavor so if you like a milder mustard, just use yellow seeds.

 Add an equal amount of vinegar. I used cider vinegar but you can use any kind you want depending on the type of mustard you want to end up with. You can even use balsamic.

 Add 1/4 cup of another liquid.  I used apple cider but you could use wine, beer or even brandy.

 Add 2-3 tablespoons of sweetener depending on how sweet you want it to be. I used 2 tablespoons of honey but you can use brown or white sugar instead.  Add 2 tsp. of salt and stir this thoroughly.

 Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 24 hours.

 Before putting it in jars, you can add other flavorings such as herbs, onions or even horseradish. You also can put it in a blender to make a smooth mustard or just blend some to have a smooth mustard with whole seeds in it. 

I like it just the way it is.  It's so much better than store bought too!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Indian Vegetable Curry

 As I was rummaging through my refrigerator this morning, I realized that I had a vegetable emergency on my hands.  There were way too many vegetables and no plans to use them. Vegetable curry was the answer.

 I sauteed black mustard seeds in some oil along with a tablespoon of turmeric.

 When the seeds began to pop, I added 2 cups of quartered cherry tomatoes and cooked them for about 3 minutes.

 Next, I added 1/3 cup of green curry paste and 1-1/2 tsp of salt..

 Stirred it to combine and let it simmer a bit.

 The I added 1 Pound of green beens, about 8 medium potatoes cubed and 5 sliced carrots.

 Add enough water to barely cover it.  Add several chicken bouillon cubes.   Bring it to a boil then turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

 Add 4-5 cups of chopped kale.

 Stir it in and cover and cook over a simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir in 1 can of coconut milk and cook it at a simmer a bit and taste it and adjust the seasoning.
Serve it with a big scoop of basmati rice.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Mexican Pottery

 I was dusting some of my pottery collection yesterday and I thought you might like to see it.

 We used to spend a lot of time in Santa Fe and we always visited the pueblos while we were there. The pottery is fabulous.

 My two favorite pueblos are Santa Clara and San Ildefonso. The later one being the home of the most famous potter, Marie Martinez.

 You can read more about her here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Martinez

 Many people invite you right into their homes so you can see their work.

It's all quite wonderful and if you happen to be in the area, you really should visit them.  The pottery is sold in many shops in the area but actually seeing where it's made and having the pueblo experience...priceless. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cajun Dirty Rice

I wanted to make something a bit different for the kids today so I decided to make them dirty rice.  True dirty rice is made with chicken livers and I thought that might be pushing it.  These kids will try anything but I don't want to turn them completely off to something. I made this dirty rice with chicken and different types of sausages.
 I started out by browning all of the sausage in a bit of olive oil. I used hot Italian and regular breakfast sausage.

 Remove the sausage and let it cool and then cut the big chuncks up into small pieces.

 Reserve the oil in the pot.  There is a lot of flavor in it.

 Dice celery, onions, collards and red and green peppers.  I still get up long before sunrise so I stand in the kitchen half asleep and just dice away roboticly.

 Saute the vegetables in the reserved oil until they become translucent.

 Sprinkle with some salt and pepper.

 Add the sausage and some cooked chicken.

 Add worcestershire sauce.  About 1 tablespoon if you are using 2 pounds of meat.

 Sprinkle in some creole or cajun seasoning.  Zatarains is a good choice. Season to taste but about 2 tablespoons should work.

 Add 2 cups of rice and 4-1/2 cups of chicken stock.  Bring it to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, leave the lid on and let it sit for 8 minutes. 

 Fluff it up and serve it with some sliced green onions on top.  I can't wait to hear how the kids like this.  Most kids like re-fried rice and this is like a really tasty version of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sometimes Broken Pipes are a Good Thing

 My broken pipes are fixed and the flood made me drop everything and thoroughly clean my garden room from floor to ceiling.

 Sitting on my coffee table is a new Japanese charcoal burner which I hope to be doing lots of cooking on.  (Think the hibachis of the 70's) Though these are made of ceramic and burn binchotan charcoal.  I'll post more about it when I start using it.

 I washed all of the redware I have displayed in this room.  I love redware and have collected it for years.

 A lot of it is from Vermont.  The leaves are from Colorado.

 But I have collected it from all over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

I love the earthiness of it.

BTW....Teddy has thawed out too.